Students and Ethics

Ethics is one of the most essential parts of the college experience, as it defines moral/immoral and ethical/unethical attitudes and behaviors. Ethics consists of the utilitarian and deontological principles. Utilitarianism serves the interests of other people. It is powerful and persuasive as takes into consideration people's preferences. Deontologism presupposes defining moral and ethical principles of behaviors and attitudes. Deontological ethics demands following the moral duties. One can say that students very often face moral/immoral choices throughout the college experience. As a result, ethics is crucial for the development of knowledge and skills and their formation as humans.

In the present times, students deal with the ethical issues related to the online tuition, academic dishonesty, and behavior at the campus. The main problem is that students are not conscious about the moral and ethical side of their behavior at colleges. As a result, immoralism can lead them to the degradation and emotional destruction. Consequently, ethics is a must for the college students to move forward and overcome life barriers.

Online tuition is extremely popular among students as it is convenient, quick, and available. However, ethics is one of the aspects that puts in doubt online tuition and its efficiency. Online tuition depends on the regulations and rules of the institutions and proper use of the Internet facilities. It has been proved that online tuition deals with such ethical issues as plagiarism, fair use, copyright, piracy, licensing, privacy, and acceptable use. Online teaching presupposes avoiding piracy and licensing as the aspects that follow moralism. Software should be licensed to provide fair access to the Internet and online programs (Sartory, 2013).

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The use of the illegally copied programs also violates the principles of ethics. To avoid this, institutions should provide their students with the licensed programs and legally copied information. Books, music, photographs, video, sculpture, databases, and multimedia belong to the intellectual property that is protected by copyright laws. It is students' moral choice to use others' intellectual property legally or illegally. A fair use of information is the basis of the development of morality and the way to the academic achievements. Without doubt, it is easier to use research papers written by other people. However, ethics should be not only the indicator of personal qualities but the marker of knowledge, skills, and talent (Sartory, 2013).

Another moral issue concerning students throughout the college experience is their behavior on campus. First of all, living on campus presupposes being far from homes and parents. As a result, students forget about their moral codes, thus violating discipline, drinking alcohol, smoking, and using drugs. Consequently, they lose the interest to education and can be even involved in crimes and offenses. Stealing, cheating, lying and intolerance are the most common immoral issues on campus. Every campus has the Student Honor Code that demands following all ethical principles (Davey & Davey, 2001).

 

Violation of the Honor Code can lead to excluding from campus as it presupposes a minimum standard of ethical norms. Moreover, living on campus develops an internal self-enforcement mechanism that helps to avoid unethical actions and devote much time to education, hobbies, and personal interests. However, one should say that not all students can control their negative energy, spending it on the entertainment and immoral activities. Generosity, justice, respect, truthfulness, courage, and loyalty are the virtues that students need to possess. As a result, campus is like a trial to the students on moralism or immoralism.

Academic dishonesty is one of the most serious ethical issues throughout the college experience. Plagiarism shows the careless attitude to the educational process and academic achievements. Academic dishonesty is a conscious activity that includes cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, abuse of academic materials, and electronic dishonesty. Consequently, it belongs to the immoral actions. The statistics of academic dishonesty is really alarming, therefore, for the universities, ethics is one of the mechanisms to stop it. 51% of students plagiarize or cheat on a test. However, only 18% of them receive punishments. It proves imperfection of the educational process and unserious attitude to education (Nelson, Nelson, & Tichenor, 2013).

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In the present times, all universities are struggling against academic dishonesty, but this negative experience happens very often. Students need moral courage and ethical education to avoid cheating and plagiarism as unfair ways of achieving the academic success. The university administration uses the newspapers with the students suspended in academic dishonesty and expelled from the university. It is an efficient way as other students begin to think whether cheating will be beneficial for them or not. It is immoral to ignore academic dishonesty as it causes other cases of immoral behavior throughout the college experience.

In conclusion, one should say that ethical issues have become the part of the students' college experience. The moral dilemmas concern online tuition, academic dishonesty, and behavior on campus. Despite the control of the university administration, students continue to practice cheating and plagiarizing, thus making their academic achievements doubtful. Consequently, the larger part of students ignore the ethical principles and choose the easiest way to better their academic results. The Honor Code indicates the rights of students at the university and on campus. However, the university administration can not solve this issue immediately.

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