The best hoaxes are those that are believable
The student claims he’s an activist for illegal immigrants and wanted to wake people up on the issue. He’s now facing expulsion.
Kathy Matheson of NBC 10 in Philadelphia reports.
Student Activist Admits to Haverford College President Email Hoax
A Haverford College student sent the community a hoax email using the school president’s name to announce a purported change in financial aid for illegal immigrants, officials said Wednesday.
The message wrongly stated that Haverford adopted need-blind admissions for such students, meaning their ability to pay tuition would not be a factor in gaining entrance to the selective liberal arts school. The college already has need-blind admissions for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
The Jan. 28 email was ostensibly signed by interim college President Joanne Creighton. But student Edward Menefee, an activist on immigrant issues, acknowledged Wednesday that he impersonated Creighton in order to “awaken the community” to the issue.
Admissions dean Jess Lord called the email “outrageous and really detrimental to the community.” He said it trivializes an issue that has been under serious consideration for months at the college, which has Quaker roots and a strong commitment to social justice.
The prank comes as lawmakers begin addressing immigration reform in Congress. President Barack Obama supports a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S., something many Republicans oppose.
Menefee, a 21-year-old sophomore from Montgomery, Ala., is currently on leave from Haverford to work for Sudden Movement. The group campaigns for college access for illegal immigrants, many of whom were brought to the U.S. as children.
Menefee said he sent the email to nearly 1,000 students, staff and faculty, but officials note it was partially blocked from campus distribution lists. The message came from a non-college account, although Menefee used Creighton’s name as part of the email address.
Lord said a couple of staff members in his office received the message and thought it was real. The email was first reported by The Clerk, Haverford’s student newspaper.
Student Activist Admits to Haverford College President Email Hoax (NBC 10 Philadelphia)