Marian Moore, vice chancellor for information technology, will head a new group to create a policy to govern the use of campuswide e-mails.
The group consists of Moore and other campus administrators from almost every segment of the University community, along with Student Body President Brad Matthews.
"E-mail is a powerful tool. We want to make sure that people are not misusing it," Moore said.
Matthews said a mass e-mail policy is needed because there is potential for abuse. "Some things are not appropriate to be sent out to the entire campus," he said.
After Moore received e-mails from many concerned students and faculty members, she said the need for a policy became obvious.
"It is important that people do not shoot the messenger. We are the postal service for electronic mail, and we make sure that e-mails get where they are supposed to be," Moore said. "But we do not have the authority to decide what gets sent."
Moore said she realized there are not clear guidelines for who can send campuswide e-mails. She said the group's goal is to make those necessary guidelines.
Tentatively, Moore said the group has proposed to classify mail into two different categories -- informational e-mail and emergency or important e-mail.
"We do believe we can give some control with two classes of e-mail. Then students can decide what kinds of e-mails they want to receive," Moore said.
Students would then have the option of deciding if they want to receive informational e-mail by accessing a Web page like Student Central.
Moore said another solution is to instate a virtual message board on the Internet where student groups could post information that might not be pertinent enough for a campuswide e-mail.
Moore said students and faculty wishing to send e-mails to all students will have to go through Sue Kitchen, vice chancellor for student affairs.
Moore said University business is most likely to be approved for mass e-mails.
With the upcoming elections, students have expressed concerns with candidates sending mass e-mails for their campaigns.
But Matthews said these e-mails are legitimate because they must be approved by Board of Elections Chairman Jeremy Tuchmayer. They also must correspond with the Student Code.
Moore said that once a draft of the policy has been created, the group will hold meetings where students, faculty and staff can give their input on the policy.
"The receiver should have just as much power as the sender," she said. "But we also want students, faculty and staff to be able to decide what e-mails they get in their inboxes."
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