Mailing Lists

The GSC operates three mailing lists (aka “listservs”) for the graduate student community.

  • GSNOTICE is a list for event announcements only, and these events generally must be Brown affiliated in some sort of official capacity. Events organized by recognized student groups fall under this heading.
  • GSBB is a list for (loosely speaking) “bulletin board” like announcements. This includes sale items, apartment listings, roommate searches, posts by people looking for tennis partners or rides to the airport, questions about the community, opinions about local services (mechanics, dentists), grad-student protocol related questions (e.g. Where do I pick up form X? Does Brown health insurance cover Y?), etc. If you’re asking a question, please check the wiki for an answer first. If you get an answer to a question you ask onGSBB, please post it to the wiki.
  • GSCOMM is meant for political discussions only. Comments about current events, opinions about the way things are handled in the grad school.
  • GSC-MASTERS is a mailing list designed to provide a forum for Master’s students to share ideas and knowledge with each other, and to discuss issues, questions and concerns relevant to Master’s students. It will also be used by the Master’s Advocate to communicate announcements specifically pertinent to Master’s students at Brown.

Some posts may not clearly fit into one category exactly, and, in this case, subscribers are expected to use their best judgment in choosing which listserv to post to. If you cannot decide, email the GSC Technology Officer.

Sections of this document:

  1. How do I subscribe to the mailing lists?
  2. Who receives emails sent to the lists?
  3. What’s the deal with digests?
  4. How can I set up Brown Gmail to automatically file GSBB messages?
  5. How do I send mail to the mailing lists?
  6. How do I log in to the listserv website?
  7. How do I change my mailing list settings?
  8. How do I unsubscribe?
  9. Why does the GSC have three lists?
  10. How should I behave on the listservs?
  11. What happened to the attachment I sent?


How do I subscribe to the mailing lists?

Please read and follow these instructions carefully, especially if trying to subscribe from a non-brown email address. All subscription requests are processed by a busy graduate student like you, and during peak times there quite a lot of them.

List membership is restricted to current and incoming Brown graduate students. This is a security measure to minimize the amount of spam email. You will only be able to join the listserv if you provide your first and last name on the subscription form. For current students, a valid email address is also required. We do not recommend the use of alias addresses, as the listserv only recognizes your subscribed email. Although you will receive emails, you will only be able to post from your alias and you may have trouble posting at all.

If you are an incoming student without a address, please email the GSC Technology Officer at the same time that you subscribe. Include your full name and your department.

Select the mailing list you would like to join or leave:

Click the “Join” link on that page and fill out your information. The GSC Tech Officer must approve your subscription request, so please be patient. You will receive a confirmation email when your request is approved, after which time you can post to the list from your subscribed email address.

Who receives emails sent to the lists?

Distribution of the mailing lists follows a “waterfall” model:

  • Subscribers to GSNOTICE receive all mail sent to GSNOTICE.
  • Subscribers to GSBB receive all mail sent to GSNOTICE and all mail sent to GSBB.
  • Subscribers to GSCOMM receive all mail sent to GSNOTICE, all mail sent to GSBB, and all mail sent to GSCOMM.

If you sign up for multiple lists, don’t worry; the listserv engine can identify duplicates, so any given email will be sent to you only once.

I know it’s confusing, but this is the system we’ve developed in response to student needs in the past. Your best bet is probably to sign up for all three lists as a normal subscriber and then change your settings once you get a feel for the sort of mail you get.

What’s the deal with digests?

If you are on digest mode for a particular listserv, each day you will receive a single email containing all emails posted to that listserv. Digests do not span lists; that is, the digest of GSCOMM does not include any GSBB or GSNOTICEmessages, and the digest of GSBB does not include any GSNOTICEmessages. If you are on GSCOMM digest only, then you will receive a daily digest of GSCOMM messages, but you will also receive individual messages from the GSBB and GSNOTICE listservs. If, for example, you want to receive every message, but you want everything digested, you will have to sign up for the digest on each of the three listservs.

How can I set up Brown Gmail to automatically file GSBB messages?

  1. Click the little link that says “Create a filter” to the right of
    the search box at the top of the page.
  2. In the “To:” field, copy and paste the following without the
    quotation marks: “GSBB* OR GSCOMM* OR GSNOTICE*”
  3. If you’d like to make sure it’s doing the right thing, click “Test
    Search” and it should just show you emails from the mailing lists.
  4. Click the “Next Step” button.
  5. Click the “Skip the Inbox” checkbox. Then select the drop-down box
    below that says “Choose label…” and click the option at the top that
    says “New label…”. Now give your new label/folder a name, for example,
    “GSBB”. Now all the grad mailing list messages you receive will get
    filed away automatically.
  6. Click the “Also apply filter to 80 billion conversations below” box.
  7. Finally, click “Create Filter”.

