Technology changes for students, faculty and staff will be in place for spring term.
Updates include changing the accessibility and format of MyBYU and implementing new guidelines for communication between students and university employees.
Changes to the MyBYU website
Nate Walton, IT service manager, said the change was prompted by the aging servers that host the old MyBYU website. Content management system Brightspot already hosts a number of BYU sites, and the decision was made to transfer the new MyBYU website into their system. “I expect that by putting it onto this platform, it will be easier to make improvements in the future,” Walton said.
BYU junior Casey Gooch said the website looks like the MyBYU app, with the same logos on the website and the app itself. “I do really like the school and work tab, that is really nice,” Gooch said. The tabs on the website allow student employees to keep their school links and their work links separated while still allowing easy access to those important links.
One of the features removed from MyBYU is the ability to bookmark websites. “It’s not widely used,” Walton said, “but it’s important for a few people.” Instead of creating a new personalized bookmarks module, Walton and his department encouraged students to create bookmarks within the browsers that students use to access MyBYU. Gooch said she “probably just would have used my browser” to store bookmarks for websites anyways.
BYU has been working on the new version of the website since 2021, and it is currently accessible at my-new.byu.edu. The old version of the website will still be accessible to students until the end of the semester, but on Feb. 28, the outgoing version will move to my-old.BYU.edu, while the new version takes its place.
Changes to student communication
Starting on May 10, every email sent to a BYU student from a BYU entity, including teachers, clubs and colleges, will be required to use the student’s BYU-provided email account (). This change also comes as BYU makes a “concerted transition to Microsoft 365 Defender for email message filtration” due to the experation of the current spam filtering system.
In an email sent out on Feb. 15 to BYU students and professors, the university explained the reason behind the change. “To be in alignment with security best practices and federal regulations (FERPA), all emailed communication from BYU starting this spring term, such as from your professors, managers, TA’s, etc., will be sent to your individual BYU email addresses.” They also encouraged students to use their BYU emails to communicate back to professors, advisors and managers.
BYU junior Garret Lloyd said the new policy is “really annoying.” Lloyd said it is inconvenient to check the BYU email account, and prefers to receive announcements and information from BYU to his normal email.
“I get lots of important information to my personal email,” Lloyd said, adding that he would rather receive all the important information to a single location, rather than needing to switch between two accounts.
BYU senior Rachel Jensen set up her personal email on her phone and computer years ago. However, she said she doesn’t know how to add her BYU email account and doesn’t want to add it either. “It seems like regulations are getting in the way of efficient communication,” Jensen said.
Jensen set up her BYU email account to be an email “dumping ground” for scholarship websites that require school email addresses. These websites send Jensen emails daily, and she has to sort through “literally hundreds of emails” that she doesn’t “want or care to read” in order to find the emails relevent to her. While Jensen is graduating in April, she has two siblings that also attend BYU, and suspects that they don’t even know that they have a BYU email or how to access it.
Aaron Sorenson, Internal Communications Director at BYU, said instructions to access BYU’s email accounts could be found on the Student Life Technology website under “Email Setup.” Regarding emails, Sorenson said BYU wants to “keep it internally as much as possible.” Sorenson also said a number of other schools across the country already have a similar email system in place.
BYU sophomore Rebekah Jones transferred to BYU in January, and said she sometimes forgets that her BYU email exists and that she will “have to put in more effort” to access university communications, adding that it was nice to have them sent to her personal email instead.