Bring other language options to Viterbo

Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Assistant Editor

It’s that time of year again – reg­istration for spring semester – and when course listings were posted I felt like a kid in a candy store. Call me academic, but I love perusing the long lists of class titles and course descriptions on VitNet. They make me feel so optimistic, and that next semester is full of possibility.

But despite this seeming smorgas­bord of course options, there is one department that is noticeably lack­ing in course options: World Lan­guages. Currently, there are four languages listed on Viterbo’s web­site: Spanish, Italian, French, and German. However, there are zero French and German classes being offered next semester, and a mere two introductory Italian courses. Spanish clearly is the privileged language at this university, with courses ranging from the 100 to 400 levels.

That’s great…if Spanish were the only language students were inter­ested in taking. As a devoted French student myself, I find Viterbo’s lack of course offerings in other lan­guages infinitely frustrating. I took French all through middle school and high school, and I am unable to continue my studies under the Vit­erbo banner. Instead, I must take upper-level French classes at UW-La Crosse, which gets complicated as far as scheduling, transportation, and communicating between both schools.

Many other students face simi­lar problems. High school study of German, Italian, Chinese, Russian, French, Latin, or any other language instruction besides Spanish come to an abrupt dead-end at Viterbo. Not only must these students look else­where to continue refining their lan­guage skills, but they are also unable to receive retroactive credit directly through placement tests at Viterbo.

I know that Spanish is a very im­portant language, especially with the ever-increasing Hispanic popu­lations in the United States, but as a Franciscan institution that promotes values such as hospitality, service, and leadership, it would be nice if we built bridges to other places be­sides just Spanish-speaking countries.

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