November 11, 2019

SG Urges Admin to Reconsider Stricter Dean’s List Cutoff

William Rainey Harper Memorial Library.

Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

The University should reevaluate recent changes to criteria for academic honors, Student Government (SG) said in a resolution passed last Monday.

Citing the unannounced introduction of Latin honors—honorary designations like magna cum laude and summa cum laude—and the higher bar for inclusion on the Dean’s List, SG asked that the University “consult and notify the undergraduate student body on any proposed changes in the future.”

SG passed a resolution calling on the University administration to reevaluate their change to the criteria to be placed on the Dean’s List. The resolution also asks that current students of the University not be affected by the changes, in the same way as students are allowed to graduate under the major requirements that had been in place the year that they enrolled or declared, even if the requirements have changed since then.

The resolution states that the University failed to consult and notify students, and that the lack of transparency about the GPAs necessary to earn different honors will create undue competitiveness and stress among the student body.

Fourth-year Ridgley Knapp, who serves as undergraduate liaison to the Board of Trustees, brought concerns over the changes to 2020 representative Sam Joyce, who introduced the resolution.

“This decision was made without consulting the students, and in my opinion a percentage-based Dean’s List cutoff will likely serve to pit students against one another, while a GPA–cutoff Dean’s List can encourage folks to work together,” Knapp told The Maroon.

Second-year biological chemistry major Max Cohen said that the changes make the Dean’s List “more meaningful for those who are on it” but also “makes it even more difficult for STEM majors to achieve.”