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May 10, 2016

Plagiarism, Hacking, and Sexual Assault Appear in Disciplinary Report

By Alex Ward   

On April 26, the Office of Campus & Student Life (CSL) released its report on University disciplinary proceedings for the 2014-15 academic year. The CSL reports on an annual basis all student disciplinary proceedings to the Council of the University Senate, headed by President Zimmer and Provost Isaacs.

According to the report, the University’s Area Disciplinary Committees, which are specific to various divisions of the school, met a total of 35 times during the year. 28 of those hearings were in the College, with another six in the Booth School of Business and one in the Division of Physical Sciences. The numbers are a significant increase from previous years, with 23 meetings in 2013-14 and an overall average of 21.4 meetings annually since the 2005-06 academic year.

The College Disciplinary Committee heard a variety of cases on topics ranging from plagiarism to assault. Seven students were found responsible for hazing, with five receiving two-quarter suspensions and the other two receiving four-quarter suspensions.

Two students were brought before the College Area Committee for allegedly stealing a video camera from an unnamed fraternity house. Both students were placed on disciplinary probation for their remaining time in the College.

According to the report, “A student was brought before a disciplinary committee for allegedly assaulting a Chicago police officer while intoxicated.” The undergraduate was found responsible for “not adhering to the expectations the University has of its students,” and was given a disciplinary warning.

The report only included one expulsion, which was given to a Chemistry doctoral student who was found to have sold “ghostwriting services and academic work, supposedly done by current students in the University” to parties unaffiliated with the University.

Five students in the College were suspended for academic misconduct. Three were for separate incidents of plagiarism, and the remaining two for cheating on a homework assignment. All six cases heard by the Booth Committee also involved academic misconduct.

The report also described the proceedings of the then-newly implemented University-wide Student Disciplinary Committee (UWSDC), which hears cases involving alleged incidents of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination.

Throughout the year, the UWSDC met four times in total. In one case, an undergraduate student was accused of hacking a popular social media site, as well as of “knowingly providing false information to a University official; disruptive behavior; and misuse of the university network.” The student was found responsible of all but the last accusation, and was suspended for two quarters.

Two of the four cases involved a student in the Law School who was issued a No-Contact Directive, mandatory counselling, and restrictions on course and event registration, after being found responsible for dating violence against another student. The same individual was later suspended for one quarter after failing to follow the directive.

The fourth case heard by the UWSDC was an incident of sexual assault in the College in which the respondent was given a disciplinary warning. Both the respondent and the complainant requested reviews of the case, but only the respondent’s request was granted, and the Committee’s decision was not changed.

In all divisions, both complainants and respondents were able to request a review of the committee’s decision. Review was requested in 12 cases, though none of the original decisions were overturned.

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