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Electronic Mail System Usage


Access to and use of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s (ESF) campus electronic mail (email) system is a privilege. All users of the email system must act responsibly to assure the integrity of the ESF email system and the ESF campus network.

All messages, data files and programs stored in or transmitted via the ESF email system ("Electronic Communications") are ESF records. ESF reserves the right to access and disclose all messages, data files and programs sent over or stored in its computer system for any purpose. Given the non-confidential nature of electronic communication, email should not be used for confidential or personal communication. Computer records, including email, are considered “records” which may be accessible to the public under
the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law or pursuant to discovery in a legal proceeding.

Eligibility for Email Accounts

Faculty and Staff

  • All regular full-time faculty and staff receive email addresses to use for electronic communication to facilitate their work at the College. Supervisors may require the use of email in the course of an employee’s job function. Part-time and temporary faculty and staff may receive email accounts if the supervisor requires email as part of the job function The College issues addresses and supports, maintains and administers these accounts. Email addresses are purged on the recommendation from human resources after the individual is no longer associated with the College.
  • Emeriti faculty and staff may retain ESF email addresses. The provision of ESF email addresses for emeriti faculty and staff is subject to an annual review, at which time the Administration will determine whether to continue to maintain each address.
  • Under special circumstances, individuals not falling into the above categories may be granted ESF email addresses.


  • Full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students at the all ESF Campuses are granted email addresses through Syracuse University (SU). SU provides support, maintenance, and administration of student email accounts.
  • Students’ SU email accounts are considered their official email addresses by the administration of ESF. All official communication suitable for email will be sent to students via their SU email account. Policies regarding the use of the Syracuse University Computing System, including email, can be found at Syracuse University’s Helpdesk webpage.
  • ESF students may also be granted email addresses through SUNY ESF. The addresses are granted the same privileges and are subjected to all the same policies as addresses granted to faculty and staff.

Supported Email System Clients

  • ESF uses Microsoft Exchange as the Campus email management system. Users receive their email through a compatible client. ESF reserves the right to support specific email clients in the interest of information security and can change supported clients at any time.
  • Each ESF email account is allocated initially with a specific amount of disk storage space on the central email server. Users are warned as this limit is approached and email service is automatically suspended when this limit is exceeded. Users may request to increase their email disk quota. CNS will review disk quota requests with the goal of limiting the storage allocation to the minimum required for the user’s needs.

Prohibited Email System Uses

Certain types of email system use, including but not limited to the following, are prohibited.

  • Chain letter email: The propagation of chain letters is considered an unacceptable practice and is prohibited.
  • Unauthorized monitoring: A user may not use computing resources for unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.
  • Flooding: Posting an unauthorized message to multiple list servers or news groups with the intention of reaching as many users as possible is prohibited.
  • Pornographic material: Users may not intentionally email any kind of pornographic or obscene material.
  • Any such material that is received should be deleted immediately.
  • Use of an alias: Each user must clearly and accurately identify themself in all e- mail communication and not use an alias in email communication.
  • Private commercial purposes: The computing resources of ESF (including hardware, software, and connections through the Internet) shall not be used for personal or private commercial purposes, solicitation, or financial gain. This includes advertisements for commercial enterprises. Users may not use or authorize others to use excess resources for non-College purposes.
  • Political advertising or campaigning: The use of ESF computers and networks for political advertising or campaigning is prohibited.
  • Email hoaxes or scams: ESF users shall not initiate or promote email hoaxes or scams.
  • Intentional transmission of viruses, Trojan horses, worms or back-door programs: ESF users shall not intentionally transmit any program or mechanism that causes inconvenience or harm to other individuals’ computer hardware or software.
  • Harassment. Sending email in any form (including text, graphic or audio files) that may be perceived as harassment is prohibited.

Use of Distribution Lists

As a service to the ESF community, several email-based distribution lists have been created. These are designed to facilitate the timely and cost-effective dissemination of information to the campus community. Inclusion in distribution lists is determined by department affiliation and job responsibilities. These campuswide lists are not intended for messages of a personal nature. Please refer to the official Campus News usage policy for more information

  • When using ESF email system Distribution Lists, users are advised to consider their audience carefully and restrict their communication to the appropriate group.
  • The Campus Alert list is intended for bulletins related to the delivery of critical College services. These include notifications with regard to water, power, telephone service, networking and computing, campus access, parking, safety and security. This tier should be used to communicate news or urgent issues affecting most College employees. Inclusion in this group is automatic and required. Due to the nature of these messages, the ability to send mail through this campus-wide group is restricted.
  • The Campus News list is intended to communicate news directly related to the mission of the College. This tier should be used for items such as campus events and deadlines, campus meetings, changes in campus policies and procedures, and notification of the availability of services and/or facilities. Some individuals may consider this information extraneous; therefore, inclusion in this group is optional. An
    individual may request removal from this list by sending an email to the ESF helpdesk.
  • Campus-based distribution lists: ESF campus-based organizations and departments may request specific Distribution Lists created, but an individual within the group must be designated as the list manager. All such lists should be approved in advance, but the following general guidelines apply:
    • The purpose of the list must pertain to ESF business.
    • Lists are not open for posting to off-campus, non-ESF or non-SU email system users.
    • However, ESF employees who use ESF email off-campus are allowed to create and belong to lists
    • It is the list manager’s responsibility to learn the methods necessary to manage the list'smembers.
    • Under no circumstances can a distribution list be used to participate in or promote activities that are illegal or violate College policies.

Individuals who routinely abuse the intent of distribution lists can have their ability to post messages to these lists suspended.

Limitations on User's Rights

  1. The issuance of a password or other means of access is to assure appropriate confidentiality of ESF files and information and does not guarantee privacy for personal or improper use of College equipment or facilities.
  2. ESF provides reasonable security against intrusion and damage to files stored on the central facilities. ESF also provides some facilities for archiving and retrieving files specified by users and for recovering files after accidental loss of data. However, the College is not responsible for unauthorized access by other users or for loss due to power failure, fire, floods, etc. ESF makes no warranties with respect to Internet services, and it specifically assumes no responsibilities for the content of any advice or
    information received by a user through the use of ESF’s email systems or computer networks.
  3. Users should be aware that ESF’s computer systems and networks may be subject to unauthorized access or tampering. In addition, computer records, including email, are considered "records" which may be accessible to the public under the provisions of the New York State Freedom of Information Law or pursuant to discovery in a legal proceeding.

Incidental Personal Use of Email Systems

Incidental personal use of email systems at ESF is an exception to the general prohibition against the use of College equipment for anything other than official state business and educational activities. The parameters of the exception are that incidental personal use must not:

Result in personal financial gain for the user;

  • Conflict with performance of assigned job responsibilities;
  • Be in violation of existing security/access rules; or
  • Be in violation of College policies or federal or state law.


It is the responsibility of all users of the email system to notify CNS about violations of laws or College policies in connection with the use of the ESF email system, as well as about potential flaws in the security of the ESF Campus Network. The user community is expected to cooperate with CNS in its operation of the ESF email system, as well as in the investigation of system misuse or abuse. Any concerns, complaints, or reports of misconduct with regard to the ESF email system or campus network should be reported to the proper authorities.


ESF Administration reserves the right to deny, limit, or revoke email privileges at its discretion. Alleged violations of this policy or violation of other College policies in the course of using the ESF email system may result in an immediate suspension of email and campus network privileges and may also result in the referral of the matter to ESF Administration, University Police, or other appropriate authority for action. Violators of this policy will be subject to the existing student or employee disciplinary procedures of ESF.
Illegal acts involving ESF email systems may also subject users to prosecution by state and federal authorities.