No hablo. Ich spreche kein.

Kaitlin Sansenbach

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Sacramento State students may no longer have to take a foreign language to graduate.

The Faculty Senate on campus has been conducting meetings weekly to discuss the removal of the General Education requirement of foreign language.

During the Faculty Senate meeting on Jan. 31, the Senate discussed amending the General Education program policy that mandates students to take a foreign language before graduating.

Some do not find foreign language to be an asset for the future of students.

“We are forcing students to take a foreign language who simply do not want to learn it,” said criminal justice major Thomas Ulibarri. “If an individual really wants to learn a foreign language they should take the time to do so, but it should not be a requirement to graduate.”

Traditionally, students have two options of obtaining their General Education requirement for foreign language.

A student can take a different language in high school for three years, or students can take a year of foreign language in college.

Eliminating the General Education requirement does not mean the foreign language department would become obsolete. Students could still have the option to minor or major in a specific language, but it would not be a requirement to graduate.

However, some students feel taking away the general education requirement would have detrimental effects for students’ futures.

“I think it’s crazy,” said junior journalism major Amanda Hickman. “I mean great we don’t have to, but I took Spanish in high school and don’t remember a thing. It would be helpful if I did have the ability to speak Spanish, especially when trying to find a job.”

Sophomore business major Angela Brouqua has a similar view.

“To be competitive in the world today we need to be bilingual. Many students in Europe speak two or three languages, while American students may only speak one,” Brouqua said. “If we get rid of foreign language as a requirement we are not going to be receiving the education we need and pay for.”

Sac State professor and faculty senator Nicole Buffard and alternate faculty senator Marjorie Gelus are at the forefront of the protest against the proposal of eliminating the foreign language requirement.

The two professors presented the Faculty Senate with 415 signatures from students, faculty, staff and others to protest the new proposal regarding languages.

In an effort to save the foreign language requirement, Sac State faculty reached out to the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages.

Rosmarie Morewedge, president of the Association of Department of Foreign Languages and Nelly Furman, director of Association of Department of Foreign Languages, took a stand behind the protesting efforts at Sac State.

In a written statement addressed to the foreign language department, the Association of Department of Foreign Languages members announced, “It is precisely learning another language and its culture that students experience diversity of thought, understand another worldview, and realize that their native language is not the only natural mode of expression.”

Yet, there may be a solution between the two opposing sides.

“It should be required according to major,” business major Jessica Lyons said. “All international communications students should study more than one language for two semesters or more. As for communication studies, business or criminal justice majors- they should have the current foreign language requirement of a year. I think it’s silly for people who are studying history or psychology to study language.”

Alumnus Jake Vorhies, 23, said he agrees with Lyons. He believes that a student should take a foreign language depending on his or her field of study. He feels if students plan on going into the medical field or business, then it should be mandatory that they take a second language.

Otherwise, Vorhies thinks students who are in science, engineering, or similar majors would be taking up free space for people who could really use the education.