An undergraduate member of Harvard’s Honor Council believes university president Claudine Gay is “getting off easy” from her recent plagiarism allegations.
The student, who remained anonymous, wrote an op-ed published in the Harvard Crimson student newspaper on Sunday. Gay is facing widespread accusations of antisemitism and plagiarism, but the university’s board has declared it still supports her.
“I have served as a voting member of the Harvard College Honor Council, the body tasked with upholding the College’s community standards of academic integrity,” the student began. “In my time on the Council, I heard dozens of cases. When students — my classmates, peers, and friends — appear before the council, they are distraught. For most, it is the worst day of their college careers. For some, it is the worst day of their lives. They often cry.”
“It is because I have seen first-hand how heart-wrenching these decisions can be, and still think them necessary, that I call on University President Claudine Gay to resign for her numerous and serious violations of academic ethics,” the student continued.
“When my peers are found responsible for multiple instances of inadequate citation, they are often suspended for an academic year. When the president of their university is found responsible for the same types of infractions, the fellows of the Corporation ‘unanimously stand in support of’ her,” the student wrote.
The student went on to argue that evidence suggests Gay’s plagiarism was “routine and pervasive” throughout her career.
The piece then blasted the university’s leadership for allowing Gay to simply retroactively correct the instances of plagiarism in her work to avoid consequences, something students would never be allowed to do.
“There is one standard for me and my peers and another, much lower standard for our University’s president. The Corporation should resolve the double standard by demanding her resignation,” the student concluded.
The Harvard Crimson noted that it allowed the op-ed’s author to publish the piece anonymously, “to protect the author from retaliation, and because the proceedings of the Harvard College Honor Council are sensitive and confidential.”