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No room for learning

by Archives October 17, 2001
If there is one thing that bothers me more than broken clocks and overcrowded elevators, it is overcrowded classrooms. The situation at Concordia has been getting progressively worse over the past few years. I don’t know about most faculties, but at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) the situation has become just down right ridiculous.
JMSB has prided itself by promoting the fact that it has small classes. This statement is partially true. When one reaches higher-level courses in their second and third year they will see classes of 25 to 50 students. However, in most of the concentration commerce courses, the enrollments can reach over 150 students. Big classes are not the problem here: the problem lies with the accommodations set aside for these classes. Auditorium-style classrooms are overcrowded in the Hall Building mainly because of broken chairs. In contrast, the new facilities in the Faubourg basement are great, but yet somehow people are still left without a seat. Why is this?
One might suspect that the registrar may be allowing more students than there are seats in the classroom, but this thinking is flawed. The registrar does not allow more registrations than the quantity of seats available.
Then perhaps students do not show up to their classes all the time and when they do it results in overcrowding. Again, this is flawed because even if the students do not show up all the time, the fact remains that if there are 100 seats in class then there are 100 or fewer students registered in that class.
This leads me to point the finger in one direction: some students have the bad habit of attending classes they are not registered in. There are two cases in which students attend a class they are not registered for. The first, the least serious of the two, is when a student wishes to sit in and listen to a lecture, or to go to class with a friend. This is not that bad because it is infrequent and does not affect important course functions such as exams, in-class essays, and group assignments.
The second, however, is the greater of the two evils. This is when students are officially registered for a particular section of a course, but are unofficially transferred to another section of the same course by their professor. The unofficial transfer to another section leaves that student satisfied at the expense of another student already enrolled in the course. This is unacceptable.
Why should one student get privileges over another? We all pay the same fees.
If the registrar feels the need to refuse admission to a student for a
particular section, the professor should respect that decision. Increased
co-ordination and compliance by professors will help avoid situations where frustrated students do not have a seat and write their mid-terms on the floor, as I have.
Just as students must abide by university regulations, so should professors.

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