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The Theta Sigma Tau Email Exploders

What is an "exploder"
An email "exploder" is basically a list-serve, a group mailing list. If you request to be added to the list you can send emails to the exploder's address and all members of the list receive a copy. If someone else sends an email to the list, everyone else gets a copy, and you do, too! It's an archaic form of staying in touch that predates Facebook and other social media... but we don't track your information, send you ads, or anything else. Only members can send emails to an exploder.

Different Exploders:
We plan to build several exploders, as their need is determined.

Statement of Purpose:
The Theta Sigma Tau E-mail Exploders are intended to promote continued contact between alumni and associates of the Theta Sigma Tau fraternity, formerly of Ripon College.

Subscriber Limitations:
Subscribers to the various exploders will be alumni of the Theta Sigma Tau fraternity of Ripon College, and any of its former incarnations (Zeta Tau chapter of Sigma Nu, Sanford House & the Elms Club). In addition to members of the fraternity, subscribers may have been social members, honorary members or close friends of the house during their term at Ripon College, including (but not exclusively) faculty members and members of other fraternities or sororities that regularly associated with Theta Sigma Tau (or its predecessors). Specialty exploders may have additional membership restrictions.

Limitations of content:
Recognizing freedom of speech and the mutual respect people should have for the opinions and beliefs of others, there will be no strict limitations to what might be acceptable content. This includes any and all discussion topics, humor, queries, announcements, whatever. That having been said, some reasonable suggestions about use should be made:
  • Use of meaningful subject lines is encouraged.
    This helps folks sort out their mail boxes and attend to the topics they are interested in following.
  • It is suggested that images, sound files or .exe files of any sort not be posted to the group.
    Sending excessively large files via any exploder is inadvisable, due to the amount of download time and storage space these things might consume. Additionally, not everyone will have the appropriate software or OS to find these files useful. If one wishes to make images available, one can either: make them available from one's personal web site and post the URL, or contact plenz@ThetaSigmaTau.org about making a little space on the server that services the web site.
  • Use of the exploder as a venue for trying to advertise to or spam the subscribers is discouraged.
    The exploders are now a moderated service: emails sent from registered members of an exploder will be admitted automatically unless they exceed a size limitation (100kb). Emails coming from non-member email addresses will be delayed until a moderator has the opportunity to screen the message. This should be very effective in preventing spam from being issued to the members. This does mean, however, that if a member sends a message to an exploder from an email address other than the one they registered with, the message will be delayed. This should only happen the first time from any email address as the moderator will add alternate addresses to a whitelist for future messages.
    If a member wishes to announce a house-related service or product, that is acceptable as long as the announcement only occurs once in a while. The exception to this is updates of the website: announcements of this nature will occur when necessary, but not with annoying frequency.
    If a member wishes to announce a non-house related service or other advertisement-like message, that should be perfectly acceptable on the main exploder... as long as the announcement only occurs occasionally.

Guidelines Regarding Conduct:
Some suggested guidelines with regard to interpersonal conduct on the exploder are reasonable. The intent of these guidelines is to promote an environment conducive to discussion and debate rather than abuse and acrimony. The purpose of the exploder, after all, is to foster and maintain communication and friendship between friends, members and alumni of the house.
  • It is suggested that interpersonal conduct have a somewhat mutually respectful tone. We obviously will have differences of opinion, but name calling, insults and patronizing comments should be reserved for private communications (if, indeed, they need to be used at all).
  • If a thread/discussion is getting somewhat heated, try taking a couple hours or even a day before responding. This will help to keep the responses more level-headed and hopefully keep the debate from exploding into a flame war.
  • If a thread has come to involve a discussion only between two or three people, or if there are indications that the general readership are uninterested or tired of the discussion, it may be best to continue the discussion privately by removing the exploder from the loop.
  • Let's keep the language as clean as possible. There are places and times where offensive words are appropriate, but even then they are best used judiciously.

Subscription Information:
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact Plenz at this time The process can be automated later, but for now we will use a moderator to establish membership.

Instructions For Use of the Exploder:
Use of an exploder is simple. Simply address an e-mail to the exploder at this address - exploder_name@thetasigmatau.org and send it in whatever method you use to send normal e-mail messages. The server will send you confirmation that your message was sent.
If one receives an e-mail message indicating that there was an error in sending one's message, read the error message carefully. Some of these messages may simply be informing you that your message is awaiting approval by a moderator. If you are unsure or have a question about the error message, forward the message with your concern to plenz@ThetaSigmaTau.org.


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