BREAKING: Freshmen, you may not be getting your grades for a while

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NOTICE, Tuesday 4:20 PM:  As noted in a previous post, comments with full names will be deleted at the request of the target.

UPDATE: Here’s some Spec coverage to tide you over.

UPDATE 5:29PM: A new email has been released by the Core Office:

We have confirmed that there was a significant misjudgment on the part
of one Lit Hum instructor, which has resulted in a complicated
situation.  We now know that some students had information about the
content of the Lit Hum final well before the exam took place on Friday.
We are looking into this matter so that we can ascertain all the facts,
but we just wanted you to know that we are aware of the situation.
Thanks go to all students who contacted their instructors and the Core
Patricia Grieve, Chair of Literature Humanities
Deborah Martinsen, Associate Dean of the Core Curriculum

The following e-mail was sent to all Lit Hum teachers earlier today:

jyhg Dear Colleagues,

There has been an unfortunate breach in Lit Hum final exam security.

Notes identifying the quotations and sketching out the essay questions circulated among students prior to the exam.  (We have one copy of these  notes.)


Crime and Punishment – the students did not know of the last-minute quotation substitution.

SO, if any of your students identified the passage from Crime and Punishment as occuring in the Epilogue, chances are they had access to  these notes.  If the student correctly identified all of the other passages,  chances are even greater.  If they identified the exact Canto in Dante, they are very high indeed.

We will send out recommendations regarding grading later in the day.

Meanwhile, we are trying to determine how widely these answer sheets circulated and would welcome any information you have that may help.

Please refrain from submitting your final grades until we get back to you.


Thank you,

Dr. Deborah A. Martinsen

Associate Dean of the Core Curriculum


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  1. zing!

    someone's in trouble now!

  2. expletive

    say it ain't so, bwog! say it ain't so!

  3. OMG  

    Next level shit, Bwog.

  4. ditto  

    to all the above. take that you sons of bitches.

  5. i know who leaked!  


  6. i knew  

    that the class of 2010 was conniving and out to ruin their own academic records...

    oh first-years...

    it's not even that hard of an exam--and it's standardized... that's like cheating on the CAT test in elementary school...

    • so true

      I'm in one of the ADD groups on facebook, and I've gotten no less than three facebook messages this week from Columbia students I've never met - every single one of them a 2010er - asking to buy my Adderall. (Joke's on them, I'm unmedicated.)
      Come on, kids, at least the older generations of Columbians knew how to procure their drugs without leaving a digital trail.

  7. That sucks  

    For anyone that just happened to know all the answers because they just studied really hard.

    • yeah  

      I definitely got all the Id's when I took the final last year, so I'm sure a lot of innocent people did too.

    • durr

      the point is not that they're suspicious of people who answered everything right, the point is that theyre suspicious of ppl who answered everything right EXCEPT the one c&p question. shouldnt hurt ppl who studied & didnt cheat in the least...

      • nah  

        there's still the possibility of fucking up the c&p question, etc., without reference to the study guide. innocent until proven guilty is the principle on which they have to operate (or should), and there's really no mechanism for proof in this case. there's a likelihood that the majority who made this error are cheaters, of course, but punishing them all would likely or potentially result in the unfair punishment of someone, and that's considered a miscarriage of justice in the real legal system.

  8. sweet  

    lots of freshmen are going down.

    sadly martinsen's presumptions are not very lawyerly, though. there is a possibility that someone answered in this fashion without reference to the cheat-sheet.

  9. save me!

    zomg... what does this say about the people that actually read the books, studied, and answered correctly?!

    help me, bwog -- i'm falling!

  10. mike  

    I still say it's infeasible for them to bust students for this. Weak evidence and everyone will before they have time to be questioned.

    My bet is that they want the blue books to see if certain sections did particularly well.

  11. Bravo Bwog  

    I'm proud of you guys for breaking this-- I'm betting the Core Office wouldn't have done anything about this if you hadn't brought it up. Thanks for posting this e-mail, too-- I've never been so glad to have gotten IDs wrong. I, for one, expect to get an 'A' by default. Anything else would be patently unfair.

  12. shit  

    what if i guessed taht the crime and punishment was from the epilogue but didnt see the study guide? i got the hamlet and dante quotes wrong too...

    • exactly  

      you'd be unfairly fucked. someone needs to remind martinsen that correlation =/= causation, before it's too late.

      • No, he's fine  

        because he missed dante & Hamlet. Chill guys, I don't think students will bear the brunt of the punishment on this one, although some hard work might go to waste.

        Btw bwog, how did you get a copy of this email? (just curious)

  13. if a student  

    answered that the quote was from the epilogue (when it obviously wasn't) and got the Dante Canto and got everything else right then it puts a big red flag on the student and they will get investigated. My teacher sent a huge e-mail out saying that people who got the two questions wrong but everything else right are under suspicion - the two quotes were super vague.

    THIS IS UNREAL! Can't wait to see some jocks get buuuuuuuuusted.

  14. justice

    okay, kiddos. if you know enough lit hum to get 8 of the 10 passages right, chances are that you'd know the other 2, too. and if you only know 80% of the material, it's not likely that the two you just so happen to be unable to identify are the 2 that are different from the passages on the cheat sheet. it's pretty basic statistical reasoning, my friends. not saying it's impossible. just pretty unlikely.

    so, yeah, i had a review session freshman year for lit hum and made a review sheet after it, and you can be pretty damn sure that half of the freshman class wasn't itching to get their hands on it. isn't there a bit of a difference here?

    if you got all the IDs, i'm sure you're fine. if you got only 2 of the IDs, you're probably even a little better off. Got 8 and "just happened" to miss those 2 darn IDs? correlation may not mean causation, but sometimes common sense speaks otherwise. god speed to you.

    • ugh  

      thank god "likeliness" and "common sense" are never correct answers on the LSAT. this is the kind of shit they deconstruct entirely in law school.

      • big mike  

        I dont think the core office staff are lawyers, but I bet they use common sense when doling out punishment. I'd be pretty fuckin freaked out if my answers fit their criteria, by chance or not...

        • but  

          this is the problem with the university punishment system overall. we spend hours in CC arguing over the meaning of justice and then the admins in hamilton and low can just presume us guilty on the basis of a correlation or else try us without counsel or witnesses (as they did with the minutemen peeps or in rape cases).

          maybe the core office needs more lawyers.

  15. OH HAY  


  16. Its  

    gonna be practically impossible to discipline students on this. Say someone says to you when you're studying 'yo, i hear ____ quote is this' without you directly seeking the information...what then? Do you get it wrong on principle so as not to cheat?

  17. I HATE HER  

    I fucking passionately hate Deborah Martinsen, and this is why. Now any student who did not have access to the notes but just so happened to not identify the Crime and Punishment quote correctly but got everything else right is under suspicion. Way to not put the blame on your incompetent instructors you DUMB BITCH. I hate her more than ANYONE at Columbia.

  18. also  

    this is gonna be like straight out of true Norwegian black metal - WHO IS GONNA GET STABBED 23 TIMES!?!?!

    My prediction is that jocks/all punished cheaters will start a huge bonfire/riot early 90s Norway style

  19. irony  

    crime and punishment is the quote that's catching everyone?

    • Cheater!  

      How would you have known that was ironic unless you saw the review sheet? #31 is a cheater! Get him! (or her!)

    • Adam K  

      Raskolnikov refused the water with his hand, and softly and brokenly, but distinctly said:

      “It was I found teachers' notes to the Lit Hum final and robbed them.”

      Ilya Petrovitch opened his mouth. People ran up on all sides.

      Raskolnikov repeated his statement.

  20. dumbasses  

    you all cant read and deserve to fail your kiddy tests. they CHANGED the crime and punishment quesiton at the last minute. away from the epilogue, presumably. so anyone who wrote epilogue was working off the OLD answers--from a cheat sheet. that's why, if they wrote 'epilogue' (getting it wrong on the ultimate test) but got the other 9 (unchnaged from 'old') questions right..they were using the cheat sheet. bye

  21. BOOYAH!  

    Thank god I knew it was Sviddy!

  22. They  

    can't do shit about this. For one, they can't punish the class that the teacher gave the sheet to, because they just listened/read what their teacher told them to. So how can they punish people outside of that class? I highly doubt those that spread the sheet around will admit it.

    • yeah  

      Exactly. This is why Martinsen is an incompetent bitch. She sounds like she wants to punish the students for this. Just apply a huge curve, give the prof in question a slap on the wrist, and let it go. THIS IS JUST LIT HIM FOR GOD'S SAKE, it's not a hard class to begin with!

  23. i know...  

    what would make this more entertaining: if guilt-ridden first-years start turning each other in.

  24. Rounders  

    I learned in the movie rounders that if you spot a man's tell, you don't say a god damn word. There is nothing wrong with cheating, but if you find a way to cheat, why the f*ck (fuck) would you ruin it by telling everyone else. First-years are retarded.

  25. ka-zaam

    ohh. i like you, 31.

    personally, i think this whole thing is ridiculous. do i want students to get punished? not really. would i think it a travesty if people who got those 2 unfortunate passages wrong were "red flagged" as you say? not a bit. there's a difference between having your balls served to you on a silver platter and getting reprimanded for doing something you probably knew was wrong when you were doing it. this shouldn't ruin the academic reputations of these kids, but it's about time that people around here started taking some accountability. okay, so it was wrong of the teacher to leak the answers to her class, but it was wrong of the class to leak it to the rest of the freshmen, too.

