May

8

Who says there are no second chances?

Written by

bush

Spec‘s reporting that freshmen will have the option to retake the lit hum exam or to receive a grade based on the rest of their work this semester. Apparently, it was all the professor’s fault… So the choice is obvious for most.

But what about all those C students who have already jet off for the Caribbean?

Full text of the email after the jump. (Don’t worry, the article is still on the Spec site.) You’ll notice they said they released it “to the press”- check the New York Post, Daily News, AND New York Sun tomorrow for doubtlessly enlightening information, some of which was gathered through Facebooking freshmen.


To All Literature Humanities Students
The following is the statement that the University has released to the
press:
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
College
Chair, Literature Humanities
************************************************************************
The ad hoc committee, consisting of past, present and incoming chairs of
Lit Hum plus several senior faculty currently teaching Lit Hum,
expresses sympathy for all students whose year of Lit Hum at Columbia
has ended in this way.  To ensure equity, the committee has set the
following policy:
Grades based on work completed prior to the invalidated final exam will
be posted by Tuesday, May 15.
Students who wish to accept the posted grade need take no further
action.
Students who choose to take a replacement exam after seeing their grade
must declare their intent to do so to the Core Office no later than
Friday, May 18, at 5:00 p.m.  A separate e-mail address is being created
for this purpose; it will be sent to you shortly.  This notification
date is needed in order to arrange the logistics required for a
replacement exam.
The replacement exam will be administered on the first Friday afternoon
of the fall 2007 semester.  Further details will be announced in due
course.
Patricia E. Grieve, Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Professor in the
Humanities, Chair of Literature Humanities
Deborah A. Martinsen, Associate Dean of the Core Curriculum

Tags: , , ,

113 Comments

  1. ...

    where'd the other 18 comments go?

    there was some good discussion...

  2. I say...  

    Good decision... Now the big question is how they will deal with that teacher? I'm curious to know that...

  3. anyone  

    have word yet on when the replacement exam is happening?

  4. judge and jury

    the cheating teacher should be cooked and forcibly fed to the cheating students

  5. Sara  

    Apologies to the 14 or so commenters on this post -- there were duplicate posts and I deleted the wrong one by accident! Bwog regrets the error.

  6. previous comments  

    1. I already went home and this sucks

    2. I did well and needed to and this sucks

    3. I have other exams/papers and this sucks

  7. ha!  

    great photo choice, bwog. you're funny.

  8. hahahah  

    The original title of this post was "C Students Rejoice!"...next to a picture of Bush. Classy, bwog.

  9. do not  

    let cheaters be lazy. I say, we either take a final or submit another paper.

  10. hmm  

    I guess they couldn't figure anything out from the content of the blue books.

  11. Bush  

    fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on, shame on...

  12. The A in TA

    They didn't have all the blue books. I know this to be true

  13. segolene  

    Well, this sounds like an appropriate ending to this saga. I only hope the retake would allow students the option to submit a final paper as opposed to a sit-down exam. No need to heap on the stress.

  14. segolene  

    By the way, I love Bwog for breaking the cheating story and keeping me entertained during the last throes of my senior year.

  15. outrageous  

    THEY FUCKING CHEATED! FAIL THEM!

    • Wise Senior  

      you freshmen are so fucking ridiculous.

      they "cheated" and "fail them"... how is it cheating if the professor gives you the notes? dont tell me you didnt study from the hints your teachers gave you... dont decry you other classmates because their teacher fucked up.

      situation blows. yes. but in life (and the rest of college as you soon will learn) you gotta deal with the curveballs that come your way. get over it, enjoy your summer and read your notes for three hours on the flight or ride back to NYC. now go fucking drink as you should be doing and quit whining.

      • Anonymous

        Word up on the cheating thing. I think we all know that there's something wrong about looking at a study guide and knowing it will be your test, but at the same time, a teacher gave it out, how could those students NOT use it, and in Lit Hum you are encouraged to collaborate with students from other sections, so why wouldn't you share with your friends?

