Student Misconduct

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Why is it necessary for a university to establish a code of conduct? The University of Florida’s answer is in the following quote, “The University of Florida is an institution which encourages the intellectual and personal growth of its students as scholars and citizens. As an educational institution, the University recognizes that the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, and the development of individuals require the free exchange of ideas, self-expression, and the challenging of beliefs and customs. In order to maintain an environment where these goals can be achieved safely and equitably, the University promotes civility, respect, and integrity among all members of the community. As stated in the Standard of Ethical Conduct, students are expected to exhibit high standards of behavior and concern for others. The University strives to protect and guide the educational community by establishing a Student Conduct Code and student judicial system, which promotes individual and social responsibility” (Electronic). The code of conduct is a legacy document existent in some of the first universities. Why do Universities deem it necessary to implement such a code? A code of conduct is necessary to inform students about the rules of engagement in the academic environment and attempt to preserve academic integrity and prevent infractions such as plagiarism. What constitutes misconduct in the academic environment? What are some examples of misconduct in the student environment? Why is it important for a student to understand and be familiar with the code of conduct? Students who do not understand the university's established code of conduct are more likely to perform infractions of misconduct. Not understanding these rules can negatively affect not only the individual's academic progress but the team's established goals and academic performance as well. Information is power. Universities should implement briefings and presentations to increase the awareness of an individual’s expectations concerning the code of conduct.

Ward Churchill was dismissed from his position at the University of Colorado. Bindu Ganga was fired from Argosy University in Chicago and had her Doctorate stripped away. Edward Waters College even lost its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools temporarily. All because they neglected to properly attribute source material they used in their writings. They plagiarized. Failing to give proper credit can cost you a good grade on a paper, a passing grade in a course, a degree, or even your career. Just ask Jayson Blair, formerly of the New York Times. Some students are unaware that they are committing misconduct when they plagiarize something that they have read somewhere and then they write it in their paper. When trying to look beyond the usual reasons for copying someone else’s work: fear, laziness, and the belief that everyone does it, studies have been performed to try to identify exactly why people plagiarize. Sometimes it is accidental, as shown in a 2006 study on plagiarism performed by students at the University Of Georgia Department Of Psychology. They found that "people may not spontaneously attempt to recollect sources and either largely ignore this important cognitive component of the task or, perhaps, are able to neglect it altogether", and "despite being admonished not to copy, participants who performed… tasks inadvertently plagiarized a significant number of items that were originally offered from another external source, and they did so truly believing, as assessed by confidence ratings, that their new contribution was a novel item devised by their own innovation". Although most of the time it is intentional. There are many reasons not to plagiarize. It is dishonest, lazy and beneath a college students’ expected level of behavior. With the introduction of networked computers, which allow easy access to documents around the world and the ability to store vast...
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