Open Letter on Queen’s Senate Emails (5 November 2010)

As emailed by Mark Jones to members of Queen’s Senate, 5 November 2010:

Dear Colleagues:
Queen’s Secretariat has refused to provide faculty members of Senate with the Senate email list. I therefore provide one in this email.

I became a faculty member of Senate in late September, and on October 29 I wrote to request the mailing list.  I received this response:

there isn’t a Senate listserv per se, but members are listed on the web at

http://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/senate/members.html

That, and the Queen’s People search on the homepage should get you the addresses you require.

I pointed out that this would require 71 searches; that the reply implicitly acknowledged that there was no objection in the Senate rules or in principle to a member of Senate possessing and using the Senate list; and that even if there was no listserv there must be a multiple address list.  I therefore asked again for the multiple address list.  I was still refused, so on Nov. 2, I called the Secretariat and asked again.  I was asked how I planned to use it; I was advised that I could submit to the Secretariat anything I wished to send to members; I was offered a partial list of faculty members only; and then I was told that the Senate office would get back to me.  Later the same day, a request was sent out:

To Senators:
Newly elected Arts and Science Faculty Senator Mark Jones has asked for an email list so that he can contact fellow senators to discuss items of interest.

If you wish to “opt in” to the list, please respond to this message to let us know.

I submit that all members of Senate have a right to the entire Senate mailing list, and that the Secretariat has no right to withhold it.

Therefore, to save other members of Senate from having to beg for their own mailing list, I include the mailing list for all members in this notice to all members, with the exception in both cases of some student members whose emails are not available on the Queen’s website.  I have also created a Queen’s Senate Faculty Caucus Blog (https://senatefacultycaucus.wordpress.com/), and I have included the same list there, as its first posting.

The Senate office rightly cautioned me that the use of large email lists can become annoying, and I hereby second this caution; I forward this list on the assumption that members will use it responsibly for the communication of matters germane to Senate, as described in The Functions of Senate, and not for any other purposes.

The functions of Senate are so important that it is hard to conceive how they can be managed without some communication between all members outside of its monthly 90-minute meetings, and to this end it is essential that all members have a convenient way of contacting all other members.  Some may be concerned about receiving excessive email, but (1) I believe that it is part of the responsibility of all members of Senate to consider some communications from each other about legitimate university concerns; (2) unwanted emails are easily deleted; and (3) email programs can easily be set up to filter email from unwanted addresses.

[see list]

Please note that all email addresses in this list are included with permission or are freely available on Queen’s or associated websites.  I have done nothing here but compile them and distribute the list.

Sincerely,

M. Jones

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