OSU's New "F Shriek" Grade

Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 12:03 pm
By: News On 6

Cheaters beware, Oklahoma State University is taking a hard stand against cheating and plagiarizing. OSU administrators have adopted a new grading system that could cost cheating students a job after graduation.

News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren talks with OSU administrators and students about the new "F Shriek" grade.

On university campuses, cheating is nothing new, but the way students do it can be. OSU Provost Dr Marlene Strathe: "Technology will allow you to do a lot of things that you couldn't do before." OSU student William Bass: "In our labs people get real creative stuff off the internet, people in previous classes giving materials to other students."

Professors say Internet plagiarizing is a popular new trend, students buying already-written papers online. Dr Marlene Strathe: "So would you say students are getting pretty creative? Very creative."

So administrators here at OSU say it’s their turn to get creative. If you're caught cheating it'll show up on your transcript. It’s called an F Shriek. On paper it’s an F with an exclamation point.

Administrators say its purpose is to teach students about academic integrity. On a transcript, they say it acts as a warning to possible employers. "I think it alerts them that you may potentially be looking at an employee who may not be ethical in the workplace either."

Some students applaud the F Shriek, hoping it will raise the standards on campus. William Bass: “My friends and I work hard for our grades. Its kind of discouraging whenever other people don't work as hard and get just the same grades as we do, so."

Others are not so sure. OSU student Ted Teten: "I guess that's okay. But it does seem a little bit harsh."

This fall is the first semester for the F Shriek. The real test will come as we see how many students still cheat and make the grade.

OSU student Rachael Hawkins: "I think people who decide to will no matter what. But at least now there's some way for them to pay for it other than just an F.”

Professors have to prove that the student was cheating in order to give them an F Shriek. That student can appeal the grade or take a non-credit course on academic integrity. The exclamation point would then be lifted from their transcript.