Cheating on rise, no cases at PSUC in 2012
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 00:09
Academic cheating has become more consistent in universities across the country, particularly at some “high-profile” schools, like Harvard, according to a recent New York times article.
At Plattsburgh State, there have been no reports of academic cheating so far this semester. Dean of Students Steve Matthews said that each semester there are approximately 20 cases reported. About five of those cases are brought to the Dean’s office.
The basic process if a student is suspected of cheating would be the faculty confronts the student, and if the student denies the charge, they go to the Dean’s office with the judicial charge and the office conducts a fair trial hearing if the student is found responsible.
“One of the things we can do to improve: after the first violation, there should be something the college offers. We want students to learn from their mistakes,” Matthews said about ways to improve the school’s policy against academic cheating.
“Cheating is not great for students. Grades are important, but learning how to do it yourself is more important,” Peter Conrad, a biology professor, said.
One of the main tools that have helped more students to cheat is the Internet. The ability to download information from thousands of sources, and search through countless databases, not to mention that the college kids of today have grown up with this easy access, have made the lines of plagiarism and cheating less defined.
“That’s the reason I forbid it (in class), unless it’s an electronic dictionary. I give open book exams, but it’s hard for them (students) to cheat,” Conrad said about whether cheating has become easier with electronics. A big problem that results in academic cheating is that most of the time, students just aren’t aware of what defines cheating.
“Most of the times, they (students) don’t know what academic dishonesty entails,” Nicole Immerso, a graduate assistant at PSUC said.
Students were asked if they pay attention to the syllabuses and the rules against academic dishonesty on campus.
Lizz Drumm, a senior in her seventh semester said, “I read it (the syllabus) my first semester.”
Kristen Rusiecki, a junior said, “I just treat it (the syllabus) as a constant reminder to not plagiarize; don’t cheat.”
Mary Farnbach, also a junior, said that she thinks academic dishonesty policies are not the main point of syllabuses.
“It’s (the syllabuses) more what the classes are about, it’s not used for academic dishonesty … it’s more of a class guideline.”
All three students however, make a habit of keeping their syllabuses for reference throughout each semester.