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Feb 4, 2012

An Open Letter to The Student Services Coordinator

An Open Letter to AUIS Student Services Coordinator

To the AUIS Student Services Coordinator
Dear Madam,

Over the last two months, I have heard dormitory students complaining. I didn’t believe them at the beginning, because I thought they are studying at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. How can, I thought, they complain without any reasons!

It turned out that they have real reasons. They didn’t have electricity while they were rioting in front of the dorms. I thought it is normal, yet when the university’s delegate disrespected the students and threatened them. Then I thought there must be something wrong.

During the Harigan’s realm, we, students, had been accused of embracing a culture, which I called the culture of plagiarism. Unfortunately, Mr. Jeoffrey Gresk, the Integrity officer, repeated the same mistake. This has never been part of this culture, and students never have a culture of that tittle. And now you are heading to accuse us of embracing another culture, “culture of disrespectfulness”.  

We, students, are building a culture in which facts are speaking not false assumption based on Facebook reports. We are building a culture, in which we respectfully pursuit knowledge, not respectfully seeking disrespectfulness.  
Dear Madam, this, as you seem to be concerned about respect, is not acceptable. This has been accepted because of the students’ fragile position. When one is failing in taking his/her position adequately, it’s not the students’ fault. More precisely, when you are more interested in baseball courts and forgetting the students’ needs, insulting or labeling them is as disrespectful as accusing dorm delegates of being disrespectful.

You may have different interpretation for my claim, yet my claim is humble. Students are part of educational institutions. Disrespecting them, as you did and many other AUIS members form the lady in Finance Department, Integrity Officer to the boy working on the copy-machines, is disrespecting the entire institution. In other words, perhaps more simply, disrespecting students is disrespecting the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. Are you allowed to do so?
It is time to consider this claim, and the university must formally apologize for the following accusations.
1.      Disrespecting and threatening the student body, dormitory students in particular.

2.      Re- addressing the cheating and plagiarism policies, and apologizing for the accusations being formulated by the instructors and the Integrity Officer.


Bahman A. Hassan

Bahman A. Hassan is a student of International Studies at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani.

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11 Comments: on "An Open Letter to The Student Services Coordinator"

Anonymous said...

with you.

Anonymous said...

I agree,
first of all, there NO culture that is 100% free of pligrisim, or do you they want to convince us that the pligrim Policies were made for Iraqis only??????????

second, why are you judging our culture because three or four students cheated???

I hope this would stop.

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with cheating, but I never accept that if someone says, it is a part of our culture because it is not true. Cheating is every where in the world, not only in Iraq- Kurdistan,and if some students cheat on exams or whatever, it does not mean we should be accused of being cheaters because of our culture. I guarantee you every one in our culture knows that cheating is bad, but why some may do? It is obvious that when someone has an opportunity to do something, he or she does that because they are given chance. I respectfully say that if there is no cheating in the US at all, you have right to say, maybe the culture is apart of that. But honesty, ask yourself why are some students trying to cheat, while other not? if it is our culture, we should have been called cheater, Kurds or Arabs? Please be aware of that no one has right to say cheating is a part of Iraqi culture because it is not. if you need any source about how many students cheat in the U.S, I am ready to spend a day to search for that.

Anonymous said...

How about this: Don't cheat.

Anonymous said...

don't cheat, it is wrong

Anonymous said...

I've taught in multiple countries on several continents, including South America and a lot of time in SE Asia. In the US, I was responsible for grading many term papers and weekly assignments, and I got my share of plagiarizers. I can tell you, without a DOUBT, that cheating and plagiarism are far more prevalent here than they are in any other place I have ever worked. "Helping" IS a part of the culture, and we have all seen the "papers" and "masters theses" from other universities in the area, covered with plagiarized material.

Our students are smart enough to rise above that and do their own work. Most of them do, but the dishonest offenders are the ones who get all of the attention. So stop denying the cultural aspect here and work on ways of changing the perception that "cheating is ok if you don't get caught" within the university.

Student Eye said...

Karwan Gaznay

Dear last anonymous,

I would like to spread some words from the profundity of my busted heart with a poignant feeling, and I am sorry if I go beyond the ethics of writing because it is the “culture” of human beings to get frustrated while seeing and hearing some unfair criticisms!

First, it is easier said than done to bring some terms like nature in quarrelling about a small university; to me, the tone of the comparison is meaningless. Therefore, I intend to friendly say that “culture” should be respected as the identity of a nation rather than utilizing it as a tool of being against an argument.

Dear….what you have clarified in your above piece is impressive somehow, but ludicrous and laughable simultaneously.
It is imposing when you are suggesting a solution rather than disagreeing with it!

It is preposterous when you are equating the students, and this judgment reminds me misanthropic verdicts of Adolf Hitler while murdering people randomly! Sir, it is that dangerous!!!

So, yes there are some students who are plagiarizing, yet it is hard to say “it is a part of your culture.” Not all of us are plagiarizing, and we have been seeking to cure the same illness, and, fortunately, we have accomplished a lot. But I believe it is better to blame the teachers who facilitate the way of cheating. Sir, if you were a student in the same university with having the same teachers (some of the teachers, I mean), you unspeakably do the same thing; basically, you would cheat because the teachers are making the environment much flexible for cheating. So criticizing is usually decent and helpful, but in a proper way, so please be careful about using words because they are going to stay as your history.

I am sorry if my gobbledygook message irritates you sir, and I am looking forward to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Karwan what are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is gobbledygook, unfortunately, like almost all the posts on this blog. But within the gibberish I see this sentence: "you would cheat because the teachers are making the environment much flexible for cheating."

So by this reasoning, if someone leaves money on a desk, you're free to take it (steal) because the person didn't guard his property against you.

So in fact you're a cheater and a thief if you have the opportunity to be one.

I'm glad this much is clear amid the gobbledygook of the rest of these posts. It's always good to know who you're dealing with.

Anonymous said...

I am beyond tired of hearing over and over again about the "culture of cheating". If we are an American university, maybe we should teach American values - one being that we do not generalize an entire group of students this way.

Anonymous said...

...stop being so sensitive! I've been teaching at the university level in Kurdistan for many years. Plagiarism is rampant here, it's a fact. Not just with students, but in journalism and other contexts as well. I once taught a course to engineering students that included a research paper, and in spite of much instruction about plagiarism, the VAST majority of the students still either copied directly from the Internet and/or didn't cite sources properly. I also lived with students in a dormitory for one year where I observed the phenomenon of "helping" many times. Yes, there are many students in Kurdistan who do not do this, but there are also many that do and I think it's because they don't really see it as wrong, and that's the thing that needs to change.

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