At Marquette University we strive to develop our students into people of integrity. This means having integrity in all aspects of their lives, but it begins with academic integrity. At the new student convocation, all incoming students took the following pledge:
“I recognize the importance of personal integrity in all aspects of life and work. I commit myself to truthfulness, honor and responsibility, by which I earn the respect of others. I support the development of good character and commit myself to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity as an important aspect of personal integrity. My commitment obliges me to conduct myself according to the Marquette University Honor Code.”
At this time of year when the first papers are turned in and the first round of exams have hit, my office starts receiving reports of students who have allegedly violated the honor code. Most students do not do this with malicious, pre-meditated intent. More often it is the result of a hasty, bad decision. As a parent, you can help by recognizing how students get into this predicament and how to handle it if it happens to your student. Common reasons that students commit misconduct are:
- Poor time management; they run out of time and make a bad decision to complete tasks on time.
- Grade pressure; students often believe that a single mediocre grade may dash their hopes of getting into co-ops, post graduate programs, and parental approval.
- Lack of confidence in their own abilities.
- Ignorance about what is allowed and what is not.
If it sounds like your student is overwhelmed with the time and academic demands of college life, suggest that they meet with an academic counselor in Student Educational Services. The counselor can help them with time management strategies as well as study and test taking skills. This is all included in tuition so that students can readily take advantage of the services. Students are under enormous pressure to earn high grades. If your student is struggling with a class encourage them to meet with the professor or teaching assistant. Also, remind them that one poor 3-credit grade out of the 120 or 128 credits needed to graduate does not impact their GPA as much as they may think. Making a bad decision to cheat on an exam or plagiarize an assignment will hurt their grade much more because they will receive a zero on the assignment and a permanent notation in their file. Students who end up plagiarizing often give the excuse that they are just not good writers. Again, a somewhat low grade because their writing is not perfect is better than the zero that would be given for plagiarism. Students are also often unclear on what constitutes plagiarism or inappropriate collaboration. Encourage your student to speak with their professor if they don’t understand. In addition, Marquette University has the Norman H. Ott Memorial Writing Center where students can work one on one with a writing tutor.
If your student has a report filed against them for misconduct, tell them to cooperate and have trust in the process. The Academic Integrity website has information and links to help them through the process. All allegations are thoroughly investigated before determining whether the student will be sanctioned or the case will be dismissed. They can always contact my office firstname.lastname@example.org; (414) 288-0262 for support. Our goal is to provide an environment where integrity is valued and to develop young men and women with integrity in all aspects of their lives, both at Marquette University and in their future.
Dr. Mark F. Johnson
Academic Integrity Director