Many people weren't happy about the study cards they handed in Tuesday. Some were sad because they'd missed with the old Benchley formula--no classes before 10, after 12, on Saturday, or above the first floor. But others, who had picked their courses for content, were foiled by the catalogue; every course they wanted met Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 9.
Foresighted students who planned ahead in their freshman year didn't do much better; the new catalogue had surprises for them, too. History concentrators, for example, found their favorite "Economics for the Citizen" conflicting with two important History courses: 132 and 163.
With 450 courses, there will always be overlapping. But two hitches in the present cataloguing system make clashes more frequent and troublesome than they ought to be. First, there is no technique for avoiding conflicts in related fields; chairmen rarely confer with each other over schedules. Second, students have no systematic way of bringing clashes to the attention of department heads.
Departments acting alone cannot attack these problems. Only in regular inter-departmental conferences can chiefs of related fields find compromise solutions. Students could aid these conferences by filing complaints against the preliminary catalogue through a central office.
"There'll always be conflicts," is the motto of too many departments. But haphazard scheduling hurts everyone except the most loyal Benchleyites.