Sometimes readers of the News wish that editors would just mind their own business, especially when their ignorance points to the likelihood they attended a university sometime around the Civil War. I am referring to the Dec. 26 editorial "Take a calm second look at semesters for Utah."

To state that the university semester system benefits the beleaguered student is just plain absolute nonsense.First, unless the number of professors are increased by 33 percent, overcrowded lower-level required courses will just get more overcrowded because they will be offered only twice instead of three times a year. For the professor meeting a finals deadline, having to grade much larger classes is more difficult, not easier.

Second, only the bureaucrat would benefit from reducing registration periods to two for admissions and registration since the bulk of registration for students is easily done over the phone by appointment. An additional quarter registration period benefits the student trying to juggle a required course in a limited time schedule with a practically unchangeable employment schedule. Although the bureaucrat will disagree, the university is primarily supposed to benefit the student.

Third, the length of the course for the semester system is increased by an average of four weeks. The student is stuck with that same curmudgeon professor or boring subject matter just that much longer and has four weeks more material to digest for the same multiple finals (probably five each semester instead of only three) crammed into a single week. If the professor desires to cover more material in depth, it is better for both student and instructor to divide the work between two quarters (and between two finals).

Fourth, the student does not benefit much from buying fewer books under the semester system since most textbooks are sold back to the bookstore by the student at the end of each course, regardless of which system is used.

The enterprising professor can teach three different courses during an academic year on the quarter system (although he probably won't because that would require three lesson plans), in contrast to two courses possible for the semester system.

Take it from a university student who has suffered under both the quarter system and semesters. I will take quarters every time.

G. Lee Benefield

Senior, University of Utah

Salt Lake City