Who’s Cheating Whom?

So many good things to read, so much innovation, so much caring about our world’s marginalized and disenfranchised people in the OAM! But oh, the sadness I feel in my heart upon reading “The Business of Cheating Stirs New Solutions” (Fall 2001). I’m sad not just because Oberlin students have to be taught by librarians how to appropriately use information, or that a citation guide is being developed, or that first-year students will discuss the ethics of scholarship in small-group settings, or even that an ad-hoc committee has been allowed to review the Honor Code. I am sad mainly because a climate has been allowed to develop by default—or is it neglect—which even makes discussion of and action on this issue necessary. I suppose I’ve been gone from Oberlin long enough to be classified as an old “fuddy-duddy,” yet it seems to me that the specialness, the uniqueness of the Oberlin experience that has given this beloved institution its world-renown reputation for some 168 years went beyond social agenda, justice issues, sexual-preference issues, gender equality, even racial equality…far enough to include things like honesty, honor, and academic integrity. As Jim Helms rightly says, “However, the system will work only if the students are committed to it.” May I be so bold as to add my own “however?” However, the system will also work only if faculty have the honesty, honor, and academic integrity to name the behavior and deal with it, “perceived inconsistencies” or “time required of them in the follow-up hearing of a case” be damned. Forgive me, please; I’m feeling a little betrayed today…
Rev. Glen W. Bocox ’72

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