SECUSS-L - A listserv for Education Abroad Professionals


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Understanding and Using Topic Headings DISC and PROG

How to Structure
Queries and Responses
Hints about
Email Software Configuration

Contact SECUSS-L managers

( updated 10/19/2004, rev. 02/07/2008 05:18:01 PM )



  1. Address your postings intended to be read by the entire network to: <> (NOT to the 'listserv' address which is used for signing-on, signing-off, and other matters having to do with your particular account).
  2. Always give your name and e-mail address at the end of your message so that others may reply directly to you.  If your e-mail software allows it, please create an automatic ".sig" (or signature) file that contains your name, as well as your institution/program/agency, street address, phone and fax numbers and your e-mail address.  Most systems do not allow this file to be more than 70 characters wide and four lines of text long.
  3. Clearly identify the subject of your message in the "Subject" field.  A designation indicating the general area of interest--e.g. "Discussions: Job Opening", "Discussions: Financial Aid Question," or "Discussions: Program Question," or "Programs: French Political Life Today -A Three Week Seminar" --is useful to people who have a great deal of mail to sort through.
  4. You are more likely to receive the best results if your questions to other users are clear and succinct.  Long, complicated requests for large amounts of information and reflection are not likely to be answered by your busy colleagues in the field.
  5. While nearly all requests for information and professional guidance are appropriate and encouraged uses of SECUSS-L, it is suggested that you first consult the other sources of information which are readily available to you--e.g. campus or e-mail colleagues, standard guides and references, the World Wide Web, etc.--before posting to SECUSS-L.
  6. The listserv software is configured in such a way that you will receive a notice that your posting has been distributed to the list, but will not receive a copy of the posting itself.  Most e-mail software can be set to keep copies of outgoing mail and list members should make sure that this option is in place.
  7. All replies to list postings should be sent to the original poster and NOT back to the entire SECUSS-L list, unless otherwise requested (e.g. as in the case of suggested general or forum discussions).  Check your software to determine what is the "REPLY TO:" default setting.  It should be sent to "REPLY TO SENDER" and not "REPLY TO ALL."  If you are not sure how to set this, please consult your local computer experts.  If you are replying to a previous message, identify clearly the message to which you are replying or quote the relevant portions. Including the entire original posting is wasteful of bandwidth and is discouraged.
  8. If you ask a question, most replies will come directly to you and other subscribers will not see them.  However, when the topic is of general SECUSSA interest (and does not involve program assessment) please consider summarizing the information and responses you receive and share this with your SECUSSA colleagues.
  9. Since on-line editing can be very limited, it is suggested that you compose lengthy messages first on a word processor or editor. BUT after composing a message via most word-processing programs, you must convert it or save it to ASCII (a simplified format, also called a Text File) before sending it.  Otherwise, lines may be split and garbled.  Once you have done this, upload it (following the directions for your particular program) and then send it to the network address. Again, be sure to submit only a text file.  Files in (or containing) .rtf, html, etc. formats are likely to cause your entire message to be rejected by the listserv software.  Do NOT attach .vcf address cards to your file.


It is essential that you understand the difference between the LISTSERV and SECUSS-L email addresses because you will need to use them both.

LISTSERV is the email address to the software program that manages the list and accepts commands such as SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, etc. (More about these later.) It is also the post office where you go to file a change of address or to pick up packages (such as files). Think of it as your electronic postmaster general.

SECUSS-L is the mail carrier that delivers mail to and from various customers (subscriber email addresses) on the route (list). If you want to send a message to fellow SECUSSAns, you put the letter in the SECUSS-L mailbox for your mail-carrier to deliver.

The LISTSERV address (for commands) is:

The SECUSS-L address (for postings) is:

Always stop and think before posting. Are you sure you are sending it to the right address? Please check carefully to be certain you do not send commands intended for LISTSERV to thousands of your colleagues across the globe! 

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   To Join or Leave the SECUSS-L List or To MODIFY your subscription


Going on a vacation or an extended business trip?  SUSPENDING/REACTIVATING YOUR SUBSCRIPTION, NOMAIL setting, MAIL setting, TOPICS settings?  Follow the instructions for doing this ONLINE, manual commands are no longer needed.  Subscribing, unsubscribing, checking on and or modifying your account settings is as simple as going to the following web link:

Here you will find links to access your account as well as the addresses for getting help with the listserv (you should see the following):

You can subscribe to SECUSS-L, unsubscribe, or modify your subscriber options by clicking here.

