Actions were unethical

To the editor,


This is the loaded word Mr. Harold N. Orndorff, Jr. uses to describe editor Lori Cox’s concern with the very serious issue of plagiarism in his letter to the editor in the October 8 edition of The Northerner.

I hate to beat a dead horse, given the amount of attention that the Orndorff plagiarism incident has received as of late, but, after reading Mr. Orndorff’s disturbing statements, I felt that I needed to voice my support of Ms. Cox and her staff on this issue.

As Dr. Jonathan S. Cullick pointed out in his letter to the editor in the same edition, “Honesty is an essential ethic for a university campus and our society.”

One might notice that I have placed quotation marks around this excellent statement and credited my source.

Perhaps Mr. Orndorff might find proper citation technique “rather boring” or “hard-to-read,” as he implies in his letter, but I find it honest and necessary.

Mr. Orndorff’s opinions on plagiarism are troubling. I cannot believe the utter contempt he has for academic integrity. In his letter, he seems more concerned with sarcastically bashing Ms. Cox than confronting the real issue.

He accuses Ms. Cox of “bend[ing] over backwards to harass those with an opinion anywhere to the right of the far-out left” and questions her professionalism.

He claims that his statements in the October 1 edition of The Northerner were taken out of context, yet, unsurprisingly, cites no evidence of this.

Mr. Orndorff can make all the accusations he wishes, but the fact remains that the letter he and his son composed was plagiarized.

Nothing he can say will change this.

Mr. Orndorff talks a great deal about protest, so this is my protest, a protest against dishonesty, against academic laziness, and against equating adherence to ethical standards with hysteria.

I believe that Mr. Orndorff, on some level, knows that his justifications for stealing hold no ground.

I sincerely hope that he will make some type of public apology for his unethical actions. He should especially apologize to Ms. Cox for attempting to politicize her uncovering of the truth.

It is the right thing to do.

Robert Detmering

Senior, English/history