To the editor:

Sep 262004

Buenos D�as, Bonjour, Guten Morgen.

Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the

United States today. There is a rapid rise in the number of U.S.

Spanish speakers and employment requiring bilingual Spanish/English

speakers. Spanish is not a “foreign” language.

So I am confused over recent changes in the Department of

Foreign Languages. Why can students no longer obtain a bachelor’s

degree in Spanish and have to settle for a bachelor’s in foreign

languages with a concentration in Spanish? Does this not dilute the

strength of the program? Does this not hinder the employability of

Spanish majors (“concentrators?”) in their pursuit of employment in

an already tight job market? Is there a hidden agenda behind this

move? Was this move intentional by the French and German

“aristocracy” of the Department of Foreign Languages in order to

subvert the growth of the Spanish program and the junior faculty in

that program? Hmmmmm. The colonial mentality seems to live on at

Colonial State University.

Robert Koehler

Ph.D. student, sociology

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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To the editor:

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Sep 262004

College campuses are not an untapped resource of educated


The people entering college are not educated and they are not

being educated. According to a report on National Public Radio in

April, although more students are taking advanced placement classes

in high school, there is an increase in the number of students with

poor reading and writing skills. Data available on the Education

Vital Signs Web site ( shows that a decade of

increasing high school GPAs is correlated with a decrease in

reading ability. To put it quite simply, many of the students

entering college do not belong in college.

But to make it worse, our colleges continue the trend.

Personally, I have taught students with A and B averages who are

barely able to read and write.

How is it that students can attend college for years without

being confronted with their illiteracy? What are educators up to

when they pass students who are incapable of expressing even a

glimmer of understanding? Why don’t parents notice that their kids

can’t watch a subtitled movie because they have to sound out the


Maybe the answer I am looking for is that we are a delusional

society. We like to believe that we are an educated people capable

of choosing our own leaders. The facts tell otherwise. Most people

are barely capable of reading an article on politics, let alone

making judgments based on information they can hardly digest.

A few quick suggestions: Don’t vote unless you are actually

informed enough to know what it is you are doing (and you probably

are not). Ask a few of your friends about the details of the

policies of the presidential candidates; you will find complete

ignorance. (I actually played the question game with some people

working for the Democratic National Convention this past May. They

knew almost nothing about the policies or the history of their own

party. Not to pick on Democrats. Greens, Republicans, Independents:

They are all pretty stupid when you get to know them.) Let’s stop

fooling ourselves into believing that we are capable of making

important decisions. Instead, let’s look at the facts.

Micah Cavaleri

Master’s creative writing student

 Posted by at 5:00 pm