A Ryerson University freshman set up a Facebook study group for his Chemistry class. He now faces 147 counts of academic misconduct.
The computer engineering student has been charged with one count of academic misconduct for helping run the group – called Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions after the popular Ryerson basement study room engineering students dub The Dungeon – and another 146 counts, one for each classmate who used the site.
Avenir, 18, faces an expulsion hearing Tuesday before the engineering faculty appeals committee. If he loses that appeal, he can take his case to the university’s senate.
The students were either helping each other out as one might do in a study group, or exchanging answers two homework questions. There is a lot of room here for interpretation.
How much of this is a matter of administrative fear of the internet? (See “Teachers Gone Wild” for a high school version of this issue.)
“So we each would be given chemistry questions and if we were having trouble, we’d post the question and say: `Does anyone get how to do this one? I didn’t get it right and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.’ Exactly what we would say to each other if we were sitting in the Dungeon,” said Avenir yesterday.
He is still attending classes pending his hearing but admits the stress of the accusations is affecting his midterm exam results.
“But if this kind of help is cheating, then so is tutoring and all the mentoring programs the university runs and the discussions we do in tutorials,” he said.