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Using mass email for communication to a targeted audience is a cost-effective way to distribute information quickly to many people. This mass email communication policy ensures the college's ability to communicate and deliver mission-critical messages and information relevant to the college's mission and business consistently. 

 Mass emails at Geneseo are intended solely to communicate to students, faculty, and staff important information regarding academic, college, and student business. This policy must be adhered to when sending any email message that reaches over 50 users. The policy cannot be circumvented by sending multiple messages with smaller populations.

Guiding Principles

  • Reduce the distraction of excessive mass emails: too many mass emails reduce the likelihood that any mass email will get the attention it deserves. Receiving email that is unrelated to an individual’s administrative or academic activities is disruptive regardless of the perceived value of the information by the sender.
  • Preserve email as a viable channel for critical communication: Reserve email for items that are 1) critical importance and time sensitive; 2) true emergencies; and 3) crime-related information as required by law. Increasing the number of untargeted email announcements and solicitations can make it more difficult for the University to communicate critical information effectively.
  • Promote best practices in communication: Mass email, while convenient and cost efficient, may not be the best communication channel. Many communication mechanisms exist within the college including traditional paper mail, print and electronic publications, web sites, targeted mailing lists and social media channels. 

    All departments and organizations should evaluate all available communication channels and determine the best method based on message and target audience and should refrain from using email as a communication channel of convenience.


This policy covers all SUNY Geneseo non-optional mass email lists including: 

Mailing Lists


Approving Offices
geneseo911-Lall Geneseo staff, all currently-enrolled Geneseo studentsUniversity Police and Emergency Preparedness Team Members
weekendevents-lall Geneseo staff, all currently-enrolled Geneseo studentsDepartment of Student Life

all currently-enrolled Geneseo students (official emails)

Dean of Students
collegenews-L@geneseo.eduall currently-enrolled Geneseo students (official emails)Dean of Students

all currently-enrolled Geneseo students (events)
can opt out after add/drop period 

Department of Student Life

entire Geneseo staff

Human Resources

Geneseo staff (event announcements)

Campus Scheduling & Events

all faculty members

College Senate Secretary

UUP non-teaching professionals

UUP President

Administrative professionals

Human Resources

Deans, Directors & Chairs

Human Resources

Secretarial staff in all departments

Human Resources

Exceptions to this policy include: division and departmental lists, union lists, class email lists


The official mailing list service for non-optional lists is restricted to those messages that meet one or more of the following standards:

  • Provides essential information for the operation or execution of daily business;
  • Notifies the campus community of significant events or changes in governance, policy, and practice;
  • Alerts the campus community to situations around health and safety; or
  • Communicates important information from campus leadership.

Mass emails that do not meet these requirements of urgency and/or critical information, (e.g., personal correspondence; advertising or solicitations; political statements or purposes; general departmental announcements about campus events; sales of any kind; anything for profit; anything viewed as advertising, even for academic or university business and even if there is no fee), should seek other methods. In no case shall mass email be approved or used for commercial mailings.

Sending an email to a large audience as noted in the Scope (see table) requires the approval from the office authorized to mail to the particular audience. Exceptions are handled on a case-by-case basis. Direct your request to the department responsible for the intended audience.

SUNY Geneseo's University Police department and members of the Emergency Preparedness Team have responsibility for all communications in an emergency.


Regardless of the purpose, if you are considering mass mailing, be sensitive to the fact that the college community members may not wish to receive unsolicited email that has nothing to do with their duties or mission at Geneseo. Thus, you should find targeted methods to reach those who have a particular need or desire to receive your communications rather than using mass methods that may reach people who have nothing to do with your office or have no interest in your service.

Best Practices: Departments or organizations who wish to distribute messages through campus mailing lists should adhere to the following effective email practices:

  • The subject line is brief and descriptive.
  • The From line identifies the sender.
  • Attachments are PDF-formatted only.
  • The text should:
    • Use plain-text formatting without graphics
    • Indicate to whom the message is being sent
    • Indicate why the message in being sent
    • Be brief, drive recipients to other locations for further information
    • Include contact information: an email address and phone

Alternatives to Mass Email

There are alternatives to sending mass emails for communication. These include:

  • Department web sites or newsletters
  • College Events Calendar
  • Opt-in Mailing Lists



Sue Chichester
CIO & Director, Computing & Information Technology


Effective Date: January 2014
Last Updated: November 2018


  1. Heya! I don't know who is editing this or if this is the place to leave these notes but I just wanted to note that the moderator of faculty-L listserv is the Senate College Secretary (which right now is me) not the President. I thought that might be helpful to update so people who might want to inquire about the Listserv get to the right person!

    (heart) Lee

    1. Thank you, Lee - that is a nice clarification. I updated the page.