S.O.S&D. Cornell: Save Our Swedish and Dutch
Cornell Dutch and Scandinavian Clubs, with the generous co-sponsorship of the Cornell Institute for European Studies
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The foremost consequence is the loss of two invaluable and talented lecturers: Chrissy Hosea, Lecturer in Dutch, and Dr. Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, Lecturer in Swedish. Though both of these teachers are relatively new to Cornell, they have reached out to the Cornell community and, in a short time, reignited interest in their respective programs spanning all of Cornells colleges and beyond. Class enrollment has increased dramatically with the efforts of these lecturers; one introductory class might be composed of an econ major, an architecture student, a premed, a graduate student in Early American Studies from another Ivy League, and even a tenured professor interested in the language.
Under the supervision of Chrissy and Cecilia, the Dutch and Scandinavian clubs have hosted a number of cultural events drawing people to the Cornell campus from across the country. The cancellation will further affect students in non-language courses related to the cancelled programs, such as ENGL 3080: Icelandic Family Sagas and ARTH 2419: Rembrandt and His Circle: Technologies of Vision.
Yet the loss is not felt only in the academic arena. The research grants and federal dollars brought in by students of these languages amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Ultimately, the cancellation of both programs is a short-sighted decision on the part of the administrators, resulting in a total savings of only $90,000 per year. Compare this to the $14 million recently allotted for construction of the new Milstein Hall.
Dutch and Swedish are not widely taught languages; a Dutch program, for instance, is featured at only 15 universities in the U.S. and Canada combined. These valuable programs, by their very existence, contribute to the cultural breadth of Cornells student body, and undeniably draw students from other universities.
We, the undersigned, petition that the College of Arts and Sciences reconsider the short-sighted decision to terminate the Dutch and Swedish programs.