Nearly four years after adopting the new Academic Honesty Policy, most faculty and students are satisfied with the current policy.Under the old Academic Honesty Policy, professors had to provide written evidence — exams, papers, Internet sources — of the student’s violation to the College Board on Academic Honesty without attending the hearing, unless the professor was specially invited.”What happened was that it was so much trouble to report someone and only the most severe cases went to the board,” chairman of the chemistry department and member of the 1999 committee to re-evaluate and re-write the college policy on academic honesty Bill Jones said. “In the bad old days the administrations demanded total control over the honesty process with no discretion on the part of the professor,” professor of computer science Chris Brown said. The new policy encourages faculty to discuss possible violations with students, then either resolve the matter directly with the student using an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report or pass the matter to the BAH. If a student disagrees with the penalty or denies violating the policy, the matter is then resolved using the old procedure. “In my opinion, I believe that the Policy is working quite well,” Chair of the College Board on Academic Honesty and professor of Physics and Astronomy Nicholas Bigelow said. Most professors agree with the new Academic Honesty Policy. “Individual faculty, including me, follow College procedures and refer instances of possible violation to the Academic Honesty Board for their consideration,” professor of religion and classics Emil Homerin said. “To some extent, this system[of being able to work with students] has worked for me and I have used it with a few students,” professor of religion and classics Anne Merideth said. “To be frank, however, I have grown increasingly frustrated with the extent and frequency of student plagiarism which I find so disheartening.”In the BAH report to the faculty council on Feb. 6, the computer science and the chemistry departments reported more than fifteen incidents in a total case pool of 146 incidents since 1997.

“The ease of pulling things like English papers off the web seems to raise the”danger level in all departments,” Brown said. “Luckily what Google giveth, Google can take away.”

Brown also warned students against plagiarizing. “Students should know that one suspect sentence or code fragment is enough to lead a grader or [professor] right to a purloined source document,” he said.

“There’s always the issue of who is going to be a demon enforcer and who is habitually going to turn a blind eye, but that’s a flaw in any enforcement system I think,” Brown said.

Students also seem to agree with the system. “I never had a problem with it,” senior Christian Schenk said.

Freshman Sia Chow believes that the policy is clear and straightforward.

“I’ve never heard what happens after [a professor] reports to the university,” sophomore Amanda McKim said.

Others are unclear on what the Academic Honesty Policy entails. “I don’t know [about it],” sophomore Liz Runco said.

Schnee can be reached at cschnee@campustimes.org.



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