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The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Did You Know...?

There's a rumor around campus that College officials and staff in Computing Services can track choice keywords relating to alcohol through our Blitz system. This explains the origins of fun iterations of many of these words, such as "cu++er," "m@sters," "k3gs" and the like.

Fortunately for frat stars everywhere, former FBI agent and Chief Information Security Officer Steven Nyman said that Dartmouth can, in no way, monitor student, faculty or staff email accounts.

"The only time we would look at a student's mailbox would be in the case of a serious incident having to do with a criminal violation or the safety of a student," Nyman said.

The only way Computing Services can view a student's mailbox is with the approval of a College officer and the Office of the General Counsel, which is apparently a bunch of lawyers who save Dartmouth from lawsuits. Nyman said, however, that this doesn't stop people from trying to access these accounts.

"I have had managers call Computing Services to look at the mailboxes of their employees, but we always deny those requests," Nyman said.

As for the keyword searching, Nyman said that Computing Services can only search mailboxes after mail has been sent and cannot do a general search for keywords in all student mailboxes.

"That kind of stuff just doesn't happen," Nyman said. "But that doesn't mean you can just do whatever you want, since Dartmouth does have the legal right to access mail as the students are on the Dartmouth system."

Nyman said that in the four years he has worked at the College, he has never once heard of anyone needing to look at a student's personal mailbox. However, he said that he has accessed personal accounts for litigation purposes, such as when a vendor files a lawsuit against the College.

"In a routine civil case, it is the normal course of action to access emails of faculty or staff, as these cases call for legal discovery and verification of information," Nyman said.

As most fraternity and sorority social chairs declined to comment, one can assume they have a fear of this "tracking" as well. Thankfully, unless you sue the school or are involved in criminal activity, there is no need to add all the unnecessary le++er$ in your blitzes though we all know everyone will always do that for fun, anyway.