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Guide to Mailing Lists @ Reed

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Who needs a mailing list?

A mailing list is useful for sending information via email to a group of people. Rather than typing out each address, you can just type in the list address. There are several ways that you can set this up, so choose the method below that best suits your needs.

  • Mailman is a feature-rich mailing list program.
  • Course Autolists are easy-to-use course mailing lists.
  • A Distribution List is an email address that sends copies of email it receives to a small, pre-determined list of addresses. Contact CUS to set one up.


Mailman lists may be suitable for most clubs, groups, or other organizations at Reed.  To create your own Mailman list, simply fill out the online request form. Using this form you can initialize and name your mailing list. You'll receive a confirmation email from Mailman which contains your list password, a URL to your list administration page, and your list address. (eg,

Mailman Administrative Options

From your list administration page you can set many Mailman options. These options include, but are not limited to:

  • Setting a short description of the group, to identify your list
  • Adding or removing list administrators
  • Choosing to publically advertise your list (if the list is private, it won't appear on the List Info page)
  • Changing archival options for the list

For power users, the Mailman admin page has an Advanced Options link near the top-left of the page. Here you can adjust the finer settings of your list.

Using Mailman

To write to the members of your list, address an email to the list address, and send it out. That's it!

Course Autolists

Designed for faculty use, a Course Autolist is an email list of students, created using your specific course title and section as the list address (eg,  List members are retrieved from the registrar automatically upon list creation.  Course Autolists are erased after the semester is over, but can be re-created each semester as necessary.

To request your Course Autolist, fill out the online form . If you run into trouble, email CUS or call x7525 with your request.

Course Autolist Administrative Options

As the moderator of the Course Autolist, you can choose:

  1. To manually manage the course list members, or set the list to auto-update nightly from the registrar.
  2. To set your course list to Announcement mode (only the moderator can email to the list) or Discussion mode (anyone can email to the list).
  3. The level of Spam Control for your list - Normal (suitable for most cases), Aggressive, Very Aggressive.
  4. Though Aggressive or Very Aggressive filters will reduce the amount of spam, it may result in legitimate messages being discarded as well.

  1. To make the list Public (anyone can read archives and look up the list in LDAP) or Private (only list members can read the archives, and the list cannot be looked up in LDAP).

You cannot change:

  1. The name of the list--it is determined by the course title.
  2. At list creation you are the moderator of the list. You may, however, add other users as moderators, or share the list password so others may moderate.

Using Your Course Autolist

To write to the members of your list, address an email to the list address, and send it out. That's it!

Feel free to contact us at with any questions you may have.