Good Going, NYU: Students Can Now Access Celebrity Students/Professors’ E-Mail Addresses

I’m really bummed that the semester after I graduated, NYU will have both James Franco and Nicolas Cage teaching film classes. Plus, Dakota Fanning will be a Gallatin (my alma mater) freshman! But even though I won’t have the chance to bump into these celebrities on campus, I can still e-mail them.

That’s right: NYU Mail’s much-necessary switch over to Gmail has left a few holes in the university’s e-mail system. When composing an e-mail, all I have to do is type in the name of a celebrity who has attended or taught at the university, and his/her NYU e-mail address comes up.

Student publication NYU Local noticed this first as part of a larger article about student privacy, and again this month when they confirmed that Dakota was part of Gallatin’s class of 2015. (The accompanying photo comes from that post.)

There are two factors here: a) Gmail’s fondness for auto-fill, and b) what I can only assume is the university’s desire that all students be able to find each other without trouble. The thing is, any privacy settings have to be input by the student/professor; you can easily hide your information, but you have to do it.

This isn’t the end of the world, since celebrities will probably soon figure out that they can opt out of the list, and we’ll lose our limited means of contact forever. Also, it’s not as if their NYU addresses are a direct line to the stars. There’s a good chance that they, like the rest of us, hardly ever check our school e-mail.

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