When grades don’t make the cut

By Christina Williams
April 29, 2004

Mark Garlit

Not many people having the luxury of being called valedictorian. The term only belongs to an elite group of people who are highly intelligent. Traditionally, the honor of the title goes to the person with the highest GPA in high school and college.

However, Cabrini does not follow this widely accepted way of choosing their valedictorians. Cabrini chooses to be different when choosing their valedictorians.

As the school year comes to a close one of the questions being asked is who will be valedictorian for this year’s senior class? Well Cabrini, being as backwards as they are has probably the worst valedictorian selection process.

In order to determine this year’s valedictorian, the college asked those with the top seven highest GPAs to compete for the spot of valedictorian. Each student had to write a valedictorian speech and present it in front of a board.

The board was made up of different people from the campus. There were representatives from the Student Government Association, members of the board of trustees, faculty members and the dean of academic affairs.

The current process allows someone who may or may
not have the highest GPA to be selected. I do not think this is an good
idea.

Personally, I think this is completely wrong and completely unfair. I think that the person who has worked hard to get a perfect 4.0 deserves the honor of being called valedictorian.

I definitely do not think that the title of valedictorian should be awarded based on how well you can write. That is not what the valedictorian is supposed to stand for. I know that literally valedictorian means “last speaker” and that is fine but the last speaker should be a person who has earned the elite title and not someone who has the ability to string sentences together and properly enunciate.

After hearing her story I have to ask myself why am I pushing myself to work hard and get that 4.0 GPA? Sure it looks good on a resume to an employer but what good is it if it isn’t followed by the word valedictorian? Shouldn’t the two go together hand in hand?

To be under the false impression that if a student works hard and gets a 4.0 and then does not receive the title valedictorian is wrong. My friend has worked hard on papers, studies like there is not tomorrow, has really dedicated her academic career to studying so she can get the job she wants and achieves a 4.0 by doing all this, I firmly believe that by not getting valedictorian is a huge statement from Cabrini.

To assume that the hard work done over a course of four years will land a person a title that not everyone has the chance to get and then turn around to a slap in the face when someone tells you that a person with a lower GPA has gotten the title they have been striving so hard for is really ignorant.

After hearing my friend’s story I have to ask myself why am I pushing myself to work hard and get that 4.0 GPA? Why do I go the extra mile on homework and papers if it means nothing in the long run? Sure it looks good on a resume and sure it gives parents something to brag about but what good is it if it isn’t followed by the word valedictorian?

What is the point of striving to get an A to achieve that 4.0 when that means nothing to Cabrini in the long run? If I work harder then the person sitting next to me but they have a 3.8 and I know there is a chance that they may get the title valedictorian over me that does not motivate me to work harder. In reality it does the opposite.

If Cabrini continues to have this “competition” for valedictorian it will decrease the drive students have. If there is no guarantee that a student who gets a 4.0 will receive the title of valedictorian then what is it that Cabrini students are striving for?

Posted to the web by:Mark Garlit

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Christina Williams

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