Office of Integrity and Ethical Development review the Golden Rule with students

On Tuesday, the Office of Integrity and Ethical Development held a “Before you do that, know this” event, which highlighted academic misconduct and violation of the Golden Rule.

With final exams right around the corner, students are certainly feeling the pressure. Commercial use of academic material, such as selling notes or handouts, without written permission from the university is a violation of the Golden Rule.

“The Golden Rule is a compilation of policies and procedures from different university areas intended to define your rights and responsibilities as a student and provide you with a better understanding of your role as a member of the UCF community,” according to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities website.

The Golden Rule is published once a year and can be revised at any time to reflect any modified information the university deems fit. Academic misconduct can result in disciplinary action such as probation, suspension and expulsion.

Websites such as Course Hero have made it easier for students to plagiarize as well as have their own work copied.

“[Technology] has made it easier – another thing it’s made is things grey, and so what online resources are not allowed?” said Jennifer Wright, director of the Office of Integrity and Ethical Development. What type of technology is not allowed? What is the definition of collaboration?”

The Office of Integrity and Ethical Development (IED) is designed to help guide both undergraduate and graduate students through their academic work during their collegiate career.

“People know putting a cheat sheet together is wrong,” Wright said. “People know writing on their hand is wrong, people know using online resources when you’re not allowed to is wrong, so you’ve got to be careful.”

Although students may know cheating or selling their notes could result in punishment, that doesn’t necessarily prevent instances from occurring.

Most of the cases reported come from professors, and there are roughly a few hundred cases each semester, Wright said. In the past five years, just four students have come forward to report academic misconduct.

“I have never been tempted to cheat,” graduate student studying business administration Bryan Rubio said. “I take pride in everything I do, and I couldn’t live with myself knowing I didn’t really earn something. I didn’t want to compromise my degree.”

IED offers a spring, summer and fall workshop series where students can discuss academic integrity, conflict resolution and professionalism.

“ ‘Take the zero’ is our motto, and know it’s OK – you will survive this,” Wright said.

Students can find the outreach programming schedule and request workshops on the IED website.

Originally published March 30, 2017