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Honour Code at University of Colorado

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Honour code at university of Colorado

An honour code or system is a set of rules and tenets that guide and govern a particular group of people or community on the basis of ideal principles which define what is an honourable code of conduct and behaviour. An honour code just like rules and regulation defines what acceptable behaviour within a given community is. The violator’s of a code of honour usually faces disciplinary measure such as suspension or expulsion from the university. Universities and several institutions such as military academies use honour codes to curb to dishonesty and hence foster honesty and integrity.

Majority of the code of honors’ discourage stealing, cheating or any other misconduct within an institution. The foundation of honor code can be traced back in 1779, were it was first established and implemented at the college of William and Mary in Virginia. The honor code first started with individual commitment, followed by the principles or ideals and finally the commitment to watch over other students. Honor code aims at minimizing corrosive academic dishonesty and helps in improving the quality of degree one is doing and at the end improving individuals’ life (John, 2004). Unlike the Hampden-Sydney College honor code which is compared with the military one, University of Colorado honor code encourages and support dialogue between the teachers and students.  Hampden-Sydney College applies its honor code both at school and at home. Like the military abetting violation is as well as violating the code of honor. Strict code of honor is also applied at Brigham young university. The code of honor not only encourages honest academic behavior, limits an individual student on drinking of alcohol, drug abuse and smoking, grooming standards and sex life.

However, there are other universities and colleges which have encouraged students to run their own honor code so as to enhance students’ participation. Such colleges include university of Texas, Princeton University, university of Colorado, University of Mary Washington Vanderbilt University and many others. This tries to instill in students personal discipline since our world requires professionals who can deliver quality work under minimum supervision. By giving students the freedom to identify certain norms and principles to guide their actions, they give them the ability to influence not only their lives but that of others. Abraham Lincoln one said that the way to make men trustable is to trust them. This philosophy therefore has strong roots and has been acknowledged as workable and indeed highly beneficial to the concerned parties.

While other universities extend their code of honor outside their universities, University of Colorado honor code only works within the school thus providing freedom to the students to decide how to carry themselves outside the confines of the institution. However, this freedom should not be used as a conduit for participating in illegal activities since doing so is in direct violation of the honor code. Needless to say that whatever a student does outside should not affect his performance within the school and when such a conflict of interest occurs, the student must choose between school and the outside world (Appiah, 2010).

At the University of Colorado, plagiarism, cheating and fabrication had become widespread among the student in the university community creating a culture of dishonesty and thus affecting the credibility and quality of the university degree. In an effort to reduce such habits the university council came up with the guidelines to reduce academic dishonesty and hence foster positive culture and attitude towards academic excellence. One of the salient features of the honor code at the university is that it is student run. This means that each student is responsible or accountable to another. However, students may develop negative attitude towards each other, especially those who report the violators of the honor code. Nevertheless, with the establishment of good communication channel within the university may reduce the chances of knowing the reporter.

Integrating university policies with the syllabus is a greater step in closing the gap between the administration expectation and the student anticipation. Honor code being a significant social contract which is a basis for harmony and integrity within the university, it is a vital tool in creating awareness and creating conducive and favorable condition for dialogue hence enhancing and improving individuals integrity.

The application of honor code accrues many benefits both inside the institution and outside environment. An honor code instills positive character traits and behavior such as honesty, trust and integrity can be applied outside the University of Colorado. This will lead in creating quality graduates who are creative and honest even as they join the mainstream world and assigned bigger responsibilities. A good example is the honor code of the Anschutz Medical Campus which discourages student from participating in any activity related to drinking of alcohol and drug abuse. This is because such activities are unprofessional and does not align well with bright prospects for a successful future. With the honor code in place, it guides students in their journey to become professionals with a deep rooted sense of integrity. In doing so, the University of Colorado will gain recognition as a center for excellence where students are not only taught the programs they enroll but are guided in a manner that produces people of integrity, principles and strong leaders.

Honor code helps students to be creative and participate more in research work. By doing this it will help them avoid plagiarism and hence a good culture of reading. With provision of more work from teachers and guiding them on how to do research students will engage more with the teachers thus creating rapport (John, 2004). This rapport will enhance honest participation and therefore developing integrity. In this regard, enforcement of honor codes motivates students to achieve excellence and succeed in fulfilling the requirements of their course in a credible manner.

Academic dishonesty may be described as any activity that may lead to unfair competition or create disadvantage over the other students. Such activities include plagiarism, cheating, lying, fabrication, bribery and threat. Involving in such activities, leads to the violation of honor code at Colorado University hence watering down the quality and integrity of my degree course. Engaging in the aforementioned activities leads to personal harm as the dangers of getting caught are severe. It will be devastating to loose one’s place at the university and this act would make getting a similar chance in other reputable universities highly improbable.

The degree awarded by Colorado University requires students to engage in intense research work to be able to bring positive change within the university community. This implies that, misinterpretation of truth, taking of another person’s property without permission, copying, illegal collaboration and sharing of information during examination will make my degree course not meet the required standards. Assisting others to cheat or circumvent the rules is detrimental to the person being aided and a serious violation of the university rules and honor code. This in the long run will affect the individual student and the quality of degree being offered by Colorado University. In addition, it might perpetuate a culture of laziness and erode the reputation of the university in the long run.

Since we have been mandated and given the collective responsibility to run and protect the honor code, we are able to take immediate action to prevent violations and discourage students from engaging in dishonest academic activities. We should strive to conduct myself in manner that reflects integrity especially during exams and other related affairs. It is also a part of every student’s responsibility to discourage those who would attempt to cheat and report those who refuse to head warnings.  This is because aiding in cheating or engaging in cheating is detrimental top oneself, to others within the university and to society in general.  Should other students realize that others are outperforming them based on cheating and plagiarism, it might foster an attitude of disconnect and disillusionment. The effect might be increased cheating as other students adopt the same behavior.

In conclusion, it is necessary to highlight that honor codes are a vital part of any institution since it guides its members on how to act in a moral way. Universities are institutions of higher learning where students are not only expected to acquire skills but to demonstrate the use of their acquired skills. Some students have a habit of wasting time or seek short cuts rather than follow the expected routine in satisfying the requirements of their programs. They would rather cheat rather than do their best to study and conduct research and acquire merits which they do not deserve. Honor codes try to dissuade students form those kinds of acts since they are detrimental to themselves and to their institutions. An institution where students follow rules and observe codes of conduct are places where excellence and harmony thrives. 

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