Return of student integrity-advocacy week to feature variety of events

Sylvia Butanda

The re-installment of IntegrityUT Week will emphasize the University’s Honor Code policy with the goal of promoting honest academic behavior among students on campus.

IntegrityUT Week, hosted by the Senate of College Councils in collaboration with the Academic Integrity Committee, will host events for the first time since its discontinuation in 2007 after it was determined to be ineffective at reaching out to students. In the 2009-2010 academic year, 1,314 cases of academic dishonesty were opened and resolved either by faculty members or by Student Judicial Services staff.

This time around, more effective ways of reaching out to students will be prominent in the scheduled events, said Michelle Moon, co-chair for the Academic Integrity Committee.

The main event of the week will be Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Student Activity Center and will feature keynote speaker and highly distinguished UT Alumni, Margaret C. Berry.

“She will speak about the importance of integrity in her life and how the University has shaped the values she upholds,” Moon said.

Senate President Carisa Nietsche said she hopes students will have a chance to celebrate the Honor Code and the core values at the University and wants to remind students of what it means to live with honor and integrity as a Longhorn.

IntegrityUT Week will continue Wednesday at the Perry Castaneda Library with a class discussing plagiarism through an interactive and interesting module for students, Moon said.

Senate communications director Michael Morton said IntegrityUT Week will feature a number of events that all strive to highlight the honor code and bring academic honesty to the forefront of students’ minds.

Another event highlighting academic honesty is a student improvisation activity Wednesday where students from various organizations on campus will be tasked with creating a two to three minute performance.

“Six teams will each describe what the six core values mean to them, which include learning, discovery, freedom, individual opportunity, responsibility and leadership,” Moon said.

The final event of the week on Thursday will invite resident assistants from various dormitories who will be competing in the finals of a two-week long case study that asks these students to evaluate responses to various ethical challenges, Moon said.

There will be a chance for students to take part in IntegrityUT Week by visiting the Senate table in the West Mall or at Gregory Plaza to sign a giant copy of the Honor Code and also provide their feedback on integrity on campus, Moon said.

“Despite its significant importance to the University and higher education, integrity is often overlooked or simply viewed as a buzzword,” Morton said. “We hope that students will take time to reflect on the importance of academic honesty and why it is important to live and learn with integrity.”