Say "No" to Friends & Toxic "Help"

You can prevent cheating by just saying “no”.

NO to friends when they ask for “help” that violates academic integrity standards.

For example, a friend asks for old assignments, wants to do an independent assignment together, or asks to sit next to you during an exam.

Remember - these requests can come in many forms. Maybe in a Discord Server set up for the clsas, or in person, or in chats. The medium doesn't make a difference. It is still cheating.

NO to Toxic "Help" sites (e.g., Chegg, Coursehero, essay writing sites, other answer providing sites) that promise you "fast work", "original work", or "excellent results".

You will get emails, wechat and text messages, and see social media postings, by these Toxic "help sites", offering to do your work for you or solve your problems for you. These are attractive offers - but using them would be Contract Cheating - the most egregious form of cheating, leading to a Quarter Suspension.

Saying no isn’t easy, especially to someone you care for or when the offer is REALLY tempting.

But think about it this way - caring for a friend and caring for yourself and your long-term goals sometimes means saying “no” if you or they are about to do something that could harm you or them (like cheating).

So, when faced with a situation where a friend is asking you to do something you know would violate academic integrity OR a company or person is offering you services that promise to make your life easier, remember your values and your long-term goals. It's about learning and it's about acting as the person you think you are - honest, trustworthy and fair.

Here's some tips for acting in these situations:

  • Have the Courage to Ignore - don't click on the link or say "yes" - delete those messages or ignore those ads tempting you to get "help"
  • Use University Resources onlyif you stick to using University Resources for tutoring and learning help, you know you'll be doing it with integrity.
  • Be Honest - if it's a friend, let them know why you feel uncomfortable helping them (i.e., it's not fair or honest, and you don't want either of you to get in trouble).
    • If it's a site/person offering to help you, report them to
  • Redirect - if it's a friend, redirect them to the legitimate UCSD resources for help - like the professor, IA or the Commons - or help them in a way that wouldn't be cheating
  • Ask yourself - would I want my action to be known? This is called the Exposure Test - if you wouldn't be comfortable with your professor or the AI Office finding out what you did, then don't do it!

Friends and toxic "help" sites can be very convincing. It takes a lot of courage and presence of mind to stay true to your values and your long-term goals. But we know you can do it!