Google Groups and Mailing List FAQ

Beginning May 24th, we will be using Google Groups as our platform for all Sonoma State mailing lists. This page contains information on how mailing lists are used, which types are used on campus, and how to request the creation of new lists, in addition to documentation links that explain how to perform common administrative tasks in Google Groups.

What are mailing lists?

A mailing list system allows people to send email to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to the mail list. In most cases, individuals must subscribe to a mailing list in order to participate, and must unsubscribe if they wish to stop receiving email from the list.

Sonoma State University supports the following two types of mailing lists:

  • General Use: May be created to support subjects of interest to the University or to University groups. Faculty, staff or students may request that such lists be established.
  • Academic Dept. Announce Lists: Designed for departments to send important information that students need. These lists are not individually subscribed; instead, they will have a single subscription for all majors of a given department. Admins can add faculty and other department staff as desired. The standard name format for these lists is as follows: dept-announce @

How can I request a new mailing list?

To request the creation of a mailing list, send an email to the IT Help Desk, or click Get Help to submit a ticket, with the following information:

  • Whether it's an discussion list or an announce list (that is, whether anybody on the list should be able to send messages to it, or only specific people)
  • Who Can Join (Invite only, anyone can ask, anyone, Anyone anywhere)
  • Allow external members (outside
  • Who can leave (Nobody, Any member, Managers and Owners only)
  • The desired list email address (
  • A proposed title for the list
  • The primary administrators and moderators (if any)
  • A description for the list

How do I manage my mailing lists in Google Groups?

You can access your groups directly by following this link. Alternatively, you can click on any of the Google icons on your portal page (Mail, Calendar or Drive), then click on the  Google Apps icon depicting a three-by-three grid of dots  icon near the top-right of the screen. Click "More" at the bottom of the pane that pops up, and finally click on the "Groups" icon.