save vietnamese language classes at ut austin

Got the unfortunate news passed along to me that our friends at the University of Texas at Austin are in danger of losing their Vietnamese language courses due to a lack of funding: Vietnamese program cut because of lack of funds.

Last week, Professor Hoang Ngo announced to his Vietnamese class that the program would be canceled in the fall due to financial restraints. The news has sparked a student-organized petition to save the program: Save Vietnamese Classes @ UT.

Student leaders fought hard for two years, from 2004 to 2006, to finally get Vietnamese language courses. But as a result of Asian Studies budget cuts (30% across the board), the Vietnamese language course is the only language department to get completely cut because they only had one professor.

Here's the plan of action that's being circulated, calling on Vietnamese American student leaders across the country to speak out in support of Vietnamese language program at the University of Texas. You may not be in Texas, but you can do something about it:
1. Our friends from Texas would like for you to write a letter on behalf of your VSA and/or related organization in support of preserving Vietnamese language courses, if it is something that you would support. They have been contacting influential leaders from the Vietnamese community around Texas and now the nation, which is why we are contacting you.

Attached is an example of what they've written on behalf of the Texas Exes Asian Alumni Network. Feel free to modify it to reflect the organization you represent or write your own words of support and encouragement! Send your reply to geewey.yue@unavsa.org by Monday night April 12, 2010, as this is a time-sensitive issue. They will be compiling everything for a Student Government and Student Senate meeting on Tuesday, before their representatives will meet with the Dean for Liberal Arts on Wednesday.

2. We would like you to help increase awareness of the issue. You can do so by "attending" this Facebook event, inviting everyone you know to increase awareness of the issue, and to drive traffic towards the online petition. If we can show solidarity through unity and support, there is a chance that Vietnamese language courses at The University of Texas at Austin can be saved.
Did you know that Vietnamese is the third most spoken language in Texas, after English and Spanish? It would be a shame to see this program eliminated. For more information, go to the Facebook event page here. And sign the online petition here.

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