Honor Committee reviews overtime cases
The Honor Committee, an organization of, for and by students, is interested in the perception of these cases by the student community and has welcomed individuals approaching the Committee to voice their questions or concerns throughout the year. Through the course of these many conversations, several themes have emerged. First, there is agreement that writing past the end of the official time constitutes an unfair advantage because of the extra time gained. The standard penalty for an Honor Code violation is a one-year suspension, although extenuating circumstances may decrease the penalty to probation. However, there are divergent opinions regarding whether a one-year suspension is appropriate for this type of violation. On one hand, some have expressed that writing a minute over time seems less egregious than cheating off another’s paper. Those of this mind argue that these cases are inherently different from other instances of cheating, and should be treated as such.
Conversely, others have expressed that continuing to write for several minutes results in a considerable advantage over other students and therefore warrants the standard penalty, a one-year suspension. Those in this camp stress that during the course of time-constrained examinations, extra time can and does make a significant difference. We recognize that these differing opinions have and continue to merit considerable dialogue for the committee members seeking to justly apply the Honor Code as well as among the student body. As such, we believe it is time to begin a larger open and free debate among the student body.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to engage in a larger campus discussion pertains to the very nature of Princeton’s Honor Code. Since its inception in 1893, the Honor Code has been the students’ institution — run for students and by students — in conjunction with the support and cooperation of the faculty and administration. For the continuance of this extraordinary legacy, it is crucial that students exercise their ownership over the Honor Code by ensuring that it remains both relevant and reflective of Princeton’s values and community.
In light of this tradition, the Honor Committee intends to host a series of focus groups addressing these over-time cases in particular. Antonia Hyman ’13 will lead an internal review with members of the Honor Committee representing each class year in conjunction with the student community. These focus groups are designed to collect an array of opinions from across different spectrums on campus. The committee intends to study these open and free discussions in addition to the lessons learned from its own experiences to ensure that the committee’s actions continue to reflect the values of students on the questions of academic integrity.
We would like to thank those who already have in some capacity reached out to the Committee. We also look forward to hearing from across our vibrant and diverse community as we continue to grow our understanding of academic integrity and set proud standards to serve our school and community for years to come. If you are interested in participating in a focus group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antonia Hyman ’13 is the Honor Committee chair, and Kosaluchi Mmegwa ’14 is the Honor Committee clerk and incoming chair.
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