Case #785

DATE: March 24, 2016

PARTIES: University of Toronto v S.J.P.
Hearing Date(s): December 4, 2015 and January 15, 2016
Members of the Panel:
Sana Halwani, Chair
Chris Koenig-Woodyward, Faculty Member
Alice Zhu, Student Member
Appearances:
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Tegan O’Brien, Counsel for Mr. S.J.P.
Lawrence Veregin, Counsel for Mr. S.J.P.
Rabiya Mansoor, Counsel for Mr. S.J.P.
Steve Joordens, Professor of the Course
Ada Le, Invigilator for the Final Exam in the Course
Ainsley Lawson, Undergraduate Course Coordinator, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
Wayne Dowler, Dean’s Designate, University of Toronto Scarborough
Emily Dies, Law Student, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Kinson Leung, Invigilator for the Final Exam in the Course
In Attendance:
Hayley Ossip, Articling Student, Gilbert’s LLP
Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Krista Osbourne, Administrative Assistant, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Tracey Gameiro, Observer
Nisha Panchal, Observer, Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Officer
Mr. S.J.P., the Student
Mr. S.H.L., the suspected collaborator
NOTE: Heard together with Case #786
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(b), s. B.i.3(b) of the Code – unauthorized aid and academic dishonesty – Student accused of producing an unauthorized aid during an exam for another student in the Course – the students wrote the exams in different locations – finding on evidence – insufficient evidence to find the Student guilty – finding on innocence
Student charged under s. B.i.1(b) and, in the alternative, s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student knowingly provided unauthorized aid to another student in connection with the final exam in the Course or, in the alternative, that the Student knowingly engaged in a form of cheating, academic dishonesty or misconduct, fraud or misrepresentation not otherwise described in the Code.
The Student wrote the exam in a different location from the student who was charged with the related academic offence. The University theorized that the Student ripped the corner off of one of his exam booklet pages, wrote down the Exam answers, and then left the torn paper in the bathroom for the other student to use as an unauthorized aid.
The Student was found not guilty of the charges. The Panel found insufficient evidence to warrant finding, on a balance of probabilities, that the Student was the origin of the cheat sheet, or that he was involved in any way with the other student’s cheating. The University’s theory with respect to the Student’s involvement required that the Student left the room before the end of the exam. The Panel heard no evidence to support such a finding of fact. The Panel also took into account the fact that the students were mere acquaintances rather than close friends with an incentive to help one another cheat. The Panel also considered the evidence of a ripped page in the Student’s exam booklet corresponding to the size and shape of the unauthorized aid found with the other accused student, but accepted the Student’s clear and consistent explanation that he had ripped the corner in order to spit out a piece of gum. Although the evidence that no other booklets from the Exam were found with a ripped corner was compelling, it did not sufficiently link the cheat sheet to the Student. The Panel also emphasized that there was no evidence that the Student was acting suspiciously during the exam, no evidence that the Student had an opportunity to deliver the cheat sheet, and no evidence that the Student would know which bathroom to plant the cheat sheet in. The Panel placed no weight on non-expert statistical analyses of the students’ answers. The Panel found the Student not guilty on all charges.