        I am still impressed with how they are handling the situation, especially the quick response, but that is really unfortunate that students wanting to make up the exam will have to wait until the fall. It is nice, however, that there is the option to opt out. Furthermore, what better solution is there? If you are one of the ones who didn't "cheat," you are the ones that the office is trying to help, and they've come up with a pretty decent solution.

      • I am poster 15  

        I was the one who said they should fail. I am a junior. They were given materials they should have known were illegitimate.

        Furthermore, since one of the identities was changed at the last minute, it should be clear who memorized the information on the cheat sheet and simply wrote that down on the actual exam.

        There is no reason why people who took the test honestly and did well should be punsished for this. It is outrageous.

        Although your condecension is amusing. One doesn't need to be directly affected by this incident to be angry. It has been an absolutely embarrassing year so far to be a Columbia student and this isn't going to help.

    • daisy  

      they didn't cheat... an idiot teacher gave the answers, and now the hundreds of students who didn't even know this happened until after the test are being punished for it.

      • You are wrong.  

        They DID cheat. They were given knowledge of the answers ahead of time. They didn't notify the proper authorities but instead chose to use this information to their benefit.

        Is it a difficult ethical situation to be handed the answers to a test by a professor? Yeah, I'll give them that. Unfortunately, it's still cheating. These students are adults and they should behave accordingly.

        • meh  

          it was clear before the test even happened this wasn't your average review sheet, so i wish there could be some way to get at the people who used it. however, there really isnt any way to catch more than the absolute dumbest cheaters, the ones who cannot tell the epilogue of c-and-p from the rest of the book. props to the administration for this quick and smart decision. i think it ends the problem in a way that's most sensible and satisfactory for all.

        • Hannah

          I was under the impression that the reason that the Core committee found out about this is because people did in fact report the incident. Plus, how counterintuitive is it for a student to report a prof for cheating on an exam?

  16. Fight!  

    Fight it! Fight it!

    Also, what a waste of three hours.

  17. screw this  

    fuck this...i took 3 hours out of my friday to take the test WITHOUT CHEATING...and i did well...fuck this.

  18. what about  

    the students in the section of the cheating teacher? who will grade their new exam?

  19. mike  

    wow, was not expecting this, but I suppose it probably makes the most sense out of all their response options.

  20. well done  

    given the circumstances, there was no way they could not rectify this situation, without being "unfair" to the students that did not receive/ utilize the study guide. I feel as if this is the most "fair" result, and that as long as this retake is in the form of a paper, all shall be well...

  21. alrighty then  

    so I just posted as number 20...and got an email from Debs. Re take exam is going to be in FALL 2007...which if you asked me is sort of fucked up. Who is going to remember the contents of 10 books during summer?...fuck

  22. decisions..  

    Virgil or Vodka?

    hmm this summer shall be a tough one

  23. Chubbs  

    This sucks! I didn't use a study a guide and did well and really needed that grade to boost my grade in the class. I don't have time to study all over again and retake the exam, and basing everything off all my other work will fuck me over too!

    This blows!

  24. I'm off the hook

    I only read the books I needed to write my papers and I didn't study at all. There must be a God. I think I'll start going to church.

  25. funny thing

    if anyone cheated on their papers, which is much easier than cheating on an exam, they just lucked out big time.

  26. annoyed  

    Great I study without the guide, do not cheat, and tried hard to get that A onto my grade sheet, then it all gets anulled and I will have to go through this shit all over again. What the fuck?
    It should have been easy to identify the morons who cheated. Why not just have them retake the fucking exam?
    I am seriously annoyed...

    I agree with 21, who is going to remember all the stuff we did after a three and a half month summer full of everything but school? Noone!
    Good job core office...

  27. HAH.

    I GOT NO JOB THIS SUM. THINK I'LL ACTUALLY READ THE BOOKS NOW. GET A GOOD GRADE. SWEET.

