I moved this question to "Academic Freedom" because I think that this topic is the closest to the ideas that center on academic integrity. The issue centers on how individuals, students and teachers alike, view their own understanding of freedom and its consequences.
From the student point of view, I think that that it is extremely important to possess a sense of integrity about that is produced. The student's work is a reflection of what students know and what students can demonstrate. When there is a work submitted from another source or taken from another source, it is no longer the student's work that is being assessed. This results in the idea that the student is not the one benefitting from the wok being submitted. It is for this reason where integrity becomes essential and vital to the process of a student's learning. At the same time, the dialogue of education, the entire process as to why students learn and teachers teach, resides in the realm of integrity. When there is a violation to this zone of honor, education suffers, the discourse suffers, and learning is used as a means to an end as opposed to the sacred end in its own right. I think that this becomes another reason why it is important to uphold academic inegrity in one's course work. Finally, I believe that there is an issue of honor at play here. When students do engage in taking steps and embracing a path that lacks integrity, the result is that there is a less than authentic embrace of the education process that will better the student. One's academic freedom can only be upheld and defended if there is a proper use of it. If there is a desire to engage in something like this, then there are other concerns that must be addressed such as lack of effective time management, disengagement with the material, lack of affect about the assignment. The absense of academic integrity can indicate any of these, which become larger concerns that need to be addressed. For these, the need for academic integrity becomes essential for ensuring that what is done is done for the right reasons and done so in the name of the education process.