A student activist posed as Haverford College Interim President Joanne Creighton last week as part of a protest of a school policy on students who are not in the country legally.
Using a Gmail account he created, student Edward Menefee sent an email blast to the Haverford community in order to spark dialogue around what he called the administration’s inaction in rethinking the college’s admissions policy for undocumented students, according to the Haverford Clerk, the liberal arts college’s student newspaper.
In the email, addressed to the student body, faculty and staff, though the Clerk reported that not everyone received it, the student posing as President Creighton said that Haverford College administration would implement a “need-blind” admissions policy for undocumented immigrants, though this is not actually the case. This comes one year after the student body asked administration to implement this policy, an act that made national news.
In a campus-wide email, college administration called the email “an act of fraud” that “threatens to discredit what is otherwise a meaningful and important discussion.” Menefee, the student behind the email, came forward shortly after the Clerk reported on the email.
“I wanted to raise the issue â€“ because Haverford’s strategy has been to be silent, for a year,” said Menefee. [â€¦] “The community can’t separate itself from this issue. We can’t be comfortable with injustice. And maybe it would help the Haverford community move forward on this if they got a good look at what the world should be â€“ would look like.”
The act calls to mind hacktivism, though Menefee’s tactics were admittedly low-tech (he didn’t hack into any system to send out the email and wasn’t actually able to use the college’s listservs because the college didn’t approve the email).