Last week, during our utmONE session, we were introduced to Cleopatra Myers, the Academic Advocacy Coordinator at UTM. She graciously came in to talk to us about academic offences and how much trouble we would get into if we got caught plagiarizing or cheating on a test. We all learnt a lot about academic integrity.

These days, as deadlines for final essays are fast-approaching, it is more important than ever to think about academic integrity and the penalties given if you’re convicted of plagiarism.

In contrast to high school, when the worst thing a teacher would do if they caught you plagiarizing would be to make you re-do the assignment, university sanctions are at a whole different level. Here, Profs won’t hesitate to fail you or worse, you could be suspended from UTM for a year!

Just reading the booklet Cleopatra gave us was a worrying experience. I recall a chart that showed the whole system of appealing if you think you’ve been wrongfully convicted and it’s pretty scary stuff. The appeal process involves you going in front of a tribunal and working with a licensed lawyer to prepare your defence. This is surely an extremely time consuming and mentally draining process.

To avoid making an academic offense, Cleopatra gave us some useful tips. Here are some of them:

– Start early and ask for an extension if needed. Most academic offences are committed under stress.

– Get help on your paper from your TA during his/her office hours.

– Ensure that you are properly referencing your sources.

– Seek additional aid from the Academic Skills Centre located on the third floor of the library campus.

You should check out the complete Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters which you can find here: Also, if you would like additional information about the academic advocacy services provided on campus, you can email Cleopatra at the following address: