Sara Bell ponders integrity of Baker’s society

Story by Sara

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What is integrity and why does it matter?

Over the past few weeks, I have been asking myself these questions repeatedly and have struggled to dream up a clear and well-defined response.

In today’s society, cheating has become prevalent and increasingly easier.<br/>

Yes, the Internet is full of resources that allow students to take shortcuts in their work.

However, are students being completely honest with themselves or professors if they are taking every available chance to skip out on a little bit of work?

Honesty is the main component of integrity, and I think somewhere along the way many have lost sight of that.

How can a professor truly assess what students have learned if they are not completing work on their own?

How can any community be successful if its foundation is not built on honesty?

Without integrity, how can anyone build trust?

This character trait is admirable and should be much more common than it appears to be.

As I pondered what integrity meant to me, I tried to think of one person who was a clear face of this virtuous quality.

However, I drew another blank.

I could think of a few people that I know personally who exuded this type of character, but not a single individual in the public spotlight came to mind.

The concepts of truthfulness, strong morals and accountability should be visible in every aspect of society, but I feel as if they are on a steady decline.

When Sam Eshaghoff, an Emory University student, was under investigation for taking college admissions exams for high school students in the fall of 2011, it reminded me to what lengths some students will go to get ahead.

If students are willing to pay $2,000 for someone else to take a test in their place, then do they even have the motivation to complete their own assignments?

As a future educator, this is a constant concern for me.<br/>

I will have no way of knowing if students are truly comprehending the material or if they simply know how to cheat effectively.

I know students are entirely too busy and online shortcuts seem like the easy way out, but these sources are not always reliable and hinder learning.

The only way for society to get back on track is for individuals to make a conscious effort to strive for integrity in all they do.

I continue to ponder my original question, but I think United States engineer and architect Richard Buckminster Fuller said it best, “Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”