Case #538

DATE: August 14, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. N.B.


Hearing Date(s): March 11, 2008; September 18, 2008; April 1, 2009

Panel Members:
Ms. Janet Minor, Chair
Prof. James Rini, Faculty Member
Mr. Sara Ageorloo, Student Member


Appearances:
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Mr. Nick Shkordoff and Mike Hamilton, DLS for the Student


In Attendance:
N.B., the Student

Trial Division – s.B.i.1(a) and s.B.i.3(b) of the Code – forged documents – unauthorized aids – course work – finding of guilt – prior offence –evidence of dishonest conduct prior to adn during the hearing – Student voluntarily left Hearing by falsifying a bad Skype connection – Student caused a long adjournment by falsely claiming to be overseas – no mitigating factors -- grade of zero in course; recommendation of expulsion; 5 year suspension pending expulsion; and report to Provost with name of Student withheld

The Student was charged under s.B.i.1(a) and s.B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations of altering answers on a midterm test that the Student submitted for regarding. The Student admitted amending the test paper but claimed that she only wished to resubmit the paper to have a discussion with the Professor, not to have a remark, and that she had included an additional looseleaf sheet of paper with the resubmitted test that indicated the alterations she had made The hearing was adjourned at the close of evidence and adjourned. During the adjournment Downtown Legal Services advised the Judicial Affairs Office that they were no longer representing N.B. The panel reconvened on September 18, 2008, at which Hearing the Student was self-represented and appeared via Skype. The Student wished to call a friend as a witness to corroborate her claim of submitting a looseleaf sheet; however her friend was unavailable. The Hearing was adjourned again and reconvened on April 1, 2009, when the Student’s witness was called. The Panel found the Student guilty of altering or falsifying a document and believed the TA’s evidence that she did not receive an additional looseleaf sheet from the Student. The Panel found that the Student resubmitting the test with a view to obtaining additional marks. After a recess the Skype connection with the Student ended. The Panel found that the Student sought to interrupt the proceedings by pretending to have a bad Skype connection and that therefore she left the Hearing voluntarily. The Panel proceeded with the sanctioning hearing in the Student’s absence. The University’s evidence with respect to sanctioning was heard. A period of 3 weeks was granted to the Student in order for her to provide a motion to address the circumstances of the Skype disconnection and the Tribunal’s conclusion that she voluntarily left the proceeding. There was no further communication from the Student. The sentencing factors in Mr. C (November 1976) were considered. The Student had previously plead guilty to the offence of submitting another student’s answer book as her own. Evidence was heard that the matter had been adjourned for a long period due to the Student’s claim that she was overseas, even though it was found that she had been enrolled in two courses and had been present to write the examinations. The Panel found the above to indicate a pattern of dishonest conduct. The Panel noted the seriousness of the offence. The Panel ordered: a grade of zero in the course; a recommendation of expulsion; a 5 year suspension pending the expulsion recommendation; and a report to the Provost.