Class List Chaos: The Lowdown

Shit went down over the summer. The Tab’s here to catch you up.

Cambridge Cambridge University class lists class lists summary CUSU fellows our grade our choice save the class list Senate House

Here’s a further example of Cambridge students caring way to much about menial things that have no difference in the real world. And people say it is a bubble here… 

One very important thing you learn during your time at Cambridge is that when people have opinions, they are strong ones. The atmosphere of a university-wide debate is akin to monkeys flinging shit: they don’t care where it lands as long as it hits something and gets their point across.

Actual image of Cambridge students in heated debate

A story of doddly old Dons, the majestic governance of CUSU and an appearance from the innovatively titled ‘Save the Class Lists’ has led to a confusing situation. So where do we currently stand?

Way back in 2015 the ‘Our Grade, Our Choice’ campaign wanted to transform the public display of Class Lists into a system over which students possessed increased autonomy. Priscilla Mensah took this idea under her wing as CUSU Pres and CUSU council voted in Michaelmas last year for the abolition of class lists.  Whilst this got some reaction (and provided excellent fodder for writing opinion pieces) the debate largely remained understated until April this year.

Plz chill

It was revealed by a FOI request that, at a meeting of the University’s General Board of the Faculties, a proposal had been put forward for the abolition of the Class Lists, posted outside Senate House every year.

Inevitably students with way too much free time reacted in an attempt to ease their boredom and procrastinate revision. A furious counter campaign titled ‘Save the Class List’ was created to fight for the ‘traditional’ public display of results.

Then for a while students realised that in order to fight for / against the public display of exam results, they actually needed to get some exam results, so people decided to calm down and do some work. Yet once the turmoil of exams and the mayhem of May Week was over, the opportunity to cause conflict once again appeared.

Has brexit not proven that referenda don’t work?

Obviously the fellows then got jealous of all this democracy, and decided that if we had a vote, they should bloody well have one too. 55 members of Regent House submitted a petition to hold a vote to be held on 28th November and close at the beginning of December. The problem is, this will almost definitely happen after the student vote has occurred. CUSU constitution states a vote must take place in 21 Full Term days after the referendum petition is submitted. While it’s unclear exactly what date the petition will be submitted, if it’s submitted at the first CUSU Council of the term, the student referendum will almost certainly be held before the Fellows vote.

The whole matter was further complicated when an angry Trinity supervisor couldn’t hold his tongue and had to share his opinion, calling abolition of Class Lists a ‘victory for mediocrity’, once again promoting angry students to write articles about him, but not actually do anything.

It seems, as with Easter Term last year, we will be faced with referenda galore. Victory for democracy?