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LSE have formally apologised for a technical error in an email to incoming undergraduate students.
In the emails, students saw their names replaced with ‘Kung Fu Panda’.
Speaking to an online student publication, one student commented, ‘I’m worried by the flagrant racial stereotyping which LSE have seemingly refused to apologise for in their vague follow-up email’.
Although they were quick to add, “I can certainly see the funny side of the email”.
LSESU General Secretary, Nona Buckley Irvine, described the error on Facebook as “racist at worst, incompetent at best.”
In an official statement, LSE have stated that ‘a welcoming e-mail that LSE sent out to some successful applicants contained an error as a result of a technical problem with coding in the database used.’
‘This meant that the e-mail did not pick up some of the fields correctly.’
‘For example, instead of inserting the applicant’s name, the email included the name from a test record which is ‘Kung Fu Panda’.’
‘The use of this ‘name’ merely reflects that a member of staff who set up the test record is fan of the film. The e-mail was sent to all students and did not target students from any particular background.’
‘An apology e-mail was swiftly sent out when the error was detected and the correct welcome e-mail was sent later the same day.’
‘Other test names used by LSE include ‘Piglet’, ‘Paddington’, ‘Homer’, ‘Bob’ and ‘Tinkerbell.’
The technical glitch has been reported by several national news outlets, including BBC News, Huffington Post, Metro and Evening Standard.
Photo Credit: Brett Jordan