How to Say No to Classmates & Friends

As a student, it is important to uphold the values of integrity. Sometimes, your friends or classmates may ask you to assist them with their work, which could be an academic offence, and we recognize it can be challenging to say no.

First, ensure you are not breaking any academic rules by assisting them. You can refer to Policy 71, you can ask your instructor, or you can contact our office

If your classmates or friends are asking you to engage in academic misconduct - it is important to have the courage to say no.

Committing an academic offence, or assisting someone in committing an academic offence, can have a direct impact on your grades, your degree, and your future. Read below for some responses you can use if a friend or classmate approaches you. 


If an academic offence has occurred, under Policy 71 you must report the misconduct to the course instructor and/or the Associate Dean of the Faculty. Although you may be reluctant to report your friend or classmate, identifying academic misconduct helps create a level playing field for everyone and a upholds a culture of integrity. Moreover, it ensures the quality and credibility of a degree from the University of Waterloo.

Here are some tips to report misconduct:

  • Do not investigate the misconduct on your own
  • If you have been made aware that another student has committed an academic offence, e-mail the instructor and/or the Associate Dean of your Faculty your concern and any evidence that you have
  • If are uncomfortable alerting the instructor and/or the Associate Dean of your Faculty, e-mail the Office of Academic Integrity - we'd be happy to alert the relevant parties on your behalf