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April 11, 2024

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    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
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Spring Housing Guide

Academic Honesty Policy revisions after nine years

After nine years of the academic honesty policy being enforced by the University, revisions are just around the corner.

The purpose of revising the policy will be to create fair consequences among students who have chosen to be dishonest when engaging in their academic work, said David Neely, vice president of the Undergraduate Student Government.

The academic policy expects students to be honest when conducting their academic work by not plagiarizing or cheating. If students are caught doing so, consequences could include expulsion, suspension, having to withdraw from a course or many other results, according to the Academic Honesty Policy on the University’s website.

Neely said he has been tackling the revision process with the president of the organization, Alex Solis.

“We’ve been working on it for a little over a year,” Neely said. “It’s very out dated.”

The current policy can be challenging to understand and read.

“The procedure to appeal a case as a student isn’t the easiest,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure students are well represented and get a fair trial in a case when they’re faced with plagiarism.”

The new policy will not only result in fair punishments after being academically dishonest but will include positive outcomes allowing students to learn from their mistakes.

“The policy has no learning outcomes to it and it punishes people for being academically dishonest as opposed to ever having a learning outcome,” Neely said.

Neely’s main goal is to make revisions to the policy, allowing students to be treated fairly depending on how dishonest they were when doing their academic assignments.

“The same procedure and punishment are applied to those who plagiarize one line or those who plagiarize an entire paper, which is unfair to students,” he said.

Senior Anthony Cornwell agrees that the policy can result in harsh punishments that shouldn’t always take place.

“I believe it’s fair for students to have [different consequences] because sometimes students may forget to cite the smallest thing,” Cornwell said. “Things like that should result in points being taken off of an assignment rather than getting kicked out of school.”

Despite the revisions creating fairness, he believes the current policy should stay the same.

“I don’t think it should be revised,” Cornwell said. “Some things just should be left the same and untouched.”

However, senior Cathryn Winters thinks that the new policy is a good idea.

“We’re students; we make mistakes,” Winters said.

Neely and the collaborators who will help discuss the new honesty policy will give students a chance to better accommodate them when making those possible mistakes.

“We’re looking for ways to collaborate with faculty and students so that we all have a say in the new policy and so that it’s more accommodating,” Neely said. “[Also possibly allowing the policy to have] a better outcome instead of just punishment for students who plagiarize purposely or accidently.”

Winters explained that if she used an improper citation it was due to being unaware.

“If I [incorrectly cited] the source it was merely from a lack of knowledge of proper citation at the time,” Winters said. “I believe the academic honesty policy should be revised for those who have small infractions and who simply [incorrectly cite] from a lack of understanding.”

Regardless of being unaware of how to properly give credit to a source, she acknowledged that plagiarism isn’t her style.

“For me, plagiarizing wasn’t worth it,” Winters said. “I would say that the reason I don’t plagiarize my work [is] because I want it to be my work.”

The revisions have been embraced by both students and faculty.

“I know for a fact that faculty has voiced their opinion … that they’re not overwhelmingly pleased with how the policy is written right now,” Neely said.

Therefore, the revisions for the academic honesty policy are on the way soon.

A committee consisting of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members and administrators will possibly meet in mid-July or early August to discuss revisions to the current academic honesty policy.

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