Listserv Mailing Lists

Listserv mailing lists are available to Columbia students, faculty, researchers and staff for managing mass communications (event notifications, news updates, discussion threads) to student groups, clubs, cross-departmental teams, faculty committees, and more.

CUIT uses Listserv Version 17.0 to create mailing lists (identifiable by their ending in @lists.columbia.edu). Please note that CUIMC uses Listserv Version 16.5, which has a slightly different interface. If your mailing list address ends in @lists.cumc.columbia.edu, please visit CUIMC IT's Mailing Lists in Listserv page or email 5help@cumc.columbia.edu.

Please see the Mailing List Management page to learn about other types of mailing lists that CUIT offers.

***PLEASE NOTE*** All Mailman mailing lists were migrated to the Listserv mailing list platform on August 23rd, 2020. You can now manage your mailing list at https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe.

    Listserv mailing lists were chosen to replace Mailman lists due to Listserv’s extensive management interface and safe password management: with ListServ, passwords are not specific to the mailing list but to you, the owner. 

    Recommendations for new Listserv users:

    Request a Listserv mailing list

    Please submit a ticket to the CUIT Service Desk with the following information:

    Specify if the list will be Private, Moderated, or a One-way Announcement list.

    • Private Discussion Lists: only Subscribers (people who are configured to receive emails from the list) may send to the list, and messages will be distributed to the list after the sender confirms their message.
    • Moderated Discussion Lists: anyone may send to the list, though all messages will be forwarded to the list Moderator(s) for approval before the message will be distributed to Subscribers (this is in an effort to prevent spam/unwanted messages going out). If an Editor sends a message, it will not be sent to Moderators for approval
    • One-way Announcement Lists: only Owners may send to the list. This type of list is used for communications such as product announcements, system maintenance messages, electronic newsletters, etc. Messages from all other senders will be rejected.

    The part of the mailing list address that will appear before @columbia.edu. Names should have 4+ characters and cannot be generic (such as "members" or "lecture-attendees"); we recommend including a club/department name or topic.

    The identifying name in the Listserv management program.

    The person(s) responsible for adding or removing Subscribers from the list.

    Approximate is fine.

    General purpose of this list.

      Mailing list usage guidelines

      All Email Usage Policy requirements apply, in addition to the following:

      • Columbia mailing lists are available for student organization, business, research and academic-related communications.
      • Owners, Editors and/or Moderators can only be Columbia/CUIMC email addresses. External addresses such as Gmail cannot be used.
      • List Owners that are leaving Columbia must open a ticket with the CUIT Service Desk to ensure proper transfer of ownership, or discuss if discontinuing the list if appropriate.
      • If a list is not used for over one year, it is automatically de-activated by the Listserv system.
      • It is the department or group's responsibility to properly manage those who have access or are subscribed. Make sure you have set up a procedure to regularly check and are removing or updating subscribers. Any who unsubscribes should not be re-added in the future unless they have requested to be re-added.

      FAQ and guides

      Listserv mailing list roles
      • Subscriber: Individual who receives messages sent to the list.
      • Owner: The individual(s) responsible for adding or removing Subscribers, Editors and Moderators and maintaining other settings. An Owner can also add other Owner(s), and can moderate messages. An Owner must be provided when a list is requested. IMPORTANTSubmit a ticket if the Owner of a list is leaving Columbia University.
      • Editor(s): Those who can send messages to the list without requiring approval, even on a Moderated list.
      • Moderator(s): Needed for Moderated discussion lists only. Moderators approve messages that non-Editors send to the list. After being approved, the message is sent to all list subscribers.

      How do I...

      Mailing List Owners manage their list(s) in the Listserv web portal

      If you have not used Listserv to manage a mailing list before, you must first register your email address.

      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe.
      2. Select Log In in the upper-right corner and click Register Password.
      3. Enter your UNI@columbia.edu email address and a non-UNI password (**IMPORTANT** Do NOT use your Columbia password!)
      4. You will receive an email from Listserv to confirm your request; use the link in the message to confirm.

      If you receive a mailing from an email address ending in @lists.columbia.edu, then you are part of a Listserv mailing list. In many cases, you may unsubscribe yourself from receiving messages for Listserv lists, with the exception of certain automatically-refreshing lists, such as those used by the University to distribute critical information to students, faculty and employees.


