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