Phase I: Determination of Permanence of the Sanction
Several factors can play a role in resolving whether a sanction should be permanent. Some issues to consider in the determination of the suitability of a permanent sanction, and related to whether any aspect of the student’s behavior was deliberate, would include:
● Did the student know that through his actions he was doing something inherently dishonest? Would he believe that someone else committing the same action was doing something dishonest?
● Were the actions premeditated?
● Did the student intend that this action create an advantage for him/herself and a disadvantage to other students? If a group project, did the student’s actions mislead or deceive other students relative to their course/grade assessments?
● Was this action intended to mislead or deceive the instructor or other person whose role is to assess the quality of the student’s coursework leading to a final grade?
Answers to these questions can be found in the instructor’s reported allegation, or discovered during investigation, or represented by the student at the hearing, and can move a possible sanction from a removable or reducible sanction to a level whereby a permanent sanction seems more appropriate. Exacerbating factors are also featured in the second phase of deliberation described below.
The following non-exhaustive list includes deliberate actions universally regarded as prohibited by an instructor, by University policy, including the Honor System, or even the law) :
● Purchasing a paper to submit as one’s own, e.g., from a “term paper mill”
● Hiring someone to do one’s work, e.g., to contract plagiarism, to take an exam (in person or take-home)
● Altering an official document, e.g., transcript, death certificate, doctor’s note
● Forging authorship, e.g., letter of recommendation from Georgetown faculty
● Cheating on a test or exam by preparing “cheat sheets”
● Altering a graded exam or test for regrading to get extra points
● Forging or re-using a doctor’s note to excuse an absence, etc.
● Using the previous or current work of another student and submitting it as one’s own
● Making library resources and other assigned materials unavailable to other students
● Providing false information in one’s application to Georgetown.
Here are actions not necessarily planned or premeditated but may be considered deliberate because the action was leading to an intended outcome:
● Using online websites to access information during a test or exam, e.g., broadly, the Internet; or more narrowly, course-related LMS’s like Blackboard or Canvas
● Committing plagiarism by an extensive “cut and paste” writing “style” leaving the paper’s actual sources unattributed
● Creating a false reading of the sources utilized, e.g., using Wikipedia as a source but citing the sources the Wikipedia article used and NOT Wikipedia, which is what the student used
● Blaming or implicating another student in one’s own dishonest actions
● Consulting but then actually copying/using the work of another student no matter how important or unimportant the assignment is, e.g., previous group projects, lab reports, homework assignments, etc.
● Failing to return recalled books and periodicals to deprive others of access.
These guidelines for the first phase of sanctioning should be used in determining the sanction that is most appropriate for the violation that was committed, and without regard to mitigating or exacerbating circumstances. For offenses not expressly addressed in these guidelines, the Board should apply the general principles conveyed through these guidelines.