It’s crunch time, and with four finals to study for, finishing that 10-page paper on evolution seems impossible. The clock is ticking, and with each passing minute the thought of just plagiarizing is getting more and more tempting.
According to the Honor Code statistics, from Sept. 1, 2009 to Sept. 1, 2010 there were 227 reported violations of the Honor Code. Cheating and plagiarism led the types of violations, occurring 113 and 94 times, respectively. Students who violate the Honor Code face sanctions ranging from community service to suspension or expulsion.
Karen Raforth, CU’s director of Counseling and Psychological Services said stressed students sometimes justify plagiarism by convincing themselves that it isn’t wrong.
“Sometimes people rationalize to themselves that maybe this isn’t cheating,” Raforth said. “They take a risk they shouldn’t take…sometimes they make really bad decisions and they aren’t thinking very clearly and they make a bad mistake by cheating.”
Michelle Hewitt, a 22-year-old senior Spanish and humanities double major, said she thinks internet accessibility plays a large role in plagiarism.
“[Students plagiarize because] it’s easy, everything is online, [students think] ‘why not just cut and paste?’,” Hewitt said. “People just think they can get away with it.”
Raforth said the pressure to succeed can overwhelm students and lead to stress and anxiety.
“I think that particularly for students, you can start feeling overwhelmed because deadlines are all here…and anyone who has been procrastinating is in trouble,” Raforth said.
Students said they feel better preparation and time management can help prevent high stress situations during finals.
“Preparation and planning ahead of time helps, because you know when your assignments are due most of time, instead of putting it off to the end…makes it not as stressful,” said Seth Luna, a 25-year-old senior Spanish major.
While cheating and plagiarizing may fulfill deadlines, Corey Bruner, a 21-year-old junior business major and Chairman of the Honor Code, said Honor Code violators will graduate unfulfilled.
“You may cheat your way through [school] and then what are you left with?” Bruner said. “You are left with an unearned degree, a job which you are under-qualified for and the feeling that you have done nothing to earn where you got in life. By unethically achieving grades and completing projects, you discredit everything you have worked for.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Rose Heaphy at Josephine.firstname.lastname@example.org.