(Campus)Lifehacker: LISTSERV edition

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As members of the Brown community, we should really have a handle on some of the conventional social norms so we can respect our fellow students. However, it seems that there are some norms that Brown students simply overlook, or just really don’t care about how their behavior will affect (read: annoy) their peers. LISTSERV, my friends, falls in this latter category. To put it simply, this website really was not created for humans. Sure, you could go through your four years receiving e-mails from that club that you signed up to join but never attended the first meeting the first week of your freshman year…or you could not. When I told a friend that my inability to navigate LISTSERV was bothering me, she said, “what’s LISTSERV?” At that point, I knew something had to be done. Here are a few things that you should know about LISTSERV in order to save yourself from future annoyance, and more importantly, embarrassment. We did some serious investigative journalism to help you out over here.

1) DO NOT reply to an e-mail that was sent to a LISTSERV. Seriously, don’t. When you hit reply, you aren’t just  responding to the administrator, but rather to the entire LISTSERV. (Surprise!) We don’t want to know about your awful cold, or about how upset you are that you just changed your section time and now you’re unable to attend a rush event or a large club meeting. Just e-mail the head of the club or the club’s Brown e-mail instead. Problem solved.

2) Learn to subscribe and unsubscribe from LISTSERVs. You’d think this task would be simpler given the number of students who are looking to join different clubs at various points of the year. Wrong. First, log in to your LISTSERV account. If you didn’t know that you had one, you can always click “get a new LISTSERV password” to get yourself on the site. Once you’ve reached the LISTSERV database, you can either search the name of the club that you want to join, or click the browse by letter. Once you click the name of the group, click “Subscribe” or “Unsubscribe” under the “Options” tab on the right side of the page. Ok, so maybe it’s not as hard as many of us I hype it up to be, but whatever.

3) Become familiar with Subscriber’s Corner. You can find this tab in the top-left corner of your screen. It has all of the e-mail lists to which you’re subscribed. This will come in handy when you want to unsubscribe from lists that you forgot you had even signed up for in the first place. Next to the name of the group, you can click on “settings” to change the way that any LISTSERV e-mails appear in your inbox in case, for some odd reason, the normal LISTSERV-styled header really grinds your gears.

If you’re still wondering how to use other features of LISTSERV, go ask a CS concentrator and let us know what he or she says.

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