    • sophomore  

      I think it's more wrong of the professor to put her students in such a situation: on one hand, they might have realized (but we can't be sure of that) that they had an unfair advantage, but on the other hand, what were they supposed to do? Speak up and get their teacher in trouble right before a final?

      Martinsen, get your fucking act together. Blame the PROF not the students. Understand the precedent you're setting here. If you put the blame on the students and not on the professor, you have created a system where the teachers can now "trick" students into cheating.

  26. i agree  

    that nobody capable of getting all the other questions exactly right (including knowing the specific canto, how hard is that!?!) would ever make the mistake of misidentifying something not in the c&p epilogue as being part of it. hello! the epilogue is hugely different from the rest of the book in terms of situation and tone.

    even if that's one book you didn't read, i think there's little chance of making that mistake because you would only know that there was an epilogue to identify if you were paying attention in class and if you knew that, you'd know that it was totally different from the rest of the book. no, only the brain dead cheaters with no knowledge of anything except what the answer key said could make such a mistake. i'm not a freshman, so i don't know what the exact quote was, but i have no doubt about this.

    i'm less certain about whether they'll be able to punish anyone under these circumstances and at this point in the year, but i call absolute b.s. on anyone trying to wriggle out with the "it could happen" excuse. i really don't think so in this specific case.

  27. PWNED!!  

    new email's out: the core office has caught the teacher involved

  28. obviously  

    just to get it straight, i don't view any of this as cheating on behalf of the students. I'm a freshman who never even heard about the study guide until two days afterwards, and i don't think that the students are at fault at all here. THE TEACHER GAVE THIS INFO TO THE STUDENTS. why should students be considered cheaters if they take information the teacher gave them and use it on the exam? also, every class passes eachother tips about what one teacher or another said, but usuallly its no more than how many ID's there will be, or how many you'll have to do. in this case the individual teacher who leaked the info should be the only person in trouble for making a idiotic mistake. now the core committee has a big mess on their hands, but its not fair for them to take any action against the students at all for just following what a teacher gave them. there is no rule or expectation in lit hum about not sharing information between classes. the expectation is that teachers won't be stupid enough to give out information that jeopardizes the integrity of the test. i feel bad for the committe having to deal with this big fuck-up.

  29. Anonymous  

    Hey first years:

    Here's a chance for all of you to boost your grades.
    Regardless of what grade you get on your lit hum final, email the instructor and say that you want to know if you were penalized for cheating in the exam, even though you are innocent. If you get a no, well, have a nice summer. If you get an improbable yes, insist that you are innocent and raise hell until you get your grade bumped. Most likely, knowing Columbia, you'll get a form letter that won't tell you if you were punished. Take that letter, send it to Bwog and start CC'ing Martinsen on emails to FoxNews and NY Sun telling them about a witch-hunt at Islamo-fascist, liberal, anarchist Columbia University of Havana- North Campus.
    Make like Matt Sanchez and leverage your way up the administrative ladder until a hush-money A+ is on your transcript!

  30. i think  

    that the widespread usage of this cheat sheet indicates that the students who received it KNEW that they had something good on their hands - otherwise why would anyone care about some random cheat sheet an instructor gave them?


  31. WOW  

    HOW IS IT CHEATING IF A TEACHER PROVIDED INFORMATION? its like making a study guide and sharing it with friends. the only problem is that it was a teacher doing dumb shit. what if you're a student who got the study guide from your teacher, used it, and now you're being accused of cheating? the core office should just scrap the final and teachers should give grades based on past performance. i know thats not particularly fair especially for those who studied a lot without the "study guide" but there isn't really any fair thing to do.

  32. ...  

    If you didn't cheat there is nothing to worry about. There is virtually no chance that someone would put Epilogue for a vague Crime and Punishment quote. What would compel you to do that? Do you realize how unlikely it is that you would get that passage wrong in such a specific way? This wouldn't even catch most of the smarter cheaters, who would notice that the passage changed and adjust accordingly.

  33. I think  

    that the widespread usage of this cheat sheet indicates that first years clearly don't understand what the hell they are doing. If you suspect you have been given an unfair advantage, do NOT share it. If they had kept this study guide within their classmates only, none of this would have happened!

  34. it's cheating  

    because clearly they knew this was the test or there wouldnt have been a ferocious scramble for everyone to see it.

  35. best part  

    They caught the cheaters by using the old Animal House trick of changing the questions after letting people think they found the answers.

    Who's working in the Core office, anyway? Gregg Marmalard? Niedermayer?

  36. ...  

    I didn't read C+P and it was clear to me that the quote wasn't from the epilogue.

    Notice that she also said that these students would simply be "red flagged." That doesn't mean that they're going to be failed or anything, but they're going to be the target of any investigation.

    Mmmm, will we start getting e-mails about the fact that we're being "investigated" like we did back during the Mark Mo scnadal?


  37. also  


    B. Can we use this fuck up to get everyone out of FroSci? I think it's gonna be bad when the core office sees the mean score of 75 (personal prediction based on midterm) after tonight's final.

  38. email should read  

    We have confirmed that there was a significant misjudgment on the part
    of the Core Curriculum, which has resulted in a complicated
    situation. We now know that letting professors see the exam beforehand results in professors being biased towards teaching the material on the exam.
    We are looking into this matter so that we can ascertain all the facts, but we just wanted you to know that we are aware of the situation.

    Thanks go to all students who contacted their instructors and the Core

    Patricia Grieve, Chair of Literature Humanities
    Deborah Martinsen, Associate Dean of the Core Curriculum

    • good point  

      the real problem here is the way the core office appears to be handling this by targeting students. are they going to try to investigate EVERY blue book and label each student a cheater or not cheater??? they have to just admit that their policy among teachers for the standardized final should have been sounder and this is their own problem.

      there is no reasonable way to determine who did and did not see the guide, so they have to admit their own mistakes that led to this mess.

  39. if i had the guide  

    all i know is that if i got the study guide i wouldn't share it with anybody because i'd pull for the curve. fuck everyone else i'll cheat on my own

    • big mike  

      someone like you would never get the guide cause you're such a selfish deusche, no friend would give it to you, not like you probably have any friends

  40. wait  

    I thought that email was just what one person is saying the email SHOULD say...

  41. The Dink  

    The epilogue is so incredibly different from the rest of C&P that it's really easy to tell. I have heard, and (would like to) believe that Dostoevsky added the epilogue after he finished the book serial perhaps because of public disappointment with the original ending. which is some bullshit, because the epilogue really doesn't add that much to the story. everything is in those last amazing 2-3 pages...epilogue unnecessary.

  42. hold on

    why don't we forget about this ONE class (out of how many? 40? 50?) in which the professor gave his/her students the passage identifications. aren't i correct in assuming that each professor grades their own class's exams? give the entire class a pretty detailed study guide, expect them to do better, grade them on a curve anyways. isn't that how it's done? how they do in the class has nothing to do with the rest of the freshman class. period.

    i think it's pretty lame that everybody seems to be blaming the core and disregarding the fact that hundreds of kids who WEREN'T in the class seemed to get hold of the study guide, too. now, *that* puts the rest of the class who didn't see the study guide at a disadvantage, right? as far as i'm concerned, cheating is cheating, regardless of what the "source" of all this information is. if all these kids are freaking out because they happened to see some study guide that just happened to have what sounds like the entire exam outlined and detailed, aren't their reactions proving that they realize that they did something "wrong"?

    im not claiming to be perfect. heck, i'll admit that i'd have been pretty psyched to get hold of that review sheet, and i probably would have used it to my advantage, too. that doesn't mean it's not cheating. it's great that we're trying to defend our classmates, but let's not forget that, in some way, how ever minor it may be, most of the kids that are being implicated breached the honor code in one way or another.


      I am just going to re-post something I said earlier.

      Martinsen, get your fucking act together. Blame the PROF not the students. Understand the precedent you're setting here. If you put the blame on the students and not on the professor, you have created a system where the teachers can now "trick" students into cheating.

      • hey  

        is there any question that the teacher is going to be punished? i think it's obvious that the teacher will be; the only question has been about whether the students would be...and now we have an answer.

      • hmm

        i understand what you're saying, 69. should the professor have given their students such a detailed study guide? no. fine.

        does that mean that the people who aren't in that professor's class and saw the cheat sheat (and potentially memorized it, no less) are completely blameless? no.

        i'm not in support of some gestapo-treatment of the students here, but sheesh. cheating at columbia is rampant, and i don't think it be accepted just because a good majority of the freshman class studied a guide that obviously put other kids at a disadvantage. that doesn't sound too fair to me.

        and i don't see how this professor "tricked" their students into cheating.

  43. umm  

    How is it cheating? Are you shitting me? If it wasn't your teacher who gave you the guide, think about the people in your class who may not have seen the guide. Are you somehow entitled to a higher grade because you saw it?? There is no morality system other than rampant douchebag individualism (which is unfortunately pretty common around here) that would condone using the guide.

  44. nobody  

    else enjoys the phrase "exam security?" I picture armored trucks in the future.

    • haha  

      that was my favorite part too: "BREAKING NEWS: Breach in Lit Hum Exam Security -- Core Office is Investigating; Nervous Students Watch and Wait." i also like all the CAPS LOCK OF RAGE in the instructor e-mail.

