#trending: Petition calls for UCLA to investigate influencer and tutor Brooke Lim’s admissions essay after plagiarism accusations
A petition calling for an investigation into local influencer Brooke Lim’s university admissions essay to the University of California (UCLA) has been launched in light of recent plagiarism allegations surrounding her written work.
- A petition calling for an investigation into local influencer and English tutor Brooke Lim’s admissions essay to the University of California has been launched
- This is in light of recent plagiarism allegations surrounding a blog essay she wrote on eating disorders
- In a TikTok video on April 24, Ms Lim admitted plagiarising the essay and apologised
- The petition claimed that there is a "high likelihood" that Ms Lim plagiarised her admission essay during university application as well
SINGAPORE — A petition calling for an investigation into local influencer Brooke Lim’s university admissions essay to the University of California (UCLA) has been launched in light of recent plagiarism allegations surrounding her written work.
Ms Lim, who runs English tuition agency Classicle Club and is known as “sugaresque” on social media, apologised on Monday (April 24) after online users called her out last week for plagiarising a blog essay on eating disorders.
In a TikTok video, the 19-year-old apologised for making the “very serious and regrettable mistake of plagiarising”.
The petition, which was posted on online petition platform Change.org on April 18, is seeking a thousand signatures in order to urge UCLA to conduct a probe into Ms Lim’s admissions essay, which is submitted as part of applications to the university.
The petition, created by "Brianna Lee", states that Ms Lim is a prospective international student of the College of Letters and Science.
Ms Lee claims that Ms Lim had been offered admission into UCLA on March 17, 2023. Ms Lim confirmed this in a TikTok video posted in mid-April.
“We strongly implore UCLA's admissions department to launch a thorough investigation on Brooke Lim Ke Xin's college admissions essay as she has displayed recent and ongoing unethical conduct by plagiarising from others, seeking to boost her professional credibility as a writer through her plagiarised essay by means of self-promotion for her personal brand, and failing to take any accountability for her actions,” the petition read.
It goes on to criticise Ms Lim for plagiarising something “as personal as an eating disorder” and calls her “disrespectful and callous” for exploiting mental conditions “to suit her own agenda”.
“Is this really the kind of student that UCLA wants to admit?” the writer pointedly asks.
The petition then beseeches UCLA to relook into Ms Lim’s university application as it claims that there is a “high likelihood” that Ms Lim plagiarised her admissions essay as well.
It also asks for the university to reconsider her admittance.
More than 745 people have signed the petition as of Tues (April 25) afternoon.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Early last week, a Google document detailing Ms Lim’s plagiarism was posted online and subsequently circulated on TikTok by the account “sugaresqueessay”.
The document, written by unnamed authors, accused Ms Lim of plagiarising “over 70 per cent” of an essay titled On Being Afraid Of Eating which she published on her blog Grayscale Copy on April 18.
The essay was also shared on her Telegram channel.
Ms Lim allegedly wrote that the longform essay on eating disorders was an autobiographical recount and that the topic was “very personal and sensitive” to her.
The Google document, however, claimed that Ms Lim’s essay was plagiarised from multiple books and articles, and even included a table comparing the various texts which Ms Lim allegedly copied to the original materials.
“The similarities include: Sentences, whole paragraphs, plot points, and specific details. While some words have been painstakingly paraphrased, the overall structure of full paragraphs are copied with no credit whatsoever to the original creators, despite the obvious correlations.”
The authors behind the document explained that they were able to identify the plagiarised text because they “have eating disorders” and have read books about the condition.
Upon noticing the similarities, the authors claimed that they messaged Ms Lim anonymously but she did not respond. Ms Lim, however, supposedly removed the plagiarised text afterwards.
The document also accused Ms Lim of plagiarising her response to a media interview with lifestyle website The Ladies Cue in January this year, where she allegedly reproduced an interview answer by dating app Bumble’s founder Whitney Wolfe Herd.
MS LIM APOLOGISES
In a video posted on TikTok on Monday, Ms Lim apologised to all her students, social media followers as well as the authors of the books which she plagiarised.
She emphasised that she had not gained financially from the publication of the essay and added that the work had not been submitted as a college admissions essay or as part of any academic assignment.
Apart from taking down the essay from her blog, Ms Lim said that she was “all ears” to any suggestions on how to rectify the matter.
Many online users condemned the English tutor’s actions, calling it “disturbing”, “appalling” and “unethical”.
Some even dismissed her apology as “superficial”.
On a Reddit thread discussing the controversy, one user wrote: “Considering the fact that she’s a (General Paper) tutor, and has a huge platform with many students looking up to her, this is honestly unacceptable and super unethical, not to mention unfair for the authors of the books.”
Several people, however, expressed support for Ms Lim and claimed that some netizens had gone too far in their efforts to punish her.
One TikTok user wrote: “She is wrong indeed and has to face the consequences but haters (are) trying to ruin her entire future. That's just too much.”
Responding to TODAY’s queries, Ms Lim said that she is aware of the petition and understands the concerns raised by those who have signed it.
She clarified that she has not accepted UCLA’s admission offer and is not yet a student of the school.
She added that UCLA has not reached out to her following the plagiarism accusations.
“I trust that the school will do its due diligence and I would be open to clarifying my stance directly should the need arise,” she said.
TODAY has also reached out to UCLA for comment.
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