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GPSC gives group approval to look at honor standard

In an attempt to enhance University-wide academic integrity, the Graduate and Professional Student Council met last night to discuss the Duke Community Standard. The standard incorporates academic and nonacademic aspects of student life into a single code.

The new code was designed by the Academic Integrity Council, made up of faculty, students and administrators, to unify the present Honor Code and the little-known Fundamentals Standard. After presenting the new standard to the undergraduate body in May, the committee requested that it apply to graduate and professional students as well.

"We saw these as guiding principles," said Lou D'Amico, a biology graduate student and a GPSC representative on the Academic Integrity Committee. "How this applies to graduate and professional students has not yet been fleshed out. What we are looking for today is an endorsement of the principles."

Marc Sokol, a second-year student in the Fuqua School of Business, expressed concern that if graduate students signed the standard, some students would end up governed by two documents, since many graduate and professional schools already have detailed honor codes.

However, D'Amico said the committee will spend most of this year looking into how they can best incorporate the standard into the different schools. He admitted that the execution may differ with respect to each school.

After some discussion regarding the extent to which members of GPSC supported the standard itself, the body voted to endorse GPSC's support of a committee to look at the standard.

"A code is only a part of the University honor system," said Judith Ruderman, vice provost for academic and administrative services. Ruderman worked this past summer with D'Amico and other GPSC members to discuss the incorporation process. She attended the meeting to emphasize that many graduate students are teaching assistants who would be affected, since the new policy calls for an end to proctored exams.

IN OTHER BUSINESS: The council elected John Cook, a second-year law student, to the vacated position of community affairs coordinator. Cook, who was studying abroad last year, served on the Parking and Transportation Task Force and will work extensively with international, cultural and other student groups across campus.

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