5,000 try to complete schedules

By Katrina Kelly

More than 5,000 NIU students attempted to register for classes last Wednesday and Thursday at schedule completion, said Richard Durfee, director of records and registration.

The 2,421 students attending schedule completion last Wednesday totalled 400 more students than the attendance at the first day of last year’s schedule completion, Durfee said Friday.

“Class availability is tight. It’s a difficult situation,” he said.

Durfee said 62.1 percent of the students registering for classes this semester received full schedules through mail registration.

This leaves more than one-third of all students with incomplete schedules.

That figure represents a decline from last year’s 63.6 percent success rate for mail registration and a 67.1 percent completion rate in 1986, he said. Durfee said this statistic is “directly related to funding.”

William Minor, sociology department chairman, said Friday that all tool courses in the sociology department are completely filled. “We have a problem every year,” Minor said.

“The university has more students than funds to handle them,” he said.

Minor called the situation a “political failure” and said, “While this is a chronic problem, it is made worse by the failure of the (Illinois state) legislature to pass a tax hike.”

He said students who wanted to enroll in the closed sociology classes were placed on waiting lists.

A decision about each student’s acceptance was made based on the student’s major and their need to complete the course this semester.

Minor said the use of waiting lists “is fairer than a first-come, first-serve system.”

“There just isn’t enough to go around,” Minor said.

Students on waiting lists for sociology classes should not expect to gain admission into a class, he said.

“There would have to be an extra compelling case, such as a graduating senior or a sociology major,” Minor said.

Minor said students at schedule completion were mad and “frustrated about the total system of underfunding.”

The situation is two-fold, he said. One problem is a lack of faculty office space, and the other, more obvious concern is the lack of money to hire additional faculty.

Minor said sociology department instructors cannot take on additional sections to accommodate students’ needs. Teachers’ class loads range from two to four classes each semester, Minor said.

NIU Admissions Director Dan Oborn said the number of freshmen and transfer students admitted to NIU this semester has been reduced by 6.4 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.

Oborn said this has been done to achieve “a better match between the number of students trying to get into classes and the number of classes available.”