The Department of Sociology strives to provide an academic environment conducive to the development of student excellence in academic pursuits and beyond. The department and its faculty are committed not only to fostering intellectual growth among students, but also to the development of excellence in character. As such, the department embraces certain fundamental values and virtues that should not, under any circumstances, be compromised. Among these are truth, honesty, justice, and integrity.
The department, its faculty, staff, and administrators recognize that all forms of dishonest and otherwise dishonorable behavior are opposed to these basic, guiding values. The presence of academic dishonesty in particular frustrates the effort to create and sustain an academic culture and community that nurtures student growth and development. Dishonest academic practices in all forms engender a climate of mistrust among students and between faculty and students, of tolerance for deception as an instrument for accomplishment, and in which the disposition toward truth, honor, and integrity that should characterize communities both within academia and without, is corrupted by the threat of untruthfulness, deceit, and fraud. Perhaps most importantly, dishonest academic practices upset the very balance of justice in allowing some to achieve or acquire something or things that are more or greater than what is deserved.
The department condemns and prohibits practices opposed to its guiding values by all persons affiliated with the department, under all circumstances. Whether dishonest or otherwise unethical, unfair or otherwise unjust, the indiscretions, improprieties, and otherwise undesirable behaviors named in this document are considered serious infringements, detrimental in many ways to students, faculty, and the greater academic environment, and will be approached and treated accordingly. All students – without exception – who have been found to engage in practices described hereinafter, whether directly or indirectly, shall face disciplinary actions.
I. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES
The department’s policy on academic integrity, as described in this document, shall apply to all persons who major, minor, or take courses within the department. Declaration of a major or minor in the programs housed within the department, or enrollment in any course offered by the department, implies acceptance of and consent to this policy.
Realization and nurturance of the core values of truth, honesty, integrity, and justice within the academic culture of the department requires the collective and cooperative effort of faculty, staff, administration, and students alike. By consenting to the provisions of this policy in any of the ways described above, students accept responsibility not only for abiding by its provisions, but also for making every effort to ensure that others do so as well. This includes refraining from direct or indirect participation in the practices described hereinafter, as well as the fulfillment of a duty to report any and all past, present, or potential future violations of which the student has knowledge. Failure to report violations of which one has knowledge makes one party to the practice and equally subject to disciplinary action.
“Academic integrity” is inclusive of a variety of dispositions and corresponding behaviors whose embodiment and practice are judged central to the goals of the department, college, university, and the greater academic community. Among these, the promotion and practice of honesty, fairness, dependability, conscientiousness, respect for self and others, and honor are understood as crucial to the overriding aim of fostering growth of both intellect and character. As well, the department is committed to creating and nurturing an environment conducive to the furtherance of these goals. The department recognizes that various forms of behavior can and often do impede these goals. Consequently, the practices identified and described below are, irrespective of circumstance, regarded as undesirable and unacceptable. Included within these practices are attempts to artificially inflate grades or scores, to achieve or acquire, for oneself or another, something which is undeserved or which is more or greater than what is deserved, and/or to gain credit or reward in ways deemed otherwise unfair, unjust, or detrimental to student growth and development. As practices at variance with the department’s standards of academic integrity and desirable conduct are many and varied, the following sections are intended to describe some – but not all – recognized forms of such practices. Other practices may, upon review by the department and on a case-by-case basis, be determined to be unacceptable.
A. Quizzes, Examinations, and Assignments.
I. Using written or printed materials during a quiz, examination, or other in-class assignment that are not explicitly pre-approved for use by the instructor. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: books, articles, notes, materials printed from the internet, pictures, diagrams, formulae, images and text from cellular phones or other electronic devices.
II. Using electronic devices that are not explicitly pre-approved – or those capable of performing functions that are not explicitly pre-approved – for use by the instructor. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: computers, cellular phones, calculators, electronic storage devices and organizers, recording devices, and other hand-held sources of electronic information.
