Pages will be a home to all thoughts, views


Greetings to incoming and returning students. My name is Keenan Watson, the new Opinion Editor of The Collegian. I am quite excited to be in this position because I believe in fellow students having their voices heard in a public forum such as the Opinion section. It is important to hear the varying opinions of students from different cultures and beliefs. This exchange of ideas allows students to learn and understand one another. I’m not expecting that everyone will agree with the opinions expressed here, but I do hope these discussions lead to some level of understanding and respect.

With this sentiment in mind, I intend to focus on including the groups whose voices are not heard from often. I’m referring largely to the international students who attend SDSU. College life is difficult for many but doubly so for the international students, who are much farther from home than their American counterparts and are in a land where the language and customs are alien to them.

As a freshman at the University of Lincoln Nebraska, I was placed on a floor with several international students. Many of these students were in similar situations compared to the international students at SDSU. Despite these differences, we became fast friends and learned much from each other. There was a considerable difference between the international students who were not included in this exchange and those who were. I noticed that the international students who were isolated had a much more difficult time adjusting.  I noticed that the international students on my floor who were not grouped with American students had great difficulty adjusting while those who grouped with the American students adapted much more quickly.

During my time at SDSU, I participated in a program that paired Americans one-on-one with international students in order to improve their language skills. I was paired with two Chinese students due to a lack of volunteers. From them I learned how difficult it can be to adjust to life in South Dakota and the SDSU community. Many of the students who do live on campus live farther away from The Union, which is the main hub for students on campus. Due to these challenges, these students have a difficult time participating in campus-related activities with the rest of their fellow students. The result is a wasted opportunity for an educational and cultural exchange that would be beneficial to all involved.

With this being said, I would like to invite international students to share their opinions and stories with their peers so that we might all have a richer learning experience, because the voices of the students are important.

Keenan Watson is the Opinion Editor of the SDSU Collegian. He can be reached at [email protected].