Case #843

DATE: August 16, 2016

PARTIES: University of Toronto v S.L.C.M.
Hearing Date(s): June 20, 2016
Panel Members:
Johanna Braden, Chair
Ann Tourangeau, Faculty Member
Vassilia (Julia) Al Akaila, Student Member
Appearances:
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland, Barristers
Alex Redinger, Student-at-law, Downtown Legal Services
Kasha Visutskie, Academic Integrity Officer, Faculty of Arts and Science
In Attendance:
Tracey Gameiro, Associate Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Ms. S.L.C.M., the Student
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(a) – forged documents – Student submitted falsified petitions and supporting documents in order to write deferred exams in two courses, in each case claiming that a different grandparent had died when in fact that was not the case – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – Joint submission on Penalty accepted – no prior academic offences – grade assignment of zero in both of the affected courses; 4-year suspension; 5-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; case reported to Provost for publication
Student charged with six offences under s. B.i.1(a) and, in the alternative, two offences under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student falsified petitions to write deferred final examinations in two courses, with each petition containing a petition form, a written statement of explanation, and supporting documentation. The Student indicated in her petitions that the reason she needed to defer her exam in the first Course was to attend the funeral of her grandfather, and in the reason in the second Course was to attend the funeral of her grandmother.
The Student pleaded guilty to the six forged documents offences under s. B.i.1(a). The Panel accepted the plea and the University withdrew the alternative charges. The Panel accepted the Agreed Statement of Facts, which made clear that the Student’s grandfather and grandmother had not died as described and that the Student used and falsified information from an online funeral notice to create the documents in her petition. The Panel took into account the factors set out in the Mr. C case, noting that the Student took responsibility by attending the hearing and making admissions of misconduct, that the Student had various part-time jobs at the time she engaged in the misconduct. The Panel also emphasized its concern about the likelihood of a repetition of the offence given that the charges involved not just one but two separate incidents of deliberate deception. The Panel also took into account the serious nature of the offence, noting that it was a deliberate, careful, detailed, and repeated fabrication of documents undertaken for the sole purpose of misleading the University and gaining academic advantage. The Panel did not rely heavily on evidence of the Student’s additional work responsibilities. The Panel did consider that this was the Student’s first academic offence. The Panel accepted the parties’ Joint Submission on Penalty and imposed a grade assignment of zero in each of the affected courses; a 4-year suspension; a 5-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; and that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.