Class Lists have traditionally been published outside Senate HouseLouis Ashworth

Vice-chancellor Stephen Toope has today ruled “inadmissable” a proposed amendment which called for class lists to be published in the Cambridge University Reporter, online and in print, regardless of whether any of whether students included had chosen to opt out.

In a notice released through the University Reporter, Toope ruled that the amendment was “in data protection terms – unnecessary and unlawful”. He further added that the proposal was “incompatible with the main purpose of the original Grace... to ensure compliance with data protection laws”.

The original grace, to which this proposal was an amendment, would allow students to opt-out from both the Senate House and Reporter lists by ticking a box on CamSIS. No medical evidence or permission from academic or pastoral staff will be required, in comparison to the existing system which only considers applications in “exceptional circumstances”.

The Grace was passed by the University Council in December, and may resolve a long struggle to find a working opt-out to the class lists.


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A 2016 referendum on the issue saw 55.23% of voting students vote to mandate CUSU to campaign to retain class lists with an “easier opt-out process”. However, it was later revealed that neither side in the referendum had been aware of the publication of the class lists in the Reporter, which is accessible to all members of the University with a Raven login, and to which the opt-out at that point did not apply.

Matters were complicated further by the introduction of new EU data regulation laws. The General Data Protection Regulation, which came into effect this year, requires “explicit consent” for the handling of “special categories of personal data”. While it is not clear whether exam data falls within these categories, the changes led the University to seek legal advice.

The vice-chancellor’s ruling deemed the proposers of the amendment to have requested a ballot of Regent House on the original grace. Voting will open at 10am on Friday 27th April, lasting until 5pm on Monday 7th May.

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