Honors program says mailing list breached, offensive memes follow

David Russell / THE REVIEW
The Class of 2022 and 2023 Honors mailing list was hacked last week, and the email response string, containing an offensive meme, may have consequences for the student who sent it.

Senior reporter

The honors mailing list for the 2022 and 2023 classes was breached last week, the director of the honors program said. The chain of email responses, containing an offensive meme, may have consequences for the student who sent it.

The university’s media relations team said the list had not been hacked, instead claiming the email channel was open to anyone. Honor program director Michae Chajes said the list should not have been publicly available.

“Please help me with a classroom psychology project by completing this short 8-question survey,” said an email from [email protected], which is owned by Julia Pelesko. “The project aims to determine how environmental stresses affect an individual’s sense of action. The survey is completely anonymous and no personal information is collected. If it were funded, I would offer a prize for completing the survey, but it is not. Please email me with any questions. Thank you for your help! Best, Julia. The email was sent at 1:29 a.m. on February 16.

Julia is the daughter of John Pelesko, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She is not enrolled as a college student, but has published cancer research with Delaware. She is an undergraduate student at Case Western University.

Neither Julia nor John Pelesko responded to The Review’s request for comment prior to publication.

The link in the email, connected to a Google form with questions regarding beliefs, extracurricular activities, and agency of choice. Chajes said no personal information was compromised and the person who sent the email may have no other intentions than to get more students to complete their survey.

“We have no idea how this person got access to these class lists because they are not a member,” Chajes said. “In response to that, we have modified all of these lists so that no one else can use them.”

Chajes said some recipients of the email accidentally replied to the entire mailing list, subsequently “disturbing” other students, who angrily responded a few hours later. He emailed all honors program students on the mailing list regarding the incident, stating, “It was really disappointing to see this behavior among honors program students, with no regard for others. members of our community. ”

“PLEASE STOP EMAILING ME, I WILL REPORT ALL YOUR EMAILS IF YOU CONTINUE TO SEND ME THESE SAME INAPPROPRIATE,” said a response from [email protected], the address owned by Ann Sargent. .

An email response from John Seiffert said “No”, along with a photo of a college professor, editing it to look like she was holding a gun.

The professor in the photo has been identified as Susan Groh, an associate professor who teaches general chemistry. It is not known why Seiffert sent his photo specifically.

Chajes said the situation was brought to the attention of the Dean of Students to Handle.

“If a student breaks the code of conduct, they will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct,” said Peter Bothum, the university’s media relations manager. He noted that he cannot discuss specific cases.

Bothum also said the Dean of Students and IT is “adamant” that the mailing list has not been “hacked,” as Chajes said.

“The list was not hacked, but rather the list was sent to a large mailing list opened by a student who is no longer at UD, who has an udel email,” Bothum said.

Students in the email channel have yet to respond to email inquiries.

This article was updated Monday evening to clarify the specialized curriculum and university statements and correct the spelling of Peter Bothum’s name.

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