Reported cases of cheating rise at UC-Berkeley

BERKELEY, Calif. Cheating, plagiarism and all categories of academic dishonesty have experienced dramatic spikes in recent years at University of California-Berkeley. Earlier this year, an entire midterm was tossed out because of widespread cheating.

Reported cases of cheating alone have more than doubled at the university, from 61 in 1998 to 148 last year.

The increasing numbers reflect a corresponding rise in cheating at universities across the nation, said a UC Berkeley official responsible for upholding the code of student conduct.

The accessibility of the Internet has been a significant factor in the rise, making it easier for students to download, purchase or plagiarize term papers, said Neal Rajmaira, UC Berkeley student judicial affairs director. The national trend is troubling, in particular after considering that a great deal more cheating goes on than is caught or pursued, he said.

“Academic dishonesty is anathema to the idea of higher education,” Rajmaira said. “It cheapens and diminishes the degree of everyone who has graduated from this university and threatens the integrity of the name Berkeley.”

Anthrax found in students freezer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Two vials in the personal freezer of a recent Brown University graduate now studying at the University of Connecticut tested positive on Friday for anthrax.

Tomas Foral, a history of art and architecture concentrator who completed pre-medical requirements as an undergraduate and is now working toward a master”s degree at UConn, discovered a rusty silver can labeled “anthrax” while cleaning out a laboratory freezer six weeks ago.

Foral was asked to destroy the five to seven vials in an autoclave, but he kept two in his personal freezer alongside samples of the West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis.

The vials remained undiscovered until last Tuesday, when federal officials followed up on an anonymous tip received weeks before from a UConn student claiming Foral had not destroyed the entire sample as requested.

Investigators arrived on campus yesterday. Foral reportedly told investigators he kept the tissue samples, taken in 1968 from a cow that died of naturally occurring anthrax, for future study.

One year after ban lifted, gay couples not using chapel

DURHAM, N.C. Almost a year after Duke Chapel lifted its ban on same-sex unions, the University community has yet to see a gay couple married on its altar.

Last December, President Nan Keohane and Dean of the Chapel Will Willimon announced their decision to lift the ban in a letter to the Committee to Explore the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions in the Chapel. The committee was appointed by Keohane and Willimon to debate and make recommendations on the issue.

“There had been people in the past who had requested a service, and been denied,” said the Rev. Mark Rutledge, a United Church of Christ minister at the university. Rutledge wrote an article in Out-Lines, the newsletter for Duke”s Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Life, that outlined possible reasons gay couples have not taken advantage of the Chapel”s new “open and affirming” policy.

According to Rutledge”s article, gay couples in Duke”s community may have trepidations about “One, the question of who at the Chapel would perform such a ceremony Two, the current conflicted status of this issue in most churches Three, the current atmosphere on campus Four, the legal and ecclesiastical status of such unions and Five, uncertainty about what to expect from a potential officiant about the process of preparing for a ceremony.”

Compiled from U-WIRE reports by Daily Staff Reporter Maria Sprow.

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