The EyeopenerWednesday, March 16, 20113NEWS
Turnitin Canada servers have been down since March 10.
PHOTO: MARTA IWANEK
Canadian Turnitin servers down
Plagiarism detection program many Ryerson professors depend on stops working during thebusiest time in the semester for assignment deadlines
BY SARAH DEL GIALLONEWS EDITOR
The program many Ryerson prosuse to avoid plagiarism and maintainacademic integrity in assignmentswas knocked ofine since March 10.An update was posted to Black-board accounts on March 14 stating,“There continues to be problems orsome students and sta attemptingto use Turnitin.com, due to a problemwith their Canadian servers. All Cana-dian Universities are aected. Turnitinbelieves the problem should be xedearly this week.”Turnitin is a digital code thatscreens a student’s submitted work and relays any inormation that mayhave come rom another source tothe proessor. This way, the proessorcan check i sources were cited prop-erly and that the inormation has notbeen plagiarized.Donna Bell, Ryerson’s academic in-tegrity ocer, said the university wasnotied o the server issue aroundnoon on March 10 and posted an an-nouncement on Blackboard immedi-ately aterwards. They were told theservers would be working by 9 p.m.that night. Turnitin is now saying theissue will be xed by early this week-end.Bell said the university’s responsi-bility is to update the aculty regularlybecause the servers are Canada wide,thereore the issue isn’t Ryerson’s.“As long as we communicated, weeel like we’ve done what we could,”she said.Kaitlyn Arcuri, a second-year childand youth care student, had to sub-mit an assignment via Turnitin whilethe servers were down. Her proessorposted a thread on the class discus-sion board.“My impression was that he justchose to ignore it and let us sort it outon our own,” she said. “He acknowl-edged that it wasn’t working but toldus to keep trying to submit it until wegot through.”He had students email assignmentsto him directly so he’d know whichwere on time. But he asked studentsto continue trying Turnitin, hopingthe program, which has worked spo-radically, might process the assign-ment.Students can opt out o using Tur-nitin i the service is mentioned in thecourse outline and they speak withtheir proessor in the rst two weekso the course.The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU)has been trying to advertise that right.RSU president Toby Whiteld said,“There are concerns that once yousubmit the documents to Turnitin, it’sno longer your property as a student.”Their campaign outlines that whenyou submit your work, it becomes theproperty o iParadigms, the U.S. com-pany that owns and operates Turnitin.Four American students led a law-suit and lost to iParadigms in March2008 claiming the service violatedcopyright.Whiteld said budget cuts orceuniversities to use these systems be-cause aculty isn’t paid enough or theworkload required to check work.“It’s a machine. It’s not a proes-sor,” he said. “Whether the servers areworking or not, it’s still a broken sys-tem as ar as we’re concerned.”
BY REBECCA BURTONASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
Rye seeksfrms tohandle up to$2.5 millionin projects
Ryerson is seeking an engineeringand architectural consulting rmsthat can handle uture projects o upto $2.5 million.University administration wouldnot reveal what projects the compa-nies are needed or but conrmedthey will only be using these rms oruture projects.The requests or qualications areposted on MERX, the approved elec-tronic site or posting potential busi-ness listings.Requests or qualications are usedby the university to nd an individualqualied to complete the requestedwork.This is based on actors such asreerences and history o work in theeld, says Aris Medeiros, purchasingagent.The university must nd an indi-vidual who has at least the minimumnumber o qualications beore di-recting any uture bids to them.“Once responded to and ound tomeet requirements, any uture bidswill be directed to them,” says O’Brien.This is unlike the universities re-quest or proposals that asks individu-als to demonstrate how they will getthe work done.Ryerson currently has postings oran engineering and architectural con-sulting services that have the lowestbilling o $50, 000 but indicates that itwill range as high as $2.5 million.According to the director o pur-chasing, Mary-Anne O’Brien, the rea-son or the high cost o $2.5 millionis to make sure the rm qualies tohandle such a costly project.The listing was rst posted on Feb.15 and indicates a closing date o March 15.The same website also hosts Ry-erson’s requests or proposals. Theseinclude a request or a new cae to bebuilt in the Image Arts building whichwould cater to students.
Six per cent turnout at voting polls
Any future bids will bedirected to them.
Mary-Anne O’BrienDirectory of Purchasing
Only six per cent o students par-ticipated in the combined online Sen-ate and Board o Governors electionsthis year despite voting extended oneday due to missing students on thevoters’ list.“The turnout was a little betterthan last year,” said Erin McGinn, in-terim secretary o the Board o Gov-ernors. Only our per cent o studentsweighed in on the outgoing adminis-tration.This year, the Senate and Board o Governors elections were held at thesame time in an eort to streamlinethe process or busy student voters.“We didn’t want a long drawn outelection period,” said McGinn.The attempt at simplicity almostbackred, ater Ryerson discovered158 students were missing rom theSenate voter list.“A Board o Governors by-law re-quires a list o eligible student voters30 days in advance o an election. TheSenate does not have this 30-day re-striction.“The day beore the election endedwe became aware that there were 158students on the Senate voter list thatwere not on the Board list.”The excluded students were indi-vidually contacted, and voting wasextended or an extra day.Newly elected senator and third-year urban and regional planningstudent Steven Ryan Bentley is ea-ger to make a dierence on campus.He hopes to improve ood quality inresidence and expand the optionsstudents have or minors and liberalarts credits.“Oering a multidisciplinary ap-proach to education is something Istrongly advocate,” said Bentley.The newly elected Senate andBoard o Governors will begin theirone-year terms on Sept. 1, 2011.
ELECTION WINNERS:SenateAt-Large Student Senators
Steven Ryan BentlyCommunity ServicesKemoo El Sayed, EngineeringArchitecture and ScienceAndrew McAllisterCommunication & DesignLiana SalvadorCommunity Services, NursingRebecca Zanussi,Communication & Design
Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Communication& Design
Faculty of Community Services
Faculty of Engineering,Architecture and Science
Ted Rogers School of Management
Yeates School of Graduate Studies
Waqas Manzoor, Golam Morshed,
G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education (Acclaimed)
Ugochukwu E. Asagwara SerenaGasparitsch
Student members of the Board of Governors
Tracy Leparulo , Osman Hamid,Liana Salvador
BY JEFF LAQUERQUIST
The turnout was betterthan last year.
Erin McGinn, InterimBOG Secretary