Honor System

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Symbol of Georgia Tech Pride

The Honor Code is a set of ideals that the Georgia Tech learning community adheres to strictly. The Honor Code was created in 1905 and is simply a collection of letters and writings about the Honor Code. The papers also include signatures of students who pledged to uphold the code.[1] The code is meant to foster an environment where individual ideas and thought can grow from other sources without threats of plagiarism or other forms of media theft.[2] The guidelines are meant to ensure that students do not copy or steal from the works of other students and authors.[3] It is meant to hold students accountable for their actions and connect faculty and students through a bond of shared trust and integrity. All incoming freshman student are required to understand and pledge to uphold the principles that the Honor Code entails. [4] The Honor Advisory Council (HAC) provides counseling and support to students who wish to talk about any problems they might be facing regarding the Honor Code.[5] Any student found in violation of the Honor Code is faced with a trial and must prove his or her innocence. Trials are held by the Student Honor Committee who investigate the accusations. [6]


Contents

Honor Code Rules

The Honor Code is broken up into four articles and an appendix. Each section deals with different aspects of the code and the rules that surround the integrity of the campus community. There is also a challenge statement that every freshman says during his or her FASET Orientation.

Georgia Tech Honor Challenge Statement

“I commit to uphold the ideals and honor and integrity by refusing to betray the trust bestowed upon me as a member of the Georgia Tech community.“ [7]

Article I - Honor Agreement

This article of the Honor Code merely states that all students understands the rules and regulations set forth by the articles and that they realize that upholding the honor system is their responsibly and that they will be held accountable for their actions. [8]

Article II – Academic Honor Code

This article of the Honor Code is split into four sections that each deal with a different aspects of it.

Section 1

Section 1 states the purpose of the Honor Code implemented at Georgia Tech. The reasons include the need for trust in the learning process and the potential damage that can be caused without an honor system in an academic society. [9]

Section 2

Section 2 deals with the objectives of the Honor Code. These objectives include:

  • "Ensure that Students, Faculty and Administrators understand that the responsibility for upholding academic honesty at Georgia Tech lies with them;[10]
  • Prevent any Students from gaining an unfair advantage over other Students through academic misconduct;[11]
  • Ensure that Students understand that academic dishonesty is a violation of the profound trust of the entire academic community;[12]
  • Clarify what constitutes academic misconduct among Students at Georgia Tech and what is expected of them by the Institute, the Faculty, and their peers;[13]
  • Cultivate an environment at Georgia Tech where academic dishonesty is not tolerated among the Students;[14]
  • Secure a centralized system of education and awareness of the Academic Honor Code".[15]

Section 3

Section 3 deals with students' responsibilities as a member of the Georgia Tech campus. The article states that all students are expected to act to the highest ethical standard. The section also outlines what is considered as cheating by the institution. These include:

  • "Possessing, using or exchanging improperly acquired written or verbal information in the preparation of any essay, laboratory report, examination, or other assignment included in an academic course;[16]
  • Substitution for, or unauthorized collaboration with, a Student in the commission of academic requirements;[17]
  • Submission of material that is wholly or substantially identical to that created or published by another person or person, without adequate credit notations indicating authorship (plagiarism);[18]
  • False claims of performance or work that has been submitted by the claimant; [19]
  • Alteration or insertion of any academic grade or rating so as to obtain unearned academic credit;[20]
  • Deliberate falsification of a written or verbal statement of fact to a member of the Faculty so as to obtain unearned academic credit;[21]
  • Forgery, alteration or misuse of any Institute document relating to the academic status of the Student."[22]

Section 4

Section 4 offers rights to faculty to change some rules of the Honor Code to their own interpretation. It also provides a list of requirements that the professors must complete in order to create an open environment.

Article III – Honor System

This section is split into three sections that deal with the executive bodies that handle and enforce the rules that are set forth by the Honor Code. [23]

Section 1

Section 1 states that only the Dean of Students Office can be the principle Administer of disciplinary measures. It also states that the Student Honor Committee is given the power to hear all cases of academic misconduct.

