Before Tuesday afternoon, we current Brown students felt little compassion for those suffering from any sort of reply-all fiasco. Only rising seniors—who were merely freshmen at the time—remember Brown’s own reply-all incident back in 2011, during which enraged students used every type of font and color to encourage those on the same ListServ to stop hitting reply all. Last fall, we laughed at poor NYU student Max Wiseltier as he, hoping to forward an email about paperless tuition to his mother, accidentally hit reply all to an e-mail that promptly went out to every single student at the university. These two instances seemed too far-removed to ever infiltrate our Gmail inboxes, but it seems that the reply-all chaos has hit home yet again.
Here’s how it started: At 2:19 p.m. on Tuesday, the University Scheduling Office sent out an email explaining that the Resource 25 Scheduling request was back online. Cool. We didn’t even know the University had a Scheduling Office. But what did this email even mean?
We really didn’t have any idea, and it didn’t seem like anyone else did either. The Brown University Scheduling Office thanked us for our patience, but it definitely spoke too soon.
A simple reply-all with the word “Test” started a flurry of individuals replying all, asking such questions as “Why am I getting these emails?”; “??? Why Brown emails ???”; “what, is Brown University sharing my information with the Fed too???”; and, perhaps the most profound question of them all, “???”
It was obvious that people were confused. One provided an astute suggestion:
If only it were that simple. Those who received the email made assertions about their respective ages and places in life to emphasize why they were the least deserving of such an email.
Cool. Neither are we.
…and more reply-alls that just didn’t make any sense…
(We’re glad that this bro used this forum to voice his opinion.)
…which begged the question: How many reply-alls will it take to stop the reply-alls?
Finally, Professor James Morone of City Politics (POLS0220) fame brilliantly and forcefully sent out a separate email to everyone on the ListServ, saying:
Yeah, seriously. You can just smell the authority in that one email: The all-caps subject stood apart in your inbox, and Morone’s “Come on everyone” may have single-handedly stopped the tidal wave of emails. He’s our hero.
The emails stopped rolling in around 2:35 p.m., which was right around the time Professor Morone’s stern words reached our inboxes. The ListServ was disabled before any students could think of how to capitalize on the situation: professors, students, and alumni all connected in one email chain. Had we acted quickly enough, we probably could have attached resumes and cover letters… or even this picture of Michael Bolton [Ed. 1: Why Michael Bolton?. Ed. 2: Because… Michael Bolton. And because someone at NYU attached this picture of Nicolas Cage].
Finally, at 4:46 p.m., an email went out to the Brown community that explained all that had occurred earlier in the afternoon and gave everyone involved a sense of closure:
We accept your apology, CIS. At least BSA will be happy that we can’t blame them for this shit show. We have to admit… we kind of enjoyed this. Here’s to finding a nice Italian restaurant in the Virginia area that will also seat a cat and two birds.