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Honor Council aims to maintain diploma’s value

What organization has 22 members? What organization was formed as a result of a Student Government initiation in 1986, and the revised in 1991? What organization is dubbed with the role to educate the students of the University of Miami, and keep the values of their diploma high? That’s right! The University of Miami Honor Council is the answer to those questions.

Those questions are questions every university student can hear on the UC Patio during Academic Integrity Week. Academic Integrity Week is a weeklong program hosted by the Honor Council, to educate everyone at UM about cheating, and what can occur because of it.

“The purpose of the Undergraduate Honor Council at the University of Miami is to educate students about academic honesty and to investigate and adjudicate cases of those students who chose to violate the Undergraduate Honor Code,” said Becky Quarles, President of the Honor Council.

The Honor Council has a very difficult job because they are in charge of maintaining the worth of a diploma. When someone cheats on a test, or plagiarizes a report, it lowers the value of every student’s diploma.

“We [Honor Council] maintain the integrity of our diploma,” says Quarles. “The group of students on the Honor Council are about maintaining the value of the diplomas for every student.”

Cheating is definitely a progressive problem, meaning a majority of people who cheat in college, have cheated in high school and before. However, most students do not realize the punishment of cheating is much more than a slap on the wrist, or a 0 on the exam. At the University of Miami, punishments range from a disciplinary warning, to academic probation, to expulsion from the university.

“At the University of Miami, we enforce a university-wide honor code that encourages every member of the university community to report acts of academic dishonesty to the University of Miami Honor Council,” exclaims Quarles.

However, the type of cheating that has been reportedly on the rise is plagiarism. Plagiarism, by definition, means takings someone’s words or ideas as if they were your own. However, many times plagiarism occurs because students are not properly educated on how to site sources.

All students who are charged with cheating are adjudicated by their peers. A board called the Selections and Appeals Board chooses the Honor Councils’ members. The board is made up of The Vice President for Student Affairs, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, and the Student Government President.

Dr. Patricia A. Whitely, Vice President for Student Affairs, is the Chair of the Selections and Appeals Board. The Honor Council has student from every class setting, and every academic college. Each member is asked to go through a rigorous interview process.

“We are looking for interested freshman, who are students with high integrity,” responds Whitely.

Gary Kausmeyer, Honor Council President Emeritus recollects why he joined the honor council. “I felt I could make a difference, and I had a desire to serve in the enforcement capacity,” replied Kausmeyer.

President Quarles has many great ideas for the upcoming year.

“I think she [President Quarles] is going be awesome. She is a person of great character and leadership necessary to lead the honor council,” exclaims Whitely.

If you are interest in the Honor Council, visit www.miami.edu/honor-council or cal 305-284-5354.

July 29, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.