Campus Safety: Academic Integrity

By LORI KLEIN
for the UAS Whalesong

Midterms are behind us and finals are right around the corner. The work piles up along with the snow, and some days feel a bit more overwhelming than others. It’s tempting to cut corners.

80% of the students I’ve met with who have cheated or plagiarized on an assignment or exam do so because of poor time management resulting in stress. They make a conscious choice to be academically dishonest because it seems like it might be easier than owning up to the fact that they aren’t going to make a deadline or that they might fail the exam.

Do you know someone who cut a corner, who cheated or plagiarized and didn’t get caught? It happens. Most students who do get caught confess that they gave it a try, in part because they know someone who didn’t get caught. Not getting caught once increases the temptation to try again. It’s a slippery slope, because each time you choose to cheat or plagiarize, you    increase your chances of getting caught. Students who are caught face a range of sanctions, from warning to probation to suspension. The  University does not care to award degrees to students who can’t earn them honestly.

One simple solution: good time management. Good time management is the key to a lot of life’s successes: maintaining employment and positive relationships, for example. Good time management makes college easier, and reduces the temptation to cut corners.

Use the Thanksgiving break to take a look at your syllabi again. What’s left between now and finals week? Haul out a calendar and make sure all of your commitments are represented. Is your work schedule changing? When was that holiday party you were invited to? When are your finals? What’s expected, and how much time do you think you need to prepare?

If you don’t know the answers to any of those questions, find out. Ask ahead of time in order to make sure you have the right information to plan your time. And if this all seems easier said than done, make an appointment with an advisor. Staff at UAS can assist you with reviewing your syllabi and mapping out a plan for success. Call 796-6000 or 877-465-4827.

Yes, it takes time to sit down and work this all out. Although, take it from me. It takes less time to map out a plan of attack for finals than it does to respond to a conduct letter alleging you’ve plagiarized your final paper. That’s a lot less stress, too.

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