The University of Arizona

Frequently Asked Questions - Email Lists

Email Lists is a service run on the Sympa mailing list management software. It allows email communication between a group of people. Email Lists must be related to academic or administrative activities within the University.

When sending messages to a list on the Email Lists system, the address is listname@list.arizona.edu.

Only faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants can request lists.  Lists for student clubs and organizations must be requested by the faculty sponsor.

To request a list, go to https://list.arizona.edu/sympa/ and log in with your UA NetID and password.  Click the Create List tab.  Fill in and submit the form.

No. The central Listserv system has been discontinued and new lists are only being created on the Email Lists system.

Instructors and graduate teaching assistants can create class lists by using email commands or by using the Class List Request Assistant.  These class lists are created immediately, and auto-populate with all students enrolled in a given course.  Instructions for this can be found on the Creating a Class Email List page.

It is possible for any member of University staff or faculty to create a class list on behalf of someone else.  However, the course must already have an instructor assigned to it in UAccess Student.  If the course does not have an instructor assigned, the creation process will fail.

If someone other than the assigned instructor or graduate teaching assistant requests a class list, the requestor will not be listed as an owner of that list.  The owners will be the instructor and GTA.

A SuperList is a group of several individual lists.  An owner of several Email Lists can group the lists into a SuperList, so information meant for subscribers of all of the sub-lists can be sent to a single email address.  This is most useful for instructors who teach several sections of a single course.  SuperList requests can be submitted by using the SuperList Request feature of the Class List Request Assistant.

Lists requested via the Create list tab at http://list.arizona.edu will be processed in 1-2 business days.  Auto-populating class lists do not require approval, and are available for use immediately.

Use the Email List Migration Assistant to migrate an existing list from the Listserv system to the Email Lists system.

The Listserv system has been discontinued. If a Listserv list is still useful, it should be migrated to the new system to remain in operation.

List configurations will be similar, but may not be exactly the same.  During the migration process, owners are given a choice of several templates to choose from.  These templates will approximate settings for most common Listserv list types.  After migration, owners can change the list configuration, if they choose.

After your list has been created, you can administer it at https://list.arizona.edu/sympa/. After logging in with your UA NetID and password, all lists that you own or are subscribed to will appear in the top left corner.  Lists you own can be identified by the admin button next to the list name.  Click this button to administer the list.

Yes, you can add subscribers, change owners, and make other configuration changes via email commands.  Be aware that email commands must be sent in plain text.  Do not use HTML to send your email commands.  More information about email commands can be found in the Email Command Overview.

A normal owner can add subscribers, but cannot add other owners.  Only privileged owners can add other owners.  

In the Listserv system, a quiet owner was someone who owned a list and could administer it, but did not receive error messages from the list system.  The same concept exists in the Email Lists system, but it is created using reception modes.

To make an existing owner of an Email List a quiet owner, navigate to the Admin page for the list.  On the List Definition page, change the reception mode for the individual owner.  The reception mode should be set to "nomail".  Make sure to click the Update button after making any configuration changes.

It is likely that you have not subscribed to your list.  Owners must also subscribe to a list, if they want to receive messages sent to that list.

When an owner tries to add the first subscriber to the list, an error will appear indicating, "Error (review) list has no subscribers."  Dismiss the error message by clicking the OK button.  After dismissing the error message, it will be possible to add subscribers.

Although the name of the operation seems to imply that the list is simply given a new name, this is not the case.  Renaming a list does not simply take the old list and give it a new name.  Instead, the operation creates an entirely new list based upon the configurations of the old list.  The old list is immediately taken offline when this happens, and will remain that way indefinitely.  The new list will only be available to use after a Listmaster approves it.

When renaming a list, be aware that the list will be completely unavailable for 1-2 business days.

Subscription options are set by the owner(s) of each list.  Some lists allow interested users to subscribe themselves. Others require an owner to add or to approve each subscriber.  Users and owners can manage subscriptions via the online interface or email commands.  Instructions regarding how to subscribe to a list can be found at http://uits.arizona.edu/services/email/email-lists/help/subscribe.

Subscribers can unsubscribe from lists via email commands or via the online interface.  Instructions for unsubscribing from a list can be found at http://uits.arizona.edu/services/email/email-lists/help/subscribe.

Some email lists are set up to have all email or email from addresses outside the subscriber list rejected or sent to a moderation queue. Check with an Owner as to what sending behavior is expected for the list. If you are a subscriber and your emails should be going through to the list without rejection or moderation, check which email address you are subscribed with versus which email address you are sending from. This issue can be resolved by sending from the address you are subscribed with or by adding your other email address to the subscriber list.

The addition "-request" at the end of a list name is the address to send an email to the list Owners only. To send an email to ask the Owners a question, send it to listname-request@list.arizona.edu. The Sympa system also uses "-request" as the "Sent by" address for email distributed to the list. If your email software adds recent email senders to an autofill list, you may have the listname-request auto fill in the "To" field when you compose an email to the list. Check the "To" field before you hit Send to ensure that your email is going to listname@list.arizona.edu and not listname-request@list.arizona.edu.

Email List archives have a limit of 150MB. List owners will receive a message when the list archive reaches 95% of the quota.  At this time, owners should log into the web interface and delete or download some of the archived material under Manage Archives.

Owners may also change their settings to automate deletions by going under Edit List Config > Archives and setting the maximum number of months the archive should maintain. Archived material older than the maximum number of months will be deleted once a new month begins. If you have already received a quota message, you must delete excess archived material yourself. After you have brought your archive size down, you can set up the automatic deletion after your determined number of months.

Note that the Email List archives and the Email List attachment store have separate quotas.

The Email List attachment store has a quota of 150MB.  Attachments sent to the list can be saved in this online storage area.  This storage area is used for lists set to "urlize" mode.  Note that the attachment store quota and the archive quota are separate.  

The maximum message size in the Email Lists system is 50MB.  This includes all attachments.  Be aware that some email clients and servers cannot handle very large messages, so very large messages sent via Email Lists may still cause problems despite being under the 50MB limit.  It is recommended that your messages not exceed 5MB, including all attachments.

The reception mode controls how an Email List handles attachments.  This setting can be set at the list level and at the individual subscriber level.  The setting at the list level is the default for all new subscribers to the list.  An individual subscriber can override this setting for her or his own account.  These settings are changed by logging into the Email Lists system.

Changes to the reception mode made by an owner of an Email List will not affect existing subscribers.  Changes made once subscribers have been added to an Email List will only affect new subscribers.  Existing subscribers will have to log into the Email Lists system and change their own reception modes.

The urlize reception mode is the default reception mode for Class Lists.  It causes attachments to be stripped from the message.  Instead of receiving the attachments in their inboxes, subscribers receive a link to the attachment, which is stored on the Email Lists server.  This speeds up delivery of messages for lists that use the urlize mode.

Be aware that there is a limit to the attachment store for lists that use the urlize reception mode.  If the store exceeds the quota, the list may experience issues.

When the urlize reception mode is used, the links to attachments may appear differently for different subscribers.  In some cases, the link to the attachment is included in the body of the email message.  The subscriber can simply click this link to view the attachment.  In other cases, the subscriber will receive the message with an attachment in the .txt file format.  When the subscriber opens this file, it will contain the link to the original attachment.  The subscriber must copy this link, then paste it into the browser's address bar to view the attachment.

You can get help from the 24/7 IT Support Center.  Call (520) 626-TECH (8324) or submit a UAssist ticket.

UAnswers and the Email Lists service page also contain walk throughs and information pertaining to the Email Lists service.