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Committee formed to aid international students

International Student Advisory committee aims to address concerns specific to international students and global nomads

Claire Montgomery

Senior News Writer

On Oct. 17, Jill Munro, director of International Student Services (ISS), sent an email to the campus community announcing the formation of a new committee called the International Student Advisory Committee (ISAC), created to support The College of Wooster’s population of international students and global nomads. 

“The idea of this committee was suggested by a faculty member after interacting with a number of our ever-increasing international students. It had also been considered by ISS after recognizing how difficult it is for us to keep the pulse and understand the needs and concerns of this important, diverse and growing population of students,” Munro wrote. 

In her email, Munro included the mission statement of ISAC: “The International Student Advisory Committee (ISAC) advocates for and addresses student concerns. ISAC serves as a resource to the campus and acts strategically regarding the institutional priorities that impact the international student and global nomad populations.”

Christian Betre ’19, international representative from Campus Council and a member of the new committee commented, “The basic formation of this committee is to help international students.” Betre added that with the growing population of international students at the College, there is not enough staff to help out international students, and the committee will address “the encompassing problems that [international] students face [and] how can we deal with them better.” 

“My expectations for the community include making changes and addressing issues first hand in a fast-tracked manner,” said Gargi Mishra ’20, president of the International Students Association. Mishra will represent international students and global nomads in that capacity on the ISAC. 

“Previously, when international students and global nomads had concerns or were faced with issues regarding different aspects of campus life, it was a challenge for them to figure out who they should be reaching out to/where to start. Now, with this committee, we will have representatives from different parts of campus, including faculty, all in the same room, thus speeding up the process of an issue being addressed. We are a resource that was missing from campus, despite the growing number [of] international students and global nomads. Thus, as per Jill’s email, we believe that international students and global nomads are now equipped with what they need to address all [their] issues and concerns, regardless of what area of campus life it is related to,” said Mishra. 

Dr. Boubacar N’Diaye of the Africana studies and political science departments and member of the committee also commented. “This is an excellent initiative,” he said. “All the credit goes to Jill Munro … The Advisory Committee provides a handy platform to discuss issues specific to our international students. The diverse background and the experiences of its members will afford the College services in charge of international students the best advice to serve these students and meet their needs.”

Rie Matsuzaki ’19, an international student from Japan, while not personally involved with the committee, was optimistic about the intentions of ISAC. “I know most [new committees] start off with a good intention and I know lots of students in it are trustworthy, wonderful people. I hope they function as the bridge between international students and domestic students. It’s sad when ‘having international students’ is just used as a selling point to prove the diversity. So I hope they open up and show a change and make life for international students here at Wooster a little more welcoming.”

(Photo by Laura Haley)

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