      If there is not an unsubscribe option at the bottom of the email, then you can unsubscribe from the Listserv portal.

      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in. (If you have not registered, follow the steps in the above section.)
      2. Expand the Subscriber Options drop-down on the left-hand navigation pane.
      3. Select Subscriptions.
      4. Open the list you would like to unsubscribe from.
      5. Select the menu button (three horizontal lines) in the upper-righthand corner.
      6. Select Subscribe or Unsubscribe.
      7. Select Unsubscribe.

      Listserv defaults to opening the List Archive page after you log in, which is not helpful for most users. CUIT recommends that you update your homepage to open to the List Dashboard, which offers more useful at-a-glance functionality (including an overview of all the mailing lists that you own, any pending moderation requests, and an overview of the main details for each of your lists).

      Set your default homepage to the List Dashboard
      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in.
      2. Navigate to the bottom of the left-hand menu and select Preferences.
      3. Under General, change Start Page to List Dashboard.
      4. Click Update in the lower-right hand corner of the box.

      Subscribers can be added individually or in bulk.

      Add individual subscribers
      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in.
      2. Navigate to Subscriber Reports from the left-hand menu.
      3. Select the list name you wish to modify from the Select List menu and let the page reset. The list will appear below.
      4. Under the Add Subscriber heading, enter information in the Email Address and Name field using the following format with one space between each word: subscriber1@email.com Firstname Lastname
      5. If desired, change the Send Email Notification/Do Not Notify the User checkbox.
      6. Click the Add Subscriber button.
      Add subscribers in bulk
      1. Create a plain text file (ending in .txt) using a program such as Notepad or TextEdit and save it to the desired location on your computer. The format should be:
        subscriber1@email.com Firstname Lastname
        subscriber2@email.com Firstname Lastname

        Where subscriber1@email.com is the first subscriber's actual email address, followed by at least one space, then their first and last name, and the each additional subscriber's information on a new line.
      2. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in.
      3. If you are not already on it, select List Dashboard from the left-hand menu.
      4. Select the list name you wish to modify from the Select List menu and let the page reset. The list will appear below.
      5. Navigate to Subscriber Reports from the left-hand menu.
      6. Click the (Bulk Operations) link next to Add Subscriber.
      7. Select Add the imported addresses to the list option. Select the Choose File button and find the file created in step 1.
      8. Once the file location is listed in the Choose File field, click on the Import button to add your list of subscribers.
      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in.
      2. Navigate the the List Dashboard and enter your list name in the Filter text box, then click the Update button on the lower-right.
      3. Select the list from the Select List pulldown menu.
      4. Navigate to the List Configuration dropdown menu, select List Configuration, then Edit with Wizard.
      5. Each of the tabs provides information on the current settings for who is in charge of the list, who can send messages to the list, where replies go, and actions to be taken by moderators once messages are sent. Review each tab, where the current settings are listed along with brief explanations and links to fuller descriptions of each option. You can also change your list configurations here; be sure to select the Update button to save your changes.
      Send yourself a list of subscribers
      1. Select LISTSERV Command from the left-hand navigation panel.
      2. Select the mailing list you would like the subscribers of.
      3. Under the Send over Email section at the bottom, select List of [XXXX List] Subscribers. You will quickly receive an email with the information.
      4. If you would like to eliminate the name field, we suggest copy and pasting the information into a spreadsheet, and then saving the file as a .csv file. Then you can delete everything but the column of email addresses and the .csv will ensure that no links are embedded. If needed, you may copy this into a text editor (e.g. Notepad) to create a .txt file.
      View or delete subscribers from your dashboard

      You can easily view and manage subscribers via your dashboard.

      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in.
      2. Select the List Management drop down in the upper-righthand corner, then List Dashboard.
      3. In the Dashboard find Subscribers (to the right of the list name) and select View.
      4. If you would like to remove any subscribers, check the box to the left of the subscriber's name(s), then scroll to the bottom of the page.
      5. By default the subscribers will not be notified by email. If you want them to be, check the Send email notification of changes option in the lower right, above the Submit button.
      6. When ready click the Delete Selected Subscribers button in the lower left.
      7. If you see an Are you sure... prompt click OK. You will be returned to your dashboard with an updated list of subscribers.
      • Owner: May add/remove subscribers, and add/remove other owners, editors, and moderators.
      • Editor: May send messages to the list without requiring approval (even if the list is moderated).
      • Moderator: May approve messages for distribution on moderated lists.

