Dartmouth Drops All Charges in Cheating ScandalAfter the Committee on Standards heard only 27 of the 63 cases of alleged Computer Science 4 cheating, Dartmouth College announced today that it is withdrawing all charges brought against students by former visiting professor Rex Dwyer.
According to Dean of the College James Larimore, who served as non-voting chair of the COS, it became clear after more than 34 hours of hearings and deliberation that the body would be unable to distinguish with certainty between those who cheated and those who received the solutions to the homework from legitimate sources.
“The Committee concluded that some cheating did occur,” Larimore wrote in a letter to the Dartmouth community. “But ... the nature and the quality of the evidence, combined with the circumstances under which the course was conducted, made it impossible to distinguish between those responsible and those not responsible for violations of the Academic Honor Principle.”
Larimore told The Dartmouth in an interview tonight that the COS’s discussion to drop the charges was based on two factors: academic integrity and fairness.
He also said that by the end of the session it became clear that fairness had to prevail and that they would not be able to distinguish who cheated.
According to Larimore, once the COS had approved the recommendation to terminate the proceedings against students the decision went to his office for approval from the College. He discussed it this morning with President of the College James Wright and Dean of the Faculty Edward Berger and the three decided it would be appropriate to end the hearings.
Larimore cited the issue of teaching assistants and graders giving out the answers as a large part of what made it so difficult to determine who was culpable, adding that there was evidence to suggest that some of the class tutors gave out the solutions on paper.
He also said that Dwyer’s most explicit piece of evidence, server logs from the website that disclosed who may have viewed the source code, were not useful because they only tracked which computers had been used to view the site, not which individuals had actually viewed it.
Larimore told The Dartmouth that there was also the concern that some who had viewed the site and were listed on server logs had been clever enough to change parts of the downloaded solution and might thus avoid punishment although they had cheated.
[The Dartmouth, Mar. 13]
Michigan students to end siege
Students of Color Coalition spokesman Joe Reilly announced last night that SCC is in the process of ending its occupation of the Michigamua office space on the seventh floor of the Michigan Union tower.
“The time is now to leave,” Reilly said, adding that the group has done everything it could within the tower.
Reilly said SCC will leave the space after all Native American artifacts are returned members of the Native American community or placed in the Bently Historical Library. He added that the group has packed all personal items of Michigamua and plan on handing it over to Michigamua members.
“It’s time for us to leave. We can’t leave without the stuff,” Reilly said.
After waiting for more than a month for Michigamua and the administration to remove Michigamua’s Native American artifacts from its tower office, SCC last night said they decided the job needed to be done and took it upon themselves to see that the materials were removed.
During the removal process last night Michigamua members met with Dean of Student Affairs Frank Cianciola in the third floor of the Union to discuss the reallocation process. Also present were math Prof. Bob Megginson and Shannon Miller, coordinator of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs.
“The concern we had was we were not contacted about the process,” Michigamua spokesman Nick Delgado said. He added that Michigamua agrees that the Native American artifacts should be removed to the proper places but that the group wants to be involved in the decision.
“The SCC did not want us to be part of that process,” Delgado said.
SCC member Colette Routel said the items are being reallocated to an undisclosed location on University property.
[Michigan Daily, Mar. 13]
Meningitis concerns at GWU
George Washington University students and health professionals are taking a closer look at the dangers of meningitis after a recent death of a Towson University student in Maryland.
Towson University freshman Joseph Kemperle died March 5 of meningococcal meningitis. Kemperle’s friends, members of his Kappa Sigma fraternity, and anyone he came in contact with 10 days prior to his death were advised to take an antibiotic pill to quickly kill any bacteria that might be present.
The germ that causes the disease stays in a person’s throat and is spread through contact with saliva and nasal mucus, said Dr. Isabel Goldenberg, director of Student Health Services at GW.
“The vaccine is the best we can do to prevent any outbreaks,” Goldenberg said. An outbreak occurs when more than two cases of the disease appear in a community, she said.
GW Student Health Services offers a $75 vaccine that guards against four of the five strains of meningitis. More than 2,000 students received the vaccine in November, Goldenberg said.
Although most vaccines give lifelong immunity to the disease, the one offered by GW Student Health Service only lasts three years, Goldenberg said.
Freshman Greg Rovick said a student in his high school died of meningitis, which prompted him to get vaccinated.
“Literally hundreds of kids in my high school went to go get it,” said Rovick. “Most of them had never heard of it before.”
GW junior David Portnoy said he decided to get the vaccine in November because of the high risk involved with living in a residence hall “I hear its more common among college students who live in dorms,” he said.
More research has been done on meningitis in past years as a result of the increase in the number of outbreaks on college campuses, said Goldenberg. The studies found students who live in dorms, frequent bars and smoke cigarettes have a slightly higher risk of contracting meningitis, she said.
Susan Haney, nurse practitioner and educational director for Student Health, said there has never been a case of meningitis at GW.
[The GW Hatchet, Mar. 13]