Toronto (Canada) – A first-year Ryerson University student faces expulsion after running an online Facebook study group that swapped homework tips. 18-year-old Chris Avenir has been hit with 147 counts – one for each student who used the group – of academic misconduct and will now go in front of the engineering department for an expulsion hearing. The school claims the group gives students an unfair advantage, but Avenir says it’s the 21st century equivalent of a traditional study group.
Avenir is a computer engineering student at the Toronto university and joined the study group last year. He then became the group’s administrator. Avenir and 146 other students asked each other for advice on how to approach homework problems in their chemistry class.
The class is now over and Avenir initially received a B, but the professor changed the grade to an F after discovering the Facebook group. Kim Neale, Avenir’s student representative (basically a school public defender), says the group was just a modern version of a study group and that no homework solutions were posted.
Avenir can appeal to the Academic Senate if he is expelled by the engineering school.