Anti-plagiarism policies 'harm Black and Latinx students,' professor argues

Antar A. Tichavakunda, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati, recently argued that exam surveillance, zero-tolerance policies, and fraternities and sororities harm 'Black and Latinx' students.

Tichavakunda attributes the purported 'racial biases' to White students' access to academic resources.

On June 30, Antar A. Tichavakunda, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati (UC), published an article on Inside Higher Ed that argued exam surveillance, zero-tolerance policies, and fraternities and sororities harm “Black and Latinx” students. 

On the issue of technology, Tichavakunda claims that “proctoring software built to monitor students during remote exams… perpetuates racial biases and stereotypes.” 

Campus Reform spoke with Erec Smith, a professor at York College of Pennsylvania, about the argument Tichavakunda presents. 

Smith said that “[a]ssuming the general incompetence of minorities because they are minorities is a violation of… academic integrity.”

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Then on the issue of zero-tolerance, Tichavakunda writes that policies against plagiarism and standards of academic integrity “disproportionately harm Black and Latinx students.” 

He believes that the people who make the decisions about academic integrity standards and then enforce them are not “race-neutral,” arguing that minority students are often falsely accused of breaking academic rules. 

Finally, Tichavakunda tells readers to consider how white students have historically had access to exclusive academic resources through their sororities and fraternities.

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Referring to ‘test banks,’ which are cheat sheets for exams made by fraternities and sororities, as an exclusive academic resource, the Cincinnati professor said that white students “take exams and do homework with unfair advantages” and claims that white students cheat regularly. 

He further accused those who make decisions about academic integrity standards of not being “race-neutral."

Campus Reform contacted Tichavakunda for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.