The cheat goes on at Harvard

By Sean Piccoli
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts Photo: AP

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts                                                                                   Photo: AP

Nearly half of the school’s incoming freshmen admitted to cheating on homework, exams or other assignments in their young academic careers, according to a survey by the Ivy League institution’s student newspaper.

“Some of the newest members of that community are already guilty of academic dishonesty,” The Harvard Crimson declared in its summary of the findings.

The elite institution is still reeling from a 2012 cheating scandal in which dozens of kids swapped and plagiarized answers during a course called “Introduction to Congress.”

An estimated 70 students were booted when the scandal blew up. And some unrepentant cheaters claimed they merely “collaborated” on the exam, and vowed to sue the university.

If the Crimson’s new findings are any indication, the school could be headed down that dark path again.

Of the 1,300 students surveyed, 42 percent admitted they had cheated on homework, and 17 percent took shortcuts on take-home assignments.

The school’s jocks cheat more than the nerds, and boys cheat more than girls, the survey found.

Overall, one in 10 freshmen owned up to cheating on an exam.

The president of the Crimson, Bobby Samuels, told The Post he was appalled that “every one in 10 people you see walking around the halls cheated on an exam.”

But he added that the new kids have a chance to “grow up,” and pointed to Harvard’s most recent survey of outgoing seniors, which found much lower levels of self-reported cheating.

The good news for Harvard is that “84 percent of respondents put academics first when asked to rank their anticipated priorities among academics, extracurriculars, varsity sports, paid employment and social life,” the Crimson reported.

The survey found that 36 percent of respondents planned to study between 20 and 29 hours a week — and 26 percent said they anticipate spending between 30 and 39 hours hitting the books.

Only 4 percent said they planned to study more than 50 hours in a week.

The student dishonesty is in line with nationwide surveys of campus chicanery, experts said.

“But at the same time, Harvard does create certain pressures,” said Don McCabe, a Rutgers University professor of global management and business, and founder of the International Center for Academic Integrity.

“Harvard’s almost a guarantee of success, so in that sense, getting in is the trick.”

Of course, the survey of potential cheaters is relying on honest feedback.

“We have reason to believe that students who cheat might also lie about cheating,” said ICAI Director Teresa Fishman.

Source: New York Post – “The cheat goes on at Harvard” 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.