Ta-da! Now mail from any of the grad mailing lists will be redirected to your custom folder rather than your Inbox, and you can open the folder (by clicking on its name on the left side of the screen) at any time to read messages at your leisure.

How do I send mail to the mailing lists?

Our mailing lists act just like regular email addresses. To send an email to all the subscribers of a list, just address the email to one of the following:

Please do not send attachments to the mailing lists; they will be stripped by the listserv software and will not be included in the distributed message. Before your message actually gets sent out to the list subscribers, a confirmation email will be sent to you. Your message will not be distributed until you click the link in the confirmation email. Additionally, the GSCTechnology Officer reviews all email sent to GSNOTICE, so there may be as much as a one-day delay between when you send a message and when it is posted. Please take this into account when announcing events. Finally, keep in mind that the lists only accept posts from subscribed email addresses.

How do I log in to the listserv website?

To make any change to your mailing list subscription, you must log into the listserv website. One important thing to note is that the listserv only knows about email addresses, so the email address you log in with will be the only one for which you can make any changes. Be sure that you log in with the email address for which you’re signed up to the mailing list.

If you have never logged in before, you have to create a password for yourself by doing the following:

  1. Go to the password registration page.
  2. Enter your email address in the “Email Address” box.
  3. Enter the password you’d like to use in the “Password” boxes. You have to enter it twice to make sure you don’t make a typo.
  4. Click the “Register Password” button.
  5. You’ll soon receive an email from the listserv software to confirm that you wanted to set your password. The email may be confusing-looking, but all you have to do is click the first link you see in the email (ending with something like “OK=A11AF169”). Your new password will then be in effect.
  6. Now you can log in using the directions below.

If you know your password, it’s easy to log in:

  1. Go to the login page
  2. Enter your email address in the “Email Address” box.
  3. Enter your password in the “Password” box.
  4. Click “Log In”.

If you’ve forgotten your password, you can follow the directions above for creating a password. This will change your password from the one you forgot to whatever new one you choose.

How do I change my mailing list settings?

You can change your mailing list settings (including the email address where you receive list emails, your digest preferences, and so forth) through the web as follows:

  1. The first step is to log in to the listserv website. Remember to log in with the email address with which you’re currently subscribed to the mailing list.
  2. Click on “Subscriber’s Corner” in the bar across the top of the page.
  3. Click on the “My Settings” tab.
  4. For each list for which you want to change your settings, click on the “[Settings]” link to the right of the list name, make the change you want, and click the button labeled “Update Options”.

How do I unsubscribe?

First, do not send an email to the list. It will annoy everyone on the list, and you will still be on.

Instead, log in to the listserv website and then visit the same web page you would use to subscribe:

Click the “join or leave” link, and then click the “leave” button at the bottom. Remember that you may receive mail from a list that you’re not signed up for, as some lists forward their traffic on to others as well. Make sure to check all three mailing lists.

If that doesn’t work, log in to the listserv website and then click the “Subscriber’s Corner” link near the top of the page. This will show you what lists you’re subscribed to; sometimes people don’t realize which list they’re subscribed to. Click the boxes next to all the lists you’d like to unsubscribe from, and then in the dropdown box at the bottom of the list, select “Unsubscribe”. Click “Submit” and you should be removed from those lists.

If that doesn’t work, it’s possible that the list knows you under a different address than you think it does, especially if you have forwarding installed between addresses. Try logging in with each email address you might have used to sign up, and then checking the “Subscriber’s Corner” page for the lists you’re subscribed to under that email address.

If you tried all these steps and you still can’t unsubscribe, email the GSC Technology Officer and they will walk you through the steps.

Why does the GSC have three lists?

Up until 2000/2001, the GSC had one list but during the graduate student unionization controversy the council felt that it was appropriate to split political debates from bulleting board and events announcements. At the time, GSCOMM used to be the busiest of the three lists but today this is not true anymore.

How should I behave on the listservs?

There are certain guidelines (that date as far back as the creation of the Internet itself!) that help a polite and civilized exchange of email. They are usually know as netiquette. The links below should help you with this:

What happened to the attachment I sent?

As a general rule, the listservs do not accept email attachments. If you attach something to your message, the attachment will be stripped without warning. This rule is in place since the Brown email system has such a low quota for storage. People already run out of space in their mailboxes quite quickly because of the volume of plain-text messages sent to GSBB; imagine how much worse the problem would be if those emails could contain images too!

Instead of attaching files, please put them online somewhere — you might try FlickrPicasaGoogle Docs, or Craigslist. Then provide a link to the file instead.