CLASS LISTS: New easy opt-out system approved
University Council passes approval for easy opt-out system
In the latest instalment of the class list drama, Varsity have published the University Council's decision to simplify the system for opting out of having your results published outside the Senate House.
Currently, if you do not wish for your tripos results to be displayed, there is a complex process as only in exceptional circumstances would a student's request be considered. This would require medical proof that the publication would somehow be detrimental to the student's health.
Given the effort that would be necessitated in providing the accepted proof, the new proposal is a significant shake up of the existing system.
The new change would give students the power to opt-out by simply logging on to CamSIS and choosing to remove their result from both the list published outside the Senate House and in the Cambridge University Reporter.
Additionally, if a student has won a prize and decided to opt-out, they will be contacted about whether they want to be subsequently included. Only if the student gives an explicit affirmative response, would their achievement be published.
This development follows on from last year, where in a referendum held by CUSU in November 2016, students wanted to change CUSU's position from campaigning for the abolition of class lists to maintaining class lists but with an easier opt-out system. Certainly this proposal would be a realisation of the desire voiced by Cambridge students.
However, it awaits to be seen as to what real change will actually be enacted. For the proposal to be put into action, it will have to be approved by Regent House, the principal governing body of the University. In December 2016, Regent House rejected the Grace for the abolition of class lists, with 727 against to 514 for.
New EU data protection laws have added another complexity to the future of publishing class lists, with the legality of doing so being placed in doubt.
If the new proposal is approved it would be implemented almost immediately, with those sitting exams in Easter 2018 being able to choose whether or not their results will be published. This will be an important development, showing that the University body does listen to what the students want.
Something else that is left to be wondered is whether this is a change to preserve the class lists, or a step towards getting rid of them altogether. Would Cambridge University finally join Oxford, which made the change in 2009, and discontinue its practice of making examination results public?