Succeeding academically in college is tough. Instructors must push students beyond their immediate capability, or students simply won't learn. But some students don't respond well to pressure. Instead of taking up an instructor's challenge on the instructor's own terms, some students will look for a way out that does not involve the required degree of hard work. Some students will cheat. And students who intend to cheat will often try to involve other students in the cheating. Having another student ask you to help them cheat is bad enough. But what if the cheater is your roommate? Here are some key points to keep in mind if your roommate pressures you to help them cheat. And if your roommate has gotten you charged with cheating, retain national school discipline defense advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team to defend and defeat the charges.
Academic Codes Prohibit Cheating
The first thing to keep in mind is that if your roommate is pressuring you to cheat, your roommate is asking you to risk an enormous amount for their convenience. Your roommate is not only asking you to destroy your integrity. Your roommate is also asking you to put your education and even your future career on the line. When you enter a college or university, your school will present you with a student code of conduct that prohibits cheating. among its long list of other do's and don'ts by which you must abide to remain enrolled and in good standing. See, for example, the student code of conduct at the University of Texas, prohibiting several forms of academic misconduct. Your school's code will detail the things you need to do to maintain both academic integrity and personal integrity.
Academic Codes Prohibit Helping Cheaters
Some students mistakenly believe that the person who actually does the cheating is the only one who will get in trouble, but that's not the case. If you were to help your roommate cheat, you would very likely be in violation of the academic integrity part of the student code. You could be as guilty of cheating as your roommate was. If you help someone cheat, you could get into serious trouble up to suspension or even dismissal from the school. For instance, the code of conduct for students at Ohio State University prohibits not only receiving and using unauthorized information or assistance to cheat but also providing that information or assistance. Both the student who asks for the help in cheating and the student who helps the cheater violate the code.
Some Codes Require Reporting Cheaters
A few college and university student codes of conduct, particularly those at the military academies but also some professional schools, even require students who become aware of cheating to report that cheating. The Air Force Academy Honor Code is an example, not only prohibiting cheating but also requiring cadets not to tolerate those who cheat. At those schools, your failure to report cheating is itself a violation of the code. If you don't reveal the fact that another student cheated, you could get into trouble for tolerating cheating by others. The University of Minnesota's academic integrity procedures direct students who suspect cheating to report those suspicions to their instructor or other school disciplinary officials. Don't cheat, don't help cheaters, and let your school officials know if you suspect cheating. Otherwise, your silence could implicate you in a cheating scandal.
Be Candid With Your Roommate
If your roommate is struggling, and they come to you with plans to cheat or want you to help them cheat, refuse to do so. Instead, tell them to get the academic support they need. Help them connect with teaching assistants, study groups, and the school's academic resource center. Students who are struggling with classes can also speak to their academic advisors or even their professors to see if something else can be done. It may involve getting extra help, speaking to a therapist, or taking a semester off. You can be a supporter and friend. But you must not let yourself get drawn into cheating allegations.
Get Legal Help
Maintaining your academic integrity is crucial if you want to maintain a good reputation, have a good educational experience, and graduate with the references and recommendations that help you advance in your career. If you face cheating charges at your college or university, whether on your own or because you've allegedly helped someone else cheat, you need to speak with an attorney experienced in the field of academic discipline so that they can help you assess your options. National school discipline defense attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and the team at the Lento Law Firm have years of experience helping students who've gotten into trouble because of academic dishonesty. They can help you assess your situation and figure out the next steps so that you continue to thrive. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 so that you can get back to being the best student you can be.