By Dale Glaser
The Spring semester will bring a new stage in the evolution of the college newspaper, and, finally, the beginnings of a Journalism program at Mendocino College.
We applaud this change, which will bring two new journalism classes, money to actually promote the newspaper and recruit students, and perhaps even a new Eagle office. We thank Nancy McLelland for setting up this new Journalism program, and wish Lillian Brown well in her new job as faculty advisor of the Eagle and instructor for the new journalism class (See interview with her in this issue).
Labor of love.
Being faculty advisors of the Eagle over these last few years (five for Dale, and two for King) has been a "labor of love." We received almost no support from the college during these years. As advisors we got a small stipend that really only paid us for the first few hours of what was typically dozens of hours spent per issue.
The entire job of overseeing the production of the newspaper and training of students fell to us. We were the journalism teachers, English teachers, group facilitators, "therapists", and graphic and layout experts. We were in charge of promoting the Eagle, recruiting students, fighting for office space, and acquiring production tools.
Why did we "donate" so much of our time and work so hard? We were committed to the idea of an open medium of communication for students, faculty and administration at this college. We shared this commitment with Dean Susan Bell who oversaw the Eagle and fought each year for the small printing budget and our stipends which kept the newspaper going.
We're proud of what we achieved.
The Eagle moved from manual paste-up to electronic paste-up (a major accomplishment). We established an Eagle office and, with advertising money, built a production facility that included three computers, a laser printer, a scanner, a digital camera, and production tables and tools.
At times we attained a level of quality that rivaled much larger and better funded college newspapers. We set up an on-line (Web) version of the Eagle which now houses the Eagle archives back to January, 1996.
In an indirect way, we inspired this new journalism program. We had lobbied unsuccessfully for years for a journalism program, and were always told there was no money. Then in November, 1996, we received a "confidential" letter written from a top administrator to the Board of Trustees. (see "Susan Bell Speaks Out") This led to the publication of the Eagle Extra which included discussion among faculty and staff, letters delivered to the board, senate debates and, even, underground publications.
For students, the part-time faculty, and communitiy members, the Eagle became a window on the inner workings of the college. Indeed, this was the misdeed of the Eagle which was never forgiven, despite the public recognition which we received from respected sources.
Suddenly the administration became very interested in a proposal by Nancy McLelland to improve the college newspaper by bringing it under the wing of the English Dept., i.e., away from the influence of faculty advisors (us) and student staff.
We were kept out of the loop as the proposal was developed, Our efforts and our successes were never acknowledged, for that would have validated a potential role for us in the new "instructional" program.
We have not been thanked for all the work we have done over the years, nor for all the equipment which we have generated for the new program.
Nonetheless, We're proud of what we-the advisors, and the hard working student staff-have accomplished over these last few years.
Hey, it's been fun. We thank ourselves for all that we have accomplished and it's time to get on to our next great projects. We wish the new Eagle well.
May it fly free and strong.
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