In the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Saint John Paul II affirmed that it is “the honor and responsibility of a Catholic University to consecrate itself without reserve to the cause of truth.” Although in the first place this affirmation was meant to be applied to truth as the end of the academic endeavor, that is, truth as the good of the created intellect, it also plainly applies to the means, or the very life, of an academic community as well.
Signaling his intention by the use of such terms as “impartial,” “disinterested,” and “free” to describe the academic life—the common search for truth—Saint John Paul painted a noble and challenging picture of what might be called the moral constitution of an academic community. Since truth is the good of the intellect, the highest human faculty, an institution “consecrated” to the truth is constrained to view any departure from impartiality, disinterestedness, freedom, and truthfulness in the work of its members as a betrayal of its own nature.
As a Roman Catholic College, therefore, Thomas More College insists upon the highest standard of rectitude from all of its members, both in terms of the moral life generally and, most especially, in the truthfulness of utterance and written work. Accordingly, the College requires all of her students to subscribe to the Honor Code and Pledge.
The Honor Code is the formal affirmation on the part of every member of the College that the common good of truth can only be attained by those who live in accordance with forthright and complete truthfulness.
Accordingly, unless explicit permission for group work is given by the professor, all assignments are to be the creative work of each individual student. Moreover, plagiarism in the form of unattributed borrowing from sources—whether in print form or electronically—is forbidden without qualification. All cases of suspected plagiarism are to be reported to the Dean. The normal penalty for plagiarism is a failure of the course for which the work was submitted. Repeat offenders will be subject to a disciplinary hearing convened by the Dean of Students. The normal penalty for a repeat offense is expulsion from the College.
As a sign of their affirmation of the Honor Code, students subscribe to the Honor Pledge on each and every assignment, test, and quiz they complete. The Pledge is made in Latin to signify that the student’s pursuit of wisdom is made in union with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, present throughout the world and reaching back in time to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Per fidem meam obtestor auxilium
neque mihi datum
neque a me acceptum
neque ullatenus indagatum esse.
The text of the pledge is to be understood in these terms: On my faith, I testify that aid has not been given to me, nor has it been provided by me, nor sought out in any way whatsoever.
As a sign of their recognition of the students’ commitment to truthfulness, the Fellows of the College normally do not proctor examinations.