SUNY Plattsburgh policy on mass e-mailing

General information

Mass e-mailing involves sending unsolicited e-mail messages to a group of otherwise unrelated campus e-mail addresses. Mass e-mail messages are a useful and convenient way of informing the campus community. However, because they have the potential to unnecessarily consume resources and clutter campus inboxes, the college requires that senders of such messages adhere to usage guidelines.

Mass e-mails must be approved and sent by authorized users only. Whether mass e-mail messages are sent by using a personally constructed list of addresses or a system-generated list (such as, there is no difference in the effect or applicability of this campus policy. 

Digest mass email lists

Sending a message to "all employees" or "all students" is considered a mass e-mailing. Our Digest lists are in this category; these messages are "digested" in that they are collected during the day and then sent out as one larger digest message early the next morning.

Our Digest lists are:

  • - the Digest feed to all active employees of SUNY Plattsburgh
  • - the Digest feed to enrolled students

Critical and Emergency mass e-mail lists

Special mass e-mail lists are reserved solely for critical and emergency alert circumstances. Messages sent to these lists are delivered as quickly as possible. These lists are:

  • - the e-mail distribution to the entire campus community, for high-urgency, critical alerts only
  • - the e-mail distribution to students, for high-urgency, critical alerts only
  • - the e-mail distribution to the entire campus community, for emergency alerts only
  • - the e-mail distribution to students, for emergency alerts only

A limited number of authorized users are permitted send messages to the Digests, critical, and emergency lists. All users are obligated to restrict such use to mailings that fit campus criteria.

Examples of Critical mass e-mails messages:

  • 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

Examples of Emergency mass e-mails messages:

  • active shooter
  • class cancellations
  • state/national/local/campus emergencies

Lists targeted to select campus groups

Sending a message to members of a club, a group of friends, or one of the specific system lists is considered a mass e-mailing. Only faculty and staff can post directly to the specific system lists; these are:

  • 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

Considerations for using the specific system lists:

  • They do not accept attachments
  • Plain text works best. If you have a formatted document that must be shared with a group or the campus, consider using a Web page or Moodle, depending on the audience. Then, simply use of these lists to advertise its link.

Improper content for mass e-mails. The following types of announcements should not be sent out as mass e-mailings; instead, they can be posted to alternative venues including the Bulletin Board, Events Calendar, and specialized e-mail lists:

  • Lost and found
  • Notification of hours change for campus facilities
  • Personal statements
  • For rent/sale items (Bulletin Board)
  • Club announcements (students can forward announcements intended for to the Dean of Students for permission to post)
  • Course changes/additions.

Contact Information

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

Holly Heller-Ross, Dean
Library and Information Technology Services
SUNY Plattsburgh
2 Draper Avenue, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Phone: (518) 564-5180
Fax: (518) 564-5100