Campus Technology


Holloway Hall

Campus email: If it were water we would have drowned by now

How many email messages does SU send and receive on an average day (during a semester)?

2,000,000 received each day during semester....85% of which is SPAM (Blocked), 3% is SPAM (Tagged) 10-20k sent per day

How many email accounts does SU have?

17,500+ This number is so high due to generic accounts, duplicate accounts (someone having student AND faculty/staff accounts), and also our retention policy for student accounts (15,900 student accounts), we basically keep 6 years plus of student accounts .

What percentage of this is SPAM?

Probably close to 90%....88% is either blocked or tagged...a small amount gets through.

Why do I still get SPAM when I know some SPAM is blocked. Some is even labeled SPAM.

No solution is 100% effective, even at 99% accuracy...1% getting through out of 1,000,000 messages is 10,000 messages.

Can't we just eliminate SPAM?

No. It is impossible. Even defining what is SPAM for one person and what is SPAM for another is difficult. Also SPAMmers are always changing tactics and they have access to the same tools that we use for blocking so they are always learning ways around the filters.

I hear that students don't use campus email, is this true?

Most SU students do use the email system. About 66% of current students (2009) consider SU email to be their primary email service. Compared to the number of student accounts only a very small number of students are logged into the Post Offices at any given time. A lot of students forward their SU e-mail on to outside accounts (i.e. gmail, hotmail, yahoo etc. ). SU e-mail is the official means of communication to students for financial and academic information so they always need to have access to it, and to use it either directly or indirectly (through forwarding rules).

How come we occasionally see announcements from SU faculty/staff about everything from church suppers to community fundraisers?

The reason we get them is because faculty and staff can spam the campus using established email groups. Students do not have access to these groups. These types of mailings are generally best suited to the campus-bulletin or eSU news. Some universities require prior approval for individual campus-wide messages and others limit the sending of campus-wide mail to a few accounts. We generally just deal with issues on a case-by-case basis, reminding people of the digest and eSU news as alternate outlets, and also reminding people of the proper ways to send campus mailings: proofread before sending rather than re-sending to correct typos or incorrect info, BC'ing (blind copy) the distribution lists (EVERYONE_ groups), and also setting the messages to expire when possible.