Friday, August 1, 2008

Update: Save Korean Studies at UCLA

Hello everyone! As many people from Berkeley are in Southern California on vacation and UCLA students are up north, it's a good time to share information about what's happening elsewhere. The Save Korean Studies at UCLA group has been active for the last few months are is in the middle of an email campaign to save faculty positions and fight cuts to the language program. We're forwarding their intro message to the Facebook group below--please join and pass the word along to friends and family.
Dear Students and Korean Studies Community:

The Korean studies program at UCLA in particular and Asian Studies in the UC in general are under great threat from recent state budget cuts ( It is urgent that students come together to act upon this situation!

The language programs, including Chinese, Korean, and Japanese (not to mention the others), have been suffering from "downsizing" for years, and more cuts have recently been announced. Each year, more and more students are turned away from courses because of such cuts. The administration has also decided to close the one and only faculty position in Korean literature this year. Programs like Korean studies become easy targets during such times of crisis because of its marginal position from the administration's perspective. What is happening is affecting the quality of the entire department of Asian Languages and Cultures.
It is now time for the students to get involved and register their discontent with the administration at the UC and to state officials for the sake of the future of the program! You can make a difference by registering your discontent and signing and circulating the online petition and by raising awareness in various ways! I believe that the students have the most powerful voice and case to bring to the administration's attention at this time. Please contact me if you would like to take an active role in this movement. Thank you for your support!

Signed, Amy Lee and the Student Coalition to Save Asian Studies @ UCLA


Friday, July 25, 2008

OB Chicken Town Fundraiser A Success!

On June 23, 2008, the CSEALKS organized a very successful fundraiser at OB Chicken Town, raising close to $20,000. Kwang Jin Kang of OB Chicken Town and Sarah Kim-Lee, fundraising extraordinaire, hosted the event. Not only did Mr. Kang volunteer his restaurant and staff, he also generously donated all proceeds from food and drink sales that evening.

The program was filled with inspirational and supportive speeches from the community. Jun Hyung Kim was a fabulous emcee. Ben Lickly impressed the crowd by giving his testimonial in Korean. Alan Tansman expressed his commitment to develop Korean Studies at Berkeley in his capacity as chair of the East Asian Languages & Cultures department.

The following represents a partial list of businesses and organizations that have made donations:

CA Kwang Bok Association
Global Children’s Foundation SF
Koreana Plaza
Law Offices of Esra Jung
N.CA Drycleaners’ Association
OB Chicken Town
Sahn Maru
Silicon Valley Korean School
Todd and Eleanor Yun Fund

These donations are in addition to gifts we have already received from the following groups:

Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church
Edge Hair Salon
Korean American East Bay Chamber of Commerce
Korean Buddhist Temple Sambosa
Koryo Zazang
Ohgane Restaurant
Woosung America

If you happen to patronize these businesses or visit these organizations, please let them know how much we appreciated their support. For news coverage (in Korean) on the fundraiser, please visit our media links.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fundraising Dinner

On Monday, June 23 (tomorrow) at OB Chicken Town in Oakland Koreatown, we will be having a fundraiser for the Korean language classes with members of the local Korean-American community.

The event is invitation-only, but members of the media are encouraged to contact Jun Hyung Kim (510-292-5356) or Christine Hong (510-658-3310).

Friday, June 13, 2008

meeting friday, 2pm

hi everyone,

sorry this notice comes so late. the committee to save east asian languages and korean studies will be holding our next report-back and planning meeting tomorrow. the details are as follows:

time: 2 friday, 6/13
place: upstairs, cafe med on telegraph (across the
street from moe's)

at the top of our agenda for tomorrow is an upcoming fundraiser, slated for monday, 6/23, that we're organizing with key members of the local korean american community. the fundraiser will be held at ob chicken town on telegraph. we'll also plan mailing sessions for the local japanese and korean communities as well as summer-school class visits starting next week.

as usual, our meetings are open, and we welcome your attendance, input, and concern. according to alan tansman (ealc chair) on monday, the berkeley budget will be finalized in mid-july (not mid-june, as we'd previously expected). at that point, we should expect some transparency in the across-the-board budgetary picture, but the for the time being, our knowledge comes from what we've been able to learn on a piecemeal basis. we know that asian languages were hit particularly hard--no one denies this--and we know that english gsis stand to be severely impacted, as well. at our meetings, we welcome the reports of folks who are working to fight the cuts to sseas, ethnic studies, english, and other departments, so please feel free to join us.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More news soon...

Apologies to our reader community for the lack of recent posts... summer vacation is upon us, and those people who are able to work in Berkeley, the LA area, and other places have all been super busy recently. Thank you all, volunteers and members of the community, for your ongoing interest and support.

The budget crisis is far from over and we'll have more updates soon about activities and news. We know there have been several articles recently in English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese language media. Please send them on to us so we can post them here - you can comment to this post or mail them to "savekoreanstudies AT".

If you haven't seen it yet, please also check out the latest from UC Berkeley administrators about the budget situation, posted to the Berkeley website yesterday: "From Sacramento, good news, bad news for Berkeley budget".

Monday, June 9, 2008

The costs of instruction - a few goals and numbers

It's difficult to quantify what our education costs but this budget crisis has forced us to do just that. And as we conduct outreach to our friends, families, local communities, and the public at large, we often need to break down the larger figures into numbers that connect directly to our everyday experiences in class.

Our fundraising goals are divided into the long-term and the short-term. For the long term (on a scale of years), we seek endowments and other (more) secure, budget-item sources of funding for language instruction at Berkeley, for the languages within the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and especially for languages that have been traditionally marginalized in their larger institutional contexts, like Korean. The costs of attaining these goals are in the range of millions of dollars; discussing these goals is one of the tasks of our committee for the summer and fall this year.

In the short-term, we're trying to raise $500,000 for the 13 lecturers in Korean, Japanese and Chinese who have been informed that their jobs may not be renewed for the Fall 2008 semester. While figures are not exact, we have the most clarity about the how the number of lost instructional positions translates into class cuts for the Korean language program; it is probably similar for Chinese, Japanese and other languages as well.

Because 3 out of 5 of the returning Korean lecturer positions are threatened, we have been told that the Department of EALC may only be able to sustain 5 semester-long Korean language classes in the 2008-9 academic year. This is a drop of 22 classes from the 2007-8 academic year, when there were 27 class sections. The cost of preserving the three instruction positions and saving 22 sections of Korean language instruction has been estimated at $200,000. This means that the cost of preserving one class is about $9,100. Since each class lasts approximately 15 weeks and is taught 5 days per week, saving one hour of instruction would cost about $120--or, assuming a class of 20 students, $6 per student for each hour of instruction.

