Whānau, welcome back to Semester Two. For some of you, welcome back to Auckland, but for everyone here, welcome back to the concrete jungle, where dreams are made of, the University of Auckland.
Whether you have been on break for only a couple of weeks or over a month, it’s hard to get enough of that winter hibernation from thinking about university while we’re fast asleep at 11am surrounded by damp laundry that’s been out drying for three days. As that time comes to an end, it’s time to sharpen your pencils (lol jk, but maybe clean the fingerprints off your laptop screen) and prepare for part two.
If you enjoy being in a crowded room of sweaty teenagers who haven’t showered in days sitting an ‘open-book examination’, then you’ll be returning with an extra spring in your step. In what NZ Herald has hyped up as Earth’s biggest challenge since Thanos, online cheating is running rife and laying the SmackDownTM over the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. As a result, it didn’t take long to come up with the Inspera-tion for this week’s editorial.
It’s raised the question of what place online exams have in fair learning assessment. This is all the more pertinent given the interesting perspective we approach this semester with, knowing it will culminate in online exams yet again.
From the University’s standpoint, they’ve doubled down on their approach, with the Vice-Chancellor telling staff over email that “it is important to keep it in perspective. The group in question is a small subset of the total number currently sitting exams.” While it is amusing how much Dawn chooses to downplay the issue, there is truth in suggesting the issue is not as one-sided as the media make it out to be.
Sophie Steele gauges student opinion on this matter in this week’s Whakarongo Mai, and finds most students don’t have any suggestions on how UoA’s approach could be improved, or think it is working fine. Of course, one student suggests it should be kept in-person. However, we need to be realistic considering the Wellington COVID scare not too long ago.
Of course, we here at Craccum would be the first to point and laugh at Freshwater if she trips up and falls face-first into the mud, but credit should be given where credit is due. Media drama is just that, and it seems in this instance, on an issue where there is no ideal solution, people who want things both ways are speaking the loudest.
While the University so keenly watches us during the exam period, it’s only right that we turn to invigilate them too, and to do so, we have geared up with a new news team lead by Jessica Hopkins as News Editor, and Karanama Ruru (Ngāti Raukawa/Ngāti Maniapoto) as Chief Reporter.
Semester Two will see the trees on Symonds Street turn green again, the AUSA elections, a mostly COVID-vaccinated country, and you, doing your damn best.
Brian Gu (he/him) and Eda Tang (she/her)
Co-Editors of Craccum 2021