code is needed to increase students integrity
Jose Luis Hernandez
Last week, the House of Student Representatives agreed
on a resolution to establish a campus-wide task force
dedicated to the promotion of academic integrity and
the development of a student-initiated honor code. Also,
a consensus was reached with regards to the establishment
of an honor agreement.
The proposed honor agreement reads, We pledge
ourselves to the continuous pursuit of personal and
academic integrity through honesty, trust, responsibility
By approving the resolution, members of the House of
Student Representatives became the first students here
to formally accept the new honor agreement. This action
constituted a formal commitment by TCU students to academic
The question is, why do we need a formal statement or
perhaps an honor code to remind us that academic honesty
is expected? The truth of the matter is, many of us
still take academic integrity very frivolously. The
statistics are alarming.
According to a nation-wide survey conducted by Duke
Universitys Center for Academic Integrity, 41
percent of college students admitted to plagiarism on
written assignments, and 30 percent said they cheated
during tests. It is true that academic competition at
any respected university is extraordinary, but I still
believe there are methods other than academic dishonesty
to achieve our academic goals.
I strongly agree with the recently proposed honor agreement.
It serves beneficial purposes. First of all, it reminds
us of the universitys expectations and our responsibilities
as students regarding academic integrity. The honor
agreement calls for TCU students to uphold four fundamental
values: honesty, trust, responsibility and courage.
Honesty begins with ourselves. It is our responsibility
to be honest with our professors and classmates. According
Princeton Universitys Rights and Rules, Observing
basic honesty in ones words, ideas and actions
is a principle to which all members of the community
are required to subscribe. When we observe this
basic honesty in our work, we begin to build
trust among ourselves.
I truly believe trust is essential in our quest for
knowledge and the determination of our academic goals.
Having an honor code does not mean that a university
or any given institution is suspicious of academic dishonesty.
On the contrary, it means that the institution has agreed
to give the student total freedom to do as he or she
ought to regarding academic integrity. As a result,
the level of trust increases and the university gains
prestige in that it shows the community that academic
and personal integrity is at a high level.
It is our responsibility to establish an atmosphere
of trust here at TCU. It is our duty to uphold academic
integrity. According to the CAI, Being responsible
means taking action against wrong doing despite peer
pressure, fear, loyalty or compassion. That, my
friends, is courage.
We now have an honor agreement. This new honor agreement
sets the standard for the creation of a student initiated
honor code. The student initiated effort has begun.
I hope that the administration will support the proposed
honor agreement and the efforts of students in the pursuit
of developing ways to promote academic integrity at
TCU. It is up to all of us to make a difference. It
is our responsibility to act.
columnist Jose Luis Hernandez is a student representative
and freshman music major from Reynosa, Mexico.