The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

“Vera-Stalking” Needs to Stop

Elise Snyder
A student takes advantage of Veracross’s directory system to access fellow students’ personal information.

One of the main resources used by Westminster, Veracross, has a directories feature where almost every student or faculty member can be searched up. Along with the name of the person and their school picture are some alarming details–including their address and phone number.


Students have lovingly coined the intentional searching of another student’s information ‘Vera-stalking’. It is all too easy to access someone’s personal information, and many students who do that do not have the best intentions. Parents should be made aware of the dangers, as well as how they can remove information they do not want others to see.


In an anonymous survey conducted by yours truly, 81.3% of students said they have ‘Vera-stalked’ someone, but only 31.3% knew their information had been intentionally accessed by another student, which implies that half of ‘Vera-stalking’ is done in secret.


“[…] directory is the only way you can actually look up phone numbers and information like your household information and the address and […] contact information. […] your private information could be misused by fellow students or other parents. So that’s the safety issue.” said Dr. Butler, head of student development.


In the aforementioned survey, students were also asked their opinions on the accessibility of personal information.


“I don’t necessarily like how everyone can see each other’s addresses. Since bullying is quite common at the school, a lot could happen with such personal information in everyone’s hands.” said one anonymously surveyed student.


“[Students] look up property values using the address and then make a comment on […] social media to make it public that you live in this kind of house with this much money–they use that information to […] bully others. That’s kind of the worst form of misusing the information.” said Dr. Butler.


However, students’ and faculty members’ private information is not accessible without cause. In particular, there was a specific intention behind the new ‘Search by City, ‘Filter by Location’, and ‘Search by Postal Code’ filters.


“Postal codes and ‘who lives near me’ is because of carpools […] How many people used Veracross to get their carpools for the year organized?” said Tim Muehleisen, dean of students.


Some students understand the reasons that their information is released. One student in particular said other students being able to find his or her address is helpful.


“People often need to know my address or hear about me from other people because my family hosts a lot of events, such as FCA.” said the student, who responded to the anonymous survey.


For parents and students who do not have a reason for their information to be on Veracross, there is a way to remove it.


“I think most of our community don’t know they can change the setting. […] It takes about ten seconds. […] We can’t really […] delete all the addresses, but we can give the parents and students the option to publish it or not.” said Dr. Butler.


For parents who want to take their information off of Veracross, check out or watch to learn more.


While ‘Vera-stalkers’ who use the information for harm can be punished, ‘Vera-stalking’ cannot be stopped completely. The best method of prevention is to inform students and parents on how to protect themselves from being ‘Vera-stalking’ victims.

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