SGA cracks down on dishonesty

This year, Student Government Association President Marvin Jones has been investigating academic dishonesty. This senior has made it his personal mission to get to the root of the problem and raise awareness about the issue.

Academic dishonesty is a problem that is “developing right now” and “it’s something that needs to be brought up,” Jones said. Five or six students have complained to SGA about Eastern’s policy on academic dishonesty. However, there have been far more cases than complaints, Jones said.

Jones believes that most cases of academic dishonesty result from students’ “lack of knowledge about what they are doing.” In many cases the student unintentionally committed academic dishonesty. “They wish they’d been given more grace,” Jones said. “There seems to be a genuine amount of innocence in the matter.”

He hopes that raising awareness about what is considered academic dishonesty and encouraging students not to procrastinate will result in fewer incidents. “We are trying to find a way to stop it before it starts,” Jones said.

SGA has been gathering information about the cases of academic dishonesty as well as talking with students about the matter. The investigation has also included talking with administrators at different benchmark schools, such as Messiah, Cabrini, Elizabethtown and Grove City, about their academic dishonesty policies. Jones discovered that Eastern’s academic dishonesty policy is not that different from the policies of the benchmark schools.

Jones is working on a proposal regarding academic dishonesty. He has been keeping the other members of SGA updated on his investigation. They will have the chance to edit the proposal before it is finalized. SGA plans to present it to the administration on April 14.

According to Jones, the proposal is the most efficient way to bring about change because it is directed to the administration, who will interpret the best way to use it. It contains information about how to eliminate the problem of academic dishonesty, what is considered academic dishonesty, what other schools are doing about it, and what Eastern should be doing about it.

Jones hopes that SGA will continue investigating academic dishonesty next year and will be including that in his end-of-the-year report.

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