U.Va. students face expulsion for cheating

I “watched” via Twitter the public honor trial of two University of Virginia students accused of cheating. As reported by Cavalier Daily, this was a rare public trial, as most students opt for a closed one. The two students were found to have participated in collaboration and cheating and were sentenced to expulsion, although they may file an appeal.

According to its website, the U.Va. honor system is student-run and is the oldest of its kind in the nation. It was another student who turned in the pair in this case, after witnessing his fellow students’ behavior on an exam.

A relatively new book, Cheating in College, attempts to address the issue. In an interview, the book’s authors had this to say:

Today’s students do not appear to be any less aware of the moral implications associated with “cheating,” but many have convinced themselves that what they are doing is not cheating.

In the end, though, it’s the students who are cheating themselves. Good grades may get you the first job but if you can’t perform, you won’t keep it long.

Kudos to the student who turned them in. And kudos to the honor council for weighing the evidence and recommending expulsion. Perhaps if more of these trials were public, fewer students would engage in such behavior.


8 thoughts on “U.Va. students face expulsion for cheating

  1. Students should be expelled when they break the honor code. Most schools now and all Ivy League colleges have the honor code. As a student you know you should not cheat and it effects the students in the class if the teacher grades on a curve. I had a professor that made us write the honor code on the outside of every test and sign it. Another case of cheating when students don’t seem to think is cheating is for computer science and programmers who “copy” another persons code and put in there programs. Most professors run scripts to catch people whose code is identical. Unless the program is very simple no two people will right the exact same code. They are always shocked when they get caught. If you do not teach kids not to teach and plagiarize in college they continue to do so in their professional life.

    1. Like so many other things, I think it has to start much earlier than college. They need to drop the hammer on this behavior in grade school. By the time they get to college, it’s hard to try to straighten out 12+ years of bad behavior.

  2. The UVa honor code is venerable and has withstood many challenges over time. At Virginia the students “own and operate” the honor system, primarily at the undergraduate level. Technically, the Board of Visitors does not operate within the jurisdiction of the student honor code; however, graduates of UVa are expected to be honorable, especially when they are functioning in an official, University capacity. As a matter of fact, not all Ivy League colleges have a student-run honor system; a previous writer erred in stating that.

  3. I read the article and the responses to it on the Cavalier Dailey’s website. What I found interesting were the attacks on the honor system and the associated peer jury system.

    The responses in a few instances didn’t mention the bad acts which gave rise to the trial; but were condemnations of the student honor system. I dont believe accusations of cheating are brought lightly or without substantive proof of wrong doing. Those allegations are weeded out as each case is vetted.

    In my view it is the exceptence of cheating that is the threat to our society. When we see someone cheating in some manner and do nothing to challenge that bad act we are saying that thier behavior is exceptable. That is the slippery slope.

    I dont think this is the first time these two guys had EVER cheated on some exam or test. My guess is that this is the first time someone had the courage to call their hand…

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