Why Doesn't the Mailing List Server Recognize My Privileges?


Georgia Tech allows users to have multiple email addresses, sometimes of different forms (e.g., name@gatech.edu and first.last@dept.gatech.edu). While this can be useful, it can also cause confusion with respect to mailing lists.

The basic rule is this: When you send mail to the list server, the server only knows who you are by the email address from which you send the mail.

Here is a common scenario involving mailing list user George:

  • George is subscribed to a "closed" list under address george.burdell@iac.gatech.edu (A closed list is one to which only subscribers may send.)
  • George adopts a new email address, gburdell@gatech.edu, and configures mail client to use this as the "from" address
  • George sends mail to the closed list, but it is rejected because the address gburdell@gatech.edu is not subscribed to the list (though george.burdell@iac.gatech.edu is).

The solution to this problem is to change the address under which you are subscribed to the list. Your IT support person can work with OIT to make that change globally across all lists.

A similar problem can occur when you log into the Sympa list administration interface to administer lists you own or moderate. If your "published" email address (the one that appears in the Georgia Tech directory) is not the address that is registered as an owner, the server will not recognize you as the owner. The solution is to work with your IT support person to ensure that these addresses match.