Casey Wood, For The Miami Student

Although many students at Miami University use the program LISTSERV, some people still have no idea what it is and that they are using it.

LISTSERV is a mailing list management software program that is specifically designed to manage email lists. Email lists can meet many communication needs such as the distribution of news and announcements and the facilitation of classroom and group discussion, according to Cathy McVey, senior director for IT communications and relationship management at Miami.

In order to use LISTSERV, a group member types a message and the program automatically sends it to multiple recipients, all maintained in the same primary list as the sender. This tool makes it easier and less time-consuming to send out large group emails.

According to McVey, LISTSERV can be used for an abundance of communication needs.

“You can create a LISTSERV for about anything,” McVey said.

Thanks to the software, Miami professors can communicate with their students, classmates can communicate with one another about assignments and exams and organization leaders can communicate with their many members.

Sophomore Zack Dixon said he uses LISTSERV to communicate with the Men’s Glee Club.

“I love it,” Dixon said. “It really makes communicating with other people in a group easier. It’s fool proof.”

However, not all students are fans of LISTSERV.

First-year Pob Vutisalchavakul said he finds LISTSERV bothersome.

“I find that LISTSERV is blowing up my inbox and I find that annoying,” Vutisalchavakul said. “The major issue is I have no idea how to unsubscribe from things I no longer want to be a part of.”

Vutisalchavakul said Mega Fair can contribute to this problem. Many first-years who attend Mega Fair sign up for numerous clubs and organizations, which can lead to an abundance of unwanted emails, Vutisalchavakul said.

Students can solve this problem by unsubscribing from LISTSERVs they no longer wish to be a part of.

While some students don’t know how to remove themselves from a certain LISTSERV group, the process requires just a few steps, according to McVey.

Students must log on to and click the “Delete a List” link. Next, a window will pop up in which the student will have to enter his or her log-in information. After entering and submitting the LISTSERV email address to unsubscribe from, students will be successfully removed.

McVey also said several LISTSERVs have an inclusive unsubscribe feature.

Senior Robert Johnson said he has experienced times when students reply-all and ask to be taken off a LISTSERV group, when they can easily just unsubscribe themselves. “It is really easy to unsubscribe I just don’t think that people took the time really,” Johnson said.

Overall, Johnson said while LISTSERV isn’t perfect, it’s still an effective method of group communication.

“I definitely think the LISTSERVs serve a good function,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a pretty good system that Miami has now.”