Managing Your Membership in MCommunity Directory Groups

This document explains how to acquire and remove personal group membership in the MCommunity Directory. It also describes privacy and email settings you can request if you have concerns about your membership being public, or about unwanted e-mail sent to a group. MCommunity groups are synchronized to U-M Google so you can use them for sharing Google resources.

For details about creating and managing groups that you own, see Managing Groups that You Own in the MCommunity Directory.

Tip: If you use Internet Explorer 7 or 8, you will need to adjust some IE settings to be able to see any changes that you make to your profile or groups.

What Is a Directory Group?

A group in the MCommunity Directory is a list of people and/or groups that can be used for sending email and for authorization.

  1. Email. Directory groups are used primarily for sending email. Mail sent to a group created in the directory is delivered to each member of the group. Groups created in the directory can be used by anyone to send mail, regardless of their choice of email program. To send email to a directory group, send it to groupname@umich.edu (where you have substituted the actual group name for groupname).

  2. Authorization. Directory groups are also used for authorization; some groups control access to web sites, wikis, and other online resources.

Group settings are managed by the group's owner(s). Owners of public groups are listed on the group's profile page so that group members and others can contact them with questions, requests, and concerns regarding the group. Private group owners are only viewable by members of the group, the group owner(s), and moderator(s). If you need to contact the owners of a private group, use the "Requests To" address listed in the Contact Information for the group. This address is always in the form of <groupname>-requests@umich.edu.

The MCommunity Directory is a public directory. Group owners can hide the member list of a group and limit the visibility of some of the information in it. The group name will appear on the group's profile page and in search results. 

MCommunity Groups Are Synchronized to U-M Google

MCommunity groups are synchronized to U-M Google so they can be used for sharing resources in Google and when sending invitations to Google Calendar events. For details, see MCommunity Group Synchronization to U-M Google and Box.

Groups that are used for sharing resources in U-M Google must be set so that anyone can send mail to them and so that they are not moderated. Otherwise, the notifications sent from within Google to tell people that a resource has been shared with them cannot be delivered.

Finding Groups of Which You Are a Member

  1. Log in to the MCommunity Directory. You must be logged in to see a list of your groups. You are the only one who can see this list. It is not available to other MCommunity Directory users.

    Screenshot of login link at upper right corner of page.

  2. Click the My Groups link that appears in the top right corner of any MCommunity Directory page when you are logged in.

    Screenshot of My Groups link in upper right corner of page.

  3. You will see a list of all the groups that you own or are a member of.

    • Membership is indicated by a little person (member) icon.

    • Ownership is indicated by a star. A yellow star means you, as an individual, are an owner of the group. A blue star means you are a member of a group that owns the group.

    • If you are a moderator of a group (someone who reviews mail sent to a group, deciding what to pass on to the group members and what to delete), there will be a badge icon next to that group name.

    Screenshot of list of groups.

Getting Into a Group

If you want to be added to an MCommunity Directory group, you must, in most cases, ask the group owner(s) to add you. Group owners for public groups are listed in the Rules Summary of the group's directory profile. Members of private groups can view owners and moderators by logging in. Click the requests-to address in the group's Contact Information to send an e-mail requesting that you be added to or removed from the group. 

Screenshot of group profile of a group where you must contact an owner to be added. This is listed in the Rules Summary in the profile.

Note: You can join certain groups yourself. Some directory groups have been set up by their owners as "joinable." You can join and resign from these groups yourself as long as you have a uniqname and UMICH password. See Joinable Groups below for details.

Tip:To be added to a U-M group in U-M Google, ask the owner(s) of the group in the MCommunity Directory to add you there. Membership of U-M Google groups cannot be managed in Google; it must be managed in MCommunity. See MCommunity Group Synchronization to U-M Google and Box.

Getting Out of a Group

To be removed from a group,

  1. Contact the owner(s) of the MCommunity Directory group and ask to be removed from the group. Group owners are listed on the group's profile page in the directory (see Getting Into a Group above).

  2. If you get no response from the group owner(s), contact the ITS Service Center for assistance.

Note: You can resign from some groups yourself. Some directory groups have been set up by their owners to be "joinable." You can remove yourself from these groups if you are a member. See Joinable Groups below for details. Be aware that you can only resign your membership role in the group. If you are an owner, you must remove yourself from the group via the Members tab in the group's profile; otherwise, you will remain an owner. If you are a moderator, a group owner must remove your moderator role.

