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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Whatcom sends students to study abroad

By Kenzo Yamamoto

Scholarships specific to Whatcom Community College allows students to study abroad in five different countries with other community colleges. Future trips include Berlin, Costa Rica, London, and a combined Germany/Poland trip. Faculty members will accompany students and teach the 10-week, 15-credit courses in English.

Each student will receive an internal scholarship which reduces tuition to $25 per credit. Students will be going with other community college students that are a part of the Washington State Community College Consortium for Study Abroad.

In addition to the $25 per credit fee, the consortium also provides two scholarships per program excluding summer. The international programs department at Whatcom was able to find funding to provide two $1,000 scholarships for fall and spring quarter programs, and two $500 scholarships for summer programs.

Ulli Schraml, Associate Director of International Programs, said he encourages faculty members to pitch ideas for short-term programs during the summer that are roughly two to three weeks long.

“Not everyone can afford a 10-week program that’s $8,000 to $10,000, and to have an alternative shorter and cheaper program gives more students the opportunity to experience what learning in another country is like,” Schraml said. “It’s also cheaper to go abroad while you’re at a community college than it is at a four-year university.”

Students desiring to learn more information about  the scholarships can go to Syre 135 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm on Feb 1.

“They will have a panel of students and faculty members alike who have gone on these trips and can answer questions for students who still want to know more about the programs and specific trips,” It’ll be a perfect opportunity for students who are interested in future programs to come and hear about previous student experiences and also faculty input,” Schraml said.

Schraml mentioned that people who don’t feel they have the means to travel abroad, they now have a “meet the world at Whatcom fair” in the Syre foyer on Jan 31, 11 am to 1 pm, where staff tries to motivate international and immigrant students to set up booths with cultural presentations to highlight their cultures.

 Schraml said he highly encourages students to separate themselves from the rest.

“The important thing is to tell the reader why you are different, not only why you want to study abroad, but what’s so different about you. Why should they give it to you and not the next person?” Schraml said. “The more information you provide the better.”


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Chaos or community? Celebrating MLK day

By Joe Zimmermann

In 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tenn. and in 1994 a burning cross was placed in a migrant farm in Lynden, Wa.

In response, the community of Bellingham stood in solidarity with the migrants and expressed their concern for local human rights by creating the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force according to the archived history of the Task Force. Continue reading Chaos or community? Celebrating MLK day


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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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The official student newspaper of Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington