An prank email appearing to come from Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President, Kevin Keane’s email address was out to students on official College mailing lists at around 3.30pm today.
With the subject line reading “APRIL FOOLS!!!” [sic], the email read: “Just kidding, this is for real. Instead of lobbying for < €1000/month accomodation [sic] or some fucking microwaves, I succeeded in getting college to remove the “man” from “freshman”. #impeach.” The email was sent from the official firstname.lastname@example.org address.
The email refers to the news this morning that College is to change the term “Freshman” to the gender-neutral “Fresh”. This morning’s email was sent by both the Vice Provost of College, Chris Morash, and Keane. Morash and Keane had said that the change “is a concrete expression of the university’s commitment to gender equality, as set out in our Strategic Plan 2014-2019, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Athena SWAN Gender Action Plan”.
In a statement sent to Trinity News, Keane apologised for the incident. He stated: “The content of the email did not come from me, and is in 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. It is a development we welcome, and fully support.”
“The real issue here is that there has been a breach of security. I am very sorry that this has happened, and the Union has taken immediate action to rectify the situation, so that it does not happen again. It is of huge concern that a person would deem it necessary or indeed funny to do this. The content of this hack is both transphobic and infantile. The issue has been reported to the Junior Dean, and we expect to see a resolution of the issue very shortly.”
He stated that TCDSU takes “transgressions like these extremely seriously, and we are very sorry that this has happened. It will not happen again”.
A college spokesperson has confirmed to Trinity News that: “IT Services are looking into the matter at the moment.”
Correction 1.27pm 29/11/17 – This article previously incorrectly stated that Kevin Keane’s email was hacked. In fact, the email was not sent from Kevin Keane’s account but gained access to the mailing list.
Additional reporting by Seana Davis.