On the front page of today’s Sydney Morning Herald it was reported that “students are increasingly paying impersonators to sit their exams”. However Honi Soit understands that the apparent ‘scandal’ constitutes around two incidents identified at the University of Sydney in the past five years.
The exclusive was based around a report into academic misconduct that was published on the University’s website in July, and emailed to all students. The review, also included with the SMH’s story, does not focus on the scandalous trend. The “increase” that it refers to is one that has been noted at other institutions internationally.
But how long is five years really? After all, these are the things that only happen twice in five years:
- The Olympics (in certain stretches of five years). (if anyone’s interested, this is ⅖ five year periods)
- The number of times you can be caught drink driving on your full license.
- The amount of time you have to get off your L’s before you have to re-sit your L’s test (this Honi can confirm from experience).
- Halley’s Comet (if you widen your definition of five years the same way you can widen your definition of “rapidly rising substitution and impersonation” to include twice in five years).
Indeed, the Sydney Morning Herald has itself downsized TWICE in SEVEN YEARS, perhaps indicating some sort of scandalous plan to vanish altogether – as it will in spirit – before the end of the decade.
Furthermore, it has been alleged that SMH journalists have taken to using impersonators to produce their own stories, many of whom understand that successful investigation has to involve international students, and preferably those who are cheating good honest Aussie kids. SMH supervisors, who circulate the bullpen checking people’s IDs to confirm journalists are actually who they say they are while they write stories, were apparently fooled by a white piece of paper which said “this is Alexandra Smith, education correspondent”, while the diminutive man who typed copy said in a gruff voice “yeah it’s really me”. These impersonated stories can be identified by a laidback approach to fact checking and a hyperbolic tone.
Honi Soit thanks @kloussikian for getting to the story first on Twitter.