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Idaho State & the Middle East
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hash



Joined: 17 Dec 2014
Posts: 452
Location: Wadi Jinn

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:48 pm    Post subject: Idaho State & the Middle East Reply with quote

The Mideast Came to Idaho State. It Wasn’t the Best Fit.
By STEPHANIE SAUL - MARCH 21, 2016 ( Adapted and edited from: NYTimes - 22 Mar 2016)

POCATELLO, Idaho — Idaho State has become increasingly dependent on Saudi and Kuwaiti students to replace income lost from steep declines in local enrollment and state funding.

The potential payoff of having these students was big — $20,000 per student in annual out-of-state tuition, nearly three times what state residents pay. As the number of Middle Eastern students grew to nearly 1,200, almost 10 percent of the school’s enrollment, that meant an estimated $40 million for the local economy every year.

But Idaho State had not bargained for the cultural clash in this isolated community. Even if they were just normal, rowdy college kids, the behavior of the mostly male students stood out in this conservative, predominantly Mormon city. Free from the strict cultural mores of their home countries, some students have faced charges like drunken driving and stalking.
At the same time, professors said students, many of them unfamiliar with English, were ill-prepared and frequently resorted to cheating.

Students have taken umbrage to the accusations, and have recounted episodes of discrimination on campus and in town. Now some students are leaving.

For Idaho State, it is a moment of truth, with a loss of more than $2 million a year in tuition alone from 100 students who left last summer. More declines are expected.

“We’re preparing for the worst,” said Scott Scholes, the associate vice president for enrollment management.

As colleges across the country, including prestigious universities like the University of California, Berkeley, second-tier state universities and little-known private institutions, look to make up for budget cuts and declining enrollment by accepting more foreign students, the situation at Idaho State is a cautionary tale, an example of the complexities of integrating foreign students into a campus and a community.

By some estimates, the one million international students in the United States generate a $30.5 billion boost to the economy. The largest group comes from China, but Saudi Arabia, the fourth-largest country of origin, supplies more than 70,000 students to schools like Arizona State, Western Kentucky, Cleveland State and Southern Illinois.

Some of these institutions are particularly concerned about the impact of a recent announcement by the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, which supports most of the students from Saudi Arabia. The program is facing “deep funding cuts,” according to Moody’s Investors Service, which said the scholarships would be limited to the top 100 American schools, an Academic Ranking of World Universities list that does not include Idaho State.

The Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the United States, which administers the scholarship program, did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Scholes said new limits established by the Saudi and Kuwaiti governments might mean that no Middle Eastern freshmen will be arriving at Idaho State for the next academic year, cutting enrollment by more than 250, on top of the 100 Saudi students who have already departed.

Explaining another reason for the declining enrollment, Daniel Hummel, a political-science professor who is also secretary of the new mosque, said, “Some of the students are dissatisfied, and they’re leaving.”

Although this virtually all-Christian city does not appear to be a natural fit for Muslims — the courthouse lawn features a monument chiseled with the Ten Commandments — everything seemed fine when the first 17 Saudi students arrived in 2006, mostly in the engineering school.

Over time, the students began sending word back home about Pocatello’s attributes, particularly the low cost of living, said Nezar Alnejidi, a marketing major and student leader. On a monthly stipend of about $1,850, students could pay their room and board and have money to spare.

As the number of Saudi students grew, Kuwaiti students also began to arrive. Sales of Mustangs soared at a local car dealership. Abandoned storefronts downtown reopened with hookah lounges and Middle Eastern restaurants. Merchants and landlords relished the business. “The economic impact has been humongous,” said Dave Packer, the president of the Pocatello Rental Housing Association.

But the students also brought unease. On campus, several professors said their colleagues chafed at the extra work required of them because of the poor English skills of many students who needed help after class.

Some professors also believed the students did not have the proper math backgrounds for their chosen majors: A chart sent to the faculty by one dean revealed that in some classes with more than 20 Middle Eastern students, 90 percent of them had failed physics, 75 percent had failed introductory English, and more than 60 percent had failed math.

David Rodgers, an associate dean of science and engineering, described the challenges many students have faced.

“In engineering, every single class is scripted,” Dr. Rodgers said. “There’s not a lot of room for a screw-up. If you fail a class, you can make it up perhaps by taking 18 hours the next semester. You know your funding is running out. You know you’ve come to America to be an engineer. The cultural change, the language barrier, all these things stress kids.”

