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College Threatens Students Over Email Addresses 452

superdave98 writes "As a sign that a CIO has way too much time on his hands, Santa Rosa Junior College is sending emails threatening lawsuits to staff and students who have the letters 'SRJC' in their private email addresses. They contend that people could be confused and think these are official email addresses. Sure, I suppose people who fall for 419 scams probably could be fooled, but not any reasonable humans. I can't believe they found a lawyer who thought this was a good idea."
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College Threatens Students Over Email Addresses

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  • Doubly Strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hedronist ( 233240 ) * on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:04PM (#27877381)

    This is more than a bit surreal since SRJC has a long history of being on the net.

    For example, Santa Rosa Junior College is one of the very few non-4-year colleges to have a .EDU domain name. In the early 90's they had two junior admins, Dane Jasper and Scott Doty, who went on to become the founders of a Mom-and-Pop Internet company that actually succeeded. It started as Sonoma Interconnect, but is now known as Sonic.net [sonic.net].

    It's a shame to add this squirrely episode to that history.

  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:07PM (#27877441) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, if you're a company/whatever, then the email address to contact me is YOUR damn company/whatever name @mydomain.com

    So if I get a single godamn piece of spam at that address, I know you're the ones responsible for selling/giving that address to the spammers.

  • Re:Doubly Strange (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hedronist ( 233240 ) * on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:32PM (#27877797)

    You know what? You're right! I just looked at a list of CA Community Colleges [cccco.edu] and they almost all have .EDU's. I know that today you have to be a 4-year school, but I guess that didn't used to be true. Huh, you learn (or unlearn) something every day.

    I will note that santarosa.edu shows an activation date of 19-Oct-1989, so that goes back a way.

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:36PM (#27877881)

    Go eat a nice hot pizza.
    Now get some of that hot cheese on your thigh.

    Easy to eat, yet it can still burn.

  • by Ohio Calvinist ( 895750 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:36PM (#27877905)
    I worked for the California Community College system. A lot of these schools are running on old exchange installations on aging hardware with tiny quotas, that tend to have poor uptimes. (My school was 60MB for faculty due to Exchange 5.5's 16GB information store limit). Many professors within the college simply told their students to mail them at prof_name.(college_initals)@gmail.com because of higher quotas for massive amounts of students sending poorly optimized attachments as part of their assignment, that was web/client accessible in a better interface than 5.5 had, and had much better uptime. As an institution we advised them to use their college-provided account so IT could view the logs and say "yes or no" this student did/did not attempt to submit their paper ontime.

    If anything, this helps students and faculty make sure they are communicating with the right "John Smith, Professor" out there.

    Every single student whom crosses the door of SRJC is making a statement that "I feel qualified to be a college-level student." Part of being a student is understanding the tools you use to get the job done. Not taking minimal effort to verify an e-mail address for validity, particularly given most students are forced to use an Online Courseware system that is at something.mycollege.edu, so they know that "this address does not match this address", is no excuse for acting foolishly.

    One of the biggest merits of going to any college is that after 18 years of hand-holding in the home and public education spheres, the college is not going to baby sit you, beg you to pay your fees on time, order you to attend lecture (though sadly some professors attempt to to artifically give merit to their poor instruction in the form of attendance-grades), or anything else for that matter. You are there because you want to learn, and almost no career has zero computer interaction, so you should learn to use the computer, just like you learned to read even though you didn't plan on being grammar or literature teacher. I am shocked and disappointed how many people flatly refuse to properly learn to use a tool that can make their job easier. I've never met anyone who "regretted" spending the necessary time to use a computer effectively.
  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:37PM (#27877911) Homepage

    administrators said using the college's name in e-mail addresses could potentially confuse people.

    The administrators seem to be trying to keep people from using the college's name in their private e-mail addresses. So why are they going after abbreviations? I guess I could see it if someone registered SantaRosaJuniorCollege@yahoo.com and started spamming people, but attempting to claim ownership on SRJC? That's simply ridiculous.

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot@i[ ]smatter.org ['dea' in gap]> on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:42PM (#27878003) Journal

    The thing about the hot coffee lawsuit is that she was not the 1st person to complain about it. There was 700 people who filed complaints in a ten year period burn by the high temp coffee (some with 3rd degree burns. Yet McDonalds knowingly (documenting itself too) kept the temperature way too hot. This showed negligence on their part.

    Turn in your geek card immediately, for failing to differentiate between gross and per capita rates.

    700 coffee incidents is what percent of McDonalds' total coffee sales? Answer: about 1 in 24 million. And you call that 'negligent'?!

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:44PM (#27878043)

    Yeah because I am sure everyone who burned themselves wanted to spill their coffee. Had you been there to tell them not to spill their coffee I am sure they would have resisted the temptation to burn themselves and not spill their coffee. There are plenty of scenarios on why it is dangerous to serve the damn coffee so hot. One would be what if you weren't the on who spilled it, what if someone bumped into you and spilled that coffee all over you. What if the lid wasn't fastened when given to you and it spilled all over you hand. Many places have a tendency not to make room when serving you a cup of coffee. Also maybe the fact that 700 people previous actually settled with McDonalds is an indicator? We should also cut the defendant some slack, she was a 79 year old lady just getting the McDonalds senior coffee special. I'd like to see you have steady hands at that age but your blanket statement is just stupid.

