Students and OSSJA


At UC Davis, students, faculty, and OSSJA share responsibility for maintaining academic integrity under our Code of Academic Conduct. Adopted in 1976, the Code builds upon a prior student-run honor system. Under the Code, students must behave honestly, fairly, and with respect for others in all their academic endeavors.

OSSJA administers the student discipline system, enforcing standards of conduct that support and provide a fair opportunity to learn and work in a fair  environment.

The student members of the Campus Judicial Board work with OSSJA to uphold academic integrity and promote responsible conduct. Although dealing with misconduct and serving on formal hearing panels are very difficult tasks, research shows that the attitude of student peers -- whether they condemn or condone cheating -- are key in creating and defining a campus climate that supports academic integrity. This is why CJB service and outreach efforts are so important.

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OSSJA Services for Students:

OSSJA administers the student disciplinary system with respect for the rights and welfare of accused students, reporting parties, and the UC Davis community as a whole. Discipline procedures protect rights of due process, equal treatment, and privacy. OSSJA maintains confidential, central records of conduct cases so that violations are handled consistently and so that repeat offenders are sanctioned accordingly.

OSSJA offers students the opportunity to resolve reports of suspected misconduct through an informal process of discussion and agreement that facilitates student learning. If agreement can't be reached, a fact-finding hearing is scheduled before the student-faculty Campus Judicial Board. After hearing evidence, the CJB determines whether it is more likely than not a violation occurred, and, if so, recommends sanctions. OSSJA provides trained student advisors or advocates to the parties if a formal hearing is necessary.

OSSJA uses procedures and sanctions designed to enhance the ethical, intellectual, and emotional growth and development of students. SJA often directs students who breach the Code of Academic Conduct to seek assistance or training through resources such as the Learning Skills Center in order to avoid similar problems in the future. Students may also be referred for counseling through Student Health and Counseling Services or the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Intervention Services.

OSSJA provides students with educational materials (including this website) to promote academic integrity and responsible conduct. OSSJA publishes the Code of Academic Conduct and the University Standards of Conduct for Students to inform students of their responsibilities and rights.

OSSJA helps to support and maintain academic excellence and and a civil campus environment by enforcing student conduct standards and administering the student disciplinary system. 

OSSJA provides non-clinical case management services to assist students in distress.

OSSJA provides leadership opportunities for students to take an active role in promoting integrity and responsible conduct through the CJB.

OSSJA provides consultation, information, advice, and assistance to students regarding their rights and student grievance processes (including privacy, discrimination, and sexual harassment).


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Why Should Students Care about Academic Integrity?

Academic Integrity is critical to the learning process.

Honest work builds knowledge, skills, and self-esteem.

Cheating and plagiarism devalue the work of honest students, and give an unfair "edge" to those who take dishonest shortcuts.

Cheaters don't learn, they undermine the quality of education for all, and they diminish the value and credibility of a UC Davis diploma.


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The Role of Students under the Code of Academic Conduct

The Code of Academic Conduct makes it clear that students are equal partners with faculty and SJA in upholding academic integrity. Under the Code, student responsibilities include:

  Behaving honestly, fairly, and with integrity in all their academic work.

●  Avoiding behaviors that are disruptive, unfair, or that create the appearance of dishonesty (e.g., talking during exams, having unauthorized notes or equipment out or visible during an exam, failing to keep their eyes on their own paper, and leaving the exam room without permission)

●  Taking group as well as individual responsibility for academic integrity.

●  Reporting any academic misconduct they see or learn about to their instructor or to SJA.

●  Ensuring that they understand ethical standards for academic work, including rules regarding plagiarism, proper paraphrase, and how to cite and quote material they use from sources. Students must also be aware of class rules about the extent to which they are permitted to work with others on graded coursework, if at all. If students have any questions about the rules or standards that apply in their course, they must contact their faculty or SJA.

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Creating a Climate of Academic Integrity at UC Davis-- What Students Can Do

●  Students should make sure they know campus standards for academic integrity and that they understand the expectations for ethical behavior in each course by reading the syllabus and participating during class discussions. If they have any questions about rules for collaboration or citation, they should contact the instructor or resources such as the Learning Skills Center or SJA.

●  Students need to recognize, and to reinforce in other students, the fact that academic integrity enhances the quality of education (teaching as well as learning), and is critical to the learning process. Students need to know that honest work builds skills, knowledge, and self- esteem, while cheating and plagiarism are destructive: students don't learn in a climate of dishonesty and unfairness.

●   Because research shows that students cheat more when they believe that their peers accept or condone cheating, students must speak out and take action if they see violations of our Code of Academic Conduct. UC Davis students need to hold their peers accountable, and must not tolerate dishonesty.

Last Updated: January 2016