Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The Computer Says No Yes

Ignore this post. A very kind soul at the university re-opened the account for me so everything’s rosy again 🙂 .
According to the university computer centre, I’m no longer a student, and therefore my login and email account have been deactivated. This is despite the fact I’ll be re-enrolling in 10 days time, and that I use my email account for work within the university.
Normally students get a ‘grace period’ over the summer where, after graduation, they may still use university facilities and have access to university systems. This grace period must have ended some time in the early hours of this morning. It now means that I cannot log on to any machine in the university using my credentials, nor can I access my university email account or use Wifi. It’s the loss of my email address that annoys me the most as I have things like my PayPal account based around that address.
It does seem incredibly harsh that the university has cut my access like this, especially as my student profile, from which the data about my status is taken, clearly states that I have provisional attendance for the next academic year. The university should have either waited until after the enrolment period is over before deactivating old accounts, or only deactivated those where the student was not coming back to study in the next academic session.
I’ve spoken to the university’s IT helpdesk and they’ve said there’s nothing they can do until I re-enrol, so it means I’m going to be pretty much without internet access until my enrolment is processed (or if we somehow manage to get broadband at home in the next 10 days). Even after that I’m not entirely sure whether I’ll still have all of the emails I’ve saved in my account over the past three years or any of the files in my university user space.
All in all, I’m pretty pissed off. But, on the other hand, it’s not like I’m expecting to have a lot of time to use the internet over the next few days anyway.


  1. That’s odd. Here in Lancaster, we keep accounts open until some time in November, specifically to catch continuers like you. I’m not sure about physical access to on-campus computing facilities, though.
    I think I’d have gone with “Have you got a 27B/6?”, but only fans of Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ would have got the reference….

  2. That’s awesome. I was going to comment that over here, the grace period is a semester, and we send out a deactivation notice on month prior. Anyone who needs it extended (research students, etc) can get it done.
    Glad yours is back up. 😀

  3. I went to DMU (DeMontford Leicester), and finished my degree in 2003. They offer all students to have their email account open for 10 years – for free of charge – after they graduate. All I had to do was end an email and ask them and I was given access to my UNIX account and my mail account. Even thought I don’t use them often, it is useful service to have access to.
    My friends who graduated from Cambridge enjoy similar services too. I am not sure for how long their account would be open for, but they didn’t have to worry about their email account being closed down.
    What I don’t understand is as to why all universities have a similar system. Yes maybe if the account was dormant for some time it would be deleted, but some may need to use it even after they finish their studies and it is such a silly, thoughtless thing to do by deleting/disabling the account once you graduate.

  4. Well, my account is still active, and I HAVE left!

  5. Well, gah. So they close accounts of those staying on and not of those who have left. Hmmm.