Of course, these figures are quite rough--if you have information that helps to clarify or expand upon them, please do share it. Please also feel free to use these numbers in your own fund-raising efforts.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Meeting Friday 9am--all welcome

Hi everyone,

We just wanted to give you all a heads-up on our next report-back and planning meeting. we'll be meeting quite early (9 a.m.) on friday, but cafe med serves a mean breakfast. the details of our meeting are as follows:

time: 9 a.m.
date: friday, 6/6
place: cafe med (on telegraph, across the street from moe's, upstairs as usual)

our meetings are open, and we welcome anyone interested in attending. now that we're between sessions (i.e., the end of spring semester and the onset of the various summer sessions), our numbers have drastically dwindled, and we definitely could benefit from your creative energy and contributions to our activities. as we move into summer, we're not only collectively brainstorming and developing creative outreach strategies, but also, actively pounding the pavement in neighborhoods within the bay area. please join us.

see you this friday!

Testimonial from Julia Kwon

For me, college has been a time to learn a language that I grew up with in a formal setting. The Korean department's effective program and knowledgeable teachers have allowed me to correct many of the mistakes that hindered me from using my Korean in more professional settings. Not only that, but now I can write a letter to my grandparents, who only know Korean. As mundane as that may sound, it is a skill that I did not have before taking Korean languages at Berkeley. In fact, some of most valuable experiences at Berkeley have come from taking Korean classes. There is NO REASON to cut back EALC language classes, and MANY REASONS not only to keep the program, but also to build it up. Furthermore, Berkeley should be PROUD of having such highly recommended classes and instruction from wonderful professors.

Completing my first course, K1BX, is what sparked my interest to enroll in more classes. The summer course, K10AB, was phenomenal! My language skills improved dramatically after just one summer. It is no wonder that students prepare for study abroad by enrolling in these very language classes. As a result, cutting EALC classes would be wrongly assuming that EA countries are not sought out destinations for learning and working.

Many of my fellow classmates, who are enthusiastic about learning Korean, are not L&S students. Thus, limiting classes to only L&S majors would be excluding a chunk of our school population who has a DESIRE to learn new languages. For reasons such as these, Berkeley should be offering MORE classes not less.
-- Julia Kwon, Development Studies major (juliakwon AT

UCLA students protest cuts

Students at UCLA have begun to protest the deep impact of the state education budget cuts on the Korean and other Asian language programs there; according to UCLA students, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Indonesian languages are among those hit particularly hard.

A petition entitled Save Korean/Asian Language and Culture Programs has been set up, as has a Facebook page called "Save Korean Studies". Their group email address is "saveasianstudiesucla AT". Please help out by signing their petition and joining their group.

We look forward to hearing more about their work and opportunities for collaboration. Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Meeting tomorrow

Hi everyone,

Our next planning meeting will be tomorrow. The details are as follows:

Time: 10 a.m.
Date: Wednesday, 6/4
Place: Cafe Med. (on Telegraph, across the street from moe's between Haste and Dwight, upstairs as usual)

We greatly welcome the presence of anyone interested in attending.

Monday, June 2, 2008

YTN television coverage

If you haven't seen it already, please check out the substantial coverage given to the budget cuts and activity of this committee in support of the Korean, Japanese, and Chinese programs at Berkeley in a recent news piece by YTN in Korea: "버클리대 '한국어과'를 살리자!" (From UC Berkeley: 'Save the Korean Program!')

Many thanks to Will, Professor An, Christine, Ben, Chulha and Jun for translation, and Sunhae Kim of YTN.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Testimonial from Jacob Rogers

I'm a sophomore majoring in history and trying to get a minor in Japanese. I'm finishing Japanese 10b right now, but if Japanese courses are cut I may not be able to complete my minor and still graduate in four years. Japanese has let me learn about another culture and broaden my way of thinking, which is key with the way our world has become globalized. While I would be sorely disappointed if I can't finish my minor, I think it's a greater travesty that the flagship university for the entire West Coast can't offer four years of language to any interested students.
-- Jacob Rogers, History major, Japanese minor (intended)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Testimonial from Leah Kim

The news of the severe budget cuts was devastating to me. Though I am enrolled in the college of Letters & Science, the restrictions to be imposed upon enrollment for fall semester of 2008 seem unfair to me. I might have recently declared my Korean minor, but it was only during my Korean language courses that prompted me to educate myself about my ethnic culture.

It may seem odd for an English major to also pursue a minor in Korean, but I find it an indispensable part of my studies. As an aspiring writer, I am greatly interested in the power of words beyond their every day definition. Words can evoke a powerful emotion in the reader and just changing one or two words can completely change the mood of a paragraph.

So why Korean? I have accepted that as a Korean-American, I cannot completely deny that there are Korean influences in my life that will spill over into my writing. However, there are many things about my Korean identity that cannot be translated into English. There is no word that can truly convey the pain and anger behind the word "Han" or the subtle etiquette and soul reading behind "Noon-chim." How can I truly write from my soul when a part of it is lacking the right emotion filled word?

For me, Korean is not just another set of words, interchangeable variables with its English counterparts as if their values are equal. It is the second half of my own personal language, so integrated within me that, without it, I am nothing more than just a half a person with fragmented speech, glaring holes in where Korean should have been there to fill.
-- Leah J. Kim, English major, Korean minor (leah_kim AT

East Bay Express cover article

If you haven't picked up a copy of the East Bay Express (free, from newspaper stands all around Berkeley and Oakland) yet this week, be sure to check out this front-page article about the effect of the budget cuts on East Asian languages at Berkeley: "Proposed Budget to Gut East Asian Languages at Cal".

Community outreach tomorrow--please join

Sent to the Berkeley 'savekoreanstudies' listserv...anyone interested in helping and participating is welcome to join the meeting tomorrow at noon or contact us--THANK YOU!
Hi all,

Hope you're all doing well in this first week of summer. This week, student volunteers still here in Berkeley are trying to keep momentum from recent weeks going with local outreach and fundraising work. Today several students are contacting Oakland & Berkeley businesses to see where we might visit tomorrow to talk about the budget crisis, how it impacts the local community, and how local businesses might get involved & help with fund-raising.

