Student A had an examination the other day for a course that he liked very much and by a professor that he admires. There were only 4 students in the course.

After the examination he opened his email and saw that another student B sent an email to the professor including:

"It was a difficult examination. I hope you will consider this as our excuse for leniency. We all did the examination entirely on our own. We hope you have nice afternoon and the next month brings you a pleasant surprise just like we expect a pleasant surprise from you due soon!"

(the bold letters were not bold in the email, I just highlighted them for focusing)

Clarification: The email of Student B to the Professor was CCed to all the other Students, including Student A.

There was not any prior communication between students A & B about letting student B talk on behalf of student A.

Given that the examination participants were just a handful, Student A feels deprived of his right of self-expression, not to mention that having somebody telling to the professor that he wrote the examination on his own can be considered from ridiculous to seriously insulting.

What do you think is the right way for student A with respect to his typical relationship with the professor? Is just "letting it go" the best option? Is any kind of "corrective email to the professor denying the representative mentality of Student B", even in the mildest way overreacting and drawing attention when it is not needed?

  • 2
    What does it mean that you know "he opened his e-mail and saw an e-mail from student B?" Was that e-mail formally cc'd to you? Or were you hiding behind the curtain in your professor's office when he was opening his e-mail? Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 18:05
  • 7
    In that case, just forward that e-mail back to only the professor, and simply state that B's e-mail does not reflect your opinion. Best to leave it as is. But you may also comment that the exam was indeed fair. Remember, just the professor; don't hit "Reply All" unless you want to teach student B a lesson, which probably is not your main goal. And what are all those "surprises" about? That's just a plain dumb way to bribe. Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 18:45
  • 4
    Student B is certainly making a fool of himself with this email, but student A seems not to be explicitly cited. I would just ignore the whole thing.
    – Cape Code
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 19:23
  • 5
    I would probably follow @Penguin_Knight's advice on this case. The whiff of bribery, and the fact that B felt the need to say "we did not cheat" makes me wonder if something fishy is going on. Better to be on record as dissenting. That's my view, anyway...
    – avid
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 20:14
  • 4
    The blurb you cite sounds to me, frankly, quite ridiculous. What what the fine point being made? It sounds like a rather dangerous innuendo. It could be interpreted as a sexual advance, an attempt at extortion, collusion, etc. It's just very dangerously worded. I'm at loss how anyone in a graduate-level course (I presume) would ever write something like that. Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


With a class of only 4 students, the email could be interpreted as being sent by the entire class. Normally in this case, the names of the 4 students would be listed in the email.

For a larger class where it is obvious that the email is form an isolated student the best thing to do is to drop it. Making an off hand comment about how crazy the student who sent the email will only put the professor in an awkward situation.

For a small class, a simple email, ideally just to the professor, but reasonably cc'd to everyone, would be to say that student B does not speak for you.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .