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September 12, 2009: Shovelin’ It

(Photo Courtesy of Bruce McFarland/For The Signal)

College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook lifts the ceremonial first shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony on campus Sept. 10. (Photo Courtesy of Bruce McFarland/For The Signal)

On Sept. 11, The Signal ran a news story on the groundbreaking ceremony for a $10.7 million expansion project at College of the Canyons that will add 16 classrooms, a dozen offices and two conference rooms to Mentry Hall.

The construction’s funding was made possible by Measure M, a $160-million bond approved by voters in 2006. Completion is expected by fall 2010.

Mentry Hall is home to Media Entertainment Arts, Animation, Architectural Drafting & Technology, Interior Design, Visual Art & Art History, Photography, Graphic & Multimedia Design and the school’s Art Gallery. It was once headquarters to the student newspaper, the Canyon Call, until the Journalism Department moved into newly built Hasley Hall a couple of years ago.

Now after COC’s administration recently pulled the plug on the Canyon Call and the five Journalism classes that support it, journalism at the bustling campus has been reduced to just two courses: Mass Media and Society (J-100) and Beginning News Writing (J-105).

Journalism is now “odd man out” as school administrators focus their efforts and the college’s considerable resources on the other media-related departments that will populate an expanded Mentry Hall.

Completely lost in the shuffle is that the gutting of journalism on campus takes away the best opportunity for a student First Amendment voice.

Incoming freshmen probably didn’t realize the Canyon Call flew out the door when they arrived on campus Aug. 24, but returning students have every right to be outraged at the decision by COC’s administration to eliminate the newspaper.

It has now come down to this: If you’re a COC student and you have an opinion you want to express about something happening on campus, tough luck.

A similar article on the groundbreaking ceremony can be found on the web site of local Santa Clarita Valley radio station KHTS AM-1220.

Number of days COC has been without a school newspaper: 20

September 12, 2009   Comments Off