All correspondence intended to be distributed to the list should be Emailed to: 

If you wish to contact only the list owner(s) for a specific request, send your Email to:


When choosing the subscribe, unsubscribe or modify link noted on this main screen you will reach the following screen.  Note that here you can JOIN, LEAVE or select the LOGIN WITH YOUR LISTSERV PASSWORD to MODIFY your account.

This screen allows you to join or leave the SECUSS-L list. To confirm your identity and prevent third parties from subscribing you to a list against your will, an e-mail message with a confirmation code will be sent to the address you specify in the form. Simply wait for this message to arrive, then follow the instructions to confirm the operation.

You can login with your LISTSERV password (if you have one, if you do not follow the steps on the main screen to get one) and update your subscription interactively, without e-mail confirmation.

Your E-Mail Address:

Your Name:


Subscription Type:



Digest (traditional)


Digest (MIME format)


Digest (HTML format)


Index (traditional)


Index (HTML format)


Mail Header Style:

Normal LISTSERV-style header


LISTSERV-style, with list name in subject


LISTSERV-style, short


"Dual" (second header in mail body)





No acknowledgements


Short message confirming receipt


Receive copy of own postings



Mail delivery disabled temporarily


Address concealed from REVIEW listing







Other (messages with unknown topic)

All of the above


  1. NOMAIL - The "away" or "vacation" programs which may be part of your software have a tendency to clog SECUSS-L mailboxes with announcements of your vacation plans.  We are happy you have vacations, but as a list we would really rather not know about them!  So share your joy about being away in private e-mail if you will, but PLEASE set secuss-l nomail.  If you do not and if we continue to receive bounced messages from you, we will be forced to remove you from the SECUSS-L list--and think how bad you'll feel when you come back from vacation.
  2. SETTING TOPICS, DIGEST -this can be done from the listserv web page indicated above.
  3. CHANGE OF NAME OR ADDRESS: If you want to change the way your name is listed on SECUSS-L, send a new subscribe command.  If the Listserver finds your e-mail address already on the list, it will simply update your listing.
  4. REMINDERS: As deemed appropriate the SECUSS-L managers will send out reminders regarding SECUSS-L appropriate use and etiquette guidelines.
  5. The following disclaimer will be automatically appended by the listserver to all messages sent to the list.  Please read the appropriate use and general SECUSS-L polices pages as well for detailed explanations of the items included in this document.


By subscribing to SECUSS-L each member agrees to abide by the SECUSS-L guidelines and appropriate use policies. By posting messages to SECUSS-L the authors of said postings acknowledge that they are solely
and legally responsible for any views expressed or information that they post on this public network. Replies to the list are not allowed and such should be sent directly to those posting the message or topic of interest.

To access SECUSS-L archives, update/modify your subscription or to contact the list owners go to:

SECUSS-L is an independent list managed by volunteers -- not affiliated or sponsored by a specific organization and established for the sole purpose of sharing information on subjects related to education abroad. Members are not subject to the paying of dues, etc. however as part of the subscription to the list subscribers agree to a common set of rules of etiquette and appropriate use.

The SECUSS-L management team reserves the right to manage the list based on SECUSS-L guidelines including the placing of subscribers into review mode, the list into moderated mode or apply other remedies as deemed appropriate without prior notice.



When you send ANY message to SECUSS-L, you must identify its topic in the Subject: field of your message.

For example, to send a message concerning a Discussions topic such as how your institution treats the transfer of credit earned in study abroad programs, you would address your message, as you do now, to but in the Subject line would look as follows:

Subject: Discussions: Credit Earned in Study Abroad Programs

The "Subject:" is of course something produced by your email program.  Your typing would be limited to "Discussions: Credit Earned in Study Abroad Programs".

If you wish to post a message about a program your institution offers, your subject line would look as follows:

Subject: Programs: Art and Architecture in Italy -- Summer 1996  

Again, your actual typing would be limited to Programs: Art and Architecture in Italy -- Summer 1996 which you would place after your email programs "Subject:".

We strongly discourage posting to both topics at once.  In fact, they should be seen as mutually exclusive; either your are discussing or you are promoting/announcing.

