At times we receive requests for listservs or aliases or mailboxes for departments or groups. Sometimes one specific option is requested but another option may better meet their needs. We need to understand and help clarify requirements to ensure customers end up with something that works well for them.

Shared Mailbox:

A shared mailbox is a Google email account for a department or group. Setting up delegate access allows multiple people to send and receive email through the account.


  • Anyone can send to the mailbox email address
  • A mailbox has a Username and password associated with it
  • The primary account holder receives the username and password, and can give delegate access to other users
  • The primary account holder and anyone who is given access can access the emails sent/received from/to the mailbox
  • The mailbox functions as a centralized location where all of the emails are stored
  • Multiple people sending from the same account can keep track of what each other has sent.
  • Filters and labels can be used within the mailbox account to help identify the status of individual emails when multiple people manage the account
  • Account holders or delegate users can customize the Mailbox account
  • Forwarding rules can be set up to forward emails received by this account to other mailboxes
  • Mailboxes have address has the form mailbox@oxy.edu
  • Mailbox membership is maintained by users
  • Mailboxes are hosted by Google

Listserv/Mailing Lists:

A mailing list is an email address which sends to a specific group of email accounts.


  • Limitations of who can send to the list can be setup by the list moderator
  • The list moderator can maintain who is in the list (who receives)
  • A mailing list has no centralized mailbox
  • The mailing list moderator has a password to maintain each list
  • Emails sent to the mailing list are distributed to all list members
  • Listservs have addresses in the form listname-l@oxy.edu (a “-l” is appended to the name)
  • Emails are not sent from this email address, only to this address
  • There are rules for email size/attachments sent to a list
  • ITS populates major and minor lists prior to each school year
  • ITS maintains employee and student lists (ex: oxy-faculty-l@oxy.edu)
  • ITS initially populates lists
  • List membership is self-maintained by one or more list admins (after an initial membership population)
  • Listservs are hosted by ITS


An alias redirects email to one or more individual email accounts.


  • Anyone can send to those in an alias list
  • There’s no username/password associated an alias
  • Aliases have no centralized mailbox
  • As a practice, although possible, members of the alias list do not send as the alias address
  • Aliases have addresses in the form alias@oxy.edu
  • Aliases can forward to non-@oxy.edu addrresses.
  • Aliases are maintained by ITS
  • Aliases are hosted by ITS

Ticket Routing:

The first thing you have to do when someone contacts you about an email address is figure out which kind they have.  Here’s how.

  • If the email address ends in -l (that’s a lower case L) then it’s a mailing list.
  • If you can open a new email, type the address into the To field and it comes up then it’s a shared mailbox or google group.
  • If it doesn’t end in -l and doesn’t show up in a new email then it’s an alias.

Then what to do with the ticket.

  • If it’s a mailing list and they want to adjust membership then they can do so using their password emailed to them on the first of each month.
  • If it’s a shared mailbox or google group they can adjust membership inside of Gmail.  Mailboxes are shared using delegation and google has plenty of documentation about that.
  • If they want to adjust membership on an alias escalate to Core.  They can’t self-serve on that.