May 27, 2006 | by  |
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Timetabling chaos claimed – Students urged to keep their heads

The new system of setting University timetables has come under criticism by members of the VUWSA Executive.

A new timetabling system, a computer programme, has been put into place this year, after the Statistics lecturer who manually configured timetables in the past retired at the end of 2005, reportedly to grow oranges.

Welfare Vice-President Maddy Drew says she has received a number of complaints about time table clashes, particularly from students in the science faculty.

Alison Munro, Student Administration Manager for the science faculty, says that although last Augusts’ draft timetable saw “massive” timetable clashes in science subjects, these had mostly been ironed out since then. She added that it was impossible to cater for everyone, especially those doing random combinations of subjects.

Although a class free hour on Wednesday afternoons from 12 to 1 was under negotiation to replace class free hours on Tuesday and Friday, this was unable to be delivered. While a “low-density” hour was promised, it appears a number of popular first-year classes, such as Econ 130, have been placed in that hour.

VUWSA President Nick Kelly says a “few” first-years had come to him to “say they’d like to attend the Initial General Meeting but can’t” because of their lecture times. CJ Hunt, the VUWSA representative on the timetable committee added it would be hard to get higher student involvement in the weekly Student Representative Councils (SRCs).

Director of Central Student Administration Pam Thorburn says there was an attempt to deliver a class free hour, but the “complexities” of room bookings and the number of courses meant this was not possible. She asked for “a bit of patience” with the new system, which should improve as time goes on.

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Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

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