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Explaining a matter of integrity

To the Editor:

The University Honor Council understands that the University's policies towards academic integrity may be unclear to students. In light of the Math 104-002 mandatory first midterm retake, we will explain the role of the University Honor Council as well as a student's options if charged with a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity.

The professor reserves the right to resolve the matter directly with the student, including assigning a failing grade for the work at issue. The student, though, can appeal the grade through school-specific procedures.

Independent of the consequence given by the professor, the professor or student can file a formal complaint with the Office of Student Conduct, which can mediate the case with an established procedure. Notice that there are two separate courses of action: the academic evaluation by the professor and the disciplinary action by the Office of Student Conduct.

Only the institution as a whole, not an individual professor, can discipline a student. Grades are not classified as discipline but as a judgment of the quality of the work made by the professor.

The role of the University Honor Council is twofold. First the Council seeks to educate the Penn community about academic integrity and the consequences of dishonesty. Second, the Council advises the Provost and other administrative bodies with respect to individual hearings and situations.

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Erika Herman

The author is the co-chairwoman of the University Honor Council and a College senior Remembering a past march downtown

To the Editor:

I was bemused to read the account of Penn students celebrating the Obama victory by gathering spontaneously and marching on City Hall.

It put me in mind of the gathering that occurred on March 31, 1968, when Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek reelection to the presidency in light of the popular discontent with the Vietnam War. Everyone gathered on College Hall Green, and spontaneously marched on City Hall and Independence Hall, chanting "The Hawk is dead!"

There was the same feeling of the turning of an epoch as I have no doubt today's young Penn students felt the evening of Nov. 4.

Yet, as we know, the epoch did not turn, or at least not as we marchers felt would happen that day. Instead, we had several more years of war, insured by the election of Richard Nixon that fall.

It feels as if my generation's experience has been bracketed by the hopes expressed in that march, dashed by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and those on display in the Obama march on Nov. 4. My generation was defeated. I can only hope that this new generation can succeed where we did not. They have my best wishes and, doubtlessly, those of many Penn Quakers of my vintage.

Jack Gohn

The author is a 1971 College alumnus

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