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September 22, 2009: “Silencing students by canceling the student newspaper is never an idea that ends well.”

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Those are the words of Toni Albertson, Journalism professor at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and advisor to the Mountaineer, the school’s student newspaper. Albertson is also advisor to the Mountaineer’s online component, Mountiewire.com. Professor Albertson signed the online petition to save the Canyon Call, the student newspaper of College of the Canyons. She concluded her online post by offering the following advice to COC’s administration and board of trustees: “Please reconsider this very bad decision.”

Joanna Miller is a Journalism professor at Moorpark College. Miller serves as advisor to the Student Voice, the district-wide student newspaper of the Ventura County Community College District. The Student Voice was established in the fall semester of 2005 to replace the student newspapers of Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges, which were axed due to budget cuts. Miller signed the online petition and offered the following comments: “Dear Board of Trustees: Please consider the long-term effects of a campus the size of COC without a student news media. If we are to mean what we say about encouraging our students to be responsible members of our democratic society, then we need to instill in them a desire to be informed about their campus and community. A campus student news media is essential to this purpose, which is part of the core mission of California Community Colleges. Thank you.”

Jim Burns is a former adviser to the Canyon Call and current adviser to the Examiner, the student newspaper of Antelope Valley College. Burns posted the following comment on the online petition: “I am deeply committed to journalism education and the First Amendment. Please reinstate the Canyon Call, so that the campus will have its voice back.”

Mike Eskew is a Professor of Journalism and English at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga and an advisor to The Breeze, the college’s student newspaper. Eskew posted these words to the online petition: “Please keep the program. The journalism picture is not nearly as bleak as many predict. There will always be the need in America for ones who fairly and responsibly report the news (at a community college and nationally) to the public for their protection and evaluation.”

The online petition continues to receive support from educators across the state who understand the importance of allowing students the means of expressing a First Amendment voice on campus. Sign the online petition today. We must bring back the Canyon Call to College of the Canyons.

Number of days COC has been without a school newspaper: 30