Wednesday, October 19, 2011

UVa panel drops charges against Cavalier editor

A WashingtonPost blog noted of the fuss at UVa:

The University Judiciary Committee trial panel ruled Tuesday it lacked jurisdiction to rule in the case of editor-in-chief Jason Ally. He was accused of breaching the confidentiality of another student after the paper’s managing board published an editorial last month about the fired writer, whom they didn’t identify.

Adam Goldstein ripped into the panel in a post titled UVA Student Editor Avoids Discipline for Telling the Truth. Goldstein gave some background as to the position of the student newspaper AFTER editors determined a writer had been plagiarizing:

At this point, the Cavalier Daily editors had two obligations, and they were pursued in tandem. The editors began work informing their readers about the plagiarism and the removal of the writer in an editorial; plagiarized work could cast doubt on the accuracy of the Daily, and only full transparency could justify the faith readers put into the newspaper. But as a student organization on the University of Virginia campus, the Cavalier Daily also had to report this misconduct to the school's Honor Committee.

At this point, it helps to know a little bit about how the student self-governance system works at UVA. There are two different student-run committees with disciplinary authority. The Honor Committee has authority to punish any "honor offense," which is an "intentional act of lying, cheating or stealing which warrants permanent dismissal from the University." The University Judiciary Committee, on the other hand, has the "authority to investigate and adjudicate alleged violations of the Standards of Conduct."

Goldstein did not get into how the UVa enforces the honor code at Semester at Sea, or mention the Routman incident.

Goldstein discussed the role of FERPA in the story: the Honor Committee chair that brought the charges against Ally introduced the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, as part of the evidence that Ally had violated a right to confidentiality.

See also
Craziness at the University of Virginia?


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