Cheating at the Masquerade?

For teachers, cheating at the Masquerade may be a new topic, but for students it happens every year.



A photo of the ballot table at the Masquerade where students would vote.

Lucas Bartolomey

The costume contest is one of the main parts of the Masquerade every year. The contest is one, if not, the biggest parts of the dance, to get the students to wear or make their best costumes. Yet, every year the contest is rigged by students who put their costume in the ballot more than they should.

Students cheating at the Masquerade is not a new concept for me, a senior who has gone to the dance all four years, and I’m sure fellow students have noticed as well. It’s suspicious to see the same people at the voting table for 10 minutes, and to see those people become the winners. People consistently voting over fifty times for them self or their group is not fair to the other people who are voting for their friends or someone they see who they believe should win. The ballot was different this year. The cheaters were not the winners.

Why the Cheaters Cheat

The answer is simple, they want money. When you win one of the categories, you will receive an amount of money. At the Masquerade 2018, the prize was $10, but this year the prize money was raised to $20. The stakes were higher, but I don’t believe the students knew. I think it’s nice to get money for your costume. However, it might cause students to only go for the prize.

If a student knows that there is a possibility to win money, it will increase likely hood of them cheating. This the first year where the people who cheated saw that the staff tallied votes differently. The teachers must have saw that there were many ballots written with the same or similar handwriting, or that there was extensive amount of the same vote.

What Could Be Changed

There is a way for the Masquerade’s Costume Contest to be for fair. Suggested by fellow students, the host of the dance could create a Google form for the attendees, and have a sign of the link at the Masquerade. Thus, the hosts can check the number of answers. If the number of answers is larger then the number of attendees, then someone has cheated. The staff running the masquerade would have full control over the form and be able to see what is happening. The flow of the dance would be better as well. As a result, the voting would be more accessible and convenient.

I believe that this year was better then the past couple years. It’s a good feeling seeing someone who didn’t think they had a chance of winning, end up being a fan favorite. The teachers should have been supervising the voting from the beginning, but I understand them trusting the students. I hope the teacher’s continue to monitor the votes in future years, to give the people who deserve it, a chance to win.