All Around the Liberal Arts

By Amy Ledig & Anna Waugh

University of Texas at San AntonioStudents at this central Texas university have taken cheating to a whole new level by plagiarizing in their honor code. Apparently, the words match Brigham Young University’s code to a T, without any citation. They even plagiarized the definition of plagiarism.

According to The Houston Chronicle (no cheating here, you see), “students wanted to draft an honor code that discouraged cheating and plagiarizing,” but failed to give credit where it was due.

The student in charge of writing the code called it an “oversight,” but some experts see it as a growing trend in the Internet age of “cut and paste.”

According to John Barrie, the co-founder of Turnitin.com, a website company that screens 125,000 student papers a day for plagiarized material, about 30 percent of papers have some material stolen from another source, usually the internet.

Irony cuts deep. The students who wrote the code will not even be punished, as the draft was created five years ago and made its way through several student and faculty advisory groups without anyone noticing a problem.

According to Akshay Thusu, the student now in charge of fixing of the mess, the proper citations will be added. “We don’t want to have an honor code that is stolen.”

Of course, as a forum responder at fark.com so eloquently put it, “There’s only so many ways to say ‘no copying sh*t,’ though I bet none of ’em use that phrase.”

‘College campus of the future’

Unhappy at the prospect of having to pack up and head elsewhere for grad school? Really jealous you are not able to take that great class your friend at Dartmouth keeps talking about? Well, that may be a thing of the past.

The Star Tribune reported last week that classes would begin to be offered at EdCampus Twin Cities in 2010. The campus, which will be located in Chaska, will have most of the usual amenities – dorms, library, cafeteria. The catch: classes will be available from colleges and universities across the country. Classrooms will be built and left open, to be leased by schools and used either for lectures by flesh and blood professors or for classes via satellite.

“They could lease space to anyone from Harvard to North Dakota State,” Chaska Mayor Gary Van Eyll said.

Students will be able to pick and choose the classes they want to take. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is looking at using the facility as a way to expand offerings in the Twin Cities area.

Just think, future college students could be spared having to choose just one school. Maybe you really can have it all.