Tomorrow, a group will meet at 12 noon at Cyber Cafe, located in Koryo Plaza, 4390 Telegraph Avenue at 44th St.
Bus #1 runs down Telegraph from downtown Berkeley (Berkeley BART) and there's a stop on Telegraph at Dwight too.

This will probably be covered in the media. The more concerned students and community members we have, the better, so please do come out if you can and pass the word along to those who aren't on this list.

If you have any questions please write or call Christine (, 510-658-3310), or me (, 510-717-2367).


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Testimonial from Yaou Dou

We need language courses such as Chinese to prepare ourselves for the global arena. We're taught at Berkeley that an understanding in international affairs is essential in being a productive member of society. So, we take these courses to enrich our lives and others, to become better representatives of the U.S. After all, how can we expect to maintain a lead role on the global stage if we can't learn the language that enables us to do so?
--Yaou Dou (yaoudou AT

Daily Cal articles on budget cuts; new English petition

There are two opinion pieces in recent issues of the Daily Cal that weigh in on the effect of the budget cuts to East Asian languages and to the English department, which is losing massive amounts of funding for graduate student instruction of courses. The articles are:

The situation for English appears really dire: authors of an online petition point out that due to cuts to the Temporary Academic Staffing budget still in place after the governor's newly revised budget, the English Department is planning to cut 17 Reading & Composition classes, denying undergraduates access to classes and making it impossible for many graduate student instructors to fund their education. Commenting on the parallels to the situation in EALC and across campus, the authors write, "These cuts threaten to undermine the quality of both teaching and research at UC Berkeley, and diminish the value of a Berkeley degree."

Please go to the petition and sign on--let's help each other out and push for change in the Berkeley administration's policy of relegating quality education to 'temporary' status!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Testimonial from Francis Chen

Hi, my name is Francis Chen. I am a high school junior and a Chinese-American at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo, California. While I am not a UC Berkeley student (and I have desires to apply and attend this wonderful campus), I feel really bad about the proposed budget cuts which could dramatically alter the funding and quality of the East Asian Languages at UC Berkeley.

It is extremely important to learn about one's own language, so that one can learn about his/her ethnic background and culture. However, this is extremely difficult to do, with the heavy emphasis towards education, especially towards fields like business, engineering, or sciences (i.e. medical), which "Asians" traditionally and generally are told by their parents to pursue because of the guaranteed profits which will come out of those fields. Whether or not students will actually like those fields is one issue. When students approach the campus, the focus on these fields could be so great that there would seem like there is limited time to actually learn about the languages. These threatened budget cuts, as well as the limiting of students for learning these languages to only students of the College of L&S, make it easier to close the window of opportunities for Asian-American students to learn more about their cultural background in a time when it doesn't seem "important". Too much priority on EDUCATION and not enough time on learning more about our culture is already one impediment; closing the opportunities to a growing middle-class of Asian-Americans to learn about their culture is just too much.

When I was a freshman in high school, I had went to Chinese School to learn one year of Mandarin in Oakland (I'm a conversational-Cantonese speaker). I didn't have the best pinyin teacher, so I went to a conversational Mandarin teacher, who taught me a lot of basic Mandarin phrases. I also learned a little bit of Mandarin from television and a few phrases from my parents. Those were about it; I don't go anymore because of a lack of time and "the low priority" at the time. Now, as a Junior, I regret it, and I have become even more busier. I still remember the phrases and pinyin. In my free time, I have actually taught myself a little bit of Japanese (I was actually pretty good at it before the AP exams were coming).

While I may not get accepted to UC Berkeley (I want to major in Civil Engineering, East Asian Studies, or both if possible), I hope that the EALC can be saved by any proper ways that are possible. The budget cuts were inevitable, and it's up to any private donors who can help out to save the department). Those who aren't in a language major because of priorities but want to learn about their own language anyway need to be given the opportunities that I had lost in high school and trying to regain now. I have a hard time picturing how we, as the next generation, can carry our culture down with this issue. I have desires to go to Asia and help preserve East Asian architecture, and I want the university to give us who just want to learn about our culture to give us that chance.
--Francis Chen (fncis.chen AT

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Recent media coverage

Some of these are from several days ago, but all tell different sides of the story. As always, please let us know about any coverage in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean language media (savekoreanstudies AT Thank you!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Testimonial from Jonathan Michaels

My name is Jonathan Michaels, EECS class of 2006. Despite being in the College of Engineering, I was able to take Japanese language classes (1A through 102) for all of my four years at Berkeley, and I can say without the slightest exaggeration that being able to do so completely changed my life. I studied a year of Japanese in high school, fell in love with the language, continued it at Berkeley, which led to a semester abroad, one thing led to another, and my passion for the language ended up surpassing my interest in my major. I now find myself entering a master's program in translation and interpretation this fall, in preparation for a career in said field. I would think it a great tragedy should future Berkeley students be denied the same opportunity that I had.
--Jonathan Michaels, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (istaro AT

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Testimonial from Julia Lam

Not only am I a student of the third-year Chinese language class, but also I am an officer of a student group called the San Francisco Hepatitis B Collaborative at Berkeley. We are a group that works in conjunction with various San Francisco public health organizations, including UCSF Medical and Pharmacy schools, to provide interpreters for Hepatitis B screening and vaccination clinics that service the large API community in San Francisco. I and many members of our student group have had the privilege of receiving language training at UC Berkeley, which we have been able to apply directly to work in our community. Our heritage speakers have not only had countless opportunities to provide interpretation services to non-English-speaking patients in various clinics and health fairs, but have also been entrusted with developing patient education materials in various API languages, including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Japanese. I honestly feel that the conviction of our group to service the API community outside of the UC Berkeley campus and our capability to do so would not exist without the caliber of training many of us have received from the UC Berkeley East Asian Language Department or the cultural interests and social awareness fostered by its diverse courses. For this reason, the scaling back of East Asian language courses will not only be a loss to the student community on campus, but also a disservice to the large API community outside our campus. Thus, I deeply implore the University of California to reconsider the budget cuts to the East Asian Language Department.
--Julia Lam, Molecular and Cell Biology major, Chinese minor (julia_lam AT

Administration able to restore funding?

