February 25, 2008
Did the dog really eat your homework?
By CAROL CLARK
Konstantin Boroda was annoyed when a classmate asked him for the answers to an assignment. “I told him I didn’t think it was fair because it took me a long time to do the work,” recalls Boroda, a pre-med student. “But then he said that his grandfather had died and he’d had an extremely hard week.” Later, he found out the classmate had spent the previous evening at a nightclub.
For the majority of students who work hard to maintain academic integrity, the few who try tactics like plagiarism or sponging off others are not sympathetic figures.
“I see college as a training ground for life, and I’ve definitely grown while I was here,” Boroda says. “I’ve learned that you can’t give people things if they don’t work for them. In the long term, it doesn’t really help them.”
Boroda focuses on helping those who are looking for a hand up, not a hand-out. At the start of his junior year last fall, he joined BASE (Bridging Academics, Service and Ethics at Emory), a live-in program that builds community through service projects.
Geshe Thupten Jinpa, the translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, met with the BASE students last fall. “He really inspired me,” Boroda says. “He told us that people with money and nice cars have immediate happiness that comes from excitement and novelty. But achieving true happiness is something beyond that, it comes from helping others.”