Follow-up to column on foreign students (published 2/29/12)
I never intended to offend anybody with my opinion or my writing, and I regret that I did. I have met with Obair Siddiqui, the president of the International Coordinating Council, and Nate Spriggs, the student body president, in order to find ways to rebuild my relationship with the international community here on campus.
I would like to clarify some of the points I made in my column that was published on Friday, Feb. 24. First off, I have never held any sort of ill will toward any student on campus solely because of their race, color, religion, sexuality, nationality or any other classification.
In my column, the arguments I made were extremely unclear, and that is due to the sloppiness of my writing. Particularly, I wish I had not used the word “enemy.” I recognize it is wrong to associate foreign governments directly with their citizens, including those here on campus.
The goal of my column was to be a political commentary on how I disagreed with some nations’ governments for various reasons and how tax dollars are spent. However, after seeing the response on campus and rereading my column, I realize the language I used in the article insinuated that I believed that the students themselves were enemies. I adamantly do not believe that and I apologize for the words in my column that implied that.
Secondly, the financial numbers I used were also inaccurate and deceiving to the reader. After further research, including information from Marcelo Sabatés in his letter, I realize that international students pay upwards of 2 1/2 more times in tuition than in-state students here at K-State. Sabatés also said to my adviser that if all the international students left tomorrow, due to the financial impact they have on campus, the school would be in significant trouble.
I am a firm believer in globalization and internationalization of universities. My resident adviser at Haymaker Hall last year was a Chinese student, who did a fantastic job by playing an integral role in helping me adjust to the real world. And she is just one example of how international students on this campus play important roles in making K-State such a wonderful place.
Public universities should not accept students from countries that have bad relations with US (published 2/24/12)
Here on campus, there are currently 1,851 international students, consisting of 1,045 undergraduates and 717 graduate students, according to the International Student and Scholar Services page on K-State’s website. During the fall 2011 semester, there were 1,856 international students. Of that number, 972 students were from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq or Turkey. China had the highest number of students, with 938.
What stands out about those five countries is that the United States does not have good relations with any of those nations.
So why does K-State, or any other university in the country, willingly choose to spend money on resources to educate students who could take the knowledge they obtained back to a country the U.S. does not get along with?
Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq are not allies with the U.S. for reasons surrounding the war on terror as well as problems before that, dating back to before the Gulf War. China and its communist regime has always had a rocky relationship with the U.S. and Turkey’s relationship with the U.S. has deteriorated due to Turkey’s displeasure with the Iraq War.
It is disappointing to know that, while international students are an integral presence on campus, 52 percent of them come from a country that has outwardly said they do not appreciate the U.S.
According to the K-State 2011-12 fiscal year budget, which can be found on K-State’s website, K-State receives $161.8 million in state appropriations and $9.4 million in federal land-grant funds.
In those two categories alone, the university receives $171.2 million in tax dollars from the state of Kansas and the U.S. government.
In the fall of 2011, there were 23,863 students enrolled at K-State. Divide the total dollar amount evenly by the number of students and that shows that just over $7,000 in government funding is being spent to educate an individual student on campus.
Multiply that by 972, and that equals out to $6.9 million. That means nearly $7 million in government funding is spent to educate international students from nations that are not friendly with the U.S.
Debates rage on as to whether China is an adversary to the U.S. or not. Simply put, though, for as long as China remains under communist rule, it will be under the careful watch of the American government. In an April 30, 2011, article by Paul Kix on The Daily Beast website, the International Monetary Fund projects that China will have the world’s largest economy and will be the next world superpower by 2016.
If a world superpower is under a communist regime, then they will undoubtedly become enemies of the U.S. The Cold War, Vietnam War and Korean War were all based on stopping the spread of communism.
Do not get it twisted, I am not saying people from these countries or the students here at K-State from these countries are all evil or should be treated as such.
I had a conversation with Patrick Sweeney, head women’s rowing coach, who is from Great Britain. He said in his travels around the world, he learned that people are virtually the same everywhere and have the same basic goals, and I can respect that.
My argument is that they shouldn’t have been allowed to come here and study at a public university that receives government funds.
We cannot control the agenda of private universities, as they set their own agendas.
And quite frankly, they have the right to because they fund themselves. But public universities like K-State should not be allowed to educate students from a country which the U.S. has bad relations with, and legislation should be passed that dictates such.
I have nothing against citizens from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq or Turkey. I just truly believe that nearly $7 million of taxpayer money should not be spent to educate students who could, in the near future, become the enemy.