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GSE Email Lists

GSE Email Lists FAQ

What are the GSE email lists?

We maintain a number of email lists to facilitate communication within the school. The three main ones are

gse_community

educationjobs

gse_business (comprised of gse_students, gse_staff and gse_faculty; see below)

(all end with "@lists.berkeley.edu").

The first two GSE lists (gse_community and educationjobs) are voluntary, open to the public — not just GSE people — and maintained by automated list server software; you can subscribe and unsubscribe yourself at any time.

gse_business and its sub-lists are maintained by the GSE list administrator. New students are added at the beginning of the semester; new employees when notified. Students are removed when noted by the Registrar (usually a semester after graduation); employees when notified by the supervisor.

Note that attachments are not allowed on any of our lists (see List Problems for an explanation).

The information/opinions expressed on these lists are those of the poster and not the GSE. The GSE subscribes to UC Berkeley's "Principles of Community" developed collaboratively by students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and issued by the Chancellor. Its intent is to serve as an affirmation of the intrinsic and unique value of each member of the UC Berkeley community and as a guide for our personal and collective behavior, both on campus and as we serve society.

Please respect these principles in your communications.

How do I subscribe/unsubscribe?

If you use an email client program like Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora or the Apple Mail program, the links to the left should automatically start your default email program and compose the appropriate message to subscribe/unsubscribe you from these lists. Make sure the "from" address is the one you want to use and just click "send".

If you use a web site to read your email, or you're using a public computer, or the links in the left sidebar do not work for you, write to
gse_community-join@lists.berkeley.edu
educationjobs-join@lists.berkeley.edu

No subject line or message is needed. You will receive an email asking for confirmation of your request to subscribe.

Be sure to send the message from the email account you wish to subscribe with or unsubscribe from. (To unsubscribe, substitute "leave" for "join".)

You can also subscribe by going to http://lists.berkeley.edu and entering the name of the list. If you wish to receive daily digests of lists, you can choose that option there.

Directions for unsubscribing should also be at the bottom of every message from the gse_community, educationjobs, and gse_exchange lists.

Membership in gse_business is manually maintained (see below).

What are the purposes of the lists?

gse_community is meant for any "message of interest to the education community." Please use this list for your messages unless it is official business that must reach everyone.

Commercial messages benefitting an individual or business are not allowed (e.g., For Sale or For Rent notices).

(gse_community-digest is a compilation of the community messages; it collects all the messages and sends them out as one digest roughly once a week. If you don't need to see the community messages immediately, this might be a preferable way to stay in touch. See http://lists.berkeley.edu.)

educationjobs is for job posting in the education field. Only members can see the postings, but anyone is welcome to lists jobs here. Subscribe by using the links in the sidebar to the left, or writing educationjobs-join@lists.berkeley.edu; no message or subject is needed..

This list is moderated — any messages sent to this list will automatically be redirected to the moderator. If appropriate, the message will be forwarded to the list. (Please don't send listings to the moderator; send directly to educationjobs.)

Also, it's recommended that you avoid late Friday or weekend postings: messages will be moderated at the beginning of the next week and because the list server dates these messages with the origination date—and not the moderation date—some subscribers may miss them if they don't look back a few days in their mail queue.

gse_business is for messages critical to the mission of the GSE, and is made up of three sub-lists:

(There are also two sub-sub-lists for more definition: gse_senatefaculty@lists
gse_deptstaff@lists; again, all ending ".berkeley.edu".)

A message sent to gse_business will be sent to all three sub-lists. Please do not send a message to gse_business AND a sub-list, like gse_students; in this case, the students would receive the email twice.

Because email is our primary—and usually, only—means of communication we ask that every GSE student, staff and faculty member be a member of one of these three sub-lists. These lists are meant for official business only.

Membership is maintained by the GSE list administrator. (This is based on information directly relayed to me; please keep me apprised of additions and corrections. New students are added in the Fall with addresses from the BearFacts database and updated weekly.)

The following summarizes who can subscribe and send to the various lists. Members of the gse_business list can also write to any of its sublists, e.g. members of gse_students can write to gse_faculty or gse_deptstaff.

list sub-list sub-sub-list who can subscribe who can send
gse_community     anyone gse_community
educationjobs  

 

anyone anyone (mod)
gse_business     gse only gse_business
  gse_students  
  gse_faculty  
    gse_senatefaculty
  gse_staff  
    gse_deptstaff

How do I create a list?

First, you may not really need a list; in many cases you may only need an address alias or nickname in your email program. For example, if you need to send messages to all your relatives periodically, you can create a one word alias or nickname for all the individual email addresses of your family, giving you a quick and accurate way of addressing a message.

By default, you are the only person who can use this alias because it resides locally as a configuration file on your computer. Some email clients will allow you to send this nickname file to others and have them install it in the same relative location; I do this with the GSE_email file — staff/faculty access only. This is a list of GSE staff and faculty addresses that can be stored in the Eudora email program's nicknames folder, and be easily accessed from within Eudora as you are addressing messages.

