Re: The Lonely Social Student, Feb 17 Issue

As a faithful reader of The Voice Magazine and a member of AUSU council, I was surprised to see some of the advice given to AU students in the article called The Lonely Social Student written by Marie Well in your February 17, 2017 issue.

This article suggests that students post a video to Facebook of an AU class presentation and that students could also pay to boost the post and reach more people.

Both AU and AUSU have been working hard over the past 6+ months to bring awareness to an increase in charges of academic misconduct relating to plagiarism and unauthorized use of AU materials. I wrote about it in my December Executive Blog, and AUSU has made efforts to get the message out to students through the AUSU newsletter and a page in the December 9 issue of The Voice. Additionally, the topic of academic misconduct has been included in multiple AUSU monthly executive reports and discussed at several council meetings.

I would like to point out that AU’s Academic Misconduct Policy prohibits distributing any course materials, including assignments, without proper written consent from AU. Posting a video of an AU class presentation may be considered academic misconduct under this policy.

On December 15, 2016, AU held a webinar on academic integrity that touched on what is and is not allowed.

I want to advise students to be cautious when sharing any type of course work, assignments, essays, etc. If students are unsure what is allowed, they should be seeking clarification from their tutor, academic expert or the AU registrar‘s office.

Please don’t put yourself in a situation where you could be charged with academic misconduct. Please don’t follow the advice in The Voice article noted above and risk putting yourself in a situation of academic dishonesty. The penalties for this could include suspensions, or expulsions.

I hope that The Voice Magazine can jump on board and help us inform students of the risks and consequences so that we can reduce, rather than increase, the number of academic misconduct charges at AU.

Thank you,

Kim Newsome
AUSU Vice President Finance and Administration

To be clear, the policy says you cannot distribute AU-issued course materials. AU’s blog makes it clear that you can post your own course or study notes, but to be cautious because if someone else uses it inappropriately, you may be charged with aiding another in committing an offence. So a good reminder in any event! -Karl