    I do get where you're coming from with having to consult burn specialists etc, but in any industry when you're handling something that might hurt someone you have to protect yourself. You want to be able to cover your asses at all angles to prevent any sort of litigation from happening. This isn't about society all having to wear safety helmets to protect the world from them, it's about common fucking sense and decreasing the chance of burning someone's skin off over serving coffee that is abnormally hot.

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:19PM (#27878533)
    The district board members for junior colleges that hire these lawyers tend to have small minds. The junior college in my neighborhood is rebuilding the campus, and there was supposed to be a neighborhood meeting to make everyone aware of the changes. The board decided to hold the meeting at the district office on the other side of town. I don't know if they realized that no one was going to attend or someone threaten to sue them, but the meeting is being rescheduled to be held at the junior college in the neighborhood.
  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:20PM (#27878539)

    The thing is, if coffee is too hot to be poor over your crotch then how the hell wouldn't it ALSO be too hot to be drank?

    Dunno... Maybe not.

    I drink my coffee hot. It tastes good that way. It doesn't hurt my mouth/tongue. But I've spilled it on myself and it hurt like hell. Maybe your mouth is less sensitive to heat? Maybe saliva acts as some kind of insulation? Maybe it's because you're typically taking small sips of coffee, and not dumping the entire cup down your throat?

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jlf278 ( 1022347 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:27PM (#27878637)
    It may not hurt your mouth or tongue, but drinking hot beverages regularly greatly increase your risk of oesophogeal cancer. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7965380.stm [bbc.co.uk]
  • Re:Doubly Strange (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:35PM (#27878797)

    For example, Santa Rosa Junior College is one of the very few non-4-year colleges to have a .EDU domain name.

    That is not correct. I urge you to go to google and type in "Junior College" and see how many of them come up with .edu addresses. And, worse, non-traditional college without accreditation is also getting .edu names (sanford-brown, ranken are just a few in my area).

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fugue ( 4373 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @03:00PM (#27880179) Homepage

    I think you'll find that slurping is key.

    Of course, coffee brewed at 100C tends to be bitter, but humans scald quickly around 55C, and most decent coffee is brewed somewhere between 80 and 94 degrees. The trick is knowing that some food is prepared too hot to consume. Duh.

    For example, I'd laugh if McD's started serving pork that had never been brought above 55 degrees.

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <slashdot@NosPam.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Friday May 08, 2009 @03:21PM (#27880531) Homepage
    The problem is that it's not "abnormally hot".

    We should also put foam rubber on all sidewalks, because someone could trip and fall and break an arm! That's just negligent, having hard things on the ground! And keep cars from going faster than 5mph. They might actually cause some damage. Seriously... there's an acceptable risk to everything. Hot coffee is understood to be hot by most reasonable people. That's why you have to be careful with it. Sure, someone COULD bump into you, but someone could also run over your toe if you don't watch where you're walking. I'm tired of this "It's not my fault!" bullshit in our society. If you screw up, take responsibility. Even if you didn't MEAN to do it, it's something you SHOULD have watched out for, a risk that should have been accepted.
  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <slashdot@NosPam.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Friday May 08, 2009 @03:24PM (#27880579) Homepage
    How many people injured themselves walking into a door at McDonald's? How many by tripping over the sidewalk? Do they get to sue McDonald's for not padding every part of every building where people might get hurt? They say the fucking coffee was hot. Everybody knows what "hot" is. You can feel it through the styrofoam. If you are so stupid to put the coffee in a place where it could EASILY spill and hurt you, you deserve what you get. Just like you shouldn't have a lawsuit against someone if you run across the highway and get hit.
  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by drew30319 ( 828970 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @04:42PM (#27881757) Homepage Journal

    Just because she only wanted medical bills covered does not make it right. Is the city responsible for my medical bills if I trip and break my arm on a public street?

    Sure, the city would likely be responsible if they took actions that a reasonable person could foresee as resulting in broken arms.

    That's what happened here. McDonald's had received reports of 700+ people suffering burns from coffee that was literally too hot to drink. Testimony revealed that they maintained this high temperature in order to keep the coffee sufficiently hot for the 30-minute average drive to the office in the morning. Ms. Liebeck was unlucky enough to spill the coffee on herself (and despite what is commonly believed, she was a passenger in the car and the driver actually *parked* so that she could add cream and sugar - very reasonable and foreseeable actions). McDonald's knew that people would likely be injured but made the business decision to not change their processes.

    It's a shame that it sometimes takes lawsuits to get big business to make consumer-friendly decisions. Trust me there are frivolous lawsuits out there - this just isn't one of them.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.