SGA president warns students against using online paper services

UNA Paper Writer, operating under the Twitter handle @UNAHomeworkHelp, has surfaced on Twitter, following more than 600 users in less than a week.

“For a little bit of $$$ let me write your papers or do any of your school work for you. No job too big or too small!” is what the description reads, and the account owner has an email account under the same handle.

The owner guarantees anonymity in all transactions, and is urging students to send him or her assignments to complete, in exchange for money, before the end of the semester.

However, according to the university’s code of conduct, students are expected to “be honorable and observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars.”

Cheating is a violation of the code of conduct, and is punishable by official university sanctions.

“Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the use of any unauthorized, assistance in taking quizzes, tests or examinations,” according to the code of conduct, which can be found online. “[It also includes] the use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments, the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff and engaging in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.”

While the policies outlined in the code of conduct cover a lot of instances, a clear violation is still a violation, said Kim Greenway, director of student conduct, in an interview with The Flor-Ala on Sept. 7.

“It’s as simple as that,” Greenway said. “Once we’ve determined that the student violated the academic honesty policy, we’ll begin the conduct process, which can be either formal or informal.”

SGA President Will Riley said he sent out a tweet on Dec. 2 to warn students about the account, which is in no way affiliated with the university.

“It was a simple call to action in reference to the account,” Riley said. “Someone sent me a message with a screenshot [of the account], and I immediately freaked out. With the official UNA logo, I could see how some students might see it as a legitimate UNA account. And if I was a student that was unfamiliar with the body of the academic honesty policy, I could see how I might look at it and think, ‘Wow, that’s great that they want to help me out like that,’ and not even realize that it was cheating.”

Greenway said sanctions can vary, but all violations are handled very seriously.

“Sanctions range from required educational programs to suspension for varied amounts of time,” she said. “Academic dishonesty affects the integrity of the institution.”

Riley said he personally believes the account will die down.

“I just really hope somebody isn’t naïve enough to believe that they’re going to help them.”