An email appearing to come from President of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Kevin Keane’s email account mocked the recent announcement of the change of terms from “freshman” to “fresh”. Keane says that he did not send the email.
The email was sent to a large proportion of students in Trinity through the undergraduate mailing lists. However, the majority of the emails went to people’s spam folders.
The email read: “Just kidding, this is for real. Instead of lobbying for <€1000/month student accommodation or some fucking microwaves, I succeeded in getting college to remove the ‘man’ from ‘freshman’. #impeach”
The header of the message, which contains details of the route taken by the email message, reveals that rather than being hacked, someone used a free online email spoofing tool, emkei.cz, to impersonate Keane’s email address.
A follow-up email, sent to some students, read: “su is a load of bollocks anyway and Yall are too easily offended fecking snow flakes.” The email’s title was “Lads calm the tits”.
In an email statement to The University Times, Keane said that the email was not sent by him and that the content “is no way representative of the Union’s views in relation to college’s changing of their terminology in relation to Junior and Senior Fresh students”.
Keane said that “It is of huge concern that a person would deem it necessary or indeed funny to do this”. He said that the incident had been reported to the Junior Dean as the email was “both transphobic and infantile”.
He apologised to students for what he called an “unfortunate incident”.
Speaking to The University Times, Keane seemed unaware of the email and denied that his account had been hacked. Looking at his account, he said he could not see the sent email.
Keane initially suggested that screenshots circulating in class groups had been doctored. When The University Times verified that many students had received this email, Keane declined to comment until he could investigate the issue.
The fact that the prank email was able to be sent to undergraduate students through the College mailing list reveals security issues with these lists.
Last year’s President of TCDSU, Kieran McNulty, lobbied the College over the year to increase the number of student spaces in College and have the number of available microwaves for students on campus increased.