Category Archives: OPINIONS

In light of controversy student journalism remains critical

By Kai Vieira da Rosa

On the final issue of winter quarter, the Horizon pulled their last paper from school circulation. The articles pulled were not meant to be malicious or misleading in any way, but sometimes mistakes are made.

Here at the horizon, every mistake is a new learning opportunity for the staff. This mishap brings to light the importance of student journalist being executed the correct way. Newspaper productions classes, like The Horizon, are an extremely important part of learning to become a journalist.

When errors are made, the people affected often look on the negative side of the situation and question the purpose or benefit of the production. This has been seen many times with the conflict between our president and the media. The criticism received often diminishes the credibility of a production, making journalism appear less important in the eyes of the public.

As a result, funding cuts in community college newspaper productions are occurring nationally and locally. President Donald Trump’s budget plan remove funding for public media is something journalist should be wary of. National Public Radio Brian Naylor reported  “President Trump’s proposed budget calls for big cuts in a wide array of domestic programs — among them, agencies that fund the arts, humanities and public media.”

This is a major step backwards on the road to recovering the distrust between the government and the media. The government decides to cut the budget on one of the best ways of training there is at the worst possible time. The distrust our government has with the media is higher than ever, yet teaching trusting reporters is not a priority.

On a local level, Whatcom has been steadily cutting The Horizon Newspaper budget. In fact, in the last year the budget dropped from $19,950 to $18,500 according to The Associated Students of Whatcom Community College 17-18 S&A Fee Budget table.

The importance of college run newspapers is clear for many reasons. Student run papers in community college gives budding journalists a place to put their writing into something they can be proud of.

Student newspapers teach the essential skills needed in the work force by giving the students real life situations. One on one interviews and conference interviews give a look as to what a career in journalism could be. Learning how to write in AP style can be a refreshing change from the fundamental APA or MLA classes. Valuable lessons are learned in theses production classes.

Some people say that print media is dying. Although this does seem true, it is still important for students of journalism to learn its ways. Newspaper production classes are closest thing a student can get to a real, professional paper. It is important to remember that these papers are typically run solely by students who are all still learning, so mistakes happen. Even though some of them aren’t perfect every time, college productions can still be a credible source of information about your school.


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Letter to the editor: STEM replies to group work

Dear Editor,

As faculty of the STEM division, we strongly disagree with the recent letter from the editor in the Horizon issue (October 24, 2017). It’s nice to talk about one’s personal experiences with regards to group work, but as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math faculty, we’d like to talk about the data and the research behind learning. The editor argues that group work isn’t appropriate for the STEM domain because it would be better to, “get the most accurate information the most efficient way possible” in order to prevent the “spread [of] inaccurate information while giving teachers a break.” While learning wrong information can be detrimental, there is overwhelming evidence that group work, active learning strategies and working through content with your peers is the MOST effective way of learning the content. Continue reading Letter to the editor: STEM replies to group work


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Student senate vetoes majority vote

By Kai Vieira da Rosa

In 1988 Whatcom Community College voted on its first mascot, and after the Board of Trustees approved the choice, the Orcas became the official mascot of Whatcom.

Whatcom’s orca mascot was named Willy and remained that way for almost 30 years. In fall quarter of 2017, Whatcom decided to hold a vote for a new mascot name.

Even though Oscar was the No. 1 choice, Whatcom’s Associated Student Senate decided to use the No. 2 name, Finny, which had a 30 percent deference out of Oscar’s 58 votes. Continue reading Student senate vetoes majority vote


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Employees who light up get put out

By Kai Vieira da Rosa

Twelve states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, but within those states, many employers still drug test for it.

Abstaining from the use of marijuana should not be included in the terms of employment in fields that require no formal education or training in states where the recreational use of marijuana is legal.

Employers for basic entry level jobs like cashiers or car sales-men should not be declining applicants who test positive for marijuana. Continue reading Employees who light up get put out


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Does group work actually work?

By Kai Vieira da Rosa

Group work has been a part of the school system for the majority of my life, I now expect it from every class I enroll in. When group work is assigned I wonder if group work really is that beneficial. With so much emphasis being put on the necessity of group work skills in careers, professors don’t realize it does more harm than good.

There is most certainly a time and place for group work, but professors should know when that time and place is.

Group work should be its own class in which the goal is to teach students collaborative skills. That way students can still learn collaborative techniques, while getting the most out of their other classes. Continue reading Does group work actually work?


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