E-communications policy

Approved by President’s Council, 2016.

On this page:

  1. Introduction
  2. Authorization
  3. Training
  4. E-communications tool
  5. Text messages
  6. Definitions

This policy applies to all Gettysburg College organizations including but not limited to academic departments, administrative offices, and student clubs and organizations.


E-Communications are messages, such as but not limited to e-mail, text messaging, audience-based email lists in CNAV (see Definitions section below), e-newsletters, e-postcards, e-alerts, and automated system e-mails (see Definitions section below), sent on behalf of an organization of Gettysburg College through electronic means. This policy applies to use of the e-communication tool (see Definitions section below), audience-based e-mail lists, automated system e-mails, and text messaging.

This policy does not apply to one-to-one e-communications that are sent directly from the campus e-mail client. It also does not apply to manual user generated CNAV groups, Moodle groups, or the daily e-mail digests.


The President or a Vice President is authorized to give one-time approval of the e-communication tool, audience-based e-mail lists, or automated system e-mails within their areas of responsibility without other institutional approval. The President or Vice President will communicate authorization in writing to the Director of Creative Services.

Vice Presidents may authorize other department heads in their areas to approve individual e-communications and the use of audience-based e-mail lists; however, the communications sent are subject to review for best practices by the Director of Creative Services.


Any organization authorized to use an e-communication tool or audience-based e-mail lists are required to complete training.

E-communications tool


All e-communications should be archived. Unsubscribe information with the use of the e-communications tool will be the responsibility of each organization to collect and record in the appropriate data system. Unsubscribe information should be shared by divisions across data systems.

Audience-based e-mail

  • E-mails messages sent to one of audience-based e-mail lists should be limited to one of the categories below:
    • campus crisis or emergency
    • critical information

Automatically generated system e-mails

  • Automatically generated system e-mails should include contact information for the department who manages the business process including phone and e-mail address.
  • All current business processes that send automatically generated e-mails are grandfathered into this policy.

Text messages

Non-subscription-based text messaging is only authorized for notifying campus community members of an active emergency incident on or near campus. Subscription based text communications are permitted but the department or organization must develop an opt-in system with a clear opt-out at any time procedure.


Audience based e-mail lists

The e-mail aliases generated by CNAV below.

  • All Campus Members
  • All Administrators
  • All Faculty
  • All Support Staff
  • All Students and Student Classes
  • All Campus Members Except Students

Automated system e-mails

E-mails that are sent to individuals as a result of some user interaction with a campus data application or as a result of an automated process within one of the campus' data applications.

E-communication tool

A mass e-mail tool that includes but not limited to the following features:

  • Bulk loading of e-mails
  • Tracking of opened e-mails
  • A cost to use
  • Tracking of unsubscribe action by readers