Monday, February 25, 2013

A Professor's Advice to Students: Don't Cheat

Eric Schulz
Eric Schulz
I received an anonymous letter from a student this week alleging that on the last quiz I gave in class, some students were cheating. Nothing infuriates me more than liars and cheats. 

I know that the Pollyanna world in which I live — where I want to believe that everyone acts with honesty and integrity, and everyone is upfront, truthful and never deceitful — doesn't really exist, but I refuse to believe otherwise. How can one go through life suspicious of everyone and everything?  

At the end of the day, all we have is our integrity, our character, our honor, and our reputation. The temptation to cheat is part of the college experience — but true character is built by resisting the temptation and acting with integrity and honor. Think about it. Is it worth tarnishing your reputation and honor, and having to deal with a guilty conscience, for a few points on a meaningless quiz or test?  Really?

You are here at the University in order to improve your life's lot — to be able to get a better job and have a nicer life than those who did not continue their education.  Don't screw it up by cheating. A stellar reputation and clear conscience is worth much more than a few extra points on an exam or quiz. You'll sleep a lot better at night too.