Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater?

By: Laura Diviesti, Davis Executive Vice President

Alright everyone, buckle your seat belts for a super exciting and real page turner of post. Right now we are talking about one of the most exciting topics of the year… academic integrity. Alright, so I lied, it’s not THAT exciting… but by reading this post you could potentially save you or your friends and classmates from academic disaster.

So before I get into the nitty gritty, you’re probably wondering ‘Why the heck would someone CHOOSE to write about one of the most boring things ever?!’ Well friends, let me tell you, breaching academic integrity can be a serious thing, so I want to give you some heads up before midterms about how you can avoid it. I read through the long documents that outline policies and procedures we have here at Sheridan related to Academic Integrity, and I will break it down for you into something hopefully easier to understand. 

OK so first thing’s first — what is academic integrity?

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In a nutshell, Sheridan College defines Academic Integrity as a commitment to six values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage. When you cross the stage at convocation, you want to succeed in your career, right? So does Sheridan! They want you to leave here knowing all that you need to in order to succeed in your career, not your friend’s knowledge that helped you pass that exam you didn’t study for.

How did I breach it?!

So now that we know what academic integrity is, let’s look at some ways you could be breaching it without even realizing it. Did you know that submitting someone else’s work as your own is considered plagiarism? That includes not citing other people’s thoughts or research, and passing it off as your own. If you don’t know how to cite or maybe just want a refresher, head over to the library — they can help you! 

Ok, let’s throw in a scenario here. Say for example you have a test that you need your laptop for, and you open yours up and BAM – Windows decides to do a super long, irritating and poorly timed update. So you think ‘Oh well I know my friend John doesn’t have class now! I’ll just borrow his!’ You get John’s laptop, and you’re all set on track to do your test. You finish your document and now it’s time to submit… but oh no, you were so excited to finish that you clicked the document above, and you only had one chance to submit. I am so sorry to tell you this, but you have just breached academic integrity. Although it wasn’t intentional, you submitted someone else’s work as your own. An easy way to avoid this, is really simple – don’t borrow your friend’s laptop. Go to IT and see if they can help you out! They’re great people so I’m sure they would be happy to help!

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater!

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Pardon the heading here guys, it was just thanksgiving… I had far too much pumpkin pie. Cheating can be a big issue when it comes to academic integrity. Sometimes cheating is a very obvious thing, such as looking over at the test beside you for answers. Other times it may not be as obvious. One example of that would be providing a friend with information on a test. Let’s do another scenario! So you just got out of a test and your friend who has the test tomorrow morning asks you how it was. You tell them it was super easy and on questions 3 and 5 make sure you apply a certain formula the professor taught. What you have just done there is breached academic integrity because you have now given your friend an unfair advantage in comparison to everyone else.

I’ve been caught breaching… now what are my options?

One option you have is filing and academic appeal. Here at the SSU we offer appeals assistance, which can help you out. Your first step is to speak to someone in Student Affairs. After that you can get in contact with your campus EVP, and we will do our best to support you in the appeals process. You can find our contact information on thessu.ca.

So you’ve made it to the end of this post… CONGRATS! I hope this has shed some light on how you can avoid breaching academic integrity in your upcoming midterms! Study hard Sheridan!

For a quick reference of these guidelines, download our How Not To Cheat Cheat Sheet here. 

Have more questions? Email me at evp.ssuidavis@sheridancollege.ca or your campus EVP!