Thanks to Jeff Shieh for pointing out a recent article on the University of California Newsroom website, "May Revision restores some proposed UC cuts; Regents approve 2008-09 student fee levels". Along with outlining the 7.4% student fee increase that will take place this coming academic year, the article notes that
The May Revision proposes restoring $98.5 million of that [$332 million] cut, leaving state funding for the university in 2008-09 roughly equivalent to the 2007-08 level. However, funding is not provided in the May Revision for key needs that the Regents had included in their 2008-09 budget request, including funding for enrollment growth, faculty and staff salary increases, and other inflationary cost increases. In addition, the university is seeking an $8 million increase in funding for student mental health services on campuses, a priority endorsed by both the Regents and UC student organizations.

There is no mention here of the Temporary Academic Staffing budget, from which the majority of language teaching of East Asian (and other) languages at Berkeley are funded; does this mean that TAS funding will be restored? And if so, when?

Fundraising campaign on front page of Korea Times

대단히 감사합니다! THANK YOU to the Korea Times SF for running prominent articles over the last two days publicizing the beginnings of our fund-raising campaign to raise approximately $200,000 to stop Korean classes from being canceled this fall. This is part of the approximately $500,000 required to make sure that Korean, Japanese, and Chinese classes do not get cut in the short term, and is one step on the way to the approximately $5 million required for an endowed professorship to invigorate Korean Studies and language education in the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

The two articles are: "버클리대 한국어 강의 축소저지’ 모금 캠페인" ("Fundraising Campaign to Stop Cuts to UC Berkeley Korean Classes", 5/20) and "UC버클리‘한국어 구하기 모임’기금모금 대책 논의" ('Save Korean' Fundraising Strategy Meeting Held at UC Berkeley, 5/21)

READERS: If you are able to translate one of these or any other articles on our website into English from Korean, Chinese, or Japanese, your efforts would be very much appreciated. You could reply to this post as a comment, or send mail to "". Also, if you find other relevant articles, please forward them to us and we will post them. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Testimonial from Danny Park

The degree of my improvement in my Korean skills and awareness could never have happened without [my Korean language] courses and instructors in particular. I firmly believe, as an American-born Korean, I would have forever been lost to my culture, heritage, and ethnic identity without these courses. To restrict language study strictly to the L and S students is equivalent to restricting the rest of the students from bettering themselves outside of their major choices. --
Daniel Park, Political Economy of Industrialized Societies major (daniel_park AT

Language learning testimonials

Below this post you'll see a testimonial from a student learning Chinese at Berkeley, writing about what learning this language means to her and her thoughts about what it might be like if budget cuts were to eliminate over half of the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese classes, as is currently planned for the Fall 2008 semester. Every day we'll post one such testimonial, from a student learning Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or another language threatened by the budget cuts.

If you'd like to contribute your testimonial, please send it to Testimonials are welcome from teachers as well, and from students and others beyond UC Berkeley. Please feel free to post your comments to the posts too, or send the author an email if her/his email address is listed.

Thank you everyone!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Testimonial from Stephanie Chi-ning Chang

As the first-generation child of Taiwanese immigrant parents, I grew up in a Mandarin-speaking household, but never attained anything even remotely near native fluency, or even the fundamentals of written Chinese. I decided in my first year at Berkeley to enroll in the beginning level heritage class to improve my understanding of both oral and written Chinese, and I can honestly say now at the end of the semester that I've achieved so much more than my expectations. I've improved tangibly, and I'm not just saying that - to my own surprise I can actually read simple stories and elementary-level books now, which may not seem like much, but for someone who was practically completely illiterate before the class...

As a potential comparative literature major, I'm required to have more than one language in which I can work fluently enough to read and analyze its literature. Thus far I've planned my years out with Chinese as one of the main components of my major, and unless I can continue to take classes (preferably heritage) every single semester until I graduate, I won't be able to complete my requirements. Major aside, I'm still very upset that the EALC department has to suffer such drastic cuts, when it's all too clear that hundreds, if not thousands, of students at UC Berkeley find these classes to be an integral part of their education.
Stephanie Chi-ning Chang, Psychology and Comp. Literature double major (intended) (ning_ning AT

All welcome! Fundraising meeting Wednesday: $500K to go!!

With the end of the semester upon us, we urge all of you who are part of the EALC community--i.e., lecturers, professors, students--to attend a fundraising meeting this Wednesday morning. We strongly encourage all of you to attend, in no small part because there is greater strength, creative vision, and overall social resources in numbers.
  • Time: 11 a.m
  • Date: Wednesday, 5/21
  • Place: 2223 Fulton st., basement room (where the first press conference was held)
  • Purpose: to discuss and develop strategies for short-term fundraising (Goal: $500K)

In addition to holding press conferences, organizing the rally, working with community organizations, contacting and attempting to meet with state and local legislators as well as Berkeley administrators, writing op-eds, conducting our petition drive, and composing awareness letters, we now confront the formidable task of raising upwards of $500,000 in donations, yet few of us have professional experience in the area of fundraising. Moreover, our core committee, especially as folks return to their respective homes or abroad for the summer, is rapidly dwindling in number. For those of us who have worked round-the-clock for the past few weeks and now face the daunting prospect of fundraising, we need your support, commitment, and action, more than ever.

What we aim collectively to accomplish, at least provisionally, this wednesday is the following (please feel free to add to or suggest revisions of this agenda):

  • to establish some basic talking points for fundraising conversations,
  • to compile potential donor lists,
  • to develop strategies aimed at corporate philanthropy.

Let's meet this Wednesday and begin a collective discussion about how we might work together toward meeting the ealc budget shortfall.

In support of today's "Study-in" in Sacramento

Today in Sacramento student groups from across the state protested the budget cuts to education with a "study-in" in Sacramento. This was reported broadly in the media, as in NBC-11's "CSU, UC Students Hold 'Study-In' Protest". This and other actions are being coordinated by the University of California Students' Association, with representatives on all of the UC campuses. Our committee is looking forward to participating in future events to protest the cuts and preserve our education!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Meeting Monday 11am, Cafe Med

Would you like to get involved? Everyone's welcome to our working meeting tomorrow morning:
  • Monday May 19, at Cafe Med (Telegraph Avenue between Haste and Dwight), 11 a.m.

We'll be working on the final push to collect and turn in petitions to the campus administration, letter-writing to state representatives, community outreach, fund-raising and more. Please write to savekoreanstudies @ or call Dave at 510-717-2367 with any questions.

Recent media coverage

The following articles and TV news clips cover the Committee to Save East Asian Language & Korean Studies' Berkeley press conference on May 7, the rally and protest march at UC Berkeley May 8, and the Los Angeles press conference on May 16. Thank you to all the members of the media represented below!

