The Honor Code of Self and School
My personal goals for reaching my utmost peak of academic performance do include holding the highest regard for self, others, ethics and integrity through my years in the university and beyond. I believe that getting a quality education not only involves expanding one’s discipline and learning important subject matter relevant to the respective worlds that we students will live in later on, but also learning how to fairly and justly deal with others in an honest and ethical manner.
Looking at professors as role models in terms of honesty and being true to self is a good place to begin and I have done just that. This helps me in my goals in being honest and true to myself and not trying to act a certain way simply to please others. Only when one is honest to oneself and not self-deceptive can a person truly be honest with others and avoid deception.
To reiterate more on my definition of academic integrity, I must say that specifically that my academic goals do involve finding myself and finding my true path for life. This obviously involves honesty and also the act of surrounding myself with other people who think and behave in similar ways to either how I already do or in the ways I wish to do in the future.
I want to be successful, so I try to surround myself with others who want or have the same ideal, but I do not wish to nor do I surround myself with people who have come upon their success in an dishonest manner or would be willing to. “It is a short step from dishonesty in schools and colleges to dishonesty in business. It is doubtful that students who fail to develop habits of integrity and honesty while still in an academic setting are likely to do so once they are out in the “real” world. (Hinman, 2004).
What the previous quote sheds light upon is how being dishonest and not showing integrity can impact one’s life. I cannot expect to become the person that I want to be in my future career if I do not learn and practice the best ways of conducting myself now.
This includes me pursuing my academic goals by showing my true self and potential to others, I have to stand out in class as who I am and not just “go along to get along”. If I disagree with something or believe that injustices are going on around me, as far as racism, sexism, or other forms of wrong, I have an obligation to deal with those things appropriately and not ignore them. (Hinman, 2002) believes that one of the pillars of academic integrity. Much of what Hinman writes about is ways of approaching students and faculty in innovative ways to avoid things such as plagiarism, cheating, and other dishonest and disruptive activities on campuses.
He does believe that being honest with oneself and always presenting that side to others is important. I have learned, as stated before in my academic goals, that I will model after my professors who do seem honest and present a consistent way of behaving in an honest manner. Hinman believes that professors can also help in helping others to be honest with themselves by allowing creativity in the classroom. I think that if I can focus on my creative side and not have to constantly be on guard to give professors what they want to hear is important.
Again, if I do not learn and practice these behaviors now, then I risk failing classes and failing in my future. If I cannot confront injustices now, I cannot expect that I will be able to confront them later on in life. Similarly, if I cannot learn to honestly express myself on only produce work that I believe will get me a good grade, then I am only hurting myself for the future.
I see many students only doing the bare minimum to get by to graduate and I believe that this hurts them, as they will later on only do what is necessary for them to get a paycheck and not pay more attention to the important things in life that they get their degrees in. I do not want this to happen to me, so I just need to be conscious of all of these harmful effects now.
Other ways that I can avoid academic dishonesty is by giving credit to others for their work and not committing plagiarism. I need to constantly keep a running bibliography of the things that I read and research to have that in case I need to use quotes for future reference. Cheating is definitely not good behavior and staying away from those who find this acceptable is a good strategy.
If I find out that a classmate is cheating, then I will advise them to speak with their advisor and likewise if someone is thinking about being dishonest, but they have not yet carried out a dishonest act. I can keep in contact with my advisor and other mentors about issues that I am having and continue to seek out other positive role models, who live an honest life. I can also keep a journal which will allow me to keep in touch with my inner self, in cases where I have to take classes that do not inspire my real, creative self.
Although, I may become bored in some classes, I cannot in turn be lazy and turn to cheating to get by. Simply, I have to be aware of all the pitfalls around me and avoid them.
In closing, I am an honest person and am lucky to have other honest people around me. I see a positive future and will not risk having all the things that I have worked for tarnished because of academic dishonesty.
Lawrence M. Hinman, “Academic Integrity and the World Wide Web,” Computers and Society, Vol. 31, No. 1, March 2002, pp. 33-42
Lawrence M. Hinman, “How to Fight College Cheating.” Washington Post, September 3, 2004. A19.