Using Sympa Mailing List Manager
Document ID 773
Sympa is a bulk mailing list manager that Texas A&M has adopted to facilitate easier communication between professors and students. You do not need to download any additional software to use Sympa; you may simply use your existing e-mail service or clients. The following document will explain Sympa's features and the procedures for using Sympa to communicate between professors, teaching assistants, and students.
Sympa for Professors and Teaching Assistants
If you are listed in SIMS as a professor or teaching assistant for one or more courses at Texas A&M, the following steps will take you through the process of using Sympa to send bulk mail to the students that are officially registered in your class. As a professor or TA of a course, you will not need to setup anything on your computer in order to use this service.
1. Open your preferred e-mail client, or log in to your preferred e-mail service.
2. Create a new message.
3. The e-mail address you will need to enter in the "To:" field of the e-mail will be in the following format: Campus-SectionID-Semester@groups.tamu.edu
Note: For example, if you are the instructor of CPSC 211 during the fall term of 2008 at the College Station campus and you would like to e-mail all of the students in section 506, the e-mail address you would use in the "To:" field of the message would be email@example.com.
4. Complete the "Subject" and "Body" of the e-mail as you would with any other e-mail, then send the message.
5. Once the message is sent, any moderator of the list, including official professors and TAs of the course, will receive a confirmation message from Sympa. The subject of the message will read "Article to be approved for" with the group name at the end of the subject. The body of the message should resemble the following:
To distribute the attached message in list groupname: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=DISTRIBUTE%20groupname%20908316d9eb78cbef47d4925899acbef4
Or send a message to email@example.com with the following subject: DISTRIBUTE groupname 908316d9eb78cbef47d4925899acbef4
To reject it (it will be removed): mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=REJECT%20groupname%20908316d9eb78cbef47d4925899acbef4
Or send a message to email@example.com with the following subject: REJECT groupname 908316d9eb78cbef47d4925899acbef4
Note: Each message that is sent to the group, whether it is from a professor, student, or TA, needs to be either accepted or rejected. This is a security feature to make sure that the message that is being sent is valid, and is appropriate for the entire class to see. The original e-mail will be provided as an attachment, so that you may check it for appropriate content. Simply follow the instructions either to accept or reject the e-mail.
6. Accepting the message: If the moderator wants to accept the message, they may do so by clicking the link under To distribute the attached message, or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject of the e-mail as DISTRIBUTE groupname X, where "X" is a unique alphanumeric string specifically generated for the message being sent to the group which can be found in the confirmation e-mail described in Step #5. When the message is accepted, it will then be distributed to the Neo account of everyone that belongs to the group. The confirmation e-mail will become invalid and may be deleted.
7. Rejecting the message: If the moderator wants to reject the message, they may also click the link under To reject it, or send an e-mail to email@example.com with the subject of the e-mail as REJECT groupname X. When the message is rejected, it will then be deleted. At this point, the confirmation e-mail will become invalid and may be deleted.
Note: If a message is not accepted or rejected within 14 days, the message will automatically be marked as rejected and be deleted.
If you have any further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 979.845.8300.