Imagine you’re wrapping up your final exams, preparing for the last weeks of college and the stress and excitement of graduation. Then imagine you’re told you are not graduating, and that you failed your degree.
Sounds like your worst nightmare, right? Turns out, this nightmare came true for a bunch of students who were mistakenly told they’d failed their degrees, who were sent an email telling them ‘graduation cancelled’ and OMG.
The University of Edinburgh accidentally told students they failed and would not be eligible to graduate in a jarring late-night email, causing the students to totally freak the eff out.
According to TeenVogue.com, “the manager of the school’s Student Services Team accidentally sent out an email with the terrifying subject line ‘Graduation Ceremony Cancelled – No Award’ to multiple students.” Senior Calum Mackie tweeted a screenshot of the terrifying email he received, telling BuzzFeed he read the email shortly after midnight.
Mackie said, “I saw the header and immediately panicked thinking I must have failed something in the recent exam diet and wouldn’t graduate.”
The same information was also displayed on the online portal where students can check their grades, and was not removed until the next morning, nearly nine hours later.
Students took to social media to express their frustration with the university, with one student calling it “extremely irresponsible” and that there was “no excuse” for such a widespread error.
Student James Puchowski told BuzzFeed, “I get instant notifications on my phone whenever I get an email as I’m currently waiting to hear back about a scholarship I desperately need to take a research degree in September.”
“This wasn’t the email I was expecting at all. I didn’t realize at first that it could have been an error and I was trying to make sense of what I could have done wrong during my four years here. We only got emails this morning, and they didn’t seem to be that apologetic. Luckily I’ve heard back from supervisors and personal tutors who seem far more sympathetic, but the university itself has dismissed this as a simple error.”
The university sent out an email marked “urgent” to all students to let them know about the error, but the damage had seemingly already been done for many students.
A spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh released a statement, saying, “Our preliminary investigation suggests that these emails were regrettably issued as a result of a system error. There was no breach of our systems and no student data was compromised. The university has written to all students affected to reassure them that their graduations have not been cancelled and asking them to ignore the emails.”