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University reviewing policies for campus-wide e-mail

Originally published November 5, 2010

Bradley will be reviewing and possibly updating three policies regarding e-mail in response to recent concerns made by students.

After a meeting with Student Body Vice President Tricia Anklan and Helpdesk Consultant Supervisor Nick Stocchero, Provost David Glassman said administrators will be looking into three e-mail policies: the Policy on Ethical Use of Information Resources, Guidelines for use of Bradley Communication channels and Acceptable Electronic Mail Use.

“I would like to see a greater awareness of the appropriate means of communicating with groups of students,” Glassman said. “I will be speaking with the deans of the five colleges to discuss the issue and reinforce the importance for faculty and academic staff to abide by current policies.”

Anklan said she met with Glassman and Director of Computing Services Sandy Bury to express her concerns over the lack of security for student Bmail accounts.

Anklan said she received a mass e-mail from an administrator’s assistant last week that was not bcc-ed, or blind carbon copied. That means the recipient’s e-mails or mailing lists were exposed and publicly displayed, creating an easy way for other students to send spam mail.

“It is a matter of faculty and staff being more cautious of what they are sending out,” Anklan said. “If 250 individual students receive an e-mail you can hit reply all, and that can cause spamming.”

Glassman said he understands the concerns which were expressed by Anklan and Stocchero and said mass e-emails should be appropriately sent through the Bcc line.

“The main issue involves the visibility of the student e-mail addresses in a message that was sent to all students,” he said. “This could have been avoided if the sender had put the addresses in the bcc line.  Using the bcc line is considered the appropriate means for sending a mass e-mail.”

Stocchero said faculty and staff have access to a global address list which allows them to e-mail all students and he is unsure of what or who determines what can be sent out to all students.

Anklan said she doesn’t agree that faculty and staff should have students’ private information, including their e-mail addresses, so readily available.

“Faculty and staff have too much power to send e-mails,” she said. “It is inappropriate what access they have to the e-mail system, and the system should be more privatized.”

Stocchero said he thinks Bradley should look into getting a mailing list manager to avoid situations where student’s e-mails could be exposed.

“I would like to see a formal e-mail list and a more uniform way to send out e-mails to the student body,” Stocchero said. “If I’m getting a ton of crap from my university I’m going to disregard it because it is a waste of time to read, and I won’t know what the important information is.”

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