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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    University needs to work to highlight consequences of cheating

    As an instructor at the UA, I have seen many violations of the Code of Academic Integrity, almost all of which could have been avoided by some diligent education of incoming students and dissemination of information on the consequences of cheating. In a society in which information is so freely given and taken, especially over the internet, it becomes harder and harder to determine exactly what belongs to whom. Because of this, students often take information from websites, Internet translators, paper-writing websites and other sources without feeling like they are violating any rules. This is why the UA needs to require that all incoming students take an integrity workshop in which they are shown the difference between citing something and stealing it. The administration should also make students aware of the penalties for violating the code, ranging from loss of credit and reduction of course grades to suspension and expulsion. This is an opportunity to simulate ‘real world’ scenarios. In any job if you stole information from a colleague, represented a website’s information as your own, dipped your hand into the petty cash or otherwise plagiarized or misrepresented yourself to an employer, you would be fired.

    In order to protect our own integrity and the value of our education, it is necessary to uphold the highest ethical standards possible, but students who are uninformed and are not held to these standards are not likely to change their behavior. Those who cheat their way through high school and college are those who end up cheating us all in business and politics.

    Lucy Blaney

    Spanish and Portugese graduate student

    Banning prostitution will not bring practice to an end

    This letter is in response to Samantha Smith. (Mailbag, Feb. 24, 2009) I find her reasoning against legalized prostitution flawed in spite of her good intentions.

    If we abide by Smith’s logic, then legalizing sales of contraceptives and instruction of sex education in schools encourages premarital sex. Indeed, were these items banned, we would be laughably naive to think that people would stop having sex. Similarly, even though the United States banned marijuana, it still wafted its way into the lungs of Barack Obama and Michael Phelps. Has our ban on marijuana stopped Americans from smoking it?

    Furthermore, Smith makes a dubious argument when she laments that women “”should be allowed to use their bodies”” as a “”business asset.”” What women do with their bodies is their business, and we should not impose our own morals upon women’s free will. Additionally, simple economics of supply and demand tell us that prostitutes meet a United States demand for sex. Why do we ostracize them for doing so, rather than the people who solicit it?

    Finally, we cannot ban prostitution for its detriments to health and society while tolerating legalized sales of alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to, among other things, public disturbances, domestic violence, drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, cirrhosis, and (ironically) unsafe sex. Yet U.S. laws regarding alcohol have done little to stop its negative consequences. Why do we still tolerate it?

    I wish that no woman would ever need to sell herself. But they sometimes do, and until we accept and deal with reality, we leave them vulnerable to the whims of their solicitors. Legalizing prostitution is not to encourage women to participate, but to protect those who do.

    Kevin Keys

    senior majoring in mathematics and linguistics

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