Scheduling classes is a less tedious process today than it was in the 70s, but it’s about to get harder. Imagine you are in your senior year at Columbia College, only it’s not 2014: it’s 1974. You’ve been through the headache that is class registration many times before. You have all your forms filled out and your course papers ready, but you have to move fast to get the classes that you want. This will be back in effect next semester.
Winding lines of students circle around bookshelves, leading to fold out tables where professors flip through stacks of note-cards and papers organized in some archaic fashion unknown to you. You are sweating in your bell bottoms and would like to use the bathroom, but you’re stuck in a line of 30 students in front of the English table, hoping that there’s still a seat open for you in Women’s Studies. “Only two more lines,” you think to yourself, taking a swig of your Tab and clutching a stack of papers to your hip. If you can’t get in this class, you’ll have to find a different one. Maybe you’ll check out the cork board at the front of the library to see what classes were recently added if your schedule doesn’t work out.
While you wait, you watch a professor at the Radio table switch his pipe from one corner of his mouth to the other for every student he registers. An older woman in front of you is reading an article about the Vietnam draft amnesty in the Chicago Tribune. You spot a couple of your friends in the Film line and wave hello, wondering how long they’ve been in line, and how much longer they’ll have to wait. It might be another hour yet.
Sounds pretty simple, right? This process was a typical one for college students at that time, but you won’t have to worry about it making a comeback- it’s WAY more cumbersome than OASIS, even with its outages and shortcomings.
To see the rest of Registration Flashback exhibit, visit the third floor of the library. For other exhibits from the archives, visit http://about.colum.edu/archives/exhibits/current-exhibits.php.