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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

RE: Student Trustee Report

I commend the student trustee on her activities to the students at the University of Massachusetts Boston. It is great to see the commitment and responsibility that go hand in hand with this leadership role. The student trustee can continue to volunteer her valuable time to these great activities, but let us not forget that the student trustees’ inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, last semester, should not and will not be tossed aside to improve her image; nor go unfettered and unanswered.

The student trustee allegedly sexually harassed and allegedly sexually assaulted another student. It is my understanding that the University administration believes the student trustees’ behavior does not violate the Student Code of Conduct and the student trustee has done nothing wrong; and her alleged behavior does not warrant an investigation by either the University or the student government association. In my opinion, this is a case of reverse discrimination and reeks of backdoor politics; and the University’s unwillingness to do the right thing. The University is hoping that this problem will go away.

With regard to The Mass Media article written by Ms. Dawood, Academic standards: For whom? “Exceptional outlets for academic excellence while remaining affordable and accessible and keeping ahead of the times.” Where? Okay, I have to admit there are several altruistic and just organizations at UMass Boston who strive for quality and value, but I draw the line when the student trustee and Chancellor Gora state that this University is “keeping ahead of the times.”

Since we’re talking about academic excellence or should I clarify, academic integrity, I would like to mention to our readers that plagiarism is on the rise. While I could provide you with statistical data, this is neither the place nor the time to share that information. Why do I mention it in this article, you ask? Interesting enough, the student trustee is culpable of plagiarism. According to the Center for Academic Integrity it is known as “internet plagiarism.” (The Center for Academic Integrity, “President’s Report,” October 2002). On page A7 of The Mass Media, February 27, 2003, second column, second paragraph, the student trustee failed to quote and cite an excerpt from the “Beacon Leadership Project Informational Brochure.” The student trustee fails to quote, starting with, “… that effectively integrates prior formal and informal learning …” and ends with, “… administrators, students, and community leaders directly and indirectly associated with the program.” The link to this quote is located at, . Click on the link, denoted, “pdf file.” . I have to wonder how much more plagiarized material is in this article.

I do question the student trustee’s intentions and values as she has been accused several times, by other students, of inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, but has not yet been convicted. I should hope that the student trustee is not included when she declared, “we are the best option for the future of our Commonwealth.” The student trustee has sullied the reputation of this University and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

She’s missing the point. Someone in her position should be setting an example for others. The only example she is setting are plagiarism and alleged misconduct. Is this the example that you want for your student trustee? Perhaps it is the type of student trustee UMass Boston deserves.

J. Stone Laraway IICM, MIS 2003