Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cheaters Never Win

     The University of Central Florida has sort of garnered a reputation for cracking down on academic dishonesty.  And by that I mean cheating.  They have cameras like one would find in a Las Vegas casino in all sorts of classrooms and student lounges in order to spy out people who aren't taking their own tests, copying, etc.  So while the fact that a recent professor was able to find out that over 200 of his students in one class cheated on an exam shouldn't surprise anyone, the fact that so many of them (approximately 1/3, and they were all seniors about to graduate by the way) were doing it should.
     When Business Professor Richard Quinn noticed that test scores on a particular exam were running a grand and a half higher than ever before, a little detective work and an anonymous confession led hm to discover that one-third of his six hundred students had cheated on the exam.  So he did what any good professor did.  He called them out on it.
      Since he was able to discern just who was cheating, he offered the cheaters the opportunity to come clean and take a four-hour ethics course and have their records wiped clean, or keep their mouth shut and run the risk of not graduating.  After watching their professor tell them that he was "physically ill" over the scandal, and that he was "trying what the last 20 years were all about" about 50% have fessed up and learned about ethics for four hours.  He is also making everyone, cheaters or not, take the exam again in order to graduate.
     The most shocking thing about this scandal is the attitude of one particular student who was interviewed by ABC News.  Konstantin Ravvin apparently doesn't want to ever have a job after college that doesn't involve saying "would you like fries with that?" because he said, on camera on Good Morning America "This is college, everyone cheats, everyone cheats in life in general.  I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in this testing lab who hasn't cheated on an exam."  He also accused the university of engaging in a "witch hunt" in order to teach them a moral lesson.
     What amazes me is not his opinion - I happen to agree with him - but the fact that he was fucking stupid enough to say it on national television.  I went to college, I work in life, lots of people cheat.  On everything from exams to presentations to bringing in a treat on their birthday.  But not everybody does, and to have such a cavalier attitude about it is not cool.  And especially when your University and class are caught up in the largest cheating scandal in school history.  I would suspect that guy is fucking retarded enough that he was probably one of the cheaters and he hasn't fessed up.  I can't confirm that but it wouldn't surprise me one bit.  What a moron.  And what morons who got the test in advance, to try and cheat the system at a school that so aggressively attempts to stop cheating.  That's like trying to rob the police station.  Maybe they don't deserve to graduate after all.

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