The Associated Students of University of La Verne is trying to get students’ opinions on a potential school-wide honor code. They specifically are wondering if professors can trust students alone in a room with an exam, if this code were to be in place.
According to ASULV and the administration, the goal of the school-wide honor code is to protect academic integrity and to uphold academic honesty.
An honor code is a pledge made by the students stating that they will not cheat and they will uphold their university’s academic honesty policy.
Janis Dietz, professor of business administration, first proposed this idea to the administration about two years ago. She then presented it to ASULV.
The reason for implementing this honor code is to make the school a more honest learning environment and so students would feel good about going to a school that values honesty.
According to research at other universities, introducing an honor code has been successful.
Institutions such as Stanford University, Baylor University and the College of William and Mary have seen a noticeable decline in academic dishonesty after implementing their honor codes.
“Right now there is an academic honesty section in the university catalog,” Andrea Naccache, ASULV vice president of finance, said.
“But it is written by the faculty and administration, so they want a policy written by the students and one that the students really want,” Naccache said.
The anonymous survey asks whether the student has cheated, how they feel if and when they cheat and if they would sign an honor code.
ASULV wants to ensure student opinions were taken into account and that the honor code was worth executing.
“Trying to gather student feedback is the hard part,” Nick Sloot, ASULV president, said.
“We are still on step one of 50 steps to implement; there is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” Sloot said.
After the survey is pulled, the information will then be taken to the administration to present the feedback from the students.
If the survey finds that students are in favor of the code, there will be a judicial board assigned to construct the new code consisting of some faculty, administration and a student representative.
They will decide the course of action taken in the event that the code is broken, as well as, setting guidelines for what constitutes cheating.
According to ASULV, having a judicial board to determine these guidelines ensures a more consistent form of punishment within the La Verne campus as opposed to the current system in place.
Currently, each department determines the guidelines and punishment when those guidelines are broken.
Due to this, some departments seem to be more lenient than others, which may encourage cheating within the student body.
“My hope is that whether or not students accept the honor code, there will be an agreement of faculty, administration and students on a concise definition of academic honesty and the consequences students will face.” Naccache said.
“From the surveys we have we can’t really tell if students want it or not…it’s almost 50/50,” Sloot said.
Out of 15 students interviewed by the Campus Times, only seven said they would sign the honor code.
The reason students are hesitant to take the survey is because they do not want to sign a document on which they have not been fully informed.
“I would sign it when it was clear on its speculations,” Mirrella Bautista, freshman liberal studies major, said. “Not now when they just want us to go and sign it.”
Students thus far have had somewhat of a misunderstanding concerning the honor code’s purpose.
Many seem to be under the impression that the code is written and ready to be implemented, when in fact it is simply a survey to get their opinion on the matter.
Currently the survey has not received much response and ASULV is still looking for more students to take the survey.
To take the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/ULV_Honor_Code.
Veronica Sepulveda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.