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Restricted Enrollment Courses Turn Away Many Students

By Steven J. Sampson

Professors and lecturers in many of the approximately 190 limited enrollment courses offered for undergraduates this term said yesterday that applications for admissions to their courses far exceeded capacity and many students had been turned away.

A spokesman for the Registrar's office said yesterday there is no way of determining how many students fail to gain admission into limited enrollment courses.

"About 150 students appeared at my course on the first night, and only 12 people were admitted," Nicholas K. Browne, lecturer on Visual and Environmental Studies (VES), said yesterday. Browne teaches VES 152br, "American Film."

"I think a lot of people apply to more than one course," Monroe Engel '42, senior lecturer on English, said yesterday. "Perhaps no more than 20 to 30 per cent of the people who apply to writing courses don't get into one," he added.

"I could only accept 20 people from among 62 applicants," Jane T. Foley, assistant studio professor of Visual and Environmental Studies, who teaches VES 140, "Intermediate Still Photography," said yesterday.

Foley said almost all the applicants "deserved to get in. The darkroo facilities limited the enrollment," she added.

"I'm sick of scribbling out little biographies in five minutes so that I can impress a professor and get into his course," Marshall C. Moore '79 said yesterday. Moore said the he was turned down in his attempt to enroll in Adams 112, "Visions of Legal Order and Disorder in Literature."

Robert J. Kiely, professor of English, who co-teaches the seminar, said yesterday only 15 of 30 applicants were admitted. "We took the Adams House applicants, and then we tried for upperclassmen and a balance of fields of concentration," Kiely said, adding, "It was a discussion course, and it wouldn't have been feasible to take a larger group of people."

Some students took issue with the criteria employed in restricting access to a course. "I was turned down for 'The Women's Tradition in Fiction,' probably because I've never taken a literature course before," Suzanne L. Coates '81 said yesterday. "To limit the number of people is an elitist way to run a course. It's like everything else at this university. You have to be good already," she added.

"I decided last fall to select students for Hum 15 by a random lottery," Louis J. Bakanowsky, chairman of the VES department and instructor for Humanities 15, "The Visual Arts: Conceptual and Practical Explorations," said yesterday. Bakanowsky said he selected 60 students from 400 applicants.

Some professors take steps to alleviate overcrowding. Howard S. Hibbett '44, professor of Japanese Literature and instructor for Japanese 121b, "Modern Japanese Fiction," divided his course into two sections when too many students enrolled in his course.

"I was expecting about 200 students, and 420 filled out section cards for Gov 106b," Michael L. Walzer, professor of Government, said yesterday. "This is the biggest course that I've ever lectured to," he added.

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