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Editors’ Note in Response to Cases of Plagiarism

The Olaf Messenger published two articles in the Sept. 8, 2021 print issue that extensively plagiarized stories previously published during the 2020-2021 school year. The plagiarized articles are “Chauvin trial: the verdict and the aftermath on the Hill” and “Bias Response Team introduces new incident reporting system.” The plagiarized articles contained writing taken without credit from articles by Lydia Bermel ’22 and Amy Imdieke ’21 respectively. Bermel’s original article, “‘God is good,’ — campus reacts to Chauvin verdict,” appeared in the April 22, 2021 print and online editions of The Olaf Messenger. 


The plagiarized article copied Bermel’s writing almost in its entirety. Imdieke’s original article, “St. Olaf unveils new reporting system to combat discrimination, bias,” appeared in the October 15, 2020 print and online editions. The plagiarized article contained five paragraphs copied from Imdieke’s story.


The reporter responsible for the plagiarism will no longer be writing or working for The Olaf Messenger. We, the executive editors, apologize to Bermel, Imdieke, and our readers for this egregious error and take responsibility for publishing plagiarized writing. It is the policy of this newspaper that all writing and information from other sources must be attributed correctly. At this time, we are revisiting our staff training and editorial policies to ensure that such an incident does not happen again.

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