Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

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jselson
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby jselson » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:05 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:Also, why is everyone talking about her shot at Harvard..I don't believe she addressed that she is gunning to Harvard... she only specifically referenced a fear of being locked out of t14, which I don't believe is going to happen.


Because of her screenname?

Big Dog
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby Big Dog » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:27 pm

I would advise NOT applying your senior year. Take a 1, 2 or even 3 years off to work and grow. The distance will make the offense far less of a factor and because there is a real gap in time between the event in question and your application, saying that the person who is applying is not the same person who amassed the infraction will be a lot more compelling.


Bingo!

zman
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby zman » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:25 pm

Cornell will take you with those numbers.

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twenty
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby twenty » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:48 pm

Either way, you need to retake. But sitting out a cycle of two needs to be a serious consideration if you want Harvard.


This is smart advice.

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Happy Gilmore
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby Happy Gilmore » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:09 pm

I cannot stress enough that you need to take the advice about the tone of the addendum. Your original post sounded like you still think you did nothing wrong. Your probably out at Harvard though :(

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untar614
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby untar614 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:26 am

I'm not disagreeing with anyone about the addendum, but speaking more generally, I find it ridiculous that people are always expected to take the blame and say "I screwed up and learned a valuable lesson blah blah blah" when many times it really wasn't their fault and someone else screwed up. Sometimes things really are other peoples' fault, yet people are forced to take blame for it even if they probably shouldn't have to.

NYstate
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby NYstate » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:08 am

untar614 wrote:I'm not disagreeing with anyone about the addendum, but speaking more generally, I find it ridiculous that people are always expected to take the blame and say "I screwed up and learned a valuable lesson blah blah blah" when many times it really wasn't their fault and someone else screwed up. Sometimes things really are other peoples' fault, yet people are forced to take blame for it even if they probably shouldn't have to.


You got a semester of academic probation at Harvard. You screwed up.
Write whatever you want. If you want to explain to schools how you did nothing wrong because the TAs( from the law school no less!) thought it was fine and lots of people did worse stuff anyway, then go ahead. Do whatever you want.

This is my take on it: You say you agree with the advice given to you;but you don't really agree because you still feel you did nothing wrong. There is a huge gap between " being blamed" and taking responsibility. You are still making excuses. You need to take responsibility for violating the honor code, or else your defensiveness is going to come through in your application and interviews.

Most of the posters feel this is a major issue and obstacle in your application. This obstacle could keep you from getting accepted at your dream schools. You can "sigh" and minimize it all you want, but this is going to hurt you, hard to predict how much. I think the bar C&F will also have an issue with this academic probation. You have to actually take responsibility, not just pretend on a piece of paper that you do.

CourCour
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby CourCour » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:38 pm

NYstate wrote: Just say on [date] I was sanctioned by My undergraduate school for inappropriate collaboration. [Maybe breifly explain in one sentence what you did- I assisted another student with class review ( or whatever it wAs you did)which was a violation of the class honor code. I was placed on academic probation for a semester. I take full responsibility for my actions and have learned from my mistakes. I have no other incidents on my record.


This seems right.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:44 pm

CourCour wrote:
NYstate wrote: Just say on [date] I was sanctioned by My undergraduate school for inappropriate collaboration. [Maybe breifly explain in one sentence what you did- I assisted another student with class review ( or whatever it wAs you did)which was a violation of the class honor code. I was placed on academic probation for a semester. I take full responsibility for my actions and have learned from my mistakes. I have no other incidents on my record.


This seems right.

Yep. Don't talk about the media attention, don't say that you weren't one of the worst offenders. Just say what you did, apologize for it, and end it.

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untar614
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby untar614 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:35 pm

NYstate wrote:
untar614 wrote:I'm not disagreeing with anyone about the addendum, but speaking more generally, I find it ridiculous that people are always expected to take the blame and say "I screwed up and learned a valuable lesson blah blah blah" when many times it really wasn't their fault and someone else screwed up. Sometimes things really are other peoples' fault, yet people are forced to take blame for it even if they probably shouldn't have to.


You got a semester of academic probation at Harvard. You screwed up.
Write whatever you want. If you want to explain to schools how you did nothing wrong because the TAs( from the law school no less!) thought it was fine and lots of people did worse stuff anyway, then go ahead. Do whatever you want.

This is my take on it: You say you agree with the advice given to you;but you don't really agree because you still feel you did nothing wrong. There is a huge gap between " being blamed" and taking responsibility. You are still making excuses. You need to take responsibility for violating the honor code, or else your defensiveness is going to come through in your application and interviews.

