Council Addresses Academic Dishonesty

Students from different backgrounds and all walks of life met last Thursday, Sept. 25, for the first of two workshops hosted by the Santa Monica College Honor Council to discuss ideas covering cheating and its effects on students and society alike.
Acting as an "exchange between students," the workshop entitled "Cheating: How It Affects You & What You Can Do About It" lasted 90 minutes as a forum for not only students but members of the faculty, SMC's Honor Council, and Board of Trustees members as well.
As well as being an open discussion for students and faculty, the workshop worked as a vehicle to introduce students to the SMC Honor Council formed this year. The Honor Council is the first for community colleges throughout California.
"One of the Honor Council's core objectives is to raise awareness among students about the seriousness of academic dishonesty and its effects, not only on those who take shortcuts to cheat, but also their peers who conduct themselves ethically," said Dawna Kemper, Honor Council chair.
Led jointly by Prof. Kemper, Prof. Greg Brookings, and Hon. David Finkel, the workshop began with an icebreaker, asking students their opinions of the new quad completed recently. Speaking to the legacy of honor that the school would leave in terms of its highly-rated campus and reputation, the workshop closed with a similar theme: students carrying themselves with the same legacy of honor, being ethical and full of integrity in society.
Speaking on behalf of their home countries, students discussed not only the levels, or "gradations," of cheating, but also spoke on the effects of cheating on society and the need for an Honor Council in order to spark the "process of changing a culture" of dishonesty and cheating.
"For one thing, a student who cheats is outcome-driven, rather than process-driven, however it is through process, not outcome, that we actually learn anything of value," said Kemper.
The second of the two workshops will be held Thursday, Oct. 23, during the activity hour. Students interested in participating with the SMC Honor Council may attend meetings in the Student Affairs Conference Room, Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.