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To cheat or not to cheat

As student’s toil in vain over their papers and teachers look for even the slightest hint of the head-twist, those who are not adequately prepared to meet the challenge often turn to cheating to solve their problems.

Former English professor at Fresno Pacific University (FPU), and new vice principal, John Endicott has seen cheating in a wide variety of forms.

“The most common infraction I noticed at FPU was plagiarism,” Endicott said. “Among other things, using old tests as a basis of study and copying homework were also ways students tried to cheat.”

While views of cheating among the faculty are clearly defined and agreed on, opinions differ among students.

“When you copy on a test, it’s cheating,” Jordan Griffin, ’04, said. “However in my opinion, homework copying is just helping out a pal in a tough time.”

Not all students see cheating issues so liberally.

“Cheating is cheating,” Sarah Damm, ’03, said, “and it only hurts students’ potential to learn. Cheating in all its forms is still unethical, immoral and wrong. Cheaters deserve to be punished.”

If cheating issues are so clearly defined, then to what severity should violators be punished?

“As administrators,” Endicott said, “we depend on the teachers to catch the students in the act of cheating, and then enforce the rules to their discretion. We also distribute a consequence for cheating and sometimes more depending on how blatant the cheating was.”

While administrators have the final say overall, teachers also rectify violators by employing their own discipline.

“I give the student a zero,” Lonnie Godfrey, mathematics teacher said, “and then we discuss why they cheated and how God feels about what they did. I think if all of us if we were given the proper circumstances would cheat. The key is to not get yourselves in a position where cheating is an option by coming unprepared to class.”

While cheating has its academic consequences, students on campus are hard pressed to believe their actions aren’t in direct opposition of God’s commandments.

“Satan is always tempting us to cheat,” Elise Aydelotte, ’05, said. “If we compromise our values and cheat, it only gives him pleasure. Cheating can become addictive even if you only start with small circumstances.”

Regardless of how cheating is viewed in academics, students on campus should be aware of their spiritual obligations and value statement they made when applying as a FC student.

For more information on campus policies regarding cheating infractions, they can go to the Fresno Christian web site at www.fresnochristian.com and look up cheating in the student handbook online.

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