Commerce program to terminate ranking system

Faculty society announces decision at Sunday’s meeting

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After taking a hard look at the stress and anticipation experienced by Commerce students each year, the Faculty of Commerce has decided to eliminate the public ranking system that previously pitted peers against each other.

On Sunday, Oct. 2, an assembly of the Commerce Society (ComSoc), discussed the faculty's decision to terminate their ranking system effective immediately. The annoucement had been made on Sept. 22 via the Queen's Commerce Portal. 

According to ComSoc Academics Commissioner, Jeremy Brock (pictured below), the rankings system has been under review for several years now.

“Last year, the former Academics Commissioner and the Commerce office organized a student survey to get the student’s perspective on the value that [rankings] added to the program,” Brock, Comm ’17, told The Journal.

The response was “far more” than their usual engagement, with over 800 responses. The results clearly demonstrated that the rankings weren’t valued by students.

In response, senior level administration within the Faculty of Commerce pursued further research on the system and ones like it, largely by consulting professors and employers on their thoughts.

“There weren’t many reasons left to keep this,” Brock said. “There were a lot more reasons why we shouldn’t.”  

When employers were consulted on their opinion of the system, the senior level administration deemed that the rankings weren’t necessary on top of a student’s academic transcript.  

One of the more prominent reasons for eliminating the ranking system was due to its impacts on mental health within the high-pressure program.  

Brock explained that the faculty wants its students to feel as if they’re being recognized, without the pressure of rankings based on specific criteria. Excellence, he said, will now be acknowledged through other means, such as the Medal in Commerce.

The aforementioned award is given annually to a particularly successful, graduating fourth-year student.

As for the ranking system's place in determining exchange programs for Commerce students, Brock clarified that there were many misconceptions floating around.

“The exchange office has their own separate ranking system,” he said. For those rankings, which determine a Commerce student’s likelihood of receiving their first choice for exchange, “the criteria will remain the same,” Brock said.

In addition, the rankings created by the exchange office are not public information, nor have they ever been available to students. This secondary ranking system doesn’t place the same pressures on Commerce students.

For Brock, it’s important that students can be proud of their academic growth within the faculty.

“The main part of this is creating a sense of community, where students can be happy with their achievements, and not relative to [their classmates],” Brock said.

Corrections

The annoucement was made on Sept. 22, not on Oct. 2 as stated in a previous version of this article. 

The Journal regrets the error.

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