- List Approval: Approval for the creation of a list is granted to a
list sponsor by the Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OE!) (or designees) following
a review of the list charter to ensure that the new list does not duplicate an existing
list and that required documentation is provided for potential subscribers. This committee
will also encourage the dropping of unused or underutilized lists and the consolidation of
lists with similar purposes.
- List Charter and Creation: Each Club email list must have a charter
defined by the list sponsor. The OE! and/or Information & Communication Systems (ICS)
department will work with the list sponsor to understand and choose the list configuration
options best suited to the charter. Assistance will also be provided in drafting required
documents. The list sponsor has the right and, if requested, the responsibility to make
changes to a list's configuration. If the changes made are deemed significant, the owner
may be asked to get approval from the list sponsor. Also, certain list configuration
possibilities may not be compatible with or physically supportable by the Club's network
or computer installation. For example, certain open subscription and send options will not
be permitted due to the unnecessary exposure of the system to abuse.
The list charter will be sent to all new subscribers as part of the subscription
procedure. The following information from the list charter will also be available via
email to prospective subscribers, whether or not they qualify to subscribe: the purpose of
the list, whether the list is unmoderated or moderated, whether Sierra Club membership is
required to subscribe, whether list owner approval is required to subscribe, whether
subscription to the list is required in order to post messages on the list, to whom the
list of subscribers may be revealed, and who can retrieve messages posted to the list.
Changes to the charter must be announced to all list subscribers.
- List Participant Qualification: If Sierra Club membership is
required to subscribe to a list, and if a subscription request is rejected due to a
computer error or an out-of-date database, the list owner will subscribe a member who
provides a fax or photocopy of a valid Sierra Club membership card. If list owner approval
is required to subscribe, the list charter shall contain an explanation of who is
- List Owner Rights and Responsibilities: In addition to list
creation and charter responsibilities, the list owner is responsible for managing
subscriptions to their lists. The list owner is also responsible for maintaining an
orderly discussion and reminding subscribers when they stray from the charter of the list.
List owners may take appropriate steps to maintain order on their lists. This may
include prohibiting subscribers from posting or even removing subscribers from the list.
Except in the most extreme cases, such action shall only be taken after multiple warnings
have been ignored by the subscriber of her/his violations of the list's charter, the
Sierra Club's Code of Conduct or the norms of the list. Owners' actions may be appealed to
the list sponsor and, thence, to the OE!. On restricted subscription lists, owners are not
obligated to forward inappropriate messages from non-subscribers.
A list charter may stipulate specification of a topic for all messages. Such lists are
not considered to be moderated lists. The list owner (or designated list topic
"editor") can reject a message without a topic, but cannot add or modify the
topic. A subscriber may be censured for repeatedly ignoring the topic requirement.
In cases of extremely high subscriber numbers, high message volume, large message size,
or large archive size, the list owner will work as necessary with ICS staff to deal with
- Email Address Availability: Email addresses of list subscribers
will be made available to others as permitted by each list's charter. The use of email
addresses is subject to the same rules governing the use of printed and electronic member
lists. Accordingly, lists of email addresses derived from Sierra Club lists are authorized
to be used only for Sierra Club matters.
- Email-on-Demand Documents: Approval to install documents available
for email on demand is granted by the head of the sponsoring entity followed by a review
by the ICS List Server Administrator and/or Information Manager (or designees) to ensure
that the new document does not duplicate existing documents. Documents relevant to a
specific list will be associated with that list; documents of a broader interest will be
made available as required. For list-specific documents, approval may be given after
posting by periodic review; for general distribution documents, approval must be given
prior to posting. Dropping of unused, underutilized or obsolete documents will be
Any limits on the maximum number, maximum size, or total size of all documents will be
established in the future after the usage patterns and technical issues are better
- Advertising: In general, and unless otherwise permitted by a list's
charter, advertising of commercial products and services on Sierra Club-sponsored lists is
prohibited. Prior approval of the list owner is required before posting any message
containing a direct solicitation for money. The list owner(s) and sponsor, jointly, shall
be the final arbitrator of what constitutes advertising on their list. A list's sponsor
may restrict access to the list by repeated violators. Information on conferences, outings
and other activities related to the purpose of the list or resource materials useful to
the subscribers should generally not be considered advertising.
- Questions and Concerns: Questions and concerns with the set-up and
management of specific lists should be directed to the list owner. If issues remain
unresolved, these questions and concerns should be raised with the chair of the sponsoring
entity or department head. General questions about establishing discussion lists should be
directed to the Chair of the Information Technology Committee.
- Conduct Standard: Discussion list conduct is governed by the Sierra
Club Code of Conduct and the charter of the list.
Appendix - List Naming Convention
To facilitate easy location of appropriate lists by users and to maintain an orderly
structure of the many lists to come, guidelines have been set for naming lists on the
Club's list server. When a list sponsor requests a list, the sponsor and the OE! (or
designee) will determine a name for the list as follows: List names should generally be no
more than 20 characters long so that they need not be truncated when shown on some lists.
They will "work" however, with lengths up to 32 characters. (But remember that
few can type 32 characters in a row correctly, so shorter names are advantageous.) Dashes
count as characters and can appear anywhere within the name. Each list name will begin
with the sponsoring entity's name or abbreviation.
Reserved initial abbreviations are listed below:
- BOD Board of Directors
- CCL Council of Club Leaders
- CE Communication and Education Governance Committee
- COMMONS Lists maintained on the Club's list server that are co-sponsored with other
- CONS Conservation Governance Committee
- FIN Finance Governance Committee
- HELP4 Lists maintained to help members with topical problems
- HQ Staff lists open to volunteers
- MDV Membership and Development Governance Committee
- OA Outdoor Activities Governance Committee
- OE Organization Effectiveness Governance Committee
Occasionally, a list will provide a service that does not fit into the naming scheme
for initial prefixes. The OE! (or designees) will determine the need for exceptions on a
case-by-case basis. Examples include MEMBER-DIRECTORY and NEW-SC-LISTS.
Each chapter will determine an initial prefix to be used for all of its lists and those
of its sub-entities. Additional prefix names will be reserved for use by the assigned
entity once they are put into use.
* For details of the intended use of this prefix, send email to:
with the command: GET COMMONS.DEFINITION
Edition 1a - November 3, 1996
Revisions: 09/08/97, Dave Simon, Changes to Abbreviation Appendix (CCL, HQ)
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