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Lab Report

  1. Apr 1, 2006 #1
    :mad: We had a lab report that was due last week and was rather lengthy. So I worked through the problems together with my friend. We had to turn in individual lab reports. Apparently the TA thought they were too "simliar" and showed it to the professor. Now I got a letter in the mail from the Student Honor Council pending a hearing, which means I am going to get a big fat XF on my transcript...... I am so pissed off I can't see straight right now...:mad: :mad: :mad:

    It said in the letter that I got today:

    ............If you will excuse me, I think I am going to go throw up now... :frown:

    What a SOB to report that.... :mad:
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2006 #2
    Fight this. Find anywhere in the syllabus or course notes where it outlines a policy on collaboration. Document EVERYTHING. Gather your original lab notebook, calculations, scrap sheets, whatever.

    Meet with the professor, unless you think he/she is completely inflexible. I'd bet he's going on the word of the TA and hasn't even looked at the two reports. Ask him to define the difference between collaboration and cheating, and then see how your case compares to his own standard. Be direct and let him know you take this seriously, but without being confrontational.

    Your best bet is to nip this in the bud directly with the professor. You'll probably get more sympathy from him than you'll get from the bureaucrats looking to rubber stamp your case.

    If at all possible, get a former prof, advisor, lab TA to write you a letter testifying to your character. The burden in student affairs cases always is guilty until proven innocent, so you need to approach this like a court case.
  4. Apr 1, 2006 #3
    I have tried to contact the professor, but the problem is that once he reports it to the Honor board is he not allowed to talk with the student until the hearing. :frown:
  5. Apr 1, 2006 #4


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    Declare war! Fight this thing to the end! Stage a walkout!

    Ok the last one probably wouldn't get done... but fight! that's crap, especially considering the amount of REAL cheating probably going on that no one cares about.
  6. Apr 1, 2006 #5
    Tell me about it. Man, I am so SCREWED. :frown:
  7. Apr 1, 2006 #6


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    Fight fight fight! Got a lawyer in the family? I know the school can just screw you over until high school but universities are probably more vulnerable to threats....
  8. Apr 1, 2006 #7
    Yeah, typical administrative nonsense. It breaks every precedent of due process that would be extended to a violent criminal, but not a student. You, the accused, walks in completely blind. You'll never get the opportunity to question or cross-examine the people who accuse you. You'll be lucky if you even get to speak on your behalf.

    Can you confront the TA or is that also taboo? Do you at least have a copy of the lab report? Don't admit anything and make them point out exactly where and what you broke the policy. Find out exactly what the policy is and fight the letter of the law.

    There may be outside resources to contact concerning this. There's a group called FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) that handles primarily political/free speech issues but which also concerns itself with legal rights and due process for students. Many campuses have a pro-bono attorney to give legal advice to students. Even your local ACLU might point you in the right direction. A state univeristy probably will give you more options than a private one.
  9. Apr 1, 2006 #8
    Thank's for your help Lucky, I will look into that.
  10. Apr 1, 2006 #9


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    Yah a private university really has fewer people and fewer laws to answer to. Look everywhere you can because that will nooooooooooot look good to graduate schools or employers.
  11. Apr 1, 2006 #10
    I'm afraid the only grad school that will except me is going to be in some 3rd world country now :frown:
  12. Apr 1, 2006 #11


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    And, since you got this letter today, you're 100% sure it's not a joke? I don't want to make light of your situation, but I'm suspicious of everything received on April Fool's Day.
  13. Apr 1, 2006 #12
    Well, it did look official, it came in a sealed letter by the school. And of all the rotten days to send it! Im probably going to have to hire a lawyer now. :frown:
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2006
  14. Apr 1, 2006 #13
    I would wait before you do anything drastic, as MB pointed out, today is April Fools' day. Contact your school or professor and make sure it is real first.
  15. Apr 1, 2006 #14
    I told you, the professor already told me he can't talk with me until the hearing this monday.
  16. Apr 1, 2006 #15


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    Go up to him and before he can say a word, say "Is this an april fools joke?". I mean... if they mailed you the letter and you just happened to get it today, it's probably not a joke... but if they handed it to you or something or it was through internal mail.... be suspicious. At the start, you probably want to say you have a lawyer because if it's a joke, they'll stop it immediately :tongue2: Otherwise.... well good thing you have a lawyer.
  17. Apr 1, 2006 #16
    Why would my professor joke about something like that to a random student of his? This school has 45k students, I don't think he has the time or the inclination to do such a thing.....
  18. Apr 1, 2006 #17


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    Oh if you don't know him then get ready for a fight. I have professors that would do that... but only to people they knew. Good luck monday.
  19. Apr 1, 2006 #18


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    Did the friend you were working with get a letter too?
  20. Apr 1, 2006 #19
    Yes, he got one too. I am not allowed to talk to him until the hearing too :mad:
  21. Apr 1, 2006 #20
    I must have misread your posts :eek: Good luck!
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