Student Wins Victory Over School in Facebook Expulsion Debacle
March 23, 2008 11:15 AM
comment(s) - last by
A number of groups sprung up on Facebook in support of Chris Avenir, unsurprisingly.
(Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech)
School decides not to take away student's freedom to obtain a college education
Early this month
news broke of a wild expulsion hearing
Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. While students normally are expelled for indiscreetly copying their friends solutions during an exam, plagiarizing others work, or other such gaffs the Ryerson student,
a first year chemical engineering student, was just trying to engage in what he thought was a beneficial and harmless student practice -- creating a study group.
Avenir created a group on Facebook known as "Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions," named after the study room nicknamed "The Dungeon." The group allowed students to share advice on homework questions, exchange questions from past tests, and speculate on what might be asked on upcoming tests. At its maximum, the group helped 147 students.
Soon, however, Avenir's chemistry professor caught onto Avenir's efforts to help his fellow students and they weren't happy. They not only changed Avenir's grade from a B to an F, but also recommended him for expulsion, putting him up on 147 counts of academic misconduct.
Fortunately, justice prevailed and Ryerson's academic conduct committee
ruled last Tuesday not to expel Avenir
. They informed the 18-year-old that while he would not be expelled, he would receive a zero failing grade on the assignment portion of the class, as per the professor's discretion. The assignment portion was worth ten percent of the total grade, but Avenir still passed the class easily.
Avenir could not be reached for comment, but may decide to appeal the decision as per the school's rules if he feels the failing assignment grade was unfair. Overnight, Avenir became a celebrity and a poster child for the debate over the legitimacy of online study groups. Advocates say there is no difference between online groups and school-sponsored tutoring programs, which often have old copies of tests, and will assist students in solving homework problems. Critics state that helping students access materials not given by the professor or solve problems is cheating, plain and simple.
Avenir's advocates still aren't satisfied with the ruling, but appreciate that it marks a victory for their views. Says Nora Loreto, president of the Ryerson Students' Union, "Chris in our view is still innocent, so it is still too bad that he got zero for that 10 percent. But considering we were facing expulsion I think this is a victory, certainly a broader victory for the students at Ryerson."
As per the ruling part of Avenir's punishment includes mandatory attendance in a academic misconduct workshop.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
3/23/2008 6:09:37 PM
Don't kid yourself by thinking there's necessarily a correlation between good grades and hard work. There are many ways to be in a situation that requires less work to achieve a good grade, including study groups that allow lazy or "dumber" people to have concepts discovered and/or explained to them by others.
It's all about motivations, really. One could argue that "dumb" people with good grades aren't motivated to discover new, novel concepts as Einstein was, or that lazy geniuses aren't motivated to learn irrelevant concepts. Some college students are motivated by their parents, even as young adults. Each of these motivations could be a negative. Yet, all of these same people could be self-motivated if given the right stimulus.
And any of these people could be tempted by an easy out like an online study group that discusses problems the professor meant for individual discovery. I think that instructors at colleges should embrace learning via the Internet, and expect it, and should provide guidance rather than criticism. Had there been a sanctioned online study group, or clear-cut rules against non-sanctioned groups, then this dilemma would never have ocurred.
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
Student Faces Expulsion Hearing for Facebook Study Group
March 7, 2008, 5:42 PM
Russian Hackers Compile List of 10+ Million Stolen Gmail, Yandex, Mailru
September 11, 2014, 11:41 AM
House Minority Leader Pelosi Criticizes FCC's "Fast-Lane" Net Neutrality Plan
September 9, 2014, 4:15 PM
Smarter Than Siri? Cortana Adds Game NFL Game Winner Prediction
September 3, 2014, 4:12 PM
Apple Says Nude Celebrity Photo Dump Wasn’t Result of iCloud, Find My iPhone Breach
September 2, 2014, 3:26 PM
FCC Orders Advertisers to Cut Out That Racket, Turn Down Commercials
August 29, 2014, 12:49 PM
Dropbox Bows to Competitive Pressure, Provides 1TB of Storage for $10/Month
August 27, 2014, 11:17 AM
Most Popular Articles
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Apple Announces Its Smartwatch: The $349 Apple Watch
September 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
Quick Note: Buy an Xbox One Sept 7-13, Get a Free Game
September 4, 2014, 10:42 AM
Quick Note: Microsoft to Ditch Windows Phone, Nokia Branding
September 10, 2014, 2:14 PM
Apple Announces 4.7" iPhone 6, 5.5" iPhone 6 Plus
September 9, 2014, 1:45 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information