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01st Apr 2018

NUS president insists speech virtually identical to The West Wing just a coincidence

Do not think this would get through Turnitin

Oli Dugmore

Do not think this would get through Turnitin

NUS president Shakira Martin has insisted that a speech she gave on Wednesday is only coincidentally similar to The West Wing.

Speaking at NUS conference, Martin’s script mirrored that given by fictional President Jed Bartlet in structure and, in some sentences, word for word.

Student news network The Tab ran Shakira’s lines through a plagiarism detection tool and found a 36 per cent chance of theft, citing three lines as being 61, 90 and 100 per cent similar to the script from The West Wing.

One example is the repetition of “there is evil in the world, there always has been, and we can’t do nothing about that.”

Martin finishes the speech in the same way as Martin Sheen: “We can do better. We must do better, and we will do better.”

She does, however, deny the charges – insisting she has never seen Aaron Sorkin’s classic and that the similarity must just be a coincidence.

At the end of the conference, Martin was re-elected for a second year-long term as NUS president with more than 50 per cent of the vote.