  45. fy who never saw it  

    just think, if you had been given or told about a great study guide that some class' teacher had given out would you look at it and think you were cheating?


    the teacher gave the info out.


  46. This is  

    a catalyst for implementing non-standardized Lit Hum exams.

    Congratulations, Core! You fucked up!

  47. seas10  

    this stuff would never happen in SEAS. if students would cheat, they at least wouldn't get caught.

  48. totally irrelevant  

    safe seas kid. safe. thats why you're in seas.

  49. stop snitchin'  

    First off, the concept of grading on the curve is dehumanizing. Fuck that. If I do well, why should my classmate do poorly as a result? If you know the material on the exam, you should get a good grade. If everyone knows it, everyone should get a good grade. Curves are for Republicans.

    Frosh- be calm.
    (other SEAS '07 correct me if i'm wrong)
    Class of 2007, Spring Gateway class:

    Email goes out from TA-
    We've caught 90 of you (class size 180) cheating on the homeworks. We know who you are. Either come forward and receive 0s on the assignments or we will give you 0s and [double] secretly put a note in your disciplinary files.

    What bullshit.

    Remember, lots of kids who go here are well to do and can retain lawyers to fight back. CU is dead afraid of litigation. They don't have the guts to try and punish you w/o giving you a fair hearing. And even if they don't punish you, accuse them of doing it and see if you can get some more.

    Class of 2010: Welcome to Bollinger's Banana Republic.

    • All right!  

      Bollinger is selling comfortable and stylish cotton shirts and khakis in Low at discounted prices! get there now before they run out!

    • seas10  

      um, gateway isn't a real engineering course.

      It's BS to the max, kind of like, oh wait, the columbia core.

    • hah  

      it's pretty criminal how easy they make LitHum with professors catering the exam to their students and a ridiculous and inflating grading curve.

      What are three things you learned at Columbia?
      (1) you have to pretty stupid to get caught cheating on a LitHum exam
      (2) you have to be even more stupid to fail LitHum
      (3) you got to Barnard, so they don't even let you take becuase you'll fail it.

  50. Be Fair  

    I don't know if seeing the guide constitutes 'cheating' or a punishable offense on the part of the student. I think that we can agree, though, that students who saw the guide had an advantage over students who did not.

    If GPA is supposed to be an accurate reflection of anything (that's a separate question, I suppose), then using an unfair test in calculating our grade seems like a fault in that system.

    I think that whatever action the core office takes should address the distortion in grades that such a fault created.

    That, and there should be some serious consequences for the instructor who leaked this information.

  51. in regard to  

    the person who compared deborah martinsen to m. dianne, don't worry. the two are nothing a like. deborah martinsen is a complete sweetie and a very intelligent woman. obviously this is really difficult situation but i think she has the ability to resolve it correctly.

    and her letter is about right, wrong on the epilogue and right on the correct canto of dante clearly indicates cheating, unless the person is a smartypants, in which case they probably would be above cheating. now, for you idiots who know your dante, but not your crime and punishment, you, my friends are fucked.

  52. i bet  

    the person who stole all the Bio notes is a douchebag too.

  53. not happy  

    It seems fairly obvious that nothing will really come of this. The university can't have the level of certainty necessary to do anything to these kids, and even if they did know they cheated the teacher gave them the answers - why would they think it was wrong to use it? Basically, the teacher will get fired and all the kids who used the sheet will get a better grade than me, even though I read everything and they haven't opened a book all semester. Is that just to the kids? Probably, they almost certainly knew it was wrong but a teacher gave it to them, who are they to turn it down? Do I like it? Not really.

  54. this  

    is totally cheating. just because it was easy to do or because you thought you'd get away with it doesn't change the fact that you willingly and gleefully took actions that would help yourself and hurt others in the class. this is no political statement on how curves or the core or exams suck--if it were, i imagine you would've shared the guide with everyone in your class--no, it was for pure personal gain. this is exactly the mentality that leads to ppl going to jail for 10+ yrs for insider trading.

  55. i disagree

    the professors MAKE the exam together in some big meeting, if i'm not mistaken. so how, exactly, is martinsen to blame?

    • because  

      as the director of the core, she has to have the foresight to expect that something like this is inherently a possibility with a standardized exam. The midterm and final for Lit Hum should be as they are for CC--decided by each individual prof.

  56. talk is cheap  

    let's start looking for suspects. I suggest:

    1. the one-armed man

    2. professor plum, in the library, with a knife

    3. O.J. Simpson

    4. My cheatin' heart

  57. c and p  

    If you got the Crime and Punishment question wrong in the way they say you obviously cheated - anyone who opened the book to know that there was an epilogue would have realized that a passage about heaven being full of spiders and soot doesn't fit in the epilogue. At all.

  58. no, no  

    pure personal gain is what leads to real criminals NOT going to jail for insider trading but innocent people going to jail for being black at the wrong place at the wrong time. sorry to bring race into this.

  59. Rick

    Round up the usual suspects.

  60. I did it bitch.  

    and by 'it', I mean took clit hum last year. I'm a sophomore.

  61. its not  

    that white innocents haven't gone to jail, its that proportionately more people of color have.

  62. frontiers!  

    WEll SAID! Correlation =/= causation!

    Clearly the writer of the email need to study SCIENCE! hooray frontiers of SCIENCE!


    "We keep imaging eternity as an idea that cannot be grasped, something vast, vast! But wy must it be vast? Instead of all of that, imagine suddenly that there will be one little room there, something like a village bathhouse, covered with soot, with spiders in all the corners, and that's the whole of eternity. I sometimes fancy something of the sort."

  64. bitches  

    snitchin' and bitchin'

  65. yeah,  

    i said it was from the lord of the rings ...does that mean i'm cleared from suspicion?

  66. hi cheaters  

    try this argument in ten years with the SEC when they bust you for short-selling (you heard from your friend on the inside) the day before the unexpected news comes out. "come on, everyone else is doing it."

  67. ALL YALL  


  68. Jackoff  

    McSucksMyBalls is going through a mid-life crisis, as evidenced by his recent style of dress and appearance. If there is anyone who deserves to be fired and blacklisted at every academic institution, it's the motherfucking PSYCHOLOGY professor purporting to teach ENGINEERING.

    • gateway blows  

      gateway does suck. I even had a good project so I don't have too much room to complain but you're damn right. You don't have a right to give engineering students a grade in an "engineering" course unless you've suffered through engineering yourself.

    • but but but  

      he's got a snazzy new haircut!

    • I forgot  

      to mention. I knew for a fact that what we were "learning" was not engineering when i was still in the class, as a lowly freshman. Having now suffered (read: enjoyed immensely) my fair share of actual engineering courses, I can tell you that i was DEAD FUCKING RIGHT back then too.

  69. oooh lala  

    HE DOES?? What's it now, chin length? lol

  70. lit hum bullshit  

    this is such bullshit. just because some teacher is incompetent and gives out the answers doesn't mean that the rest of us should suffer.

  71. Barnard  

    laughs in your face, Core.

  72. IT WAS  


    If I was studying with someone and they pulled out a sheet of paper that their professor gave them to study from there is no way that I would think that that was cheating, I would just think that my professor sucked and everyone else's was way better. Period. Students cannot be punished for this.

  73. question  

    Can someone or Bwog post the epilogue quote that everyone is talking about?

    Also, to the people who say "OMG THIS ISNT CHEATING" Dude, if the teacher gave you a full answer key, and you accept it, it's cheating. I could care less, but don't think you weren't excited as shit when you saw the answers, and don't fool yourself into thinking it was in no way cheating. It was very questionable, and you didn't tell your professor, so you cheated. Just admit it, and stop pretending.

    • here are  

      The 9 Ways of Knowing
      1. Red bumps
      2. Itching
      3. Burning when Urinating
      4. Open sores
      5. Fatigue
      6. Abnormal discharge
      7. Severe Weight Loss
      8. Vomiting
      9. Menstrual Cycle Changes


  74. holla  

    look at post 106

  75. hermione granger  

    deborah martinsen=DOLORES UMBRIDGE??
    all signs point to Um, YEA.

  76. Also  

    What if they just ask students whose correlations suggest a caustion to take an alternate exam? That would seem pretty fair. An opportunity to clear your name if you happen to look guilty as hell.

  77. It wouldn't  

    Be hard, they write two lit hum exams every year, for people who have to take it early or late.

  78. Howie  

    Crime and Punishment...BYAAAHHH!

  79. wow

    i love that everyone is already flipping out about the administration's response, before the administration has responded.

    that was an email to lit hum professors. it doesn't say anything about what actions will be taken.

  80. mooooooooo  

    What was the point of the professor giving out the study guide? The prof of each class grades the final so when he gave out the study guide to his class, was his intent to be lazy and give everyone an A?

    I demand an A in lit hum for the trauma I have suffered because of this. O the humanity!

  81. poor wretches

    i seem to have lost all faith in the cosmic universe! the fact that a student could have correctly identified 8 identifications, and then wrongly identify a quote from Crime and Punishment as coming from the Epilogue, *and* another quote that just so happened to be misidentified on a study sheet that, again, just so happened to be circulating around the entire freshman class, makes doubt that there is any higher power preventing this awful, unfortunate kind of thing from happening! oh, irony! oh, fate! how you scorn us so!

