Honesty is a dying virtue for college students

Let’s face it. Honesty doesn’t exist, especially within the academic community. There is always some degree of cheating, whether it is writing answers on your arm or buying last year’s test from your friend. Signing the honesty policy for each exam seems to have little effect on the intellectual integrity of students.
I have been at this school for only a year and three times someone’s eyes have wandered toward my exam paper. Strangely enough, each of them mentioned to their friends before the test that they hadn’t studied. I was so fortunate to have them sitting right next to me. I let them look at my exam, out of pity, yet I wonder how they really did, considering my scantron was always covered and I always selected the wrong answers on my test booklet. Clearly justice can be served where integrity is limited!
I am not Miss perfect, but I do not resort to cheating. I am content with failing all by myself. After all it’s my fault isn’t it? I had three weeks to study. So I wonder why students are afraid to fail if they are at fault-is it worth it? Clearly it is worth it if the honesty policy has no effect on their conscious or status at UM. If anything we are continuously rewarded for our efforts to cover up our shortcomings. Take one of our own football players last year who was exempt from honesty so that he could help win the national championship this year.
Even the hardcore brainiacs can be deceptive. I really don’t understand who would pay thirty grand per year to cheat and lose brain cells because of their perception of academic integrity. Is it the fear of failure? Social pressures? Self-standards? Who knows and who cares. Maybe when we stop endorsing ways to boast our “intelligence,” we will find comfort in our own ideas and failure.

Marquita K. Bell is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and political science.

November 15, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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