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Academic Dishonesty: Not that Simple

Due to the increased number of academic dishonesty cases over the past few years, the administration has taken new measures to try and discourage academic dishonesty. For instance, earlier in the year, the Academic Honor Committee hosted required information sessions to teach students how to properly cite sources. The meetings were an attempt to quell any uncertainty of the rules students might have had.

In addition, a new honor pledge, which would appear on all major assessments and serve as a reminder for students not to cheat, is currently in the works.

While this statement was created with the intention of encouraging more students to think before cheating or plagiarizing, it is important to realize that many factors exist that contribute to the rise in AHC cases. If the only things causing students to cheat and plagiarize were complete ignorance of and disdain for the rules, then the statement would solve the problem, but academic dishonesty is just not that simple. There is no one thing or one group to blame.

An increase in student stress levels from hectic schedules and a more competitive college admissions process cause students to become desperate to earn high grades while getting work done quickly. In order to remain competitive for college admission, students often take on a course load that is too challenging for them to handle.

The competitive environment puts an emphasis on grades rather than learning. Students are more likely to want to simply “get through” their homework rather than really think about the assignment when they are pressed for time.

While we like to think it is possible for students to do everything, we need to realize that this is no longer realistic. Faculty and administration need to continue to examine our schedule and make changes as necessary so that students are less likely to feel that desperation to complete their work on time.
And students: please remain honest. When you think of taking a shortcut, remember not only that you risk getting in serious trouble, but also that you are ignoring our values and are contributing to the creation of an environment which emphasizes grades and college admission over learning and trust.

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