English minor courses limited

By Jean Dobrzynski

Students who want to study English on the side are being forewarned that classes are being trimmed and they might not be able to get the courses they need.

English Undergraduate Studies Director Charles Pennel said the English department decided to let students know the situation at hand with an information sheet before they declare English as their minor.

“We wanted to do it in a formal way so the students can be informed,” he said. “We want students to know if they want to come aboard we’ll have them, but we also want them to know they might not get the courses they need when they want them.”

Due to drastic budget cuts in faculty and a higher number of undergraduates applying to the program, Pennel said the department considered dropping the English minor altogether, but then reversed its decision.

“We didn’t want to do that because it would not be fair,” he said. “We want to avoid being a limited edition department. That image does not suit us at all.”

English Professor Arra Garab said he is glad students are being informed before they make any major decisions, but he said the whole situation is a shame.

“You feel sorry for the students,” he said. “I’m frustrated because sudents are the most important people on this campus—without them no one would be here.”

Garab said the cuts in the department are particularly disturbing when he looks at how university funds are spent.

“There are huge amounts of money being wasted at NIU,” he said. “Most students are just giving up and take the ‘you can’t beat city hall’ attitude.”

Pennel said elementary education majors who need 21 hours of English for a concentration are being affected by the limited permit process.

Garab said there is nothing that can be done about the situation because English majors and minors must be given first priority.

“It’s like war-time,” he said. “When commodities are scarce you have to start rationing.”