by Matthew Michael
Inspired by state legislation that authorizes all Arizonans to deport others at will, the Student Conduct Office at Arizona Central University has proposed deportation as a sanction for academic misconduct cases.
Seventy percent of the campus is in favor of the tough, new penalty. That majority includes Ted McCallister, a junior history major who has been victimized twice by plagiarism since coming to ACU.
“I’m sick of these freshmen coming here and taking our papers—papers we worked hard on,” McCallister explained. “If they’re gonna come to ACU, they need to pass English Composition and learn to write a college paper the honest way.”
The university’s Study Abroad Office is “thrilled” with the proposed new sanction, according to Judith Stamm, Director of the office.
“We’ve been looking for ways to send more students abroad, so I think this new exile option will really increase our campus’ global reach,” she said. “I just hope we aren’t sending them somewhere lame like Canada.”
Some staff members in the Student Conduct Office are nervous about implementing the proposed deportation sanction.
“We have to be careful to give students plenty of notice about this,” said Tracy Dickinson, Assistant Director for Student Conduct. “So we’ve partnered with the Study Abroad Office to produce hundreds of glossy brochures titled ‘Cheat Locally, Serve Time Globally.’”
According to Dickinson, the destination country will be decided on a case-by-case basis. She is currently considering a system where placement would be based on the type of academic misconduct committed. For example, falsified lab reports could earn a student a semester in the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador.
“There they can think about how successful Darwin would have been if he had made up his data,” Dickinson explained. “Can you imagine how controversial his theory of evolution would have been?”
Dickinson expects the deportation sanction to be approved by the ACU Board of Trustees who see the university’s current academic integrity policies as a “broken system” where dishonest students have traditionally only received “a slap on the wrist.”
Added Dickinson, “I want to reassure students that only new offenses will be eligible for the deportation sanction. There will be a form of amnesty for past offenders.”