That might explain why several professors said Middle Eastern students seemed prone to cheating and plagiarism. Eighty percent to 90 percent of the cheating cases reported in recent semesters in engineering and science have involved foreign students, Dr. Rodgers said.

The university has bought antiplagiarism software, installed cameras, and gone so far as to track the Internet addresses of submitted papers, but Martin Hackworth, a departing physics lecturer, said the response was inadequate.
Mr. Hackworth wrote a column in The Idaho State Journal last year with accusations that Middle Eastern students had cheated, and criticism that the university had accepted students who were unprepared.

“They viewed these students as A.T.M. machines,” Mr. Hackworth said in an interview.

While admitting that some Middle Eastern students had cheated, Ali Alheid, 22, a mechanical engineering major from Kuwait, complained that the university had painted all of them with a broad brush. “They caught 20 or 30 students cheating,” he said. “Because of that, they treat us like cheaters.”

Professors and proctors have sometimes prohibited bathroom breaks during exams and looked between students’ legs for hidden cellphones.
The cheating accusations are one reason Mr. Alnejidi is now telling friends not to come to Idaho State.

“The Saudi students are leaving because they feel they will not graduate under that level of scrutiny,” he said.

Mr. Alheid said that at a gathering of students last month for Kuwaiti National Day, more than 100 signed a petition complaining of discrimination on campus and in town. He plans to transfer to Arizona State. “They think we are terrorists,” said Mr. Alheid, describing several episodes.

As he drove his Mustang one night to a gym and tried to park, a car with an open door blocked his parking spot. When Mr. Alheid complained, he said, the man flashed a handgun at him. On another day, a middle finger was directed his way as he approached the newly built mosque, he said.

While acknowledging instances of discrimination, officials and professors say some of the students have done little to adapt. Some have made inappropriate overtures toward women, according to the Police Department.

Others have raced their sports cars on city streets and, unaccustomed to local laws, ignored speeding tickets.

“I don’t think they understand that they have to pay a fine,” said Zachary Parris, the chief deputy prosecutor, whose office held a seminar on campus to educate students on city ordinances.

Jim Peterson, the deputy police chief, said, “I would say they get away with a lot more here than they do at home.”

Things came to a head last May, when The Idaho State Journal reported price gouging by landlords, who defended the extra fees with claims that the Middle Eastern students had damaged apartments. Among the problems, according to the newspaper: carpets burned by hookahs.

.


Last edited by hash on Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoever advised them to go to Idaho doesn't know much, I'd say, about the state.

"Some Say Potato, Most Say Aryan Nations
Four decades of media coverage of white supremacists in the “Too Great for Hate” state"

https://thebluereview.org/most-say-aryan-nations/

Regards,
John
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11441
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Whoever advised them to go to Idaho doesn't know much, I'd say, about the state.

Agreed. Pocatello, Idaho, where Idaho State University is located, is 90% anglo and home to a large population of Latter-day Saints. That's likely keeping these students isolated from the community, which doesn't help them acculturate and subsequently, improve their English. They're also not learning about cultural boundaries.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17622
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of this was totally predictable to us with experience in that part of the world. When I saw the headline, I thought... Idaho???

But this line made me laugh at how completely wrong he is:

Quote:
Jim Peterson, the deputy police chief, said, “I would say they get away with a lot more here than they do at home.”


Of course, it is the complete opposite except that they can openly harass the women.

VS
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In the heat of the moment



Joined: 22 May 2015
Posts: 386
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mideast Came to Idaho State. It Wasn’t the Best Fit.

10/10 for understatement.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11441
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Of course, it is the complete opposite except that they can openly harass the women.

And they're very likely Mormon women. Shocked
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izmigari



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Rubbing shoulders with the 8-Ball in the top left pocket

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Now some students are leaving.


Dear ol' Dad usta say: "Don't let the door hit ya in the a$$!"
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izmigari



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Rubbing shoulders with the 8-Ball in the top left pocket

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:15 pm    Post subject: Understatement Record-breaking Article Reply with quote

1.) The Mideast Came to Idaho State. It Wasn’t the Best Fit.

2.) Free from the strict cultural mores of their home countries, some students have faced charges like drunken driving and stalking.

3.) ...many of them unfamiliar with English, were ill-prepared and frequently resorted to cheating.

