Several years ago, a website called rateyourprof.com came onto the scene. It allows students to anonymously grade their professors in a public forum. The idea is that the students, with their identities hidden and protected, are free to give honest reviews.
A small group of professors decided to turn the tables by creating rateyourstudents.com, as detailed by W.T. Pfefferle in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
As the title of the website implies, professors would rate the performance of students. Educators anonymously sent e-mail to the website describing experiences and stories ranging from student excuses for not turning in assignments, to complaints about class attendance, to simple disgust about student behavior. Unlike the free-for-all students’ ratings of professors, these ratings were moderated by a panel.
While anonymity can theoretically bring honesty, it can also lead to some hurt feelings. Some students began to complain about rateryourstudents.com, saying that they were “misunderstood” and that the ratings were “unfair” because they were already being judged by the grading system.
It may be a fair complaint from students, because there was little to no way for those students to defend themselves on the website run by educators.
“We will rate our students here,” said the first post on rateyourstudents.com, “And we will do it without compunction. Then we’ll just see where we’re at. We’ll still be poor academics. But at least those callous and ignorant ‘customers’ of ours will know what it’s like.”
The goal of this was to let teachers get the weight off their shoulders and let the world know their true opinions about their students and their profession.
This now brings up the question: What if there was a similar website that applied to Greek Life? A rateyourgreek.com of sorts. Visitors and contributors could be advisors, chapter presidents, Greek members, or even non-Greeks.
While rateyourstudent.com was seen by students as a mudslinging website, there is no reason why rateyourgreek.com could not be used for positive reasons and constructive criticism. It does not have to pick out individual members and judge them, but it can be used to pick out flaws in the system.
Rateyourstudent.com allowed professors to get the metaphorical weight off their shoulders by voicing their complaints on a worldwide forum. A similar system for Greek Life could be helpful, but only as long as it did not become a venue for gossip.
It could be used to improve the system by offering comments to make the Greek community better with constructive ideas by the right kind of people. Anonymity might be helpful in this situation because it might avoid the discomfort of holding Greek brothers and sisters accountable.
While the original concept of rating students was a short lived project, the concept of rating Greeks could be used for the overall improvement of Greek Life. μ
Alexander Woods ‘12
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