Georgia State erases accidental mass email from student accounts

On Wednesday, Georgia State students mistakenly received an email from The Office of Financial Aid informing them that they had withdrawn from the fall semester — of 2019.

It also stated that the student was responsible for repaying all of the financial aid they received from the university.

This caused confusion throughout the Georgia State community as some thought it might’ve been a typo because the fall semester of 2020’s payment deadline falls on Friday. Others thought it was a possibility that they owed money to Georgia State for the previous fall semester.

Later in the day, an apology email was sent to address the error, followed by the mysterious disappearance of the initial email from all Georgia State student email accounts. 

This action left students wondering if Georgia State’s administration had the capability to go into student email accounts and delete various emails. 

The Instructional, Innovation and Technology support staff operate as administrators for Georgia State-affiliated email accounts. IIT has the ability to erase emails from all email accounts that operate through Georgia State’s Microsoft Office 365 mail service.

According to the IIT Department, it only performs this action in two situations: 

  • To protect the students, faculty and staff from malicious email attacks (i.e. phishing)
  • To retract emails sent in error from [Georgia State’s] faculty and administration

In this case, Wednesday’s mass email fell under the second circumstance as the email was “sent in error.”

In the last 48 hours, the email sent to apologize for the mistake has also been retracted from students’ inboxes leaving no trace of Wednesday’s error.