October 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the Inaugural Edition!

Welcome back to Mason!  Fall 2018 is a semester that greeted us with a great deal of campus construction and redirected pathways.  Our goal with this newsletter is to keep you informed about integrity related matters pertinent to Mason.  We value your input, and want to use this newsletter as a way to increase communication between the faculty and our office.

There are many events, both sponsored by our office and campus wide, that could be beneficial to faculty and students.  We hope to highlight those events here.  In addition, as timely discussions arise in the media and among professional organizations, we hope to start those conversations here at Mason.

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter and have it delivered to your email, you can do so by clicking this link.

 

October Events

We are hosting our Annual Academic Integrity Week this year from October 1-5.  Included in the week's programming is a Faculty Brown Bag Lunch which will require an RSVP.  Information about coming events can be found here: https://oai.gmu.edu/programming/

Additionally, our office will be hosting a webinar, The Cheating Economy and Integrity, presented by WCET, at 3:00 p.m. on October 16, 2018 in SUB I Suite 4100.  Please let us know if you would like to join us for this webinar by contacting us at oai@gmu.edu.

 

Honor Code Changes for 2018-2019: Witnesses for In Person hearings

One major change to the Honor Code is the issue of witnesses.  Witnesses are still allowed.  However, individuals who are calling witnesses must submit statements from the witnesses no later than 72 hours prior to the schedule hearing.  These statements should be sent directly to our office account at oai@gmu.edu, or  a notarized copy can be included in your submission (if the witness cannot appear in person).  The statement must identify the facts to which the witness will testify.  A failure to submit witness statements may result in those individuals not being able to appear before the Honor Committee, so it is important that those statements be submitted.

For more information and details about Honor Code changes, please review the code here.

Fourth Estate Article: Laziness, Desperation, Or Something Else

In the September 17th issue of the Fourth Estate, an article was written entitled Laziness, Desperation, or Something Else: How Mason students feel about cheating on homework and tests. In interviews with some Mason students, the article discusses a brief snippet of student perspectives on cheating at Mason.  In the same edition, there is a letter to the editor where an individual recounts their experience with cheating and the reasons they engaged in the behavior.  One of the most telling themes in both pieces is the mention of stress in some degree.  It manifests itself in external or internal pressure, but the commonality is stress that leads individuals to making poor choices.  While I wrote a response letter, I wonder how as an institution we can make it clear that is a much better option to let go of an assignment, wait to retake a course, or consider switching majors, than to engage in cheating.    I encourage you to read these pieces and if you have suggestions, please let us know.

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