Case #04-05-08

Decision written in letter format (LF), companion case to Case #04-05-09
DATE: May 31, 2005
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Mr. D. L.


Hearing Date(s): May 16, 2004

Panel Members:
information not available

Appearances:
Mr. Jeremy Glick, DLS, for Student
Mr. Robert Centa, for University

Trial Division - s. B.i.1(b) and s. B.ii of Code – unauthorized aid – allowed another student to copy from exam answers – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – identical answers – other student admitted to receiving assistance – extenuating fact of other student’s illness not helpful given honest options available – mitigating facts of guilty plea, expression of remorse, personal relationship with co-defendant, acceptance of appropriateness of sanctions – medical attention or deferral not sought – guilt not admitted at earliest opportunity – hearing three years after commission of offence - sufficient credits to graduate – Joint Submission on Penalty accepted – grade assignment of zero for course; two-year suspension; three-year notation; and report to Provost

Student charged under s. B.i.1(b) and s. B.ii of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student collaborated with another student, and or used unauthorized aids during a term test. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts. The Student’s test answers were virtually identical to the other student’s. The Student admitted that he provided unauthorized assistance to the other student by permitting her to copy his answers into her examination booklet. The Student pleaded guilty to the charges. The Panel accepted his guilty plea. The parties submitted a Joint Submission with respect to sanction. The other student felt too ill to study for the test and when she advised the Student of her illness he offered to help her. The Panel noted the first paragraph of the Code and the first paragraph of Section B of the Code and found that the Student’s actions struck at the heart of academic integrity and flew in the face of other students who had worked hard and studied appropriately for their examinations. The Panel considered the elements of premeditation and deceit, the nature of the offence and the way it was committed, and the options available to a student when too ill to write an examination. The Panel found that the extenuating circumstances of the other student’s health were not that helpful given the other, honest options available. The Panel found that the mitigating facts were that the Student pleaded guilty; that he acknowledged that his actions were wrong and expressed remorse; that he was in a personal relationship with the co-defendant, and that he had offered to help her out of concern; and that he accepted that significant sanctions were appropriate. The Panel expressed concern regarding the following factors: the Student did not suggest to his co-defendant that she obtain a doctor’s letter about her condition or seek to defer the writing of her test because of illness; that the co-defendant did not seek medical attention for her illness; that he did not admit his guilt at the earliest opportunity; and that due to circumstances beyond the control of the Student and the University, the offence was not heard until three years after having been committed and after the Student had obtained sufficient credits to graduate. The Panel considered the factors in the case of Mr C., and previous similar Tribunal cases and accepted the Joint Submission with respect to Sanction. The Panel imposed a grade of zero in the course; a two-year suspension; a three-year notation; and that a report be issued to the Provost.