Please note that you *must* use the topic names Programs: or Discussions:.

Messages with a subject line that does not conform to these conventions will NOT be seen by subscribers.  For example, subscribers would NOT see postings where you simply put no topic at all or postings with a topic of, say, Thoughts (since this is a Topic that doesn't exist).  In the beginning I will, however, watch that your postings are correctly formatted so that subscribers do receive them and will notify you if there is a formatting problem.

We have now set the default for subscription options to receive the topics: Discussions and Programs.

Again, to post a message to SECUSS-L, address an email to:


Before posting, make sure you have read this entire section. The SECUSS-L listserv is to be used only for information about international education. There are hundreds of listservs available for other areas of higher education and academic disciplines - a number of which may be more appropriate for the information you want to post.

Please see the section "Using Topic Headings" below for a discussion of Topics and their proper uses.

For detailed information on Advertising or General Etiquette

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If you receive a message back from LISTSERV saying that you are not subscribed to SECUSS-L, don't panic! Most people actually have two email addresses. The first is an "alias" (e.g. that serves as a "speed dial" email address to funnel email to a longer or more obscure email address (e.g.,

Listserv software usually "grabs" the full email address when you subscribe. If it is not recognizing you now, your full email address may have changed or your email server has migrated since you originally subscribed, perhaps without your knowledge. This is a normal occurrence as computer systems grow and develop.

If this happens, simply re-subscribe to the list and contact the List Managers (email: to ask that your old email address to be removed. Be sure to include your complete old address (not your alias) when you contact them.

If you receive an error message from the list serv saying that your email was rejected, or otherwise refused, please read the message in its entirety.  If you do not understand it ask your IT staff for assistance in translating the message for you and if all else fails contact the SECUSS-L List managers (email: by sending them your original email and copies of the entire message from the listserver.  Without the details the managers cannot assist you.


The complete text of all SECUSS-L messages sent to the list is available on the world-wide-web via the "archives" function of the host site, SUNY-Buffalo. You may search the SECUSS-L archives website by date, subscriber or topic; or you may choose to browse through the messages as they are arranged, chronologically by month.

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 Understanding and Using Topic Headings

In order to allow our members to better sort the email received we have created two topics, one called 'Discussions' and the other called 'Programs.'

The Discussions topic is home to discourse about issues relating to international education/study abroad, discussions that have made SECUSS-L so valuable to the 3000+ (2004) (600+ in 1996) readers who subscribe to it.  The Discussions topic will welcome general but also specific ones such as: "I've looked in all the standard guides and just can't find a program to X during the Y semester. Anyone know of one?"

On the other hand, many subscribers to SECUSS-L have let us know that they find news of new programs, extended deadlines, etc. to be another valuable service SECUSS-L could provide.  We have therefore also created a topic called Programs where you are free to post such announcements.  We do request, however, that you limit your postings to a reasonable length.  Because we represent professionals in the study abroad profession, we find that announcements comparing your programs to someone else's (e.g. "Our programs provide better food for a cheaper price than X's programs!") are NOT appropriate and will not be tolerated. Also announcements having nothing to do with study abroad will not be allowed (e.g. no cereal or coffee offers).

You must use a "topic" (either DISC or PROG) in the subject line of your message in order for your posting to be distributed to the people you want to reach. A message with no topic will reach approximately 1% of list subscribers . A successful post will generate a confirmation message stating, "Your message was successfully distributed to {the current number of} subscribers". Note, though, that the server response-system may take a few hours to generate this message.

SECUSS-L topic(s) must immediately be followed by a ":" (colon) with a space before your subject.  Briefly the topics are:

Discussions (DISC): which cover both broad questions such as "What are the characteristics of Global Competency?" or "How do you translate quarters to semesters?" AS WELL AS specific ones such as: "I've looked in all the standard guides and just can't find a program for flute majors in Outer Discovria. Anyone know of one?"

Programs (PROG): originally created to offer information of new programs being developed, extended deadlines or cancellations of programs, etc. As usage has evolved, in addition to program announcements per se, there are also notices of publications, professional services, and a host of other matters potentially of interest and value to SECUSSANs.

