Everyone has a stake in academic honesty. Faculty members don't want to be bamboozled by students who are misrepresenting what they are learning in their courses. Georgia Southern and its graduates want to ensure that the degrees it awards have integrity. Society at large needs college graduates who legitimately know what they are doing (do you want to drive over the bridge built by someone who cheated throughout calculus?).
Most importantly, though, you owe it to yourself not to cheat. Taking the easy way out is not only risky (more on this below), but is poor preparation for life after college. While you may tell yourself that you're here mainly for a piece of paper (your degree), the truth is you're in training for the types of situations you'll find yourself in down the road. Some of this training is mastering the content you get through taking courses. But there are other aspects too, such as dealing with stress and occasionally with failure. If you cheat to get by, you're establishing a pattern that can have serious consequences later in life with an employer or the legal system. Simply put: when you cheat, you cheat yourself.
Page 4 of the Student Conduct Code defines academic dishonesty:
Please note: A student cannot drop or withdraw from a course or withdraw from the University in order to avoid being charged with academic dishonesty.
If your instructor determines that you have been dishonest in your work, expect to have your case referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs. As a student accused of academic misconduct, you have the right to have your case heard by the University Judicial Board, and you also have certain other procedural rights. If you are found guilty, sanctions can range from disciplinary probation to warning or even even expulsion.
Some first year students report confusion over what constitutes plagiarism. If you are at all concerned about what is required of you in documenting sources, ask your professor in advance. Another useful resource that the University System of Georgia has created is a brief overview called "Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: Copyright, citing sources and the perils of plagiarism." Check it out!
[Return to First-Year Students]