As the AMS ran the ‘yes’ campaign to promote its omnibus bylaw referendum, an email sent to clubs from the society encouraging them to vote ‘yes’ leaked the recipients’ emails on March 21.
A screenshot of the email shared with The Ubyssey summarized the major changes the referendum would enact and claimed that all of the changes would improve the student experience. The referendum ultimately failed to meet quorum for the third time on March 27.
“That is why, we would like to ask you for [your] endorsement in social media and any other channels of communication that you may have with the members of your club, like emails or chat groups,” reads the email sent by the referendum coordinator.
AMS Marketing & Communications Manager Eric Lowe called the AMS incident an “unfortunate mistake.”
“It appears that the referendum coordinator accidentally used CC instead of BCC in this email, an unfortunate mistake that left student’s emails exposed. The AMS Privacy officer is in communication with the Referendum Coordinator to investigate this further,” Lowe wrote in an emailed statement to The Ubyssey.
“The first step is to determine how this happened and secondly prevent it from happening again.”
This incident follows another recent accidental email leak from the VP external of the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS). Lowe confirmed that the AMS Privacy Officer had been in touch with SUS over the incident, writing that “the AMS takes protection of student information very seriously.”
Lowe further explained that communication like this would have usually been sent through “Campusvibes,” which hides the email addresses of the recipients.
“With the board recently approving “Campus Groups” as the new clubs management system this sort of breach shouldn’t happen again,” he said.