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The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a lot of things. One thing it exposed was the character of college students, or should I say, the lack of character. Reports of cheating tripled at Virginia Commonwealth University in the 2020-21 school year. They doubled at the University of Georgia. They rose 50% at Ohio State. One assistant professor at Columbia University described the problem she experienced. Students were given one week to complete an open-book exam. They signed an honor code as a part of the class. Yet, many still cheated.1 A Princeton professor recently gave a lecture on the need for virtue in society. He explained that in the past, students who cheated on a test would usually feel bad. But now they have no sense of shame and boast about their cheating.2
We really shouldn’t think the problem just lies in college students. They are a reflection of the culture in which we all live. A culture that looks for the easy way. One that focuses on satisfying self in the most convenient manner possible in order to achieve success as quickly and cheaply as possible.
2 Peter 1:5 challenges us, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge.” (NIV 1984) Are you striving to live the easy way or to develop true goodness and virtue in your life?
- Sneha Dey, “Reports Of Cheating At Colleges Soar During The Pandemic,” National Public Radio, August 27, 2021, https://www.npr.org/2021/08/27/1031255390/reports-of-cheating-at-colleges-soar-during-the-pandemic.
- Kathryn Lopez, “The necessity of virtue,” Southeast Missourian, February 8, 2023, https://www.semissourian.com/story/2982946.html.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.