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Effective use of email
Use of email requires the same care and imposes the same obligations as any other form of communication. Electronic mail is not the casual form of communication that many people believe; equally, it is not a secure form of communication and could easily be seen by someone other than the intended recipient.
should be especially careful to make sure that you do not inadvertently alter any contractual provision in an email.
should be careful not to write anything in an email that could be construed as harassment, bullying or be in way defamatory. Remember, deleting an email does not mean the email is no longer unrecoverable.
must not send emails for commercial purposes unrelated to the Union’s activities or for personal gain.
you receive communication marked private and confidential, you should not discuss or disclose this information to anyone outside of the distribution list for that mailing. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that information is not disclosed without the prior consent of the sender unless you feel that the information breaches the law (see section above and the Computing Facilities Use policy).
If you send any email to an outside organisation, the email will automatically have the following paragraph added before it leaves the organisation: WARNING - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential to Warwick Students' Union and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this e-mail in error, please contact Warwick Students' Union on
If you send a personal email, you must start the letter with the following paragraph and mark the email content as personal in the subject box:
“This email is personal. It is not authorised by or sent on behalf of the sender’s employer. This email is the personal responsibility of the sender.”
You are not permitted to send unsolicited bulk email (SPAM) from Students’ Union accounts
Check your email on each working day or arrange for a duly authorised person to do so on your behalf. For extended periods away from the office such as conferences or holidays, switch on and fill out your ‘Out of Office’ facility which will let the sender know that you are away and when you will be back.
Do not impersonate any other user when using email or amend messages received or sent.
Do not create email congestion by sending trivial messages or by copying emails to those who do not need to see them.
Do not pass on any chain mail which asks you to send to another ‘x’ amount of people. Delete any such email received.
All staff / student address books and distribution lists are the property of WSU. You may not distribute or use any of the information contained within them outside of the Union without prior approval of the Chief
Executive or President who will ensure that the disclosure complies with the Data Protection Act.
We will not set email accounts to automatically forward to external accounts, including University email accounts.
Management of information contained in emails
Email is not a file store - you should keep your inbox down to a minimum to avoid system problems for all users. It is good practice to keep this to below 50 emails.
Reply promptly to all emails requiring a reply. When a prompt response is not possible, send a short email acknowledging receipt and giving an estimate of when a detailed response will or should be sent.
You should generally not send Confidential Data by email unless it is password-protected, particularly if it is being sent outside the organisation where it can be more easily intercepted.
Always obtain confirmation of receipt for important emails sent.
Where proof of opening or reading an email is required, use the ‘read receipt’ facility (nb. this may not work for emails sent outside of the organisation).
Use the ‘delegates’ facility on Outlook to allow a duly authorised person to view your emails in your absence.
Emails are not archived so that they can be easily recovered. If you need to keep a document or message, consider saving the document onto a backed-up space on your computer or printing the message/document and keeping a paper copy.