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E-mail as Official Communication for Students

Electronic mail (e-mail), like postal mail, is a mechanism for official College communication with students. The College will exercise the right to send e-mail communications to all students, and will expect that students receive e-mail communications and read them in a timely manner.


This policy applies to all matriculated students of Carleton College. Official communications using e-mail can include e-mail to a group, such as all students enrolled in a course, or an e-mail message to only one student.


All students are assigned an official Carleton College email address and official College communications will be sent to this email address. The official Carleton email address for each student is listed in the official College directory.

The College provides several mechanisms so that a student may access his/her official Carleton email account on and off campus. A student may also choose to forward his/her email from his or her official Carleton email address to another email address of his/her choice. A student who chooses to forward email to another email address does so at his or her own risk. Carleton College is not responsible for email forwarded to any other email address. A student's failure to receive or read in a timely manner official communications sent to the student's official email address does not absolve the student from knowing and complying with the content of the official communication. The procedures for accessing and forwarding email are published on the ITS website.


Students are expected to check e-mail on a frequent and regular basis in order to stay current with College-related communications, recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical. It is recommended that e-mail be checked daily, but at a minimum, twice per week. Regular e-mail management will also minimize the risk that the inbox will be full, causing the e-mail to be returned to the sender with an error. Undeliverable messages returned due to either a full inbox or use of a "spam" filter will be considered delivered without further action required of the College.

Students on off-campus study programs approved by the college are expected to check their email as regularly as time and facilities permit. In cases where the student is away from internet access for more than a week at a time and an urgent situation arises, every attempt will be made to contact the student through another means.


Official College communications sent by e-mail are subject to the same public information, privacy and records retention requirements and policies as other official College communications.


Faculty members retain autonomy in determining how e-mail or other forms of electronic communication will be used in their classes. Faculty may expect that students are checking e-mail regularly, and faculty may use e-mail for their courses accordingly. Faculty should inform students in the course syllabus of any special or unusual expectations for electronic communication. Under normal circumstances, students can expect faculty to be contactable through email. If a faculty member prefers not to communicate with students through email, he/she should inform the students of this in the course syllabus and provide information about his/her preferred form of communication.


The Director of ITS is responsible for the implementation of this policy. For assistance with email, contact the ITS Helpdesk in the first floor lab wing of the CMC (x5999). For questions about the policy or issues related to a student's failure to comply with this policy, contact the Dean of Students Office.

Adopted 4/07

Last revised April 1, 2007
Keywords: e-mail, communication, electronic

Last Reviewed: Jul 18th, 2014

Maintained by Information Technology Services