The Undergraduate Senate met Sunday to discuss its recommendations on revisions to the Academic Integrity Code and to vote on two resolutions and an unrelated bill supporting federal funding for AU.
The Senate was joined by an Academic Integrity Code working group that has met regularly over the past few years to evaluate the AIC and improve AIC procedures that are problematic or not formally addressed. The group is comprised of AU’s primary AIC administrators (one for each college) and the special assistant to the provost.
Three of the administrators - Academic Affairs Administrator Michael Manson (College of Arts and Sciences), Special Assistant to the Provost Nathan Price and Associate School of Public Affairs Dean Meg Weekes - met with the Senate.
Erika Langhart, a sophomore in SPA and senator for the Class of 2009, meets frequently with the working group as director of Academic Affairs for Student Government and asked the group to discuss the proposed revisions with the Senate.
“I’ve been working with the AIC working group since the beginning of this year and felt like more student input was needed since this is the biggest change in the academic integrity code in more than 10 years,” Langhart said. “Since there are [a] lot of substantive changes, students need to be involved in the process and involved in the decision making.”
Many of the possible revisions resulted from agreements among the five AIC administrators to adopt a universal standard of handling plagiarism cases at AU from college to college, according to Manson.
Among the revisions discussed by the working group and the Senate were changes in the AIC’s preamble to more compellingly articulate values of academic integrity.
An ‘F’ in the course is a starting point for an AIC violation, Langhart said.
According to a SG Senate handout listing the proposed AIC changes, “Sanctioning is made on a case-by-case basis… which indicates the possibility of lesser sanctions.” The potential changes also proposes reducing the window of appeal for a grade of “F” with a transcript notation from 30 to 10 days.
The working group and Senate also brainstormed ways to make students more aware of various aspects of the AIC and their responsibility to know about them. One significant method proposed by the working group was the introduction of an online tutorial on the AIC that students would take in their first semester of enrollment.
Price expressed satisfaction in having the opportunity to speak to the Senate.
“We came today because the code is for AU students and we want to make sure the student leadership is engaged in the process of reviewing and discussing the proposed revisions to the code,” he said. “We also want to raise awareness about the many initiatives to promote academic integrity this year and in the future.”
After discussing the AIC revisions, the Senate passed in a 13-4-1 vote Resolution 06-07-006, which among its items recommends SG members, faculty, Health Center employees, Counseling Center staff members and Public Safety officers undergo sensitivity training geared toward GLBT issues.
The Senate voted against a proposal to remove clause 7 of Resolution 06-07-006, which would have removed language expressing the Senate’s support of two floors of on-campus housing being established as completely gender neutral.
The Senate also passed in a 16-2-0 vote Resolution 06-07-007, which “supports and applauds the SG and the RHA for working together” to collaborate on preparations for Spring Fling.
A vote on Bill 06-07-010, which discusses AU’s federal funding, was postponed until the Senate’s next meeting.