Last week, a UNC football player was caught plagiarizing work. . .from an elementary school student.
While copying work from someone else is ethically a big no-no in college, for the student in question, the plagiarism also violates the UNC Honor Code, which promotes “honor, integrity, and ethical decision making.” In fact, the UNC Honor Code is included in the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, a lengthy document that outlines possible consequences from cheating and violating other campus regulations.
UNC is not alone in having such standards. Many schools across the country have an academic code of conduct imposed on students, with many coeds pledging, vowing, and affirming their honesty with each paper they turn in. Many of these codes have special quirks that make them stand out, too.
Here are 7 schools with interesting honor codes:
1. Allegheny College. A small liberal arts college located in Meadville, Pa., Allegheny’s honor code is unique in that it was developed by the students—not the administration. One of the benefits of the code is that students can take a test anywhere in a building in which the test is being given (with the exception of bathrooms). All work must be signed with a signature upon completion, too—whether it’s a research paper or a blue-book exam.
2. University of Virginia. This honor system was developed under somber circumstances, after a masked student shot and killed a law professor in 1840. After this incident, students decided to vouch for each other via a behavioral honor code that extended to academics. Today, this honor code is taken so seriously that if a student reports another student for a violation, that reporter cannot rescind his claim until the issue is resolved.
3. Converse College. Located in Spartansburg, S.C., this women’s liberal arts college publicly reminds students of their honor pledge every day: After the students sign the pledge in a formal ceremony, the parchment with the signed names hangs in Wilson Hall over the next four years.
4. Meredith College. At Meredith College, if you say the dog ate your homework, it’s not just a stereotypical excuse, but a severe violation, as even claiming you completed an assignment or parallel reading when you didn’t is an academic violation (if you’re caught, of course).
5. St. Olaf College. Simply looking suspicious at this Minnesota college can sometimes be enough to arouse concern. According to the code of test etiquette on the honor system website, during an examination, students should “try to ensure that their line of sight does not cause someone to suspect them of cheating.” So if a professor says to keep your eyes on your own paper, they really mean it!
6. Notre Dame of Maryland University. NDMU, like many of the schools on this list, cites academic violations as plagiarism, reuse of work, etc., but it also mentions “dishonest use of computer facilities,” meaning that if you stole a program from someone, downloaded it illegally, or hacked into someone’s computer to get a program for use of an assignment, you are still going against academic standards.
7. Agnes Scott College. Like someone in a drug rehabilitation program, a student who violates the honor code at this college in Decatur, Ga., may have to attend a plagiarism or integrity workshop to work through their reusing-and-abusing demons.
Although each of these schools has its own little quirks, from interesting backstories to unique rules, the main goal of all of these honor codes is for students to take responsibility for their actions and to maintain academic integrity throughout their four years in school.
Does your school have an honor code? If so, what makes it unique?
Don’t forget to check out our list of schools with Strictest Honor Codes.