Cheating is the new black

 According to, 75 percent to 98 percent of college students have admitted to being dishonest academically.  

The stigma of cheating seems to be almost non-existent among college students today. 

“Cheating is not cheating if you don’t get caught,” said J.R. Simmons, 19, a sophomore business administration student from Ocala.  

However, not all students share this sentiment. 

“I can’t cheat,” said Tamara Roberts, 18, a pharmacy student from Miami. “I have too bad of a conscience. It’s just better to study.” 

With statistics of cheating on the rise, it is now at about the same level of collegiate drinking and higher than sexual activity. 

“I don’t care [if] you cheat, but if we are going to cheat, then we have to cheat together,” said Ashley Williams, 19, a sophomore business administration student from Tampa. 

According to, an independent educational test security provider, 85 percent of college students think that it is necessary to cheat in order to get ahead, while 90 percent of college cheaters don’t believe they aren’t likely to get caught.  

Kori Rivers, a native of Palm Beach, thinks cheating is inevitable but shouldn’t be done consistently.  

“Cheating happens; people cheat,” the 19-year-old sophomore business administration student said.

“You can’t come trying to cheat all the time though. You have to do the work sometimes.” 

Many student handbooks on college campuses around the country, including the 2008-2009 FANG, contain strict policies against academic dishonesty violations.  

Penalties for cheating at Florida A&M University according to the FANG include: reduction of the grade, denial of academic credit, and invalidation of university credit of the degree based upon credit, probation, suspension, dismissal or expulsion.  

Further admission or registration to other universities may also be denied for both to the student who cheated and the student who assisted with the cheating. All parties will have to assume equal blame for the violation.  

In the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, plagiarism, which is passing off someone else’s ideas as your own, is grounds for immediate expulsion from the program. 

“We don’t really think of it as cheating though,” Rivers added. We’re just trying to help each other out.” 

One of the most extreme cases of cheating in FAMU’s history involved three students. Marcus Barrington, 23, Christopher Jacquette, 27, and Lawrence Secrease, 22, were federally indicted in October 2008 for a massive grade-changing scheme.  

Jacquette and Secrease both pleaded guilty and the jury found Barrington guilty. The repercussions for academic dishonesty are serious and life changing. 

              I believe in God, so I think [cheating] is wrong,” said Widmaier Gallimor, 19, a sophomore business administration student from Ft. Lauderdale. 

“I’m not the one to cheat off of,” Gallimor said. “It will catch up to them in the end.”