University Council backs easy class lists opt-out

Image credit: Cmglee

The University's 300-year-old tradition of publishing class lists has been overruled by the University Council after they agreed to a proposal to allow students to erase their name from the lists. 

The proposal, if approved by Regent House, will give students the option of opting-out of the lists, Varsity has reported.

The option to remove their names from the class lists— where students’ names are displayed alongside their degree grade on a board outside the university’s main building Senate House and online in the Cambridge University Reporter— will be available through a simple system of ticking a box on CamSIS. 

Speaking to TCS Daisy Eyre, president of CUSU, said: "After years of grappling with the outdated and often distressing Class Lists system, this week University Council approved a new easy opt-out system. 

"CUSU and many students have been fighting for this change for years and I am so glad that it is happening."

This proposal follows on from last year when student campaigners argued that the lists were damaging to the mental health of the students. The debate divided student body and led to students at the University being labelled as the "snowflake generation". In a referendum held by CUSU in November 2016 over half of students voted to keep the class lists, albeit with an easier opt-out process.

Currently, students can only opt-out in certain prescribed circumstances, and medical evidence is needed to prove that publication would "endanger a student’s health or mental well-being.”

The proposed changes mean would mean that students could opt-out from the class lists with a simple tick of a box, without having to face the pressure of finding medical evidence.

Eyre added: "From now on, students will be able to easily remove themselves from the Class Lists, meaning that students will no longer have to feel anxious about who may see their results.

"On top of this, Class Lists promoted an atmosphere of competition that was stressful for many Cambridge students. This is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of creating a more supportive armosphere at Cambridge, and promoting systems that safeguard students' mental health as best they can."

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