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Administrators Respond to Currier Email Incident

By Melissa C. Rodman, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: March 4, 2015, at 2:45 a.m.

Administrators are responding to an incident involving an explicit email message that was sent over a student-run Currier House mailing list Sunday.

In an email to Mather House residents Tuesday, Mather House Dean Luke Leafgren addressed the incident, which involved a roughly 1,700-word message sent over the “Currier Underground” listserv from the email account of a Currier senior. The email included explicit language and sexual references addressed to another student in the House whose account had recently sent a short message over the list referencing Currier’s Ten-Man suite. The senior lives in the Ten-Man, according to the senior’s email.

The senior’s message was shared over a number of student group email lists and was reprinted by outside blogs this week.

Currier House administrators did not respond to a request for comment on the incident, but a Tuesday email sent over Currier's announce list referenced "a widely distributed e-mail that reflects very poorly on our community."

Leafgren’s note to Mather residents referred to the email as “so obviously inappropriate and a violation of our community’s standards” and indicated that “[s]uch harms can have disciplinary consequences at Harvard” and “legal consequences beyond.”

The “administration is looking into this incident,” Leafgren wrote.

Interim Administrative Board Secretary Brett Flehinger declined to comment on whether the body had opened a case in response to the incident, citing Ad Board confidentiality policy.

The senior who sent the 1,700-word email did not respond to a request for comment. The student to whom the email was addressed, who is an active member of The Crimson’s staff, declined to comment.

In his note to students, Leafgren also suggested that students “use this moment as an opportunity to reflect on the ways our actions both in person and online create the environment we share.”

“It is instructive to observe how easy it is to harm others and ourselves through an email or other online activity, whether careless or malicious,” he wrote.

According to a Currier House student who was granted anonymity by The Crimson because he did not want his name associated with the incident, the “Currier Underground” list is administered by students, not House administrators.

—Staff writer Melissa C. Rodman can be reached at melissa.rodman@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @melissa_rodman.

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