March 11, 2024 at 4:36 pm

Student Took Credit For Work They Didn’t Do, So Other Students Made Sure They Paid A Big Price

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/Unsplash/@mmarsh101

Nobody likes a rip-off artist…

And there’s no doubt about that!

So what is a person to do if someone steals their ideas and presents them as their own?

Well, get revenge, of course!

Check out what happened in this story from Reddit!

Try to steal our credit for work you didn’t do? I’ll ruin your election.

“Main Persons involved:

  • Jane, the Liar and Cheat
  • Me
  • My Friend, “John”
  • Justice Simp (These will make sense later)
  • Justice Hero
  • Justice Beast

Let’s begin this back in October 2018. I am a sophomore in university, and I’ve joined some student clubs. At this time, I wasn’t too active in the club that is the subject of this story.

But in October 2018, the president at the time, who we will call “John” since they are a close friend of mine now, was working on a project on campus. This project was to accommodate certain individuals on campus by allowing them to park in staff lots.

This would be helpful.

On our campus, parking in the normal lots for these individuals could mean a 10-15 minute walk with their temporary impairment. So, parking in staff lots makes a whole lot of difference.

After months of being tossed around by different departments, John ultimately got the approval by going to the university president directly. In total, John had worked on this project for a little over a year. I was later elected, in Spring 2019, as the club historian, and then the president in Fall 2019.

Everything seemed fine…

For a year and a half, things were going good. Our club asked about how well the project was doing since its initial start, and dozens of students with the particular impairment had been using it. We were incredibly proud to have made a difference on campus.

John was especially proud, since it was basically their baby that they conceived for the campus. There was even a university and nationwide article published about it for our club.

Introducing Jane.

Jane was a classmate of mine who was in political science and had aspirations for public office where we live. They had been in some of my classes, and was a well known student senator on campus.

Not everyone was a fan of Jane…

Jane was pretty well known for being liked and popular. However, with those who have worked with Jane, like my friend John, Jane was infamous for being manipulative and a flake on things that didn’t benefit their own interest.

Lo and behold, this semester (Yes, this Spring), Jane did something remarkable: Jane took credit for John’s work. You see, our university newspaper publishes the biographies of each candidate running for student offices. Jane was running for President.

You may think, “Why is this such a big deal? It’s just a student popularity contest.” Yes and no. Yes to it being a popularity contest, but no because the students in office at our university control hundreds of thousands of dollars. The last reported number I saw was around $1-$2 million in a fully student office controlled budget. If Jane was elected, Jane would have real power.

This wasn’t cool.

Anyways, Jane had taken credit for John’s work. Again, John had slaved for over a year to get the program in place at our university, and Jane just grabs the credit for it, saying that they “Created” the program.

In addition, Jane was a nominal member of the club, having only attended a handful of meetings, and never attending events except in passing. John confronted Jane about it, to which Jane promised to change their bio (haha… I bet Jane wishes they did).

After a few days of no change, John emails the editor of the university paper and asks if they can change Jane’s bio, while also giving due credit to John and the clubs affiliated with the actual work.

The editor informed us that because Jane was not requesting the change themselves, the most that the paper would do is place a note at the bottom of the bio saying that what Jane said was false. This wasn’t good enough. By now, the paper had been out for two weeks, and no one checks the online sources by now.

John had enough.

John confronted Jane again, now demanding that Jane not only change their bio, but also publicly apologize and give credit to our club. Jane again promised, and we waited for another week, giving her ample time to make the change.

By then, it was already election week (this was the very first week of Corona lockdown for our city). On the election ballot, Jane’s bio had changed to say that she had “initiated”, not “created” the program. She changed one word. One. Word. John and I were furious.

Uh oh…

We had to do something. But who would take this seriously? The student elected officials are all an “in-group”, and there’s no way we can get this by without some hard evidence.

Then there was me. I spent a few days compiling text messages between John and Jane, emails by John from Oct 2018 to late 2019 to university departments, emails from John to the editor, and news articles officially giving credit to John and our club.

Obviously, Jane was nowhere to be found in the email chains. Not even the meeting minutes for the university senate had any record of Jane proposing the program to the student senate.

We had her **** to rights on flat our lying and stealing credit for work that she didn’t do. Unfortunately, I did not get the evidence compiled before the end of student elections- Jane was elected as the associated student president.

Wait a second…

But wait… Something glorious happened. A day or two before I submit my findings to the student senate, a post on the university facebook catches my attention.

It couldn’t have been more beautiful. Right there was a screenshot of Jane DMing someone on instagram, saying that if they vote for them that they’d be enrolled into a giftcard raffle. Borderline bribery and incitement?

You’re darn right. In a matter of hours, the post went viral on campus. Hundreds of students demanded an explanation, with no official comment by the student senate, campus administration, or external student affairs. The silence riles up the student plebs even more.

To add salt into the wound, a particular student senator defended Jane saying “It was approved, get over it.” Little did we know, this person would be VERY important later…

They were prepared.

After about two days of no actions, I finally have all I need. The emails, the texts, the bio screenshots, Jane’s promises to change the info, and Jane’s DMs to people bribing them to vote… My case file was complete.

I even managed to have John give me an official statement on the issue, which was approved by the National Headquarters of our club. I PM’d the Associated Students Office on Facebook, and I emailed their office manager (and a few student senators) all my findings.

