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Community Standards:

The editorial comment that we either have Community Standards or we don’t is a little simplistic and naive. Sure, we have community standards, which are often broken. How many times do students read a write up from the Study Group without having first read and analyzed the case themselves? How many times have you seen students making last minute edits (even though the exam time has officially ended) while standing in printing lines in Aldrich. In a perfect world, it would be nice to have some idealized notion that we have community standards or we don’t; but please, get real.

In the real world, people, yes even members of the HBS Community cheat, lie and steal. This does not mean that we should not have a Community Standards Statement, but it means that we recognize human limitations and where and when appropriate, attempt to add extra safeguards. If some professors want their exams supervised, that’s their right and it is completely appropriate. They probably realize although we live in a world of community standards, human beings also have flaws which breech those very same standards. I am glad we have the Community Standards Statement and I support it, but I also realize its limitations and respect that sometimes extra safeguards (like supervised final exams) are both necessary and appropriate.

April 16, 2002
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