Professors Blame Crowding On Limited Course Options
Students filled a number of classes to overflowing this week, causing some faculty members to believe that there is a shortage of quality courses in certain areas.
James C. Thomson Jr., lecturer in History and curator of the Nieman Fellowships, said yesterday "more courses should be offered to accommodate student interests." One hundred and three students applied for his Leverett House General Education Seminar, Humanities 101, "Government and the Press in America," which is limited to 20 students.
Rev. Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, said yesterday nearly 130 people came this week to his course, Humanities 12, "Formative Elements of the Western Church."
Thomson said his course is a seminar and cannot be taught in large groups. "Students have shown an interest in the course and it might be wise to create other courses in this area," he said.
Gomes, who expected only 35 to 50 students, said the increased enrollment in his course may be the result of an absence of high quality lower level Humanities courses. "I don't really think there is that much revived interest in the church," he said.
George E. Vaillant, associate professor of Psychiatry, whose class, Social Sciences 169, "Adaptations to Life," drew 300 students, said yesterday he will be forced to hire two more teaching assistants and to move to another lecture hall.
Other classes in which the number of students subscribing exceeded expectations by a large amount include Hum 103, in which 800 students, 200 more than predicted, are expected to take the course, and Statistics 102, where 100 students signed up instead of the expected 50.
Enrollment has dropped in some large courses, however. Herbert C. Kelman, Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, said his Soc Sci 15b class has 100 fewer students than he expected.
"I guess those students in other classes had to come from somewhere and some of them came from Soc Sci 15b," he said.