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A chink in the armor: Do Devilish Deeds really reward knights?

Courtesy of Jana Abdul Samad

Courtesy of Jana Abdul Samad

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Character Counts revamped their “Devilish Deeds” program this year. The program, which allows people to recognize students and staff who exemplify the six pillars of character, didn’t have a lot of participation in prior years. We believe that as wonderful as this increased participation is, an inevitable side effect of it is people cheating the system for their own benefit. In fact, this problem has already surfaced.

The changes in the program this year include allowing people to easily nominate others by clicking on a link on the school’s website, and giving nominees cookies. Ms. Melissa Jensen, a science teacher and Character Counts sponsor, has noticed increased participation as a result of these changes.

“Last year we would get about ten a month. This last set was over 100 in just two weeks,” Jensen said.

However, this easier access allows people to nominate just about anyone. “One of my friends was telling me that she sent a cookie to someone as a joke,” said Sunil Dommaraju, sophomore.

“We’ve definitely had a couple of funny ones where people have nominated themselves or their parents have nominated them. And that’s really not what it’s supposed to be,” Jensen said.

The Character Counts club does acknowledge this problem, and has implemented measures to help combat this.

“We look over all of them and make sure that they are not ones where they are trying to use bad words, or make fun of somebody, or, like I said earlier, nominate themselves,” Jensen said. Those types of nominations are subsequently discarded.

“We require the nominator to write what the other student did to deserve the Devilish Deed, hopefully eliminating some of the friends nominating friends,” said Evan Blust, senior, who helped revamp the program.

Although we recognize that most people use this program for the right reason, we are still alarmed by the number of instances in which people cheat this program. Simply put, we believe that cheating the system to earn or give a Devilish Deed won’t feel right in the end. And honestly, while it can be a nice surprise to anyone’s day, we don’t see the big deal in receiving a Devilish Deed. Those same cookies are a dollar in the cafeteria. In order to make nice deeds memorable, people shouldn’t get a reward for them. Nice deeds should simply be expected.

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A chink in the armor: Do Devilish Deeds really reward knights?