Week 12: Ethics and Personal Ethos

I’ve talked with alumni, frat boys in the 70s and 80s, who boast of their fraternity’s filing cabinet full of old tests and study materials. At least one has told me that the frat filing cabinet is the reason that he passed some of his classes. Like the CEO of Koofer said in the article, this type of thing has been going on for decades. The internet may have actually leveled the playing field for students not part of frats, or other groups able to maintain records to pass on year to year.  So this type of thing has been happening for 30+ years, and I can’t believe no one knew about it for all that time. It wasn’t until the old tests appeared on the internet that someone decided to do something about it.

Personally I think a retest was the correct decision.

Would I complain about it if it happened to me? Absolutely.

But if there wasn’t a retest, what would that say about the standards of the university? That they are OK with cheating? of course, that should not be the case.

Is it unfair to the students that didn’t cheat? Sure it is, but I can’t think of a better way to deal with it. Putting students on a level playing (as much as possible) for this particular test I think is in the best interest of the school, the students, and the professor.

Let’s say the professor never had a clue, and only found out because they saw the test online. What about the 30+ years of frat kids that have slipped by? What’s the correct ethical action? You can’t rescind three decades of college degrees.

What if the professors knew in 1985 and didn’t act then? That, I think, is ethically wrong, and set the stage for a culture of turning-a-blind-eye.



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