  28. okay  

    fall 2007, are you kidding me?

  29. hello!  

    15 is so right. all you self-righteous fucks who are decrying people as cheaters for being handed a paper with hints on it need to take a course in fucking reason. no students did anything wrong when it comes to this issue. no students actively cheated at all. were they not supposed to read the paper? you know you would have if you had any friends to give it to you. would you not put the answers that were on the paper on the test when you see that the paper is dead on. no, you would have. the bottom line is that one teacher was a huge cheater and caused all this trouble for everyone: people who happened to see the sheet and are now being called cheaters and people who didn't see the sheet and are getting their exam grade cancelled for no reason. stop calling the students who saw the paper cheaters.

  30. hello!  

    I mean thirty was right, in response to fifteen

  31. for once  

    the administration, facing a fucked-up situation, did the right thing. they recognized that the blame lay with the teacher, not the students. the results will definitely suck for some people, but given the circumstances, they did not have a lot of other options.

  32. CML  

    These things can't be seen in black and white terms, but I think this was probably the best way to handle it, in retrospect -- of the work done up until that point (discussion/participation, papers and midterm) the former two are much more indicative of intellectual benefit derived from the class (which is really what college is all about, right?), while the latter owing to its class-specific nature is a fairer academic litmus test for students' knowledge of the specifics. The Lit Hum final is stupid even normally, and I doubt anyone came upon any profound revelations prior to the final that would have justified its being included under such circumstances.

    That being said, it sucks for those who did study their asses off -- if all you're trying to achieve is a higher grade (and I submit to everyone that this is the purpose of studying for something like Lit Hum, much more so than any greater understanding or appreciation of the works), then it's really a doozy when it all amounts to nothing. This is basically how I felt about Frontiers of Science last semester: a class in which I could learn nothing, so at least I would do a good job on the dumbass WIAs (or whatever the euphemistic term for them was) and the midterm and the final and get a solid A+/A, right? Wrong: I got a B+ and was furious. It's doubly demoralizing because not only were you doing something that you hated, but it turns out that you were doing it for nothing.

    Still, I think it was the best way to go here. I wonder if teachers have access to their bluebooks, so they can reward the pure? Probably not.

    Ruh-spect.

  33. curious  

    who was the professor????? i'm sure that they will not be invited back to teach in the core curriculum EVER again.

    • actually  

      that professor probably will have some trouble getting a teaching job in general, doing something as dumb as that. that stuff does stay with you to some degree. hopefully, the person was just new and naive (honestly, how could he/she not see this coming?), and will have the time in his/her career to make up for it.

  34. yikes  

    I think they should just give a joke final via courseworks or something, open book obviously. It sucks if you have to wait until September to take it.

  35. alright

    I disagree. Look, the fact of the matter is that one stupid instructor hinted specifically about what would be on the final exam. That instructor will be reprimanded. The students did not cheat. They did nothing wrong at all. They took the suggestions of their teacher, may or may have decided to study specifically what was suggested, could have shared what was known with other students, etc, and then got those questions correct on the final exam.

    What do you tell the kid that had five exams this week and really needed to do well on their LitHum final for a boost in their grade? The student that studied their behind off for days, cramming, so they could do well on the final, and did, and now instead of getting that bump, they're told days later that they have the option of taking the summer to study up again unsure of what will happen the second time around?

    Face it, when you take one of these intensive cumulative exams that tests literally thousands of pages of reading, you're going to forget what you crammed pretty quickly, especially if you have another four or five exams in the following few days. Trust me. I took LitHum years ago. I got As. I forgot the bulk of what I needed to know for the exams shortly after taking them. Why penalize those students?

