SGA discusses academic honor code

Aubrey Zych, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Student Government Association (SGA) met to discuss the possibility of an academic honor code being set in place for students at Le Moyne

The honor code was first brought to Le Moyne’s attention when Michael Miller, a mathematics professor at Le Moyne, and Dr. Deborah Cady Melzer, the Vice President of Student Development, held a meeting last spring with professors, faculty members and several student representatives.

According to Clemson University’s Center for Academic Integrity, over 50 colleges in the United States currently have academic honor codes in place, including the nearby Syracuse University. Each college independently writes its own code to fit the needs of that particular institute.

Some honor codes, such as the one at Syracuse University, are just student promises to behave honorably and to not cheat, steal from or disrespect the school and its students.

Other honor codes give students more trust and privileges, such as allowing students to take tests outside of the classroom, as long as they do not cheat.

If an honor code were to be set in place at Le Moyne, Miller suggested that the students themselves be responsible for writing it.

“From my point of view, an honor code belongs to the students, and so students should write it, and then seek any faculty or administrative approval needed,” Miller said.

The honor code, as it was presented during the discussion last spring, would allow students to take exams anywhere outside of the classroom, including the library, dorms, or even outside, pending that the student does not cheat.

Any student caught cheating would be at risk of failure of the course or expulsion from the institution. Likewise, any student who witnesses cheating and does not report it would be given the same punishment.

The SGA discussed the possibility of instituting an honor code at Le Moyne during the Nov. 2 meeting. While some students believed an honor code could help promote a community of trust between students and professors, most members agreed that not very many students would take it seriously, and it could encourage cheating during exams.

Additionally, some members believed it was unfair to expect students to report others cheating.

“An honor code will work only if it is supported by our students,” said Miller.

With so many opinions and ideas brought together by the SGA, Miller is hopeful that the students can collectively create a well-supported code.

Miller hopes more students will reach out and express their opinions on an academic honor code at Le Moyne. With enough opinions, support, and ideas, Miller believes a workable and well-supported code can be created.

If you have an idea or question regarding the honor code, or would like to express your thoughts on another issue, please contact the SGA at their website, lemoyne.campusgroups.com/SGA/about.

The SGA meets every Wednesday, at 9p.m. in the Corcoran Lounge in the Campus Center.