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Oversubscription Problems: Since When?

BannerStudentCropped.jpgA senior adminsrtrator expressed the view to me on Friday that the currently-much-discussed problem of class oversubscriptions at the College has long been a feature of Dartmouth student life — and if students from the 1990’s and before don’t recall it, then that is just an indication of their poor memories.

I have talked to scores of students from the last century, and when I ask how often they were refused entry to a class, their standard response is a quizzical look, and then the remark that they were never refused entry to a class — that being one of the great things about Dartmouth. They usually go on to say that they know of nobody from their time at the College who could not get into a desired class (with the occasional exception of a prized seminar with a star visitor).

This jibes with my own recollection of an earlier era, when small classes in all departments were wonderfully common (I ended up in three <10-student seminars in my sophomore summer — what a mistake!).

If you were a student in one of the 1990’s classes and you encountered problems in getting into classes — or if you had friends who did — can you write to me at and tell me about it. Thanks in advance. And if you had no trouble at all getting into all of your courses, and none of your friends did either, please feel free to write in, too.


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