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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Just how big a deal is cheating on college campuses?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (18935 points ) September 14th, 2010

Erg, I’m having a heated disagreement with my sister, and we need Fluther to settle it for us.
So: Cheating in college is like:
A) Smoking pot. Sure, the campus has a no drug policy, and every now and again, you hear a horror story of the kid they made an example out of, but you still can’t go more than 20 ft in any direction without smelling a joint.
B) Date rape. It’s there – a lot – but it’s also pretty underground and, for various reason, rarely prosecuted.
C) Murder. It’s rare and it’s ALWAYS a big fucking deal.

So, jellies, which one do you think it is?

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33 Answers

MrItty's avatar

Between A and B. It happens, but if you’re caught, your punishment could be anything from a slap on the wrist to failure of the course (and hence, failure to earn the degree, if that course is required and/or you’re a senior).

At the college at which I taught, the rule was that individual instructors/professors implement the academic penalty, if any, and then must inform the Dean of Students, who decides upon an appropriate administrative penalty.

Nullo's avatar

At my schools, cheating generally meant that you failed the assignment, and less often, the whole course. Penalties and descriptions of what counted as cheating were typically included in the syllabus.

How much pot you come across depends on the school that you go to. I went my whole career without once smelling anything suspicious. Or at least, not that kind of suspicious – there was a distressing tendency, my freshman year, for the inebriated to pee in the dorm elevators.

MacBean's avatar

How big a deal is cheating on a college campus’s what?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@MacBean Thanks, I fixed it.

Nially_Bob's avatar

If you’re asking what I would personally consider the term “cheating” to mean on a campus I would immediately assume it refers to either cheating in the sense that someone is being unfaithful to a relationship or has cheated on an examination. If i’m restricted to the three answers you’ve presented i’d probably say B.

MacBean's avatar

Now that I can stop being a dick about grammar/spelling…

In my experience, it depends on what kind of cheating you’re talking about. I’ve never seen cribbing result in anything worse than a zero on the test in question. And I’ve never seen plagiarism result in anything less than failure of the entire course.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Depends on the school. If you go to any of the service academies it is grounds for immediate dismissal, and prosecution if they deem it a severe enough breech of ethics.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Like the others have said, it really depends. In my nursing school, if you were caught cheating, you could be kicked out of the nursing program. They took it very seriously.

muppetish's avatar

I don’t take many courses outside my major… but plagiarism is a big deal in our department. If you are caught, and you’ll probably get caught, you will get an automatic fail on the assignment / exam. Depending on what did, you could end up failing the class and be sent on Academic Probation. For real. It’s Serious Business to the extreme.

My professors have caught students texting exam questions. They received an automatic failure (and have since then, led our professors to a no-electronics policy regardless of whether there is an exam going on. Which saddens them, because my professors are technology-loving folks.)

They have also caught students turning in papers that a friend wrote and copying and pasting whole passages from published material (articles, books, Wikipedia.) I don’t even know you would bother to take the course if you aren’t going to do the work.

That’s why our professors stress the importance of keeping track of all the material you access when preparing for a paper and properly citing all quotations, references, rewordings – everything. If something is cited incorrectly, they will point it out to you, but aren’t going to send you to jail for it. But if you fail to cite something at all, and you get caught… well, good luck with that.

I’ve overheard too many students in my classes bitch and moan about zero tolerance cheating policies and it gets on my nerves. Just don’t cheat. No cheating, no problems. It’s not that difficult to understand.

I’m sorry for ranting. Plagiarism just makes my blood boil.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Seaofclouds But would they have been kicked out? Technically, in many places in the States, a 50 year old married couple getting to “know” each other in the back seat of the car could be forced to register as sex offenders – but they probably won’t.

Zaku's avatar

Depends on the school and the teacher, and perhaps on the nature of the cheating. I know of a state school where a sorority had a stash of old papers that sisters could use, and when one was caught, the sister didn’t even seem to realize she’d done something wrong. And some professors may just warn the student themselves, while other professors may report them to the school administration on suspicion (in one case, someone was punished even though it was actually an accident and not actual cheating). In most of the classes I attended (at serious academic universities), it was somewhere between B) and C).

