Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Faculty follies - true equity at last

In preparation for an article I followed up on a dodgy A4 flier posted up on open-use notice boards all over my campus. The flier offered an "editing" service for students. It described the service in general terms, and incorporated tear-off tabs with website address and telephone contact number. Many students had clearly responded to these notices, as most tear-off tabs had been torn off. I logged on to the website to see what was on offer. The following testimonials from students who had used the service were interesting.

I got 93% in Psychology... I am proud and very satisfied paying the fee... I got my essay back... I got an A. The Professor said the essay was very well written... I can only say that this was the best $330 I have spent this year... Thank you so much for editing my thesis... I have fairly poor writing skills... What a nice job you have done for me... Your team did a superb job with my last assignment, I received 90% for it!... I am very appreciative of what my editor did for me... my assignment looks much better... I received my summer result yesterday and I got a distinction! Thank you!... Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Essay reads wonderfully, you guys are miracle workers!... I will be using your service throughout the 5 years of my uni life.

On the surface, this seems like an obviously corrupt commercial operation which allows undeserving and sleazy students to cheat without any chance of being caught. But think about it. In the past, students who through an accident of birth happened to be talented and hardworking got the best marks. Was this REALLY fair? Now anyone can get good marks if they care enough to pay big bucks for them. Of course, many degrees are now not worth the paper they are written on, but think how much they sometimes cost.