Patrick Hess 0

Save IR/PS Portuguese

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Students, faculty, staff and all other concerned, As you may have heard, the entire Portuguese language program at IR/PS will be eliminated for the foreseeable future. Before you waive this "administrative adjustment" off completely, please consider the pertinence of Portuguese to the study of the Pacific Rim: - Portuguese is the first language of 51 percent of South America (yes, more South Americans speak it than Spanish) - Portuguese is the 6th most commonly spoken language in the world (in terms of native speakers). The only languages offered through IR/PS that possess more speakers are Mandarin and Spanish. - Brazil is the world's fifth largest country (both in terms of population and area). Both its economy and natural environment are of the utmost importance to the entire world - let alone to career tracks such as int'l environmental policy, int'l econ, int'l management, development, etc., which are all a part of a graduate program that claims to focus on a region that includes Brazil. - There are nearly 670% more Portuguese speakers than Bahasa Indonesian, 164% more than Korean and 45% more than Japanese The statistics above are not intended to jeopardize other language programs at IR/PS (Administration, please don't get any other brilliant ideas), but merely to indicate the importance of Portuguese in this program and the region it represents. In fact, the elimination of Portuguese should truly worry students and faculty throughout the entire language program. Last year, we witnessed the marginalization of the Spanish program (and nearly lost one of our best instructors); now it spills over to Portuguese. As the language program's budget and the administration's desire to improve it wanes, we must act now to demand more attention to a deteriorating, yet still essential part of IR/PS. If language continues to become increasingly unimportant to our decision-making "representatives," the entire program will change drastically. Instead of hoping to improve other parts of the programs by siphoning money from language, we ought to improve upon one of the most unique characteristics of the graduate school that attracted us here in the first place. This directly threatens students that had planned to take the course next year (both from CILAS and IR/PS). However, this sudden termination of an integral part of the program affects nearly all of us in some form or another. Soon-to-be-alumni: you obviously want the programs to improve into the future to maximize your degree; Latin America specialists: This is nothing more than another shift of attention away from the region - something that has continually taken place since I arrived here in fall '06; anyone who doesn't want a typical MBA: All of you came here because you wanted more than a typical MBA - don't allow IR/PS to become one. TAKE ACTION: Sign this petition, call, meet with, and write (actual letter more effective than email) to Peter Cowhey, Barbra Blake, Amanda Randolph and Nathalie Morales ASAP to demand that the program we pay for is the program that they administer. They will respond by saying that it is being canceled because no one needs it to graduate next year. I only specifically need one of my three courses in which I'm enrolled this term to graduate. So is the administration saying that they prefer to eliminate all courses from IR/PS except for the three that they feel suit me best. Most of us speak more than one language coming into IR/PS and we want to learn others and perfect the ones we already know. So our courses ought to meet this demand! Please, act now. VIVA O MOVIMENTO ESTUDANTIL!!! - Patrick Hess

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