Please comment to this post or notify us of additional stories at savekoreanstudies @

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Current Activities


This has been a busy last few days, with a trip to Los Angeles for a press conference, community outreach at the Taiwanese American Cultural Festival at Union Square, and the Asian Heritage Street Celebration in Japantown, both in San Francisco. All this while most members of our committee are studying for final exams!

More details are coming soon. Please continue to check back, and write to savekoreanstudies @ with any questions or if you can help our efforts.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Korean Studies Discussion Thread

Christine Hong has alerted readers of the Koreanstudies mailing list, a forum for those interested in Korean Studies, to our recent actions in Berkeley and to larger institutional inequities that structure the field and that maintain the "language vs. literature" divide on campuses far beyond Berkeley. Click here to read the original post and then click the "next message" link below to see responses and discussion by Michael Pettid, Theodore Hughes, Henry Em, John Duncan, and Ju Hui Judy Han.

UC announces fee hikes

The UC Regents have announced fee hikes as of the Summer 2008 session in an article from the central campus newsroom. Undergraduate fees will go up by 7.4%, bringing average systemwide campus fees to over $8000.

Press Conference Friday in Los Angeles

Files for download:
  1. Complete Press Packet (English, Korean, and Chinese together)
  2. Media Advisory (English, Korean, Chinese - separate files by language)
  3. Press Release (English, Chinese - separate files by language)
MAY 13, 2008

Media Contacts:
Chinese Media: Jeffrey Shieh – 626-251-3547 (
William Hsiao – 415-794-9770 (
Japanese Media: Andrew Leong – 510-301-0867 (
William Hsiao – 415-794-9770 (
Korean Media: Christine Hong – 510-658-3310 (
David Malinowski - 510-717-2367 (


WHAT: A diverse coalition of UC Berkeley students will hold a press conference to address the devastating effect of impending California state budget cuts on the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department (EALC), while highlighting the historical neglect of the Korean Studies Program at UC Berkeley. In addition, this press conference is intended to appeal to local communities for donations to save Korean, Chinese, and Japanese language programs at UC Berkeley.

The impact of budget cuts on EALC as of Fall 2008:

➢ Percentage of classes to be cut from each language in EALC
  • Japanese 40%
  • Chinese 54%
  • Korean 66%
➢ Numbers of students to be cut from next year's classes (3200 to 1500 students)
  • Japanese: 496
  • Chinese: 550
  • Korean: 484

At Berkeley, the flagship campus of the major university on the Pacific Rim, ethnic Asian students represent a near majority—45% out of 40,000.

WHO: Members of Committee to Save East Asian Languages and Korean Studies at Berkeley
Student & Community Organizations Endorsing the Issue

WHEN: Friday, May 16, 2008

TIME: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: KAEDC (Korean American Economic Development Center) Office
3807 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1106
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Donation Appeal Letter

The following letter states the need for immediate funds to restore Korean, Japanese, and Chinese instruction at Berkeley in the coming academic year, and to save the jobs of 13 lecturers in these languages. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE, CONTACT YOUR FRIENDS/COLLEAGUES/ETC. AND HELP US SPREAD THE WORD. You can download this letter and a form with instructions for donating here. Email savekoreanstudies @ with any questions.
May 14, 2008

Dear Friends,

We, as students of Korean, Japanese and Chinese at UC Berkeley, are writing to ask for your support so that we can continue studying the languages we love.

As you may already know, the 2008 California state budget cuts are having a serious negative impact on the teaching of languages at UC Berkeley. Much language instruction, especially at the critical early stages of learning, is performed by non-tenured instructors whose salaries come from what is known as the “Temporary Academic Staffing” budget. This area of funding is precisely what Berkeley administrators have determined they must cut in order to cover their share of the $417 million shortfall in the UC system.

While precise information for all languages and departments is not clear, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese instruction will be particularly devastated. These languages are three of the most popular on campus, with over 3200 enrolled students this year and hundreds more turned away every semester due to lack of space. Yet if the current budget is enacted as planned, this is what will happen in Fall 2008:

Korean language classes – cut by 66% or more
Chinese language classes – cut by 54% or more
Japanese language classes – cut by 40% or more

If these cuts continue for more than one year, as they are projected to, it will be nearly impossible for these programs to recover. From a student’s perspective, missing the first year of instruction often means missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn a language. And, on a larger scale, the elimination of course offerings imperils Berkeley's position as a first-rate university, threatens its identity as a leading Pacific Rim school, and challenges its role as a public institution that serves our families and communities.

In response, we are working to develop short and long term solutions. In the short term, we need to raise $500,000 to make sure our instructors are able to keep their jobs, and to make sure the number of course offerings is not reduced. Doing so will also allow us to work with non-tenured instructors, professors, and department administrators in an effort to set up long-term funding structures, with the goal of protecting language instruction from future cuts and pushing for the institutional recognition of language instruction as a profession.

The reverse side of this letter contains instructions for sending your donation. By contributing to this effort, you will help to save the Korean, Chinese, and Japanese languages on the Berkeley campus and in the lives of its students, while also forcing UC Berkeley to remain accountable to the students and communities it serves.

Thank you very much,

Committee to Save East Asian Languages and Korean Studies at Berkeley

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fundraising Success at University of Washington

The link is to a Seattle Times article on how Korean-American community members raised funds and saved the Korean Studies program at University of Washington. We can do the same!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Korean & Vietnamese to be eliminated in U of Florida budget crisis

The University of Florida has compiled a page showing all of the proposed reductions across its campus in the face of a $47 million budget shortage. All departments were asked to cut their budgets by 6%. This situation is very similar in some respects to the one we face now at Berkeley--yet here are Berkeley we STILL DON"T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON ACROSS CAMPUS.

The scope of the cuts is astonishing--note that amidst all of the other proposed cuts the Korean and Vietnamese language programs are going to be cut ENTIRELY, and many region-specific language programs are being consolidated. Scroll down to the section on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2/3 of the way down).

