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Author Topic: Academic Misconduct and Application  (Read 1006 times)

DeltaTauKyle

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Academic Misconduct and Application
« on: October 06, 2004, 02:49:36 PM »
Greetings!

I have an odd situation that I would like some advice on.  When I was a 2nd year, I was charged with academic misconduct.  The actual situation is not quite what would be expected.  During a test I noticed one of the schools top athletes copying from my exam, and the next day I met with the professor and informed him of this.  However, due to the very strict guidelines my university has regarding academic dishonesty, I was found guilty for assisting a cheater because I admitted that I noticed him doing it during the test and didn't stop it then.  I cooperated with the acadmic affairs committe throughout, but I got shafted by the letter of the law in the end.  The woman in charge of academic affairs for my school is writing me a letter of rec attesting to this.  However, the fact remains that I have still have an academic misconduct ruling on my record.  I received an F for this class on my transcript, which has lowered my GPA to a 3.74.

I feel obligated to report this on all of my applications, although I am afraid this will severely hurt my chances.  I have a 3.92 GPA with this class not counted (as will appear on my transcript at the end of this semester), with majors in Computer Engineering and Economics, and a minor in math.  I have an lsat of 167.  However, the applications I sent out will show the GPA of 3.74.

I am going to write an addendum discussing how this happened, accompanied by the letter of rec.  I'm trying for Top 10 schools, specifically Stanford and Harvard.

Any thoughts / advice? Just out of *sheer* curiosity, what would be the effects of not mentioning this on my applications.

Thanks!
BC Law '08
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melissamw

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Re: Academic Misconduct and Application
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2004, 02:54:12 PM »
You must report this!  Not only do you need to report it ethically, but also to explain the F on your transcript.  I think that you are supporting yourself by getting a LOR from someone involved in the situation to vouch for your story.

What a terrible academic policy!  No wonder this society tends to ignore cheaters!

wstaffor

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Re: Academic Misconduct and Application
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2004, 03:08:58 PM »
I'm trying for Top 10 schools, specifically Stanford and Harvard.


With a 167...you wouldn't get into Harvard or Stanford without this blemish. With it I'd say you're SOL.

Look more in the 10-20 range, you might find some schools willing to overlook this because they like your LSAT (the top 10 schools won't be impressed by a 167).
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Casper

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Re: Academic Misconduct and Application
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2004, 03:22:55 PM »
What ever happened to the other guy who cheated off of you? 

It also reflects on your ethical values, to become a whistleblower.  A whistleblower is not an easy job sometimes.  Many end up suffering from depression and even committing suicide, due to the fact that they can't cope with pressure, and rejection from everyone around them.  Friends, who stop being your friends, after you blew the whistle.  These include countless people from FBI agents, Enron, etc.  You might want to address this in your PS, if not, then def. in an addendum. 

You did the right thing by reporting the cheating, but it's life.  Sometimes doing the right thing, gets you punished. 
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sxjptwo

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Re: Academic Misconduct and Application
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2004, 09:46:53 PM »
What ever happened to the other guy who cheated off of you? 

He was probably rewarded, after all we have to keep things in perspective.  This poor fellow was obviously not a star athlete, and someone had to be punished.  Perhaps the two letters were simply placed in the wrong files, with our colleague getting the reprimand.....

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DeltaTauKyle

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Re: Academic Misconduct and Application
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2004, 11:32:53 AM »
The other guy was punished as well, I believe.  Due to the whole FERPA thing, however, they were never allowed to tell me about anything that happened with him.

Is checking the box that I have had something like this happen going to immediately preclude most schools from considering me?  Will they even bother to read my addendum explaining the situation?  Any more advice would be superb.

Thanks!
BC Law '08
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The ZAPINATOR

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Re: Academic Misconduct and Application
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2004, 11:41:25 AM »
This is an unfair situation.  I'd personally call the schools you're interested in, explain the situation, and ask them how they would approach it.  You're obviously going to come off looking good.  Maybe they'll even remember that if the same person reads your file "hey, that's the guy that called in that followed his honor code and got screwed."  I think your integrity, in that kind of case, will certainly stand out.

ZAP

Casper

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Re: Academic Misconduct and Application
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2004, 11:53:54 AM »
NO, they won't exclude you because of it.  Matter of fact, they might even consider you over someone who has the same stats (gpa, lsat score) because of your ethical behavior.  The key would be the letter from academic affairs, stating that you did not cheat.  Your reaction is normal, in the course of witnessing dishonesty.  The school did not act correctly, in that it sent the wrong signal.  Report cheating, and you will be punished too. Who's going to report cheating now? 

A good example to read is the Mollen Commission Report, investigating corruption in NYPD back in early 1990s.  (search google for pdf).  Everyone knew the some of these officers were corrupt, and nobody did a thing but burry it.  The person that went after corruption, ended being divorced.  Not too many people find vindication at the end. 

You did not cheat, but decided to report the situation after the fact, and still got shafted.  Many law schools are beginning to offer courses in whistleblowing, and how to protect clients after they have "blew the whistle" in wrongdoing.  Jeff Skilling (Enron), went to HBS. 

Yes, they will read your addendum, but you will have to structure it so that it will grab their attention.  Stressing that you did took the right course of action, and also how this situation has affected your life, and how you view things.  (Hopefully, you have learned a good lesson from all of this.)  Also, be sure to make note of the "F", which dropped your GPA.  In some case, they might take your higher gpa, without the "F".

Goodluck.
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The ZAPINATOR

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Re: Academic Misconduct and Application
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2004, 11:57:41 AM »
If I were you, I'd request that the schools look at your GPA without the F, if they're so inclined.  In fact, if this were me, it'd be more than an addendum... I think you could write a kickass p.s. about cheating, how our society often punishes those who do the right thing, and about the ethical dimensions of this as they relate to you.  You'd come across as a great candidate.

ZAP