Don't Pretend College Cheating Is Only From Famous Parents

Stop Pretending That The Only Cheating That Is Happening In College Is From Famous Parents

We all see it, so why is no one doing anything to change it?

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In the wake of arguably the worst college cheating scandal to date, all eyes are on the nation's elites. Lori Loughlin is on TV more now than in the prime days of Full House, and some of Hollywood's most well-known names are being photographed in handcuffs. This scandal has ignited the world in a frenzy of anger toward wealthy families and bribery.

While those accusations and frustrations are understandable, maybe attention should be redirected to cheating in general. Cheating at elite colleges runs rampant, and more often than not, professors and other students turn a blind eye.

Most universities and colleges in the United States function off of their own honor code. The hope is that the punishment for being caught cheating and the desire to respect the university's reputation will deter students from being dishonest. As great as it sounds, this just isn't the case. While it is nauseating to think about a mom bribing a school with half of a million dollars to get her daughter admitted, the real issue is much larger.

According to an article published by plagarism.org, approximately 95% of college students admit to participating in some form of cheating during their time in school. If 95% of students are breaking the rules, doesn't it make you think that there may be an issue with the system?

Imagine this — you're taking 15 credit hours (the equivalent of 5 classes) at a top university, you're working part-time to pay for housing, food, and school, you're volunteering on campus with an organization you're passionate about, you're a member of four other clubs to strengthen your resume, and you're actively looking for and applying to summer internships — all while trying to maintain a healthy social balance, work out regularly, and eat decent foods.

You stumble into "midterm week" knowing that one test determines 30% of your final grade and there is absolutely no room for error. Halfway through the test, you look up and see a row of students in front of you discretely passing an answer sheet from one friend to the next. You look to the left and see another student reading answers from their Apple watch.

You hear stories of your friend's sororities and fraternities having copies of old tests and quizzes. You know these students will score higher than you despite your lack of sleep and days spent studying — and worst of all, they never get caught. How would you stay motivated? Wouldn't you be tempted? Why would you get out of bed every single day and bust your butt just to score 20 points lower on an exam than a dishonest neighbor?

This is a dilemma college students face every single day. Doesn't a statistic of 95% make you want to do something? Maybe the level of stress placed on students at top schools isn't pushing them to their full potential, but rather, pushing them to cheat, and consequently, learn nothing. How are such distinguished universities maintaining their reputation when their students are dishonest? What happens when their grads enter the real world and have no idea how to do anything for themselves?

The college admissions scandal should not be ignored. It shouldn't be minimized or overlooked, but it should start a greater conversation about integrity and efficiency on college campuses. It should make all of us start to brainstorm positive changes that can be made on campus. It may never be perfect, but it HAS to be better.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?

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Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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