ListServ is a commercial software product designed to provide an easy way to create and maintain mass email mailing lists. These lists can be used for one-way distribution of information, for email-based discussions, etc. Lists are created, “owned”, and managed by a faculty, staff, or student member of Hamilton College.

Participation in mass mailing lists is voluntary. Effective Fall 2023, employees and students will not be added automatically to any ListServ lists.


Listserv lists are best suited for internal group messaging, such as to members of a department, class, or student organization. Because Listserv memberships are voluntary, they are not used to send Official College Emails .

Any faculty, staff, or student member of the Hamilton College community may become a ListServ list owner. Students must be in good standing with the Dean of Students' Office.

Campus-based organizations and departments may own lists, but an individual within the group must be designated as the list owner. Student organizations must be registered with the Student Activities Office.

All lists must be approved by the LITS ListServ administrator prior to creation and the following apply:

  1. The purpose of the list must pertain to Hamilton College business and communications.
  2. Lists are not open to off-campus subscribers unless special permission is obtained. However, Hamilton College students or employees may use off-campus email addresses to own and belong to lists.
  3. It is the list owner’s responsibility to learn how to manage the list’s subscribers.
  4. Under no circumstances can a list be used to participate in or promote activities that are illegal, violate the Hamilton College code of conduct, or the Hamilton College Honor code.
  5. Use of any list is subject to all applicable College policies, including, but not limited to, the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Policy .

To apply for list ownership or find documentation that will help you manage your listserv list, please visit the Listserv Resources webpage.

Restrictions and Requirements

  • Posting is limited to employees and the email account assigned to each student organization recognized by Student Activities.
  • 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 of the “From” line.
  • All student organizations and clubs must post to the ListServ via their organization’s email address, not from a personal student account.
  • Students/organizations will not have posting access to NOTICES-ALL. Requests for an exception should be sent to exception@hamilton.edu for approval.
  • Messages are limited to no more than two posts on the lists, regardless of sender. Corrections count as one of these two messages.
  • All messages must contain a reminder of how to unsubscribe to the list.

Accessibility Best Practices

  • When composing your message, please be considerate of those who are visually impaired or may struggle to read small text or text with excessive contrasts, such as highlighting.
  • It is strongly recommended to avoid using images (i.e., PDF, JPG, JPEG, and PNG files) as the sole content of your message. Software designed to read text aloud cannot interpret words contained in an image. If you include an image that contains the important details of your event or notice, please repeat the details in plain text elsewhere in your message.

Message Types

  1. event icon

An “event” is an activity (speaker, performance, lecture, sporting event, Student Assembly Meeting, 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 a department chair, program or organization supports the event and that members of the College are actively involved in organizing the event (e.g., guest speakers). If someone other than the organizer(s) makes the event announcement, they share responsibility for adhering to guidelines.

Message content

All event messages must contain:

  • Subject line descriptive of the event; if it is a reminder, the subject line should begin with “REMINDER:”
  • Name, date and time, location and sponsor of the event
  • The remainder of the body should contain a short description of the event
  • Large graphics should be avoided, lest you exceed the listserv ‘line limit’ for posting
Essentially identical events (same content, different date, time, or place):
  • If an essentially identical event occurs seven days (or more) after the original event (e.g. a second blood drive), it is considered a separate event and is subject to the same restrictions as a new event.
  • If an essentially identical event occurs up to and including six days from the original event (e.g. performances, sales, etc.) all of them should be announced collectively in one message that is sent no more than two times during the six-day period.
    • For example, if the original event occurs on Wednesday and subsequent identical events occur on Saturday and Tuesday, only two messages are allowed in total.
The mass email lists for posting events are:
  • Events-students@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to current students who subscribe to this list
  • Events-20xx@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to students in a particular class year, where xx is the last two digits of the class year
  • Events-faculty@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to members of the faculty who subscribe to this list
  • Events-staff@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to members of the staff who subscribe to this list
  • Events-employees@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to current employees - faculty and non-faculty - who subscribe to this list
  • Events-all@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to students and employees who subscribe to this list
  1. notice icon

A “notice” is information intended to inform the campus of details not related to an event. 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 email lists may only be used for the following categories. A brief list of examples is provided for each category:

  • Must comply with the Guidelines for Surveying Hamilton College Populations
  • Student-initiated surveys must be related to the academic program and endorsed by a faculty mentor. The request for approval for such surveys must be submitted by the faculty mentor to the exception email account. These surveys must be sent to exception@hamilton.edu for approval.
  • 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 about on-campus dining hours and operations
  • Reports from Hamilton departments or organizations
    E.g., Minutes of Student Assembly, reports from faculty meetings, Honor Court decisions, results of campus-wide initiatives or community events such as United Way, Heart Walk & Run, announcement of appointments
The mass email lists for posting notices are:
  • Notices-students@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to current students who subscribe to this list
  • Notices-20xx@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to students in a particular class year, where xx is the last two digits of the class year
  • Notices-faculty@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to members of the faculty who subscribe to this list
  • Notices-staff@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to members of the staff who subscribe to this list
  • Notices-employees@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to current employees - faculty and non-faculty - who subscribe to this list
  • Notices-all@listserv.hamilton.edu
    sent to both students and employees who subscribe to this list

Inappropriate Listserv Use

Examples of inappropriate uses include, but are not limited to:

  • Posting a message to an inappropriate list (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 message that violates any College Policy, including but not limited to, the Appropriate Use of IT Resources Policy or the Email Use Policy.
  • 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.
  • Giveaways (personal property such as furniture, tickets, equipment, books, etc.). College-owned property that is being given away must be announced by individuals representing the academic or administrative department responsible for the property.
  • Surveys other than those specified above
  • Chain mail
  • Lost and found except when it is Hamilton College property or involves animals (otherwise use the Lost and Found channel in MyHamilton)
  • Requests for rides (use the Share a Ride channel in My Hamilton)
  • Items for sale or items desired, such as tickets, books, services, etc. (use the Marketplace channel in My Hamilton)


To request an exception to these parameters for use of Listserv lists, send an email at least two business days in advance to: exception@hamilton.edu. Be specific about your request. Approval or denial will be communicated to the person making the request.


A violation consists of any message that fails to meet the parameters of this policy.

  • A first violation may result in a warning. The warning will clearly explain the violation and what needs to be done differently. If necessary, the Listserv administrator will offer to conduct the necessary training with the goal of preventing further violations.
  • A second violation within 24 months, or any second egregious violation, may result in:
    • Students: referral to the Judiciary Board and may result in sanctions, including but not limited to, the suspension of mass mailing privileges.
    • Employees: referral to the appropriate performance management process.

Policy Revision History

Last revised July 2023.

Last updated: July 17, 2024

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