A computer science student at Dawson College in Montreal, Canada was recently expelled after finding and reporting a bug in the school’s computer system and running software to determine if the problem had been repaired a few days later.
According to The National Post, 20-year-old Ahmed Al-Khabaz who was working with a friend on the development of a mobile app that will allow students easier access to their college accounts, was initially thanked by the school’s Director of Information Technology after discovering and reporting a coding error that would allow “anyone with basic computer knowledge” to access up to 250,000 students’ personal information. Al-Khabaz was told that Skytech, the company that made the software, would correct the issue.
Two days later he ran a program that checks for possible problems with websites. He simply wanted to see if the error had been corrected yet, but was instead accused of attempting a cyber attack on Skytech’s servers. Al-Khabaz was cited as comitting “serious conduct issue” by Dawson College officials. The school’s computer science department professors then voted fourteen-to-one to expel him. His appeals were denied by both the academic dean as well as the director-general.
Extensive media coverage of the situation has even led to an online petition the help the student get reinstated, yet the school remains firm on its decision.
Regardless of where you attend college, it’s possible to get expelled if you do not follow the rules or break the law. Rules and regulations vary from college to college and some are stricter than others. Religious colleges often have dress codes and strict codes of conduct that prohibit activities which are considered safe and ordinary at other schools.
Here are a few things that commonly lead to expulsion:
1. Plagiarism or claiming that another person’s work or ideas were yours without giving them proper credit
2. Cheating on exams or assignments
3. Knowingly providing false information, verbally or on paperwork
4. Using, selling, and/or possessing illegal drugs or legal drugs without a valid prescription
5. Carrying and/or using a gun, knife, or other weapon on campus
6. Drinking alcohol on campus or hiding alcohol in your dorm room
7. Bad grades, which can lead to academic probation and expulsion if they are not corrected within a determined period of time
8. Criminal offenses both on- or off-campus, including public indecency, sexual offenses and DUI
9. Disruptive behavior in the classroom, elsewhere on campus, or even in your own dorm
10. Dating a professor or having other relationships deemed inappropriate by school rules
If you find yourself kicked out of college, you might be able to go before the board of trustees to appeal the school’s decision. Depending on the school’s disciplinary procedures, a formal hearing before a panel comprised of college employees as well as students may take place. Depending on the panel’s decision, the expulsion may be reversed.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.