Student Accused of Plagiarism Sues University for Degree

PRINCETON N J Princeton University and a former student accused of plagiarism are a waiting an appellate court decision on whether the student's constitutional rights and her right to a degree were violated

Gabriclie Napolitano, who would have received her diploma in June, was found guilty in February of plagiarizing on a Spanish paper by the Discipline Committee, which voted to withhold her diploma for a year

Ordered Retrial

Napolitano sued the university, New Jersey Superior Court Judge William Dreier first ruled last spring that the university had not property conducted its Discipline Committee bearing against her and ordered a retrial.

When the committee again found Napolitano guilty and sentenced her to the some punishment, she took the case back to Dreier, who ruled in favor of Princeton She then appealed to the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division, which is now considering the case.

Discussion between the judges and lawyers focused on whether the committee followed its procedures correctly and on more subjective issues, including the seventy of the committee's penalty

The university's rule preventing a defendant from having a lawyer at a committee hearing--a rule which Napolitano's lawyers have called into question--also sparked much debate


Napolitano has said that she never intended to deceive her Spanish professor but university counsel Thomas H Wright said The argument about what one did or didn't intend strikes me as a totally fanciful discussion in this case He termed her argument legal or philosophical hairsplitting. The Daily Princetonian reported last week.