Foreign languages vital skills to have

By
November 14, 2002

I am very concerned about the direction I see the Mills College language department taking. Already Mills offers very few language options compared with other universities in the area.

The recent cuts proposed to the department show clear misguided priorities as does the total lack of a language requirement.

I have had some opportunities to travel in Europe and Central America and the ability I have observed of students in other countries to speak multiple languages stands in stark contrast to American students.

This and the sheer number of jobs in America and in the world which require bilingual ability are compelling evidence of the need of a strong language program at Mills.

If Mills claims to offer a complete and rounded education which prepares students for the competitive job market it must provide a strong language department.

As students are being made aware of the proposed cuts, I am hearing increasing statements of anger and discontent directed toward college administration.

I am otherwise very happy with the intellectually stimulating environment that Mills provides.

I would hate for the reputation of this wonderful women’s college to plummet due to its graduates inability to compete in our global society.

A weak foreign language program would present prospectives students with an image of a college which does not recognize its student’s role in our global society.

I know this is not desired by the administration as it is clearly not the will of the students.

If Mills College is unable to provide a strong language department, both its student population and its reputation will plummet.

College administration, please don’t fire our professors from the language department.

They are incredible educators who connect Mills students with the world and bring to the campus awareness of the cultures and concerns of other nations, which are our own concerns as a global community.

I assure you any such cuts will be against the will of the student body and a cause for action on our part. Maybe it is time for a student committee to be part of the budget making process.

Such a step will be necessary if the students are informed as of the particular of the situation.

Please make the Mills College budget readily available to its funders,-the students- in a clear form. We demand where the money is being spent and how it is contributing to our education.


Foreign languages vital skills to have was published on November 14, 2002 in Letters to the Editor

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