Avoid partners in crime
A junior was referred to Student Judicial Affairs (SJA) for suspected unauthorized collaboration after it was observed that his homework assignment and another student’s were virtually identical. The student explained that he and another student had worked on the homework together but each had written their own answers, as the professor required. He stated that a third classmate (who was also referred to SJA) had asked to see his completed homework “just to check answers.” The third student admitted that he had copied the answers word for word without the first student’s knowledge. It was therefore determined that the first student had not copied any work or knowingly allowed his classmate to cheat, so the case against him was dismissed. He was advised, however, that providing completed work to classmates and friends is ill advised because if the other student copies the work, that generally leads to both students being referred to SJA.
Avoid partners in crime, still!
A student was referred to SJA for suspected collaborating or copying on a midterm in an upper-division class. The professor contacted SJA after noticing many unusual similarities between the two students’ tests, which indicated that some kind of cheating had taken place although it was impossible to determine whether the two students had collaborated together or whether one had copied from the other. The classmate admitted to a judicial officer that he had looked at the other student’s exam without her knowledge and had copied her answers. With this information, it was found that the first student had not collaborated or copied during the test and she was found innocent of the charges. This means that no sanctions will be imposed, and she will not have a disciplinary record.
A first-year student was referred to SJA for suspected plagiarism in an English class. Specifically, the professor found sources and information in her paper that were not cited and were not covered in the course material. This caused the instructor to suspect that the student had previously submitted the paper for a different class, which is against the rules and/or that she had plagiarized. In her meeting with a judicial officer, the student stated that she had written on the same topic in a previous class and thus had prior knowledge of the subject, but she insisted that she had not simply recycled the same paper and that she did not use any ideas or sentences from the Internet. The student was able to provide credible assurance that she did have some background knowledge of the topic, so she was found “not in violation” and was simply given an administrative notice. Although not a disciplinary sanction, the notice outlines the guidelines regarding the charge the student was referred for and puts her officially “on notice” with respect to those rules. Then, if the student is found in violation for something related in the future, the sanctions will likely be steeper as she has been given official notice of what the rules are in this area.
CAMPUS JUDICIAL REPORTS are compiled by members of Student Judicial Affairs.