4.) Students have taken umbrage to the accusations...

5.) The Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the United States...did not respond to requests for comment. (Or answer the phone?)

6.) “Some of the students are dissatisfied...”

7.) ...this virtually all-Christian city does not appear to be a natural fit for Muslims ...

8.) Sales of Mustangs soared at a local car dealership.

9.) But the students also brought unease.

10.) ...because of the poor English skills of many students who needed help...

11.) Some professors also believed the students did not have the proper math backgrounds...

12.) “...all these things stress kids.”

13.) ...Middle Eastern students seemed prone to cheating and plagiarism.

14.) ...accusations that Middle Eastern students had cheated, and criticism that the university had accepted students who were unprepared.

15.) While admitting that some...had cheated, Ali Alheid complained that the university had painted all of them with a broad brush.

16.) ...they treat us like cheaters.

17.) Professors and proctors have looked between students’ legs for hidden cellphones.

18.) “The Saudi students are leaving because they feel they will not graduate .”

19.) “They think we are terrorists.”

20.) ...a middle finger was directed his way as he approached the newly built mosque.

21.) ...officials and professors say some of the students have done little to adapt.

22.) Some have made inappropriate overtures toward women.

23.) Others have raced their sports cars on city streets and...ignored speeding tickets.

24.) “I don’t think they understand that they have to pay a fine."

25.) “I would say they get away with a lot more here than they do at home.”


Yeah? So where's the news?
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cartago



Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 282
Location: Iraq

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smoking shisha in a modern apartment with wall to wall carpeting, yeah the coals fall off all the time and that's a pretty bad idea.

And some students, especially if they're failing, may just take off with no intention of returning again leaving damage.

It's not fair to charge more but I can see why they'd charge a higher deposit to be honest and someone driving a mustang can afford it.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 512
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting read. I'm sure half of them didn't have the grades or academic credentials to be there in the first place! Welcome to educational reality. Finding out that cheating is in fact not allowed and will bare consequences must have come as a terrible shock to them..... Shocked
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 515
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:36 am    Post subject: the-ny-times-blames-american-mores-for-saudi-students-misbeh Reply with quote

http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/03/24/the-ny-times-blames-american-mores-for-saudi-students-misbehavior/
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 483

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:14 am    Post subject: It's in the lease agreement Reply with quote

"Things came to a head last May, when The Idaho State Journal reported price gouging by landlords, who defended the extra fees with claims that the Middle Eastern students had damaged apartments. Among the problems, according to the newspaper: carpets burned by hookahs."

cartago wrote:
Smoking shisha in a modern apartment with wall to wall carpeting, yeah the coals fall off all the time and that's a pretty bad idea.

And some students, especially if they're failing, may just take off with no intention of returning again leaving damage.

It's not fair to charge more but I can see why they'd charge a higher deposit to be honest and someone driving a mustang can afford it.


Wouldn't that be an issue for rental laws and the lease. If a student can bring a good referral from a previous landlord, then there would be no need for a high security deposit. However, I would say that a security deposit that covers damages and also a lease agreement that respects local fire codes with the option of ending the lease if the lease agreement is violated is the norm for most states.
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izmigari



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Rubbing shoulders with the 8-Ball in the top left pocket

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: the-ny-times-blames-american-mores-for-saudi-students-mi Reply with quote

2buckets wrote:
http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/03/24/the-ny-times-blames-american-mores-for-saudi-students-misbehavior/


NEVER in my days, and I've seen a few of them, have I ever witnessed and ENTIRE REGION of people, and I've lived in a couple of them, that has such a UNIFORM knee-jerk ability to blame OTHERS for their woes and swear to God that ALL others have it out for them without even a HINT of circumspect that, in fact, it just might be THEY who might have brought some of "it" upon THEMSELVES!

I say "region" because I recognize the same sick pathology in "those" who are prone to flip out the "race card" at the drop of a hat.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've noticed something odd on the "social media," but would appreciate some affirmation or denial of my observation.

It seems that the phrase "race card" is used almost exclusively by ______________.

Please fill in the blank.

This may help illustrate my suspicion

https://www.google.com/search?q=race+card&biw=1920&bih=934&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiZjaT59NvLAhXEvYMKHXObBwIQ_AUIBigB


Thank you,
John
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me hazard a guess .......American politicians
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