No recognition for Dean’s List

College can be a difficult time. We spend long, countless hours on essays, doing readings and studying for exams. Our hard work really pays off when we receive a good grade, whether it is 3.5 or a 4.0. There is only five-tenths of a point’s difference between a 3.5 and a 4.0, but it can still make a difference in how the college recognizes you.

At Virginia Wesleyan College, we have the Dean’s List and the President’s List. The Dean’s List is a list of students who achieved a 3.5 GPA and above. It shows that you are among VWC’s best and brightest. It is also a great thing to put on your resume, especially if you make it multiple times. The President’s List is for students who specifically achieved a 4.0 GPA. You can find both lists on Virginia Wesleyan College’s website. The President’s List, however, can also be found on the college’s Facebook page and was in a Note Bene.

The President’s List is fairly new. It came about after President Scott Miller’s first semester at Virginia Wesleyan College in the fall of 2015. When Miller’s predecessor, Billy Greer, was here, there was no President’s List. Students who earned a 4.0 were put on the Dean’s List along with the students who earned a 3.5. The only difference was that there was a small reception for the students who earned a 4.0.

I am not against the idea of having a President’s List. Earning a 4.0 GPA is not an easy accomplishment. I agree that students who earn this GPA deserve to be recognized, but that does not mean that students who earn a 3.5-3.9 should be ignored. While the President’s List was on Facebook and in the Nota Bene, the Dean’s List was nowhere to be seen. I had to Google it in order to find it.

Students who make the Dean’s List work just as hard as students who make the President’s List. They deserve the same recognition. There is no reason why they should not be recognized. The college used to post the Dean’s List on social media before the President’s List was established. Dean’s List students should not lose that recognition just because there is also a President’s List.

I feel that by only recognizing the students who made the President’s List, the college is creating a hierarchy. It’s almost like they are saying, “Oh, you made the Dean’s List? That’s nice. Look at all of these students who made the President’s List. Let’s celebrate them instead.”

Some people have made the argument that recognizing the students who made the Dean’s List is like giving a child a participation trophy.  I see it more as earning a silver medal. Yes, the best athletes win the gold medal, but the second-best win the silver. While silver is below gold, they earn their medal with the same amount of dignity. Let’s do the same with the students who make the Dean’s List. Post it on social media and mention it the Nota Bene just like with the President’s List.

This is not to downplay the students who made the President’s List. Earning a 4.0 GPA is a huge accomplishment and they deserve to be recognized, but that doesn’t mean that the students who made the Dean’s List should be neglected.

Michael Willson