High school students hear the warnings all the time: be careful what you post on social media for it can come back to haunt you. And, yes, it can jeopardize your case for admission to college. But the wisest students learn not from their own mistakes. Instead, they learn from the mistakes of others. With that in mind, we figured we’d share the story not of a high school student applying to college but of a college admissions officer — at Stanford University no less — who didn’t exactly use social media wisely. It seems this admissions officer is now out of a job.
A Stanford Admissions Officer’s Social Media Activity
Karen Alonzo, a 2011 graduate of Stanford, was a Stanford assistant director of admissions who represented Pennsylvania and parts of Florida. She was also charged with managing the official social media accounts of Stanford’s admissions office, at least according to her LinkedIn profile. But after inappropriate Instagram posts on her publicly viewable handle were brought to light, it seems Stanford’s admissions office has acted swiftly to end her employment (if her removal from the admissions officer directory is any indication). In addition to posting inappropriate posts on her own Instagram account, she also liked those posts from the Stanford admissions office Instagram handle. Yikes is right!
As reports Alex Tsai for “The Stanford Daily” on the social media activity of this Stanford admissions officer, “Alonzo’s posts on her personal account, ‘kaylonz,’ contained photos of alcoholic drinks and captions that often included profanity. Examples of controversial captions cited by The FoHo in its latest email newsletter include, ‘I like my [ice cream] cones black… like my men,’ ‘Unfriendly minority hotties’ and ‘B*tches love foliage.’ Alonzo’s account was public before a student posted screenshots of her posts on the Facebook group ‘Stanford Memes for Edgy Trees,’ after which she made her account private and changed her username to ‘kgotklout.'”
It’s not surprising that Stanford would take such swift action against Ms. Alonzo for she was representing the university to prospective students. Her posts weren’t exactly in line with the messaging the Stanford admissions office wishes to put forward. Perhaps Stanford and other universities will think to put better safeguards in place in the future so that one rogue admissions officer can’t misrepresent the university on social media.