Students discuss honor code

“I commit to uphold the ideals of honor and integrity by refusing to betray the trust bestowed upon me as a member of the Georgia Tech community.”

If the lines look familiar, it is probably because nearly every classroom on campus has this statement, engraved onto a plaque at the entrance. It is the Georgia Tech Honor Challenge. Many pass it not knowing what those words actually mean and what their relevance and importance is. It is what students abide each day here at Tech.

Cheating and plagiarism have and always will be a challenge in society. Hence, enforcing it is one of the biggest challenges with which all administrators have to deal.

Professors have tried to deal with this issue, be it in copying homework or cheating off of another exam. Recently, CS professors have encouraged that students work with each other regarding solutions. Although this is the policy in most classes, in the CS department, professors have asked students to list collaborators along with the homework. This helps give people a sense of accountability and makes sure that they are wary of the honor code.

Despite the various methods professors implement, certain students feel that there is negligence regarding the honor code.

“The honor code is not taken seriously by students at Tech—not at all,” said Smruti Keshani, a first-year ARCH major.

“The fact that each student must write on each assignment if they worked on the assignment alone, or if they took help from another, makes the students conscious of doing their own work properly. This action…can work on some minds…[but] those who want to cheat will still cheat no matter [what even] if they have to write some extra words on a paper,” Keshani said when hearing about the policy of the CS department.

While college helps most mature so that they can face challenges in the real world, some students feel that cheating and plagiarism at Tech are not given a fair trial and that a much better job can be done in enforcing the honor code and the like.

“I think that the process that is taken for the honor code violations is not dealt with very well…I don’t think the honor code is usually thought of as a deterrent for cheating, but it’s more of [a] moral compass of most of our students,” said Whitney Wright, a fourth-year CEE major.

Others feel the honor code is not enforced the way that it should be and that much can be done to gear it toward violation prevention.

“I think that actions taken against those [who] violate the honor code are too harsh. The best course of action would be for more assignments, especially in science classes, to be submitted online to easily check for plagiarism,” said Amruta Divan, a first-year IAML major.

Regardless of student opinion, cheating and plagiarism are considered intolerable at Tech.

Thus, different methods of enforcement and punishments will appear over upcoming years.


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