Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Caught Cheater Never Prospers...but it does lead to fascinating discussion

At my law school before you graduate you have to write a seminar paper in order to graduate. I did mine in the fall semester, when I still was somewhat mentally engaged, just so I could get the dumb thing out of the way. This beautifully obtuse graduation requirement is a 30+ page research paper on whatever topic that you should so desire. Anyways, the law school sent an e-mail today to everyone currently enrolled about one student's conduct on his/her Senior Seminar:

From: Dean of Students
Sent: Tue 5/1/2007
To: Entire Law School
Subject: Notice of Honor Code Violation

The College of Law Honor Code provides that information about violations of the Code and penalties imposed shall be released to the student body without disclosing the name of the involved student. This past week, the Academic Integrity Hearing Board found that a student violated the Honor Code because the student engaged in a "major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own." The Board imposed the following sanctions: (1) that the student receive an F in the class, (2) that the student receive no credit for the class, (3) that the student be suspended for the summer 2007 semester, (4) that the student be readmitted to the College of Law in the fall 2007 semester to complete course requirements for graduation, and (5) that, when the student returns, the student must take another class in order to graduate. The records were made part of the student's permanent file and will be reported to any court authorized to investigate the student's fitness for entry into the legal profession.
If that's not a slap on the wrist, then I don't know what is. I kid...I kid...

My first, of many, questions is why send an email like this to everyone without naming the name? You've created a law school sponsored gossip-fest that is the student equivalent to HUAC.

If you name a name, we could confront this person in the stacks of the library in the dead of the night. I would love to be face to face and ask this individual what they were thinking when they decided to risk their future by researching plagiarizing. Followed by a second question: are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party.

I think that this would be better if we, his or her classmates, could punish the offender. I wonder if the Honor Code would allow for the graduating students to tar and feather this person. Perchance we as a collective group of students can have a townhall meeting where this student apologizes to us all, we accept this apology, and then stone the person in the Undergraduate Courtyard. Or maybe subject them to a week long stay in a seedy flophouse while being forced to listened to Conviser on Torts on perpetual repeat.

I love Law School and the drama it creates. But after reading this e-mail all I can say is thank God it's not me.