Creativity for character

Students are invited to participate in a poster conteset promoting academic integrity

Grace Westphal

Grace Westphal, Staff Reporter

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This fall, Stevenson is holding its first ever academic integrity poster contest.

The winning poster will be displayed throughout the school, and the first place artist will win a $100 Amazon gift card. The three runners up will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

Students have until Dec. 2 to submit their posters promoting either honesty, trust, fairness, responsibility or courage to Doug Lillydahl, director of communication arts. They are asked to create an artistically appealing poster as well as a catch phrase.

“The expectations are to start a dialogue in the building about what makes a good and honest person,” Lillydahl said.

By including the monetary incentive, Lillydahl said that he hopes the contest will receive a decent amount of submissions and entice people to think about what integrity and honesty mean to them in their lives.

Stevenson’s push for greater academic integrity underscores trends found in schools around the country. A recent survey conducted at Rutgers University of 24,000 students at 70 high schools found that 58 percent admitted to plagiarism and 64 percent admitted to cheating on a test.

In addition, 95 percent of the students surveyed admit they participated in some form of cheating in high school.  
According to the Stevenson code of conduct, cheating is considered anything from sharing homework answers to stealing answer keys. All first offenses of cheating are punishable by loss of privilege while second offenses could be cause for expulsion.

However, actions which students consider to be cheating can sometimes vary from those which the school outlines in its student guidebook.

“There’s a difference between cheating on an SAT or ACT, and cheating on five point homework assignment,” Katy Sloka ’18 said. “It’s not as bad as cheating on something that impacts your future.”

Lillydahl said that he intends for the posters to be put up in classrooms, hallways and on the school website so the message can reach the majority of the student body.

With 98 percent of Stevenson seniors attending a two or four year college in 2016, the majority of students will move on to higher education and then enter the workforce where the punishment for cheating isn’t as clear.

That said, the hope is that students will learn to value honesty and will demonstrate integrity in all their future endeavors.

“If you aren’t going to be responsible for little things, you aren’t going to be responsible when the stakes are higher,” math teacher Paul Kim said.

Posters can be submitted electronically, or delivered to room 2514 before Dec. 2 to be entered for a chance to win.

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