BOOK OF NUMBERS
Of the era before the tutorial system and the concentration plan there still remain two obsolete reminders, the annual publication of the rank list and the degree with general honors, which run counter to the purposes of the new institutions by putting too much emphasis on grades at the expense of true intellectual accomplishment.
The rank list, which is published every year, is little more than a hangover from the Prep School Honor Roll. It indicates only the number of satisfactory or unsatisfactory grades which the student has managed to garner during the academic year and nothing whatsoever as to the intelligence of the tutorial work which he has done in the field in which his chief interests lie. To University Hall the maintenance of such a list may be convenient, but its publication is unpleasant and unnecessary.
Similarly the degree with general honors is nothing more than a consolation prize for the grind or the dilettante who is unable to attain honors in his field of concentration. The knowledge that a cum laude can be had for honor grades in nine subjects is bound to be a detriment to the standard of work done in tutorial and an obstacle to any attempt at voluntary labors. It also fosters a reluctance to try for honors in special fields and diminishes the importance of the thesis and divisional examinations which are the culmination of the concentration plan.
The abolition of the general honors degree was expected after the recommendation of the division of History, Government, and Economics last May, but no steps have yet been taken in that no steps have yet been taken in that no steps have yet been taken in that direction. In spite of frequent criticism in these columns, the published rank list and the general honors degree still remain as obsolete institutions utterly out of line with the aims of tutorial work and of the special fields.