Students attending the Dresden University of Technology woke up to a very troubling email on Sunday morning, stating that they had been unenrolled from the school. No, this wasn’t a case of a bad dream where you end up discovering you didn’t prepare for that important final exam; the email appeared to be real for all 37,000 students of the university and all faculty members.
As students woke up to this disturbing notice, they began responding to the email with their proof of enrollment and began wondering if maybe they missed their payment or possibly failed their latest exams. Beatrix Augustin, a 19-year-old student at the university, told Der Spiegel, “I thought I had done something wrong.”
The email sent to all students read: “Your logins will be locked in twelve days. This is happening because you have been unenrolled as a student, your contract is up or your guest logins are no longer valid. Please ensure you have saved any information that may be contained within these logins.”
After the emails were sent out, it took the university ten hours to officially clarify that the mass email was in fact a mistake. The error was apparently caused by a software, or more likely human, error when the daily balance of student and staff data was performed on that Friday.
Thankfully by Monday all students were re-enrolled at the university and all of the faculty members still had their jobs. While it may have caused some unneeded stress in the lives of more than 37,000 people, there have been worse mass email mistakes at other colleges around the world over the years.