    Like I said earlier on before the comments in the earlier post were deleted, the school has no specific rule against what the students did. There's nothing that prevents the students from willingly accepting information from their instructor. Nothing prevents those students from sharing information between sections of the same class. In this case, the core office should have recognized the egg on its face for distributing the exam to instructors prior to the exam date, accepted the inevitable consequences, let the kids take their grades, and moved the fuck on. These things happen.

    I wouldn't be surprised if someone (or a group of someones) lawyers up instead of retaking in the... fall.

    • Actually  

      There is a difference between doing "nothing wrong at all" and doing "what any of us would have done." Just because we lack the character needed to make the right decisions doesn't mean that we can claim that these students didn't cheat. They very clearly did. Period.

  36. so when  

    can a teacher give obvious hints on a test to the students? is that ok if you are making up the test. i want to say in that case it would be fine.

  37. hello!  

    it's not that obvious who used the paper because there weren't specific answers on paper, just hints like that the c and p quote is going to be from the epilogue. someone without the paper could have mistaken the c and p quote to be in the epilogue (especially because it talked about a small room and spiders, and the epilogue has the passage about infestation and is set in a prison cell) and would thus be mistakenly id'd as someone with the paper.
    also, i dont beleive that any of you who are saying the students should have reported the paper would have had you gotten the paper. stop being hypocrital.

  38. ridiculous

    Sheesh. Don't tell me none of you have gone to review sessions conducted by TAs only to learn half of what will be asked days later on an exam.

  39. frosh  

    haven't taken CC yet, and they don't know the meaning of lying, honor, or morals.

    Wouldn't that be a great final for CC though? Give out the answers, and see who actually uses them, and who took some Cicero/Kant/Rawls to heart.

    • ...

      No. That would be a super lame proposition made by some super lame student at a university full of super lame people.

      Go away.

      • number 49  

        Don't be such an idiot. Obviously it's not practical exam, so just chill out. And if you think this university is so lame, you should transfer, or if you don't go to Columbia, you shouldn't be tooling around this blog.

    • meh...  

      Cicero/Kant/Rawls

      vs.

      Machiavelli/Hobbes/Nietzsche

      • Anonymous  

        The problem with you kids these days is that you don't read the old testament enough. You are suckered into believing that its ok to have gay marriages or dress funny or to somehow violate the sanctity of marriage and the ensuing misogyny.

        - Cicero's a pimp
        - So is Kant
        - Rawls is Bawls
        - Machiavelli's a punk
        - Hobbes is poor, nasty, brutish and short
        - Nietzsche is just plain shitty

        And there's textual support for each of these arguments.

        • it's true!  

          Kant's sexual exploits are an example for all to follow!

          Although John Ruskin's better characterize the general experience of sex at this school, I think.

    • i think  

      there is an urban legend about that, although i think that one might actually be a true story. professor dresses up like a hobo in an ethics class and sees who will help him. something like that.

      • Urban Legend?  

        Wasn't it an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Or maybe Saved By the Bell...

      • I don't know  

        I don't know if it was an urban legend as much as an episode of Saved by the Bell the College Years

      • wait

        I think there was the story of the priest/professor who pretended to be homeless and none of his students who passed him on their way to seminary gave him any money. I, however, could be confusing a number of different stories.

        • yea  

          that's basically the story i was referencing.

          although i do recall the saved by the bell: the college years scandal at least vaguely. i'll have to watch it on dvd when i get home.

          boy was that one of the worst purchases i have ever made in my life.

        • Sprinkles  

          Of course, if you're a social science major, you could then argue about how giving money to someone begging on the streets does nothing to address the deeper fundamental problems that lead to poverty and homelessness, and instead vow to write a check to an organization that works to empower the homeless.

          The moral of the story is: If you don't like your grade, ARGUE. ARGUE ARGUE ARGUE. Arguing is your friend, and the true test of whether you've learned anything at Columbia so far.

