News & Politics

Student Op-Ed Complains That School's English-Only Alert System Hurts Feelings

For evidence that social justice crusaders can find offense at anything and everything, look no further than the University of Maryland. There, a recent op-ed in the student newspaper argued that the school’s emergency alert system was problematic.

You see, the system only gives announcements in English, and that might make some students feel “inferior.”

Writing at The Diamondback, here’s Liyanga de Silva: “Accommodating non-English speakers is a matter of safety. In 2017, almost 10 percent of this university’s undergraduate population and 4 percent of its graduate population identified as Hispanic. In 2016, 6.6 percent of staff and 3.3 percent of faculty also were Hispanic. While many of these individuals likely are Spanish speakers, this does not account for other, non-Hispanic, people on campus who are native Spanish speakers.”

While this is true, de Silva overlooks some very important points.

For one thing, anyone working at the university or attending as a student has a working understanding of the English language. Signage is in English, classes are taught in English (with the exceptions of foreign language classes), and everyone there understands it. Why should the university implement an alert system for any number of languages — Spanish is just one of the languages spoken by people who attend and work at the University of Maryland, after all — when everyone can understand English?

That touches on the additional point, and that’s cost. Alert systems cost money, and the logistical nightmare of maintaining an alert system for several different languages would inflate the cost even further, making it impractical. Especially when everyone understands English in the first place.

But, then again, de Silva is just looking to find offense.

That’s why she lashed out at the alert system. It’s a target no one has taken on before, and she probably just wants to make a name for herself in social justice circles. We can tell that because she never considers the reality of an additional language alert system outlined above while trying to rally the social justice jihad.

“Sending alerts in Spanish is ultimately a small change the police department can make,” de Silva argues, ignoring any understanding of reality. “It might not seem like a big deal, but it pushes inclusion over assimilation, indicating that this university is a safe space for everyone and doesn’t place a higher value on the safety of English speakers than those who speak other languages.”

Yet since you’d be hard-pressed to find people on a university campus who can’t speak English, it’s hard to say anyone’s safety is ignored, or that anyone’s feelings should feel hurt.

Except for whiny twits who think the world should revolve around them.