Cryptography

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Tag: Honor Council

Academic Integrity 101: Winning the Right Way

In this seminar, members of the undergraduate honor council gave a presentation on different aspects of the honor council and academic integrity. This consisted of personal stories about what integrity means to the students, and also a few hypothetical examples to show the different situations where one may have to make a choice about what the right thing to do is.

The presentation started with the vice president of the honor council discussing how academic integrity affects her. She said that the reason that she joined the honor council and why she holds integrity so highly comes from her goals for medical school and eventually becoming a doctor. She says that when she becomes a doctor, she wants her patients to have full, complete trust in her. She believes that she can only provide that if she makes it through undergrad and medical school on her own merit, and not by cheating off of someone else.

The next segment was about how plagiarism isn’t always just direct copying and pasting. They showed this my providing many different examples of plagiarism where the work wasn’t cited. This included paraphrasing, changing a couple of words, and using a catchy phrase used by someone else. The next part of the presentation was similar to what we did in class on tophat. There were different scenarios presented, and people in the audience had to determine if the scenario was or was not an honor code violation, and also what they would do instead. These were a bit more obvious that the ones we did in class, and honestly, they weren’t very helpful. It was clear what the right answer was, and they weren’t the kinds of questions that would help me in the future if I was trying to determine what choice to make.

The last section was a presentation by the president about what integrity means to him. He told a story from his childhood about a time when he lied to his mother about his school work and she caught him. After that incident, his mom put a quote in his room that said “a good person is one who does the right thing when nobody is looking”. I also believed that this was a great quote, because integrity is something that defines a good person, and a truly good person will always be honest and will always do what’s right.

Academic Integrity Defines You

The Honor Council’s perspective on academic integrity revolved around violations being more than just cheating on a test or collaborating on an assignment. They positioned that how you conduct yourself at a critical time demonstrates the sort of student you are. This idea even extends beyond one’s academic career; it also represents the kind of person one will be after graduation.

The Vice President of the Honor Council, Nitya Venkat, presented a personal example that explains this approach to the honor code. Venkat is an aspiring medical student who wants to practice as a doctor in the near future. She explained that if she has graduated from medical school and is taking her own patientens, they instill a form of trust in her. This is not just the trust that she provides the right medical care, but it is the trust that she has become a doctor through trustworthy means and has the adequate knowledge to provide professional care. A patient’s trust exists because they assume positive intent, but this faith relies on the integrity of each prospective doctor being kept. Venkat stated that this concept extends beyond just the medical field: it can apply to all professions.

Several members of the Honor Council also provided their unique insight into what the honor code was to them and a breakdown of specific characteristics. One aspect that stood out was the fact that the honor code is nothing new. In fact, it has existed since 1875 and used to just be, “On my word and honor as a gentleman, I have neither given nor received help on this examination.” The Honor Council highlighted the fact that it’s changing and adapting to the times; it has always been used to uphold student accountability. After all, everything a Vanderbilt student does is not just a reflection of themselves but the community that they belong to. That is why it is so important to hold students to this standard.

Overall, the Honor Council advised to never be afraid to ask when uncertain if an action could be a breach of the honor code. Following the honor code ensures that one does not rob themselves or the professors and faculty of the investment made in students.

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