Knowledgebase: Policies
Mass Email Policy
Posted by Pamela Kistler-Osborne on 07 February 2012 04:25 PM

Using GC Mass Emailing Lists

Background
Information Technology Services (ITS) has made available a number of mass emailing lists for limited campus use. Sending an email message to any of these lists will distribute it to all of the users on the list. Below is our policy for promoting accountability and responsible use of this campus resource.

Goals
The goals of this policy are to

  1. provide appropriate, decentralized access to the lists; and
  2. to achieve this decentralization while maintaining an acceptable level of accountability.

Generally, this means giving access to these lists to one person per department. This can be a department head, office manager, or whomever makes sense for each department. These people will be informed about the proper use of the email list and will act as a "filter" for their department, making sure that messages sent to the email lists follow the guidelines below. Since these email lists affect so many people, users or departments who refuse to follow the guidelines may lose access.

Email Lists Available

 

Administrative faculty ADMIN
Administrative & Teaching Faculty and Staff EMPLOYEE
Entities separate from Goshen College (Marriot, Archives) OTHER
Teaching faculty PROFESSOR
Teaching and Administrative faculty FACULTY
Retired faculty RETIRED
Staff STAFF
Students STUDENT

 

Guidelines for Using Mass Email Lists

  1. Email sent to a mass email list must be of value or interest to a majority of those on the list.
  2. Email sent to a mass email list must be kept reasonably short, less than a page.
  3. Email sent to a mass email list must be clear, concise and well-written.
  4. Email sent to a mass email list must not include attachments.
  5. Whenever possible use the Communicator and/or Faculty-Staff Bulletin instead of mass email lists.
  6. When in doubt about sending email to a certain mass email list contact ITS before going ahead.
  7. The more often the mass email lists are used, the more likely people are to ignore the messages. Remember, less is more!

Rationale Behind the Guidelines for Using Mass Email Lists

  1. Many of us have experienced "junk email" when an unscrupuluous mass marketer sends email to thousands of people hoping for responses from a few interested people. Sending email to our lists that is only of interest to a small fraction of the recipients is email abuse and a waste of Goshen College computing and personnel resources.
  2. Remember that email sent to these lists will be going to hundreds of users. This means that hundreds of copies of your message will be sitting in emailboxes, hundreds of people will need to read through your message and hundreds of people may decide to store or print your message. That is a lot of Goshen College resources and people time. Documents longer than one page or with complex formatting should be posted to the web. The email to the list then only needs to contain the URL (i.e: https://gconline.goshen.edu/public/announcement.html) and a very brief description. This has several advantages. It can be easily referred to in the future. Only one copy is maintained and can be easily updated without sending out hundreds of new copies. For information on how to publish announcements to the web contact ITS.
  3. See number 2 above. Also, remember that any erroneous or confusing information you send out could generate hundreds of email replies that you have to answer. Read it through twice and have a coworker read it through before sending to the email lists.
  4. See number 2 above. Although including attachments can be helpful when working with highly formatted documents, it is often a waste of time and resources when you are just trying to convey information to a large group of people. It forces users to start up another application. In some cases it may mean the user has to convert the attachment to a format compatible with their software. This is not a problem with a regular email message or with documents published on a web page. Additionally, documents published on a web page can be easily corrected or updated without sending out hundreds of new copies.
  5. The Communicator and/or Faculty-Staff Bulletin are the official means of communicating information on campus and should be used as such. At times, however, critical information needs to go out. Waiting for the next Communicator or Faculty-Staff Bulletin to be published may make the information moot. In these cases it is very appropriate to use one of the mass email lists.
  6. Since ITS often gets complaints about inappropriate use of the mass email lists, we can often give guidance when you are trying to decide the appropriateness of sending a mass email message.
  7. If the mass email lists are used frivolously, then users will begin to assume that messages sent that way are less important. The messages will be ignored or trashed without being read more often. This diminishes the value of the mass email lists. If we only use the lists for important information of interest to the majority of people on the list, then users will see messages sent that way as worth their attention.

Getting Access to the Mass Email Lists for Your Department
Before requesting access to the mass email lists for your department, please check the list of authorized users below. If your department does not yet have an authorized user or you need to change your department's authorized user please decide who that person should be (usually an office manager or department head) and email your request including a brief rationale for the request to helpdesk@goshen.edu. Allow at least two business days for processing. All authorized users will need to agree to the use guidelines before being given access.

Note, in a few cases it may be appropriate for more than one person in a department to be an authorized mass email list user.  In a few cases, people not on the below list may have access to a single list as needed.

Users with Access to the Mass Email Lists

 

Accounting Jean Yoder
Admission Nina Newburn
Business Michelle Horning
Career Services Anita Yoder
College Relations Mary Ann Bean, Jan Ramer
Executive Offices Frank Johnson, Dave Janzen, Jim Histand, Nancy J. Miller, Betty Schrag, Deanna Risser
Financial Aid Galen Graber, Betsy Eggink
ITS Media Paul Housholder, Sarah Mlotshwa, Mike McHugh
Library Sally Jo Milne, Lisa Guedea Carreno
Music Center Brian Wiebe
Physical Plant Joy Hite, Glenn Gilbert
Printing & Mailing Joe Bean
Public Relations Rachel Lapp, Myrna Kauffman
Registrar Stan Miller, Carol Leatherman
Science Marilyn Bayak
Student Life Shirley Shriner, Bill Born
SSWA Marge Brandeberry
Wellness Center Nelda Johnson
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