College is an important part of one’s life, since every student is trying to navigate through this beta-version of life. How to build personal relationships, manage your work-life balance, and have an entertaining time outside classes? Each student experiences this stage differently and some behave worse than others.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Cheating in college is a controversial issue, with many considering it a breach of ethics and trust. It jeopardizes the genuine efforts of fellow students and dilutes the essence of true learning.
  • While a friendly rapport between professors and students can be beneficial for learning, maintaining respect and decorum is essential. Casual jokes might be acceptable, but using curse words or being disrespectful crosses a line.
  • Students need to approach academic challenges with maturity. Acts like cheating or being disrespectful to professors can have dire consequences, including failing grades or even expulsion.

College life is riddled with situations that test students’ ethical boundaries and interpersonal skills. But what happens when a student oversteps these boundaries, such as swearing at a professor or audaciously asking for a grade boost? The consequences can be more significant than one might anticipate, and one of the students on Quora didn’t.

“I used the F word to my professor wanting her to change my 55 for the course to an 85, because I do not think cheating on a math test is a huge deal. She changed my course grade to a 25 now. How can I bring my grade up?”

Is Cheating in School Ever Justified?

Cheating, an act often frowned upon, has been a topic of debate, especially in academic circles. Northern University of Illinois defined a list of several academic dishonesty types, common among students, which are generally severely punished, and cheating is among them. But what exactly is it? 

“Cheating involves unauthorized use of information, materials, devices, sources or practices in completing academic activities.”

For instance, submitting a project or assignment that has been done by someone else is a deceitful action and is viewed as cheating. A student who knowingly provides their completed work for another to submit as their own is seen as aiding or abetting in the act of cheating.

Similarly, using unauthorized materials or notes during a closed-book test is a breach of trust and qualifies as cheating. A student who supplies or shares such unauthorized materials with peers is also complicit in the act of cheating.

Despite all that, we know that college is a time when students are under a lot of pressure to do well, and this might make some think about whether there are situations where cheating could be okay. On one side, some people believe that cheating goes against the idea of true learning. They feel that when you cheat, you don’t really learn or understand the material, and this can be a problem later on. Plus, getting a grade without doing the work isn’t fair to others who worked hard.

Where do you draw the line with cheating? OK for a quiz but not a test? OK for a chapter test but not an end-of-semester test? What about standardized tests required for licensing? Do you ever plagiarize work? What kind of ethics do you apply there? Ever shoplift? OK if value is less than $5? This could go on and on. There is NO line. Don’t cheat. Period. Don’t steal. period. Yes, it is a big deal.

“Cheating, anytime, anywhere, is a big deal. I’m concerned that your question suggests that you may not have recognized its seriousness yet. If you read Quora regularly, you know that professors seldom negotiate grades, and asking for thirty points (55 to 85) is well beyond what most professors would willingly agree to.”

On the other hand, there are those who think that sometimes the pressure to get good grades can be too much. They believe that in certain situations, like if someone is having a really tough time personally, cheating might be a way to get through a difficult period. However, the users of Quora strongly disagree with this statement. Most of the comments were dunking on OP and saying that if they were a professor, they would apply even worse penalties.

“Cheating is always wrong, and if I taught the class and caught you cheating, you’d probably be kicked out of the class with zero.”

It’s a tricky topic, and there’s no easy answer. College is about more than just grades; it’s also a place where we learn about ourselves and what we believe is right. Every student has to decide for themselves how they feel about cheating and if it’s ever okay in certain situations.

Informal Communications with Your Professor

Communication between professors and students has always been a topic of interest. How close is too close? Is it okay to be informal? These are some questions that many ponder.

Traditionally, there’s been a formal line between professors and students to maintain a sense of respect and hierarchy. This formality is believed to promote a more focused learning environment. But times are changing, and with them, the dynamics of teacher-student interactions.

Some argue that informal communication, where professors and students talk more like friends, can create a comfortable learning atmosphere. If students feel they can approach their professor with any question or doubt, without the fear of being judged, they might engage more in class. It’s similar to how we might feel more comfortable asking questions to a friend than to a stranger. This comfort can be very beneficial for the learning process.

Towson University shared a list of tips on building rapport with professors, which include the basics of human empathy. Professors are also people, who get tired, stressed, and annoyed, so it’s best to understand their feelings and respect them. Effective communication with professors is crucial in the academic setting. It’s essential to approach these interactions with professionalism and respect, if you expect to get the same treatment (and especially when asking for a higher grade!).

However, there are boundaries. For instance, is it appropriate for professors and students to joke around or even use curse words in their communication? Joking can be a way to lighten the mood and make classes more enjoyable. But, jokes should always be respectful and never target a student or a group of students. As for cursing, while it’s common in casual conversations among peers, it may not be appropriate in a classroom setting, even if the communication is informal. It’s crucial to maintain a level of decorum and respect.

“First, I think this is a fake question, because no sane person thinks this way. But I’ll bite. You’re lucky she did not fail you outright for cheating. Then your swearing at her is a breach of decorum and disrespectful. She had every right to fail you and remove you from the course. Students have been expelled from college for less.”

“Cursing at your professor, or even just being disrespectful, is also a huge deal! In fact, not only should you not curse at anyone, cursing at someone “in your chain of command” (as they say in the military) is not only bad and disrespectful, it is incredibly stupid. What on earth were you thinking?!”

In conclusion, while informal communication between professors and students can enhance the learning experience, it’s essential to strike a balance. There should always be a level of mutual respect. Professors can be approachable and friendly without compromising the core values of teaching. After all, the primary goal is to provide a conducive environment for learning and growth.


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