Round Trip of Cronkite School


The host university arranged a two-week orientation for us prior to the commencement of the classes on August 19. The orientation was intended to give us a sense of the city, the ASU, facilities available at ASU and ways to use them; the state of law and order in the city and other important information.

The first activity today was to to the University Center, which is located just opposite to the Cronkite Building, to get our Sun Cards. The Sun Card is the most important identification document at the Arizona State University. This is more an identification card. This card is used to access around 700 computers available at different places in Downtown Campus, the library and other important offices. You can use this card to get discounts at various outlets and also add credit to purchase things at restaurants and related outlets.

When we went to the University Center, we were told that some problems had occurred at the office in Downtown Campus due to which we would not be able to obtain our Sun Cards soon. The alternative, they suggested, was to get them issued from the Tempe Campus.

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We as a group got back to Cronkite 355, the conference room where our orientation was taking place, and began another session. This was about the Academic Integrity and Ethics both at the ASU and the Cronkite School. I did not find a lot of differences between the academic policies of the ASU or any other American university as compared to what we have back in our country. The only major difference is that the integrity policies in our country are restricted to the official documents. They are rarely applied. On the other hand, it is not the same here in the US. Written terms and conditions everywhere are very hard to change. Their violation leads to serious penalty and consequence. No exceptional treatment is meted out to anyone in case of violating the academic integrity.

Two points that struck me were, firstly, provision of equal status to all students and faculty members irrespective of their religion, caste, color and geographical background. Secondly, all American universities, including the ASU, have adopted a very strict approach towards plagiarism.

The Cronkite School Academic Integrity Policy states:

Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The crux of our democracy is the ability of citizens to obtain honest, truthful and balanced information, and the credibility and integrity of the individual journalist and communications professional are crucial in that effort.

In light of the Cronkite School’s mission to prepare students to become journalists and communication professionals, it is critical that credibility and integrity are fostered within the educational environment of the school. To that end, a zero tolerance policy toward academic dishonesty will be enforced within every course and educational activity offered or sanctioned by the school.

Any allegations of academic dishonesty will automatically be referred to the Standards Committee of the school for review and recommendation to the dean of the school. If any student is found by the committee to have engaged in academic dishonesty in any form – including but not limited to cheating, plagiarizing and fabricating – that student shall receive a grade of XE for the class and will be dismissed from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reinstatement will not be considered. There will be no exceptions.
At 11:30 am, Stewart Adams, Crime Prevention Specialist of ASU Police,came to speak to us about the safety measures. He assured us that the place where we were dwelling was too safe but we should, at the same time, refrain from going to the outskirts of the city late night. He provided us the necessary phone numbers and contact details of the ASU police stations in case of an emergency. His presentation was very helpful in making sense of the security situation in the city. He suggested that we should keep a copy of our passport all the time with us instead of carrying the original which got get lost somewhere.

After Stewart’s lecture, we were introduced with Liz Smith, the Media Officer of Cronkite School, who would take us around the Cronkite Building for the first time to show what was actually done at the Cronkite School. She escorted us around different conference rooms, TV, radio and digital labs.

The School has14 digital newsrooms and computer labs, two TV studios, 280 digital student network stations and many other facilities needed in the rapidly changing media age. We got a chance to speak to the directors and heads of all the departments and studios where we went about their operations. The tour of the Cronkite Building took us around one hour.

Ivy spoke about the climate of Arizona in her presentation Living and Learning in Desert Environment. She said she loved Arizona where she had been living for several years because it had natural beauty, from the Sonoran Desert to the Grand Canyon. You can can find enviornment from desert to alpine tundra.

Arizona is where my heart sings —- Arizona es donde mi corazon canta

Phoenix, she said, was a mythical bird that is consumed in fire and reborn from the ashes. It is the sixth largest city of the United States of America with an area of 2000 square miles while Greater Phoenix has a population of 2.8 million. The average rainfall in Phoenix is 7.6 inches, and the average high temperature is 85 degrees. They city has 300 days of sun shine per year.

In Phoenix, the streets are laid out in a grid system: avenues to the west, streets to the east.

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