When a student decides to take a class pass/fail, that decision is kept hidden from his or her professor. However, the University Curriculum Committee (UCC) recently voted to reverse this policy. The Student Union Senate acted promptly and properly in passing a resolution that reaffirmed students' satisfaction with the current system. There is a tendency for students to focus solely on their concentrations. This defeats the purpose of attending a liberal arts school, namely, broadening the scope of their knowledge. The pass/fail option is an invaluable tool for those students seeking to investigate subjects that would ordinarily be off-limits to them by making those classes all gain and minimal pain; there is no risk of hurting their GPAs by taking a class in a subject outside of their areas of expertise.

The current system is ideal because it protects the anonymity of students who use the pass/fail option. As a result, every student in every class is treated equally. The UCC amendment would damage that equality.

In last week's Justice, Prof. Thomas Doherty (AMST) is quoted as saying that revealing the name of students using the pass/fail option would promote education by providing professors with information that could explain their students' performance. While it is understandable that some professors might drive their pass/fail students to strive harder, the absence of this pressure is one of the appeals of the pass/fail option.

It is more likely that professor and teaching assistants will identify which students are taking their classes pass/fail and treat them as slackers. Professors may grade their papers and tests with less scrutiny. On the other hand, they might even fail students whose grades are mediocre.

The fact of the matter is that each professor has a different opinion about pass/fail. Some professors may embrace their pass/fail students for taking a class purely out of interest, while others may harbor contempt for students they believe to be coasting. Either way, professors should be challenging everyone to achieve his or her full potential, not just a specific group of individuals. Only the existing arrangement assures equal treatment for all students.

Furthermore, we appreciate that the faculty is accepting student input on the matter, but the UCC should consider giving its student representatives a vote. Currently, student representatives are merely entitled to voice their opinions and those of the larger student body. This is unacceptable because the university curriculum affects both professors and students, but only professors are enfranchised. Student representatives should be allowed to vote; they are elected by the student body that gives them mandates and responsibilities. We call on the student body to make their voices heard in addressing this disparity.

We accept the maxim "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The existing pass/fail system not only works, but is optimal. Brandeis has no use for a system that promotes the unequal treatment of its students.