Public judgement doesn’t encourage healthy competition, but negative attitudes.
The Commerce Society assembly discussed last week that the faculty’s ranking system — which was solely driven by grades and publicized to the student body — was coming to an end.
Last year, ComSoc’s Academics Commissioner conducted a survey to garner the student perspective on the ranking system and consulted with professors, employers and administration. From all, but from students especially, they received an overwhelming call to get rid of the rankings.
The cut was needed. The potential harm to students who may not have received a high listing vastly outweighs the potential boost to those who did.
For those whose names sat lower on rankings, a system that numerically defines a student’s value based on grades is a breeding ground for negativity — especially one that fails to take non-academic involvement into account, let alone mental health and personal factors.
It only further perpetuates the idea that prioritizing academic standing above mental health is a valid and necessary formula for success.
The pathway to achievement in the faculty and the industry shouldn’t be by working tirelessly to surpass the very people who could be pillars of support.
In a faculty like Commerce that involves collaborative coursework and group projects, the ranking system perpetuated a paradox — that the same students working together in class were in competition against each other for a numerical ranking.
The termination of the Commerce ranking system is an admirable example of a Queen’s tradition being changed to suit the shifting needs of students.
When it comes to other debates such as the one over Fall Reading Week, the University may benefit from the attitude that was central to this decision — that students’ wellbeing is more important than an arbitrary tradition.
Cutting rankings could breed a more welcoming and less cut-throat environment for students in Commerce.
Not only does the decision help promote the idea that success isn’t determined by any number, but it encourages students to set goals for self-satisfaction, not just to get to top of a list.
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