An open letter to our readers

by Aformer Beacon / Beacon Correspondent • October 12, 2005

correspondent accused of plagiarism by The Berkeley Beacon last March has been suspended for a semester by Emerson College.

The writer, who discussed the disciplinary action on the condition she not be named, said she plans to return to Emerson in the spring to complete her final semester and hopes to graduate in May. The administration would not confirm the suspension.

Last semester, The Beacon's staff removed two articles from the paper's online archives after discovering they had drawn text from other published material without proper attribution or acknowledgement.

The articles "Emerson professor explores sound of silence," published Sept. 30, 2004 and "Museum of Fine Arts highlights Art Deco," published Dec. 9, 2004, were removed after the writer submitted another piece, which was found to have been copied word-for-word from the Institute of Contemporary Art's Web site. That article was never published.

Dean of Students Ronald Ludman told The Beacon in an e-mail interview that when a student is suspended for any reason, a hold is placed on his or her account and the suspension is noted on the student's permanent record.

The writer, who is currently taking two classes at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, apologized to the newspaper in a phone interview with The Beacon.

"I really feel so horrible about what happened and I'm thinking about it all the time," she said. "I feel awful that I threatened the credibility of the newspaper and I just want everyone to understand that I feel badly about it."

CORRECTIONS:

*Due to an editing error, Yuri Kato was misidentified as a man in last weeks article "TOEFL's new test has students speaking up."

*Due to a reporting error, a motion passed at a Faculty Assembly meeting on Sept. 27 was not clearly defined in last week's article "Faculty debates continue." The motion read as follows: "The Faculty Assembly of Emerson College is resolved that should the faculty and the college fail to reach substantive agreement on a new contract by October 10, 2005, both parties agree to mediation and, if necessary, binding arbitration to resolve their dispute."

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