• Hartwick students working on a project in class.
  • Professor discussed Botany with a Student.
  • Dewar Union, Hartwick College
  • Yager Bell Tower, Hartwick College

System Distribution List Messages (DLM)

Using Microsoft Exchange as our e-mail server software, we have e-mail system distribution lists for students, faculty, and staff. This enables faculty, staff, and departmental accounts to send an e-mail message to all students, all faculty, and/or all staff who have accounts on our system. The College's Technology Resources User Responsibilities and Appropriate Use Policy serves as the guideline for the use of system distribution lists. More....

Messages sent to campus system distribution lists
Student access to system distribution lists
Message subject title
Replying to system distribution list messages
Sending a system distribution list message

Note about Listservs

Messages sent to campus system distribution lists must:

  • pertain to legitimate college business (e.g., events, meetings, etc.). Personal or commercial messages (e.g, items for sale/rent, opinions, etc.) are not a legitimate use of the lists.
  • be announcements of interest to the individuals to which it is sent
  • adhere to the guidelines of the Hartwick College Technology Resources User Responsibilities and Appropriate Use Policy
  • be used for announcements only and should not be used as discussion lists. College Listservs are available which support threaded discussions
  • Avoid attachments if you want your message to be seen. Many users, even if they know you, avoid opening attachments due to legitimate concerns about viruses embedded in attached documents.
  • If you must use an image or attachment, keep the total size to less than 2 mb. Large documents, especially documents with graphics, can quickly clog the user's e-mail account. If you need to send a large document or a document with graphics to the system distribution lists, consider these alternatives:
  1. Convert your document to Adobe PDF format
  2. Create or modify your office or departmental Web pages on Hartwick's web site using Ingeniux, and send a link to your Web page in your e-mail message.

If you need any assistance with creating a PDF document, please contact the Technology Resource Center at x4357. If a faculty or a staff member in your office or department needs training to create, edit and publish web pages using Ingeniux, please contact Stephanie Brunetta, brunettas@hartwick.edu.

Student access to system distribution lists:
Students who wish to send announcements or messages to system distribution lists must follow the same System DLM guidelines and must also contact Director of Student Activities, for review and approval .

Message subject title:
So that users may easily sort their messages, all system distribution list messages must have the subject title "System DLM - [enter what your announcement is about]". For example a system distribution list message about a change in traffic patterns on campus would have the following subject title: "System DLM - Planned Traffic Re-Routing".

Replying to system distribution list messages:
To inform recipients not to reply to the entire list when their response is intended for the sender, all system distribution list messages must have the following text inserted at the beginning of the message: "If you need to reply, please reply to the sender only".

If you want to reply to the sender of a message to a system distribution list, use the "Reply" feature, NOT the "Reply All" feature. Using "Reply All" will send your reply to everyone who received the original message, which may not be appropriate and could clog the e-mail system

Sending a system distribution message:
In the "To:" field, type the name or names, separated by a semi-colon, of the system distribution list(s) you wish to use.

Appropriate list names:

For all Students enter: ZHDLISTSTUDENTS@hartwick.edu
For all Faculty enter: ZHDLISTFACULTY@hartwick.edu
For all Staff enter: ZHDLISTSTAFF@hartwick.edu

Send the message as you would any other e-mail message - with the subject and text insert as outlined above. Unless there are extenuating circumstances which require a follow-up message, only one well-written message should be sent to the system distribution lists per event/announcement.

While Microsoft's Outlook has options to let you know if your message has been received and/or opened, please do not set these options on messages you send to the system distribution lists. Setting these options will clog your Inbox and put an unnecessary load on the e-mail system.

There should be two pieces of information that will help you identify a system distribution list message in your Inbox. When you open a system distribution list message you will find in the "To" field, "ZHDLIST…" and the subject field should start with "System DLM…". If you have your Inbox view configured to provide a preview of messages, you should see "ZHDLIST…" and "System DLM…". For help in configuring your Inbox view, contact the Technology Resource Center at x4357.


  • Spend the time to get your announcement right the first time! Focus on what your intended audience needs to know (times, dates, locations, alternate plans in case of inclement weather, etc). You probably have only one good chance to grab your audience's attention, and a poorly written message with errors will annoy rather than motivate your audience. Subsequent messages to correct errors are an unnecessary burden on your audience and the e-mail system.
  • Timing is important. Keep in mind that not everyone checks his or her e-mail every day (or on weekends and holidays). Give readers adequate time to receive your message and make plans.
  • When the message is the same for all distribution lists, send only one copy of the message to all the lists. A single message to multiple lists is more efficient both for the e-mail server and for users who are on more than one list.
  • If your message is intended for a smaller, defined group of recipients, do not send it to an entire distribution list.  Take the time to identify and specify the exact recipients.
  • Whenever possible, put your message in straight text as the body of the e-mail, not as an attachment. Many users will not open an attachment because it is an extra step or because of the danger of attachments infected with viruses .
  • Use the subject line to say what the message is about – probably a date and time for an event. Users should be able to know what the communication is about by simply reading the subject line.

Distribution list archives:

Faculty and staff distribution list messages are archived in Gmail as of October, 2014.  Faculty who wish to view the faculty distribution list archive can contact Bryan Del Bene for the Gmail password.  Staff who wish to view the staff distribution list archive can contact Walt Smith for the Gmail password.

Note about Listservs:
The system distribution list is not a substitute for a Listserv, where lengthy discussions (messages back and forth) on a specific topic can occur. The option of an e-mail system distribution list does, however, have the potential to move "announcements" from Listservs, thus enabling the Listserv to focus on discussion only. Please contact the Technology Resource Center at x4357 or e-mail Technology@hartwick.edu with any questions concerning Listservs. A listserv has been established called Opinions for members of the Hartwick community to voice their opinions - click here to subscribe to the Opinions listserv or other available Listservs.

Endorsement of system distribution lists use....
The College Cabinet has endorsed the use of these system distribution lists for disseminating legitimate College business, including distribution of agendas, meeting minutes, invitations, and announcements (emergencies, system outages, event schedule changes, and College closings). The Cabinet's endorsement occurred because of the benefits, including improved timeliness of message delivery, opportunities for improved communication, and potential for paper savings.

Experiences at other institutions indicate that community self-policing results in appropriate use of system distribution list capabilities and a manageable number of messages being sent over time. Feedback from members of the community to an individual sender regarding inappropriate messages often causes the individual to think twice before sending another system distribution list message.

Please direct questions to the Technology Resource Center at x4357 or e-mail to: Technology@hartwick.edu