Letter: Is Emory Eliminating What Makes It Special?
To the Editor:
I would like to preface this by saying that I am not going to talk about Dean Forman with any disrespectful or accusative terms. As the daughter of an academic turned administrator, I know that deans have it tough. Making decisions about departments, budget cuts, and such come at a price: popularity. I instead want to appeal to Dean Forman and the rest of the administration as a student, who like them, wants what is best for the university she loves.
When I walked into Hindi class on Tuesday morning, I knew about the whispers that the Hindi program might be cut. I prepared myself for a denial of such rumors, but I got quite the opposite. My Hindi professor apologized for his tears and broke the news to us about the cut of the Hindi program. Any mental preparedness I had made completely disseminated. I was devastated, and I tried my best to hold back tears. What was most hurtful for me was seeing one of my favorite professors having to deal with a program he helped build removed in one swift blow. I salute Robertji for his determination to be the best professor he can be given these difficult times. To me, he is the definition of a great teacher.
This class resulted in a flashback from three years ago. I was a high school senior writing an essay for admission to Emory—an admission essay about what made Emory special to me. The answer was easy. Emory was special because it supported students with out-of-the-box interests. If you were not pre-med or pre-business, there was still a place for you. “Emory included programs in a variety of languages and majors such as Hindi, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Mediterranean Archaeology that were not even available in the other colleges I am considering.” I wrote, “It appears that Emory truly attempts to tailor degrees towards an individual student, and that students are not just restricted to the “standard” options that are typical at most schools.” This is why I chose Emory. I could learn Hindi, a language that is so important in the modern, globalized world. A language that would help me achieve a career in foreign affairs. If the goal is to create global citizens, it starts in the language departments. If we can focus on Contemporary China, why not Contemporary India?
I have given my absolute best, both inside the classroom and out, to this university because Emory has always given me the very best back. This school has expanded my horizons and made me consider paths that I once thought closed. By taking away some of the fundamental parts that were important to the students, the university is not encouraging its students to give their best to Emory in return. It is therefore, Dean Forman, I respectfully ask you to reconsider you decision about the cut of the Hindi and other language programs.
Class of 2014