Dear Wittenberg Students:
Most of us are honest. In fact, most of us believe we are more honest than many of the other people we know. So, why is it that more than 70% of college students admit to at least one instance of serious cheating in their college careers. The truth is that students cheat for a number of reasons, including competition for grades, the perception that everyone else is cheating, and a culture of permissiveness that seems to tolerate and even reward dishonesty. How often do we stop to think about how cheating negatively influences the kind of assignments our professors make? Or how widespread cheating influences how our professors grade essays and tests? How often do students and professors discuss the issue of cheating and academic honesty? Perhaps more importantly, how often do we stop to consider the benefits of being honest?
As you know, at Wittenberg, we have a Code of Academic Integrity. This policy established an Honor Council whose responsibility it is to help Wittenberg develop an awareness of and appreciation for academic integrity. The policy outlines procedures for resolving allegations of academic dishonesty, and allows for new and, in some cases, more harsh penalties for violating Wittenberg 's standards for academic honesty.
The Wittenberg Honor Council wants to thank you for your support of the code. However, the work of defining our standards for academic integrity and of deciding what, as a community, we expect from each other is an ongoing process. We know that we can count on your continued commitment. Here are a few things you can do to demonstrate your commitment to academic integrity at Wittenberg:
- Pledge your work. Some of your professors may have you write the Honor Statement on your work, while others will simply have you sign your work, indicating that you affirm the Honor Statement. Here is our Honor Statement: "I affirm that my work upholds the highest standards of honesty and academic integrity at Wittenberg, and that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized assistance."
- Refuse to tolerate cheating. First and foremost, don't succumb yourself. Uphold the highest standards and model academic integrity for other students. If you see cheating or plagiarism, talk to that person and try to find out why they would turn to cheating. Usually cheating is a symptom of other problems. Offer to help with those problems.
If you have any questions about the code or procedures, please do not hesitate to contact the Honor Council by emailing the Honor Council Chair. (See "Member Directory" link on the right - the first student listed is the chair.) Thank you.
The Wittenberg Honor Council