Eastern Michigan University

Sympa FAQ


Sympa Mailing List Basics


What is a mailing list?


A mailing list is a distribution list that offers the ability to communicate  electronically with a group of people through a single e-mail address without  having to know all of the individual email addresses of the people you are  trying to reach. Whenever someone sends an e-mail message to a mailing  list address, if approved by the software, that message goes out to  everyone subscribed to the list. 


The email list distribution software on campus at EMU is sympa, and and there sympa documentation online.   It has a web interface which allows you to perform multiple functions depending on your role in a list, as well as see your list memberships.  The list of machines which currently host lists can be found at the bottom of this document.


List information


Our lists are generally setup as either :


  • Announcement list : list where only the moderators and sometimes owners, can send email to the list
  • Discussion List : list where everyone associated with the list can send email to the list (owners, moderators, members)

List roles are as follows :

  • Owner : Can edit list settings, add/remove moderators/owners/members and email the list
  • Moderator : Can approve moderated messages and send email through the list
  • Member : Can receive email through the list and on some lists send messages through the list

General Information


How do I request a list?

Why do I get an email asking me to approve my email to my list?

  • As an antispoofing security measure, most lists are configured so that when you send to them you will receive an authorization email.  You will need to reply to that authorization message to approve your message before it can be sent through the list.  If you simply reply without changing the subject header of the email your message should be approved.  If you do not respond to the authorization request, your message will not held by the list software until approved or deleted.

Why do I not get a copy of my emails to my lists?

  • Gmail will not display what it considers to be duplicate  email messages.  If you wish to  confirm that an email has gone through the list software  please click on the appropriate link at the bottom of the page and login  with your NetID and password. Then select the list  in question and then finally the list's archive.  That will display every  message that has gone through the list software to the list members.  If you look at your list and archiving is not turned on for some reason please contact your list owner and ask them to turn it on.

How can I see who is subscribed to my lists?

  • If you are a list owner or moderator and wish to see the list of subscribers for one of your lists, please click on the apropriate link at the bottom of the page and login with your NetID and password and then select the list in question.  From there you should be able to click on subscribers and see the full listing of the membership.


Lists Hosts at EMU



Last edited June 12, 2019.

Division of Information Technology

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