News

SG bill shot down

The Student Government Senate overwhelmingly shot down a bill last Wednesday that proposed that the Honor Council adopt standards of precedence for sanctions of honor code violations.

Twenty-four senators killed the proposal, which was first put forth before the student body last week by senators JD Barbosa and Carlos Echeverri. Five senators voted in favor and two abstained. About eight senators were not present.

The proposed recommendation asked that the Council adopt a guideline of sanctions for honor code offenses, Barbosa said.

They presented the proposed legislation in the wake of a surprising report in the Miami New Times that Andre Johnson, the famed UM wide-receiver, was given a weak sentence for plagiarizing a paper in a sociology course he took last semester.

Citing the Buckley Amendment, the federal statute that forbids the disclosure of student’s academic records, university officials have been mum about the case.

At the meeting, Barbosa argued that some cases are “extremely similar” and therefore should have “extremely similar” outcomes.

He also recommended that council members have access to files of past cases only after their deliberation and that the records be tracked with number codes to protect the identities of the previous violators.

The senate held off the vote last week because some senators felt they were not well-informed about the Honor Council procedures.

They agreed to continue discussion this week after learning of the process from an Honor Council representative.

Barbosa said he thought it was a “real shame” that the bill had not passed.

“There was a pre-thought notion that [it]had to do with that case,” Barbosa said. “In reality, I don’t care about that case except that it brought to my attention that precedence was not used.”

“With all things being equal,” Barbosa continued, “you are assured a similar ruling” to avoid one that is “ridiculously way off.”

Barbosa added he felt the bill was not thoroughly discussed. Senator Ted Sheibar made the motion to eliminate the bill. Senator Michael Holt argued against the proposal.

“The policies that we have in place are so good and well-thought out that they address the fairness issues that this bill attempts to address,” he said after the meeting.

Holt also said he does not think council members should have access to past records-even if the names are omitted-because “there is a risk involved that a student reviewing the files might be able to determine the identity” of the offender.

The student representatives voted after a brief question-and-answer session about Honor Council procedures with Dean of Students and Honor Council Secretary, William Sandler, Jr.

When asked about the review process, Sandler said the Council members are given a case manual but are not bound by it.

“No two cases are alike,” Sandler said.

When making its decisions, the five-student panel considers the circumstances, the student’s character and academic history, among other factors, UM officials have said.

“There’s a big difference between a 45-year-old housewife, who does something wrong and a student who wittingly plagiarizes,” Sandler said. “She may have a more legitimate excuse.”

April 5, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The unopened Christmas gift that University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz recently spoke ...

Joseph Yearby declared early for the NFL draft. Gus Edwards transferred to Rutgers. Trayone Gray is ...

The University of Miami is in conversations about playing the University of Alabama to kick off the ...

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

Michael Rumph, former Cane cornerback and current cornerbacks coach, has mentioned, along with every ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.