by Jae Jin
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
When Clara Evaristo, a first-year studio art major at NYU, noticed that her Daily Screener wasn’t working, she realized that making a fake one was much easier than she thought — all she had to do was find the same fonts and colors that the real screener used. She took a screenshot of one of her completed screeners and used the online photo editor Picsart to create a textbox with a color sample from the background, type the new date in Helvetica Bold, and overlay that on top of the old date.
Now, she could enter NYU buildings without completing the required Daily Screener, a questionnaire that NYU students must complete and show to Campus Safety officers in order to enter university buildings. Before COVID-19 vaccines were widely available, the screener asked students to affirm that they had not been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Students now log in with their NYU ID to verify their vaccination status.
Because Evaristo had incorrectly uploaded information about her booster shot to the NYU Student Health Center portal, she was unable to pass the Daily Screener for two weeks until the issue was resolved. Instead of taking weekly COVID-19 tests in the meantime, Evaristo decided to edit her old screeners to reflect the current date.
Even though there were signs of inauthenticity, such as typos, she said that Campus Safety officers did not notice anything suspicious when she showed them her fake screener — they simply waved her through the gates.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.