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Davis, California

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Campus Judicial Report for April 29

Eraser marks

A sophomore was referred to Student Judicial Affairs (SJA) for allegedly altering an exam and submitting it to be re-graded in her upper division chemistry course. The exam, completed in pencil, featured one answer obviously erased in favor of a new, correct answer. The size and clarity of the correct answer over the erasure made it unlikely to have been missed by the grader. However, the fact that the grader’s “incorrect” mark was directly centered upon the correct answer, coupled with the fact that the problem would not have made a significant impact upon the student’s overall grade for the exam, provided some doubt that the exam was intentionally altered. The university decided not to pursue the case and the student was given an administrative notice, which is not a disciplinary action (because the student was not found in violation of the Code of Academic Conduct), but rather a formal notification of University rules and regulations regarding student conduct.

Using an old test

A senior was referred to SJA for allegedly plagiarizing a homework assignment in an upper division engineering course. The professor had released the solutions to this particular assignment the year before, and the student had managed to obtain a copy. The student admitted to misconduct, but insisted that they thought the solutions were “public knowledge” because they had been released. Furthermore, the student claimed not to have copied from the solutions verbatim but to have used them simply as a guide in solving the homework problems. This did not account for the fact that the instructor recognized that the student had plagiarized the solutions simply by reading a few of the problems. The student agreed to the disciplinary sanction of probation, which will last until graduation, and 10 hours of community service. The probation is not notated on the student’s transcript, however, any subsequent violations would likely result in suspension or dismissal.

Peer pressure

A sophomore was referred to SJA for allegedly copying during an exam. This was her third referral for the same violation, and – when she immediately admitted to the misconduct – her second violation. She claimed that a medical condition had prevented her from attending class regularly throughout the quarter, and since she had been placed on academic probation, she felt pressured to score well on this exam. Additionally, the student claimed to have three midterms in one day, something that heightened her level of stress and inhibited her ability to study. Nonetheless, the student agreed to a disciplinary sanction of a three-quarter suspension from the university, with deferred dismissal effective through her graduation from UC Davis. Deferred dismissal is a probationary status in which, should the student be referred again and admit guilt, or be found in violation at an informal meeting, she would be dismissed from the university.

Members of the office of Student Judicial Affairs compile the CAMPUS JUDICIAL REPORTS. Additional information about SJA and the Campus Judicial Board may be found at sja.ucdavis.edu.


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