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Email mistakenly sent to Ohio State Summer Term students due to ‘simple human error’

President Barack Obama and Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee were among those who congratulated about 10,000 OSU grads May 5 at Ohio Stadium for Spring Commencement.

Approximately 19,000 OSU students received their own graduation congratulations in an email from OSU Enrollment Services Monday. The only problems: those students are currently enrolled in summer term classes, have not graduated and were not supposed to receive that email.

Summer term students received an email Monday morning titled “Congratulations, graduate!” which included information about continuing to receive student information from the university, maintaining a university email address and ordering transcripts online.

“The email was intended for recent graduates instead of students enrolled for summer session,” OSU spokeswoman Amy Murray said in an email to The Lantern. “The mistake was the result of simple human error — it was sent to the wrong data set.”

Students participating in the four-week May Session or seven-week Summer Session, which together make up OSU’s Summer Term, received the email.

Monday’s mistake was not the first inadvertent email to be sent to OSU students this year.

A large group of OSU contacts which included students, faculty, staff and others associated with the university received unintended emails from the Fisher College of Business’ Alumni Relations Office on April 11, even though many of the recipients had no connection to the Fisher College of Business.

Those emails were the result of a “technical issue with a scheduled system upgrade,” according to an email sent by Eileen Bertolini, associate vice president of OSU Advancement IT, on April 12 to the recipients of the previous day’s inadvertent emails.

Summer Term students received a more pertinent email from Enrollment Services later in the day on Monday, titled “Important reminders for summer.” That email included an apology from the university regarding the erroneous email intended for graduates.

“You inadvertently received an email earlier today that was intended for recent graduates instead of this one to students enrolled for summer session,” read the email addressed to Summer Term students.

Murray said the email intended for graduates was also sent Monday to the correct group of alumni.

A spokeswoman for OSU Enrollment Services did not respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.

While Murray said university officials recognized the mistake because of calls and emails they received, the erroneous email also went viral. Some students who received the initial email Monday morning shared screenshots of the email through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

“I just thought it was funny, and I put it on Facebook,” said Umang Sharaf, a second-year in computer science.

Although he chose to share the email, Sharaf said he did not think much of the inadvertent message.

“It was about graduating, so that didn’t really apply to me,” Sharaf said.

Taylor Evans, a fourth-year in music, said she was not bothered by receiving the unintended email Monday.

“I looked at it, I’m not a graduate, so I deleted it and moved on with my life,” Evans said.

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