A sophomore contacted his fellow students in a chemistry course through the class mailing list and informed them that they could obtain his notes and study guide for the class by visiting a link to materials on Notehall.com. One of the students mentioned this to the instructor who inquired with the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (SJA) about whether or not this is allowed. SJA informed the instructor that a student may not submit notes, create study guides, or provide any instructor’s course materials to a commercial site such as Notehall.com without the instructor’s or university’s permission. Campus policy prohibits the use of university property or resources (classrooms, e-mail, e-mail lists) for commercial purposes without appropriate authorization. The instructor informed the student that he is not allowed to do this and the student removed the material from Notehall.com. If the student had refused to remove the material from Notehall.com, the instructor could have referred the matter to SJA for disciplinary action.
A single phrase is not enough
A first-year was referred to SJA for allegedly plagiarizing a passage of his sociology paper. Upon further examination, the instructor of the course determined that an entire section of the paper had been copied verbatim from a website of the same topic as the paper. The student admitted to the misconduct but claimed that he had thought simply using the author’s name and the name of the website was sufficient to cite the source. He agreed to the disciplinary sanction of deferred separation, which means that, if found in violation again in an informal meeting with a judicial officer, he would likely be suspended or dismissed from the university. The student was also given a writing assignment on the topic of plagiarism.
Tripping at the finish line
A senior in her final quarter at UC Davis was referred to SJA for allegedly submitting a paper that contained plagiarism for her upper-division English paper. The instructor of the course determined that the student had lifted multiple passages verbatim from an article of the same topic in a major daily periodical. After the student was found to have been untruthful with a judicial officer in an informal meeting, the instructor also re-examined the student’s previous work and found a substantial amount of plagiarism in a previous paper. The student eventually accepted the sanction of suspension for winter quarter and then deferred separation status until graduation. This means that instead of graduating at the end of Fall 2010, the student will need to return to Davis this spring to re-take the upper division English class that she failed and will not graduate until June 2011.
CAMPUS JUDICIAL REPORTS are compiled by members of Student Judicial Affairs.