Reverse unfair treatment for a dedicated student at LSU

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UPDATE ON 3/16/2018

Unfortunately, I have lost my case. There will be a mark on my transcript that label "Academic Misconduct". This deeply sadden me as discipline is, and will always be, my number one priority. However, the UHP board have decided that because I have no intention of helping another student copy my works and everything is purely accidental, they will remove my mark after the semester is over. Hopefully this won't affect my chance of getting the scholarship, I will keep you guys updated on that. Also, I wanted to make a note that my professors,  adviser, and even the LSU Computer Science department chair believes that my punishment was too harsh because what I did is exactly what a computer scientist should do. I do have a chance to take it to the dean, but I decided to longer pursuit the case due to my busy schedule. 

Thank you to those who have supported me up until now.

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Hello, friends. I want to introduce my self first as a very dedicated Computer Science student at Louisiana State University. Long story short, I recently got an assignment on some low level bit manipulating problems. I worked hard on it and finished the project a little before it was due. My biggest problem is the fact that I posted it on my github account on Jan 31st, a day before it was due. Here is the link to the repository:

https://github.com/Namburger/moreBitProblems

For those who don't know what github is, it is a repository hosting service that allows you to show case your works. It is important for programmers to put their work on a git repository so that employers or recruiters can see that you actually have the necessary skills. Being that this project was assigned right during the time of career fair and that I am job hunting, I didn't think it would hurt to put my assignment on it.

EDIT:

Here is another link explaining why many University already adapted to start using github as tools for education:

http://www.storybench.org/use-github-lessons-classroom-newsroom/

"Alexey Zagalsky is a software developer and PhD student at the University of Victoria in Canada examining how GitHub, the Web-based code sharing service, is emerging as a collaborative platform for education. “Educators have already begun to use GitHub to support teaching and learning,” Zagalsky says, “in some cases using it to replace certain aspects of the traditional learning management systems (e.g. Blackboard, Moodle), while in other cases gaining new benefits and capabilities.”"

The problem occurred when a student some how got a hold of my works. She then proceed to turn in my exact code, character for character, didn't change a single variable AND deleted all of my comments. Keep in mind that when I got called to the office of Advocacy and Accountability, it was 5 minutes before one of my big boy job interview. At this point I still don't have a single clue as to why I was being called for. 

I am now suspected for cheating by helping another student, they are still trying to figure out about my grades AND a mark on my transcript for one semester. I felt humiliated and felt that Louisiana State University has lost their integrity on how to deal with this situation. It is also important to note that I am waiting for a scholarship that will look at my transcript as a determination factor and a mark on it would not look good. 

Also to note, is that I work very hard and regularly do about 25 hours/week at my job while staying in school, sometimes taking up to 19 hours worth of school works semester. I have documents proving every sentence in this post and even letters of recommendation from my professors stating my dedications as a student. Another point to note is that the person from the office of Advocacy and Accountability does not have a background in programming, and is not familiar with github or why I used it. I did, however, explained to her everything that I could.

My last point is that even the professor who teach me the class believe that the punishment I'm receiving is too harsh. He also has proofs of me doing my own work with the logs showing my progressions of the project as I did my work on the school server. He is currently contacting the office to see my punishment could be reduce, and so here I am.

In signing this petition for change, you are not only going to help me with my case, but also agreeing that Louisiana State University should make a change, in term of dealing with situation like this. No dedicated student should be treated this way and that the office of Advocacy and Accountability should starts dealing with situation like this with a case to case basis.

That is all, I hope that you recognized the message I'm sending out and act accordingly. 

Update made on MAR 1, 2018 — Please read this first:

1 ) I would like to first say that I fully respect the decision of my professor who went by the book and handle things how he should.
2 ) I would like for the identity of the student who took my works to be concealed. She has been punished by SAA with a more harsh punishment and I do not want her to be outed and defamed.
3 ) In saying that the person who prosecuted my work did not fully understand github, I was trying to defend her for making the decision that she did. With that said, I do not agree with her decision on my charges and would also like to not revealed her identity.
4 ) I have heard talks of people wanting to contact SAA office about my case. I would like to say that what ever you chose to do, please don't make the problem bigger than it is. I don't want this to be a case that will impact the school image, SAA, and also the community image.

Status Update:

I have officially heard a correspondent from the SAA office today on Mar, 1, 2018. Here are the out come of my case:

10.1.A Collaboration: Unauthorized interaction between two or more individuals on any academic work by giving, receiving, or otherwise sharing information without permission of the instructor -- Not Responsible
10.1.C Copying: Copying from another Student's academic work; assisting with Copying by making answers or other completed assignments available, in whole or part, to another Student, whether or not the recipient’s intentions to copy were known to the Student prior to the sharing -- Responsible
10.1.G Other Academic Misconduct: Attempting to commit, or assisting someone in the commission or attempted commission of an offense defined in this section, or any other act of Academic Misconduct -- Not Responsible

I'm currently waiting to hear back from two of lawyer friends to determine which action should I take next. There are two possible action I can take:

1 ) Accept full responsibility for 10.1.C. By doing so I will receive the following punishments:
(i) Disciplinary Probation without Restriction
"Please use the attached instructions to review a video clip about ethics and decision-making to complete
this assignment no later than March 16, 2018. "
(ii) Disciplinary Probation without Restriction
"You have been placed on Disciplinary Probation without Restriction effective March 1, 2018 through
May 31, 2018. This status will not prevent you from holding a leadership position in a registered Student
Organization, participating in LSU Study Abroad and/or other representation of the University. The
Disciplinary Probation will not be recorded on your transcript except in cases of Academic Misconduct."
(iii) Academic Transcript Notation (What I'm trying to avoid)
As a result of your responsibility in an academic misconduct matter, your academic transcript will carry a
notation that reads, "Academic Misconduct - See the Office of the Dean of Students" until May 31, 2018.
At that time, you may call our office at 225-578-4307 and ask for the notation to be removed.

Here is the words from the person handling my case:
"Based on the information, I
reached preponderance that you put your assignment on the internet before the assignment was due for
anyone to access. Because I believe that you did your own work and plan to graduate in May, I have
mitigated the outcome to one semester on disciplinary probation and for the transcript notation. I hope
that the ethics and decision making video review will help you reflect on your decision making and the
role that played in this incident."

2 ) Appeal: I can decline the outcome and have my case reheard by University Hearing Panel (UHP). It will be my last chance to present my argument. However, I do have a very short deadline of 3 days to appeal. So I will give you updates if I decides to make my case reheard.

UPDATE ON 3/3/18.

I have decided to appeal the decision. In plain words, the reason why I appealed is because I truly believe that I did not violates the core word "conduct" in the LSU Code of Students Conduct. 

UPDATE ON 3/5/2018

My hearing date is set on Friday, March, 16 at 1:30 PM at the LSU Union on the third floor, SAA Office Suite 340.

UPDATE ON 3/12/2018

MY HEARING DATE IS SET FOR FRIDAY 3/16/2018 AT 1:30 PM AT THE SAA OFFICE. I WILL LET YOU KNOW MY OUTCOME.

 



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