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Accused of Cheating, what to do?

JasonLiJasonLi Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
edited December 2009 in College Life
I was recently accused of cheating on two of my common exams, and presented my story to one the faculty members, who seemed to understand that I was telling the truth, however, he then took the case to another faculty member( no doubt someone higher up on the food chain), and he was less beleiving. He told me there would be an "investigation" and that they would contact me again. For the record, I am telling the truth and did not cheat on either of the exams. Then this morning I received this e-mail from the Associate Dean Of Students:

You have been charged with multiple violations of the university’s academic integrity and professional conduct codes. You therefore must call the number below to have the secretary schedule a meeting with me. I have placed a hold on your record until that meeting occurs. You will not receive a grade for your course until this matter is resolved, and, due to the serious nature of the charges, you also face expulsion from the university.

What should I do now? Should I just plead guilty even though I am not, because maybe that will get me a lesser punishment. If I get expelled my life would basically be over, and if I plead guilty and lose the case, do you think I will be expelled? Please help!!
Post edited by JasonLi on

Replies to: Accused of Cheating, what to do?

  • static75static75 Registered User Posts: 904 Member
    Are you sure you didn't do it? No need to plead guilty if you are not. Duh. You sound guilty though lol
  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey Registered User Posts: 4,590 Senior Member
    Don't plead guilty.

    Why were you accused of cheating? There must be some reason for it.
  • muzicgirl89muzicgirl89 Registered User Posts: 422 Member
    why plead guilty when you are not? Stand up for you beliefs. You have nothing to be ashamed of; you did nothing wrong and if the idiots who evaluate you conclude you did and expel you, it's their loss. Perhaps then a college less quick to judge would hear your side of the story and accept you instead. But anyhow don't jump to conclusions just yet; it's only a hearing. My suggestion is you bring this to the parents forum for advice; a lot of those people are lawyers and such and can give you great advice.
  • nontraditionalnontraditional Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    I find that I am really, really curious as to what "your story" is.

    But you shouldn't tell me. Seriously. Even if you aren't using a version of your actual name, you should not be having this kind of discussion online, or in public, or with people you don't know. Think about it: what if you answered my implied question above and the faculty member you've already "presented your story" to Googles the details? This sort of thing has consequences, and you're not nearly as anonymous online as you probably think you are. You don't even know for sure that I'm not the Associate Dean of Students her- or himself. I've known people employed by universities who have griped about a situation with a student on an email discussion list, and who discovered that plaintiffs' lawyers can subpoena those messages.

    Go find whatever material you can find about the academic integrity and professional conduct codes and read it carefully. See what your rights are and what your options are. Consider finding an advocate, either a faculty member who believes you and will support you or a lawyer. Even if you are not allowed to have an advocate or lawyer in the meeting, they can be helpful. Unless you have an especially bad family, I hope you're also talking to your parents.

    But even if you are expelled, your life will not be over, basically or otherwise. It may be very different than you had expected and intended it to be, especially at first, and it may be very hard for you, again especially at first, but if you hang in there you will survive, you will find another path for yourself, and things will get better. I know this for a fact. And although I don't know this for a fact, too, I think the odds are overwhelming that you will eventually be satisfied with how your life has turned out.

    As for pleading guilty in the hope of getting a lesser punishment: don't. Unless you did it (in which case I think the right thing for you to do would be to acknowledge what you did and live with the consequences) -- and I don't mean to suggest that I don't believe you when you say you didn't -- do not plead guilty without being certain what you're getting in exchange. Again, you should talk to a lawyer or other advocate (who knows what they're doing, not just a friend or something) first.

    Good luck. And if you want to come back here and tell us what happened once it is all over and broadcasting it over the internet can't come back and bite you, I would love to hear about it then.
  • JasonLiJasonLi Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    The only reason I think I should just plead guilty is because, obviously, since the faculty profesors reported the incident to the Dean, they did not believe me, and probably am convinced that I did it, and I'm just terrified that I might actually get expelled. What if the Honor committee thinks I am lying, too? If I plead guilty, will there be a chance to get my punishment reduced?
  • nrbdgrnrbdgr Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Paper trail. Talk to everyone you can, get documentation of it.

    Tell your parents.

    Get in touch with any sort of student advocate. I don't know if there are any legal aspects to this, but if so, lawyer up.
  • nrbdgrnrbdgr Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Do not plead guilty.
  • I lPlay NeopetsI lPlay Neopets Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    We need to know who accused you and why they did it (do they hate you, or did they make a mistake).

    Oh and don't plead guilty.
  • LogicWarriorLogicWarrior - Posts: 3,670 Senior Member
    take the fifth
  • chuychuy Registered User Posts: 3,916 Senior Member
    If you really didn't do it then don't plead guilty. Gather whatever proof you can and present it at your meeting. Tell the absolute truth about anything they ask. Contact your school's free legal counsel or, better (and yes I know someone who has done this) bring a real lawyer to the meeting. This is not anything to mess around with and it is really hard to give you any specific advice without knowing the story, which you should not tell in an open forum.
  • drusbadrusba Registered User Posts: 9,136 Senior Member
    To the question as to whether there will be mercy if you plead quilty the answer is most likely not. From the email you got you are accused of "multiple violations" and they are so serious that expulsion is the result if true. They are not telling you there will be mercy. They are telling you are gone if true.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    If you didn't cheat, don't plead guilty. If you did cheat, plead guilty and don't waste the faculty's time and increase their anger with you.

    I have been a professor and also headed my department's committee that investigated cheating claims. I can not speak for what happened to you, but I do know that the cases my committee investigated were very clear cut even though the students kept saying they didn't cheat.

    For instance, one student had plagiarized by taking virtually an entire article from the Internet and trying to pass it off as her own work. The student told her friends and her mother that she was being unfairly treated by the committee because she hadn't done proper footnotes. The student was lying about that. Literally -- the student had copied an entire article and handed it in as her termpaper.

    The student even brought in a lawyer and her mother. Lots of faculty members had to waste their time dealing with this, and eventually the student was permanently kicked out. If the student had just taken responsibility for her plagiarism, she more than likely would have been kicked out for a semester and allowed to return and graduate. Instead, her actions burned all of her bridges at that university.
  • BP-TheGuy88BP-TheGuy88 Registered User Posts: 1,437 Senior Member
    what's a common exam?

    anyways, i think the advice given so far here has been pretty good. also another thing to think about.

    is it possible someone was cheating off you the entire semester then they ratted YOU out and claimed you were cheating off them? something to think about. i mean if they are saying you have cheated multiple times then it couldn't have been just one instance. someone else must have tipped off the professor.

    it sucks you're going through this but definitely be prepared.

    and just to reiterate what others have said, DO NOT plead guilty if you are innocent. you gain nothing by it.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,168 Senior Member
    what's a common exam?
    Usually an exam that is taken by all sections of a course. For example, a big university might have 10 sections of Calc 1, each taught by a different professor or teaching assistant. At the end of the semester all sections might take a common or departmental exam which is supposed to measure if students have grasped the fundamental concepts of the course. Sort of standardizes the course content and grading across different sections.
  • cgarciacgarcia Registered User Posts: 500 Member
    Tell them that you are innocent. Your accuser should present proof in order for any punitive measures to occur.

    If your are 'convicted' with what you believe to be a lack of evidence, consult a lawyer.
This discussion has been closed.