As part of the Google Suite of apps, Willamette users have access to Google Groups.  These mailgroups come in many different variaties to offer simple means of sending email to custom or pre-populated recipient lists.

Google Groups have Owners, Managers, and Members.  Groups and their membership may be entirely Data Driven, Self-Created, or custom-built by WITS in a specific Namespace upon request.  Groups also have Moderators, individuals who act as a gateway to prevent unwanted or inappropriate email from reaching group members.

Below are links to our in-house documentation with more info about building your own Groups, moderation, and managing group membership.

Types of Groups

There are three primary types of Google Groups:

Data Driven Groups

These groups are automatically generated and maintained based on a variety of different parameters pulled from other systems here at Willamette University.  They will always have a hyphenated component in the group name to designate the nature of the group.  These groups have no Owner as they are entirely data driven and their membership is not managed by a specific individual user.  All Data Driven groups use Moderation - a feature that allows the group Manager to approve or deny messages sent to the group.  Members of a Data Driven Group are not given the option to leave the group.

These are some of the currently employed Data Driven Group types:

-bldg           Includes all faculty and staff with offices in a specific building

-majors       Includes all declared majors in a specific program / department

-minors       Includes all declared minors in a specific program / department

-YYSM        Unique groups created for every course section (e.g. chem-115-01-18FA)

Self-Created Groups

Any user may create their own groups directly within the Google Groups interface.  All groups generated using Willamette University user accounts will end in -group.  If you create a group named tiddlywinks, for example, it will automatically be appended with the -group designation.  This prevents unlucky Professor Todd Iddlywinks from receiving your group emails.

Self-Created Groups also feature Moderation.  By default, group managers will be exempted from moderation.  It's assumed if a group manager is sending the email, they approve the content of said email.  If not, consider designating a manager of sound mind and character.  Moderation restrictions may be removed for specific group members by group managers.

Membership: Whomever initially creates the group is the initial Owner and Manager and may designate other managers or transfer ownership as needed.  Although self-created group owners and managers may add and remove members at will, group members may also exercise free will and drop membership from groups of this type.

Namespace Groups

These groups may be created upon request by WITS and do not end in the -group suffix but, instead, use a specific Namespace based upon the kind of group it is.  These groups can include as members: Data Driven Groups, Self-Created Groups, and/or individual members.  Membership is managed by members to whom the owner has assigned manager privileges.  Below is a list of Namespace Group suffixes that may be requested by submitting a Service Request.

"-community" - groups used to broadcast information to large portions of the Willamette community
"-faculty" - faculty contact and discussion groups
"-students" - populated as determined by the associated program, department, or school
"-colleagues" - a specific group of university colleagues
"-info" - groups serving as contact points for departments or constituencies
"-staff" - departmental staff groups
"-reply" - a notification address the expects an email response
"-noreply" - a notification address for which responses will be ignored
"-interested" - students, potential students, or other participants interested in a program
"-retirees" - a specific group of retired university employees
"-social" - groups to be used to own/manage university-related social media accounts

Spam and Groups

In general, mail automatically confirmed as Spam will meet a fate not unlike other undesirable processed and salted canned meat byproducts.  Messages marked as "potential" Spam are moderated by the group manager.  Said manager will receive a "Moderator's spam report" email alerting them to messages that are awaiting approval...or harsh denial.  "Re: Work from home opportunity reputable company" is clearly a pitiful attempt at gaining the attention of your group and destined for the trashbin.  Moderators:  Please, resist the primal urge to mark "Moderator's spam report" emails as Spam.  This isn't Sparta, let's not kill the messenger.



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