This news coincides with a discussion thread on Koreaweb, a popular listserv for scholars in Korean Studies, entitled "Vulnerabilities of Korean Studies"

Petition drive continues tomorrow on Sproul

We'll be continuing our drive to collect hand-signed petitions tomorrow, Tuesday May 13th, on Sproul Plaza. If you can help collect signatures over the next several days, or if you & your friends haven't signed yet, please stop by our table anytime after 10am. You can also download the petition here. We will deliver the petitions to Chancellor Birgeneau and Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Breslauer on May 20. As before, please turn in signed petitions to Christine Hong's mailbox in 322 Wheeler Hall. Remember, every signature counts--the forms don't have to have all the lines filled.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New America Media article

Another article covering the rally, from Sing Tao Daily, appeared today: "Berkeley Students Protest to Keep Asian Study Courses"

Check the list in the right-hand column for a collection of stories on events as they unfold, and please either comment to this post or send email to savekoreanstudies @ to let us know about new stories.

Letter writing campaign--Part 2

The director of the Berkeley Language Center, Prof. Richard Kern, has written a letter that's being circulated to all the language department chairs, asking them to pass it along to instructors and students. The letter asks STUDENTS AND PARENTS to write letters to local and state government representatives, stating how much of an impact the cuts to our language classes will have on us. Please WRITE SOME LETTERS, and pass the word along to your friends. And if you're looking for inspiration, check out these amazing testimonials that many students in Korean, Chinese, and Japanese have already written.

Below are the reps mentioned in the letter. Remember, email's fine but handwritten letters count more:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

California State Senators and Assembly Members viewable through State District Maps at

In the East Bay, Senate District 09, contact:
State Senator Don Perata (
State Capitol
Room 205
Sacramento, CA 94248-0001

In the Berkeley area, Assembly District 14, contact
Assemblywoman Loni Hancock
State Capitol
Room 4126
Sacramento, CA 94249-0014
Or online at

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rally pictures

Did you or your friends take pictures at the rally? Please post pictures on the new Flickr group!

Group Name: Save East Asian Languages and Korean Studies
Group Link:

Dean's Message about Language Funding

The Dean of Arts & Humanities in the College of Letters and Science, Janet Broughton, has issued a statement on language instruction funding: "Dean's Message About Funding for Language Instruction".

Meeting Saturday, 5/10 11am

For those of you who can make it during finals studies, let's meet today (Saturday) for a brunch working meeting and a report- back at Cafe Med on Telegraph at 11 a.m. We'll talk about fundraising and future actions. All are welcome!

Next steps, media, fundraising

Thank you to everyone who made yesterday's rally such a success! Word is really getting out, and below we've assembled several of the stories we've seen so far. These will be added to a column on the right side of the blog. Please let us know if you've seen others:

We'll soon be moving to try to help fund-raise for the short term and the long term for Korean Studies and East Asian Languages at Berkeley. News will be coming VERY soon about this. We are hopeful that we can restore this fall's classes and help our beloved sonsaengnims!

Stay tuned...

Understanding California's School Funding Crisis

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Please come to Sproul Plaza today at noon to protest the extreme budget cuts planned for Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Tagalog, Tamil, Hindi, Thai, and other languages at UC Berkeley!! Tell your friends!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Press conference today -- a success!

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped with our press conference this morning. Speeches were made by Christine Hong, Claire Kramsch, Jeff Shieh and Sarah Cho attesting to the dire budgetary situation faced by Korean Studies and East Asian language instruction at Berkeley; announcements were also made about similar predicaments faced by students of Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu, Thai and other languages in the South & Southeast Asian Studies.

Please see the letter posted by Jeff Shieh on the UCB Japanese Department's website:

Please comment to this post or send email to if you are aware of additional stories as they become available.

This blog will be updated soon. In the meantime, please tell your friends and get ready to come out for the RALLY AT SPROUL PLAZA, 12 NOON TOMORROW.

Today's Daily Cal

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the article in today's Daily Cal that features the work of Berkeley students to change the fate of languages in the East Asian Languages & Cultures department: "Departments Brace for Next Year's Funding Cuts".

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Student testimonials--please read!

Many students impacted by the budget cuts have written testimonials that express how the cuts affect them personally.

If you're not sure how much these budget cuts really matter, read these testimonials; if you have friends who don't particularly care about the budget cuts, make them read these testimonials. Nothing we can say about the cuts expresses their impact as viscerally and persuasively as the stories these students are living.

A sample follows; read the rest here.
I am currently taking Korean 10BX and it has been a vital part of my experience at Cal. Coming to Cal, I learned to recognize the histories / herstories of my fellow brothers, sisters, ancestors, students, and parents. Learning where I've come from and my roots has helped me appreciate and understand, not only my culture, but the cultures and roots of others as well. It is vital that we keep these language programs because it is necessary to understanding each other's cultures. To better understand each other, we need cross-cultural solidarity and awareness, cutting these language programs would be retroactive and is very offensive. If Cal prides itself on diversity and culture, then why are languages being cut?
-- Allen Youngjun Cho, Political Economy of Industrial Societies major

Ever since I was young, I had a great sense of pride in my Chinese heritage, and, therefore, was rather ashamed that I could not write or speak the language fluently. I was excited to come to Cal so that I could finally learn the language that, up until my generation, everyone in my family spoke, but now this happens. Even though as a Chinese minor I will still be able to take Chinese classes, If these budget cuts follow through they will not only affect the quality of education that I will receive, but will also limit what I can learn about my culture & heritage and about me. I did NOT come to Cal for a limited education! Taking Chinese classes in Berkeley is literally my last chance to attain my childhood goal, and it is an opportunity I will not let go without a fight.
-- Siu-Wei Huang, Molecular Environmental Biology major

Despite being in the College of Engineering, I was able to take Japanese language classes (1A through 102) for all of my four years at Berkeley, and I can say without the slightest exaggeration that being able to do so completely changed my life. I studied a year of Japanese in high school, fell in love with the language, continued it at Berkeley, which led to a semester abroad, one thing led to another, and my passion for the language ended up surpassing my interest in my major. I now find myself entering a master's program in translation and interpretation this fall, in preparation for a career in said field. I would think it a great tragedy should future Berkeley students be denied the same opportunity that I had.
-- Jonathan Michaels, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Class of 2006

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tuesday night poster-making!!

Everyone who can help, please come to help make posters for the press conference on Wednesday and rally on Thursday.

