Last night, Gawker posted about a strange petition circulating in the crowd at the J-School’s graduation ceremonies. The petition attacked professor Samuel Freedman (pictured at right, from his Columbia page) for giving a student an incomplete grade, preventing the student from graduating. The specifics behind the incomplete grade, though, were unclear, until the student’s original complaint surfaced this morning.

Apparently, the situation is all a big content-sharing mixup. The student, Erin Siegal, says that she had had an arrangement with her thesis adviser and Freedman to use an excerpt from her work for Freedman’s book seminar as her Master’s thesis. However, her adviser urged Siegal to turn in her whole body of work (16,000 words), leading Freedman to give her an incomplete. As of now, it’s still unclear if Siegal will be allowed to graduate, but hey, we’re sure that she can dig around in the couch cushions for another semester’s tuition.

Ethics, teary students, and smarmy professors – what’s not to love? You can check out the full letters over at Gawker.