The initial email from Student Affairs was regarding Homecoming. (image credit: Nick Klotz)

Over 350 emails were exchanged on the University College Student (UC_Student) listserv beginning late in the evening of Friday, September 22, with the final email being sent almost 24 hours later.

This email chain spurred a variety of responses from students ranging in amusement, anger, frustration, memes, and even sender’s locations and phone numbers.

Heather Lorenz, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, issued a formal apology posted in various university-recognized Facebook groups on Sunday, stating, “The university would like to formally apologize for the email issues you’ve encountered over the last 48 hours. We understand this has been a major inconvenience, and while we continue to work on finding the root cause, we wanted to recognize your high level of patience. We’ll continue to update you when we have more information to share.”

The original email, about homecoming, sent via the UC_Student listserv should not have allowed for students to select and achieve a “reply all,” and Information Technology (IT) is continuing to investigate the issue.

Meagan Sage, Assistant Dean of Students, shared “What has happened since [the email chain] is a couple things. In order to stop it, IT blocked the message subject and the message body so that stopped [further responses]. They also deleted that listserv completely and will create a new one.”

Many students commented in the email thread of the almost 24-hour period and shared some of their thoughts about this malfunction. Senior Andreas Reif commented in the email thread in an attempt to help his frustrated peers. “I became so fed up with all the responses (including the “please remove me from this thread” responses), and there appeared to be no fix for the issue coming from SNHU, so I dug around Outlook to see what I could do,”Reif said. “I shared what I found (which was simply an option to “ignore” a thread), and then left.”

Alyssa Catucci, the first person to respond to the original message that spurred the chain, said,”I think it’s hilarious seeing something like this happen on campus. What was even funnier was that there were so many people who didn’t want to be a part of the email chain. But because they had responded and asked to be taken out of it, they were a part of the continuous chain.”

Not all students found the same humor; senior Brianna Turners said she was “disappointed in the immaturity of the student body,” and junior Abhijna Gottipati said it “was inappropriate… to happen this way on a SNHU email.”

While the listserv is currently disabled so this cannot occur again, Sage concluded by stating that this was only part of the issue. “At the same time it seems like some students emails were compromised. For instance, the student who sent the initial message, we’re not sure if he actually sent it, his email may have been compromised and someone actually sent it on behalf of him but we’re not totally sure yet.”

Because all students’ original passwords are their birthdays and this information can be easily found, it is possible that emails were compromised, and Sage therefore advises students to “change [their] email passwords” going forward.

Megan Palmer
Megan is an alumna of SNHU, formally the Editor-in-Chief of the Penmen Press. She was an English Language and Literature major with minors in communication and education, and she dedicated herself to the growth and success of SNHU's student-led newspaper. In addition to the Penmen Press, Megan also worked in the Deborah L. Coffin's Women Center, conducted extended research projects with SNHU's club for undergraduate research, and sang with her barbershop chorus.