  82. at least

    i can spell and count. did you all have to cheat to pass elementary school, too?
    (at least the fucker at number 137 knew a bit about what he/she was hating on... it's NINE ways of knowing, not SEVEN, to the rest of you. Also, exalted is spelled without an "H," #126.)

  83. confused  

    here's what i don't understand--so many people are commenting that this is not cheating, but that these students were using a study guide. can SOMEONE please tell me the last time that they used a study guide and duplicated their answers on the test? even when teachers tell you the exam will be very similar, they change the numbers or the part of the book that the quote is from, right?

    how is it NOT cheating if you memorize and reproduce the study guide? that's not guiding your studies, that's uh...memorizing a cheat sheet.

  84. bitter much?  

    Dear Sir or Madam (and perhaps #126 and #131,)

    Will the same person who consistently keeps incorrectly calling the NINE ways of knowing the SEVEN ways of knowing get off of their Barnard bashing horse once in a while?

    Or perhaps come up with a new criticism? The same "no one has heard of the 7 ways of knowing and the core is world-exalted" without any backing is getting boring, dude.

    At the very least be creative, like #137...

  85. p.s.

    clearly petty mistakes like that don't have much to do with actual intelligence, but if you're calling other people stupid, it's a good idea to mind your Ps and Qs (and 7s and 9s and Hs...)

    • agreed  

      it's simply lazy to flame once or twice without doing your research, but if you make a habit of belittling something in particular, shouldn't you get educated?

  86. #149 again  

    it seems #147 got to it before I did.

  87. Why  

    Why is everyone feeling sorry for the kids who studied hard and got the answers right on their own? I thought the point of the letter was that because a question was changed at the last minute, kids who were faking it would get it wrong. If someone actually studied they'd have gotten it right. It's kind of like the scene in Animal House.

  88. As long as  

    Teachers don't grade on a curve, there's no reason that kids who didnt cheat should be hurt. They;ll get the grade they deserved. It's not a zero-sum game.

  89. Do not carer  

    Serves the cheaters right. Cheating only works when nobody notices. How can one be soo stupid to leave the corpus delicti lying around...?

    I am just glad that each of the Lit Hum teachers grades their own class. Fortunately my teacher doe not emphasize on the identifications, which I think are pointless anyway.
    Way to go core!

  90. Avi Zenilman  

    What exactly is Deborah Martinsen doing wrong here?

  91. NOTHING!

    Deborah Martinsen is doing her JOB.
    What, do you want her to do NOTHING? okay, how about she doesn't send out any e-mails, doesn't start any investigation, and let's this whole thing just blow over. that would make you all real happy. especially if you cheated, of course.

  92. to 153  

    the problem is that some of us studied and got the c&p ID wrong because it was quite obscure (svidragailov talking to Raskolnikov about hell).
    The major problem I see here is that exposure to the cheat sheet was much more pervasive than just the email circulation. It was hard NOT to find out about this thing, as EVERYONE was talking about it right before the test. I studied hard, but I also overheard people talking in the elevator. Does this make me a cheater?
    Let's not forget that students frequently talk about what their teachers tell them is fair game, and they often tell themselves that it will be on the test to feel more confident going in. Knowing this, I didn't take it seriously when EVERYONE was talking about the cheats. I only realized the issue when it turned out to be correct.

  93. Columba Junior  

    The fact that we're even talking about "the core" means we need to step back and define our terms. "the core" is a bunch of classes cobbled together over the course of more than 80 years to suit various professors' hand-wringing worry that their students wuznt learning the right things. How fair is it to put CC (a good class) in with Frontiers of science (as yet an awful class) and expect to make sense. Not that sense was your object.

    And yes, guy who keeps posting the same stupid things over and over, the core IS world renowned, but only among other pedagogical tools. It suprises me, then, not at all, that a pedagogical tool like yourself should have heard of it between tokes from The Professor or whatever you call the crutch you use to prop up your meaningless existence.

    Shit, dude. How many barnard girls have dumped YOUR bitter ass?

  94. Wait  

    How is it possible that we haven't heard the instructor's name yet? This is Bwog!

  95. yeah  

    you go to a college where they take time out of their busy schedules to teach you how to argue...and the way you show it is: "get out barnard we hate you." I'm with long-winded and overly harsh up there at 159.

    Revisit Thucydides, if you even visited it the first time.

  96. Tao Tan  

    I love money

  97. raskolnikov  

    's hoe sonya is all up on my dick yall

    on the real though, what can they do, Columbia fucked up, it's funny, if you didn't have the sheet oh well you got dicked.

    here's whats going to happen--the ID section is void and you are graded on passage analysis/essay

  98. Lukas  

    Spiders? Svidrigailov? Oh capital, capital!

  99. The problem  

    The problem is that these freshmen are going to make Columbia look bad. The IDs are the easiest part, as long as you've done the reading. Having to cheat on them shows the world that our students don't do the work.

    8.9% my ass, we may as well let everyone in if people are going to cheat anyway.

  100. All of you  

    deserve to fail Lit Hum for your inhumane butchering of the Russian names.

  101. who was the teacher?  

    Seriously, who was the teacher?

  102. uhhh  

    Information was also circulated about the essays, though, so it wouldn't make sense to only void the IDs

  103. heh heh heh  


    ...I kid, I kid

  104. blabla bla  

    They way I think you can clearly see it if people used illegal ways to pass an unfailble exam, so it should be hard to pick out the students who blatantly cheated. Just have them either fail the exam or retake it, but this time a harder one.

  105. Anonymous  

    Here's the best way to test for cheating:

    In what circle of hell will the cheaters find themselves?

    The correct answer is: 8

  106. laughing out loud  

    it's funny that the failure of the core has generated the most interesting and relevant lit hum discussion of the year...thank you columbia thank you for fucking up.

    the school has to admit they fucked up, and maybe corner the handful of students who leaked it to everyone else. besides that, there's not much the school can do.

  107. Judas  

    come join me little freshmen

  108. Brutus  

    if you were to say to me: et tu? (regarding the raising of self-esteem at not being CC'10)
    I would say, Certe!

  109. confession  

    it leads to absolution

  110. Foucault  

    good luck with CC, kids

  111. ...

    omg. someone just told me that the answers to all of the identifications could be found somewhere in the books.


  112. kant believe this  

    it's your categorical imperative to come forth, wrongdoers

    wiki that phrase if you don't know it as you probably won't read it next year

  113. david helfand  

    Yes, my plan came to fruition! now you will leave your silly books and come study SCIENCE I am the master of time, space, and getting jiggy with the ladies!

  114. dostoevsky  

    Q: How is one Lit Hum seminar leader's career at CU similar to Raskolnikov's sister?
    A: It's Done-ya!

  115. wisdom  

    This is stupid, no kid who was knowingly cheating would make sure to get all the answers right, they would make sure to get one wrong--ergo:
    a) the presumptions of the Martinsen e-mail are false. the kids shouldn't be punished if they got all but C+P wrong.
    b) the premise that this consists of "cheating" is false, because the student would only have known that they were using a study guide to great effect, not that they were cheating, or else they wouldn't have tried to get everything right.

    There's some logic and rhetoric for your ass.

    • jesus christ  

      wisdom speaks the truth. since i am the moral authority of everything, including this pagan institution, I resolve that all cheaters are hereby forgiven.

      --The Second Coming, which will finally indict the Core for their gross misdirection of blame in seeking students...

  116. aside

    so can the class of 2010 stop calling themsleves the most awesome class ever now that they've been exposed as a bunch of grade grubbing whores?

  117. further proof

    that the administrators who run the core curriculum are ruining it.

    re-establish a faculty of Columbia College! Give us weekly emails from out dean!

  118. ok so i'm sorry  

    but when a teacher helps me prepare for an exam, i don't say to myself - "OMG GUYZ IM TOTALLY CHEATING" you can't hold students responsible for the professor's bad judgment.

  119. amen  

    spoken like a gentleman AND a scholar.

  120. mike  

    Oh god, this "teacher told us so it's not cheating" argument is so absurd. Sure, the students aren't to blame for reading the study sheet given to them, but obviously they knew it was inside information or it would not have been spread around so enthusiastically. Just because it originally came from a teacher doesn't mean students aren't responsible for spreading it around.

    If a teacher somehow had advanced knowledge of questions on an SAT exam and told her students, who in turn disseminated this information, we'd all agree it's cheating and this is no different.

  121. Curious

    What was on the "study guide/cheat sheet?" And what exactly did the professor in question say to his/her class? Anyone willing to spill the beans (anonymously, of course).

  122. ehh

    what is that picture of? is that the thing?

  123. ZOMG  



  124. also  

    I would like to add that there are certain people who had this study guide and were offering it to numerous students/bragging about it. These people need to be punished and I will totally leak their names on here.

    Also any idea who the teacher is? Untenured the English department? I think I have an idea but don't want to put it on here and get a possibly innocent person in trouble/

    • say it ain't so!  

      if you are suggesting who i think you're suggesting, her loss would be columbia's loss as well.

    • Demosthenes  

      DO IT. If you're going to snitch, snitch NOW while everyone's refreshing this post for comments. Maximum impact, bebe.

      Or, you know, send the names off to Martinsen- but then you'll never know if anything happened. If you want cheating douchebags who've at the LEAST delayed the grades of the freshman class (and at the worst, implicated some innocent students) to be publically flayed, then now is your chance.

