Resolution 05-21: ARABIAN NIGHTS AT UTA

Number 05-21
Description Add Arabic classes and a Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Authored by Rasha Ramadan
Sponsored by Josh Sawyer
Date Submitted Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Date Considered Tuesday, September 27, 2005
General Body Vote Thursday, January 1, 1970
Committee Academic Affairs
Result Killed By Committee
Remarks FAILED - Target market is really small. It is expensive to implement, and there are not enough resources.
Whereas Arabic is the native language of over 200 million people in 21 Arab countries as well as the liturgical language for over a billion Muslims, which make up 20% of the population of the world, and spread across more than 60 countries; and
Whereas Many people study Arabic to enhance careers in business, journalism, government, or just for cultural and personal interest, It is now an important tool to understanding our current worldwide issues; and
Whereas Fewer than 10% of U.S. colleges offer any Arabic courses, some of those who do are Purdue University, University of California: Santa Barbara (UCSB), University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Texas at Dallas; and
Whereas Recent data from the Modern Language Association stated that enrollment in Arabic courses nationwide increased by 92% from 5,500 to 10,600 from 1998 to 2002; the only language that had a higher enrollment rate than American Sign; and
Whereas A full 73% of 640 Arabic-language students surveyed at 37 institutions in 2004 said they were "determined to achieve a level of proficiency in Arabic that would allow me to function in it comfortably in my professional activities," according to the National Middle East Language Resource Center at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and
Whereas The U.S. Department of Education has developed standards that will be implemented wherever Arabic is taught across the country; the standards are expected to be published in the Spring of 2005, and they were tested in Dearborn, Michigan, the location of the largest Arab-American community in the United States.
Be It Further Resolved That UTA should add Arabic classes to the Department of Foreign Languages; and
Be It Further Resolved That UTA should develop a Center for Middle Eastern Studies that would offer courses that will aid in building a better understanding of the Arab world's society, religion and culture.