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LIU Google Storage Runs Out, Causing Trouble for Students


Additional research by: MELISSA FISHMAN / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

LIU students received an email on Wednesday, Feb. 22, regarding the issues they were experiencing with their school Google accounts. (Photo: Reyna Iwamoto)

On Wednesday morning, students at LIU began to receive error messages when using Google Drive, stating that the organizational storage is full. According to one such message, LIU had exceeded its 100 terabytes of space.

For students, this meant that creating new files or editing old ones would be impossible until the issue was resolved.

“I realized that my google account was down during my 9 a.m. class when I was unable to work on my notes or any other documents. I kept receiving a ‘storage is full’ error and I was so confused since I knew I was using less than a gigabyte,” sophomore Maryam Salam told Seawanhaka.

“I also felt anxious because I thought maybe I’d lost access to my work or even my account,” Salam said.

For much of Wednesday, information on the issue was sparse from the university. A little after 4 p.m., the IT department sent out a statement that the issue had been resolved, but that it would take time for everyone to regain full access to their accounts. What caused the problem was not disclosed.

The IT department declined to speak with Seawanhaka on the record about the issue.

On Thursday morning, the issue persisted for many students. However, at 1:40 p.m., the IT department provided another update, stating that LIU’s Google Drive services were “operational.” In a brief explanation of the issue, the blame was put on Google.

“Recently, Google changed their policy to charge for service and storage by setting limitation to 100 TB causing interruption to services,” read the statement.

The day after the issues with the school Google accounts began, LIU sent another email to students saying that the storage issue was "resolved" and that LIU's Google Drive services was "operational." (Photo: Reyna Iwamoto)

The disruption was felt among students at LIU Brooklyn, who, with deadlines fast approaching and in the middle of group projects, had to scramble to find alternative solutions.

Many students at LIU use their school Google accounts for classwork and other academic matters, using features like Google Documents and Sheets, while also utilizing Google’s collaborative features like sharing and editing work shared from other accounts.

“I use my school Google Drive for all my classes…” Salam said.

In a poll conducted by Seawanhaka on Instagram, 80 percent of those responding said that they were experiencing issues.

“My group was writing a research paper and now we are delayed,” responded one student.

“I have to buy external storage out of pocket,” answered another.

While the issue persisted, students were still able to save documents locally and work on them through a different platform or Google account, however, LIU students spoke out about the initial panic that was induced when they first realized their accounts were down.

Junior Sam Ozeir said that at the time when the school Google accounts went down, he had an assignment that was due within the hour, and ended up having to switch to his personal email account to complete it.

“I believe emailing us sooner than IT initially had done would’ve been much more transparent,” Ozeir said. “Word spread throughout the campus before we had received any word about what actually happened.”

While the issue was largely resolved on Wednesday, it took time for the resolution to “cycle through all the LIU accounts,” which left some students with continued trouble accessing some files.

“I think they definitely could’ve notified everyone about the issue earlier, since I knew many people went to the office to report the issue far earlier in the day than when they sent the email,” Salam said. “That would’ve prevented students from being anxious about the issue.”

On Saturday, Feb. 25, Seawanhaka learned that some students are still unable to create new documents on their LIU Google accounts, despite the IT department’s assurance on Thursday that all systems were operational.

This is an ongoing Seawanhaka investigation. Stay tuned to our website, for updates.

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