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Harvard ‘Honor Council’ member calls on Gay to resign, cites ‘double standard’


President Claudine Gay should resign due to the numerous instances of plagiarism, a member of Harvard University’s Honor Council recently wrote. Several days later, the university announced Gay would resign.

The anonymous member wrote that Gay is being treated with a different standard than students who face plagiarism accusations. The council “review[s] possible violations of the Honor Code and academic integrity policies,” according to its website.

The student wrote:

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.

“There is one standard for me and my peers and another, much lower standard for our University’s president,” the student wrote in The Harvard Crimson. “The Corporation should resolve the double standard by demanding her resignation.”

The student shared the “heart wrenching” nature of the decisions, which can include a permanent mark on someone’s record and stop students from graduating. “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 wrote.

“What is striking about the allegations of plagiarism against President Gay is that the improprieties are routine and pervasive,” author of the opinion piece wrote. “She is accused of plagiarism in her dissertation and at least two of her 11 journal articles. Two sentences from the acknowledgement section of her dissertation even seem to have been copied from another work.”

Other accusations have since emerged since the Crimson published the article three days ago.

“Six additional allegations of plagiarism,” were filed with the university on Monday, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The allegations add to a complaint originally filed by the same unidentified complainant in mid-December.

The new accusations include copying four sentences from University of Wisconsin Professor David Canon, as well as two of his footnotes. Professor Canon told The Free Beacon he is “not at all concerned about the passages.”

“This isn’t even close to an example of academic plagiarism,” Canon told the news outlet.

The anonymous complainant criticized the university again for what he called a “sham” investigation that included only three papers by Gay. The new complaint adds an eighth publication and six more accusations of plagiarism to what the university reportedly investigated. Harvard reportedly only investigated three papers written by Gay.

Editor’s note: Shortly after publication of this article, it was reported that Gay would resign. A sentence was added to the beginning of the article to reflect that.

MORE: Plagued by plagiarism scandal, Harvard’s political donations flood to Democrats

IMAGE: Harvard University

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.