Tip: To be removed from a U-M group in U-M Google, ask the owner(s) of the group in the MCommunity Directory to remove you. Membership of U-M Google groups cannot be managed in Google; it must be managed in MCommunity. See MCommunity Groups in U-M Google: Sending Email and Sharing Google Resources.

Joinable/Resignable Groups

If a group in the MCommunity Directory has been set up by the owner to be "joinable," you can add yourself to the list of members and remove yourself. Note that you must have a uniqname and UMICH password—and an MCommunity Directory profile—to join and resign from groups. (People with U-M Friend accounts and those who are not members of the U-M community cannot join MCommunity groups themselves. They must ask the group owner(s) to add them.)

To tell if a group is joinable, look at the Rules Summary in its directory profile.

Screenshot of group profile of a group that you can join. This is listed in the Rules Summary in the profile. You must be able to log in to the directory with a uniqname and UMICH password to join or resign from groups.

If the group profile says "Anyone can join," you can join or resign from it yourself without needing to contact an owner.

Important! You must be logged in to the directory to join or resign from a group. The Join Group and Resign buttons are only visible when you are logged in.

Joining a Joinable Group

Find the group's profile page in the directory, make sure you are logged in to the directory, and click the Join Group button. If you are logged in and there is no such button, the group is not joinable. If the button says "Resign," you are already a member of the group.

Screen shot of Join Group button.

Resigning from a Joinable Group

Find the group's profile page in the directory, make sure you are logged in to the directory, and click the Resign button. If you are logged in and there is no such button, the group is not joinable/resignable; you must contact the group owner to be removed.

Screenshot of Resign button.

Important! When you resign from a joinable group, you resign only your membership role in the group. Be aware that you can only resign your membership role in the group this way. If you are an owner, you must remove yourself from the group via the Members tab in the group's profile; otherwise, you will remain an owner. If you are a moderator, a group owner must remove your moderator role.

 

Group Privacy and E-Mail Settings

Member List Visibility

Group owners can make the members, owners, and moderators of their groups either visible to the public or hidden from all but group members who are logged in to the MCommunity Directory and U-M Google Calendar users.

Private groups remain private when synchronized to U-M Google and Box.

  • Public groups display owners, moderators, and members. Anyone who looks at the group's profile can see the members, owners, and moderators of the group. If a member of the university community invites a public group to a U-M Google Calendar event, they will see the members listed.

  • Private groups hide owners, moderators, and members. Group members who are logged in can see the members, owners, and moderators in MCommunity. Those who use U-M Google Calendar can see the group members in Calendar events to which the group has been invited. (Moderators who are not also members will not be able to see them.) No one else can view these items in a private group. 

It is appropriate and preferable for most groups, particularly those used for university business, to be public. However, there are situations where it is more appropriate to make the member list viewable by members only. If you are a member of a group that you think should have its member list hidden from public view, contact the group owner(s) and ask that this setting be changed. You can direct the group owner(s) to these resources:

Who Can Send E-Mail to the Group

Group owners can set their groups such that only the members of the group can send e-mail to it. Or they can designate a group moderator who screens all mail sent to the group. If you feel that too much unwanted mail is coming to your group, ask the group owner to consider one of these options.

Warning! If you wish to share resources with a group in U-M Google, the group must be set so that anyone can send mail to it and so that it is not moderated. Otherwise, the email sent from within Google to tell people that a resource has been shared with them cannot be delivered.

When Groups Stop Working

If a group of which you are a member suddenly stops working, it is likely either because the group has expired or because the group owner has deleted it. (Groups that are deleted from the MCommunity Directory are also deleted from U-M Google.)

MCommunity Directory groups expire after one year unless they are renewed by one of the group owners. When a group expires, it stops working. Mail sent to it will bounce. If you know the exact name of the group, you can search for it in the directory. The group's profile page will indicate if the group has been disabled. (When a group reaches its expiry date, it is disabled. It remains in the directory in a disabled state for one year and can be renewed during this time. After that, it is deleted.)

Disabled groups can be renewed by the group owner. If the group owner(s) is unreachable and you need to have the group renewed, you can contact the ITS Service Center for assistance.

If the group has been deleted and you search the directory for it, the search results will indicate that the group does not exist.

Last Updated: 
Tuesday, April 7, 2015