Plagairism confirmed. Now what?
A student in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications reently was fired for plagairizing stories she wrote as an intern at the Colorado Springs Gazette. The story not only received coverage in the area media but nationally.
But now what? Discussion has been that the student could be expelled.
The Journalism Department has a written policy about plagairism. I remember the departmental meeting when we discussed the policy. We agreed that every class should include discussion of what plagairism is and why it is not acceptable in our classes and in the media profession.
But what should be the consequence? Failing the assignment tha was plagairized? Failing the course? Being expelled? We didn’t agree on one answer that would apply to every situation.
Being fired from the internship was a realistic consequence. Receiving a failing grade for this unpaid internship would be a fair consequence. Should the student be expelled? I’m certainly interested in finding out the decision made by the dean and the department chair.
But certainly this will be a teachable moment for all of us to use in our classes, making the typical discussion of plagairism more real to our students.