III. Copying answers, portions of answers, notes, hints, tips, techniques, or any other unauthorized form of information – whether in the form of letters, numbers, text, diagrams, formulae or otherwise – from another student with or without her or his permission.
IV. Allowing another student to copy answers, portions of answers, notes, hints, tips, techniques, or any other unauthorized form of information – whether in the form of letters, numbers, text, diagrams, formulae or otherwise.
V. Distributing, in any form and by any means, answers, portions of answers, hints, tips, techniques or any other unauthorized form of information to any other student.
VI. Having knowledge, either before, during, or after a quiz, examination, or assignment, that another student or students have engaged in any of the above-mentioned prohibitions, and failing to notify an appropriate authority of the violation.
VII. Securing questions or answers – or what are thought to be questions or answers – to a quiz, examination, or assignment prior to the time and date that the quiz/exam/assignment is to be administered. “Securing” includes obtaining questions or answers from a current or former student, a “test file,” the internet, the instructor’s notes or computer files, university trash bins, or any other source. This does not apply to situations in which the instructor has provided students with questions or question banks and given explicit permission for those questions to be used for purposes of preparing for the quiz/exam/assignment.
VIII. Distributing questions, answers – or what are thought to be questions or answers – to a quiz, examination, or assignment prior to the time and date that the quiz/exam/assignment is to be administered to another student or students. This does not apply to situations in which the instructor has provided students with questions or question banks and given explicit permission for those questions to be used for purposes of preparing for the quiz/exam/assignment.
IX. Distributing questions, answers, or otherwise beneficial information before or after taking or completing a quiz, examination, or assignment to a student or students who have yet to take that quiz/exam or complete that assignment.
X. Receiving questions, answers, or otherwise beneficial information from a student or students who have already taken or completed a quiz, examination, or assignment before taking that quiz/exam or completing that assignment oneself.
XI. Utilizing verbal cues, gestures, signals, posturing, or other non-verbal signs for purposes of relaying or obtaining answers or other information during a quiz, examination, or other in-class assignment.
XII.Impersonating another student for purposes of completing a quiz, examination, or assignment, or allowing another student to impersonate oneself for those same purposes.
XIII. Collaborating with another student or students – irrespective of whether s/he or they are currently enrolled in the same course – on examinations, assignments, papers, or projects completed outside of the classroom unless explicit permission has been granted by the instructor to do so.
XIV. Having another student or students – irrespective of whether s/he or they are currently enrolled in the same course – complete an out-of-class examination, assignment, paper, project or any portion thereof unless explicit permission has been granted by the instructor to do so.
B. Papers and Written Assignments
a. Plagiarism occurs where text, images, or other forms of material are copied or otherwise substantially derived from a source and subsequently submitted or presented by a student or students without appropriate acknowledgement of the original source. Acknowledgment of sources should follow APA, ASA, MLA, or other professional guidelines as determined by or in consultation with the instructor of the course. Plagiarism is considered to have occurred regardless of motive or intent.
b. “Sources” is inclusive of:
i) All printed materials such as newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, and books;
ii) Visual imagery such as photographs, diagrams, charts, tables, and drawings;
iii) Electronically-delivered text or imagery: Any and all materials obtained via the internet are products of and protected as products of the individual, group, or organization that publishes them. Materials obtained from internet sources are, for purposes of academic dishonesty, treated the same as materials obtained from any other source. Materials obtained from the internet must be identified as having been obtained from that source. Students are advised to follow relevant citation guidelines in these instances, including the use of quotation marks where direct quotes are used.
c. For purposes of this policy, plagiarism includes the following forms:
i) Submitting written work of any length that has been copied or substantially derived, in whole or in part, from another source without providing appropriate acknowledgement of that source.
ii) Giving an oral presentation of any length that has been copied or substantially derived, in whole or in part, from another source without providing appropriate acknowledgement of that source. This includes printing materials from internet sources and delivering those materials in oral form as if they were the original work of the student.
iii) Submitting visual material of any form that has been copied or substantially derived, in whole or in part, from another source without providing appropriate acknowledgement of that source.
d. Plagiarism occurs regardless of whether or where the information dishonestly or otherwise inappropriately utilized has been published or in what form it appears.
