Seniors push for honor code

Nicole Celli

The proposal of a new honor code that would mandate students to sign a pledge of academic integrity for every assignment, paper or exam awaits the next Faculty Senate meeting.

Seniors Emily Callahan and Jaclyn Wood, both members of the Academic Integrity Board, are pushing the initiative to up the stakes for academic integrity on campus.

“An honor code goes beyond cases of plagiarism and cheating–it’s a change of lifestyle and culture for the school, and I think it’s something that can improve the university as a whole, not only reputation-wise but by creating a better environment for everybody,” Callahan said.

With the honor code, students would sign another pledge about integrity and their responsibilities on campus that states: “On my honor as a Quinnipiac University Student, I pledge to uphold the commitment of integrity and responsibility bestowed upon me through this academic community.”

Emily Callahan, right, listens to Jaclyn Wood discuss plans for a new system of academic integrity at Quinnipiac. (Photo by Joe Pelletier)

In addition, students would sign a pledge with every assignment, paper or exam that states “On my Honor as a Quinnipiac University student, I pledge that I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this assignment.”

As of Monday, the proposal is in the hands of Associate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Ed Kavanagh, who will present the proposal to the Faculty Senate for consideration in two weeks.

According to Callahan, who experienced a similar system during her semester at sea, an honor code would make the academic integrity system more student-driven, as students would be more involved in the process.

“Once it becomes part of the campus culture, I think it’ll just be something that is respected and recognized by all students that come here in the future,” Callahan said.

Learning Center Director Bernard Grindel is the faculty member of the Academic Integrity Board guiding Callahan and Wood through the process. He said the pledge would not replace the current academic integrity code. It would be a more visible sign of agreeing to it.

“We’re looking at this as a more educational opportunity so that people are able to understand the values of this university community that they’ve entered has started to embody those and uphold those, so that it’s easier for the next group to come along and do the same,” Grindel said. “I think that’s where the honor code policy is trying to get to – to instill a sense of ownership amongst the students about academic integrity.”