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The departments will be able to recommend that a student be denied a cum laude degree in General Studies, if a motion drafted by the CEP obtains formal approval at a Faculty meeting Tuesday.
The motion would give a voice to the departments on an issue which for the past year has been entirely out of their hands. But it leaves ultimate control over the C.L.G.S. with the Administrative Board and the Dean of the College.
Departments Know Students Best
A widely held feeling that the members of a student's department know him best, and therefore should be allowed to express an opinion about the sort of degree awarded him, lies behind the proposed revision. The extent of this feeling became apparent at a Faculty meeting three weeks ago, in which the procedure for awarding the C.L.G.S. degree was discussed.
The CEP motion attempts to compromise between the pro-department position and the view that if a student does not wish to commit himself to a department to the extent of writing a thesis, then the department should not take part in the decisions on what kind degree he is to receive.
Few Students Affected
The motion requests that to the existing C.L.G.S. regulations be added this statement: "the Administrative Board is empowered to deny the award upon the recommendation of [the student's] department." A member of the CEP said last night that the motion was designed for the possible situation in which a student had collected many honor grades but performed "miserably" on his general examinations. He predicted that the member of students affected would be very small."
At the same meeting in which this motion was passed, the Committee on Educational Policy withheld approval from a proposal to allow students to switch from Honors tutorial programs to C.L.G.S. candidacy after the beginning of their senior year.
Faculty members who oppose late switching think that if it were permitted, the doubts that students often feel just after starting their theses would lead many to abandon their work in favor of a C.L.G.S. degree. Professors who would like to allow undergraduates to make the change maintain that individual circumstances often would justify it.
The rule requiring students to remain in whichever degree program they choose at the beginning of their senior year has been in effect since 1937. The vote in the CEP against changing it was 8 to 1. The motion on departmental recommendations against the degree passed with the same margin.
The present policy on General Studies Honors has been in effect since February of 1961, when the power to approve or deny the C.L.G.S. degree was taken away from the departments.
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