Is it still cheating if you don’t get caught?

By Preeteesh Peetabh Singh
Dialog reporter

 

One who says that they have never cheated in life is lying. Let’s face it, we all have done it at some point in life, it may be during a soccer game, speeding or running a red light, copying music from the internet, making excuses about why you were late, proclaiming yourself greater than you are in an interview or even two-timing your partner. As weird as it can get, there are so many things people do that they do not consider it cheating because they rarely or never get caught.

Before you get me wrong, I would like to clarify that I am against cheating. Cheating in an academic setting is a disaster. It is totally against academia’s sole purpose of learning. It’s an endemic phenomenon that exists in almost all educational institutions, right from middle schools and high schools to colleges and universities.

George Brown College maintains strict academic policies and guidelines. The code of conduct and discipline handbook mentions all the do’s and don’ts to be followed by students. It defines the boundaries within which a rewarding and mutually supportive learning environment can be created. It is the duty of each and every student to go through it and conduct themselves according to the laws and expectations.

Examples of a lack of academic integrity include fabrication, cheating, forging or falsification of documents, impersonation, plagiarism, and inappropriate use of digital technology. The college believes that each individual must uphold the values of fairness, honesty, trust, respect and responsibility in order to succeed academically and eventually in life.

Jim Daku, chair of the School of Financial Services, Centre for Business, explains that academic dishonesty is extremely unfair for those who do the legitimate work. Lots of research has been done on why people cheat. The temptation, pressure and lack of time impel students to take this step. But, it becomes worthless and demoralizing for the honest students who slog day-in and day-out for marks just to eagle-eye other people cheating and getting a better result on D-day.

Daku, who is responsible for the administration of academic policy in the college, says that they get a lot of complaints concerned with cheating in examinations from the faculty and even students.

The college does not conduct exams the same way as universities do. Here, it’s the faculty who set the standard. They must have clear and specific rules that should be explained at the beginning of every exam, and the person who does not follow the dictum can have action taken action against them. This action goes through a process where an out-and-out investigation is carried out into the nature of the incident. It starts with a warning and can end up in expulsion from the college.

“As cliché as it sounds, you are really cheating yourself. Maybe not now, but there will be a time when it will have its consequences.” Said Daku in a message to all who engage in academic dishonesty, “The world is a competitive place; students should aim for knowledge and not just to pass the course with the help of unfair means.”

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Is it still cheating if you don’t get caught?