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OIT provides Google + access to ND students

Nicole Michels | Monday, October 31, 2011

Notre Dame students can now “Hangout” online with their social “Circles” through Google+ accounts open to anyone with a University Gmail account.

The Office of Information Technologies (OIT) informed students last week that an advance release field trial of Google+ would be available through the University.

Mike Chapple, senior director for OIT Enterprise Support Services, said students previously needed to be invited by a friend to join Google+.

“Previously, you had to have an invitation for Google + to work, but now you can just sign up with your ND account,” Chapple said. “It’s the same service that’s been available to regular Gmail users since July, now available to ND users.”

Chapple said one of the benefits of Notre Dame’s access to Google+ is that students no longer need to log out of their Notre Dame email accounts to access the social network.

Sophomore Nicole Gantz said she is happy to have streamlined her email and Google+ accounts.

“It’s nice to have the full functionality of Google all in one area,” Gantz said. “I’m excited by this new integration of Google’s services all under my ND account.”

The email advertising Google+ accounts said the social networking site could be useful to the student body for a number of reasons.

“There are many possibilities for using Google+,” the email said. “Below are just a few ideas to get you started: share your thoughts with a project group, friends or family circle; have a Hangout with up to nine classmates; keep up with your connections from your mobile device.”

Despite the benefits promoted by OIT, sophomore Sean Doherty said he does not see the value of Google+.

Doherty created an account, but does not plan to use it.

“I created an account when it first came out, but since then I haven’t looked at it in a while because it didn’t offer me anything that Facebook didn’t,” Doherty said.

Doherty said he does not know many other students that use Google+.

“All of my friends are on Facebook, so I don’t see a point in going to another website that’s pretty much the same,” he said. “I don’t think Google+ really offers anything that Facebook doesn’t.”