Email Lists & Web Discussion Forums

Listserv and Discussion Forum Request Form

ListServ Description and Definitions

A listserv is an electronic mailing list which offers an efficient way to disseminate information to large numbers of people and hold long-distance discussions among many people. A discussion forum is similar to a listserv, except that the participants interact online using a web application. Mailing lists and forums are an easy way to communicate with large audiences quickly, by automating the distribution of e-mail to all those who subscribe to the mailing list. Mailing lists have become a critical component of scholarly collaboration. Many colleges and universities are also using them to facilitate and enhance classroom education as well as conducting the day to day administration of the university.

An official listserv or web forum is a list that is established by academic and administrative offices to which members are pre-subscribed to by virtue of their positions and responsibilities at the institution, e.g. faculty@saintleo.edu.
An Unofficial listserv or forum is a subset of the campus community which members of the list are not pre-subscribed and maintained by the requestor as outlined below. At the present time, course listservs are considered unofficial in that they are maintained by the faculty member and not populated automatically or otherwise managed by UTS.

Listserv™ is the UTS supported listserv management software. The University operates several web discussion forums including those by Listerv™, uPortal, WebCT and Estrada.

For the purposes of this policy, listserv will generically refer to server-based e-mail or web-based discussion lists. It does not include personal e-mail distribution lists that may be maintained by individuals. Members of the University community are expected to use their personal list with consideration of the institutional values and the appropriate use of computing and technology resources.

Purpose:

The purpose of listservs at Saint Leo University is to facilitate and disseminate information to eligible members and affiliates of the University. Listserv services are available to current faculty, staff, student and alumni organizations. The person responsible for managing a list is known as the list owner. If the list owner leaves the University, then the current list owner must find a new list owner and identify that new person to the listserv manager. If no new list owner can be identified, UTS reserves the right to disable the list or to request that the list be moved to a non-SLU server.

Requesting a List:

To request a list, complete the List Application Form. Applicants with questions about the form can request assistance by contacting the listservmanager. Not all requests will be honored with a list. The listserv manager may ask for additional documentation regarding the granting of a list. The listserv manager may recommend other electronic conferencing technology that would better serve the purpose of the request. Other considerations that will determine the status of a list request include the relevance of the list to the mission and values of the University and the capacity of available resources within UTS including how the size of the proposed list will affect university electronic mail systems.

Listserv requests initially rejected by UTS may be appealed through the requestors respective Vice President.

Policies:

If there is reason to believe that the list will be or is being used for illegal purposes, that list will not be established. If it is operational, it will be disabled after consultation with proper campus officials.

Lists are subject to all University e-mail policies. List members should not be pre-subscribed to an unofficial list without their knowledge or permission. Subscribers who request to be unsubscribed from an unofficial list should be removed. Official lists are pre-subscribed lists maintained by Saint Leo University for administrative purposes.

The distribution of large binary documents via listserv is discouraged. The Listserv host will refuse to send messages which are greater than 256K. Large binary files should be made available from either FTP or HTTP server.
Unofficial lists will not be created by OIT from the University databases. The list owner(s) or membership of the list are responsible for subscribing or unsubscribing members to the list.

Official List Names will follow a standard convention:
For institution-wide official lists the convention, SLU-Listname will be used. e.g. SLU-FACULTY For campus-based official lists the convention Campus-Listname will be used where campus will be an abbreviated, 2 letter campus acronym: eg SL-STUDENTS would refer to students on the University Campus in Saint Leo and SLU-STUDENTS-GAINESVILLE for Gainesville students.
Un-Official List Names will follow a simple naming convention that describes the list. E.g. FCA@listserv.saintleo.edu would could refer to the Fellowship for Christian Athletes or OIT could be used for OIT staff purposes.
List owners are responsible for properly managing their list. The responsibilities of the list owner include:

  • Advising individuals who will be presubscribed to the list of the list's purpose and how to unsubscribe themselves
  • Responding to subscribers' request for removal from the list
  • Assisting subscribers with subscribing or unsubscribing to the list
  • Correcting subscriptions that are made incorrectly or in error
  • Creating and maintaining current and relevant information such as the subscribers or welcome messages
  • Responding to errors related to their list such as delivery and remove errors
  • Responding to requests made by the listserv manager
  • Staying informed about current listserv policy
  • Attending list owner training or otherwise staying informed about list managementv

Membership to a list is not a right of the individual. List owners have the right and are responsible for unsubscribing list members who abuse a list by sending off-topic mail to the list, misuse or abuse the resource or are abusive of other list members. The list owner is responsible for determining what constitutes off-topic or abusive mailings.
The listserv owner and UTS are responsible for determining if a mailing is abusive of resources. Escalation procedures for disagreements regarding the interpretation and application of this policy should be escalated through appropriate University channels, i.e., Student Affairs or department director/chair or Vice President. Abuse of a list should be brought to the attention of the listserv manager and/or other University authorities.
Based on the information provided within the listserv application and SLU naming conventions, UTS will develop a listname. Lists will be periodically reviewed for activity and continued conformance to the current listserv policies. Lists that are inactive or fail to conform to policy will be removed. Lists will be reviewed for activity on annual basis. List with no activity for an extended period of time will be removed. Lists associated with courses will be removed at the end of each semester or at the conclusion of the course. List owners will be contacted by the listserv manager prior to removal of the list.To assist the list owner in performing these tasks the listserv manager will maintain on-line documentation for these and other functions.

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