Harvard to be Harsh on ‘Intro to Congress’ Cheaters: New Details

How will Harvard determine the guilt (or innocence) of students charged with cheating in last spring’s Intro to Congress course? A tipster writes in:

My Resident Dean told me that:

1. if you sat down and took the exam with others, discussed the exam with others, for whatever reason – RWD [Require to Withdraw] / Failure of the Course
2. If you received information while the exam was out, be it answers, notes, study guides, etc – RWD / Failure of the Course
3. If your overlap is because of shared notes, shared study guides, shared information before the exam – scratch or take no action
4. If you sent information, be it answers, notes, study guides, etc, while the exam was out – RWD

Most importantly, The board will not take the “culture of collaboration” that has existed in the course for many years when reaching it’s decision. They will leave the sanctioning of the course up to the government department

Interesting: My RD told me that students will have to prove their stories. If you say you shared notes…you must produce them. if you say you used study guides, you must produce them, if you said you sent an email, you must produce it – or else the board will think you’re lying. I reminded her that the ad board is not a court of law and do not have a burden of proof to meet. she said that in a case like this, you just have to prove your story

  • CitizenWhy

    The university, the professor, and the department will take no responsibility. If you have power, you’re always exempt. If you’re an institution you are always superior to the individual. Learn this lesson, kids, snatch power, and affiliate with a rich and powerful institution that everyone admires and “respects.”

  • Some Serious Business Here

    Wait so “required to withdraw” means expulsion?

    Those kids must be scared out of their minds then. And I feel bad for the kids in the class who weren’t involved in any of this.

    • H alum

      No, it means you have to take a year off from school.

  • leoniceno

    This does seem harsh, and it doesn’t seem like the apportionment of blame for this incident is going where it needs to. But of course, Harvard has to show that it has taken severe action or its reputation will be damaged.

  • Jamara

    This highlights the kind of unusual situation at Harvard where failing one course (with or without cheating being involved) means you have to withdraw from the school for at least a year if not longer.

    I still think it says more about the class than about the students that 125 kids took part in this behavior. That goes from being a “cheating ring” to being something wrong baked in to the course.

    • H alum

      Failing one course puts you on academic probation.