Honor Code Week

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By Benjamin Engle

In preparation for the launch of Union’s modified academic honor code in the spring, the Academic Affairs Committee Subcouncil on Academic Integrity has been sponsoring the on-going Honor Code Awareness Week.

As part of this promotional campaign, student and faculty members of the committee have been educating students of the impending policy change.

Throughout the week and continuing through Friday, student committee members have been in the Reamer Campus Center and West College Dining Hall with information on the new Honor Code, as well as how to participate on the Honor Court. Dinner and Discussions will be held at various Minerva Houses throughout the awareness week, each focusing on specific department areas.

The Subcouncil will also sponsor a raffle for a Kindle Fire and hand out other prizes throughout the week.

The goal of Honor Code Awareness Week is to help the campus community understand the differences between the former policy and the upcoming honor code. The implementation of the new academic honor code is the result of almost seven years of research, development and modifications.

The Subcouncil on Academic Integrity was established after a cheating incident occurred in a Mechanical Engineering class. The involved students were required to research issues of academic integrity and honor codes. In 2005, Union students recommended that the college should look into drafting an honor code.

After the strong support for an Honor Code/Council, the draft plans for the pledge and council were underway.

Starting this spring, Honor Code cases will now be heard by a council consisting of more student representatives from the Honor Council.

Union had an Honor Code from 1914 until 1925 when it was repealed via vote. The college will require all students to pledge to abide by the new Honor Code as members of Union’s academic community.

“Honor Codes presume trust between students, faculty and administrators, and are typically enforced by student led-councils,” Subcouncil member Teena Alex ‘15 said. “In signing the pledge, the students commit themselves to full academic honesty and accountability and to fostering an environment conducive to learning.”

The Subcouncil believes that there will be a greater emphasis on academic integrity as students sign the pledge, as well as through the emphasis the faculty place in their syllabi. Also, under Union’s new Honor Code, the student Honor Council Chair and Dean of Students will review all proposed violations to the Code.

“Students can get involved by attending the Honor Code Awareness Week and picking up applications and signing up to apply for positions and to get more information regarding the code and the council,” Alex added.

“When we have enough applicants and they are fully trained to be a part of the student-led Honor Council, we will fully implement the Honor Code campus-wide.”

Students who are interested in applying to become a member of the new Honor Council or would like more information on how the new Honor Code will affect their studies at Union are encouraged to email the Subcouncil at honorcode@union.edu. The Honor Code can be read in its entirety here.

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