Star-Struck Seniors May Be Left in Dark In Science A-17 Lottery

Exploration of outer space may be restricted to freshmen and sophomores this year.

Seniors hoping to take Professor Owen Gingerich's popular Science A-17 course, "Astronomical Perspectives," may find themselves lotteried out this week in favor of younger students.

Gingerich said that in class Monday and Wednesday, he expressed "sympathy for freshmen and sophomores hoping to take this course." Many seniors interpreted this statement as meaning that they would be shut out in the lottery, leading them to complain to Gingerich's office, he said. As a result, Gingerich said, "It is obvious that we are going to admit at least some seniors."

The course, which is given every other year, has not been over-enrolled before, and Gingerich said seniors have already had two opportunities to attend it without risking a lottery.

He said that the great number of seniors in the course would be "perfectly reasonable" if the course had been over-enrolled in the past.


Gingerich said that the course's enrollment will be 225 if he can find another teaching fellow. Even so, he said he will have to cut at least 100 students.

Students who are lotteried out of the course will have first priority next year--if they haven't graduated.

"Logically you would give preference to people who wouldn't have the chance to take it again," said Steven Ozment, dean of undergraduate education. Ozment said that professors have the final say on how they want to lottery a course.

"Sure it's unfair... Seniors should get priority," said course hopeful Gael Johannes Schuster '88.