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Honor and Discipline Committee Report 200910 To: Faculty, Staff, and Students

Summary: Honor and Discipline Committee Report 200910

To: Faculty, Staff, and Students
The Honor and Discipline Committee reports to the College each year about the nature of the cases it
has heard, the judgments made, and the penalties it has determined. This report covers the meetings of
the committee that reviewed cases that occurred during the 20092010 school year. Following this
report is a report on disciplinary activity in the Dean's office.
Report of the Honor Committee
1. A sophomore was accused of copying verbatim text from online sources without proper
attribution in an English class. Although the student acknowledged that the evidence clearly
indicated the paper violated the Honor Code, he/she maintained that he/she did not
intentionally plagiarize. Rather, he/she argued that he/she had had the flu and a very
demanding week in which the paper was due. In preparing to write the paper for the class, the
student then decided to read, somewhat idly, online reviews of the book that was the focus of
the essay, despite the professor's instructions not to read outside works for the course's writing
assignments. The student argued that he/she didn't know how exact phrases from those
reviews made it into the essay; indeed, he/she claimed that he/she did not even take notes on
the reviews he/she read. This explanation struck the entire Committee as implausible. The
Committee also was deeply concerned about the student's consulting outside work without
explicit permission, since the professor made it clear that students should not consult works


Source: Aalberts, Daniel P. - Department of Physics, Williams College


Collections: Physics