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The Northerner

SGA senator rallies for sign language

Courtney Ferguson, Contributing Writer

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American Sign Language (ASL) ranks fourth in college course enrollment, according to the recent Modern Language Association Survey, and is the only language in the top 10 of the survey not offered by NKU.

As this language trend is showing up across college campuses, one student is trying to make sure NKU is next institution to implement ASL as a language option.

Juliane Jendrollik, a senior SGA senator, is leading an effort to include ASL in the Foundation of Knowledge courses.

Jendrollik became interested in ASL after taking an electronic media and broadcasting course with a non-hearing student last semester. She ended up taking notes for the student and then became interested in the language.

“I felt helpless,” Jendrollik said. “I wanted to talk to her and not through someone else.”

The addition of these classes became Jendrollik’s main goal when choosing to run for SGA.

Jendrollik hopes that students will gain understanding and a sense of community amongst the students.

“NKU is such a good community and it would help to make our inclusive campus even more inclusive,” she said.

Sterling Bacot, the vice president of the ASL club, feels that the addition of an ASL class will increase the diversity of the students on campus.

Jendrollik is currently awaiting the results of the student interest survey to be sent out later this week. This survey will gauge the student’s interest level for the class and determine the future of the proposal.

Bacot said he has seen a lot of NKU students that are interested.

“I think the class will be very popular, actually,” he said. “It’s not hard to find people interested.”

The World Language department is focusing on the expansion and development of the current courses and programs.

“I do not think we would have enough student interest to offer ASL courses regularly,” said Caryn Connelly, Interim Dept. Chair of World Languages and Literatures.

Local colleges and universities, including Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, offer ASL courses.

“We started the program because there was a need in the community,” said the chair of the interpreter program at Cincinnati State, Dawn Caudill. “The only other place you could go was Dayton. The program is a success. We have a very full classes and most of our graduates have jobs as interpreters or work with video relay.”

Video relay is a real time interpreting service through cameras.

Jendrollik expects to have the resolution of whether to add ASL courses or not by the end of February.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
SGA senator rallies for sign language