LETTER TO THE EDITOR: If university is striving for inclusiveness, don't cut foreign language courses


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TO THE EDITOR:

The spring semester is a time of the school year when Central Michigan University students are getting ready to graduate, head to graduate school, begin internships or start their first job. However, the spring semester is also a busy time for administrators to evaluate the fiscal circumstances of the university and make end-of-the-year cuts.

As a French major, I am disappointed that the department of foreign language, literatures and cultures will likely be seeing a lot of budget cuts. As a former office assistant in the department, I witnessed many moments of frustration between professors, faculty and staff regarding budget cuts. I have also seen these effects on students, who want to pursue a certain foreign language major or minor, but decide to drop due to uncertainty within the program.

Learning a foreign language is a valuable skill that can be transferred to any career field. Not only does it create a bridge for people from different cultures to communicate, but it also promotes the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.

One of the best parts about being a French major is having classmates who study other subjects like business, political science, STEM fields, education and more. This diverse student base has created a think tank within language classes where students communicate and contribute many different perspectives on culture and language.

Doesn’t CMU pride itself on its effort to becoming a more inclusive campus?

How do administrators expect students to learn about world cultures and provide them with a wide range of experiences when foreign language courses are being cut every semester?

Eliminating foreign language courses means the university is prioritizing to put a limit on a diverse learning experience at CMU.

Language is the heart of culture and one of the strongest bases in which people are able to expand and alter their worldview.

My experience at CMU has been shaped by the opportunity to major in French, study Japanese and study abroad in two different semester-long language immersion programs. Without the support of the foreign language department and university, these endeavors would not have been possible. I may not have discovered them as my academic passions. 

The skills foreign language has helped me develop throughout my undergraduate career has led me to apply for graduate school, participate in an international academic conference and intern at Freedom House of Detroit.

CMU has to take the student experience into account and how its goals of diversity should be reflected by course offerings. It cannot cut foreign language courses.

Jami Watson

CMU Honors, Senior

French Major, Political Science Minor

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