College instructors are discovering more ways to catch cheaters, and students are finding more and elaborate ways to cheat. But the cheaters are just hurting themselves and those around them.
People come to college to grow and learn how to function in the work force.
While cheating may help with the grade point average, it does nothing to teach the lessons and information that will later be needed to be successful. Someone grows from learning what he or she is capable of, and being challenged is how someone learns of his or her abilities – and how to apply those skills after college.
When students steal answers or work from someone else, they also harm those they take work from. Those who take the time to study, learn or write the material should be the only ones who benefit. The world is competitive, and only those who are willing to compete by relying on their capabilities should succeed – not those who rely on others’ skills.
Cheating hurts not only individuals, but institutions as well. The University of Missouri allowed donors to name its sports arena after Wal-Mart heiress Elizabeth Paige Laurie but had to change the name soon after when Laurie’s freshman roommate accused her of cheating. Since Laurie attended the University of Southern California, the accusation not only put Missouri in a bad light, but USC too.
College isn’t like the working world. People have to be able to demonstrate skills and capabilities in their jobs. Eventually, cheating won’t be an option.
Besides, it’s easier to study than to take hours to figure out how to get away with cheating. Making cryptic sheets or coordinating with friends to get answers by text messages takes plotting. It would be simpler to do the honest thing and learn the material.
Managing editor Adrienne Lang for the editorial board