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College juniors and seniors who have not declared their majors by the end of this week will be barred from registering for next semester's courses. The College announced the October 25 deadline in letters to students last week. The letter, which was dated October 1, cited students' lack of academic planning as the reason for the new requirement. "Too many students have neglected to plan and declare their majors in a timely fashion and found that they have had to postpone graduation and take additional courses to meet the major requirements," said the letter, which was signed by Vice Dean for the College Norman Adler. Some students said last night they had decided on a major several semesters ago and had been taking required courses but had not completed the necessary paperwork, while others said they had difficulty deciding on a major. All of them said they did not like being pressured to declare. College junior Donna Tortorella, who has not yet declared, said she was not prepared to choose a major before this semester. "I wasn't really positive about [majoring in] English until last year, and I was sort of going back and forth about going into a different major," she said. "I was confused about what options I had open." College junior Jamie Thibault, who intends to major in American Civilization but had not planned on declaring until next year, objected to the deadline. "I don't understand the use of it," he said. "You have to have a major to graduate. It [the requirement] narrows down the amount of time you have to decide. I don't think you should be forced into it." Officials in the College could not be reached for comment yesterday evening. The requirement poses administrative problems for some students. College junior Elan Zivotofsky intends to declare an International Relations major, but he has not completed the prerequisites for it. He must complete History 2 -- or be registered for the course next semester -- before he can declare. Now, if he is unable to register he will not be eligible to declare the major. "It makes kind of a Catch-22," he said. Until the new requirement was implemented, there was an expectation that students in the College would declare a major their sophomore year, but it was not enforced. This expectation is stated explicitly in the College's handbook, and some majors restrict pre-registration for certain courses to students in the major. But College junior Pam Urueta said she registered for restricted history courses without having declared. "Supposedly, I'm not supposed to register in any seminar courses, but I haven't been stopped," she said. "I was planning to declare this semester anyway."

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