Most of the posters feel this is a major issue and obstacle in your application. This obstacle could keep you from getting accepted at your dream schools. You can "sigh" and minimize it all you want, but this is going to hurt you, hard to predict how much. I think the bar C&F will also have an issue with this academic probation. You have to actually take responsibility, not just pretend on a piece of paper that you do.


I don't go to Harvard....
I'm not in any way involved in this or any cheating scandal or academic dishonesty situation of any kind.


As I said, I was speaking more generally on how people are always expected to take the blame and say that they messed up and learned a lesson, even though I've seen instances when it really wasn't their fault, and someone else messed up, and the only lesson they needed to learn was better covering their ass from other peoples' screw-ups. It doesn't affect me directly at all, I'm just remarking on the general sentiment that it's so awful to ever even suggest that anyone else could ever screw up and get you in trouble for it.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:31 pm

untar614 wrote:As I said, I was speaking more generally on how people are always expected to take the blame and say that they messed up and learned a lesson, even though I've seen instances when it really wasn't their fault, and someone else messed up, and the only lesson they needed to learn was better covering their ass from other peoples' screw-ups. It doesn't affect me directly at all, I'm just remarking on the general sentiment that it's so awful to ever even suggest that anyone else could ever screw up and get you in trouble for it.

The problem is, how on earth do you say it was someone else's fault without making it sound like you're making excuses? You can't, so just don't try. It just looks better to take responsibility. I mean, applying for schools (or for a job) is a really artificial circumstance in which you spin everything in your life to look better than it really is. Why start being unvarnished with this particular kind of issue?

If nothing else, those people screwed up by being in a position where someone else's mistake could bite them in the ass.

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Samara
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby Samara » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:38 pm

untar614 wrote:As I said, I was speaking more generally on how people are always expected to take the blame and say that they messed up and learned a lesson, even though I've seen instances when it really wasn't their fault, and someone else messed up, and the only lesson they needed to learn was better covering their ass from other peoples' screw-ups. It doesn't affect me directly at all, I'm just remarking on the general sentiment that it's so awful to ever even suggest that anyone else could ever screw up and get you in trouble for it.

Considering how much cheating likely doesn't get caught, what is more likely, that you were somehow fingered for something you didn't do or that you were, at the very least, in a grey area you shouldn't have been in? Instead of "covering your ass from other people's screw-ups" why don't you report their cheating? Seems like an easy way to not get implicated in something you aren't doing.

suzige
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby suzige » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:40 pm

Googling this "cheating scandal" as we speak.

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Samara
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby Samara » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:43 pm

suzige wrote:Googling this "cheating scandal" as we speak.

Here you go.

Sounds like pretty clear cut cheating to me.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:43 pm

you're out at HYSCCNP unless the decline in applications removes C&F/bar eligibility as a consideration (which is entirely possible). They take academic violations seriously, and this is pretty severe (also with Harvard grade inflation, the cheating seems even less necessary, even though it seems more like your help was abused by others, than that you needed help yourself). Lower T14 like Cornell and Gtown will still take you.

Best of luck

Stinson
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby Stinson » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:50 pm

I think a fact-based addendum is the way to go - say very specifically what you did, no editorializing. Couple it with an acknowledgement that it was wrong. Not that the school determined it was wrong, or that people outside looking in think it was wrong. That you realize it was the wrong thing to do, and that you would not do it again. And not something like "I will be sure to better familiarize myself with collaboration procedures in the future," because that implies you didn't really do something wrong.

The reason I emphasize that you really have to express that you realize what you did was wrong is that the admissions people will not be coming at this afresh. While you should treat this more or less as you would any academic dishonesty situation, you should be mindful that it is not just any situation. Admissions people will be familiar with the scandal, and they will be toting their notions of what happened with them. Fairly or not, the perception of the scandal will wind up affecting you and, fairly or not, you are likely to be judged by the perception of events that students themselves - not you, but other students - created. I witnessed this from fairly up close - at the law school, at least - and student statements made in the Crimson and elsewhere, which were picked up in online articles and higher ed publications, created the impression that the students involved felt:

1. That the class was harder than expected, and thus it was okay to cheat.
2. That everyone was doing it, and thus is was okay to cheat.
3. That quasi-cheating collaboration is the accepted way things are done at Harvard, and thus it was okay to cheat.
4. The professor was bad, and thus it was okay to cheat.

YOU did not make any of those statements, but those were the take-away points for most of the higher ed audience. So YOU need to sound as far as humanly possible from any of that. You did not get struck by an unlucky lightning bolt; do not try to sound like you did.

suzige
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby suzige » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:55 pm

OP, I'd let some time (at least 1-2 yrs) pass just so it's not so fresh in pple's minds and so that you can show that you aren't a perpetual cheater in class. Since this was so public, it'll carry more negative weight with it and be more difficult to explain away. Not sure what else to tell you though. Good Luck.