  40. check this  

    this site explains it all, its good blog post on cheating

    http://www.csunhasaweeny.ytmnd.com

  41. 2010sucks  

    i love that what no one knows is that this entire fiasco was perpetuated by two very pathetic freshmen who have nothing more to do with their lives than perpetuate lies about others, as evidenced by their involvement in prior scandals this year.

    the fact of the matter is that NO ONE CHEATED! a professor had a serious lapse in judgement and as a result countless students were at risk of losing the ability to further their educations beyond the undergraduate level.

    what's more disgusting is that BWOG allows defamation, slander and libel to be strewn across its pages. these allegations are VERY serious and had no merit since the fault lies with the professor. i hope someone sues or that a class action suit happens so that people will learn the severity of slandering without due cause.

    i'm personally ashamed to be a member of the class of 2010 right now and ashamed that i go to school with such immature assholes.

    • 2010 does suck  

      thanks to assholes like you. If being mature is taking absolutely no accountability for one's actions then...yes. I can't wait to see you assholes learn some ethics in CC, that is if you don't cheat on those exams as well.

      • 2010sucks  

        well dipshit, "one's actions" are at no fault. the fucking people in charge of this entire department deem it so. what's immature is people who abuse power and whine like the little bitches they are over things they have no idea about. i'm not going to continue arguing this. i have a feeling i know who you are, and you're pathetic. i hope you get sued.

    • Webster  

      defamation and slander/libel is redundant. slander and libel are mutually exclusive. the standard for libel is factual inaccuracy and malicious intent. you are a moron.

  42. annoyed  

    I like the idea 49 proposed, but not for a CC final, but for a ethics course. There it should work.

  43. make-up exam  

    ALSO
    it's ridiculous if they don't count the grades from the make-up lit hum exam given on thursday....even though there weren't many students, they had no way of cheating, since the exams were completely different on the subsequent day. don't make students take the exam a day early AND not count it!

  44. the college  

    sucks hardcore

  45. honor code  

    So I remember at the beginning of CC, students were required to sign some sort of contract about cheating, and it listed examples (including, to my surprise, self-plaigiarism). Looking at Stanford's honor code:

    "Giving or receiving aid on an academic assignment under circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that such aid was not permitted"

    I think the very fact that this became such a scandal and that people who didn't have the study guide complained about it suggests that a reasonable person, given the answers to an examination, should think for a moment about whether or not that qualified as cheating.

  46. college  

    beginning to agree with you

  47. columbia  

    currently has no honor code. it has rules against plagarism, including self-plagarism (although more recent editions of the bulletin downplay this variey) an honor code not only mandates you not cheat, but often REQUIRES one to report the cheating of others.

    Honor Code = Snitchin' Required

    • we should

      get a caltech or rice-esque honor code. that way, we get take home finals and can do them whenever we want! buuut, knowing most columbia students, there would be rampant cheating and the honor code would be rewritten.

  48. hairs  

    sara vogel is mad awesome. just wanted to throw that out there.

  49. let's point fingers!

    how is that the name of the teacher hasn't started circulating yet?

  50. hookas

    This is the one and only time I won't agree with my boy Cam'ron. bravo to the whistleblowers

  51. i don't get it

    every time we get a study guide, are we supposed to turn our teachers in?

  52. to #53  

    Wait so are you angry that you got caught? It's obvious that you're angry that someone reported the whole debacle (just as anyone who knew about it should have done), possibly meaning that you're getting burned as we speak by this whole thing.

    Honestly, I highly recommend that you open up a motherfucking dictionary as well.

  53. So what about  

    1) People (athletes, I think?) who took a different exam on Thursday?

    2) People in sections with a different ID list to match their section's specific curriculum?

    Do their final efforts get nullified, too?

    =(

  54. fuck this

    do you know how happy i was when i finished that exam?

    this sucks a lot. it's also a pretty crappy solution. my prof graded papers out of her ass. this exam was going to help a lot. so, people cheated, obviously the solution is to punish everyone in the entire class who did this honestly.

