In the previous fall semester (2015) I was accused of an academic offence in the final paper of a course, which I think must have had to do with incorrect citations as I know I didn’t copy or plagiarize someone else’s work. This was the first time I’ve been accused of academic misconduct in 3 years at UTSC. I was advised at the time to speak to the Academic Integrity office and proceed from there, but my dad was in the hospital battling cancer and I didn’t want to put any further stress on my family who was going through a very tough time. He has now recovered after a lengthy battle and I plan on discussing my situation with the Academic Integrity office in September.
However, I’m worried that if they do find me guilty of a misconduct, I’ll be suspended for a year due to an academic suspension as I was on academic probation at the time of the accusation. I ended up finishing the fall semester, and then the winter semester and bumping up my CGPA to 1.67, which then made me think: should I continue to take classes to further bump
up my GPA to avoid suspension, THEN go discuss it with the integrity office (as they will then open the investigation)? Or is that not going to make a difference? I only have a year left before I can graduate, and I really don’t want a year long suspension to put a hold on things right now. I know if I finish this upcoming semester and do well in my classes, my CGPA will be high enough so that if I do end up getting a 0 (for my accusation in the course from a year prior), I won’t risk being put on academic suspension as my CGPA will be high enough to overcome the issue.
i don’t know if i’m really understanding the situation. as far as i can tell, you’re asking about when the best time would be to speak with the academic integrity office, but as far as i know, you don’t get a choice with this kind of thing. if there is an investigation into a possible academic offence, you will be summoned to a meeting. they will let you know where and when they’d like to meet.
i’m a little confused since you said the offence was in 2015 and we’re now halfway through 2016 – did they never contact you for a meeting? did you agree to speak with them later so you could focus on being with your family? whatever the case may be, i think it’s important that you honour whatever agreement you have with the academic integrity office. keep an eye on your e-mail so that you will know if they request a meeting with you. if you agreed to connect with them at a later time, honour that.
if you didn’t establish any fixed meeting time with them, then it might be a good idea to touch base again. before you do so, though, here’s what i recommend:
make time to speak with an academic adviser so that you’re fully prepared and ready for the meeting. obviously, you can’t go wrong by telling the truth, but an academic adviser can tell you what to expect and also answer any questions that you may have. when you’re in this situation, it’s something i highly, highly recommend.
i can’t fault you for trying to do as well as you can in the summer so that this possible offence has the smallest possible impact on you. that being said, you shouldn’t try to avoid the offence because you’re afraid of what it will do to your marks. seek out help, definitely. but do not ignore the situation.