Dooley is Watching: Know the Honor Code

Many students have not heard of the Honor Code (HC) since on the first day of class, students tend to casually skip over the section of the HC on their syllabus to “more important” sections such as grading and the exam schedule.

Therefore, many students remain unaware of the pertinent and impactful information buried in the HC. This code is not a mystical set of rules that King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table had to abide by, nor is it a player’s book for good ole’ Southern gentleman to follow in order to impress their Southern Belles.

Emory’s HC is a unique set of standards and guidelines established to promote academic integrity and to fulfill Emory’s mission of fostering a well-renowned academic and research institution.

As the first article submitted by the Committee for Academic Integrity (CAI) mentioned, academic integrity allows students to maintain the value of their Emory degrees, to establish fairness and to distinguish between universal rights and wrongs.

Thus, as Emory students, we should internalize the HC. It is our best vehicle to promote academic integrity, which will then enable us to reap the benefits of such a concept.

Yes, the HC includes multiple components that can be rather tedious to peruse. Some of these components are about the creation of the Honor Council, and others are about jurisdiction, etc.

But, let’s be real, we as students only care about HC violations and the consequences of being found guilty of committing these violations. Therefore, we present in this article the three types of academic misconduct most common on campus:

Plagiarism constitutes un-cited paraphrasing or direct copying of another person’s work, whether in a paper, on an exam or for a homework assignment.

Unauthorized assistance means that in the process of completing an assignment, students use something like an old exam or another student’s help when the professor specifically prohibited such actions.

For example, if you use an EPASS tutor to complete a take-home exam when the professor only allows the use of your book and notes, you have committed the violation of seeking unauthorized assistance.

Additionally, if students give assistance when disallowed, those students are equally in violation of the HC.

False information given to a professor in attempting to gain academic advantage is another serious offense of the HC. As an example, if a student attempts to persuade his professor to move a test date by giving an untrue excuse like his grandmother has passed away, then he could be brought before the Honor Council.

We must also be aware, or beware, of the consequences of HC violations.

These consequences are potentially devastating to one’s academic career and professional aspirations. Consequences can include an “F” in the course with a two-year mark on one’s academic record, suspension, or even expulsion. Also, keep in mind the magnitude of the violation determines which sanction a student will receive.

Imagine if you were found guilty and received an “F” in the course and a two-year mark, which is the most common punishment. Receiving an “F” in the course will affect your GPA, and when applying to jobs or schools, employers and admissions officers will be made aware of your HC offense.

Other than academic penalties, academic misconduct usually results in personal consequences. Going before the Honor Council is a stressful process that generally takes between two and three weeks, which will interfere with other activities and classes.

We have merely pointed to some of the violations and possible sanctions found in the HC. If you would like to know more or have questions, check out the HC online at: http://college.emory.edu/home/academic/policy/honor_code.html

As “finals season” arrives, we must remember the HC. Sleepless nights and stressful days are imminent, and the temptation to seek unauthorized help or plagiarize may become harder to ignore.

However, academic integrity should be an integral part of who we are as an Emory community.

Hopefully this article has cleared up some misconceptions about what academic misconduct is and what kind of consequences can result from violations of the HC. Thus, we can continue to represent ourselves and Emory University as best as we can.

The Committee for Academic Integrity is a subgroup of the Honor Council.