  125. there  

    is no way of serving justice here. the closest the can come is to give everyone an A and fire the teacher who leaked it - aside from a bit of grade inflation, what's wrong with that?

  126. i say  

    don't count the final for the kids who cheated

  127. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    This entire series of events is simply fantastic.

    First years. Cheating. On possibly the easiest exam offered at Columbia.


  128. Why not  

    Why not have all the red-flagged kids take a new final?

  129. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    Have the red-flagged ones take a new final?

    When would that occur? Over summer holidays? During an already filled in exam schedule? Take home, and subject to google/wikipedia? In Africa, while the students are curing AIDS?

    Don't be daft. Although this may be difficult for you, given that you're a moron.



  131. Ha.  

    This is going to suck for anyone that's graduating that took lit hum(probably like, 1 GS student or so, but still)

  132. Lost  

    I don't know what the big deal is, when a teacher hands you something in class, what are you supposed to do? Pick up and read I say. No need to do something drastic like send people on their way to America.

  133. ?????  

    I'm with #212. Who's the professor that ruined everything?

  134. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    I'm not sure if that post made sense, Lost.

    Maybe you should heed the advice of St. Augustine, and "pick up and read" the Bedford Handbook.

  135. bwog  

    should come up with a name for the scandal...

  136. i meant  

    to commenter 204

  137. cut to  

    the chase. identify the professor, please. i may have had this one for fall term and i must needs know.

  138. Ahh the internet  

    Facebook -> directory of classes = enlightenment.

  139. yo  

    I'm still a bit unclear on why seeing this sheet constitutes cheating by definition. Obviously, it was a bad call for the teacher to give her kids these clues as to where certain quotes were located - but to them, they were just a bunch of class notes, with tips and suggestions for the final. I shared class notes and the various suggestions of my lit hum teacher with all the kids on my floor, why is that not cheating by your standards? Because they were wrong and didn't apply? Because they were less specific?

    Here's my point: these kids had this information without knowing whether it was right or not, just like any tips and tricks offered right before the final. The fact that it was very specific is perhaps what made it so popular, but I don't think it can be called cheating on the part of the students because there was no foul play invovled. When I heard about the sheet traveling around, I first reacted skeptically: did these kids really think they could study only what was on the sheet? At the very least, these kids couldn't have known they cheated until after the what then?

    I think this whole controversy is a testament to the fact that lit hum finals should not be standardized; the unique nature of each class and different style and judgement of each teacher means each one should write a test for her own class. This way, teachers can do whatever they want and curve the final accordingly, without ruinning stuff for other classes.

    • hey, yo  

      there's a difference. if their teacher TOLD THEM it was the exam s/he was giving them, it was cheating on their part as well as the teacher's. the SAT analogy from #198 is a good one.

  140. thank you  

    well said "yo"

  141. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    If you don't understand how this constitutes cheating, you're simply a moron.


  142. yo  

    That's a good point....I don't know the precise context of it, but neither did the large majority of the kids who ran into these notes. Still, I would be very surprised if the teacher said "this was the exam" and didn't phrase it a bit more cryptically. Saying the former is just asking for trouble.

  143. Don't know  

    You're assuming it looked like a study guide, with general ideas and guidelines like "pay attention to the first half of Dante's Inferno."

    But the Martinsen email up there seems to indicate that the stuff on this sheet was more like "ID #9 is from the Epilogue of Crime & Punishment" and "ID #3 is from Canto II of Inferno". That would be a cheat sheet, and an obvious one. If it tells you the answers, then taking it and using it is blatant academic dishonesty. It is not a matter of degree of specificity.

    I'd like to see a scan of this cheat sheet- hey Bwog, got one?

    • tipster  

      Part I- Possible Identifications

      Too the lighthouse- Will be a difficult passage,
      know the candles reference -p. 97 cyclical, she hinted it may be this passage but would not say.

      Crime and Punishment- will be from the epilogue

      Pride and Prejudice- will be a Mr. Bennet quote, there are only a few in the book

      Don Quixote (Cervantes)- will be from the last chapter

      St. Augustine- easy

      Virgil- Book 11
      - Battle scene (female)

      Divine Comedy- Ulysses
      - Book 26

      Montaigne- Easy, probably from one of the first two essays we read

      Boccaccio (Decameron)- will be from the prologue

      Shakespeare- slightly difficult

      Part II- Passage Analysis
      A passage from each of these books Virgil, Shakespeare, Woolf
      - spatially versus temporally
      - contradictions and/ or paradoxes

      Part III- Essay possible topics she hinted at
      1. death, mourning, burial practices (corpses, tombs, graveyards, funerals); intimacy, love relationships
      2. daily practices and material objects (gardens, flowers, food, clothes, books, décor, and art)
      3. ending to narratives (intense drama, character information)
      4. reality as a fictional construct
      -material objects
      -Books in Cervantes

      • mike  

        FINALLY! Nice digging, tipster!

      • well well well  

        Well, if anyone doubted this was cheating, here's the obvious proof. This prof/grad student did just about everything short of giving them the exact quotes. Hope he/she's sacked.

      • mike  

        Oh man, finally an end to the inane "they thought it was just a study guide" debate.

        This is CLEARLY unauthorized inside information and should not have been disseminated.

      • Don't know  

        WOW. Yeah, that's cheating. Kee-rist. "Will be a Mr. Bennet quote"? Give them a page number, why don'cha.

        Nice, tipster, very nice. 2010 can not possibly claim to be so stupid as to think of this as a study guide. Though I will ask the same question of Bwog commenters in general that has been raised a few times above: what should they have done? If, as a freshman, your Lit Hum teacher passed this out in class, what would you have done?

        I'd like to think I would've tossed it, if not dropped it in the Core Office mailbox. In truth I might've looked over it, knowing that the rest of my class had the same advantage, but I wouldn't have given it to people in other sections.

  144. i  

    I just want to hear one of the kids who cheated get on here, anonymously, and tell us how s/he feels right now. not, like, in a enjoying-your-suffering way, in a i'm-fascinated-by-you way, and also kinda in a wanna-hear-your-side-of-the-story way.


  145. yo  

    "Don't know" makes a good point. The clues probably did cross the line, but I'm just concerned about the bright line between tips FROM THE TEACHER that constitute proper study tips and those that mean students, by virtue of listening and sharing what their teacher said, are cheating. I just want a definition. That's all and I'm done posting for the night, keep on speaking your mind everyone this is fascinating shit.

  146. solution  

    void the finals. make everyone write essays over the summer.


  147. ahh  

    columbia college. probably better to verify that. and i quote ...

    if CC >= SEAS
    error('You must be fucking kidding')
    disp('Damn right')

  148. i "cheated"  

    and didn't know it was cheating when i did it. I saw 3 different study guides before the test and 1 had most of the quotes on it. when i saw the exam and went "holy shit i know all off this" i knew there something was wrong, but i didn't know i had cheated until the stuff on bwog and the email - and yes, i read 1/3 of c&p and still guessed the epilogue cause if the study guide was right w/ a lot of the other quotes and i had no idea about this one, why not go with what works? i'm probably fucked now

    there were obvious inequalities, but given that there were so many different shades of gray in this one i don't really see what can be done except to eliminate the quotations portion of the test from analysis - which in itself is unfair, but what else can they do?

    as an aside: i don't know if my experience was typical, but the study guides i saw didn't have any essay topics or passages for the analysis portion

    • yeah  

      I wouldn't blame the students in that section because when a professor gives you information, what are you supposed to do? Cover your ears? It is a douchebaggy thing to do if you spread it all over, but then again, if a prof says it to one group of students, he/she might as well say it to them all.

      I blame the prof.

  149. Sprinkles  

    Thank God I'm CC '07!

  150. so....  

    so what happens to the kids IN this teacher's class??? all they did was sit in class man....can they get a different punishment vs. kid not in the clasd?

    • ugghh  

      they were the ones that leaked it

      • but  

        not all of them.

        as for "I didn't know I was cheating kid", so you mean to say you just "saw" this study guide along with 2 others? How does one just happen to "see" a study guide without someone giving it to them? I find it hard to believe the study guide would just be sitting there for a passive observer to walk in upon. Also, how the fuck do you read the words, "Crime and Punishment- will be from the epilogue" and think, "Oh, this is just a study guide like anyone else's"? It's not a fucking study guide, it's an answer key, dumbass. "Will be" is not a hypothetical.

  151. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    I've always said, "cheaters never win, and winners never cheat."

    Also, "what goes around, comes around."

    I'm exceptionally wise.

  152. what was her  

    class supposed to do? if a teacher says, here's what you should focus on while studying should they have not studied it? or gotten it wrong on principle when they saw it on the exam? what would you have done in their shoes?

    shit, i'm echoing what was already said, but yea, if you tell one person something (much less an entire section) you've essentially told all of lit hum

  153. yeah  

    to yeah.
    Thank God I'm CC'10, at least we have some excitement.

  154. ex post facto  

    In all likelihood, some of the students who had access to the cheat sheet actually did the reading and realized that the Crime and Punishment "hint" was wrong. How can these people who probably aced everything on the exam be held accountable without forcing people to name names?

