Stolen words harm students

Plagiarism has impacts on students, staff, reputation of school as a whole.

The last issue of The Dakota Student featured a story about three UND professors recently cleared of plagiarism allegations by the provost’s office. Plagiarism is an issue taken seriously not only by UND and its professors, but by all universities around the country.

Every syllabus distributed on campus contains a section warning students about plagiarism and the consequences of what will happen if they do plagiarize. The consequences range from failing the assignment to failing the class.

The UND Code of Student Life handbook says, “the instructor may reflect the incident of dishonesty through the assignment of the student’s grade in the course … alternatively, the instructor may refer the case as a disciplinary matter to the dean of students.”

Academic dishonesty contains three sections in the handbook. The first is cheating, which includes buying or selling a test, copying another student’s test, using material not authorized during a test, collaborating with another person without instructor consent, bribing another person to take a test or substituting for another student during a test.

The second section is plagiarism, which is obtaining another person’s work and submitting their ideas as your own.

The third section is collusion, which is an unauthorized collaboration with another person.

“It’s been my experience that faculty members often address issues of academic dishonesty and plagiarism in their classrooms themselves,” Dean of Students Cara Halgren said.

Halgren has been at UND for seven years and said the policy had been in place before she arrived.

“The Code of Student Life really talks about academic dishonesty and what that includes and how situations can be handled,” Halgren said.

The Code of Student Life handbook also contains information on emergency situations, student organizations, financial aid information and much more. To read the handbook, visit

Harvard scandal

Other schools have handed out heavy punishments for broad-scale plagiarism in recent memory.

Plagiarism was a hot topic in the last year and a half at Harvard University where 125 students were put under investigation after a teaching fellow recognized similarities on the final take-home examination for Government 1310: “Introduction to Congress” for the spring 2012 semester.

After an eight-month long review by the Harvard College Administrative Board, the Board announced its decision in February 2013. More than half of the students were forced to withdraw from the university for a year. The rest of the students were put on academic probation.

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at