The new Committee on Degrees in Literature yesterday extended yesterday's deadline for freshman applications to the concentration because of a shortage of students.
Claudio Guillen, professor of Comparative Literature and Romance Languages and Literatures, and chairman of the committee, cited the brief period of time prospective students were given to apply to the concentration as a reason only "some 20" applicants. The committee held its introductory meeting on Wednesday.
Guillen, who would not reveal how many applications he has received, said the committee plans to admit 20 students this year.
Although more than 40 freshmen attending the meeting showed "great interest and excitement about the major," Guillen said the students were "startled" when they were notified for the first time that the applications were due Friday.
Licia M. Hurst '84, who went to the meeting, said yesterday she had been unable to apply because of the short notice and that she was pleased to learn of the extension. Daniel Max '83, who met the original deadline, said yesterday that although the extension "might not have been fair to those students who already applied," he understood the decision was made in the "best interests" of the concentration.
Guillen noted that the honors concentration--established by the Faculty last December--is still in its infancy, and that it might be attractive because its "newness prevents them from getting feedback from experienced upperclassmen in the program."
He added that the difficulty of the required written language exam might also contribute to a student's hesitation to concentrate in Literature.
Most applicants, however, stressed the importance of the language requirements. "Without the language, it would be like studying English, and not Literature," Hurst said.
Guillen said the concentration would not be affected if less than 20 students enrolled since "we are interested in quality and not quantity." He added that "it is too early to be alarmist" about the future of the concentration. "We have a strong base of actively involved professors and those students who have applied seem excellently qualified," he said.
Students may submit their applications to the Committee's office in the basement of Greys Hall until 3 p.m. on Tuesday.