      On active lists, CUIT recommends having at least two owners, two editors, and two moderators as a failsafe in case someone is inaccessible.

      Add Users as Editors or Moderators
      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in.
      2. Select the List Management drop down, then List Configuration, and Administrators.
      3. Select the drop down arrow to Select List and choose your mailing list.
      4. Select the List Maintenance tab.
      5. In the Editor (or Moderator) field, type in the email address for the individual(s) you wish to add.
      6. When done, click the Update button in the lower-right.
      Add Users as Owners

      NOTE: If you are a List Owner and are adding another Owner to take over your mailing list, you must also submit a ticket to the Service Desk to ensure proper transfer of ownership. 

      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in.
      2. Select the List Management drop down, then List Configuration, and Administrators.
      3. Select the drop down arrow to Select List and choose your mailing list.
      4. Select the List Maintenance tab.
      5. In the Owner field towards the bottom of the page, type in the email address for the individual(s) you wish to add or remove subscribers from the list.
      6. To stop them from receiving general Listserv administration error messages, add the person's email address to the Quiet Owner field. These messages can fill up an individual's inbox quickly and are usually not needed.
      7. When done, click the Update button in the lower-right.

      The default size limit for messages sent to a Lstserv mailing list (including attachments) is 2MB.

      The default attachment types permitted are:

      • Excel Spreadsheets
      • Word Documents
      • PowerPoint Presentations
      • PDF Files
      • Images

      If exceptions for attachments size or types are needed, please submit a ticket with a brief description on the student club/group/organization, business or academic need.

      You can change your Listserv view to Expert Mode (from the default Basic Mode) to access the Mail Merge functionality, as well as other options.

      To change to Expert Mode, click on your user name in the upper-right corner, select Edit Profile, and then click the drop-down to change from Basic Mode to Expert Mode.

      Listserv menu options

      FAQ

      Yes, though be aware that unsubscribing will not work for dynamic, automatically-refreshed lists such as those often used by Human Resources (users would be added back the next day automatically).

      1. Navigate to https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe and use the link in the upper right to log in.
      2. Select Mail Templates from the left-hand navigation pane.
      3. Select the list you would like to add the unsubscribe option to.
      4. Under Template Categories, select Top and Bottom Banners. Click Select.
      5. Select BOTTOM_BANNER. Copy the exact content, including the hyphens, from Step 6 below and paste it into the Content box. Do not change anything.
      6. 
        ​​--  If you would like to unsubscribe from this list, simply send an email to &LISTNAME-UNSUBSCRIBE-REQUEST@&MYHOST. No subject or message is necessary in the email. --
      7. Select Update in the lower-righthand corner. List owners will receive a notification when users choose to unsubscribe, however their removal is automatic.
      8. Return to Mail Templates and follow steps 1-6 for BOTTOM_BANNER_HTML. This will ensure the footer is added to both email formats.
      1. Navigate to List Configuration in the left-hand navigation pane.
      2. Select the list you wish to add the tag to from the drop-down at the top.
      3. Select the Distribution tab (button) in the middle of the page.
      4. In the Subject-Tag field, enter a single-word tag (you can use a hyphen for two words) that you would like to have added to the subject line of emails sent to this mailing list and select Update at the bottom-right of the page to save. 

      For example, if you were to enter CUIT-NEWS in the Subject-Tag field, an email sent to this mailing list might have the subject [CUIT-NEWS] Check out the September Newsletter.

      Listerv interface view of List Configuration page with Select List, Distribution, Subject-Tag, and Update fields circled.

      Yes. You can customize the following URL by replacing LISTNAME with the name of your mailing list (as found in the Select List drop-down menu in List Configuration) and then provide the link as needed. Anyone that clicks on the link will be prompted to provide their name, email address, and subscription type.

      https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe?SUBED1=LISTNAME&A=1

      For example, if your list is called CUIT-NEWS, then your URL would be https://listserv.cuit.columbia.edu/scripts/wa.exe?SUBED1=CUIT-NEWS&A=1.