The biggest exception was undergraduate physics labs, which even at that very serious university, were nauseatingly corrupt and the attitude seemed to be you were supposed to give the right result rather than “really” do the labs straight. Which was one of the main reasons I stopped being a physics major after freshman year.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@papayalily When I was there, I saw 2 people kicked out of the program for cheating, so yes they would have been. The nursing program has a 2 year wait to get into it, so it’s taken very seriously.

john65pennington's avatar

College campuses are just like the public. a crime is a crime is a crime. get the picture?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@papayalily How comfortable would you be with your doctor or nurse or paramedic if you found out they cheated to get through school? They literally could have your life in their hands, do you want them to not know what they are doing?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@john65pennington And you, as a police officer, should know better than anyone that different crimes carry different weights, and what the possible penalties are aren’t necessarily the standard penalties.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@WestRiverrat Well, in reality I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t make it through residency if they didn’t know what they were doing. But that’s probably not your point. What is your point?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I assumed sex and it’s B.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I meant of the academic dishonesty variety, but whatever you want…

Rarebear's avatar

At my local community college if you cheat you get expelled.

buckyboy28's avatar

I would equate it to smoking pot. It’s not allowed under any circumstances, but depending on who catches you, there are different penalties.

If, say, a pretty chill RA catches you smoking pot in your dorm, they’ll tell you to put it out and try to not be stupid. This would be like a professor who catches you cheating one time and tells you to not do it again.

If, say, an uppity RA or the RD catches you smoking pot once, they’ll write you up and make you go in front of a board, which could lead to expulsion. This would be like a professor catching you cheating once, kicking you out of the class, and reporting you to the Dean’s office.

Ben_Dover's avatar

I’d have to say that smoking pot is what brought about the alleged cheating. (I don’t know about finding a cheater every 20 feet on campus). I’m sure there is far less cheating at school than is suspected. After ll, what have you learned if you cheat?

perspicacious's avatar

It’s a big deal at the campuses with which I am actually personally familiar—two private colleges and one state university. All three have an honor code that is signed by each student. An infraction gets you kicked out of the school. They have student courts too and the kids are very serious about cheating.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@perspicacious How much is the tuition to the state university?

perspicacious's avatar

@papayalily Around $7,000 for in state and $19,000 for out of state.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@perspicacious Ok. Note to self: Stop thinking of transferring to an out-of-state school.

perspicacious's avatar

@papayalily I checked the website and it’s actually worse than I told you. Need to be able to live with parents or some other cheap situation while in college. When you add in room/board it just skyrockets the total cost.

Undergraduate (12 hours)
Tuition/Fees $7900
Room/Board 9630
Books/Supplies 1100
Personal 2510
Transportation 2346

Undergraduate (12 hours)
Tuition/Fees $21916
Room/Board 9630
Books/Supplies 1100
Personal 2510
Transportation 2346

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@perspicacious So then where did you get the 7/19 numbers?

Monica987's avatar

I would go with b or c, my first roommate in college paraphrased and didn’t cite it, the teacher found out and held a meeting with heads of the school. She withdrew before they expelled her.

delirium's avatar

It’s VERY serious at my school. You have to go on trial and are potentially kicked out.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Then, it’s C

Disc2021's avatar

@delirium I’d say C, VERY serious at my school as well. In my program if you get caught, you get discharged from the program. No refund – doesn’t matter if you’re in your last semester of your senior year or not.

In health care, the standard is much higher as it is. They’re VERY thorough with making sure you know what you’re talking about, as sooner before later they’ll be sending you off to work on people in critical condition. If you fuggle up then, it’s a reflection of the institution. Needless to say, they’re very clear about their policy on cheating.

All rules aside, ethically, it’s just foul. You’re paying thousands of dollars for an education in something you’re supposedly interested in, not just to pass with a degree you cheated to get.

perspicacious's avatar

@papayalily They were tuition only. The second thing I posted included fees, room, and board. The 7/19 were what I remembered and were ballpark figures for tuition only.

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