Winthrop University Student E-mail Policy

1  Introduction

E-mail is considered an official method for communication at Winthrop University because it delivers information in a convenient, timely, cost effective, and environmentally aware manner.

For the majority of the student population, this Winthrop University Student E-mail Policy does not represent a change from current practice.  However, the policy does ensure that all students have access to this important form of communication.  Furthermore, it ensures that students can be accessed through a standardized channel by faculty and other staff of the University as needed.

2  Policies

2.1 University Use of E-mail

E-mail is an official method for communication at Winthrop University.  The University may send communications to students via e-mail.  Students are responsible for the consequences of not reading in a timely fashion University-related communications sent to their official Winthrop University student e-mail account.

2.2  Application for Student E-mail Accounts

All students taking classes that meet on the Winthrop University campus are required to obtain an official Winthrop University student e-mail account within one week of the beginning of the semester when they enroll.  Faculty or technology coordinators associated with distance education classes or courses that meet off campus may also require students to obtain official Winthrop University student e-mail accounts.  Applications for student e-mail accounts may be completed online if the student is already registered or recently admitted.  A student e-mail account created by the Department of Computing and Information Technology is the official e-mail address to which the University will send e-mail communications.  This official address will be recorded in the University's electronic directories and records for that student.

2.3  Expectations Regarding Student Use of E-mail

Students are expected to check their Winthrop University official e-mail on a frequent and consistent basis in order to remain informed of University-related communications.  Checking e-mail on a daily basis is recommended. 

Students are also expected to check the Spam folder periodically to determine if any misclassified messages (also known as false positives) are located there.  Important messages may sometimes be located in the Spam folder if the e-mail system misclassified the message.  Misclassified messages in the Spam folder must be identified and marked as "Not spam" to reduce the chances of further misclassification.

2.4  Faculty Expectations and Educational Uses of E-mail and Class Listservs

Since faculty members determine how e-mail is used in their classes, faculty can require students to check their e-mail on a specific or more frequent basis.  Faculty may also require students to confirm their subscription to University-provided class listservs.  Messages sent to University-provided aliases of official Winthrop University student e-mail addresses are also considered official communication.  For example, messages sent to University-provided class listservs are considered official communications for all students enrolled in the class designated by the class listserv address.

2.5  Appropriate Use of Student E-mail

In general, e-mail is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information unless it is matched by an appropriate level of security or permission.

All use of e-mail will be consistent with other University policies, including the Winthrop University Policy on the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources.

All use of e-mail will be consistent with local, state, and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Communications sent to a student's official Winthrop University e-mail address may include notification of University-related actions.

2.6  Redirecting E-mail

Students may elect to redirect (autoforward) messages sent to their Winthrop University official student e-mail address.  Students who redirect e-mail from their official address to another address (such as AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, or any e-mail server other than the official,, and servers) do so at their own risk.  Having e-mail lost as a result of redirection does not absolve a student from the responsibilities associated with communication sent to his or her official e-mail address.  The University is not responsible for the handling of e-mail by outside vendors or unofficial servers. Students who autoforward their e-mail should be aware that misclassified SPAM (also known as false positives) may be located in the SPAM folder of their Winthrop University official student e-mail account and may not get autoforwarded; therefore, the SPAM folder should be checked periodically for important messages that were missed.

3  Procedures

Changes to this policy will be authorized by approval of the Campus Computing Committee and the Executive Officers of the University.  Questions or comments about this policy should be directed to the Assistant Vice President for Computing and Information Technology or e-mailed to

Policy approved April 23, 2002

Portions of this policy are drawn from those developed by the University of Colorado at Boulder and by the University of Arizona.