Joe Beatty/Courier Dr. Anthony Fellow, President of the Board of Trustees, calls on Alex Boekelheide (“Buckle-hide”), Executive Director, Strategic Communications and Marketing Pasadena City College, during a time dedicated to awards and recognition at the Joint Board of Trustees & Associated Students Meeting held in the Creveling Lounge Wednesday night 04/04/2018.
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Currently at Pasadena City College (PCC), there are multiple grants given to projects such as Zero-Textbook Cost and the Pathways program to tackle different barriers students often deal with in academics. While it is necessary to fund for these projects as it aids students in achieving higher education, the failure to fund the Journalism department, a rather small but very important department on campus, counteracts the idea of providing resources. In fact, it proves that there are areas on campus that aren’t being prioritized as effectively as it should be.

The Courier needs to be properly funded and become officially part of the annual budget. A lack of commitment jeopardizes the viability of this essential program and will fail to secure an independent voice on campus that addresses issues, good or bad.

Maintaining a website, of course, requires some money,” said Alex Yahanda, a student at John Hopkins University, who wrote an opinion piece on the “Necessity of Student Journalism”. “In some cases, papers have faced near extinction.”

Student publications, as stated in the title, are run by students. We volunteer and work diligently to cover stories on campus that give other students information about resources, events, and more.

Student publications are important because they allow students to not only work on their writing and further improve their skills but also use this avenue as a means to “enact change among their peers and institution.”

Issues such as food insecurity, sexual assault cases, and diversity loom among PCC students not because these are national conversations typically written about in larger news publications like the New York Times, but because these issues have affected students on campus. The staff writers and editors at the Courier are devoted to covering these issues to serve the student body and keep them informed.

Having faces and names attached to a story allows students to see that their peers are willing to stand up for themselves rather than hide which can precipitate change in various ways such as students getting involved on campus and becoming part of a club or student government.

It is true that as students, we should do what we can to help one another out but PCC itself as an institution should provide resources promised to us. Providing for students is what it should be doing, first and foremost.

Anthony Fellow referred to us as “poor journalism students” as a means to gain sympathy for our situation is insulting and upsetting. We did not choose to be in this situation. This is an issue that needs to be worked on amongst the dean of the Visual Arts and Media Studies department, the administration and the editors of the Courier as well.

Actions speak louder than words. We aren’t here to listen to the administration make empty promises, nor will we allow it.

As a news publication independent of PCC, it is our duty to critique those in leadership that aren’t doing their jobs to provide resources to departments, and more specifically students. Therefore, it is time to establish an actual budget for the Journalism department where not only students aspiring to be journalists can continue to contribute to the newspaper but also garner more support towards helping others who feel voiceless at PCC.

The Courier is here to reflect the voices of students, faculty, administration and any others who want to speak up and contribute towards paving the path to a higher education in which all are heard equally.

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