Section 2

Section 2 offers methods that students can take to report violations of the Honor Code. These three methods include:

  • A Student may simply desire to confront the fellow Student with the perceived infraction. While this option is most likely to enact widespread change in attitude and behavior among Students (because violators would understand that they are violating the trust of their peers and not some abstract body of people), it is still expected that an alleged violator be taken before the Student Honor Committee if he or she persists in academic misconduct.[24]
  • A Student may choose to approach the professor of the class in which the alleged infraction occurred and seek his or her input on how to proceed. A result of a conference of this type would be the professor's awareness that the alleged violator needs closer monitoring to ascertain reasonable certainty of guilt before being brought before the Student Honor Committee.[25]
  • A Student may choose to seek the advice of an Honor Adviser (see Article III., Section 3). Meetings with Honor Advisers shall address issues of policy and procedure only. Specifics of an individual case are not to be discussed. After a consultation with an Honor Adviser, a Student may choose to submit a formal accusation of academic misconduct to the Office of the Dean of Students.[26]

Section 3

Section 3 deals with the inner workings of Student Honor Advisory Council. For more information, see the “Student Honor Advisory Council” heading.

Article IV - Amending the Academic Honor Code

Article IV deals with the methods involved in amending the Honor Code. These amendments have to be proposed by two thirds vote of both the undergraduate student council and the graduate student senate, or ten percent of the undergraduate and graduate population in the campus. These proposed amendments are then ratified by two-thirds of the votes cast by undergraduate and graduate students. [27]

Appendix A: Graduate Addendum to the Academic Honor Code

The appendix contains two sections titled “Preamble” and “Scholarly Misconduct.” The first section states that the Honor Code plays an integral part in academic activities outside of the classroom. It transitions into the next section which includes some key differences in the use of the Honor Code in these activities that fall outside of the scope of classroom study. The latter section deals with the specific differences as to what would be considered as a violation of the Honor Code related to graduate level research. [28]

The Student Honor Committee

The Student Honor Committee is the executive aspect of the Honor Code that enforces the many rules of the Honor Code and hears cases of academic misconduct. Any student found in violation the Honor Code is referred to the Committee by the Office of Integrity which then holds a trial to investigate if the prosecuted student is in fact guilty of cheating. The Honor Court consists of 12 faculty members, six undergraduate students and 3 graduate students. When the Committee hears cases, it requires four faculty members as well as two students. Any person within the Georgia Tech campus may file a complaint against a student or a group of students for violating the Honor Code. The Faculty Senate elects the members of the Committee to three year terms. The Student Government Association Presidents elect the student representatives to one year terms. [29]

Student Honor Advisory Council

The Honor Code dictates that the purpose of the Honor Advisory Council is to “provide a central source of information concerning the Honor Code, counsel for students wishing to report honor violations, and assistance to students accused of an honor violation. The Advisory Council is controlled by a group of undergraduate and graduate students who are knowledgeable of the Honor Code regulations. The members offer one to one resources to students and faculty who require it. The advisory council also provides resources to students about the process used to inspect cases of questionable conduct. The Council does not actually take part in the court process and any discussions are kept private. [30] Anybody can become a member of the Honor Advisory Council, the candidate need only be in proper academic standing and have a strong sense of honor and integrity. The members are screened through an interview process to insure that the service that they will provide will be useful and relevant. Once selected, members of the Advisory Council stay in their position until he or she graduates or resigns from the position. [31]

Honor Code on the Campus Today

The Honor Code is still a very important aspect of the Georgia Tech community. The ideals established by the Honor Code are still strictly enforced on the campus.[32] The Office of Integrity creates a chart that documents the number and type of cases that the Advisory Council faces per semester. Teachers always include an Honor Code section in their syllabuses and students are expected to abide these regulations.

Reference

  1. Honor Advisory Council. . In Georgia Tech, Division of Student Affairs.. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2010 from http://www.honor.gatech.edu/plugins/content/index.php?id=13
  2. Honor System Pamphlet, September 1919. In MS160 Academic Honor Code Records.. Retrieved Sept. 9, 2010 from Georgia Tech Archives and Records Management
  3. Honor Advisory Council. . In Georgia Tech, Division of Student Affairs.. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2010 from http://www.honor.gatech.edu/plugins/content/index.php?id=13
  4. Academic Honor Code, September 1919. In academic Honor Code Records.. Retrieved Sept. 10, 2010 from Georgia Tech Archives and Records Management
  5. Honor Advisory Council. . In Georgia Tech, Division of Student Affairs.. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2010 from http://www.honor.gatech.edu/plugins/content/index.php?id=13
  6. Student Conduct Panels. In Georgia Tech, Office of Student Integrity.. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2010 from http://www.osi.gatech.edu/plugins/content/index.php?id=22
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  30. Student Conduct Panels. In Georgia Tech, Office of Student Integrity.. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2010 from http://www.osi.gatech.edu/plugins/content/index.php?id=22
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