Cheating, Part 2

After yesterday’s post, I got to thinking more about cheating, particularly in college.

I have to admit I never cheated in school, period. I’ve been called a “goody-two-shoe,” but that’s not really it. I just never was tempted. Maybe it has something to do with being Catholic and knowing I’d have to face a priest in Confession!

Still, I wonder if God gives me much credit for honesty, when it’s not really something I have to struggle over.

Statistics indicate only 20 percent of college students in the 1940s admitted cheating in high school; today, that figure has jumped to between 75 and 98 percent.

How many of those students in the 1940s cheated, but knew it was wrong and lied to cover it (skewing statistics)?

Or have morals in our country deteriorated that much?

Today, cheating doesn’t carry the stigma it used to. Kids don’t see it as wrong, having started as early as elementary school; teachers and administrators inflate grades and cheat to meet the No Child Left Behind standards; and statistics show two-thirds of parents believe cheating is OK if it gets a kid good grades and into a better university.

There are more opportunities to cheat, kids are more clever in avoiding “capture,” and penalties are less severe.

And cheating doesn’t stop when a person earns a diploma. Tax evasion, employee fraud, athletes using steroids, resume embellishment, and the list goes on and on.

So what can be done?

I admire parents, colleges, and businesses who refuse to condone cheating. But they face an uphill battle, complicated by the fact that we’re imperfect people living in an imperfect world.

God’s Ten Commandments don’t allow for much “wiggle-room.” Things are either right or wrong, and cheating, like stealing, is wrong. It takes something away from somebody else.

So perhaps the solution begins with recognition that cheating is wrong.

Just because “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t make it right.

Never will.

Cheating? No way!

I’m miffed that My Favorite Domer can’t come home for Christmas Break until Friday, the last day of Final Exam Week.

Obviously, somebody has to stay and turn the lights out. And upperclassmen have prepared enough schedules so they know which class times will get them home for the holidays early.

Not so First-Years.

They pretty much take “pot luck.” I doubt many, if any, checked to see when finals would be before putting their schedules together with their counselors.

Not that it would have mattered.

When the original exam schedule came out, it looked like MFD, too, would finish early. We were kind of looking forward to “beating the holiday traffic,” doing some last-minute shopping, etc.

Now he says he has to stay until Friday so everybody can take their Chemistry final on the same day.


Yep, apparently they were told the final was moved “so they wouldn’t cheat.”

Cheat? At Notre Dame?

C’mon, really? You’ve got to be kidding!

These kids must complete an Online Honor Code Orientation before they even enroll. Not only that, but they all sign a student pledge that they will adhere to the Academic Code of Honor.

“Giving or receiving unauthorized aid on an exam or quiz” violates the Code.

ALL undergraduates know this.

They also know the penalties for violating the Code (in a repeated offense, the standard punishment is suspension from the University, with no opportunity for readmission).


Sure, but like I’ve said before, rules are rules, and without them, we have no orderly society.

In a time when so many kids admit to cheating, at least the University is trying to address the problem.

So it’s not the Code, it’s the knee-jerk reaction that disturbs me.

Granted, I wasn’t privy to the decision (or the reasoning) to move the final, and MFD on occasion has been known to misquote things, but if this is true, I’ve got to ask:

Does it make sense that anybody would be foolish enough to cheat on a final exam?


Let’s say I take my final on Tuesday and yours isn’t until Thursday. Why would I give you any answers, any help, anything, knowing then you’d get a better grade than I, and in the process, you’d ruin the curve for everybody??