Student Group Email Options
Having a group email address is a very important thing for your student group to have. It gives your group a public face and makes leadership transitions easier. It also helps to maintain lines of communication between your group and members, donors, and other organizations. It is important for groups of all ages to have a group email as opposed to using a personal email such as your president's email address.
It is a great idea for a younger group because it gives interested parties a way to contact the leadership of the growing group. It gives organizations like the Secular Student Alliance or CFI a way to maintain regular contact with all of a group's officers as opposed to a single officer. When it comes to communicating with large national organizations, or even smaller local organizations, such an email address can make a huge difference in gaining and maintaining resources.
It is also a great idea for an older, more established group because it gives your group a public face and makes it very easy for new members to contact you as well as those outside your group who might be interested in your events, such as the media or school officials. A group email makes your group look much more professional and gives your group someplace to direct email to, which avoids the potential issue of it stacking up in the personal email of a single officer. This also allows for an easier transition to new leaders, as a group email can be easily redirected instead of having to worry about new officers losing touch with those who only have the email address of the previous leader.
There are several options for your group to choose from in looking to set up such an email address. See below for details on the positives and negatives of each one:
Single-user account on Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft Live, etc.
Pros: easy to create and manage; some addresses can be forwarded to multiple recipients; a Gmail account also gives you access to Google Docs which can be useful for your group
Cons: Outgoing leaders must be sure to give the login information to the incoming leaders or else the account will become unusable
University email accounts
Pros: Easy to obtain (if available); allows the transfer of the email address to the incoming officers without action on the part of the old officers
Cons: Not all universities offer their student groups this resource
SSA email forwarding
Pros: Once requested, we here at the SSA manage the service for your group;, easy to redirect it to new officers
Cons: Your group must let us know about new officers so we know to redirect it or else your group will cease to get email
Pros: If your group already has a Facebook group, you can easily create an email address for that group;, email address is accessible by all admins in the group
Cons: Current admins of the group must be sure to make new officers admins so that they can manage the email account, the group must have a Facebook group in order to have access to this resource
Pros: This is a nice alternative to Facebook groups with a much better ability to edit and change the page; a GroupSpaces group also gives you access to a mailing list that is easy to manage (which none of these other services offer)
Cons: It is a new service so many people may not be familiar with it