Student faces expulsion for Facebook study group
University falls behind the times.
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A student at Ryerson University in Toronto is facing expulsion after organising a study group for fellow chemistry students on Facebook.
Chris Avenir has been accused of 147 cases of academic misconduct, one for each member of the group. He faces expulsion, and the university has already dropped his chemistry grade from a 'B' to an 'F'.
"If this kind of help is cheating, then so is tutoring and all the mentoring programmes the university runs and the discussions we do in tutorials," Avenir told The Toronto Star.
The Facebook group was called 'Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions' after the study hall in the university popularly known as the Dungeons.
Avenir claimed that the group was designed to investigate problems rather than try and cheat to boost grades.
Kim Neale, Ryerson Student Union advocacy co-ordinator, said that the move makes no sense.
"All these students are scared s***less about using Facebook to talk about schoolwork, when actually it's no different than any study group working together on homework in a library," he said.
"That's the worst part. It's creating a culture of fear. If I post a question about physics homework on my friend's [Facebook bulletin board] and ask if anyone has any ideas how to approach this, and my prof sees this, am I cheating?
"No one did post a full final solution. It was more the back-and-forth that you get in any study group."
The university has refused to comment while the case is ongoing.