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Mass Email Messages To Students Policy and Procedures

I. Policy

Background

In 2006 the University of Hawaiʻi established Executive Policy E2.213, “System and Campus-Wide Electronic Channels for Communicating with Students.” The policy states that each campus in the UH system will designate an individual or individuals who will authorize usage of electronic channels to communicate with students, and that each campus will develop specific procedures for usage of electronic communication channels. “Electronic channels” includes mass email messages sent to all students. Sending mass email messages is only one of several ways that announcements can be made electronically to students. This policy and procedures pertains specifically to sending mass email messages to all students; see Section III below on Other Electronic Communication Methods Accessible to Students.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines so that the University can control the volume and content of official email communications received by students, and to establish procedures for disseminating email announcements to all students. The University needs to ensure that electronic dissemination of information to students is timely, accurate and appropriate; consistent with the University’s educational mission of teaching, learning, research and service; consistent with the institutional commitment to student development and active engagement in learning; consistent with laws, standards and regulations of the University’s use and management of information technology resources; and consistent with relevant federal and state regulations, including those governing the individual privacy of students.

Mass Email Messages to Students

There are two mechanisms by which mass email messages can be sent to students:

  1. The Chancellor may authorize certain administrators, faculty or staff to send mass email messages to students. The Information Technology Services (ITS) for the UH system will be notified in writing of the names of these authorized individuals. Once authorized, these individuals can submit requests for mass email messages to be sent to students using the online request form developed by ITS.
  2. Students, as well as faculty and staff, may request that information or announcements be sent to all students via email using the Student Announcements Digest. The Student Announcements Digest is a periodic email message containing announcements submitted by student organizations, RISOs (registered independent student organizations), students, faculty, and staff regarding upcoming events, activities, lectures, workshops, and other important information such as deadlines. At present, the plan is to send the digest once per week; however, this timetable can be altered at the discretion of the digest moderator.

II. Procedures for the Student Announcements Email Digest

Submissions

Any UH Hilo students, faculty and staff may submit an announcement for inclusion in the digest. Announcements about anything that may be of interest or importance to students may be submitted. Announcements should be submitted to the digest moderator, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in the Office of Student Affairs. The digest moderator may also consult the “News and Announcements” page of the UH Hilo website as well as the UH Hilo faculty and staff “ʻOhana” listserv to search for announcements that may be appropriate to include in the Student Announcements Email Digest.

Guidelines for Inclusion

Only events and activities affiliated with UH Hilo are acceptable. Personal messages, requests, and commercial solicitations or advertisements are not acceptable. The Student Announcements Email Digest is for text messages only and cannot accept any file attachments, including pictures, Word documents, or PDF files. If a submitter has a file that he/she would like to make available to students, it should be posted on a website and the submission can include a link to that website.

Submitters should submit a separate announcement every time they want it to be included in the digest. The moderator may choose to include some announcements more than once even if repeating the announcement has not been specifically requested by a submitter. Individuals or organizations should limit the number of announcements they submit to one announcement per subject per week.

Approval of Submissions

The moderator will review submissions to ensure that they meet the guidelines outlined above. When an announcement is approved, it will be included in the digest and sent in the email digest. The moderator has the authority to:

  • edit a submission
  • include an announcement in more than one digest
  • exclude an announcement in a digest if it is not timely (e.g., too far in advance of an event or activity or too late for inclusion)

When a submission is not approved, the moderator will inform the individual or group who submitted the announcement of this action and will explain the reasons for the announcement not being included. Announcements rejected due to content, ethical reasons, size, or lack or excess of information may be edited and sent back to the submitter for consideration, or the moderator may edit the message to comply with the digest guidelines.

Sending Announcements

Only those with specific authorization are authorized to send mass email messages to all students directly. If an individual or organization believes they have an urgent, safety related announcement, they should contact Campus Security at (808) 974-7911.

The Student Announcements Email Digest will be sent at the beginning of each week (generally Sundays or Mondays) during the regular academic year. For an announcement to be included in the digest, it must be submitted by 8:00 am on Friday. If a submitter wishes to make a correction to an announcement that has already been submitted, he/she should submit the entire corrected announcement again, with a note to disregard the first submission. Submitters may also request that an announcement be cancelled by sending an email message to the moderator. All requests for changes or cancellations must be received by 8:00 am on Friday. This timetable may be altered at the discretion of the moderator.

Special Announcements

At times it may be appropriate to send some official announcements separately from the weekly Student Announcements Email Digest. Upon request from a submitter, the moderator will decide whether to send out such a message if the announcement is deemed to be urgent and/or of such high importance or significance that it would be appropriate to send the message separately from the digest. In emergency situations, authorized University of Hawaiʻi administrators designee will send email announcements to students.

III. Other Electronic Communication Methods Accessible to Students

  • Student Listserv: It may be possible for a student or student group to establish a listserv list, if students voluntarily sign up to be included in the listserv and have the option of removing themselves from the list at any time. Go to www.hawaii.edu/username/, log in to your UH email account, and then click on “Request a Mailing List” to request that a listserv be established.
  • “News and Announcements’ page on UH Hilo website: Go to hilo.hawaii.edu/news and click on “Submit an Event/Announcement.” Submitters will receive a response via email whether the event/announcement is approved. If approved, it will be posted on the “News and Announcements” page of the UH Hilo website. It will also automatically appear on the monitors around campus that list events and activities. Events with specific dates will also automatically appear on the “News and Events” online calendar on the UH Hilo website. Events can be viewed by week or month.
  • Student Organization Websites: Chartered student organizations (such as UH Hilo Student Association, Student Activities Council, Board of Student Publications, etc.) and Registered Independent Student Organizations (RISOs) may have websites on or linked to the UH Hilo website.
  • Faculty and Staff Ê»Ohana Listserv: Students may request that a faculty or staff member send an announcement to faculty and staff via the Ê»ohana listserv.

Updated 10/23/2008.