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Frosh Enter Class Lotteries Today: Five science, HASS subjects also in lottery

By Jennifer Lane
Staff Reporter

Freshmen choose physical education and humanities distribution classes today in separate Athena-based lotteries.

Also, for the first time, a lottery will be used to regulate enrollment in selected oversubscribed science and humanities classes.

The PE lottery began on Aug. 16 and will continue through Sept. 12. The program is a spin-off of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Distribution lottery system, and was written by Regina L. Gogol, the project's director.

PE registration was moved to Athena because students were complaining about the antiquated system of waiting in long lines and having limited registration time, said Gordon V. Kelly, director of physical education.

Kelly regrets that the system will now lose the more personal aspect that it once had. Students were previously able to ask questions of the instructor at registration, Kelly said.

"Ithink most students will appreciate not having to come over here and stand in lines," Kelly said.

"Other students will say that, under the old system, at least they were guaranteed a spot by arriving early," he said. "Now there is no guarantee."

Students can enter up to six choices, and will receive their final placement over electronic mail.

Students, faculty, and staff can enter the system by typing "add pelott" and then "xphedu &" from on an Athena workstation ("phedu" over dialup).

More information is available via the "peinfo" command. Those without Athena access can register at the Physical Education Office in W32-125.

Lotteries for 5 large classes

For the first time, five regular classes other than HASS-D subjects will be filled this semester through a lottery system.

Students interested in the typically over-enrolled 5.310 (Laboratory Chemistry), 7.02 (Experimental Biology), 21F.103 (Chinese III), 21M.700 (Introduction to Acting), or 21W.731 (Writing and Experience) had to preregister for the class in May to be eligible for each department's class lottery, according to Associate Registrar Vicki Diadiuk.

Non-freshmen will not be able to enter the lottery on Registration Day, Diadiuk said. For this reason, it is necessary that "people take preregistration seriously, because they are really taking someone else's spot," if they are not serious about the class, she said.

Each department conducts the lottery with different criteria, Diadiuk said. A few spots in each class were reserved for freshmen who will register for them on Registration Day, she said.

Students who didn't get placed in the class will be put on a waiting list, and will be contacted should a spot open up, Diadiuk said.

Diadiuk regretted that departments were forced to use a lottery system. The ultimate goal is "to have enough resources for everyone, and not have to finagle with lotteries," she said.

Data from the lotteries will allow the instructors to know exactly how oversubscribed the classes were, Diadiuk said. This data will enable the department to add sections or other resources to accommodate the demand, she said.

Previously, in-class lotteries were held for these classes. This system, "got to be painful for students and instructors," Diadiuk said.

HASS-D lottery held on Athena

This term marks the fourth time that a lottery will be held on Athena for HASS Distribution subjects.

The lottery was implemented to avoid the hassle of in-class lotteries during the first week of classes, said Bette K. Davis, coordinator of the HASS office.

Between 90 and 93 percent of students usually get their first choice in the lottery, Davis said. If a student does not get his first choice, he is guaranteed a place in the class the next time it is held, she said.

Students wishing to take advantage of this option should enter the lottery through the HASS-D office the next time the class is offered.

According to Davis, classes that are typically oversubscribed include 21W735 (Writing and Reading the Essay), 21M301 (Harmony and Counterpoint), and 9.00 (Introduction to Psychology).

Before the lottery system, students who didn't get placed in a class would have to endure a logistical hassle to find and enroll in another class, she said.

To enter the HASS-D lottery students should type "add hass-d" and then "xenroll" from an Athena account (use "enroll" over dialup).