Communications of various kinds are distributed within the Lafayette community through several channels, including email, web-based calendar and announcement systems, social media, RSS feeds, the campus portal, and the Leopard Alerts emergency notification system. This policy defines “official” and “optional” communications and outlines related guidelines and procedures.

Official policy communications

Official policy communications are messages the College administration has determined are important for all members of the campus community, or a certain subset of the community, to receive (e.g, all students, all faculty, or all staff).

Examples include messages related to:

  • Campus emergencies
  • Health and safety information
  • Academic policies and programs
  • College closings, delayed openings, and early dismissals
  • Certain personnel and organizational changes
  • Certain deadlines that require action (applications for new student housing, HR policies, registration, financial aid information, applications for postgraduate fellowships, campus recruiting schedules, etc.)
  • Major College-wide events (e.g., Convocation, Commencement, Lives of Liberty Lecture, events sponsored by the President’s Office)

Who may send official policy communications?

The email accounts of certain administrative units (not individuals within the units) are authorized to transmit official policy communications only to the entire campus or to subsets via email distribution lists maintained for this purpose by Information Technology Services. Units with this authorization are:

Divisions:  President’s Office, Provost’s Office, VP for Campus Life, VP for Communications, VP for Development, VP for Finance and Administration, VP for Human Resources and General Counsel, VP for Information Technology Services

Departments and Offices: Alumni Relations, Career Serivce, Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, Counseling Center, Dean of Students, Dean of the College, Dean of Intercultural Affairs, Dining Services, Financial Aid, Health Services, Library, Parent Relations, Public Safety, Purchasing, Recreation, Registrar, Religious Life, Residential Life, Student Leadership and Involvement, Study Abroad, Williams Center for the Arts

Generally, messages transmitted to campus email distribution lists should not contain attachments. Instead, a link to a webpage providing further information may be included. If an attachment must be included, its file size must not exceed 1Mb.

Individual email accounts are not authorized to transmit communications via the campus distribution lists. In addition, individuals may not use and build their own lists encompassing entire sectors of the campus community, e.g. all students, all classroom faculty, all exempt support staff.

Optional or departmental communications

Messages that do not fall into the categories listed above are optional or departmental communications.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Promotion of events, such as lectures and performances, sponsored by departments and organizations
  • Announcements such as menu specials, bookstore sales, calls for volunteers, casting calls
  • Newsletters and other departmental promotions

Who may send or post optional or departmental communications?

Any member of the campus community may send optional or departmental communications via email using the “Announcements” section of the online calendar (see Unlike the all-campus email mail process used to send official policy communications, members of the Lafayette community may “opt out” of receiving these announcements.

Prior to posting an announcement, information must first be entered in the calendar. Staff in the Communications Division will review all announcement requests to assure consistency with the required calendar entry. Once reviewed, the information will be transmitted to all students, faculty, and staff except for those who have indicated (via an “unsubscribe” function) that they do not wish to receive Announcements emails. If submitted Monday-Friday during regular working hours, the announcement will be sent within several hours of the posting. Events can be tagged using the list of categories on the main calendar page. Entering an event on the calendar ensures the information is retrievable on the web, the portal, an RSS feed, and the weekly digest subscriber emails. If an “announcement” is also submitted, it will be sent through the subscribed announcement email.


Exceptions to the guidelines on optional or departmental communications may be made in certain cases by the provost or a vice president. Once approved, the communication can be sent to the community by following the guidelines for official policy communications listed above.