  155. everything  

    is shared between classes. i don't think that the people in other classes are somehow more at fault. i didn't get this "helpful review sheet" but if i had seen it, i'm sure i would've used it and probably would've thought "this is shady as fuck, but if a teacher gave it out...whatev." fire the teacher and give us all A's ... or better yet use inverse grading and give those who got less than 5 IDs right A's and some kind of stupid award for either integrity or not having well-connected enough friends

  156. tipster  

    I posted the copy of the cheat sheet above that I got; and I have to say I definitely took advantage of it knowing well that I was cheating in every sense of the word; hey, my rationale was it was there and if I didn't use it I would get be at a disadvantage.

    This is the age of entitlement, we steal things when the owners' aren't looking, we are the gimme culture, get used to it people. It's highly unethical and immoral but I am exactly the person that this society produces. Get used to it people. If I get caught oh well, I was trained to do it.

  157. maybe  

    maybe they could just change the marking scheme for the IDs section...and give more weight on the "how was this important..what occasion/situation " sections

    If they were to still count the Ids section, I would think that this would be the most efficient way to grade it, as said cheat sheet did not go into such detail

    je ne sais pas!

  158. every  

    teacher tries to give their class a review session or something... this one obviously fucked up but you seriously can't blame the students for this one, there are too many unknowns

  159. heres  

    what should've been done i think.

    if im in the teacher's class, i use the guide because it was given to everyone in the class. there is no issue of fairness being violated. i don't spread the thing to my friends or (possibly, as i bet some people inevitably did) use it to win favors from people. the people who spread it can claim absolutely no moral basis for doing so.

    if a friend offered them to me, i would've taken a cursory look at it and said this is ridiculously detailed, nothing good can come from it. if this guide is right, then i'm basically a humongous cheater. if this guide is wrong, then i will be screwed if i use it.

  160. segolene  

    What astounds me is that no one in the original leak section couldn't be bothered to run this by the core office, knowing that there was something fishy about the way in which they'd been plugged with the answer sheet.

    Yes, the preceptor was dumb to give out these answers but one thought this was inappropriate at the time?

    • Just because....  

      well actually I don't know. But from what my friend in the class told me. She was a very nice teacher (before this scandal]. And , why would you want to rat out your teacher, knowing that it would potentially lead to her dismissal, when she was trying to help your ass? Yes, it was wrong on her part, but when you have a personal connection with her... I am sure you must think twice before going to the core office

      If I was in that class. I certainly would not doing it. Getting a nice teacher fired for that "guide" just would not sit well with me....but thats just my opinion

  161. fuckers  

    there are actually kids out there that did not have access to said sheet, and still put the epilogue. And yes, I am one of those. And yes, I did not finish Crime and Punishment. But for heaven's sake, to put everyone writing "epilogue", under investigation bothers me. I knew it was wrong, and so i tried to bullshit, and seeing as i read the first half of the book and didnt get the quote..what the hell...lets put it as the only made least in my mind

    And yes it would have been nice to be privy to that sheet, but if I was going to get the C and P quote wrong anyway, fuck it...the [many] people that utilized this sheet should not be penalised...other than getting the quotes they put down incorrectly..marked as wrong. Let us move on, and enjoy the summer breeze...its coming

  162. i used it  

    and i knew it was unethical but i also knew that a teacher told her entire class this and that most of my class already had it, so i sort of rationalized it in my head. i'm not saying that makes it right but what would you have done in my shoes? i doubt very much that most people at this school would have behaved any differently in my shoes and i don't think that 2010 is full of more unethical people than the other classes

  163. it's too bad  

    spec is done. this is definitely something speccies would get their panties in a knot over.

  164. you  

    just got ur ass expelled, sucka

  165. i got  

    like 3 or 4 wrong and i did put epilogue (on a dante quote no less). i didn't see the sheet, but my teacher's probably gonna fuck me over now

    • don't you worry  

      I royally fucked up the quotes....and thanks post "263". But no, I do not feel stupid. I just messed up the quotes section, big deal. Don't you go judging me

  166. idea  

    let use ip address to find out who's postint these!

  167. in case  

    i didn't have enough to worry about... now i'm wondering if i'll be expelled

  168. paranoia  

    The people who didn't cheat really have nothing to worry about. I mean they're only going to flag the people who got everything right but then somehow got the same question wrong in a very very specific way. If you got a bunch of stuff wrong, then it's pretty clear that you didn't profit from cheating.

  169. ok can we stop?  

    let's not make this into a minuteman protest situation. It is up to the Core Office to decide. And I am sure they are not speanding their time looking at Bwog comments, when they have hundreds of blue books to review. How about we wait till they make a ruling...then comment.

  170. idea2  

    Offer all the students in lithum to retake if they want to. Then give 0s to all the people who didn't show up.

  171. Hahahaha  

    When the confessions are still coming in? Don't be silly, this is way too entertaining.

    What are we gonna do instead? Study?

  172. my solution  

    Here's what I think I should be done, based on what I know. Keep in mind that I don't think you can fault the kids if it's true that they just thought it was a study guide. If not, well this goes to shit, but as one commenter claimed some of the students took the guide and didn't know it was what would be on the test.

    1) Find out who the students were that benefited from this guide.

    2) Offer "immunity" from punishment to every student who used the guide and comes forward.

    3) Punish students who used the guide and don't come forward. An F and possibly worse should be in store.

    4) For those who come forward, make them either retake the exam or write some essay from home that will be graded in place of the original exam.

    5) For everyone else, just grade them (of course, I would prefer that we get all A's, but oh well...)

    What do you guys think? I realize it's imperfect but it's definitely better than making everyone redo it.

    • sch  

      salem cheater hunt

    • good ideas 279  

      i don't think anyone is to blame (a teacher, i think mistakenly, gave her students way too much information - but all teachers try to prep their students well, she just went overboard), but if someone must go down for this it's her, not the students

      i think the retake is unrealistic cause some people have already left campus for the summer, but i think the summer essay for those who volunteer themselves seems fair. but again, there's no way to absolutely prove someone cheated - i think if someone flat out denied it, there isn't much Columbia could do, even if the evidence was stacked against them

    • 279 is  

      Alex from Gateway!

      that's the same shit he tried to pull on us SEAS07 cheaters. Know this: if they announce that, the only people going down are the cowards who come forward and those who are snitched out by rats.

      for humanities majors you all simply don't understand due process. It goes like this:

      they can't punish you w/o giving you a chance to defend yourself. if they do, raise hell and you'll win.
      if they do give you a chance to defend, deny it and raise hell for being falsely accused.

      it all ends in hell raising!

      #322- Move to a place where D-bags like you don't depend on hierarchy to feel good about themselves. Why must some kids fail for your success to be valid? Know this: the i-bankers on this campus would commit mass suicide, NYU style, if all of them got jobs w/ Goldman. These D-bags, the future you, need someone to be slaving away in Global Private Wealth Management IT for Banco Popular to feel good about themselves.

      Don't fall prey to the culture of scarcity, there's enough happiness around for everyone to have some. The man lies to you to keep you miserable.

      and stop snitchin'

      • 322  

        I have no idea what you mean about hierarchy, really. Would I be following you better if I'd taken CC? Or been more familiar with Columbia's apparent business major in-culture? Because the words in your post are sitting there, I can read them, but Goldman and i-bankers and Banco Popular and what? I just don't know what they mean.

        My success is valid if I worked to get it. If it were possible for me to whine my way to a grade boost at any time, then I don't consider my success to be valid, no- because it could've been achieved by means that render it an imperfect measure of my ability. This isn't particularly applicable in Lit Hum specifically, but I read your post as advocating a general strategy of playing the system for the sake of the GPA.

        Enough people do that, and they break it- see the general contempt in the real world for English majors as a prime example. It's possible to graduate with an English major by working hard, but it's equally possible to have one by simply being full of BS - and now all English majors are held in automatic contempt because enough of them couldn't be bothered to do the damn work.

        I get what I want out of the system by working within it. But then, I'm not here for happiness. I'm here for knowledge. And the GPA doesn't matter nearly so much if I just get to learn what I want to learn.

        • good for you  

          working hard and learning is great. i'm glad it works for you. but if someone else in your class isn't into Lit Hum for the same motivations, and they take a different approach, that shouldn't be seen as lessening your success.

          w/ the i-bankers, getting a top i-bank job isn't enough for them. if everyone got top i-bank jobs, they'd be miserable. someone people have to get crappy i-bank jobs for them to find validation in their good i-bank jobs. that's what is meant by hierarchy.
          as for english majors, if you're there to learn english, don't worry about the rest of it. english majors dont have a bad rap because some dont do their work. they have a bad rap because their field of study serves no apparent utilitarian purpose. just go do your reading and get your degree. don't worry about the 15 kids in your john jay lounge who will get As in Lit Hum because they hacked the system. the system keeps people unhappy and deserves to be hacked.

          stop snitchin'

          • 322  

            I have to disagree. If someone doesn't want to learn anything from Lit Hum, then they shouldn't have chosen to come to a college that requires the course. A passing grade on ANY course should mean something more than "I can whine" or "I can cheat". It should mean "I learned what this course had to offer me." More generally, a degree in a major should mean "I know a hell of a lot about this subject." It should not mean "I know how to bullshit my way out of this subject."

            But it does, for English majors. Even if they do happen to know their stuff, it's assumed that they don't. If someone who's done their work is automatically assumed to simply be a good bullshitter, then that means the bullshitters have devalued the working student's success. "Don't worry about it?" We'll see how well that works in the real world.

