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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

World Languages and Literatures classes diminished by 5% for upcoming semester

Student enrollment and budget cuts impact language classes
Curtis+Smith%2C+department+chair+of+World+Languages+and+Literatures%2C+said+the+department+was+asked+by+the+dean%E2%80%99s+office+to+reduce+their+schedule+by+5%25+due+to+budget+cuts.+The+5%25+reduction+of+the+schedule+will+lower+the+number+of+sections+offered+per+foreign+language+course+beginning+next+spring.+%28Graphic+created+in+Canva+by+Ariel+Caspar+and+Alyssa+Branum%29
Ariel Caspar
Curtis Smith, department chair of World Languages and Literatures, said the department was asked by the dean’s office to reduce their schedule by 5% due to budget cuts. The 5% reduction of the schedule will lower the number of sections offered per foreign language course beginning next spring. (Graphic created in Canva by Ariel Caspar and Alyssa Branum)

Upper and lower division classes have been minimized by 5% in the Department of World Languages and Literatures for the spring 2024 semester, due to student enrollment and the university budget.

Department Chair of World Languages and Literatures Curtis Smith said the department made adjustments due to student enrollment and have reduced the number of offerings because of a lesser demand for Spanish, German, Chinese and other courses this year.

He said the department is given a budget by the dean’s office, which reviews their schedule and enrollments.

“With the reduction in instructional resources, we were asked to reduce our total offerings by 5% this year due to anticipated budget cuts,” Smith said. “This past semester, we had classes that were highly under-enrolled and so we couldn’t afford to keep those classes open.”

Smith said that there will still be about the same number of courses, but there will be fewer sections. The department is not able to have sections with enrollments that are under 50% of regular enrollment caps and that makes it very difficult to keep those classes open, he said.

“For example, Spanish 106 won’t be offered,” Smith said. “We’re offering it this fall semester so we won’t be able to offer it in the spring.”

Smith said two to four years ago, classes were full or over full. If classes are filled with more students, and there’s still more demand for the class, then the department can request to open additional sections, he said.

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Assistant Professor of Italian and Italian Language Area Head Viola Ardeni said this change was not the department’s decision.

“We do believe that it jeopardizes the health of the department and the campus,” Ardeni said. “Faculty members make proposals for courses and then we get approved or not approved and we teach what we are approved.”

Ardeni said all students on campus should have the opportunity to fulfill their language requirement through the department. She agrees with the fear that if classes are reduced, there won’t be enough classes to fulfill the requirement.

Smith said that this change won’t impact student graduation and that students are still able to graduate in a timely manner.

However, some Sacramento State students like first-year international business major Dylan Mua, are concerned about this change for next semester.

“I honestly disagree with what they’re doing because as an international business major, it’s kind of important for me to have a second language that I can use and put on my resume,” Mua said.

Nubia Loma, a fourth-year Spanish major, said this change is an unfortunate thing to hear about since learning languages is how she feels we open up the world and understand each other.

“There’s many benefits to learning another language, such as employment or traveling,” Loma said. “I feel like we should still encourage people to learn other languages.”

First-year nutrition major Malli Yang said she felt this change might be hard on people who need the language as a graduation requirement.

“It just doesn’t give students the opportunity to finish their requirements as fast as they can,” Yang said.

Bailey-Jean Pontoni, a first-year hospitality and tourism management major, said this change is impacting her because she wants to take at least one class of as many languages as she can while she’s at Sac State to broaden her knowledge.

“I don’t think it’s really fair for the people that do wanna actually learn about the language,” Pontoni said.

Third-year communication sciences and disorders major Berenice Olmos said she does not agree with this change because it cuts back on opportunities to learn more about language and its culture.

“Language and culture goes hand-to-hand and I guess we’ll be reducing our education,” Olmos said. “I’m currently taking German and I’m planning on taking other German classes to try to learn more about the language.”

Carla Baldonado, a first-year undeclared student, said reducing classes is terrible because it means that there are less opportunities to learn the language.

“When it comes to classes, it’s good to be exposed to other languages and cultures in order to build community,” Baldonado said.

Ardeni said the department wants as many classes as possible and that they do World Languages Day, an event to showcase world languages and cultures in an effort to show how valuable their classes are to students’ educational experience.

“We strongly advocate for world languages to be on campus, to stay on campus,” Ardeni said. “Not just as a foreign language requirement, but also as a critical and crucial part of an individual’s education.”

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Asyah Zamani, PRMA Staffer
(she/her/hers) Asyah Zamani is a transfer student from Cosumnes River College, majoring in journalism. This is her second semester at The State Hornet and she is excited to be a part of the public relations section.
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