This policy describes the appropriate use of email and the mass emailing lists.
This policy applies to all users of the Hamilton College email service.
Last revised, December 2014.
By special permission, college departments and student groups will be granted a single account to facilitate connections between the department or group and interested parties. The department or group must identify one person to be responsible for the account and to act as the contact person. In addition, student organizations must be registered with the Office of Student Activities before an account will be granted.
Hamilton strongly recommends that e-mail not be used for confidential communication. E-mail is now considered a formal written record that carries the same legal weight as a formal memorandum. Users of e-mail should remember that e-mail messages become the possession of the receiver and can be easily duplicated and redistributed by recipients. Messages that have been deleted can unintentionally be retained on system backup files. In addition, even secure passwords are not completely confidential. When a private message needs to be conveyed between two individuals, a conversation is the best way to accomplish it, and messages that should not be preserved should be deleted immediately.
College policy prohibits certain types of e-mail. These include mail that may be perceived as harassment, political campaigning, chain mail or commercial solicitation. Violators will be subject to loss of computer access privileges, as well as additional disciplinary action as determined by the Hamilton judiciary procedures. Certain types of e-mail, including but not limited to harassing e-mail, may also subject the sender to civil or criminal penalties. In spite of College policy, e-mail can be abused by malicious users who know the owner's computing ID and password. Users are responsible for protecting their own passwords.
ListServ is a commercial software product in use at Hamilton. It is designed to provide an easy way to create and maintain large E-mail mailing lists. These lists can be used for the one-way distribution of information, for E-mail based discussion, questions and answers, etc. Lists are created and "owned" by an E-mail user who manages the list's behavior.
Any faculty, staff, or student member of the Hamilton College community is entitled to become a ListServ list owner. Campus-based organizations and departments are also entitled to own lists, but an individual within the group must be designated as the list owner. Students must be in good standing with the Dean of Students office and student organizations must be registered with the Office of Student Activities.
All lists must be approved by the LITS ListServ administrator prior to creation, but the following general guidelines apply:
To apply for list ownership or find documentation that will help you send a mass message or manage your listserv list, please visit our Listserv Resources web page.
As a service to the Hamilton College community, several e-mail based mass mailing lists have been created. These are designed to facilitate the timely and cost-effective distribution of information to the campus community. E-mail now reaches all faculty, administration and staff and students. Participation in the mass mailing lists is voluntary.
In order that these lists remain a reliable means of communication, it is important that members of the Hamilton community abide by a few guidelines. These guidelines are not designed to limit free speech but are intended to keep your mail volume at a reasonable level.
Most importantly, anonymous mailings are prohibited. The sender's real name must be identified (in full) within the body of the message - not just at the top in the "from" line.
There are two sets of mass mailing lists, one for announcement of events and the other for general campus notices. The guidelines for use of these lists are explained below.
Please note: When composing your announcement, please be considerate of those who are visually impaired. People of all ages may struggle to read small text. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you avoid using images (such as posters) as the sole content of your announcement. Software designed to read text aloud cannot interpret words contained in an image. If you must include an image that contains the important details of your event or notice, please repeat the details as normal text somewhere else in your message.
a. Eventsemail@example.com (sent to all current students)
b. Eventsfirstname.lastname@example.org (sent to students in a particular class year, where xx is the last two digits of the class year)
c. Eventsemail@example.com (sent only to members of the faculty)
d. Eventsfirstname.lastname@example.org (sent only to members of the staff)
e. Eventsemail@example.com (sent only to members of the administration)
f. Eventsfirstname.lastname@example.org (sent only to members of Maintenance and Operations)
g. Eventsemail@example.com (sent to all current employees - faculty and non-faculty)
h. Eventsfirstname.lastname@example.org (sent to both students and employees)
By an "event" we mean an activity (meeting, performance, lecture, etc.) that takes place on- or off-campus at a specific date, time and place and is sponsored, or co-sponsored by either an academic or administrative department/program or a student organization recognized by Student Activities. Sponsorship means that the chair of a College department, program or organization indicates that the organization supports the event and that members of the College are actively involved in organizing the event (e.g., as speakers). If someone other than the organizer(s) makes the event announcement, they share in the responsibility for adhering to the guidelines.
Date and time of the event
Sponsor of the event
Name of the event
Location of the event
The remainder of the message should be a short description of the event. [Note that if your message includes large graphics you may exceed the Listserv "line limit". Such messages will be rejected. Contact the LITS Help Desk for assistance at 859-4181.]
Clarification: Posting a message to an inappropriate list is a violation (e.g., posting a message to events-all that is intended only for students or posting an event to one of the notices lists)
a. Noticesemail@example.com (sent to all current students)
c. Noticesfirstname.lastname@example.org (sent only to members of the faculty)
d. Noticesemail@example.com (sent only to members of the staff)
e. Noticesfirstname.lastname@example.org (sent only to members of the administration)
f. Noticesemail@example.com (sent only to members of Maintenance and Operations)
g. Noticesfirstname.lastname@example.org (sent to all current employees - faculty and non-faculty)
h. Noticesemail@example.com (sent to both students and employees)
By a "notice" we mean information that is meant to inform the campus of details not related to an event. A notice will be limited to no more than two posts to the mass mailing lists regardless of who sends the message. Corrections count as one of the two messages.
As a general rule, notices will not reference a place to which readers are encouraged to go, whereas an event will almost always include a time, date and a place. The notices mass e-mail lists will be used only for the following general categories. A non-comprehensive bulleted list of examples is provided for each category.
Student organizations recognized by Student Activities can submit surveys directly to the student lists. These must be surveys that will only be given to students.
Surveys related to college business or faculty research may be submitted directly to the lists.
Notices from members of the senior staff directly related to their areas of responsibility
Please consider your audience carefully (e.g., do not send a mailing to "all" if you only need to reach students).Examples of inappropriate uses include, but are not limited to:
A message that contains no actual announcement (e.g. does not meet the criteria listed above for an event or a non-event) is a violation.
Messages that fall outside the guidelines, or from senders not approved for mass mail: Any individual wanting to post a message to the mass e-mail lists that falls outside of the guidelines, can request that the message be posted by sending a request for an exception to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The request will be directed to the appropriate member of the senior staff for approval. Approval or denial will be communicated to the person making the request. Requests for exceptions should be sent at least two business days in advance of the time the posting is to take place.
A violation consists of any message that fails to meet the guidelines published above.
Violators may appeal their penalty by submitting their reasons in writing to the chair of the Committee on Libraries and Information Technology. The Committee will review the appeal and generally return a decision within 5 business days. During the appeal process the penalty will be suspended.