¿Usted habla español?

The growing number of multi-cultural individuals throughout Utah, many of which speak English as a second language, has resulted in a clash of languages and in some cases ideologies.
The quickly growing Hispanic population currently represents 11 percent of Utah’s ethnic background, according to Utah’s www.utah.gov Web page. At UVSC, Hispanics represent the largest ethnic group, outside of Caucasians, at 4 percent.

This semester, NetXNews, UVSC’s student media productions, launched its first Spanish newscast – the first of its kind for a college within Utah County – to run alongside its English version. NetXNews’s executive producer Veronica Lopez, took the initiative to create the broadcast.

"When I became the executive producer, I wanted to start something new," said Lopez. "I wanted to leave a touch of myself; I wanted to create a Spanish program."

The newscast, which airs many of the same stories as its English counterpart, with an emphasis on multi-cultural events, is produced almost exclusively by Lopez. Each week she works to write and translate the script, anchor the newscast, edit the footage, and ultimately produce the show. "In the studio, I’m running the whole thing," said Lopez.

On Nov. 26, the Daily Herald ran an article featuring the newscast on its front page. The article was also placed on the papers Web page, www.heraldextra.com, where it was viewed nearly 900 times. A number of users left feedback on the paper’s online forum.

User "Goodintentions" responded to the article, "That gave me a different opinion about UVSC. That is one of the problems with our immigration policy. If you want to assimilate into a country you would think that English would be a priority. Especially for a place of education. If they are going to broadcast in Spanish, aren’t they discriminating against the people who speak other languages? You don’t see them broadcasting in German, French, Danish, etc. I won’t be supporting UVSC in anything anymore. I am very offended by people who cater to the Hispanic culture. But then again, it is a state college and you find all of the necessary forms for welfare in Spanish also."

"It was so hard to read those comments. I thought I was doing a positive thing so students can come and enjoy their UVSC experience," said Lopez. "I don’t speak Chinese or any other language, but I speak Spanish fluently, [so] I did [what I could]."

"A lot of people miss the point that we are in college to experiment. This is the closest that we can get to messing up before we go into the real world," said Lopez. "If this is what it’s going to take, being hurt a little isn’t going to put me down."

According to Lopez, the newscast is designed to inform students and have them become involved.

After immigrating to America from Peru at age 12, Lopez had difficulty learning English; consequently, she wasn’t as involved in her high school. "I wish I had known about school events so I could go participate," she said.

Lopez has received huge encouragement from UVSC students, both Spanish and English speaking, for the creation of this broadcast.

"We need to realize that we’re going to be dealing with other languages," said digital media professor Dennis Lisonbee, according to the Daily Herald. "It’s important for the students to be able to work in a global work[place]."

The newscast airs across campus every two weeks on Wednesday alongside its English counterpart, which airs weekly.

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