Welcome back to Bwog’s latest feature, “In Defense Of…” Here, a writer defends something that most students consider useless, inferior, or downright loathsome. In doing so, Bwog hopes to bring you a new perspective, and give the subject the appreciation it deserves…or not.   This time, you guessed it, it’s CubMail.

Although google is taking over the world and accruing more and more gmail fanatics by the hour, there remain a few traditional CubMail users. I am proud to be one among them.

The simplicity of CubMail is what I like best. The terseness of the email addresses it provides lends itself to people with long, cumbersome, hard to spell names. With CubMail, Maria Elena Quintana becomes a tidy MQ2139.  To follow the gmail trend, I would have to go with some like mariaelena.quintana, which eliminates the all important space between my first and second name and leaves me with stuck with an unpronounceable string of vowels in the middle. If I threw in an additional dot, I would get maria.elena.quintana, which is more aesthetically pleasing than the former but ultimately just as confusing. In this situation, Elena could easily be mistook for my middle name, which would leave me as Maria and cause an identity crisis among other confusing things.

The standard MQ is preferable to all gmail appellations for another slightly different reason.  I, like many of my fellow Columbians, do not go by my legal name.  As I have said, Maria Elena is a long, rather tedious and fruity name, so  for efficiency’s sake I go by Mariela, which is a Spanish contraction for the name.  Informally I’m known as Mariela, but in classes and on paper work, I’m Maria Elena. If I had a gmail account mariaelena.quintana or maria.elena.quintana might confuse people who only know me as Mariela. Likewise if my email address were mariela.quintana, it might confuse professors and doctors and other more official types who don’t recognize my shorter name. Although my name is rather aqueous with all its variations, my initials are unchanging as initials are wont to be. MQ works for everyone.

Furthermore, at Columbia, the ingenious hybridization of the uni and email address maximizes efficiency.  You don’t need to memorize some cryptic code as your student ID number and each time you give your UNI to someone at your dean’s office or the registrar or health services they immediately know your email.  Another efficiency bonus point is that all public computers instantly link to the CubMail webpage.  With CubMail, you avoid wasting time typing in the gmail url and waiting for the page to load. This is a huge help when you’re in a rush to print a paper or check your email.

Another perk of CubMail is the Columbia.edu part.  Admittedly, it sometimes can feel like awkward name-dropping when you give out your email to people who don’t go here.  But there’s also an element of CC pride to it too.  Yes, indeed I’m proud to be MQ2139@Columbia.edu. Roar, Lions, Roar!