Okay Harvard, how seriously do you take Veritas?

BY BRIONA PRICE ’16
Contributing Writer

I was doing absolutely nothing valuable. You see, YouTube is a place for time-wasters: a safe haven. I was on my fifth “funny” animal video when I decided—for some unknown reason—to type the Harvard name into YouTube’s search engine. A satirical video about how to get into the Ivy League school was the first result, but the second was the one that mandated my attention. I watched the video and I came to one conclusion: Harvard is imperfect. The video allegedly stated that 125 students had all cheated on a take-home exam.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking and you’re absolutely wrong. No, I did not use that lone YouTube video as my sole source of knowledge. The majority of the major news sources reported the same thing and, you know, even the grand institution itself confirmed it.

Most people have decided to place blame on Harvard, as if the school had done some sort of evil thing. Even the students who are the current suspects have allegedly stated that if Harvard decides to impose harsh penalties on them most will sue. The only vice the school is guilty of is admitting 125 students who lack the morals commonly associated with the school.

In light of this, Harvard should absolutely impose the harshest of punishments on these 125 students—so what if they sue? It is common knowledge that if you cheat in college, you will most likely get kicked out. These kids who were admitted to Harvard, of all places, are willing to say they didn’t know cheating demands consequences?

If you’re confused for any reason about why I’m so upset then let me explain. In high school SATs were a big deal. We worked hard and we took classes we believed would aid us in doing our best on these exams. Yet, while we worked hard there were those that didn’t. There were students who cheated during the exam and almost all of us knew one kid who was able to pay someone to take the exam for him or her. Yeah, we knew we worked hard and we knew some people did unethical things to get ahead. But the universities didn’t know, and so whether we got into the colleges we wanted to get in to or not, we assumed we would get a fair chance in college.

We assumed that when we were ready to apply for undergraduate school, we would be competing with a person who had done his or her best—not his or her best enhanced with unfair aids.

Because this scandal is now known all over the nation, Harvard has been thrown into national attention under a harsh spotlight. How the Univeristy responds to this allegation will set a possible precedent for future cheating scandals not only for its own institution but for other institutions as well. So Harvard, how seriously do you take Veritas?

Questions? Email Briona at bprice@fandm.edu.

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