Dec

9

An Email That Will Make You Feel Guilty Even if You Haven’t Done Anything Wrong

Written by

To All Columbia College Students, 

Dean Yatrakis will know if you plagiarize any of your final papers, which you most certainly will. And when you inevitably try to pass someone else’s work off as your own, she will remove you from your precious leadership positions and probably expel you. And then when you try to get a job, she will tell your future employer how dishonest and awful you are.

And by the way happy holidays!

After the jump, an absolutely terrifying email sent to CCers, which we admit is not our own work but that of Dean Yatrakis! It is in quotes demonstrating such!


“To all Columbia College students,

As the semester draws to a close and you are focused on final papers and exams, I write to bring your attention to the matter of academic integrity.

You know, of course, that academic integrity is the cornerstone of any academic community. The Faculty of the Arts of Sciences have published a statement of the meaning of academic integrity to here at Columbia, which reads as follows:

The intellectual venture in which we are all engaged requires of faculty and students alike the highest level of personal and academic integrity. As members of an academic community, each one of us bears the responsibility to participate in scholarly discourse and research in a manner characterized by intellectual honesty and scholarly integrity.

Scholarship, by its very nature, is an iterative process, with ideas and insights building one upon the other. Collaborative scholarship requires the study of other scholars’ work, the free discussion of such work, and the explicit acknowledgement of those ideas in any work that inform our own. This exchange of ideas relies upon a mutual trust that sources, opinions, facts, and insights will be properly noted and carefully credited.

In practical terms, this means that, as students, you must be responsible for the full citations of others’ ideas in all of your research papers and projects; you must be scrupulously honest when taking your examinations; you must always submit your own work and not that of another student, scholar, or internet agent.

Any breach of this intellectual responsibility is a breach of faith with the rest of our academic community. It undermines our shared intellectual culture, and it cannot be tolerated. Students failing to meet these responsibilities should anticipate being asked to leave Columbia.

While Columbia’s policies are clear, some students choose to ignore these rules and submit work that is not their own.  If found responsible of academic dishonesty through the process of Dean’s Discipline, sanctions such as disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion can be imposed.  In some cases, students found guilty of academic dishonesty have been prevented from taking leadership positions in the student groups in which they are involved.  It is also important to note that disciplinary outcomes become part of a student’s permanent record—so each time these students submit an application form for graduate school, professional school, fellowships, and in some cases a job, the act of dishonesty may be reported.

Remember, it is your responsibility to ensure that the work you submit for your coursework is your work alone, that you receive approval from your instructors to collaborate on work with a classmate, and that references are properly and completely cited.  If you are unsure about any aspect of your work, you should ask your instructor for clarification. 

I refer you to the College Bulletin for more information on plagiarism and the disciplinary process –  http://www.college.columbia.edu/bulletin/universitypolicies.php – and remind you that there are many resources available to you on campus to assist you in ensuring that your work maintains the academic standards that are the hallmark of a Columbia education.  Your advising dean will be able to assist you in identifying the right resource for you.

I wish you well as you conclude your classes and hope that you have a strong finish to the semester and a restful and restorative break.

Sincerely,

Kathryn B Yatrakis

Dean of Academic Affairs”

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39 Comments

  1. god  

    that email like freaked me out and made me question my integrity

  2. what do you  

    call it if 30 nursery school children all do jumping jacks in the same exact way as their instructor?

    Play-giarism!

  3. Junior  

    The Dean's definition of plagiarism is not appreciated. We all cite things differently, and that's the way it will be.

  4. let's compare  

    here is part of an email that barnard students got from dean karen blank:

    "In recent years, the amount of stress related to grades seems to have increased for many of you--with the result that some of you have taken unacceptable short cuts, cheating yourselves and one another. I believe you know that misrepresentation of your situation, e.g., saying that you're ill when you're not, is a violation of the
    College Honor Code--in addition to being a lie. At the risk of sounding preachy, I hope that all of us will agree that honesty in academic (and all of our) pursuits is far more important and valuable throughout our lives than a grade is. In addition,
    grades do not define a meaningful, fulfilling life.
    Really."

    basically this makes barnard sound a lot more awesome and laidback than columbia is...

  5. Like anyone who  

    plagiarizes is going to be "saved" by this email. Whatever. If you are going to steal other people's work you are going to do it whether or not you get an email from some administrator tell you you shouldn't.

  6. definitely  

    not the subject heading you want to appear in your inbox mere moments after turning in a 15 page research paper

    thanks a lot for the heart attack, yatrakis.

  7. Ben  

    short Yatrakis:

    Yatrakis: You stole my story.

    Student: I'm... I'm sorry, do I... I don't believe I know you.

    Student: I know that, that doesn't matter, I know you Mr. Student, that's what matters. You stole my story.