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Clearly
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby Clearly » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:03 pm

Image

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untar614
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby untar614 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:44 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:The problem is, how on earth do you say it was someone else's fault without making it sound like you're making excuses? You can't, so just don't try. It just looks better to take responsibility. I mean, applying for schools (or for a job) is a really artificial circumstance in which you spin everything in your life to look better than it really is. Why start being unvarnished with this particular kind of issue?

yeah, I get that, which is why I didn't disagree with the advice given. But why do we have to make it like that? Why do we insist that everyone accept responsibility even when they shouldn't have to. People get screwed over by other people all the time - why are we doubling that by making them say it was their fault?

If nothing else, those people screwed up by being in a position where someone else's mistake could bite them in the ass.

Easy to say, and it's true in many cases, but definitely not all. I've known people who were copied off of without their knowledge and then they have shit to deal with when they didn't do anything wrong.
Samara wrote:Considering how much cheating likely doesn't get caught, what is more likely, that you were somehow fingered for something you didn't do or that you were, at the very least, in a grey area you shouldn't have been in? Instead of "covering your ass from other people's screw-ups" why don't you report their cheating? Seems like an easy way to not get implicated in something you aren't doing.

And as I said, people get screwed over by other people all the time too. On what basis do you claim to know what's more likely? Not everyone is something you could have stopped preemptively by reporting someone. That would require it be something you know about in advance, and knew sufficiently about to actually have it taken care of. You make it sound as if anyone who can't solve all societal ills around them is then tacitly guilty.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:47 pm

Your prelaw advising officers are going to have a better answer to this than we are. Harvard knows that a lot of the kids they suspended are going to go on to try to apply to med, law, business, and grad school, and to have to explain it. If they haven't developed a game plan for you guys yet, they should start now.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:58 pm

untar614 wrote:yeah, I get that, which is why I didn't disagree with the advice given. But why do we have to make it like that? Why do we insist that everyone accept responsibility even when they shouldn't have to. People get screwed over by other people all the time - why are we doubling that by making them say it was their fault?

Because they have something on their record from some form of authority (school, police, whatever) that says it was their fault. When faced with a law school applicant they know nothing about and a report from whatever form of authority, law schools are not going to give the benefit of the doubt to the applicant who obviously (reasonably) wants to minimize whatever offense. This context (applying for schools/jobs) isn't about getting to the truth; it's about selling yourself the best that you can. It's the same reason why, when you're applying for a job and get asked about why you left a previous job, you never say, "Because they were jerks and didn't appreciate how hard I worked," even if it is true (and frankly, I think people are much more likely to leave a job because the job was crappy than get some kind of black mark on their record because they did absolutely nothing wrong. Sure, some people get screwed over, but I think it's a lot less than you do).

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untar614
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby untar614 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:17 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
untar614 wrote:yeah, I get that, which is why I didn't disagree with the advice given. But why do we have to make it like that? Why do we insist that everyone accept responsibility even when they shouldn't have to. People get screwed over by other people all the time - why are we doubling that by making them say it was their fault?

Because they have something on their record from some form of authority (school, police, whatever) that says it was their fault. When faced with a law school applicant they know nothing about and a report from whatever form of authority, law schools are not going to give the benefit of the doubt to the applicant who obviously (reasonably) wants to minimize whatever offense. This context (applying for schools/jobs) isn't about getting to the truth; it's about selling yourself the best that you can. It's the same reason why, when you're applying for a job and get asked about why you left a previous job, you never say, "Because they were jerks and didn't appreciate how hard I worked," even if it is true (and frankly, I think people are much more likely to leave a job because the job was crappy than get some kind of black mark on their record because they did absolutely nothing wrong. Sure, some people get screwed over, but I think it's a lot less than you do).


This really gets to the heart of the matter. I can kinda better understand it from a job/business standpoint, but I think it's really unfortunate that it would be the case in the academic realm as well.

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Samara
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby Samara » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:31 pm

I just don't buy that there are tons of people out there getting punished for cheating who are completely innocent.

More to the point, I definitely don't buy it here and I really doubt any adcomm will either.

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untar614
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby untar614 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:45 pm


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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Sigh... Harvard "Cheating Scandal"

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:05 pm

untar614 wrote:http://familiesforhonor.com/
just one example

One school isn't evidence that there are significant numbers of people out there being penalized unfairly. UVA's system is pretty uncommon.




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