II. Originality of Written Work
a. It is assumed that work submitted for any assignment in any course is original and completed specifically for purposes of fulfilling the requirements of that particular assignment. Submitting a work, either in its entirety or in substantial portion, which was completed to fulfill requirements for another course is unacceptable and in violation of the department’s policy on academic integrity. The following two practices warrant special attention:
i) “Double-dipping.” Submitting the same material or significant portions of the same material for credit in two or more courses during the same semester. Double-dipping typically occurs where a paper, written or oral assignment is submitted or delivered to fulfill the requirements for two or more different courses during the same academic term.
ii) “Recycling.” Submitting the same material or significant portions of the same material for credit in two or more courses taken over two or more semesters. Recycling typically occurs where a paper, written or oral assignment which was completed for or delivered in a course during a prior semester is submitted to fulfill the requirements for a different course during a later semester.
b. Variations of the practices described in [1.a] and [1.b] above may be considered acceptable where explicit permission has been granted by the instructor of EACH course for which work was or is to be submitted or delivered.
C. Oral Presentations
I. It is assumed that oral presentations in any course represent the original work of the student and were developed specifically for purposes of fulfilling the requirements of the course within which they are delivered. The same provisions outlined above in [B.I.] (plagiarism) and [B.II.] (originality of written work) apply to oral presentations.
D. Practices Not Elsewhere Specified
I. Intentionally interfering with another student’s academic work, efforts to fulfill academic requirements, or to otherwise meet academic duties or responsibilities. “Interfering with” includes stealing or damaging computer files, books, notes, papers, projects or portions thereof.
II. Misrepresenting one’s whereabouts or condition for purposes of avoiding a quiz, examination, presentation, or other in-class assignment or for purposes of securing an extension on take-home examinations, papers, and other out-of-class assignments. This includes feigning illness or accident, misrepresenting the condition of a friend or family member, or otherwise falsely claiming duties or responsibilities that would prevent one from completing or turning in an examination or assignment at the scheduled time and on the scheduled date.
III. Claiming that one took a quiz or examination, gave a presentation, or submitted a paper or other assignment which was not taken, given, completed or submitted.
IV. Altering previously graded material and presenting it as evidence that a higher grade or score is warranted.
V. Obtaining or attempting to obtain a score or grade greater than what is deserved – either on an individual course requirement or for an entire course – through bribery, invitations or favors, or in ways otherwise unrelated to academic achievement.
VI. Submitting a paper or report to fulfill course requirements which was purchased or otherwise obtained from a commercial service.
VII. Selling or otherwise distributing previously-written papers or reports to another student or students to be used to fulfill current or future course requirements for someone other than oneself.
VIII. Completing a paper, report, or other academic assignment for another student or students which will be used to fulfill current or future course requirements for someone other than oneself.
IX. Falsifying or creating data for a research assignment, experiment, or paper.
X. Including references in a research paper, presentation, project, or other assignment – in-text and/or in the bibliography – that do not exist, were not examined, or are otherwise deceitful.
XI. Otherwise aiding or abetting any of the behaviors or practices described in this document.
Violations of the department’s policy on academic integrity through participation in any of the practices described in this document shall be subject to consequences as follows:
- The minimum sanction for any of the practices described in this document is a grade of “0” for the exam, paper, presentation, or assignment in question. This sanction shall apply irrespective of circumstance. Although individual cases may be reviewed by the department, individual instructors do not have the discretion to apply a lesser sanction.
- The maximum sanction that can be awarded by an instructor for any of the practices described in this document is a grade of “F” for the course in question. Although individual cases may be reviewed by the department, sanctions above the minimum, up to and including the maximum, are at the discretion of the individual instructor.
- If deemed warranted, the instructor or department may recommend that further disciplinary action be taken at the level of the college or university. In such cases, the student is likely to face harsher sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the university. The policies of the college and university should be consulted for further information on such actions.