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A recent plagiarism case involving Latina student and sociology professor has gained momentum in media. A professor at Suffolk University, accused Tiffany Martinez of plagiarism that he found in her article “Academia, Love Me Back”. A professor underlined only one word “hence” and wrote “This is not your word”.

A scandal became popular after Tiffany Martinez posted information about an incident on her page on Facebook. She highlighted that didn’t just handed in a paper to a student, but did it in front of her peers. Moreover, there was also an inscription saying “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste”.  

That could be a healthy reaction to plagiarism that is considered as academic misconduct according to the Academic Misconduct Policy of Suffolk university, which states the ethical behaviour of all students in learning environment, and any plagiarism, self-plagiarism or data fabrication is treated as serious offenses.

However, what can be wrong with one word, and how it may be related to plagiarism. The word “hence” could be used by everyone, although it may seem awkward in the context.

Interviews for Reputable Sources

Martinez was very concerned of accusations as she didn’t plagiarize and she was convinced this incident is a case of pure racism. Later on, she gave interviews to the Buzzfeed Journal and Huffington Post. Tiffany said that she did a thorough research on her work and didn’t find a word plagiarized. Buzzfeed Journal took interest in Martinez’ case and contacted sociology department chair, soon an investigation began. The university sociology department answered in a polite manner they value every member of their community and they treat everyone with respect.

Another outstanding edition, The Huffington post, contacted Suffolk university, and got a wishy-washy answer about administration concerns and intentions to resolve a conflict.

Other Students Similar Situations as an Incentive to Assert Rights

In fact, Martinez’ case is not just emotional, as it really touches the problem of racism. The situation with different skin color people perception is not that settled as it may seem. Works of “non-white” people biased attitude exists and it is a sensitive question.

Facebook readers supported Tiffany expressed sympathy and excitement of her being so brave to contradict any professor’s attempts to make a mountain out of a molehill, and treat Latina student disrespectfully. There were other former students’ comments that had similar plagiarism allegations because of one word. One of them wrote that a professor found a word “unscathed” in a student’s paper and gave “C”, but a girl argued with a professor, and finally he gave her “A”.

A similar unexpected and biased accusations were at Rutgers university where student’s accusations were not reasonable.

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