The Students’ Union at De Montfort University is encouraging students to put their money to better use instead of paying for an essay.
Members of the De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) were handing out free doughnuts to students, raising awareness about contract cheating on Wednesday(OCT20) afternoon.
Contract cheating, commonly known as essay mills or ghost writers, is a form of academic dishonesty, where students pay others to complete their work or essays.
It is not tolerated at DMU and is soon to be made illegal in the UK, as it can be classified as a ‘university crime’.
DSU’s student adviser in the Advice and Wellbeing team, Kayleigh Ware, said: “As a students’ union we are just raising awareness about contract cheating, this is something that students get targeted about, people will usually send them essay mails – where they ask the students to complete their work.
“When it comes to university, what a lot of students don’t realise is that academic offences can be serious.”
Academic offences include:
Collusion – people working together on a task that you were instructed to do by yourself.
Plagiarism – presenting someone else’s works or ideas as if it were your own.
Cheating in exams – having notes, copying, or helping another candidate.
Re-use of your own work without reference.
If a student is found guilty of an academic offence, they will be called to an Academic Practice Officers meeting (APO) or in worst case scenario an academic offence panel and could lose their place at DMU.
It can also lead to legal complications, blackmail, fraud, waste of money, personal data theft and employment struggles in the future.
Kayleigh said: “We are trying to raise awareness of the policies and point the students in the right direction as well as familiarise them with an understanding of the procedures of these policies.
“We can help with students’ companions, providing that emotional support and guidance throughout the whole process, because this is something very serious, so students should make themselves more aware of what they need to know.”