On Sept. 25, Weaver Chapel was filled with students, faculty, advisors and an athletic director for the FYS Honors Signing, where Nancy McHugh, professor of philosophy, spoke on Wittenberg’s academic integrity.
“When I think about academic integrity, I think about what it really takes for qualities of an effective academic community—both small and large,” McHugh said. “Cause that’s what we are—we’re a community of learners here and we have smaller communities within our study groups and our classes, and then we exist as a student body and academic community…”
There are at least five pieces that make up academic integrity: 1) treat each other and oneself as ends and not merely as means 2) build and enable trust 3) think individually and collectively for the good of ourselves and our community 4) engage and respond to in critique regarding ourselves, each other and the overall community and 5) think and act humbly and compassionately towards ourselves and the community, McHugh stated.
The event is special because it sets academic standards for students during their first year, stated Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, professor of religion and head of the FYS program. By signing the book, students are promising to uphold the Wittenberg ethical code.
“This gathering is important because it brings us together to make an intentional statement as a community about Wittenberg standards for academics and ethics,” Oldstone-Moore said. “This gathering is an outward and physical expression of an ideal that we understand with our hearts and our minds. It is a communal expression of an ideal that we each confirm with our individual signature.”
Before McHugh wrote her speech, she thought about the irony of how much easier it would be just to copy her statement off the website for this event, but she didn’t because she has a responsibility to the community and herself. She said that people do not learn anything in the long run from cheating—instead it cheats yourself. Wittenberg’s academic values in college renews the idea that you’re part of a living community McHugh stated.
Twins Eli and Gus Esterline are both undecided freshmen majors and were at the event.
The FYS program at Witt is good for new students because it allows them to meet new people Eli Esterline said.
“I thought she [McHugh] gave a lot of good info—its just one of those things you have to hear,” Gus Esterline said.
Pastor Rachel Tune began the event with a brief introduction and welcoming. She mentioned other activities that the chapel offers, such as Tuesday and Thursday chapel and the chapel history.
The event ended with students signing the books at the four tables that were spaced around the chapel while the Wittenberg Tuba Trio played.