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02-18-2014

'Integrity' Campaign Promotes Honor Code

A student-led communication campaign designed to promote honor, trust and personal responsibility among Virginia Wesleyan students saw campus-wide success last semester, according to survey results. Throughout the spring and fall 2013 semesters, students in the course “Public Relations”—taught by Assistant Professor of Communication Lisa Lyon Payne—created and launched “Integrity Starts Here.” The campaign sought to increase personal involvement with the VWC Honor Code, measuring success based on students’ pre- and post-campaign understanding of the code’s five violations: cheating, plagiarism, lying, academic theft, and falsifying data. Results from an online survey sent to currently enrolled students showed a significant increase in students' ability to define the offenses, including an 11 percent jump in the ability to define lying and a 6 percent increase for falsifying data. To spread awareness, students distributed pocket Honor Codes, stress-relieving “squeeze brains” and a variety of meme-like posters throughout campus. They also participated in the homecoming parade and created Facebook and Twitter pages. The campaign is a result of Payne’s Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning faculty grant, which provided up to $1,000 toward a project that encourages and advances a culture of innovation and engaged learning-related activities. Ultimately, Payne hopes ongoing Honor Code awareness efforts will be implemented and overseen by an eventual student-run honor council. For more information, contact Lisa Lyon Payne at 757.455.3109 or lpayne@vwc.edu.

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