Talking point - Delta 2.0
Holding a crisp new issue of Delta Magazine, I can’t help but be impressed. Its appearance has changed drastically over the summer, as Delta graduated from folded A3 newspaper to bold large magazine, complete with a striking cover image and catchy headlines beckoning me to flip through its silky full-color pages.
The magazine’s format has certainly changed, but what about its content? Most of the articles inside are about the people who are the magazine’s main audience: TU Delft students and educators, along with their trials, ambitions, innovations. Great: people love reading about themselves and their peers, and I’m no exception. So I eagerly flip to the International Pages to see what the magazine is offering its English-speaking audience… and within 15 minutes I’m done reading all that Delta has to offer me for the coming two weeks. I flip to the middle of the paper, hoping to read the English science pages, but sadly they’re missing. I can’t help but feel disappointed, like I’ve been promised a full dinner but instead served a side-salad. Where’s the meat?
Over the years I’ve grown fond of Delta, not only because I write for it, but because it offered me, as an international student, a window into Dutch life. What started as the English pages in the back of the paper, transformed to the International Pages, next to the fully-English science section, at the beginning of the previous academic year. Finally, we were making progress: international readers had been promoted from the ‘back-page ghetto’ and invited to participate in an intelligent discussion about the university’s scientific developments, along with their Dutch colleagues. Instead of more similar progress, this year we’re back to four pages out of 32, like the two out of 16 the paper started with last year. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate the effort that went into improving the magazine, and I’ll still likely faithfully read it every week. Furthermore, I understand there are plenty readers who prefer to read articles in Dutch. However, the feeling I got after reading the first issue brought back memories of first arriving in Delft, being put in a student house separate from Dutch students, invited to orientation with only other internationals, where I’m taught about clubs and activities that no Dutch students seem to know about. For a university that boasts up to 35% international students at certain faculties, TU Delft certainly does a good job of segregating its international students from the Dutch, and Delta sadly mirrors that attitude. My question is, why? Why can’t we have an English article next to the Dutch one, why can’t international students be housed with their Dutch classmates, and why doesn’t the university do more to integrate internationals into its student life?
Do you agree or disagree with the points raised in this week’s Talking Point? Let us hear your opinion: start or join the discussion in the website’s Comments section at www.delta.tudelft.nl