The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

88° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pass/Fail

Pass: Academic integrity protocol gets a makeover

The UA has begun to offer an alternative to the draconian automatic failing grade approach to academic integrity violations. Instead of failing the course in which they committed the violation and risking expulsion from their department, students are now offered the chance to take a rigorous eight-hour crash course on the meaning of academic integrity. The course emphasizes paraphrasing and summarizing information as well as the correct way to cite sources, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

While cheating and plagiarism are major offenses that should be taken seriously, students are often unaware that they’re committing such academic sins. A combination of the Internet age, which makes information incredibly easy to copy and paste into one’s own assignment, and uneven high school instruction in proper citation methods, students often technically plagiarize without knowing they’ve done anything wrong. In addition, the punishment for academic integrity has, in the past, not varied with the degree of the infraction; paraphrasing a passage too closely and lifting an entire essay from another source have been met with the same disciplinary process.

This new program serves two purposes: It gives students the opportunity to regain the trust of the university and their professors and allows them to learn more about a set of rules they likely find confusing and difficult to navigate. For allowing students a second chance when it comes to academic integrity, the UA gets a pass.

 

Fail: Adults no better than schoolyard bullies

The latest in the recent string of gay teenagers taking their own lives came when Zach Harrington, a 19-year-old from Norman, Okla., committed suicide after attending a Norman City Council meeting. The council discussed recognizing October as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month in the city. The public debate portion of the meeting lasted three hours and was marked with “”intolerant grumblings”” and “”toxic”” comments opposing the measure, according to an Oct. 10 article in The Norman Transcript. Harrington left the meeting having heard adult members of his community say over and over that his way of life was unacceptable and sinful. A week later, he was dead.

Parents and other adults have roasted the school-aged bullies who allegedly led to the suicides of several other gay teenagers in recent months, but the events in Norman prove there’s nothing separating those bullies from their parents. In fact, the adults at the meeting are substantially more culpable because they should know better. Children learn their hatred from their elders, and rarely understand the full extent of the consequences of their actions. Adults, on the other hand, should have been sensitive enough to understand that their poisonous rhetoric might be heard by someone who could be very, very hurt by it. For failing to act with thought or compassion, and for possibly driving a young man to take his own life, those Norman meeting attendees all get the most emphatic fail.

 

— Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Heather Price-Wright, Luke Money, Colin Darland and Steven Kwan. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

More to Discover
Activate Search