SCHOOL — USC prides itself on being the American university with the most international student body. Of these, a large number come from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
To make Chinese students feel more welcome at USC and help them bridge cultural gaps, Dean of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry announced that the university would begin to encourage American students to choose Chinese language names, to help them fit in with Chinese students and for ease of pronunciation.
“It can be very difficult for our students and faculty to pronounce some of these names.” said Carry, “Professors tell me that they have many awkward moments during attendance trying to sound out students’ names like “MacKayalah,” “Kaytlynn,” and “D’Quaniquay.”
Starting with the freshman class of 2015, new students will meet with an advisor who will help them adjust to life at USC. Students can look through a booklet of Mandarin Chinese names in order to choose their new nickname.
USC Associate Vice Prime Senator for Diversity and Regional Cultural Ethnological Affairs, Samantha Leece, told the Sack of Troy, “It was so easy. My new Chinese nickname is He-Ta, with the character 和, as in ‘harmonious,’ and the character 獭, as in ‘sea otter.’”
“I told my roommate that I wanted a Chinese name like him,” said TKE Pledge, Devon Jacobs. “I wanted a sick Asian name, like ‘Wicked Fire Tiger.’ He told me it is 笨驴 (Bèn lǘ). Now I prefer to be called that instead of Devon.”
We asked our Sack of Troy language consultant, Janice Wong, what Bèn lǘ actually means. She said it translates as “stupid ass.”
Some students question why American students even want a Chinese name. “I hate my Chinese name. I definitely prefer my American one, Philip,” stated Chang-Ting Liu, USC student from Beijing.
However, many students say that the change is well-needed.
“I’m a business student, and I want to work for like a Chinese company; preferably in Tokyo,” exuberantly stated Marissa Olsen, ADPi treasurer. “Having this Chinese name will really like, boost my resumé.”
Olsen then proceeded to explain how Panda Express is the most authentic Chinese food she’s ever had.
“It’s so confusing every time the professor takes roll.” Said one graduate student from Shanghai, Ziming “Beauregard” Chen, “It seemed like every American student was named John, Brandon, Zach, or Dylan. I can never remember.”