Short Answer: HEC Web Site

by Opinion Staff | 11/25/08 3:31am

No system of policing is unqualifiedly effective. But the fact that a system is faulty is not a reason to reject it; it is only a reason to correct it. Implementation of the HEC site should instead hinge on need: Is the honor code violated to a degree that necessitates Stalinist measures? Until it can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the honor code is victim to constant violation, such an ill-conceived -- but still well-intentioned -- measure should be withheld.

--Yang Wei Neo '12

One of Dartmouth's best qualities is the trust and respect students have for each other here, unlike the cutthroat attitudes displayed at other universities. When innocent students can be anonymously reported for cheating, we will lose the close-knit, relaxed ties that make our school special.

--Brian Solomon '11

As it is currently designed, the anonymous online reporting system makes very little sense. According to the head of the Honor Education Committee ("Honor comm. seeks code violation reports," Nov. 21), the gravest possible result of an anonymous submission is that a professor is notified that a violation of the honor code has occurred in his class. I don't see the point of such a system. Is the professor then expected to suspect everyone in his class? Are all students in the class to be considered guilty until proven innocent? I think there is some value in letting students report violations anonymously for the reasons given by HEC members in the Nov. 21 article, but the current system is not the way to do it.

--Peter Blair '12

I would be very comfortable reporting something anonymously, especially if I didn't know the person in question. It would be a more comfortable way to report things, certainly, and the awkwardness of reporting violations would otherwise probably keep people silent.

--Isaiah Berg '11

I respect integrity and would report violations to preserve academic honesty. Students who intentionally violate the honor principle cheat both themselves and fellow students of accurate grades, especially when the grades are curved. I would report such students through the Honor Education Committee's web site as one way of maintaining Dartmouth's intellectual and institutional integrity.

--Alice Zhao '12

Anonymous reports can't and shouldn't be used in judicial proceedings. I don't know if cheating at Dartmouth is prevalent enough to call for such a useless scare tactic, but I believe these reports need very careful oversight. It's a flawed idea.

--Dmitriy Gutkovich '10

I think the anonymous online reporting system is appealing because it won't result in a hearing against a particular student. I don't think I would feel comfortable, however, using it based on the actions of a few individuals. I would only feel comfortable using it if it was due to widespread cheating in a large class, where I would feel it would begin to significantly affect the curve. Otherwise, I think it's the business of the individual who is cheating.

--Suzanne Lehrer '09

No. Anonymity is a euphemism for cowardice. If someone witnesses an honor violation, he or she should have the courage to the approach the perpetrator or the professor.

--Kevin Niparko '12

While education is clearly the cornerstone of Dartmouth and any academic dishonesty undermines the work done by the rest of the student body, it is shameful and inappropriate for the College to give us the right to inflict so much damage on each other for what are sometimes small offenses. Even if it is simply forgetting to footnote a source or two, many of us are guilty of academic dishonesty. Professors should be more stringent in their honesty requirements and more watchful to ensure that they are being met. For professors to leave the room during an exam and then give us the right to snitch on each other is ridiculous.

--Tom Mandel '11