GW Email Policy

 

Policy Summary

The George Washington University (hereinafter, “GW” or “the University”) provides computing and network related technology and information resources (”Computing Systems and Services”) to its community to support the university’s academic and research  mission as well as  its business operations.  

Use of a GW email account to send or receive electronic mail messages through the GW email system constitutes consent to this and other related policies, including but not limited to the university’s Cybersecurity Risk Policy and  Acceptable Use Policy for Computing Systems and Services. Violations of this policy may result in restriction or denial of access to the GW email system and to the university’s computing systems, services and information technology resources. Violations of this policy may also result in disciplinary action pursuant to other applicable university policies, guidelines, and procedures, including dismissal or separation from the university. The purpose for this policy is to establish acceptable use of GW email accounts and services. 

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • All faculty, staff, students, contractors, consultants, temporary workers, and guests as well as those who represent themselves as being associated with the university and who make use of Computing Systems and Services (“Authorized Users”). 

Policy

Requirement to Maintain a GW Email Account  

All students, faculty and staff must maintain a GW email account. GW contractors also may be required to create and maintain GW email accounts. Upon request, exceptions may be made for employees without regular access to computers.  

Messaging Restrictions  

The GW email system may not be used to send or store Regulated Information. Please refer to the Information Security Policy to determine if the data that you plan to send is considered Regulated.  

Mass Email  

Only authorized GW email account holders may send mass emails (emails directed to large numbers of recipients simultaneously). These messages, known as InfoMail, are appropriate only to communicate important and time sensitive information regarding university sponsored activities, security alerts, policy changes, or other matters that further the university’s academic mission or assists in its administrative operations. All mass emails require advance approval by a university vice president or designated InfoMail approver. Please refer to the InfoMail process at http://onlinestrategy.gwu.edu/infomail-process for specific details. Subject to the foregoing, the GW email system may not be used to send any unsolicited bulk email messages, including commercial solicitations or any other form of “spam.”  

LISTSERVs  

Sending email to a large number of consenting recipients is best accomplished by using the GW LISTSERV service. Faculty and staff, and student organizations with faculty or staff member sponsorship, may own LISTSERV mailing lists. It is the responsibility of list owners to manage all administrative tasks associated with the operation of their lists, to clearly define the purpose of the list for list members, and to monitor the list to ensure that its use is consistent with its purpose. List owners may not subscribe individuals who have not requested membership on a list, although schools and academic departments may add their students to a list for educational purposes. Faculty may also require their students to join a course list, and home departments may add staff to a list as a condition of employment. Further information about the LISTSERV service is available at http://hermes.gwu.edu.  

Privacy and Applicability of Laws and Policies  

Individuals have no right of personal privacy with respect to email messages or attachments they send or receive using the GW email system. The university may search, review, monitor or copy any email sent to or from a GW email account for approved purposes only, including without limitation the following:  

• Troubleshooting hardware and software problems  

• Preventing unauthorized access and system misuse  

• Rerouting or disposing of undeliverable mail  

• Retrieving business related information  

• Complying with legal requests for information  

• Investigating possible violations of university policy or local, state or federal law  

• Gathering information potentially relevant to legal claims by or against the university  

• Other purposes approved by the Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel  

The university also may block email messages from being delivered to or distributed by GW email account holders if the university, in its discretion, believes that delivery or distribution of the message(s) potentially could violate the law or any university policy. 

Definitions

Authorized Users: All faculty, staff, students, contractors, consultants, temporary workers, and guests as well as those who represent themselves as being associated with the university and who make use of university computing systems and services.  

GW Email: The name used for all of the university’s electronic mail systems. The term includes all forms and interfaces used in providing electronic mail services to students, faculty, staff, alumni and contractors, including Google Mail and any other service used by the university.  

LISTSERV: A program that automatically redistributes email to designated email addresses. Users subscribe to a LISTSERV by sending an email to its designated email address. The LISTSERV automatically adds the names and distributes future email postings to them.  

NetID: The university’s method of identifying individuals who require access to specific university technical resources. A NetID is the same as the prefix in an individual’s email address (e.g. [email protected]).  

Spam:  Spam is unsolicited bulk email, often to recipients identified by companies that specialize in creating email distribution lists. To the receiver, spam usually appears to be junk email. 

Enforcement

Violations of this policy may result in restriction or denial of access to the GW email system and to the university’s computing systems, services and information technology resources.  

Violations of this policy may also result in disciplinary action pursuant to other applicable university policies, guidelines, and procedures, including dismissal or separation from the university. 

Related Information

Acceptable Use of Computer Systems and Services Policy 

Information Security Policy 

Contacts

Contact Phone Number Email Address
IT Support Center (202) 994-4948  [email protected]
Report a Security Violation   [email protected]
LISTSERV questions and Create/Manage Lists    [email protected] 

Responsible University Official: Chief Information Officer
Responsible Office: GW Information Technology

Last Reviewed: March 6, 2020

 

Non-compliance with this policy can be reported through this website.