The Plight of the International Students


We get it. These are tough times. The economy is bad, there will be no jobs when we graduate and the school is running out of money. We have to cut corners everywhere we can and save money whenever possible.Michael Monohan, the director of the International Center, told The Mac Weekly that there would be hole in the budget if International Students were allowed to use their financial aid. On the surface, this seems a perfectly valid argument.

However, times have not always been this tough and this policy has been in place for years. But why? Why does an institution that prides itself on global studies restrict students from studying abroad? Now, if a Dutch Macalester student wanted to study abroad in Amsterdam, well, this could hardly count as studying abroad. But if that Dutch student wanted to study abroad in Tokyo, wouldn’t Macalester’s ideology support this adventure?

Somehow, the college manages to fund building the Institute of Global Citizenship and concert every spring. We wonder at the distribution of funds.

We are not blind to the financial restrictions of the institution nor are we ignorant of the fact that allowing international students to travel abroad with their financial aid would mean cutting funding from somewhere else.

The Mac Weekly, like the Democratic Party, would appreciate some transparency. Excusing questions of the validity of the policy by resting on the principle that the policy has always been in place is unacceptable.

If students feel they are being “slapped in the face” then it is probably a good idea for the administration to come up with a better answer than “It’s the way it’s been since before you were here.” Nor can the administration rest on the fact that money is tight right now. That would be like a parent who lost their job continuing to fund one child’s education while letting the other one go it alone.

Macalester students are your children, you don’t always have to give us what we want, but we deserve a better answer than “because.