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Harvard officials, who declined to comment for this story, say they plan to revisit their academic integrity policies and possibly create an honor code.
But experts say the whole situation is indicative of systemic issues that will be hard to address simply by throwing one together.
Perhaps the main culprit in such behavior, experts say, one that is ingrained deeply in college students today – particularly at elite universities like Harvard – is the idea that the main objective should be to pass, not to learn.
It’s what defines success in our country,” she said.
“They feel caught up in this system where it requires them to sacrifice their integrity or do whatever they can to get ahead, because that’s the system we’ve created.” In the days after news of the scandal broke, students in the class started speaking out, saying the course and instructors were so confusing and inconsistent that students had no choice but to collaborate, and in some cases did so in the presence of teaching assistants.
“The existence of an environment where one might cheat is not an excuse for cheating,” one wrote.
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Another commented: “These spoiled brats seem to be turning on their professor to protect their diplomas.” (Others took greater issue with the professor and class format than the students.) If Harvard does go the honor code route, it could help create a culture where students and professors are more trusting of one another and cheating is less likely to occur.The second major announcement was the creation of a new honor board, which will include both student and faculty members and hear cases of academic dishonesty.We applaud this effort to engage the student perspective in the disciplinary process.Having students on the honor board not only makes the process more transparent to the student body but also gives those with the best knowledge of the infractions at hand—current students—a say in the correct punitive measures.Judgment before one’s peers can also be a deterrent to potential cheaters.in April, an honor code shaped by the student body moves the moral responsibility of academic dishonesty away from the administration and onto the students.The development of a declaration and honor board puts more onus on student judgment and decision-making.The of integrity—which requires students to “attest to the honesty of [their] academic work and affirm that it conforms to the standards of the Harvard College Honor Code”—will have to be signed before every major test and paper.It should serve as a reminder of the importance and value of academic integrity at the times in which cheating is most tempting.With the top applicants from every high school applying to the best schools in the country, it's important to have an edge in your college application.In our 2019 edition, check out ten of our newest Harvard application essays and profiles from students who made it in.