Everyone has probably cheated at some point in their life. Be it cheating on a test, a significant other or simply cheating on a new diet. The fact is, the process is all the same and eventually someone gets caught.

So why do people feel the need to cheat? At Ferris State University, academic dishonesty is not taken lightly and the repercussions of such an act can lead to long-term consequences.

“Faculty have the discretion to handle incidents of cheating a variety of ways,” said Ferris Associate Dean of Student Life and Student Conduct, Nicholas Campau. “From deducting points on an assignment or test, receiving a zero on the assignment or test, failing the student from the class and/or referral to the Office of Student Conduct. In some rare cases, the incident of academic misconduct has been severe enough to have a student removed from their program and suspended from school.”

This is clearly outlined and explained under “Academic Honesty” in the Ferris Registration and Academic Guide 2015-2016.

Campau also does presentations to inform students about the Office of Student Conduct.

According to Campau, when he asks his students what two academic misconduct policies are violated the most, their responses are always cheating and plagiarism, which is correct.

Plagiarism is often a topic of some confusion; many students believe it to be only copying whole passages of another person’s work word-for-word. This, however, is not always the case.

In many situations, plagiarism is simply not referencing a source appropriately or taking credit for an idea, even if the original author gave their consent. Replacing words with synonyms still qualifies as plagiarism.

It is apparent that the percentage of academic cheating at Ferris has declined significantly since the year 2012. With the help and cooperation of Ferris State students and staff working together, the hope is that those numbers can continue to establish an all-time low for years to come.

Academic Misconduct Referrals

Year                Referrals

2012-2013:    28

2013-2014:    14

2014-2015:    13

2015-2016:     9