The News in Brief: Latin Honors on Hold
The controversial proposal to introduce a general or “Latin” honors system has been delayed, at least for now. A meeting of the general faculty voted to table the plan so that it can be re-worked.
“I’m particularly glad the College faculty voted to table the proposal for further work,” said College senior and Student Senator Nicholas Ferrara.
“Not only were students left out of the process, but there were major problems with the implications of the proposal,” said Ferrara. “300- and 100-level classes are weighted the same. This gives an incentive for students to not take harder classes and implicitly threatens the cooperative learning environment, replacing it with a more competitive culture.”
Students opposed to adopting a Latin honors system at Oberlin passed out letters to faculty members in front of Craig Lecture Hall on Wednesday, urging them to table the proposal during the College Faculty meeting that day.
After an open forum last week where students discussed the proposal, Senate put out a one-question referendum to gather student opinions about the issue: “Should Oberlin College adopt a general honors system?”
Senior Josh Curtis is a member of the Education Policy Planning Committee and one of the few students to participate in the meeting. “I know students who don’t have economic support and are very concerned about how their degrees will appeal to employers, and they support Latin honors,” he said.
“People on the Honors at Graduation Committee worked very hard coming up with this,” he added. “I think their proposal is a great place to start discussion. There are unanswered questions — how it affects course selection, whether it should be implemented for the class of ’09. There are things about the honors program that could be changed, and hopefully dialogue will continue.”