Updated: Jan 27
More than 50 Belmont students are being investigated for cheating on their WELL Core credits.
At one of the convocations under investigation, a headcount only accounted for 60 people, but 131 reported being there.
Two event organizers tracked attendance inconsistencies and reported them to the WELL Core office.
“We had a couple of WELL Core event sponsors contact us and as they were inputting people, they saw that the reported attendance for their event was larger than either the headcount they had or even the capacity of the room. And in one case, more than three times the capacity of the room,” said Nathan Griffith, director of general education.
WELL Core is a graduation requirement for all Belmont students. Most students have a required 60 credits in six different categories, though this can vary depending on transfer credits.
After learning of the reports, the WELL Core office held a meeting on Oct.10 to discuss academic misconduct and its ramifications on a community.
“They asked us a lot of questions, they wanted a lot of group discussions, it was a lot of ‘how would you feel if you were in our shoes’,” said freshman Abigail Jester.
“They told us they invited everyone to the meeting that were at these two WELL Core events specifically, even though there were people they knew for sure hadn’t committed academic misconduct, and then there were also people who they thought might have or they thought might have shared the code and then there were people they knew for sure did it.”
Jester was upset she was asked to go, even though she’d done nothing wrong.
“I feel like I just wasted my time. I really like WELL Core, I love going to the events. It feels a little unfair that I have to waste my time and come,” she said. “I missed another WELL Core event that I wanted to go to, to go to that meeting.”
Emails were sent after the meeting to students, letting them know whether they were under investigation for concerns of misconduct. Some students were asked to provide evidence of their attendance.
Issues like these call into question the opinion of WELL Core programming amongst Belmont students. For Jester, the events were extremely valuable and rewarding.
“If you are going to the events, it’s going to help you,” said Jester. “If you don’t go to them, it’s only to a detriment to yourself. You’re only hurting yourself. I feel like that’s punishment enough in itself, that you don’t get to take part in these opportunities.”
Griffith and the WELL Core office are asking students to make sure their attendance gets marked while they are at the event.
This means that if a QR code does not work, students should ask the event organizer to write down their name, BUID and Belmont email address. Doing this ensures their attendance is properly recorded in the system.
The WELL Core office plans to pursue cases of attendance fraud as brought to their attention by event organizers.
This article was written by Katie-Beth Cannon