  55. Anonymous

    this may be a court case in the future? many kids will cry to the parents for help

    i suggest to put all junior kids to the lie detector test. those who fail will need to retake the exam

  56. whatsucks  

    usually the final exam is what puts people in the 'A plus' range if previously they were getting an A. So now all of those potential A-plusers are fucked - and given three more years at CU and various slumps, their GPA's will need all the padding it can get (i know mine did)

  57. wait  

    aren't you like not allowed to get an A+ in LitHum? fuck.

  58. people  

    can fill us all in on this more, but the bit about the prof dressing up as a homeless person was a psych experiment at Princeton. Students were rushing on their way to give a short talk on a passage from the Bible (something about how important it is to help the needy), and it was tested whether they helped a homeless guy on the way.
    I forget what the experiment proved. Someone who has taken social psych or who owns Asch's (I think? sp?) textbook would know more.

  59. bottom line  

    it would also be completely unfair to accept the final grades, and i think that supersedes all other concerns.

    so the football player gets this paper, kicks my ass on it, and that's fair to me - who's read every text but fucked up on two or three ID's?

    the exam sucks anyways. it should be a series of essays. what is this ID shit?

    • IDs are good  

      IDs, when well crafted, are a pretty good test of a student's inductive abilities. You can read the book, sure, but if you don't get it entirely it's likely you'll mess up on IDs. You can bullshit an essay, it's tougher to bullshit an ID.

      Of course, my argument is null and void if professors pick obscure quotes to try to stump you, as some professors are wont to do.

  60. ...

    how do you get an A+ in lithum?

    i know my instructor wouldn't give them out...

  61. well...  

    I bet teachers are going to inflate grades like hell to discourage students from taking the re-take.

    • Incentives  

      You're probably very right. No teacher wants to grade a whole new set of exams, so if you don't take the re-test, your teacher will like you. If your teacher likes you, you will get a better grade.

  62. just to clarify  

    this got buried in the last one, so it should be reposted. it's a copy of the study sheet, according to one tipster:

    Part I- Possible Identifications

    Too[sic] 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
    -eating
    -material objects
    -Books in Cervantes

  63. a man in havana  

    good to see that, even in the face of all this, bwog keeps columbia's left-wing jihad going strong.

    VIVA CASTRO!!!

  64. a quick fix  

    let's have Gaahl from Norwegian Death rock be an exam proctor, that way, if someone cheats, he'll sacrifice the bunny. Don't make him sacrifice the bunny.

  65. 2+2=5  

    ^^^lol.

    all i know is that i worked my ass off last half of the semester to pull an A and this is getting in the way of my GPA whoring!

  66. to #92  

    I love you. Thank you for trying to keep the flame of true Norwegian death metal alive on this thread. I think an equally adequate exam proctor would be Varg Vikernes because if someone cheated he would just stab them 23 times or burn down their local church.

  67. wise sophomore  

    This is Lit Hum, if you get below a B+ you're a failure at life. NO ONE gives a fuck about you students who "studied hard without the study guide" and "did really well"...it's just a matter of due course they're going to go with this strategy, as it's the only one that makes any sense other than giving everyone As (you would still complain in that case...). It's really sad that you studied so hard. OH WAIT, I thought the point of college was LEARNING.

  68. please read, urgent  

    http://www.csunhasaweeny.ytmnd.com

    NEW UPDATES ON THE SITUATION

  69. Amazing  

    I can eat fifty pounds.

  70. only in Norway  

    can a guy hold a man prisoner, try to drain the guy's blood, threaten to make him drink a good cup-full of it, and only get 8 months in the slammer. Hope Gorgoroth isn't on tour anymore. oh yeah, lit hum over the summer? please

  71. just as low  

    whoever you are. you have too much time if all you can do is hate on calvin sun.

    you think that calvin is a jerk... well i think you dipped just as low.

  72. jim jones

    dipset all day, harlem stand up.

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