Among the many benefits of being a member of a university community, the distinction of having an email address ending in “.edu” is small, yet highly visible.
In anticipation of this token of academic accomplishment, many of those receiving a georgetown.edu address are likely to be underwhelmed, given that the preceding letters and numerals represent little in the way of personal identification.
Our NetIDs are more akin to usernames than identifications, and, sensing this incompatibility, University Information Services, at the request of the faculty, has given faculty and staff the option to receive mail at an address that follows a [email protected] format. Because faculty and staff often interact with the general public in a professional setting, it is beneficial to have email addresses that well represent individuals within our university with the highest professional standard.
This same rationale, however, should also apply to students who wish to represent themselves with their name, rather than their arbitrary NetID, to others outside our community. Students, like faculty, often need to interact professionally with people outside of Georgetown, and the problems that some faculty have encountered with the initials- and numbers-based NetID email addresses apply to students as well. For individuals who go by different names than are represented in their initials, for example, NetID emails can be especially confusing.
While the current NetID email system accommodates those who have fairly common names, for which the [email protected] format may already be taken, numbers can be added to first-last addresses, just as numbers can be added to NetIDs.
Students should be afforded the same opportunity to opt for name-based email addresses as Georgetown faculty and staff. For a university with such an internship-focused, pre-professionally driven student body, it is a courtesy to afford the same modifications in email addresses to students who request them, as well.