WHEN: Drop-in anytime after 8pm, Tuesday night
WHERE: APR room or 3rd floor lounge, Unit 1
BRING: Markers & any other supplies you have. YOURSELF AND YOUR FRIENDS! :)

Hardboiled post

Check out Hardboiled's blog posting today on the pending 50% cuts to Berkeley's East Asian Language department!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Please participate - Mass email campaign

We need to flood the email boxes of those people (listed below) who make up the chain of command relative to EALC's budget cuts. They are the ones who interpreted Schwarzenegger's budget cuts to mean that the ax would fall particularly heavily on EALC (and other departments that rely heavily on Temporary Academic Staff funding to carry their teaching load). Let's use the power of mass-email to alert them to the folly of their decision. The individual contact information for these people is as follows (group email, for the sake of convenience, provided below):

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau (Why contact him? He's the top dog.)
Phone 642-7464

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer (Why? He's directly below Birgeneau and a crucial link in the chain of command.)
Phone 642-1961

Prof. Mark A. Richards, Executive Dean of Letters and Science (Why? EALC language courses are restricted, as of Fall 2008, to L and S students; further restrictions to just majors and minors are foreseeable in the near future.)
Phone: 642-8560

Janet S. Broughton, Dean of Arts and Humanities (Why? She interpreted the cuts she received from Breslauer and assigned great damage to EALC.)
Phone: 642-5396

Christina Maslach, Vice Provost, Undergraduate Division (Why? Most of you are undergraduates and she's your go-to person.)
Phone: 642-9594

Andrew J. SZERI, Graduate Dean (Why? Graduate students in comp. lit. and related fields won't be able to complete their degrees in a timely fashion without access to EALC classes.)
Phone: 642-5472

Jon Gjerde, Dean of Social Sciences (Why? Although EALC is not housed under "Social
Sciences," students in social sciences rely on EALC language courses.)
Phone: 642-2609

For the sake of convenience, here's a group email list for the above administrators:,,,,,,

The scripts that you can use (and modify) follow:

Short Email:

Dear Chancellor Birgeneau, Executive Dean Breslauer, Executive Dean Richards, Dean Broughton, Vice Provost Maslach, Dean Szeri, and Dean Gjerde:

My name is _____. I am a __ year [undergraduate/graduate student] studying _____. I am writing to protest the proposed budget cuts to Berkeley’s East Asian Languages and Cultures department, which threatens the very existence of Korean language studies and severely impacts the Chinese and Japanese programs. I chose to come to UC Berkeley for my education with the strength and prestige of the EALC department in mind. The strength of a Berkeley liberal arts education lies in the broad variety of courses offered by the university and made accessible to its student body. With the proposed cuts in funding to the EALC department, thousands of students will be deprived of the opportunity to study the languages and cultures of a region that are of increasing importance and relevance to the future of California and the United States. I strongly urge you to not go forward with the proposed cuts to EALC and to find an immediate alternative that allows for the continued growth and thriving development of Korean Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultures at UC Berkeley. Thank you for your time.

[Student name here]

Phone Call:

Dear [Administrator],

My name is _____. I am a __ year undergraduate studying _____. I am calling to protest the proposed budget cuts to Berkeley’s East Asian Languages and Cultures department, which would cripple the Korean Studies program and severely limit the Chinese and Japanese programs. I chose to come to Berkeley for my undergraduate education with the understanding that I would have access to these languages and the courses offered by these departments. I urge you to maintain the high level of education offered by the university by not going forward with the proposed cuts to the EALC department. Thank you for your time.

Working meeting Monday, 9am

The next working meeting will be Monday, 5/5 at 9am at Cafe Med, on Telegraph between Haste and Dwight. All are welcome.

Media Advisory

MAY 2, 2008

Media Contacts:

Susan J Kim: 925 787 9731 ( ) [Korean]
Sarah Cho: 714 220 7498 (
Pauli Wai: 562 310 1448 ( [Mandarin & Cantonese]
Will Hsiao: 415 794 9770 ( [Mandarin & Japanese]
Andrew Leong: 510 301 0867 ( [Japanese]

PRESS CONFERENCE – “Save East Asian Languages @ Cal”

WHAT: A diverse coalition of UC Berkeley students will hold a press conference to address the devastating effect of impending California state budget cuts on the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department (EALC), while highlighting the historical neglect of the Korean Studies Program at UC Berkeley.

Some of the statistics concerning the impact of the budget cuts on EALC as of Fall 2008 include:

➢ Percentage of classes to be cut from each language in EALC
  • Japanese 40%
  • Chinese 54%
  • Korean 66%
➢ Numbers of students to be cut from next year's classes (3200 to 1500 students)
  • Chinese: 550
  • Japanese: 496
  • Korean: 484

At Berkeley, the flagship campus of the major university in the Pacific Rim, ethnic Asian students represent a near majority—45% out of 40,000.

WHO: Members of Committee to Save Korean Studies at UC Berkeley
Student & Community Organizations Endorsing the Issue

WHEN: Wednesday, May 7, 2008

TIME: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: IEAS Conference room
2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor
Berkeley, CA 94720

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Next meeting Sunday, 5/4, 1pm

The next working meeting will be tomorrow at 1pm at Cafe Med. See link for directions in yesterday's post. All are welcome to help press conference and event preparation, letter-writing campaigns, petition-signing, and other pressing work.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Working meeting Saturday

Are you interested in getting involved? Please come and lend a hand with letter writing and other work starting at 10am, Cafe Med on Telegraph between Haste and Dwight. Map here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Korea Times articles online

A few articles have recently appeared in the Korea Times (한국일보) SF edition. The most recent one, "버클리 한국어강의 축소저지모임" (Group for Stopping the Cuts of Berkeley Korean Classes) talks about the role played by this blog and the Facebook page.

Another article (referred to in the article above) is from April 29, titled "버클리대 한국어강의 '축소막자'" (Let's Stop the Cuts to Korean Language Classes at Berkeley). This describes the information sharing and organizing meeting convened on Sunday evening, April 27 at the Institute for East Asian Studies.

How to get involved

Feel free to email if you want to placed on the mailing list, want to do something more direct (there is plenty), or have any other information. This page will be frequently updated so check back often.

Some practical things that you can do in the meanwhile:

SIGN THE PETITION It is posted as an Item. Print it out, sign it, and get others to sign it as well. Return to Christine Hong before Tuesday 5/6, 4pm to 322 Wheeler.

SIGN UP to be a Korean Studies minor or express your desire to take Korean classes as a non-minor next year. Or if you're taking another language, sign up for a major/minor in that language.

POST FLIERS AND SPREAD THE WORD. The flyer announcing next week's press conference can be downloaded as a .jpg file, printed and posted widely. Gain support. This isn't relevant to just Koreans--it is affecting departments all over, especially the East Asian Languages and Cultures department. (Check Items for the fact sheet)

PRESS CONFERENCE There is a press conference slated for Wednesday 11am in the IEAS conference room. If you're a part of an organization on campus get them to endorse the press conference (contact if you want to endorse). Otherwise, show up and show overwhelming support.

