Survey mayhem at LM

Recently, LM faced technological issues after an email chain containing an AP Statistics project survey got out of hand. Learn about the response of students and staff to this situation.

Due to unexpected obstacles related to sending surveys out to the student body, AP Statistics classes shifted their plans to find alternate ways to learn about data collection. | Photo courtesy of Anika Xi ’23/Staff

On an unassuming Friday morning, havoc struck the inboxes of LM students. On the surface, the email seemed like the typical AP Statistics student trying to randomly select students to respond to their survey. However, the sender of the infamous “survey” made one critical mis- take: they didn’t use BCC. While the “reply all” button may seem self explanatory, it’s clear many LM students did not grasp the meaning. Initially, the responses consisted of students asking to be taken off the email chain to which others tried to mediate the conflict (still using the reply all feature). Then, things took a drastic turn. Students realized that they could reply to every LM student at the click of a button, which some took as an opportunity to send birthday wishes and embarrassing pictures of their friends.

By the time Lunch and Learn started, all students could talk about was the email chain, yet most teachers and administrators were blissfully unaware of the chaos all the students were experiencing. Senior Jacob Ross found himself being distracted by the constant influx of emails. Ross seized the opportunity and decided to send an email himself, “Gus thinks you all should learn how to hit reply instead of reply all. Anyway, it’s his birthday, and everyone should hit reply all and wish him a happy birthday.” The responses flooded in quickly, a mix of birthday wishes and unrelated gifs. How- ever, later that day, as Ross was trying to access his email, he was hit by a slew of error messages. He realize, “I knew immediately that I was blocked for responding to this. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw the @LMAffirmations Instagram post talking about how it happened to everyone who responded to it.” The administration’s response was to treat the email chain as spam and consequently block access for any student who chose to respond. Later, students and staff received an email from Principal Michael. Johnson instructed everyone to delete the email chain and not respond.

For many students, the email brought a much needed reprieve in an otherwise monotonous week, and for AP Statistics students, they were especially grateful that it brought about the cancellation of their project. In particular, senior and AP Statistics student Eva DelMonte shares her relief, “I was pretty annoyed by the spam- ming emails in the inbox all day, but very relieved to find out that we didn’t have to finish our project.”

Graphic by Tillie Szwartz ’25/Staff

Unfortunately, the “Survey” has lasting impacts on the future of AP Statistics classes. AP Statistics teacher, Timo- thy Presser expresses his concern, “It means we have to go back and rethink the stipulations we put on students so that a hundred kids can run the same project and collect data efficiently without risking it looking like spam.” However, Presser also found the bright side of the situation, “I think it was a good real world lesson as to why no one does a census.” It should be noted that Presser took the time to show his statistics classes how to correctly CC and BCC people on emails, highlighting that there are extremely few occasions when using “reply all” is necessary.

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