Listservs

Connect to William & Mary's Mail List Service 

Tech Support recommends using Mozilla Firefox when accessing the List Service.

Maintaining a large email distribution list or sending mail to a large number of email addresses in most email programs can be challenging. The solution is a listserv.

What is a listserv? It is a program that automatically redistributes email to names on a mailing list. A list usually consists of email addresses of people interested in a certain topic or members of clubs or groups. The purpose is to send announcements and to allow email discussion between list subscribers.

Listserv information specifically for Recognized Student Organizations.

Advantages
  • Many email programs have limitations on the number of addresses in a distribution list.
  • List administration is accessible in a web interface for one or more owners.
  • Subscription options and archives are available in the web interface.
  • Options such as moderated or digested lists.
Guidelines
  • Individuals requesting lists and/or listed as owners for a list must be current faculty, staff, or students of the College.
  • Lists must only be used for their original purpose.
  • List administrators should disclose the nature and frequency of mailings to the list subscribers and using a list for unsolicited or unauthorized mass postings is prohibited.
  • With the exception of lists used for official, College communications, subscribers must be notified when they have been added to a mailing list PRIOR to any messages being sent to a list and must have the ability to unsubscribe from a list.
  • To prevent lists from receiving spam, it is highly recommended that list administrators set send privileges to require confirmation.
  • Lists not following these guidelines or other College policies will be disabled and are subject to disciplinary actions as set forth in the Acceptable Use Policy for Students and Acceptable Use Policy for Faculty and Staff.
  • William & Mary's listserv is powered by Sympa software and can be accessed at http://lists.wm.edu. Requests for new lists are usually processed within 24 to 48 hours.
Create a Listserv
  1. Log in to lists.wm.edu.
  2. Click on the Create list tab and fill out the form.
  3. Choose the List Type.  The default is the recommended choice but you may want to consider other options, especially if privacy is an issue.
  4. Enter a descriptive subject.
  5. Select a topic and enter a description.
  6. Click Submit your creation request when finished.
  7. This will create an approval request. IT will send an email to the creator of the listserv, asking that person to agree with the guidelines.
Subscribe to a List
  1. Send a message to sympa@lists.wm.edu from the address you want to subscribe to the list.
  2. In the subject line of your message, type in: subscribe "nameofthelist" FirstName LastName (replace "nameofthelist" by the name of the list you want to subscribe to and indicate your own first and last name).
  3. Leave the message body blank.

After this, you will receive a message telling you whether your request was accepted or not.  If the subscription to the list is subject to any approval, the list owner may choose not to subscribe you. If so, do not send several other requests.  The result will remain the same. You can possibly send a message directly to the list owner (nameofthelist-request@lists.wm.edu) to explain why you want to subscribe to the list.

Note: you will sometimes be asked to confirm your subscription request before it can be processed. If so, please follow the instructions contained in the message you receive.

According to the type of list (list with subscription subject to conditions or not) and to the availability of the list owner, you may not receive the notice immediately. 

Unsubscribe from a List

To unsubscribe from a list from the web:

  1. Login to lists.wm.edu.
  2. Click on Manage Your Subscriptions (located in the Top Left Column).
  3. Place a check mark beside the list to unsubscribe.
  4. Click on Unsubscribe button at page bottom.

To unsubscribe from a mail list using email:

  1. From the email address with which you subscribed to the list, send a message to sympa@lists.wm.edu.
  2. In the subject line of your email, type: unsubscribe nameofthelist (replace 'nameofthelist' by the name of the list you want to unsubscribe from).
  3. Leave the message body blank.
  4. Send the email.
Composing a message
  1. Include a meaningful Subject line.
  2. Plain text format is recommended.  Stylized and HTML text formats and graphical web pages can be sent, but may require special technical skills, and may cause problems with some email clients.
  3. Don't send long documents directly to the list. Describe the document and give instructions for retrieving it, or offer to send it to those interested. Try to keep postings as brief as possible. If you have a web site, consider making long documents available for downloading from the web.
  4. Avoid attachments except small PDF documents.  Provide a link to a web page for any other documents.
  5. The default size of messages are limited to 5MB, including all attachments.  Messages larger than 5MB will not be processed by the Listserv and will bounce back to sender.
Questions?

If you have questions about email list service, email the [[support, Technology Support Center]].

W&M Digest

The College uses a listserv called the W&M Digest as a means of sending communications to faculty and staff. Anyone wishing to post an announcement in the W&M Digest may do so through a submission form. Learn more about the digest guidelines.