Originally Posted by mano
Success in life is showing up regularly, doing the work well and reaping the reward. All successful students tolerated lousy instructors, boring lectures, irrelevant assignments and unfair tests. In the end, you have the degree, along with the integrity and discipline to know you can handle the crap that life sometimes hands you.
Does the system need changing? Probably. But it's not likely to change because the schools realize, "so many people are cheating, maybe we're demanding too much of them."
Re: the people who report cheaters, they have to accept the consequences of their actions, as well. Whistle-blowers in business and government are largely ignored and then ostracized when taken seriously. They often lose their jobs and have difficulty finding another. Many look back and regret their decision, indicating they wouldn't do it again if they knew how it would turn out. Students who report cheaters are considered tattle-tales as the responses on this thread bear out.
Here's what a lot of people like you, who have never lived under a "single sanction, turn in violators" honor system don't understand. When someone cheats, steals or lies within the boundaries of the System, they are putting at risk anyone who might become aware of the transgression.
To put it simply, by consciously deciding to violate the Honor Code, someone has decided to put everyone else at risk. By "risk" I mean anyone who might become aware of their trangresssion is faced with a horrible choice: Turn in the violator, or risk being turned in yourself. Personally, I have a great degree of contempt for anyone who, out of narrow self interest, sees fit to put me or anyone else in that position.
I am grateful that no one in my circle of contacts ever violated the Honor Code to my knowledge. If they had, I would have been faced with a soul-searching decision. I hope I would have done the right thing and asked him to turn himself in. (At which time, by the way, he could have still requested an Honor Trial, presented his case, and still have been acquitted.) If he had not been willing to do that, I would have had to turn him in. It would have been messey and painful and possibly personally damaging and embarassing . And, still, he could have requested an Honor Trial, presented his case, and been acquitted. Scary and dangerous, yes; just like the "real world" we were supposedly being prepared for.
But you know what? The system yielded a student body where, if there was cheating, no one knew about about it. And, honestly, I believe very few, hardly any, of us cheated. And the academic standards were, and are to this day, very high. I read here about classroom envoronments where cheating seems rapmant and people aren't inclined to do anyting about it. Cheating is like inflation. It's like a tax on your grades, with the benefit defaulting to those who did not earn it.