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New Feature Allows Students To Avoid UNC Mass E-mails

And officials say there is now a way students can block some of these messages from filling their inboxes.

The University started sending mass e-mails to students about a year ago, said Steve Cornelison, director of data management. As departments and organizations have seen the benefits of this form of advertising, the volume has rapidly increased, he said.

Marian Moore, vice chancellor for information and technology, said there are two types of mass e-mails that the University can send."The first is informational, and faculty, staff and students can opt not to receive these," she said. "The second is urgent, and no one can turn these off."

UNC has implemented a new opt-out feature this year that allows students to avoid the informational e-mails that the University sends, such as requests to join the Carolina Annual Fund Phonathon or notices of internship opportunities.

Moore said she hopes students who prefer not to receive these e-mails will take advantage of the opt-out feature. Students who wish to activate the opt-out function can access it by going to the UNC directories page off the main UNC Web site.

Cornelison said the procedure for sending informational mass e-mails is still being created. "We are in the process of defining and designing a Web page for people who want to send a mass e-mail to any group on campus," Cornelison said.

Cornelison said this Web site -- which he hopes will be up by next semester -- will allow the senders to set precise parameters of their target audience and submit the message they want to send online.

Currently groups contact Cornelison to send out informational mass e-mails, and the messages must be approved by either Sue Kitchen, vice chancellor for student affairs, or Provost Robert Shelton before they can be sent.

The second classification of e-mails sent by the University is urgent mass e-mails. Randy Young, Department of Public Safety information and communications specialist, said DPS sends out emergency warnings by e-mail whenever someone or something, "poses a threat to students, the campus or the community."

Because of the nature of these e-mails, no one can opt out of receiving them. Moore said, "We recognize that this is the best means for communicating, especially for urgent messages."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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