A note on plagiarism

On Monday we reported that one of our comrades was found not guilty on all counts by a panel convened by the Office of Student Conduct (OSC).  As the Daily Cal pointed out in its coverage of the hearing to appear in print on Thursday,

In his testimony, [UCPD Cpl. Timothy] Zuniga said on the morning of the occupation, he entered Wheeler but was distracted by another protester coming toward him with his arms raised and thus also did not see Desai pushing the vending machine.

But both officers asserted that the vending machines were large enough that it was likely that it would have taken more than one protester to move the vending machines.

Similar to Martinez’s hearing, while questioning Zuniga, Frampton showed with a slideshow that various aspects in the police reports written by Zuniga and Torres were identical, alleging that Zuniga copied his police report from his partner, pointing to identical typos in the reports that listed chronological events out of order.

However, Zuniga maintained he wrote his own report, saying the “typo of the times is a mistake on (his) part.”

According to OSC’s Code of Conduct, this constitutes two and possibly even three violations:

102.01 Academic Dishonesty
All forms of academic misconduct including but not limited to cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, or  facilitating academic dishonesty.

102.02 Other Dishonesty
Other forms of dishonesty including but not limited to fabricating information, bribery, furnishing false information, or reporting a false emergency to the University.

102.03 Forgery
Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, key, electronic device, or identification.

The irony: OSC attempts to get Cpl. Zuniga to lie about his plagiarism in order to incriminate a student otherwise found innocent not once but twice.  If you recall, this is what happened the first time Zuniga was called by OSC to testify about a month and a half ago:

Frampton said various sentences in the police reports written by Zuniga and Torres were identical, alleging that Zuniga copied his police report from his partner. Additionally, Frampton said that both reports seemed to show the same typo: While listing events in chronological order, both officers stated that one event happened at 6:55 a.m. and that a subsequent event happened at 6:35 a.m.

However, Zuniga maintained that he wrote his own report with incorrect times.

“Depending on how one defines verbatim, they describe similar events,” Zuniga said. “As strange as Berkeley is, time does not move backwards.”

How in the world then could OSC have the audacity to call this cop as a witness once again after he was quite clearly caught plagiarizing his police report last month?  Violations of the code are apparently permissible if the aim is to catch someone violating the code…

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2 responses to “A note on plagiarism

  1. What is the violation of the student found innocent?

  2. I’m not sure I understand your question…

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