Students who requested housing accommodations for the 2023-24 academic year instead received a 134 page email with all 206 email drafts granting housing accommodations. Each email draft included the approved student’s first name and the type of room they were granted based on their accommodation request.
Information in the emails sometimes included the age of the building assigned or specific features of the room, information that could possibly indicate a student’s disability status.
The email was addressed from the Associate Director for Student Housing Occupancy Management and Systems Angie Rooney, who followed up with another message less than two hours later asking recipients to “disregard and delete the erroneous message.”
This is the second major inadvertent exposure of private data in recent years. In October 2021, a routine email asking students to submit COVID-19 tests after fall break accidentally included a spreadsheet with employment information about faculty, staff, and other members of the University community.
Students who received accommodations expressed a range of reactions.
“Somebody just f*cked up massively. And while it’s totally reasonable for people to be upset, at least it only provided first names and what types of accommodations students were giving,” one student told the ‘Prince.’
Another student, whose accommodations were disclosed in the email, described the University’s email as “unprofessional.”
“It’s a bad look. I think whenever you have people’s health information, you need to be super careful about it,” they said in an interview.
Both students were granted anonymity for privacy purposes.
Julia Elman ’23, who currently has disability housing, commented on the implications of the email. “It’s a violation of privacy. No matter how much information was withheld, there’s a certain amount of identifiable information that has been released,” she said.
Students may request housing accommodations for disabilities or medical conditions, as well as private or single-occupancy bathrooms for a safety need or gender-related reason. Decisions are made prior to Room Draw in March.
When asked for comment, University spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss referred the ‘Prince’ to Rooney’s follow-up email in which she asked recipients to “disregard and delete” the email.
Head Data Editor Charlie Roth contributed reporting.
Julian Hartman-Sigall is an Assistant News Editor and Assistant Newsletter Editor for the ‘Prince.’
Miriam Waldvogel is an Assistant News Editor for the ‘Prince.’
Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.