Open Letter to the Administration

by Dale Glaser

I thought about talking to each one of you in person, but there is not enough time left in the school year to do that. So I decided to write an open letter. I would like students to hear my thoughts anyway.

I'm sure you have noticed that the quality of the Eagle improved a notch this semester, in both look and content. I believe The Eagle is now equal in quality to, or perhaps better than, many other community college newspapers in the state. This is quite an accomplishment.

We have gotten lots of compliments on this semester's newspaper from students, as well as members in the community. But, ironically, we haven't heard a peep, even an email of "Good Job!", from anyone in the Administration. Why is that?

The Eagle is a unique campus-wide publication

The Eagle is the ONLY publication with the potential to reach every student, faculty and staff member at this college, as well as the surrounding community. Can't you see the communication potential in that?

Why don't you truly support the Eagle?

My impression over the last few years as advisor is that the administration treats the Eagle as if it didn't exist. In fact, it is only Dean Susan Bell who makes sure the Eagle continues to get funded year after year. Even then, we only get a minimal budget that barely covers the printing of eight issues, hampering the continued growth of the paper. Why is that? Why isn't the administration more financially supportive of such an essential communication tool as a college newspaper?

And why aren't you contributing?

I have pondered for years why the administration isn't making use of the Eagle to communicate with students: to make a personal connection, to talk about events and issues that come up during the school year, or to inform students about the college's visions for the future. The college needs this kind of communication to help provide a sense of connection, community and continuity at what is basically a "commuter school."

Why no journalism program?

Why doesn't this college have a Journalism program in its curriculum, like many, if not most, other community colleges? Journalism skills are an extremely valuable resource, and directly useful in the real world, not only for getting jobs in the newspaper field, but for many businesses as well as community organizations which produce newsletters and other print publications.

Not only are journalism skills useful in the publishing world, but they are, and will continue to be, just as valuable in the online world of the future, as we move from print to electronic distribution of information. To this end, The Eagle already has an "unofficial" web site (unofficial because we didn't want to wait around for the college web site to become a priority). You can see our online newspaper at:

Right now, a petition is being passed around the campus requesting a journalism program at Mendocino College. The intention is to let you see that there is some interest in having the college teach journalism skills. Petitions are easily dismissed, but there aren't many avenues for students to make something happen on this campus.

Why not make The Eagle even better?

In spite of minimal support, The Eagle survives and grows because it has pulled itself up by its own bootstraps each year with the help of staff as well as the advisors. We work to gather money from advertising to buy equipment and we lobbied hard to get the small office space we now have. And we produce a great newspaper which draws students who otherwise sadly find nothing at the college in the journalism field.

In summary...

The administation should give just a little more attention to The Eagle by supporting it as the valuable communication tool that it is. Give us a bigger budget for printing and contribute to it yourselves! Support The Eagle in teaching students communication skills, writing skills, and publication skills, all of which are, and will be, sorely needed in this society.

Copyright Mendocino College Eagle 1995
Permission granted to excerpt or use this article if source is cited

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Author:The Eagle Staff
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Last Update: 5/21/96