Regent House votes to allow easy class list opt-out

Will Bennett 9 May 2018

Over two years of campaigning and deliberation has today culminated in a decision by Regent House to offer students an ‘easy opt-out’ from the public display of their examination results.

This resolution marks a momentous departure from the system currently in place in which the names of students and their respective performance in exams are made available to members of the University, being displayed both on public boards outside Senate House and on the online Cambridge University Reporter. The approved Grace, that passed by a slim margin of 21 votes, breaks with 300 years of University tradition by allowing students to remove their names from the class lists.

The decision by the University Council follows almost three years of campaigning that placed the anxiety of exam term and the mental health of students at the centre of debate. Under the current system students may only opt-out in exceptional and prescribed circumstances, with medical proof being necessary to certify that the publication of results would “endanger” the well-being of a student. The approved changes, however, would mean that students could remove their names from the class lists with a simple tick of a box on CamSIS.

Whilst the full class-lists will be used internally by Faculties, Departments and Colleges, the pro-vice-chancellor for education, Graham Vigro, has announced that the opt-out will be implemented immediately.

Over recent years the pressure of university life has emerged as a potent and divisive theme. Following the highly contentious email by the Queen’s DoS to NatSci freshers earlier in the academic year and the increasing tendency of the popular press to label the student body the 'snowflake generation', the significance of today’s decision by Regent House has not been lost. CUSU President Daisy Eyre has told Varsity that the vote was 'fantastic' and what “makes sense for the future of the University”.