As college students’ educational endeavors come to a close with capstone projects and other undergraduate research opportunities, they mustn’t surrender one thing in particular as their piles of textbooks, scholarly articles and empty coffee cups accumulate: academic integrity.
According to the Nov. 9 Salt Lake Tribune article “Nanorod research was faked, University of Utah investigation finds,” a graduate student at the university “doctored photos for a paper about microscopic structures called nanorods, making it appear as if a theory on how to change their position worked.”
As Dixie State University advances and more research opportunities become available to its students, this situation highlights the need to balance academic growth with an environment that fosters in its students the benefits of honesty.
Such a suggestion seems like common sense; we learn from our early school years of the ails of cheating and dishonesty. However, college brings unimaginable stress, and when hurdling academic obstacles like capstone projects, lessons once learned might seem less meaningful than the daunting tasks at hand.
So let’s all take steps to even during our most pressure-packed college experiences work with an ethical approach.
First, understanding how fortunate we are to have these opportunities helps combat the urge to cheat.
DSU hosting the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research this spring, new academic programs coming into fruition at DSU each year, and excellent staff taking positions at DSU all show this institution’s promise, and each student can contribute positively with academic integrity.
Second, seeking guidance from others on campus can both reduce stress and the likeliness of feeling the urge to resort to something drastic.
Organizations like DSU’s Undergraduate Research Committee help promote and coordinate students’ academic projects. By taking advantage of services like the URC, students can alleviate pressure and seek guidance to make all forms of plagiarism completely unwarranted.
With help creating project outlines, setting personal deadlines and reviewing work before revision from DSU faculty, peers and URC members, the process of completing research becomes less stressful.
For information on the URC and mentoring, go to dixie.edu/urc.