            As for being inapplicable- an English major serves rather more utilitarian purpose than a theoretical math major, as being able to write papers in the real world is much more useful than being able to unravel theories that 99% of the population neither knows nor cares about.

            For the record, I'm a math major. Do we get a bad rap? Hell no, and that's because everyone knows that a math degree means "I worked my ass off to get this!" And if somebody in any one of my math classes managed somehow to bullshit - or hell, get an answer key from a TA - for an A+, you can better believe I would be out for their blood.

            I value this major for the knowledge I get, and I'm also fully aware that the value of the major in the real world is that it shows how hard I can work. If enough people cheated their way through a math major, then they would break that system, and my success would be devalued.

            I don't see the system as a malicious entity. I just see it as a machine.

            And with that, it's back to studying for me. Thanks for calming down and giving reasoned discourse- it was interesting. And a good break from abstract algebra.

  173. rat on the teacher?  

    whoever expected the kids in the class to give up the teacher is out of their mind...especially if she was nice and a solid teacher. You expect these kids to reward her good intentions with getting her fired? i for one think that personal relationships take precedence over one clearly lousy judgement call. i would really applaud the kids in her class who don't bail and stand up for her, citing her track record of solid and supportive teaching over the year to weigh against one stupid mistake. hopefully our collective thirst for revenge wont rob this school of, from what i've heard, a truly good teacher.

  174. ok...  

    I really do not think a resit is in the works
    People finished exams tonight
    that just might be a problem

  175. Cheating is  

    life, you idealistic morons. Ever hear of getting scooped in science? Guess who did it? Yeah, the guy photographing your poster at the last conference. Ever hear of defense lawyers? You think half the murderers that get not guilty verdicts are innocent? No, they have a lawyer who found a technicality about how his "client" was arrested or "mishandled" in the precinct. Nevermind the rock-solid MMO, he's innocent cause some cop decked him in the face. Is it right? Obviously not. But that's LIFE (i.e. what goes on outside your sheltered little Carman drinking parties). DEAL WITH IT. If your professor gave you a solid study-guide or cheat sheet or whatever you want to call it, and you actually went and reported him/her, you would be a complete fucking moron. And in case you were wondering, yeah I do have morals and ethics. But they're usually put on hold when the issue of survival is at stake. Idealistic morons, all of you.

  176. Really

    ...has anyone even read all of these comments? Is this the record for most comments on a bwog post?

  177. Armin Rosen

    Also, as a GS student, this shit just tickles the crap out of me.

  178. re: 288  

    536 is the record

    they shut that thread down after a couple of days and it still got that many responses, mostly from crazy non-columbia people who had some kind words for our fair alma mater.

  179. cc09  

    This poor woman is probably some grad student who wanted to be nice to her students and give them some extra help - I'm sure she didn't see it as cheating, and it's unfair to blame her without having the full story. this kind of thing happens all the time (I remember my lit hum teacher last year giving some pretty strong hints - verbally, but strong all the same), and this is just the first time (in recent memory) that it's been very obvious.

    if the administration goes after her, what will this do to other student-faculty relationships? it's unfortunate that this happened, but let's not get carried away... the woman had a lapse in judggment, not a complete ethical breakdown.

    • AGREED  

      dont blame the prof who was just trying to be nice, blame the students in her class who spread the guide and abused the teacher's good faith, maybe even getting her fired

      • ethics?  

        I'm not expressing any opinion about blaming the students, but how can you claim that the teacher shouldn't be blamed? "just trying to be nice"? Obviously if what the teacher did could get him/her fired if others found out about it, it was an unethical action. Regardless of whether the students spread the information, it was unethical of the teacher to have divulged it in the first place. Giving everyone an A+ would also be nice but it's clearly unethical and destroys the academic integrity of the course, the Core, and Columbia. If anyone is at fault, it is first and foremost the teacher who initially gave the information to his/her students.
        As for the students, one cannot really believe that they were unaware of what they had. As has been pointed out repeatedly, there is no way it would have spread so extensively and quickly if the value of the information wasn't known. In regards to disciplinary action, unfortunately any sort of solid evidence of guilt can't be established and moreover there are undoubtedly varying degrees of guilt. I suppose the students probably will not see much by way of any action taken against them but if the instructor does not have severe actions taken against him/her I will not only be surprised be extremely upset by the College's lack of integrity.

  180. i guess this shows  

    that CC'10 comprises more than half the readership of the bwog

  181. ....  

    No one is saying that they are surprised at what people did or that this rocks their understanding of how the world works. But out in the world of decent human beings, there is something called respect for other people, and a sense of outrage when people lack it. What is this notion of survival? Are you going to die if you can't cheat on the easiest final at this school? If A versus A- on Lit Hum is all it takes for you to compromise your sterling "morals and ethics," then I think you need to rethink your priorities.

    • I took  

      lit hum a long time ago. Aced it. With one of the toughest professors in the dept., no less. And my priorities are real straight. Unlike the rest of you, I don't aspire to suck dick and brew coffee on wall street. Half of school is BS, and only the real world mattters. So if I can avoid that crap and do something significant in the time I gain, then hell yeah I'm gonna take the opportunity and not think twice about it.

      • rationalization  

        Let's look at what you're doing a different way: getting an undeserved advantage over other people in your class. But you've already made the point for me, "So if I can avoid that crap and do something significant in the time I gain, then hell yeah I'm gonna take the opportunity and not think twice about it." Like that person way earlier in the comments said, your moral compass is douchebag individualism.

        • I didn't say  

          I gained any unfair advantage in lit hum. Didn't need to, because I learned all them fancy book readin' skillz in skool. My moral compass is real life. I don't know where you get your ideals, maybe your mommy spoon-feeds them to you as a defense mechanism, but you're in for quite the shock when you graduate and realize that 99% of the people in this world come from north of 125th street, not the four-block area you call home. And for the rest of your life, you will be dealing with them. Better hope you catch on quick.

          • hey  

            Quit being so damn dramatic.
            Stop continuing to display afformentioned douchebag individualism.
            And pull the stick out of your ass. I imagine it's painful. And must be lodged sideways with how you're acting.

          • I like  

            how when you have nothing consequential to say you resort to calling me a douchebag with a stick in my ass. Go home. Come back when you have something substantial to say.

          • hi again  

            That actually wasn't me...I guess other people think you're a douchebag too. In any case, the substance is pretty simple. Your basic tenet is that you take actions which give yourself the maximum benefit, even at the expense of others. You've admitted this yourself, and tried justifying it by appealing to vague notions of the "real world."

          • Sooo  

            You worked hard for your Lit Hum A, but it's okay for freshmen to cheat, because that'll teach them valuable life skills in getting ahead? For SURVIVAL? Only I note you neglected to respond to the person with a substantially consequential response to you:

            "What is this notion of survival? Are you going to die if you can't cheat on the easiest final at this school?"

            Basically if the freshmen can skip out on the core readings for the sake of an easy A, possibly screwing over fellow freshmen in the process, that is a-okay with you. Because according to you it will teach them SURVIVAL. Whereas the argument against you is that it is teaching them how to be lazy douchebags. Is this about where we are?

          • Anonymous  

            Keep in mind that investment banks like to see a lack of ethics.

            I'm sure some heathen is selling a digital option on the number of freshmen screwed over. The arbitrage-free price looks like 5 bucks in Black-Scholes.

          • i would  

            dispute that 99% of the people in this world come from north of 125th street.


          • I wouldn't...  

            at least in the metaphorical sense. But come on, you don't think you're just A LITTLE BIT (read: REALLY REALLY REALLY) sheltered here at Columbia, an Ivy League university, where you get everything but your grades served to you on a silver platter?

      • Woo hoo  

        ZOMG Wow you're sooo cool! You're not going into Wall Street! You're homophobic. You would cheat but didn't actually cheat because you didn't have the chance to, which makes you extremely ethical and consistent. You know all about the real world! You've been past 125th street! Please tell us more!

  182. I wish

    that people didn't think LitHum was a joke. If you actually read the books, put some thought into your essays, and talk a bit in class, you might get something out of it. The point isn't to pass the final, its to grow as a person. Oops, that idea just got shot down. (Not for all of y'all, just some of y'all.)

  183. stick in my ass  

    I like sticks...

  184. laika

    Will one of you moralists explain to me where it's written in the university handbook or whatever that would effectively punish the STUDENTS for the mistake of an INSTRUCTOR?

    Thanks in advance!

  185. I love Lit-HUM!  

    My lit hum class was nothing short of amazing! I'm very sad that people would see it as a piece of crap when I feel like I've really gained so much from it. Goes to show that as far as the core goes, it REALLY matters who your teacher was. My teacher first semester was horrible.

    • what teacher  

      did you have first semester, if i may ask?

      • MEH  

        Meh, I probably exaggerated in saying she was horrible. She was OK. Hell, even some people would say she's really cool. But because my teacher second semester was SOOO ORGASMICALLY AMAZING, my first semester teacher got the short end of the stick in hindsight. To give her credit she did force some of those less exciting early texts down our feeble first-year throats which helped second semester go more smoothly.

        Plus if I said who she was it would single out who I am and I don't like being the bitch who left class and then complains about the old teacher everyone else is stuck with. Wait, I already sorta am. Sorry first semester teacher!!

  186. hey asshole  

    Wouldn't one way of "dealing with" the problem of cheating be to castigate assholes like you? Or would you prefer that we not "deal with it" in that way?

