Contacting Classmates & Use of Alumni Data

Contacting Classmates

Where can I get a list of all classmates with contact information?

To contact an individual classmate, you can look up the most up-to-date information Yale has through the Online Alumni Directory (go to www.aya.yale.edu and click on "Alumni Directory"). If you have not yet registered for the OAD, there are instructions on the website for logging in.

Electronic or paper lists of classmate contact information are available to you for legitimate class and University purposes only, such as class event publicity, newsletters, and other mailings. Some officers find a paper list more convenient than looking up information online. Please note that we recommend that you take advantage of AYA's services for class-wide mailings and broadcast email (see next section).

The University has an obligation to protect alumni from illegitimate access to their contact information. Alumni trust the University to respect their privacy and to use their contact information appropriately. Our practice of entrusting the information to volunteers stands or falls on volunteer willingness to protect the information and limit its use to class or Yale-related activities. Examples of ways that this information should not be used include (but are not limited to): political or other outside fundraising, research projects, and publicity for non-Yale events. Lists also should not be used for information that could otherwise be publicized in the Class Notes (such as a partnership announcement). The AYA receives these sorts of requests on a weekly basis, and we wouldn't be surprised if you did too! Your AYA staff liaison would be happy to discuss these policies with you and provide guidance.

For more information and to request a paper list or electronic spreadsheet, contact your AYA staff liaison. Please plan on 5-7 business days for these requests and note that there are administrative costs for each such request that will be charged to your class treasury.

 

What do I do with new address information from classmates?

Alumni Records is the department that maintains the alumni database, and is separate from the AYA. You can either email information directly to alumni.records@yale.edu or you can forward it to your AYA staff liaison. You can also encourage classmates to update their own information through the Online Alumni Directory. This is also a great way for classmates to keep in touch with each other.

Please remember, even though Alumni Records department is literally updating information daily with data coming from alumni via mail, phone, email and web, this data is only as accurate as the information provided by the individual alumnus/a. You will greatly aid Yale in our record keeping if you encourage your classmates to keep their contact information current with the university.

 

 


Use of Alumni Data

Class lists are provided to class officers or other class volunteers for class and University purposes only, such as class events, reunion events, and class communications. Alumni trust the University to respect their privacy and to use their contact information appropriately. Our practice of entrusting the information to volunteers stands or falls on volunteer willingness to protect the information and limit its use to class or Yale-related activities.

Examples of ways that this information should not be used include (but are not limited to): political or other outside fundraising, research projects, and publicity for non-Yale events. Special Yale fundraising projects must be cleared with the Development Office before soliciting classmates, and the AYA will therefore share with the Development Office for review any class mailings that include a fundraising solicitation other than that for ordinary class dues.

The list also cannot be used for information that could otherwise be publicized in the Class Notes (such as a partnership announcement). The AYA receives these sorts of requests on a weekly basis, and we wouldn’t be surprised if you did too! Your AYA staff liaison would be happy to discuss these policies with you and provide guidance.
Use of email addresses to send bulk emails

Increasingly, classes are choosing broadcast email and other electronic means to distribute information about class events. Using email has the advantage of immediacy and costeffectiveness, but there are also some disadvantages. Yale has email for many alumni, but not all, and some alumni have indicated that they do not wish to receive email from Yale. In addition, email is not the best way to distribute detailed information. If you have the ability to post schedules and reservation details on your class website, your email can still be brief and punchy, while pointing classmates to that site for more information.

If you choose to send an email to more than five (5) of the alumni listed on your class list, it is strongly recommended that you include their email addresses in the “BCC” field (rather than “ TO” or “CC” fields) of an email message. This both protects the privacy of your classmates’ addresses and shortens the length of your message, since the recipients will not need to scroll through the long list of recipients to read your message.

AYA has a broadcast email tool and we encourage class officers and volunteers to make use of this rather than sending mass emails themselves. Your internet service provider (ISP) may restrict your ability to send email to multiple recipients, and using AYA’s tool takes advantage of the most up-to-date email addresses on record in Yale’s alumni database. In addition, we can provide guidance on limiting the volume of emails you send to avoid overwhelming classmates with messages. Please allow time for discussing the email’s text with your staff person, who may have valuable suggestions based on past experience. Once final text is approved, we need about a week to prepare and send the message to your classmates.

If you do decide to email all classmates directly, and you plan to do so with any frequency – as you prepare for a 5-year reunion, for example – please clearly note that in your first message. You should then provide classmates the opportunity to “opt out” of future communications. It’s a good idea to include these reminders in each subsequent email. Again, be aware that many ISPs have restrictions on bulk emails; you should contact your ISP directly for more information.

 

Reliability of data included in your class list

Please remember, even though the University’s Alumni Records department is literally updating information daily with data coming from alumni via mail, phone, email and web, a class list is only as accurate as the information provided by the individual alumnus/a. Therefore, you are certain to find addresses (particularly email) that are out of date or records with missing information. You will greatly aid Yale in our record keeping if you encourage your classmates to keep their contact information current with the university. Alumni Records can be reached at 203/432-1100 or alumni.records@yale.edu. Individual alumni may also update their information directly by logging into the Online Alumni Directory via the Alumni Association homepage.

 

Sharing data on your class website or with other class volunteers

If you are inclined to put classmate information on your website, you must password-protect this section of the site. The AYA can provide some technical assistance to your webmaster, and we will also be happy to work with you to publicize the password to your classmates.

If you choose to share a class list with other class volunteers for reunion or class-activity planning purposes, we ask that you include a copy of this information sheet along with the electronic file or paper list. Click here to download a copy.

Please call upon your AYA staff liaison if you have any questions about the use or dissemination of your classmates’ information. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

 

 

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