By Ben Adekunle-raji & Emily Tanji
The Kenyon community takes academic integrity very seriously. As students, we hold the trust of our professors to work with freedom but without supervision or suspicion. Therefore we must continue to keep that trust by adhering to academic integrity.
As student members of the Academic Infractions Board (AIB), we tend to feel some sympathy for those who choose to cheat under difficult circumstances. Academic pressures can be daunting, especially when exams and last-minute assignments pile up. In fact, most of our cases last spring involved infractions made during midterms and finals week. However, there is no excuse for academic dishonesty at Kenyon.
If you are tempted to cheat, fight the temptation. Violating Kenyon’s honor code comes with severe penalties, and Kenyon professors can easily identify signs of academic dishonesty. And once suspicions arise, professors are required to report academic infractions to the AIB. Both the professor and the accused student must then attend a hearing to give their statements. The punishment for an academic infraction at Kenyon is always more severe than simply failing the assignment/exam in question. For example, the minimum punishment for students found guilty of academic dishonesty is a double zero — a zero grade for both the plagiarized and another assignment.
But the worst cases to deal with are those that involve consistent academic dishonesty. Multiple infractions committed by the same student demonstrate a blatant disregard for Kenyon’s academic standards and regulations. More importantly, it tells the AIB that you are not willing to abide by Kenyon’s academic standards. If the AIB encounters such a student, the board will recommend that this student permanently leave Kenyon.
To end, here are some tips: any statement, idea or answer that isn’t your own should either be left out or cited. If you are referencing outside sources in a paper, especially when it is not required, remember that your professors want to evaluate your work, not someone else’s.
If you’re stressing about an assignment or exam, chances are your peers are stressing as well. Set up a study session, talk to your professor or get some tutoring. Professors try to be understanding when students request extensions, as long as the request is legitimate and timely. Moreover, Kenyon professors are always willing to listen to you during office hours, and there’s always email if you can’t meet with them in-person.
When taking exams on computers, be advised: Kenyon uses software programs that allow professors to monitor your computer screen (screenshots make for compelling evidence).
As a Kenyon student, you have a standard to uphold, and the College accepted you because it believes in your ability to meet those standards. Realize the benefits don’t outweigh the costs; getting kicked out of college for academic dishonesty is pretty awkward.
Best of luck and welcome to Kenyon.
Ben Adekunle-Raji ’17 and Emily Tanji ’16 are student members of the AIB , a subcommittee of the faculty Committee on Academic Standards. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.