Student Senate disapproves of wording in new cheating policy


JULIA PIZZA, News Editor

The Associated Student Government expressed its disapproval of proposed changes to City College’s cheating policy at its meeting Friday.

The student government reviewed the changes to the cheating policy, or academic integrity policy, that the Academic Polices Committee (AP) drafted several month ago. 

Student officers are concerned with the wording, and validity, of what constitutes cheating on several points of the policy.

“I am really against a lot of these propositions,” said Josh Villanueva, vice president of internal affairs.

According to the draft, it is considered cheating to “[discuss] answers or ideas relating to the answers on a test or other examination without the permission of the instructor.”

Logan James Commissioner of Fundraising
Michaela Wahlstroem
Logan James Commissioner of Fundraising

“I’m concerned with the language that states ‘ideas’ can’t be discussed,” said Logan James, co-commissioner of fundraising. “What constitutes an idea? Does this mean we can never talk about the class?”

The officers all agreed to the same concern. As students, they said the wording is vague and unfair.

Another point on the draft states that it is considered cheating to “[collaborate] with another or others in work to be presented without the permission of the instructor.”

“This would mean we can’t talk to, or work with anyone in our class,” said McKinley Kovats Morgado, commissioner of philanthropy. “That is ridiculous.”

Officers responded to Kovats Morgado by expressing how vital it is to study in groups.

“I believe that that is a fair form of studying,” said Kevin McCabe, Isla Vista community representative.

The student officers have decided to fight back against accepting the revised policy because of the questionable wording.

Cristian Walk Commissioner of Academics
Michaela Wahlstroem
Cristian Walk Commissioner of Academics

After Cristian Walk, commissioner of academics, told a story about a City College student who was recently accused of cheating, it raised immediacy for the officers to argue for clarity in the new policy.

Walk heard this story for the first time directly from the student’s teacher when he attended the Academic Policies Committee, in which the teacher is also a member.

The teacher allegedly recorded, and “interrogated” the student to find out that he had studied by using a previous version of the test. Not only did the teacher give the student a zero on the test because of “cheating,” the teacher then offered to send the interrogation voice recording to “anyone on the committee who wanted it,” Walk said.

When Walk raised his hand to ask that the recording be sent to him, the teacher said “not you.”

The victimized student has yet to return to class since the incident.

Several officers explained their experiences and admitted that they have also done similar things to study for exams in their own classes, not knowing that it qualified as cheating.

After hearing the story and reviewing the proposed changes, the officers decided a town hall meeting should be held, at the earliest possible date, to gather the City College student body to discuss the points in the policy.

The student government will create an action plan for how it will address its concerns at the Academics Committee meeting on Monday night.

“This is important,” Student Trustee Emily Gribble said. “This is a direct hinder of access to student success.”


Correction: March 12, 2017

A previous version of this story stated that the Academic Senate proposed the changes to the Academic Integrity Policy. This updated version states that it was in fact a sub-committee of the Academic Senate, the Academic Policies Committee who made the draft.