Please take care when framing your subject header to give a good indication of your concerns or requests. The following are examples of well-formed subject lines:

DISC: Seeking Arts Program in Outer Discovria
DISC: Anticipated job opening, Best Western University
PROG: Extended deadline, summer study on Bikini Atoll
PROG: Call for papers, Journal of Study Abroad Para-Professionals


  1. SECUSS-L is not the Better Business Bureau, an ethical ombudsman, a chat room or a court of law. It is a violation of SECUSS-L policy to conduct discussions regarding the quality of specific programs or services over this forum.
  2. REPLIES to postings should be sent only to the original poster, not to SECUSS-L.  If the responses you receive are of general interest, consider posting a brief summary to the list or post an email to SECUSS-L telling colleagues that if they wish a copy of your summary that they can contact you directly. When summarizing, include sufficient information about the question originally posed to make the information meaningful to your colleagues.  Be careful when posting any summaries, do not forward personal email and do not use directly or attribute any quotes that you may received from others to the listserv without the sender's express permission.
  3. Notices of job openings in international education are welcome and should be sent to the "DISC:" topic. However, postings of personal resumes or job search queries are not allowed. If you are interested in a position in International Education, one good resource is the NAFSA Job Registry. Email for more information.
  4. Please do not use SECUSS-L to request information which is readily available to you from other resources on your campus, from international education materials, SECUSS-L archives ( ) or from other professional contacts you may have. The listserv need not necessarily be your last resort, but in most instances it should not be your first. DO A WEB SEARCH FIRST.  Think of the impression you may give your colleagues of a person who will bother thousands of people on a listserv before checking readily available sources!



  1. All postings should be sent to the SECUSS-L address only . You should never cc: (carbon/cyber copy) or bcc: (blind carbon/cyber copy) other people or listservs on postings sent to listserv because it can make both listserv and e-mail software misbehave or misread certain information. On a more personal level, please be aware that it also lets thousands of people know exactly whom you are cc:ing and this may be a breach of privacy that you would rather avoid.
  2. Make sure that the FROM: default on your email software reflects your correct email address. If you do not do this, you will not get the replies you need!
  3. Make sure that the REPLY TO: default on your email software is set to "REPLY TO SENDER" and not "REPLY TO ALL". This will help prevent posting replies inappropriately to SECUSS-L - and will also help to avoid potentially personal (and embarrassing) reply situations.
  4. Set your margins at "0" and "75" or "80". Internet netiquette defines good email margins as having line lengths of between 75-80 characters per line with 0 left margins. Margins that deviate from this norm cause many systems to receive them and put in forced margins that will make the lines of your text very uneven and hard to read. Adjusting your margins to standard settings will help your colleagues read your posting *much* more easily!
  5. Many recent email software upgrades allow for "live" URL links. When listing web site addresses / URLs within your email, you will assist others in locating information with ease if you follow this simple step: URL addresses written out in full (including the "http://" portion) often allow the recipients of the email to click directly on the URL, whereupon it opens the user's browser (if not already open) and takes the user directly to the URL address. Thus:

allows the user to click on it and go directly to the site, whereas

may require that the user "cut and paste" or write it out manually (while adding the http://) within his/her browser.

  1. Always give your name and email address at the end of your message so that others may reply directly to you. In fact, if your email software allows it, please consider creating a TEXT automatic signature that can be appended (either automatically or manually) to your outgoing email. Your local institutional computer gurus should be able to help you do this.

There are a number of systems that have trouble reading the plethora of email files and codes that go out over the Internet. Not all email systems read "TO" and "FROM" lines clearly or correctly. Some of them actually reformat or "strip" email of the "FROM" and "REPLYTO" addresses, thus leaving your colleagues with no way of reaching you with the information you need if you do not include name/address/email information in the body of your email or append a signature file.

A well-constructed signature will contain your name, institution/program/agency, street address, phone and fax numbers, email address and web site URL (if applicable). Netiquette suggests that your signature be no more than 75 characters wide and four lines of text long. Some systems will not allow more than this. One example is (include the separator lines):

Ida Luva Fulbright, Director
Center for International Education 
Euphoria State University
Phone: 1.XXX.ESU.XXXX 
Hometown, ST 55000-5673 USA 
  1. Do not ATTACH any files when sending postings to any listserv. Why?

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 If you wish to contact only the list owner(s) for a specific request, send your email to:


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