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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


To Catch a Cheater: Eller’s GoodCat Hotline utilized

Despite precautions taken by professors, cheating happens. The Eller College of Management recently released the GoodCat Hotline, a Web site students can use to report academic dishonesty within the college.

The Web site mimics ethics hotlines used in the business community, which allow people to report unethical behavior seen in their companies.

GoodCat, however, is tailored to students. Eller students can go onto the Web site and fill out a form about the incident. Students enter the type of cheating as well as who cheated and where the incident occurred. Those reporting can enter their names or choose to report the incident anonymously.

The Web site was donated and developed specifically for Eller by EthicsPoint, a company that specializes in hotlines.

“”Nobody else has done this. It’s the first application at the collegiate level for students,”” said Paul Melendez, director of the ethics program in the department of management and organizations.

The site aims to deter cheating by making it clear that students’ behavior is being monitored. Students may weigh the risk of cheating differently knowing that anyone can report them.

“”If nothing else, it will help to make students aware,”” Melendez said.

The college stresses ethics under the belief that habits formed during college follow students into their careers. While cheating in the classroom may go unnoticed, poor business ethics can lead to serious consequences.

“”What students demonstrate in the classroom they will demonstrate in the boardroom,”” Melendez said.

Suzanne Cummins, senior lecturer in the department of management and organizations, notes that the site allows professors to track how students cheat. Professors can then decide how to administer tests and assignments based on GoodCat reports.

“”We’re not trying to get to the student. We’re trying to get to the problem,”” Cummins said. “”It’s kind of a wake-up call to the teacher.””

The site also aims to give a voice to students angered by their cheating peers.

“”It’s a quiet anger that people have about cheating if they’re not involved in it,”” Cummins said. 

The site was developed with input from the Eller Board of Honor and Integrity, a group of about 40 Eller students.

Gabrielle Johnston, a public management and policy senior, is the chair of the Eller Board and finds GoodCat to be an effective resource.

“”Eller has a strict code of academic conduct. I think it’s a great way for students to anonymously report what they may not feel comfortable going to a professor about,”” Johnston said.

The site, which was released just before spring break, has received one report so far.

Cummins views the site as a “”last resort”” for students who have difficulty approaching their professors.

“”We don’t expect a lot of hits because, if we’re doing our job and have an open door policy, students will come to us,”” Cummins said.

Some students think the site will be effective in decreasing incidents of cheating.

Marketing junior Jasmin Quintana explains that students often notice cheating that their professors do not catch.

“”I think it’s good, because that way teachers know what to look for,”” Quintana said.

Other students question the concept behind GoodCat.

“”I would never use the Web site. If you’re cheating, you take that risk. If you get away with it, you get away with it,”” said Mike Natale, a management junior. “”I don’t think it’s another student’s responsibility to tell the teacher.””

The college is still working on publicizing the hotline to students. Melendez hopes the site will eventually be used at the UA beyond Eller.

“”My hope is that the experience here will generate enough interest and support that this opportunity can go campus-wide,”” Melendez said.

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