If you were my TA in this situation, how would you view me ?

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I know that most of you will say that I’m wrong, even I myself think that I’m in a wrong position too.. But I really need someone’s opinion (someone who doesn’t know me at all) on what will you see me as, if you encounter such a situation.

If you’re a TA, and a student suddenly emailed you and said that they need to talk to you because something has been bothering him/her for the past few days (regarding a class that he’s TA-ing).

You guys met. and this student first started the conversation by requesting to you to check around or look around the class during exams. And you immediately asked what happened, and the student said that somebody actually took his/her answer papers during the exam, and he/she was really scared and distracted by it all the time during the exam. When you guys were talking, the student seems kind of scared, and she actually don’t want to give his/her friend trouble by confessing the situation to you.. But it’s just that he/she hopes that you can check around during the future exams just to prevent it from happening again.
When you suggested him/her to sit at the front row during the next exam, he/she seemed kind of troubled by it, and replied that, “the thing is honestly during the last exam, my friend already keeps texting me beforehand to sit next to me, and it’s really hard for me to say no to someone that I know of.. Besides when I entered the class, my friend already had saved me a seat, so it’s really a hard situation for me, because I really don’t know what to do”. At some point, the student also ask if he/she will get into trouble by saying this to you, and if his/her friend (who keep taking away the answer papers) will get into trouble.. because he/she actually doesn’t mean to get anyone into trouble, but it’s just that by having his/her friend do that to him/her, distracts him/her alot because he/she couldn’t concentrate at all as he/she was so scared because of his/her friend’s doings.. And also when answering questions, it’s really hard for him/her to complete solving a problem, because part of his/her answers are with the other person.. And it’s really scary to talk during in the middle of the exam just to request his/her answer back.. so the student therefore confessed to you about it..
But the student also requested for you not to mention anything to his/her friend, because he/she is afraid to have any conflicts with his/her friend..

Now, you personally actually already sensed/suspecting that something is happening between these 2 students during the exam, and moreover, someone told you that they heard whispers during the midterm.. If you are the TA will you think that this student lies to you about what he/she confessed or will you think that this student is telling the truth because he/she feels distracted by it but at the same time doesn’t want to let his/her friend to be in trouble?

I’m extremely sorry for the extra long explanation but I really want to give as detailed information as possible so as to have a clear opinion about the situation that I’m encountering right now.. on what will my TA think of me right now.. because I’m really scared about it.. Thank you very much.. I really appreciate your help. Thank you.

Answer

1) You didn’t have to sit in that seat.
2) You didn’t have to let your “friend” cheat off you.
3) You should have told your “friend” that the behavior was unacceptable and that they should do their own work and get their own answers.
4) If the person cheated off of you, you should have let the TA know immediately after the test. If they took your paper, you should have taken it back immediately. There is no reason for someone to be taking you paper. The distracted/scared/unable to complete the work is nothing to the fact that this person is cheating.

You are at fault here for cheating. This is inexcusable. What the TA does about it is up to them. Telling them that they’re not doing their job of preventing cheating and that they need to do a better job at their job isn’t really going to help anything. You need to report the cheating as it happened and tell them that you didn’t know how to handle it at the time but decided the best thing to do is to report the cheating, despite the effect it might have on you. Request that the TA review the test papers and look for the similarities that you know are there. Do not tell the TA what to do. That is not your job.

Your “friend” needs to be in trouble. Tell the TA that your paper was taken from you and that you are notifying them of cheating. This person is going to be in trouble, best case scenario is that you manage to get out of it without being in trouble for allowing it to happen. You’ve been participating in the cheating, allowing it to happen. You did not object to your paper being taken, you did not report it sooner. There is no reason why anyone should “not want to get anyone in trouble,” trouble had been earned.

This person is no friend of yours if they’re going to risk you both being expelled at worst just because they don’t want to do their own work. Do the grown up thing and make the report and accept the consequences of your and your “friend’s” actions.

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