The following is a petition protesting the likelihood of funding cuts to foreign language programs at McGill University.
To: Provost Anthony C. Masi and Principal Heather Munroe-Blum
We, the undersigned, are sincerely troubled and perplexed by the University’s recent decision to cut funding to foreign language programs across the board. This recent stripping of funds has caused departments that offer foreign language instruction to introduce enrolment restrictions, effectively rendering the learning of certain foreign languages at McGill University impossible for a majority of the student body. These restrictions range from courses only offered to students in their respective departments to courses only offered to Arts students in certain years. Some programs, moreover, have been eliminated altogether, leaving students without a clear path of study and often the need to unexpectedly change programs. The implementation of austerity measures has undoubtedly targeted foreign language teaching disproportionately with respect to other areas.
We, the undersigned, firmly believe in the importance of foreign language instruction and its ability to encourage cross-cultural dialogue. The University’s recent austerity cuts, we believe, are significantly hurting McGill University’s image as a world-leading University in a multi-cultural country and in a bilingual city. In an increasingly globalized world, McGill graduates are seeking employment across the globe and the University has a responsibility to provide the tools that prepare graduates to compete in this world. We, the undersigned, believe that foreign language instruction is one of the necessary skills with which the University should provide its students.
We, the undersigned, request that McGill University reevaluate its recent cuts to foreign language instruction in hopes that the University finds a solution that both recognizes and addresses the aforementioned concerns of its students.