University News

Classes take on rooms their own size

By
Contributing Writer
Thursday, October 6, 2011

Though shopping period was riddled with overcrowding and classroom shuffling, the Office of the Registrar has now solved all known space constraint problems.

Robert Fitzgerald, university registrar, affirmed that no classes currently have more students enrolled than spots in their respective classrooms. He said his primary focus was the safety of students and professors.

“We, Facilities Management and Environmental Health and Safety are always concerned about fire code regulations and the well-being of our faculty and students,” Fitzgerald said. “In fact, on many occasions, we’ve had to force an instructor to move out of a room that was too small for precisely those reasons.”

During shopping period, when course sizes tend to fluctuate, the registrar’s office monitors class enrollments but waits to move classrooms, except in the most extreme cases.

HIST 1460: “History of the Middle East,” was relocated four times during the first three weeks of the semester. Despite the seemingly constant flux, Shiva Balaghi, a postdoctoral fellow in the Cogut Center for the Humanities, said the registrar’s moves ultimately allowed more students to enroll in her course. Similarly, ECON 0110: “Principles of Economics,” was very popular during shopping period and currently has 516 students who are easily accommodated in spacious Salomon 101, which has a 594-person capacity.

“We wouldn’t want to turn interested students away with an enrollment cap,” said Rachel Friedberg, senior lecturer in economics, who teaches the course.

Ross Lerner ’14, a student in the class, joked, “I am just glad I’m not forced to use the lefty desk anymore.”