Major cheating allegations at one of the nation’s top universities have sparked a national conversation about the necessity of honor codes.
Harvard University announced last week that about 125 undergraduate students might have inappropriately collaborated on a take-home final exam in a large lecture class last semester.
And at the forefront of this scandal is Harvard’s lack of a formal honor system or code.
The allegations have prompted the university to consider implementing an honor code, according to a statement in the Harvard Gazette, the university’s official newspaper.
“These allegations, if proven, represent totally unacceptable behavior that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at Harvard depends,” Harvard President Drew Faust said in the statement.
Faust said the university will deal with the incident in a “deliberative process” and educate Harvard students about the school’s values.
At UNC, the Honor Code is prominent both in and out of the classroom.
Amanda Claire Grayson, UNC student attorney general, said an honor code brings a strong set of benefits to any university and student body.
“The purpose of any honor code is to provide a set of community standards,” she said. “We expect members of that community to be aware of what those rules are.”