In response to the continuing onslaught of forged anti-Semitic e-mails being delivered to campus mailboxes, University Provost Paul Courant announced yesterday the establishment of a committee to review the University’s policy regarding fraudulent electronic correspondence.
“I’m very concerned that we have a coherent campus-wide response to what seems to me to be forgery,” he said. “The events of the last few weeks led me to think that we should make changes in (e-mail) policy.”
Courant said the committee will examine the University’s practices regarding forged e-mail messages, adding that its tasks include investigating possibilities for new e-mail regulations and responses to fraudulent correspondence. The committee plans to prepare a report by the end of this year.
“Basically, this committee is to engage the campus community in discussion and make some recommendations to the provost,” University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said.
“The spoofs that were sent clearly violate policies we already have. The feelings were there had to be judgment of the appropriate follow-up,” she added.
The creation of the committee comes in response to forged e-mails allegedly sent from student accounts urging violence against both Israelis and Palestinians, such as one allegedly sent by Students Allied for Freedom and Equality member and LSA senior Fadi Kiblawi.
“We can bring down the Zionist country, and thereby rid the world of another racist country, just as we (the academic community) rid the world of apartheid South Africa only 20 years ago,” the spoofed e-mail stated.
Offensive e-mails have been appearing in student accounts since late September.
Following a brief investigation, Peterson said the University determined these e-mails were sent outside the campus community.
James Hilton, associate provost for academic, information and instructional technology affairs, will chair the eight-member committee, which consists of faculty, staff and students.
Others members include Jack Bernard, attorney in the Office of the General Counsel; Law student and Michigan Student Assembly Rep. Joseph Bernstein and John Brockett, an information technology representative from Student Affairs.