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Apr 04, 2002

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vol. 23, no. 7

A compendium of articles that appeared in the media during the last few weeks quoting members of the SFU community.
Pressure perpetuates plagiarism
National Post, March 28

A University of Ottawa professor says research shows engineering and business students “are more likely to cheat than in other disciplines.” Christian Vandendorpe researches the phenomenon of plagiarism. John Barrie is the co-founder of a U.S.-based company hired by many universities to catch plagiarism. The company matches students' work with published materials on the Internet. Barrie says engineering and business students are particularly susceptible to plagiarizing material because of the competitiveness and level of difficulty in their fields. Roger Blackman is the associate dean at SFU's faculty of arts. He says about half of the 47 students, recently accused of plagiarism, have admitted to the offence. The other students claim a tutor is to blame for striking similarities in their work. Carleton University and UBC are also investigating charges of plagiarism on their campuses.

Police Reap Grisly Clues
Los Angeles Times, March 26

The 50 missing women who disappeared from Vancouver's seedy east side are now feared to have been the victims of what could be one of North America's worst serial killings. SFU criminology professor John Lowman is calling for an inquiry into the city police department's handling of the missing women's case, which he contends was plagued by failures to reinvestigate convicted killers of prostitutes, and to cross-check information with other law enforcement agencies. Like some other close followers of the case, Lowman said he had initial doubts about the serial-killing hypothesis in part because it might discourage separate and thorough investigation of each case. But now, after observing the intensive investigation at the Port Coquitlam hog farm, Lowman is changing his mind. “The important thing is that this doesn't stop here,” Lowman says.

Teen guilty in bullying death
Canadian Press, March 26

A youth court judge has found one of two teenage girls guilty of criminal harassment in the suicide death of 14-year-old Dawn-Marie Wesley. Wesley killed herself after speaking on the phone with friends who accused her of spreading rumours. The other teen was acquitted. SFU criminologist Ray Corrado says bullying has always been part of growing up. “If you can't meet that ideal, you're subject to a heckuva lot of potential bullying.” Some experts, says Corrado, think bullying is more severe today due to the pressures of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society. “Some would argue the (Reena) Virk case had a racist component to it,” he says.

Doubts cast on Olympic payoff
Vancouver Sun, March 23

It would be sheer speculation to say the 2010 Olympics would bring a multi-billion-dollar tourism boom to B.C., says the head of the Ontario-based international centre for Olympic studies. Kevin Wamsley says it is extremely difficulty to predict how many tourists would come to Vancouver if the Winter Games were held here. Peter Williams, director of SFU's centre for tourism policy and research, says there is no proof that Expo or the Calgary Olympics caused the increase in tourism that followed. “During that period, from about 1986 to 1994, there were dramatic increases in the amount of tourism in Canada. Was that because of those events, or was it because of the fact that the cruise-ship industry came to B.C. in that period? Because of the Gulf War? It's tough to make the connection.”

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