Response to the Oct. 15 Advice Corner

The Charger Bulletin

The International Student Association would like to give a response regarding the issue of the Charger Bulletin that was published on Oct. 15, 2008. In the “Advice Corner” on page 9, an international student was seeking advice about his/her language problems when communicating with his/her professors. The first response that you gave was so positive and useful that we do appreciate that very much. However, we felt upset about your second response and we found it to be an offensive and discriminating one.

We understand that you want to give both positive and ‘negative’ replies to the question of the week. However, we really think this ‘negative’ response was unnecessary. We also have doubt whether the question is real or fake too. Anyway, we know that you want to make the ‘negative’ response sound funny and humorous to students, but we just do not agree with or appreciate this intention.

Regarding the second response that you gave to the international student, here is what was said:

“You should have probably learned to speak English before you came to the United States. Either learn pretty quick or go back to where you came from!” We are really disappointed and upset with this answer.

Being international students living in the United States, we need to work harder than the U.S. students. Everything is new here, the people, the culture, the environment and even the food! During our stay in the United States, we learn a lot and our English has improved a lot too! Although our spoken English is not as fluent as the local American students, we still try to express ourselves to other people.

Think about this, do you think the average American can speak a foreign language when they visit other parts of the world? Some of them do, but most of them do not. So how can they communicate with the foreigners? Please think about this question deeply before you write such an offensive response to an international student. We, the international students, are proud of ourselves because not only can we speak English, we can speak one or two more languages as well! We respect your culture, your country, and the people here. Thus, we also wish to get the same respect from the Americans.

The University of New Haven has more than 400 international students from 50 countries. The presence of international students at UNH helps make the University a truly global village: A small campus, but vast in cultures. Racial and ethnic discrimination should not exist. We really hope that the Charger Bulletin can give more positive responses to students’ questions in the future.

-The International Student Association and The Chinese Student Association : Kaycee Fu, Ankit Sharma, Jasmine Vong, Susan Yu, Josh Low, Kanthi Kosaraju, Omar Alabdulqader, and Jelena Benak