If you decide you really do need a list because you want others to send messages to this same group, it can be generated by one of two programs running on the campus CalMail machine: maillist and majordomo (click here to get to the main CalMail page, then select "Manage Your Mailing Lists" to create your own list).

The maillist program makes it easy to setup and maintain a list, but doesn't have a lot of features. It simply displays a list of email addresses that you edit and that everyone can send messages to (although the individual names are not displayed, just the list name).

The majordomo program has more features, such as restricting access, automating subscription, archiving, including automatic headers and footers; but it does requires some configuration using text files for full control (the basic configuration can be done by selecting options on a web-based interface).

NOTE: the simple maillist option has been discontinued by CalMail; older lists have been grandfathered-in and can still be used.

These lists will be administered by the Calmail user who creates them. Please try to use a "permanent" account to create lists; there have been occasions where students or temporary staff would create a program or project list and graduate/leave taking a very apropos list name with them. We've setup a permanent "role" account in ETSC to circumvent this problem. Lists created with this account will always be owned by the GSE and not an individual; the maintenance of the list can still be the responsibility of the unit. Please see me about setting up a list under this account. (Calmail does allow users with sufficient foresight to transfer their lists to others before they leave.)

Note that attachments are not allowed on any of our lists (see List Problems below for an explanation).

Individual areas, programs, projects and classes maintain their own lists. These lists may not be updated frequently; check with their administrators. See the list creation page for caveats about using a personal account to make lists for a GSE unit.

Mail List Problems: Why didn't my message appear on the list?

The automated list server software on Calmail scans all messages sent to its lists, checking for problems. Any messages with problems are NOT sent to the list, but bounced to the list administrator (me).

The most common reason for a bounced message is that it contains a file attachment. Please, do not send messages with ATTACHMENTS to our lists. Mass mailings of file attachments create security and compatibility problems for members of our list. Most lists and forums administrators routinely restrict attachments. (Note that these reasons applies when sending to a list; the same issues may apply to your friends and business contacts, but are usually more easily addressed.)

Viruses are predominantly sent via email attachments, so a general recommendation from system administrators is NEVER OPEN AN UNSOLICITED EMAIL ATTACHMENT &mdash even from people you know. Addresses can be easily spoofed or hijacked and the owner is unaware that his address is being used. (If people actually complied with this recommendation, that would be another reason to avoid sending unsolicited attachments: nobody would read them anyway.)

A second problem is that attachments can be inconvenient for our users. The email system was originally designed for small text messages, and the explosive number of email and spam we have today is stressing the system. A one megabyte file can take five minutes to download for a modem user and forces him to deal with that message before he can read the rest; a number of such files can fill up an account's file allocation (5-50 MB on some older systems) quickly—users may unknowlingly send large video files which can be hundreds or thousands of times larger. Ideally you should use other means designed for transferring files. The campus recommends creating using a bSpace account: directions for uploading files to bSpace. This uses a different protocol which transfers files from point A to point B, rather than via multiple email hosts.

It's also unlikely that all recipients will have the same program/system you used to create the attachment, and therefore won't be able to view it properly. To ensure the widest audience, use plain text (even your email program's ability to bold or change fonts can make your email difficult to read if your recipient uses an older system.)

If you do need to send an attachment, you can either 1) ask interested people to request the attachment from you and send it just to them; 2) copy and paste the content of the attachment into your message; 3) create and/or reference a web document with the same content for viewing or downloading; or 4) see Webfiles above.

If an attachment is rejected by the list server and bounces to me, I'll try to notify you promptly so you can fix the problem and send it again — but please understand, there may be delays.

Other reasons your message to our list may bounce

Too many addresses in the "To:" or "CC:" fields — on the new CalMail system the limit is 500 addresses. You can make multiple sends to get around this limit, but the best solution is to put the addresses in the "BCC:" field (Blind Carbon Copy). This hides the addresses from the other recipients and should be considered common courtesy when cc-ing a number of people because of privacy concerns and because it helps prevent the harvesting of addresses for spamming.

A mismatch between your email address on your email and the address used by the list server. Most of our lists will only allow message from its members. The list server checks for membership by comparing the spelling of the email address on that message to that on the list server. jsmith@berkeley.edu vs. jsmith@gmail.com is an obvious mismatch.

Some of you use username@calmail.berkeley.edu as your address — username@berkeley.edu is an alternate, easier-to-remember, address you could also use. The campus mail system aliases (equates) these addresses and will automatically direct mail from either of these addresses to the same account: it usually doesn't matter which form of the address you give to your correspondents.

Using one of the following phrases in the first ten lines of a message:

cancel

subscribe

unsubscribe

help

RCPT

Delivery Confirmation

NON-DELIVERY

Undeliverable Message

Receipt Confirmation

Failed Mail

change {any word} address

request {any word} addition

These phrases will bounce that message to me, the administrator, instead of sending it to the list under the belief that this is an administrative message asking to fix a problem. If you intend to use these words for another purpose in the first ten lines, either put spaces or special characters between the letters (sub_scribe), or try finding another way of expressing the same thought.

 

Mail Lists Program