A student who served on the Harvard College Honor Council, responsible for upholding the institution’s academic integrity, has called for the resignation of University President Claudine Gay. The student, who wished to remain anonymous, emphasized the emotional toll these decisions take on students, describing it as the worst day of their college careers, and even the worst day of their lives.
A Double Standard
Pointing out the disparity in consequences, the student argued that when peers are found responsible for inadequate citation, they often face suspension for an entire academic year. However, when the university president is found guilty of the same infractions, the fellows of the Corporation unanimously support her. This double standard, the student claimed, is unacceptable.
Routine and Pervasive
The student further criticized President Claudine Gay, stating that evidence suggests plagiarism has been “routine and pervasive” throughout her career. The op-ed also highlighted the university’s leadership for allowing Gay to retroactively correct instances of plagiarism in her work to avoid facing any consequences. This leniency, the student argued, is not extended to the student body.
A Call for Resolution
Concluding the piece, the student stressed the need for consistency and demanded President Gay’s resignation. The student urged the Corporation to address the double standard and hold the university’s highest authority accountable for her actions.
The Harvard Crimson, which published the op-ed, explained that the author chose to remain anonymous to protect themselves from potential retaliation, as the proceedings of the Harvard College Honor Council are sensitive and confidential.