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Sending emails to large groups

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Occasionally it is necessary to send emails to external students or other large groups of people who are not part of the sun domain. If you are currently using Outlook distribution lists we recommend that you switch to the much more user-friendly and functional Sympa mailing list management platform. 

For many years the university has been using Sympa as mass mailing solution successfully. In fact, many of our staff and students use it to administer their lists. 

Sympa is a mailing list management (MLM) software and has its roots in the academic computing community in France. Its name, which is an acronym for Système de Multi-Postage Automatique (i.e. Automatic Mailing System), also means “nice” or “friendly” in French. We’re not sure exactly why the French decided to call their mailing list system “nice”, but we can confirm that it is “friendly” to use.

By using Sympa as a platform for your group emails, you will have better control over your emails and access to handy functions such as:

  • appoint one or several moderators;
  • manage subscriptions and unsubscriptions;
  • add a shared document web space at the subscribers’ disposal;
  • answer questions from subscribers and potential subscribers about the list
  • read the list archive;
  • search in the message archive;
  • review members of the list;

As you can see, Sympa offers much more functionality than your normal Outlook distribution list. Any staff member can use Sympa, simply go to
If you need any assistance in setting up your Sympa distribution list, please send an email to or call us at 808 4367.

Need a simple way to send permission-based mass emails?

Friday, September 14th, 2012

If you’re the person in your department responsible for sending out information to other staff or students, you’ve probably wished there was another way to make the process a bit easier and faster.

Well there is, and the system’s called Sympa (Systeme de Multi-Postage Automatique (i.e. Automatic Mailing System)). Sympa is perfect for administering and sending out mass e-mails, very easy to use and can also handle mail merging if needed.

If you’ve used Outlook to send emails to large group of people up till now, you would’ve noticed it limits you to 120 addresses. Sympa allows you to send to an unlimited amount of addresses. You can also create multiple lists and choose descriptive names for your lists. Just remember, the list’s name is also the email address you’ll be sending your mails from, so choose wisely.

To create a  sympa distribution list, go to and click on the “create list” tab. Rember to fill in all the fields on the form.

Alternatively, if this looks too daunting for you, you can put in a request at our service desk at with the following information:

1.            Who is the owner and responsible person for the list?

2.            Who is allowed to send emails to the distribution list?

3.            Should the list be visible or hidden on the Global Address List?

4.            Should there be an expiry date on the list? (For example for conferences, etc. )

5.            Who should be  members of the list? (full list of user names in xls/xlsx format)

6.            Who is requesting the distribution list?

7.            Who is allowed to change the distribution list? (For example add names, etc.)

And before you say “Sympa!”, you’ll be able to send e-mails to your heart’s content. More information on Syma –

SOURCE: Pablo Korkie en Johan Loubser, IT


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