Mass Emails Create Nuisance
By STEPHANIE TIPPLE
Two students on the men’s lacrosse team created quite a stir with several emails about a “Hurricane Party” last week that were sent out to the entire student body. Paul Tunick, a University of Mary Washington student, was the first to send out a mass email, which prompted his friend and teammate, Sean Dacey, a senior business major, to follow.
“We were at [Tunick’s] house hanging out and he sent out the first one and he just said, ‘This is a test’ and all he did was hit ‘Reply All,’” said Dacey. “So I sent out an email saying, ‘Hurricane Party at 905 Mortimer,’ which is the house I used to live in sophomore year.”
The emails that Dacey and Tunick sent out were a response to a university email and were meant to be a joke and there was no actual party planned at their previous home.
“A lot of friends know we used to live there, so a lot of them would have gotten the joke,” said Dacey. “So a lot of people did get the joke, but a lot of people didn’t get the joke.”
Dacey had not heard of anyone actually visiting the house as a result of his emails, but cannot say for certain whether students showed up.
Responses to Dacey’s emails included, “Tonight? Do it tomorrow,” “I’ll bring the chips,” “Who is this” and “I don’t know.” In total, more than 40 responses to the emails were made.
Responses even poured in for Dacey on Twitter, and while most of the responses were positive or neutral, there were a few that stung, according to Dacey.
Some of the more negative responses included, “It’s nice to see that the lacrosse team has discovered the mass email” and “How is it that the men’s lacrosse team, with one of the lowest GPA’s on campus, figures out how to use a mass email?”
Shortly after sending the emails, Dacey and Tunick were contacted by school Doug Searcy, vice president of student affairs.
“Doug Searcy emailed me and said, ‘Please stay off of the email address,’ so we apologized and said that we would not do that again,” said Dacey.
Marty Morrison, director of news and public information, issued a statement concerning the emails.
“The University discourages mass emails from filling up inboxes of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morrison. “Only a small number of UMW staff, including designated personnel in the offices of the President, the Registrar, Information Technology and University Relations are provided permissions to send mass emails.”
Morrison went on to say, “Even then, they must adhere to the University broadcast email policy that allows mass emails to be sent only in certain situations.”
The policies to which the emails must adhere include official matters on behalf of the University, something that may impact the students’ performance or an urgent message regarding such things as weather and closings, according to Morrison.
According to Morrison, these mass emails are usually blocked, but, “Unfortunately, because of a system misconfiguration, a student was able to access the CAS student list earlier this week.”
“We regret that this happened and steps have been taken to make sure that a similar situation doesn’t happen again,” said Morrison.