Before I heard Mr. Jerry Martin, English teacher and director of special projects, talk about bringing the Honor Code to Milken, I never gave much thought to my academic integrity. I never noticed how prominent a factor cheating really is at Milken. Yes, students at Milken cheat, but so do students at other schools. Although it feels wrong to admit, I feel like students, regardless of their grade, are cheating at Milken, and they don’t think it’s a big deal.
However, once Mr. Martin began sharing his ideas about academic integrity at Milken and the idea of the Honor Code, I started noticing some things about myself that I had not considered before. How often do I actually cheat in class? How much extra help do I receive when I have a take-home assignment or essay? And are the students at Milken that much different than me? I found myself setting a goal to do as much independent work as I possibly could because I began to realize that I really was prone to cheating.
While some students think that the Honor Code is unnecessary, and others feel that the faculty thinks we’re all cheaters, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to Mr. Martin and the SJC for bringing the Honor Code to Milken. The Honor Code has not even been formally introduced, yet I have already found myself trying to become a more honest student. It’s hard for anyone to take a step back and look at themselves and to be completely honest about their academic integrity, and it might even be a little embarrassing to admit. But I feel that it’s probably even more embarrassing to go into college and still have the mind-set that cheating isn’t wrong. And with so many new innovations happening at Milken, isn’t it about time we incorporated an Honor Code? The campus has gone through some serious construction, the school is becoming paperless, The Roar is online, and the schedule is changing. But in my opinion, the most important innovation is the students’ dedication to academic integrity, and the Honor Code will surely promote this once it’s introduced to the school.