Kansas State Collegian Column Criticizing International Students Causes Controversy

A recent column in The Collegian at Kansas State University decrying the money spent educating international students– especially those from countries with less-than-friendly U.S. ties– has caused a mega-campus stir.

In a late February op-ed, Collegian staff writer Sean Frye wrote, “It is disappointing to know that, while international students are an integral presence on campus, 52 percent of them come from a country that has outwardly said they do not appreciate the U.S. . . . My argument is that they shouldn’t have been allowed to come here and study at a public university that receives government funds. . . . I have nothing against citizens from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq or Turkey. I just truly believe that nearly $7 million of taxpayer money should not be spent to educate students who could, in the near future, become the enemy.”

His assertions prompted an outcry from international students and their supporters.  According to a Topeka Capital-Journal report, “Students were further angered when the initial letter written by [the school’s Chinese Students and Scholars Union] wasn’t printed by the newspaper. Caroline Sweeney, the student-run newspaper’s editor-in-chief, said the letter wasn’t printed because the newspaper has a policy of not printing letters that make demands.”

Frye subsequently apologized.  So did the paper.  Frye also wrote a follow-up column clarifying his initial piece.  And a revised letter from the CSSU was eventually published.

A portion of the letter: “We the Chinese students and scholars at Kansas State University are shocked, saddened, disappointed and feel hurt by the publication of the article . . . by Sean Frye in the Collegian last Friday.  We are shocked because we have been collectively labeled by Sean Frye as ‘enemies’ of the U.S. simply because we come from China. . . . We are disappointed because we regard K-State as a great international community, but unfortunately alarming statements from Sean Frye seemed to depict a different picture.”

One Response to “Kansas State Collegian Column Criticizing International Students Causes Controversy”
  1. Johny says:

    This is utter nonsense. Everyone with the right documentation should be allowed to get proper education. These students have nothing to do with inter-governmental situations.