  187. stop snitchin'  

    Class of 2010:
    You are acting like a bunch of horrible people.
    You've fallen right into administration's trap. Infighting is what they want from you. They want you to feel weak and to feel victimized by each other.
    Here are the facts:
    1) No one was significantly hurt by proliferation of the sheet. Some of you were helped, but none of you will get a lower grade because others got higher grades. This is Columbia, and Lit Hum at that. Grade inflation rules the day.
    2) The school has absolutely no power to do anything to any of you. It is virtually impossible for the school to prove that any individual cheated. Looking at all the bluebooks will inevitably show that the same pattern of wrong and right ID answers appears far to often to be anything but coordinated effort, but there is no way to translate that to proof on any individual.
    3. The school does not have the resources to investigate individuals. The investigation will center around the prof in question and how she screwed up. The school could care less about who shared what the prof told them with who.
    4. You have ALL of the power in this situation. Some people got an edge, others didn't. If you didn't get an edge, rather than trying to take others down, go and try and get a bonus from your prof for not cheating. Got a B+? "Prof, everyone else had friends w/ the guide, and I didn't. Can't you bump me to an A-?" No one will care about the percent A's on your transcript when you graduate. 3.7 GPA w/ 90% A's beats 3.4 w/ 40% A's for grad school or jobs any time.
    5) Work to better your own standings w/o harming your classmates. Bollinger and his goons want you to tear each other down.
    Remember: there is no rule of law here. It's all a myth. Rich kids get extensions on everything. Have a private jet and need a weekend to finish that paper? Have Institutional Development make a call. Athletic teams, sororities, frats, student groups frequently keep copies of old exams, especially from Professors who recycle questions. People switch TAs after the midterm in classes to get a sense of who will be an easier grader for the final.
    Rather than report these actions to the man, get in on the hustle. Together, we can move up out this condition.


    • o.o  

      "Together, we can move up out this condition."

      ...move up to where? A place where everybody gets an A if they just whine hard enough?

      We're close enough to that already.

  188. no one's  

    saying cheating is ethical or right or should be encouraged. But don't fool yourselves for even one moment into thinking that if someone gave you the answers your first impulse would be to turn them in. You may resume your personal, unwarranted, inconsequential!

  189. dude  

    I have a problem with passage IDs in general...does memorizing the book mean that you understand it? Hell no! I say only count the passage analysis and essay.

  190. also  

    i like to exaggerate my perspectives just enough to aggravate everyone into baseless name-calling. That way, when I speak rationally, I come out on top even if I'm dead wrong about something (which, in this case I am not). It works great!

  191. The Class of 2010:  

    Already in the record books for highest douche-baggery per capita.

  192. wow  

    Everyone needs to stop talking about this.

  193. i just checked back

    is this some sort of comment record for bwog?

    i bet 95% of posters are freshman. and 45% of them are cheaters that are attempting to justify their behavior. Silly 2010.

  194. allriiiiiiight  

    I kind of think this is fuckin' awesome. I mean, couldn't have asked for better entertainment during finals.

    • The Holy Ghost  

      I agree. Beats the hell out of studying.

      Also, allow me to point out comment #292 as an example of why statistics is hard. Clearly, some of the time people spend reading their Lit Hum books would be better spent learning basic principles of selection bias. Or, as my friend God (#173, #312) would suggest, maybe you're focusing on the wrong 'Greeks' — zing!

      (And most assuredly almost everyone in this thread just missed that joke. Thank God [ha!] for that little boost to my precious ego!)

  195. bloodthristy  

    What's with this whole "banding together" thing? I want blood. And I want it now. At least one somebody is going down (the woman who gave out the questions), and I'd like to see more somebodies (the kids who cheated). They deserve it and I want to see their suffering to justify all the work that I put into LitHum to get a decent grade.

  196. Yep  

    I am posting here instead of studying! Whee!!!!!!!!!!!

  197. tip 2?  

    Can someone please reveal the teacher again!!?!

  198. hell raiser  

    If the Core Office plays hard ball, it means that all of the blue books that are suspect (ie got all the questions right except for Crime and Punishment, where the epilogue was mentioned instead. And if you identified the exact Dante canto on top of that, woe to you!) could be collected, analyzed and grades suspended... students dragged in to discuss. Wouldn't be that hard to do: there can't be more than a hundred that fit the bill.

  199. Neoplatonist  

    Who stole the pears? Who stole the pears?
    Fess up. Remember you've got to go down to come up.

  200. alcibiades  

    gentlemen, I'm wasted

  201. question  

    Can someone confirm whether this Lit Him teacher was in fact a full professor, or a graduate student?

  202. Who Cares?  

    Again, this isn't a story. This is a joke.

  203. ya but...  

    You know what would be cool... If somebody would leak the Blue and White!!! I need it to procrastinate for finals... Please, somboday.... pretty please with ice cream on top! :)

  204. there  

    were a lot of people who guessed the epilogue cause they had no idea where the quote was from and hadn't read the epilogue, but had read some/most of the rest of the book

  205. there  

    were also loads of people who got the cheat sheet and got the c&p passage right anyways and weren't stupid enough to name canto's and book numbers. there is really no way to separate the guilty from the innocent on this one i don't think

  206. ...sorry bwog  

    i didn't realize the teacher's name was off limits. my bad

    i love you bwog

  207. dammit  


  208. how does  

    columbia define cheating?

  209. nevermind - columbia's academic integrity pdf

    it doesn't really mention test prep- it talks about unauthorized collaboration on homeworks but i don't think that there is a rule that different sections of the same class can't share study guides of their own creation or that the teacher gave them

    i would be curious what a columbia law school student would say about all of this

  210. Feathers Birdowitz  

    Times like this, I'm glad I'm a lower lifeform.

    *squawk squawk*

  211. i think  

    That the problem comes not so much from the idea of sharing a study guide but from the fact that students were circulating the study guide as "the answers." I've heard about a lot of students telling others that they didn't have to study because they had the answers etc...

  212. SATAN  


  213. hey columbia law  

    is it worth it? (this is not the usual bwog sarcasm/ jadedness about life) i am seriously considering law school but i honestly don't know if i can handle it.

  214. Hamlet  

    I'll bring the danishes. Is cherry OK?

  215. VGF  

    But who will snitch on the snitchers?


  216. PM Jens Stoltenberg  

    Oh, them. They're not real Norwegians. That "most evil man alive?" He's a mole sent over from Sweden because they're still bitter we got our independence in 1814.

  217. KER  

    We will delete the names you post. Just FYI.

  218. facebook  

    just got this facebook message (names edited out)

    Subject: LitHum exam


    My name is ********** and I am a reporter at the New York Post. I am writing a story about the LitHum exam and how a professor released details of the final beforehand. I would like to talk to students who took the exam.

    Please call me at *** *** ****.


    New York Post
    *** *** ****

  219. Math Major  

    It doesn't matter if other people don't care or understand the theories, they are still more useful than the ability to turn out an essay.

    As a math major you must value the applications these theories can be applied to.

  220. who cares  

    about math majors?

  221. new york post?  

    i got the same facebook message!!!

    but i guess since i'm in seas it doesn't really apply to me

  222. Post = scum  

    Do NOT talk to the New York Post...they will probably misquote you and/or make you look like a douchebag, regardless of whether you actually are one.

  223. NOOOOOOO  

    the post hates columbia. do not speak to any of its reporters, first-years!

  224. post  

    i'm not planning on responding to the post's facebook message. the last thing columbia needs right now is even more bad press.

  225. post sucks  

    Do NOT talk to the press about this. Don't let those fuckers know anything. I hate how they want to make our school look bad.

    • uh...  

      too late. if the press really wanted some dirt, they have their pick of some choice quotes from the 378+ posts here. and don't tell me that the post wouldn't do that...

  226. Post???  

    They used facebook? Are you serious or is this some sort of joke!

  227. hey hey  

    can we please go back to discussing TRUE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL?

  228. Revelation! Eureka!

    Anyone notice something about all of those "comment has been deleted" comments that are showing up? The "Name" portion of the comment remains visible!!

    So to all of you willing snitchers (and those waiting with baited breath to find out who the Lit Hum teacher was), if someone were to post her name as the "Name" of the comment, then we would all see it and we could all breath a sigh of relief and go home happy.

    Somebody do it. I dare you.

  229. hell raiser  

    Here's the message from the Core Office:

    To All Literature Humanities Students

    The following is the statement that the University has released to the

    On May 7th it came to the attention of the Literature Humanities faculty
    that the results of the final examination for the course may have been
    compromised. The exam grades were immediately set aside and an ad hoc
    committee of senior faculty appointed to review the matter and recommend
    next steps.

    The committee met today and confirmed that the exam had been compromised
    and that responsibility for this lay with an individual faculty member
    and not with the students. In these circumstances the committee decided
    that students in the course will have two options:

    1. To have the course grade determined on the basis of all work
    completed prior to the final exam;
    2. To take a replacement exam.

    Patricia E. Grieve Austin
    E. Quigley
    Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Professor in the Humanities Dean of Columbia
    Chair, Literature Humanities

  230. asdf  

    does anyone know what the hamlet ID actually was? just curious

  231. yoey

    i think it's sad that a SMALL number of students have pretended this is either not a big deal or not wrong. the cheaters and the teacher should be punished.

    most columbia students are academically honest...have some integrity and don't mess up the school's reputation

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