Volume 95, Issue 95

Thursday, March 4, 2002
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Mideast violence hurts universities

Science happy, arts not so happy

The chem lab, the chem lab, the chem lab was on fire

Soon more places to have sex in library

Students fly high

Last Chance U. has cheetahs

Silly colleges, trying to be more like us

News Briefs

Last Chance U. has cheetahs

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Ottawa's Carleton University is taking steps to secure the university's image in the wake of "distorted" media reports of 30 engineering students currently under investigation for plagiarism.

Each of the students allegedly plagiarized an ethics essay last week required for a third-year professional practice course.

Some of the essays were comprised of material from various locations on the Internet, while others were improperly referenced, according to Carleton's associate dean of engineering Donald Russell.

The incident, which has garnered substantial attention from media across Canada, prompted G. Stuart Adam, Carleton's VP-academic and provost, to issue a memorandum to faculty members on the university's website.

"We think one report on CBC Radio didn't fairly represent what we were doing," Adam said.

In the memo, Adam addressed the increased plagiarism of recent years at the university.

Adam said there were 100 cases of plagiarism reported to him during the 2000/2001 academic year, each dealt with by the deans responsible for the program in which the offence occurred.

Adam noted in his memo that plagiarism at Carleton is on the rise, with 100 similar offenses occurring in the first half of 2001/2002 school year.

Katherine D'Alessandro, a first-year arts student at Carleton, said her professors make the university's plagarism policies widely known.

"We know it is a big deal to reference things," she said.

Carleton does not currently subscribe to an electronic database to aid in the detection of plagiarism. Although the university may join Turnitin.com, a popular California-based database used by a number of North American universities, including Western, Adam said.

Jan McKee, manager of undergraduate services in engineering at Western, teaches ENG 498E – the professional practice course at Western – and said proper essay writing techniques are stressed here.

"We teach students how to properly document information in first-year in engineering," McKee said, noting the Carleton students should not be excused because of the technical nature of their program, which does not require frequent essay writing.

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