I also CC’d the Chair of Student Affairs to make sure that they read my email, because whenever you CC upper leadership… They won’t be happy at seeing bad stuff being said about them.

A few days later, and I got a response. All my findings were forwarded to the student court, which was the judicial committee of the student senate (I also had no idea we had one, but apparently they have a good deal of power).

Enough people were emailing complaints to the office that official cases were bring brought up against Jane- two by Jane’s opponents in the election, and the other by me. Within the week, I was invited to make my case against Jane.

Trial day. Now, the rules of the Student Court are rather lax. If you’ve ever been a part of mock trial, it was a lot like that but with less formal rules on what you’re allowed to present to the court.

To add to this, due to Coronavirus, we had to had the court session over Zoom (the set up is a whole other story involving explicit imagery from a troll). In the stupidity of it all, Jane had refused to show up to the online meeting, but was giving rebuttals via… email?

Before me, one of Jane’s opponents went against her. For the sake of simplicity, I will summarize both the cases against Jane by her opponents. Basically, they argued that what Jane did was unethical.

Even though no specific campus policy went against bribery (literally), they still argued that it was unethical, and that the court should both recommend that the senate amend the policy and punish Jane.

There was a new character involved.

Introducing… Justice Simp.

Remember that student senator who defended Jane on the Facebook post and told us to get over it? Guess who one of the justices on the student court was? That’s right. Justice Simp. Conflict of interest? Yea. Definitely.

For a solid 15 minutes, Simp was arguing with the other justices on whether or not to recuse himself. However, due to a lack of solid evidence detailing the relationship between Jane and Justice Simp, he was allowed to sit on the court.

Now, before each election, every student candidate is required to sign off on a form stating that they understand the rules- that they are accountable to all rules and regulations even if they do not get elected. For all intents and purposes, the candidates are members of the university senate policies.

This is important because Simp tried to argue a technicality- the student senate rules are specifically worded to include only active student senators/members and faculty. Justice Simp argued that because Jane was bribing students, but not as a president/senator, that the rules do not apply to her (he literally said this). Justice Hero wasn’t having any of it.

This entire time, Justice Hero and Simp were going at it, with Simp oddly defending Jane to the *****, while Hero was just trying to get to the facts of right and wrong. When Simp’s argument for the technicality failed, he literally argued “How could Jane possibly know about the rules?”

In comes Justice Beast, another Justice on the court who isn’t having any of Simp’s ****. Beast comes in strongly, reading verbatim the statement on the form that Jane signed when beginning their campaign, saying that they promised to comply with ALL university rules and regs.


Goodbye vague loophole, you’ve been closed. When the court voted on whether or not Jane was guilty of bribing other students, the total was 4-1, with Justice Simp being that one guy who refused to accept the facts.

Now, my case was a little different. Where the other cases were about Jane bribing other students to vote for them, my case was about Jane breaking the policies of honesty and integrity. The student official’s code of ethics literally have a section about honesty, and a section about fulfilling obligations that you promise AND not taking credit for work you didn’t do.

All the justices were forwarded my case’s evidence, and it was my time to make my case against Jane. I presented all the evidence I mentioned before, elaborating to say that no one does anything like this unless you intentionally lie (including the literal change of ONE word).

My nail in the coffin was the official statement by John, which detailed the entire ordeal in a nicely approved letter by National Leadership. Upon being questioned, Justice Simp tried to trip me up, asking how I knew Jane was active or not in the club.

Me, having a few years of mock trial experience, declared that it would be hearsay for me to answer, as I wasn’t an active member or officer during the time that Justice Simp was asking about. In order to get an answer, he’d have to ask John, who was the president at the time.

However, I did add that in the times I was an officer, I only saw Jane 2-3 times over the last year and a half. No where near the levels of activity that Jane was claiming.

Nice try, Simp, but your **** isn’t gonna work with me.

Same old Simp…

Again, Justice Simp is stalling, trying to keep the court from voting on the issue. It’s getting late in the night, and we all want to leave. I am almost certain Jane was watching from a friend’s screen while also messaging Justice Simp.

During the deliberation, Jane emailed the justices her “response”, basically saying how the rules don’t apply to her because she wasn’t acting in the office of a student official. Justice Simp read Jane’s response verbatim and still defended her. Justice Beast and Justice Hero had enough of Simp’s ****, and call for a vote on the case.

My case, being much more well documented and based on concrete university policies, held up ridiculously well. Especially when Hero and Beast brought up the ethics code about only taking credit for what you did, Simp shut up really quick.

The end vote: 5-0. Even Justice Simp couldn’t deny that Jane had flat out lied and stolen credit.

Time to party!

I celebrated that weekend by buying some beers and enjoying myself, social distancing style.

We are still awaiting the official punishment of Jane, but there is talk about removal from office as well as Justice Simp being investigated for conflict of interest in the cases.

I’ve never been more satisfied to ruin Jane’s campus political career, and it likely will ruin their future political career. I plan to email the evidence to politicians Jane has/is working with.”

Check out what folks had to say about this.

This reader offered some advice.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual thinks someone needs to look at this stuff…

Source: Reddit/AITA

One reader was impressed.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person is a fan of campus justice.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And one Reddit user said this will haunt her…

Source: Reddit/AITA

That’s how it’s done!

Nice work!

If you liked that post, check out this story about a customer who insists that their credit card works, and finds out that isn’t the case.