Last month, the Language Center released its first edition of the new Language Center newsletter, which includes the Multilingual Gazette — a newspaper written by students in various non-English languages.
The Gazette — with articles about or from the perspective of different cultures — is a welcome addition to the campus media environment. It has the potential to educate students about cultures other than their own and to help those learning foreign languages to develop as writers and readers.
It also stands to become an important outlet for international students, many of whom likely know English as a second, or developing, language. This isn’t just a creative outlet, but one of comfort, where students far away from home can find some semblance of familiar culture.
Students whose native language isn’t English often find few opportunities to constructively engage with their languages on campus. The Gazette offers such an opportunity to these students — allowing them to represent the cultures of their countries, or talk about other topics they think are important in their mind in their own languages.
Because the Gazette has so much positive potential — really, there’s no downside to this idea — it needs to move forward with caution. If they haven’t already, the people behind the Gazette should develop guidelines for editing and publication. Especially if news events are going to be covered in its pages, journalistic standards should be drawn up and maintained.
By adding a strong foundation of editorial policies, this novel idea to engage students should flourish in the future.