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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-It’s a lesson learned in Kindergarten that remains relevant through the highest levels of education. When it comes to school work, honesty is always the best policy.

Before every test, each student must sign below the

Mississippi State University Honor Code. It confirms that their work is their own. What takes seconds to sign, can have long lasting effects.

“One of the things I think an honor code does is create a culture of integrity and honesty so they have an obligation to society to learn something and do their work in an honest manner so they can go out and make a positive impact on the world,” says Dr. James Orr.

Since the honor code was put in affect in 2007, the statistics are showing an increase in cheating and plagarism cases, but Dr. Orr says that just means it’s working.

“We are seeing more cases reported, what that means is that the faculty and the staff, and students they have more confidence in academic integrity and the honor code process, but there is not more cheating occuring on campus, but there are more cases that are being reported,” says Dr. Orr.

Monete Glover helped plan Integrity Week. She says students are aware of the honor code, but some professors do not stress the penalties for breaking it.

“A lot of people don’t really know exactly what it would mean to violate the honor code so I think that this week is really needed so they can really find out what it means to violate the honor code,” says Monete Glover.

“Most students who violate the honor code, they don’t do it because they’re cheaters or because they enjoy cheating, a lot of times they just have poor study habits or they’re procrastinating and waited until the last minute,” says Dr. Orr.

We caught up with a Student Council member, who is present at punishment hearings.

“It’s just not worth it. It’s not worth your reputation. A professor of mine once told me that your reputation is all that you have in this world,” says Brittany Clark.

“One of the things I love about my job is that I have seen a student who was suspended for violationg teh honor code and then when they were punished they got a chance to think and learn from their mistakes and now they have come back and they have been successful on campus,” says Dr. Orr.

Plagiarism is the most common form of cheating at MSU. The Honor Code staff is closely working with the English Department to insure that students more accurately cite their work.

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