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Email & Harassment Policies

Email & Harassment Policies

As we become more globally connected, Northwest is committed to ensuring efficient management and security of all campus technology resources to ensure the University's strategic goals for student success.  All individuals using Northwest-provided technology resources and accounts are required to support and abide by campus technology policies.

You, Northwest Technology, Mass Mail & Harassment

Northwest provides email service through Microsoft Office 365 to all students, employees and University-approved organizations.

While email accounts are not routinely monitored, email accounts are subject to examination by the University and law enforcement authorities when:

  • It is necessary to maintain or improve network functioning.
  • There is suspicion of misconduct under campus policies or local, state or federal laws.
  • It is necessary to comply with any local, state or federal law, including litigation discovery procedures.
  • It will serve the legitimate business needs of the University.

Your Northwest email account is not forever, particularly if you abuse it

Students, employees and organizations affiliated with Northwest are required to comply with all campus policies and local, state and federal laws. Any use of the campus network or campus email services that violates Northwest policies or local, state or federal law is prohibited. Northwest reserves the right to terminate the network and email privileges of any user who does not adhere to policy.

Northwest students may keep their Northwest network account login credentials, which allows access to Northwest email, for one full year after withdrawing or graduating from the University. The exception to this rule is for students who are expelled from the University due to disciplinary action.

Northwest employee accounts are immediately locked after their last shift or after 5 p.m. on the last full day of scheduled work.

Disclaimer: Although the local, state and federal criminal statutes and legal consequences (e.g. fines, jail time, etc.) found within Northwest's technology policies sections have been produced and processed from legitimate government and pertinent legal/educational sources believed to be reliable, no warranty expressed or implied is made by Northwest regarding completeness or precision of the content.

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You, Northwest Technology & Mass Mail

Never reply to phishing emails, even to ask the sender to stop

Report phishing emails to the Northwest Technology Service Center at or 660.562.1634.  The Service Center may request that you copy the headers or forward the message to them if the message is new to their knowledge base. Do not click on any links in the email. Once reported, delete the message.

Click here to learn more about phishing

Mass emails are restricted to information that is relevant to official University business, Northwest’s mission and a significant segment of the campus community. Any form of solicitation is prohibited.

If a campus user continues to receive unwanted mass email despite requests for the sender to stop, the user may report the email abuse to the Northwest Technology Service Center.  

Mass email publicizing events such as bake sales, dances and dinners where commercial activities may occur or tickets must be purchased are not appropriate content for a mass email. Such events should instead be advertised via social media such as Twitter or Facebook, or submitted to Northwest News, The Northwest Missourian or other online or printed services.

Mass email is only appropriate when approved by the proper University office, during an emergency or when the information may affect the entire campus community, such as:

  • Closings or delays due to weather
  • The need to provide assistance to students, faculty or staff
  • Threats to public safety or health
  • Sudden changes in traffic, campus access or parking
  • Planned or sudden disruptions of significant computer network features or utilities
  • The death of a student or employee
  • Special services or events that are sponsored by the University and deemed significant to the campus community

Obtaining mass email approval

Mass email messages cannot be sent using an individual department or organization’s email address. Nor can employees or students use the Northwest network or their University email address to send mass emails to other users. Mass emails will only be approved by the Office of University Marketing and Communication.

Network users must submit mass email requests, including a copy of the intended message. The appropriate office should keep a copy of the approved email on file. 

All approved mass emails will be sent as official communication, such as Northwest News, and not from individual, organizational or department accounts. Exceptions are mass emails distributed from University Marketing and Communication, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost or the Office of Human Resources. 

What is a listserv?

  • Distributes messages to subscribers on an electronic mailing list.

Who is eligible for a listserv, and how do I get one?

  • University-sponsored organizations
  • Academic and administrative departments
  • Employees for University work-related purposes.
  • Individual students are not eligible for a listserv

Once a listserv has been created, the owner of the account may grant membership to desired users by having them subscribe to their list.  To request a mailing list, email the Northwest Technology Service Center at

You, Northwest Technology & Harassment

Harassment is not tolerated at Northwest

Harassment and intimidation of individuals via email on the basis of political affiliation, race, gender,  gender identity, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability is strictly prohibited.

Harassing is defined as repeated unwanted attention. This does not include chain letters or unsolicited mass mailings. Use of campus email to harass others will result in disciplinary action through the Student Faculty Discipline Committee and/or legal action through University Police.

If you are the recipient of harassing email, it is important to:

  • Keep copies of these messages in your inbox
  • Do not delete the harassing message or  messages
  • Copies of the messages will be needed as evidence for the violation

Harassment complaints received from outside sources with evidence that shows a Northwest user violated University policy and/or local, state or federal law will be handled in the same manner as a violation that happened on campus.

Report all harassing email messages, including harassment via social media, to University Police at 660.562.1254, including all threats to persons and property.

If you are the victim of harassment, you are strongly encouraged to talk not only to University Police but to Northwest counselors at the University Wellness Center at 660.562.1348. The University Wellness Center’s experienced counselors can provide you with invaluable crisis support and will keep your personal details confidential.

If you are not sure about whether email or social media posts constitute harassment and don’t want to contact University Police, contact the Northwest Technology Service Center at 660.562.1634 or the Office of Student Involvement at 660.562.1226 for guidance.

You, Northwest Technology & Prohibited Emails

The following are types of Northwest email policy violations:

  • Creating, forwarding or spreading phishing emails or chain letters. 
    • Phishing is a term used to identify criminal activity on the Internet. Phishing is the use of bogus (forged/fake) emails that claim to be from a company that you may trust.
    • A chain message is any message that urges recipients to pass its contents along to others.
  • Mail-bombing other systems or users.
    • Mail-bombing is defined as sending or urging others to send a large amount of email messages to a mail server or an individual’s mailbox with intent to crash the server, fill the user’s mailbox or harass the recipient.
  • Sending email from Northwest servers for commercial purposes (advertising and/or selling products for profit or personal financial gain).
  • Using the Northwest network and its online services to send, post or display offensive or abusive email messages.
    • Such messages include any text, graphic or image that would be considered by the recipient to be slanderous, vulgar or defamatory.
  • Falsifying a sender’s identity or misleading a sender into believing you are someone else.
    • While anonymous messages are not illegal, deliberately posing as someone else is illegal. Therefore, communications should always reflect a senders true identity.
  • Sending email messages via a mailing list, listserv or distribution list that does not follow the intended purpose of the mailing list. 
    • Subscribers to a mailing list expect to receive relevant messages that pertain to a class, department or organization. Avoid sending messages that have nothing to do with the list’s purpose.

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