The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

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Harvard President Resigns after Plagiarism

Harvard+University+President+Claudine+Gay+attends+a+House+Education+and+The+Workforce+Committee+hearing+titled+Holding+Campus+Leaders+Accountable+and+Confronting+Antisemitism+on+Capitol+Hill+in+Washington%2C+U.S.%2C+December+5%2C+2023.+
REUTERS
Harvard University President Claudine Gay attends a House Education and The Workforce Committee hearing titled “Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2023.

 

Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned Tuesday, January 2, following an inquiry about antisemitism on college campuses and multiple allegations of plagiarism of her doctoral thesis.
Gay’s presidency was significant for a couple of reasons. First, she was Harvard’s first Black president; second, she had the shortest presidency in Harvard’s history, just six months and two days. Many of the staff stood by her when she came under attack for not condemning Hamas or for what many perceived as failing to acknowledge antisemitism on college campuses appropriately.
However, under intense pressure, she resigned as many donors and politicians called for her resignation. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce had three university presidents testify about antisemitism on college campuses following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel in early December. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked Gay, “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules on bullying and harassment?” to which she responded, “It can be, depending on the context.” The conversation continued, and Rep. Elise Stefanik repeated her questioning if statements such if it violated Harvard’s honor code to say statements such as “from the river to the sea” or “intifada.” Gay did not say it does and that although she disagreed with the speech, it was not directed to anyone in particular and that whether these incidents constituted a violation of the honor code depended on context and whether the speech turned into conduct. (https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2023/12/8/gay-apology-congressional-remarks/ ) This was echoed among all three presidents. Many were outraged about this answer, and now, two of the three presidents who testified have resigned from their positions.
For Harvard, the school has had a decrease in donations, which has negatively affected its reputation. Plagiarism charges have now been made within her body of work, and an investigation is underway. In her resignation letter, Gay said that she was resigning for the good of the school and would return to teaching classes at Harvard.
This event creates a different view of Harvard, though thousands of U.S. high school students are still looking to apply for Harvard. Many students around Millbrook have strong opinions regarding the allegation, including a junior named Nick Ward. “If I plagiarized or cheated in class, I would get a direct office visit with the director of IB, and my parents and teachers would be a part of the meeting. If I applied to colleges, I wouldn’t get in because of my record and the allegations against the President of Harvard. I will not apply to schools like that,” Ward said. S
Students like Ward are debating whether to even apply to colleges like Harvard because of the narrative that Claudine Gay created. The multiple allegations of plagiarism and antisemitism on college campuses have prompted a loss of trust between high school students and other institutions that have had various problems regarding plagiarism.
For example, University of South Carolina president Bob Caslen resigned for plagiarizing remarks in a commencement speech on May 14, 2021. There are multiple different colleges that have had Presidents resigning because of the allegations relating to plagiarism. Claudine Gay is the newest President to resign for not only plagiarism but the lackluster antisemitism response. This is especially crucial to the Harvard administration because of their reputation as a college. The overall distrusting factor that Claudine Gay alluded to has caused a barrier across multiple perspectives involved.

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About the Contributor
Jack Williams
Jack Williams, Web Designer
 Hey everybody I'm Jack Williams, this is my second year on the Newspaper Staff. I am so excited for this upcoming year! I am a Junior, and I swim for Millbrook. I am a part of Best buds, Younglife, and the English Honors Society. Outside of school I spend time with my friends and collect tons of vinyl records! I am looking forward to all of you guys reading my articles, let's make it the best year!

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