Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater
by Shannon Duggan


Sweaty palms and echoing coughs plague Campbell Hall on this day. Knees jitter, eyes dart around the room, and pencils scribble furiously on the dreaded Final Day. This is the time when knowledge is put to the test and some study habits prevail over others, when keeping up on reading pays off more than beating that last level of World of Warcraft. Often an easy solution to the lack of studying might seem to be to sneak a peek at that future entrepreneur’s Scantron, but the consequences of getting caught doing this heavily outweigh the possibility of scoring a few points.

“Sanctions of suspension or dismissal will be noted on your academic transcript. Discipline records are kept for five years. Any schools or companies to which you give permission to inquire about your academic records will be notified that you have a conduct record,” says the Office of Judicial Affairs. They definitely don’t mess around when it comes to enforcing campus regulations. Plagiarism, the use of materials, information, study aids, and commercial “research” services not authorized by the instructor, all constitute as cheating and violate the UCSB General Codes of Conduct. 

“Many graduate schools request your academic records, as do many government agencies if they are considering hiring someone (FBI, etc),” says the Judicial Board. Basically, the stamp stays on the cheater’s record for life. Whether a person chooses a career path or graduate school after cheating at undergraduate school, he or she will have to work around a large, red stamp of dishonorable conduct to prove his or her capabilities. Once a cheater, always a cheater is definitely a phrase that applies in the eyes of the employer. 

Falling under code 102.01 of Violations and Sanctions, “Dishonesty, such as cheating, plagiarism, altering graded examinations for additional credit, or having another person take an examination for you,” can all account for the tattoo of failure on the permanent record. Every accomplishment boasted on resumes and applications might as well read, “well, this is all fine and dandy, but I cheated to get here.” 

Our lecture halls are indubitably considered spacious and eyes do tend to subconsciously wander with thought process. Most professors have thought of this in advance, as cheating has dated back to oh say, the time between when Eve ate the apple off the tree and God created a man with beautifully sculpted abs and an irresistible smile for Eve to wander toward. Cheating is not a new occurrence. Sociology 152A has at least 15 student graders wandering the rows and rearranging students to allow for limited view on neighboring papers. The Baldwins stand with a towering stance on stage for the entire exam, slowly sweeping the room back and forth for potential cheaters. During the Econ 1 final, students are not even allowed to ask for clarification on a question unless English is their second language or they have learning disabilities. It’s rough out there, but rules have stiffened in regards to cheating as being the response to more rigorous testing. 

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’ve never cheated in my life, but college is a different story,” said Danielle Soda, a first-year biochemistry major. “Once I started testing here, I’m not going to do so much as stifle a sneeze during one of my finals for fear of being accused of cheating.” Once the price of education begins to question the sale of kidneys online, it isn’t the sort of thing a student wants to compromise by slacking off and showing up to the test with the intention of cheating.”