SOLICIT DONATIONS. At a bare minimum, between $150,000 and $300,000 may be needed to preserve the Korean program at its current level for the next year. More information coming soon on this.

Press conference flier

Click to enlarge then download

Letter writing--PROTEST THE CUTS!

Forwarded message from graduate students in the EALC department--
Let's contact the CA gov't and UCB administrators, because flooding inboxes, mailboxes and fax machines is also a good way to get noticed. Here's a contact list for California gov't officials and UCB administrators to send your letters to:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160

Find the address of your California state legislators by entering ZIP on
this page:

Chancellor Birgeneau
Office of the Chancellor
200 California Hall # 1500
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500
Phone (510) 642-7464
Fax (510) 643-5499

George Breslauer
200 California Hall [map]
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500
Phone 510-642-1961
Fax: 510-643-5499

Prof. Mark A. RICHARDS, Executive Dean of Letters and Science
285 McCone Hall
94720 -4767
Phone: +1 510 642-8560

Janet S. BROUGHTON, Dean of Arts and Humanities
201 Campbell Hall
94720 -2920
Phone: +1 510 642-5396
Fax: +1 510 642-7578

Christina Maslach, Vice Provost, Undergraduate Division
200 California Hal
94720 -1500
Phone: +1 510 642-9594
Fax: +1 510 642-9483

Andrew J. SZERI, Graduate Dean
424 Sproul Hall
94720 - 5900
Phone: +1 510 642-5472
Fax: +1 510 642-6366

Other administrators:


Note: this document is available for viewing and download here.

Dear Chancellor Birgeneau, Executive Dean Breslauer, and Dean Broughton:

We, the undersigned, protest the unfair cuts made to UC Berkeley's East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) Department, where it is predicted that 66% of the Korean classes, 54% of the Chinese classes, and 40% of the Japanese classes on campus will be eliminated as of Fall 2008. Not only will the number of courses offered by EALC be drastically reduced, but also, the Korean program faces outright extinction. We are outraged at this prospect and concerned that Berkeley’s EALC curriculum, which already trails behind both UCLA and Stanford, will not be able to recover from the devastation wreaked upon it by these budget cuts.

These cuts will greatly damage Berkeley’s international standing as a major research university. But even more serious is the unprecedented negative impact it will have on us, the Berkeley student population (45% of which is of Asian descent), and on the ability of the university to fulfill its fundamental educational mission to the campus community. Undergraduate and graduate students in departments outside the College of Letters and Sciences will not be able to pursue Korean, Chinese, or Japanese language study. Students in related fields of economics, political science, history, amongst others, will be unable to fulfill their educational aspirations and their departmental requirements. If these budget cuts continue, the ability of anyone to learn these global and heritage languages will be imperiled.

In a recent interview published in the April 23rd issue of The Berkeleyan, Nathan Brostrom, Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Administration, states: “I don’t think it’s strategic at all to do wholesale or arbitrary layoffs, because that can do a lot more harm to the campus than what we could gain in budget savings.” Yet with firings impending for instructors in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian languages, this type of harm is exactly what is slated to happen.

East Asian languages are amongst the most in-demand languages on the Berkeley campus, and the demand only continues to grow. As heritage languages to a huge percentage of the student population, they are a vital resource and part of the multiethnic fabric of Berkeley, the United States, and the Pacific Rim. In practical terms, reduction in instructional personnel also means that non-heritage students will be deprived of the opportunity to learn Korean, Japanese, and Chinese languages for the first time, just as the demands for access to these languages are clearly on the rise.

Berkeley is the flagship campus in the UC system and currently enjoys a worldwide reputation as a leading U.S. research center and educational institution with regard to East Asia. We believe that the present policy sends a resoundingly negative message not only to all current students and potential students at Berkeley but also to the Pacific Rim community of scholars, opinion-makers, and donors. Berkeley does not deserve this reputation.

We strongly ask that you abandon this decision to cut these vital East Asian languages and work toward an alternative that both supports the EALC program, in general, and fully preserves the Korean program, in particular.


Name Major SID


Meeting Thursday, 5/1 at 10am at Cafe Med, on Telegraph between Dwight and Haste, next to Zebra. All are welcome!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why Saving Korean and other East Asian Languages Concerns You

At Berkeley, the flagship campus of the major university in the Pacific Rim, ethnic Asian students represent a near majority—45% out of 40,000. The Department of EALC (East Asian Languages and Cultures) currently serves a huge campus-wide need at Berkeley by offering East Asian language classes for majors and non-majors alike.

Yet, as of Fall 2008, only Letters and Science students—and likely only EALC majors and minors—will be allowed to enroll in EALC language classes. What this means is that undergraduate and graduate students in departments outside EALC will not be able to pursue Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language study at Berkeley.

Here's the breakdown of the impact on EALC as of Fall 2008:

➢ Percentage of classes to be cut from each language in EALC
o Japanese 40%
o Chinese 54%
o Korean 66%
➢ Numbers of students to be cut from next year's classes
o Chinese: 550
o Japanese: 496
o Korean: 484

The Specific Case for Korean at CAL:

Korean, which has historically been neglected at Berkeley and which accordingly sustains just a minor and no graduate program, is in danger of being decimated. Although all East Asian languages at Berkeley will be severely impacted by Schwarzenegger's education budget cuts, the majors and minors in Chinese and Japanese will, at least, be sustained.

The inception of Korean Studies at Berkeley can be traced to door-to-door fundraising in Oakland by student members of the campus organization, Sori (later the Committee for Korea Studies). Because of their grassroots efforts, the first modern Korean history class was established in 1986 at Berkeley. Yet, Korean Studies cannot continue to rely on outside community donations to keep alive. Without the institutional will to support Korean Studies, it will continue to be vulnerable in times of budget crises, even though Korean enrolls more students than Russian or Arabic and usually ranks 7th or 8th each year in terms of total enrollment on campus.

Consider, for example, UCLA as a model of Korean Studies done right: UCLA boasts a thriving Korean program and offers an extensive array of Korea-related courses. UCLA also offers a Korean major.
o UCLA (as of Fall 2008): 10 faculty (3 professors, 7 lecturers)
o Berkeley (as of Fall 2008): 3 faculty (1 professor, 2 lecturers)