SUNY Plattsburgh Policy on Mass E-Mailing

General information concerning mass e-mailing

Mass e-mail messages are a useful and convenient way of informing the campus community.  However, their potential for unnecessarily consuming resources and cluttering campus inboxes require that senders of such messages adhere to some guidelines.  As such, mass e-mails must be approved and sent by authorized users only.

By way of definition, mass e-mailing involves sending an unsolicited e-mail message to a group of otherwise unrelated campus e-mail addresses.  For example, sending a message to all faculty or all students would be considered a mass e-mailing.  Whether such messages are sent by using a personally constructed list of addresses or a system-generated list, such as all@plattsburgh.edu , makes no difference in the effect or applicability of this policy.

In order to reduce the amount of locally generated spam in our inboxes, a limited number of authorized users can send messages via all@plattsburgh.edu or all@mail.plattsburgh.edu (student messages).  In addition, all such messages are "digested" - that is, they are collected during the day and then sent out as one larger digest message early the next morning.  To facilitate the delivery of critical messages, we also have the lists emergency@plattsburgh.edu and emergency@mail.plattsburgh.edu (for students).  Only a very limited number of users can actually send to this list and those users are asked to limit messages to emergency notifications or messages of a critical nature.  Messages sent to these lists are delivered as quickly as possible.

While all of the above has been designed to manage the flow of mass emailings, it is important to note that sending a message to members of a club or a group of friends does not constitute a mass e-mailing.  Nor does sending messages to certain, specific system lists such as the ones you see below.  Please note, that only faculty/staff members can post directly to these lists:

  • PSU-Auxiliary - Auxiliary Services Employees
  • PSU-Classified - SUNY Plattsburgh Classified Employees (includes classified M/C and staff represented by CSEA, PEF, and University Police Bargaining Units)
  • PSU-Emeriti - SUNY Plattsburgh Emeriti
  • PSU-Faculty - SUNY Plattsburgh Faculty Employees (includes Academic, Professional, and M/C) 
  • PSU-RF - SUNY Plattsburgh Faculty Employees who are part of the Research Foundation
  • Union-CSEA - CSEA Union Members
  • Union-MC - Management Confidential Staff
  • Union-PEF - PEF   Union Members
  • Union-UUP - UUP  Union Members

PLEASE NOTE:  None of the above-mentioned lists accepts attachments, nor are they particularly friendly towards HTML emails. Plain text is certainly the least common denominator, but it works on every system.  If you have a formatted document that must be shared with a group or the campus, we ask that you consider using a web page or using Moodle depending on the audience.  Then, simply use of these lists to advertise its link.

Acceptable vs. Unacceptable Uses of Mass E-Mailings

While the ability to send mass e-mailings is confined to just authorized users, those users are obligated to restrict such use to mailings that fit the following criteria:
Emergency announcements, e.g. class cancellations; state/national emergencies, etc.

Campus-wide policy announcements/statements/critical institutional information, e.g.:

  • Registration
  • Weather policy
  • Downtime for major computer systems (e.g. Banner, network, etc.)
  • Professional development
  • Facilities information re: heating/water/major construction
  • Interviews for candidates @ director level and above
  • Campus-wide speakers and events

By way of contrast, the following types of announcements should not be sent out as mass e-mailings; they can be posted to alternative venues including the Bulletin Board, Events Calendar, and specialized e-mail lists:

  • Lost and found (Bulletin Board)
  • Notification of hours change for campus facilities (e.g. fitness center; swimming pool, etc.)  (Bulletin Board; departmental web pages)
  • Personal statements (Bulletin Board "Viewpoints;" specialized mailing lists)
  • For rent/sale items (Bulletin Board)
  • Club announcements (Bulletin Board; Events Calendar; please note, students can continue to forward announcements intended for all@mail.plattsburgh.edu to the Dean of Students for permission to post)
  • Course changes/additions (specialized mailing lists).

Contact Information

For more information about Library and Information Services, please contact:

Holly Heller-Ross, Dean
Library and Information Services
SUNY Plattsburgh
2 Draper Avenue, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Phone: (518) 564-5180
Fax: (518) 564-5100
Email: hellerhb@plattsburgh.edu