    [Yatrakis grabs the shovel and uses it to shove Student against the wall] Do you wanna wake up from one o' your stupid naps 'n find Amy nailed to yer garbage bin? Or turn on the radio one mornin' and find out that she came off secon' best in a match with the chainsaw you keep out 'n the shed? Do ya?

    "Memorable Quotes for Secret Window." IMDB. 9 Dec. 2008 .

    Secret Window. Dir. David Koepp. Perf. Johnny Depp. Film. 2004.

  8. My opinion:  

    The intellectual venture in which we are all engaged requires of faculty and students alike the highest level of personal and academic integrity. As members of an academic community, each one of us bears the responsibility to participate in scholarly discourse and research in a manner characterized by intellectual honesty and scholarly integrity.

    Scholarship, by its very nature, is an iterative process, with ideas and insights building one upon the other. Collaborative scholarship requires the study of other scholars' work, the free discussion of such work, and the explicit acknowledgement of those ideas in any work that inform our own. This exchange of ideas relies upon a mutual trust that sources, opinions, facts, and insights will be properly noted and carefully credited.

  9. better this year  

    In the past, the emails would begin "Dear ____," causing students to respond, panicked, asking what they did wrong. The "To all Columbia College students" is a big improvement and an example of the administration taking our feedback seriously

  10. hahaha  

    I like the picture

  11. Btw  

    That thing about student groups is not true. Most governing boards have disciplinary procedures that are independent of Dean's Discipline, aka, Guantanamo-Bay shit-show of a hearing.

  12. CC'11  

    Looks like CULPA's got a face life. If you get kicked out of Columbia for plagiarizing, you can at least trash the professor on CULPA.

  13. 2010

    i thought i had done something wrong--and handed a paper in this morning. i momentarily convinced myself i must have cheated.

  14. CC student  

    the email is not footnoted.

  15. bwog  

    4 ambulances just crowded outside hewitt and took someone out.

    CAVA got there first but FDNY (paramedics) and 2 St.Lukes ambulances came right after. The fact that 3 ALS (advanced life support) ambulances showed up means its fairly serious.

    • sounds

      like they ran out of bacon. Don't worry, this happened last year. Some bitches had panic attacks, but they got over it.

      • normally  

        i don't take offense to stupid bwog comments, but panic attacks are serious. you don't play it down when someone breaks their arm, and you shouldn't play it down when someone has a serious anxiety attack.


        you can now resume the usual bwog bitterness.

        • do you

          need a shovel? You know, to get all that sand out of your vagina.

          • Ben  

            That would be uncomfortable, I think.

            Dear Mr. Shovel,

            It's always tempting to say nasty things when you're anonymous, but you're talking to real people.

            Anonymity can be great for giving controversial opinions, making dumb jokes, or talking about things you're shy about. That's the beauty of it.

            But please don't abuse it to make tasteless jokes at the expense of someone being taken to the hospital. Or their friend.

            Shovel, When you're cruel anonymously, people can't just dismiss it as a certain person being immature-- instead, it gets sort of spread out all over the campus. That's not fair, and we don't need it.

            Thus ends my stressed out finals week tirade.

          • Forget the Shovel

            Get the dumptruck in here for this one.

          • so..

            you have a vagina? No? Then I don't know why you're responding. Yes? Then shut your trap and make me a sandwich.

          • Ben  

            There's this great psych study where they watched a group of kindergarten kids playing with masks on, and they started hitting each other right away.

            I've learned my lesson that there's little point in talking to a hyper kindergartener in a mask. But I'll say one more thing.

            You're clearly trying to figure out how to be funny. That's adorable. Right now, you're trying to be ironically sexist. Right? Of course right. But you're not good enough at it yet to be funny. And don't practice online, and especially not at the expense of a young woman who could be in serious danger. OK?

            Post all you want, now, I gotta go write a paper.

          • CC'11  

            Wow, just wow. Do you have any respect for others? I mean, I'm a pretty immature guy myself, but your comments here are just absolutely, over-the-top ridiculous. The whole "make me a sandwich" shtick isn't funny at all; it's just crude and offensive to everyone. Stop being an imbecile.

          • Yeah  

            on behalf of meatheads everywhere, dude, grow up.

  16. BWOG  

    Where is the XMAS review??

  17. aww

    you kids are funny (=.

  18. Wonderful  

    It's great to see Bwog readers gather together for the good of the people - really puts me in the holiday spirit.

    Also, I know Ben, and not only does he have a heart of gold - he is a stone-cold fox.

  19. it's always

    heartwarming to see self-righteous little bastards banding together and responding to anonymous trolls from the safety of their cozy dorm rooms. Because only god knows what this world will come to if they don't defend the defenseless hypothetical subjects of vulgar jokes. You kids crack me up.

  20. yesss

    i love this school. for every 3 self-righteous moaners there are 2 anti-everything cynics and 1 sarcastic a-hole who rips them all apart. the circle of strife!

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