University staff and academics vote to keep Class List tradition

Will Tilbrook 10 December 2016

Regent House has voted to continue publicly displaying Class Lists after 59% of members voted to maintain the tradition.

The Grace, proposing the abolition of Class Lists being published at Senate House, was rejected by the members of the University’s highest governing body in a ballot which closed on 8 December.

There were 1241 votes cast in the ballot, with 727 members voting against the Grace for abolition, and 514 voting in favour. The total number of ballots cast accounts for 22.5% of all members of Regent House.

The membership is comprised of senior university staff and academics.

This outcome mirrors the recent student referendum verdict which saw a majority of voters choosing for CUSU to campaign to save the tradition, with the stipulation that a simplified method should be introduced for students who wish to opt out of having their results published.

Currently, students must seek exemption from the senior tutor of their college if they do not want their name and degree classification on the list.

The issue has openly divided staff and students since the launch of the ‘Our Grade, Our Choice’ campaign 18 months ago, which looked to end the publishing of results at Senate House on the grounds that it invaded students’ privacy and negatively impacted on mental health. The campaign’s petition garnered nearly 1300 signatories, compared with 500 signatures which the rival ‘Save the Class List’ campaign claimed to have gathered.

Most recently, it was reported that Masters of four colleges had declared their rejection of the Grace on documents circulated to Regent House members, whilst two Masters approved the abolition of the Senate House tradition.

The Masters of Christ’s College, Gonville and Caius College, Queens’ College, and Trinity College expressed their rejection of the proposal, whilst the Masters of Corpus Christi College and Jesus College chose to support the Grace.

Cambridge is the only university in the UK that still publishes students’ results publicly. Oxford University abolished a similar tradition in 2009.