What it is & why it matters:
The StFX motto, “whatsoever things are true,” has particular relevance to the issue of academic integrity. From a place of pure scholarship to an institution of professional certification, nothing that defines a university can exist without a commitment to truth.
A person acting with integrity acts without deceit, will not put their name to work that is not entirely their own, and will not use dishonesty to get an unfair advantage over their peers. A student with integrity recognizes that the process of study and assessment exists to help them learn, takes responsibility for their own outcomes, and has the courage to use a poor grade as a guide to improvement.
People with integrity and respect for truth can be trusted as friends and relied upon as family, they are preferred as employees, and they are respected as members of society. Life continues after graduation; developing the habit of integrity turns a student into the kind of person who will continue to earn that trust and respect after leaving StFX. This is both the future we want for our students and the behaviour that we expect from them.
StFX students are expected to maintain their integrity in all of their academic work. While some may find our standards and expectations familiar, others may come from backgrounds and educational cultures with quite different norms, for example where a student is expected to memorize and reproduce the words of experts. Adapting to the academic integrity expectations at StFX can be intimidating, but it is necessary, and we are here to help.
Offences and consequences:
The StFX Academic Integrity Policy (Appendix 2) defines the types of academic dishonesty.
Plagiarism is the misrepresentation of another’s work—whether ideas or words, intellectual or creative works, images, or data— published or unpublished, as one’s own.
Cheating is when a student or students seek credit or other advantages for themselves or disadvantage for others through fraud, misrepresentation of work, dishonesty, or disruptive behaviour.
Fabrication involves the act of creating a falsehood to obtain credit or advanced standing or seeking to disadvantage others through dishonest or disruptive behaviour.
Falsification includes but is not limited to the untruthful representation, reporting, and submission of any personal, academic, or other graded assessment and evaluation to obtain credit or advanced standing or seeking to disadvantage others through dishonest or disruptive behaviour.
Tampering: When a student knowingly makes or creates unauthorized alterations to obtain credit or advanced standing or seeks to disadvantage others through dishonest or disruptive behaviour.
The consequences of these acts almost invariably include the loss of any grade value for the assignment in question, and regularly include failure in the entire course. These are already serious repercussions: re-taking courses costs money, slows down progress through a degree, and can delay graduation. Transcripts can also be marked accordingly, and students can be placed on academic probation or asked to leave the university. Read the policy.
The most common form of academic dishonesty, and the only one regularly committed accidentally, plagiarism is something that every student must learn to avoid. It is your responsibility. Learn more.
Technology: AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AI (Academic Integrity)
The use of technology to assist academic work is nothing new; the printed word was a disruptive technology in its own day. However, new discoveries in artificial intelligence and the computational power at our disposal today make it necessary for students (and faculty) to take special care around the ethics of technology in our work. Learn more.
The academic discipline process follows procedures defined in the Academic Integrity Policy. In some cases, students will hear first from their professors, in others from an Academic Integrity Officer. In both cases, a response is required within a specific timeframe. The office of the Academic Integrity Adviser exists to advise students and help them through the process with a minimum of stress. Contact the AIA.
While a student's first encounter with the Academic Integrity process would come directly from a professor, subsequent incidents will involve the Senate Committee on Academic Integrity and the process described here: