September 29, 2020

By WILLIAM WITCZAK

PHOTO BY WILLIAM WITCZAK Biotechnology technician student Ashley De Foa (left) pretends to cheat off fellow biotech student Jillian Greb on March 27 in the Doon campus library.

You’ve heard teachers say it before every test, “anyone caught cheating will get an immediate zero on the test and face even worse penalties.” When handing out assignments it changes to, “anyone caught plagiarizing … .” Despite the threatening words, a recent survey of Conestoga College students found they aren’t being scared off.
In the survey conducted at the college’s Doon campus, 62 per cent of students admitted they knew someone who had cheated while attending Conestoga College.
The survey asked 55 students (24 male and 31 female), who remained anonymous, to answer three very simple questions:
Did you ever cheat during high school? Fifty-six per cent (31) said they did.
Have you ever cheated while at Conestoga College? Eighteen per cent (10) said yes.
Do you know of someone who has cheated at Conestoga College? Sixty-two per cent (34) answered yes.
Most students were very forthcoming with their answers, instantaneously shouting out, “Absolutely, couldn’t have gotten through high school without cheating,” or asking me, “is it cheating if …” before humbly writing down their answer.
One student was particularly boastful when filling out the survey, stating that there wasn’t a single assignment throughout high school that he didn’t cheat on. “I don’t think there was anything that I did honestly in high school. You name it, I did it. Cheating on tests with the answers in my pocket, using websites for assignments … everything. I’ve gotten a little bit better in college but if anyone were to ever really thoroughly check my work I’d have no excuse,” said the student with a smile on his face.
Surprisingly, the number of students who admitted to cheating in college was particularly low. Also, for those of you wondering which gender is more likely to cheat, both genders answered the questions almost the same, with only a few percentages separating them.
According to Conestoga’s student handbook, cheating includes copying from another student’s assignment, plagiarism, falsification, taking a test for another student, or using materials not authorized by the instructor.