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Volume 142, Issue #2



Opinions

PELL GRANT

STAFF EDITORIAL

The Federal government has been debating whether to make Pell Grants, the lifeblood of some students, more readily available. This is something that should take no thought at all.

Federal Pell Grants are handed out to students who haven’t earned a bachelor’s degree during their time at college. The grants are given at all levels, with the occasional grant given in a post-baccalaureate certificate program.

The maximum Pell Grant in the 2002-2003 school year was $4000 dollars. The award has grown in the last few years, and is available through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, website.

These grants help students with their studies. The money can provide books and food to someone who has no time to support him or herself with a full time job.

This is even more important at community colleges.

A larger portion of students at community colleges is older, with established lives. They are entering school later to obtain the degree that eluded them in their youth, and going back to school usually means working less to have time to study.

Derek Stevenson, a student at Santa Barbara City College, says “without the money, there is no way I would be doing this. It’s how I live.”

Wider access to money from the federal government would open opportunities for older students to complete their education.

There is no argument here — just a basic right to education.

e-mail: editorial@theguardsman.com


CORPORATION BUYS COLLEGE PAPER

BY DANI GOMEZ

EDITOR


BRIAN BLYZNUIK / SPECIAL TO THE GUARDSMAN

Traditionally, college newspapers served the public good by covering issues and events honestly and truthfully, without the hidden agenda of generating profit.

But now, due to the emergence of corporate media ownership, things might change for the worse.

A couple of weeks ago, The Tallahassee Democrat announced that it had purchased the FSView & Florida Flambeau, the student newspaper of Florida State University.

Robert Parker, former publisher of The FSView, said his decision was influenced by economic pressure, and acted so that “the paper will always be here,” he said.

“This will ensure its long-term growth and success,” Parker said. Also, staff members and contributors will receive regular paychecks, along with endless internship and mentorship opportunities in the world of corporate journalism.

The Tallahassee Democrat insists that little would change for the student paper, since Gannett, the company that owns the Democrat, will not get involved in the process of managing and running it. According to them, their main goal was to reach the desirable audience of campus readers, not to control the free spirit of young journalists.

Sounds good, but is it completely true? What if it isn't?

Gannett is a profit-driven corporation that has to satisfy its advertiser’s interests. A student paper, on the other hand, doesn't care much about commercial ads and sales, which allows it to cover issues and present viewpoints without the fear of hurting anyone’s feelings.

Indeed, things will change. Although the transaction would somewhat benefit students working on the FSView, it will also take away part of their freedom.

For better or worse, the FSView will never be the same.

e-mail: editorial@theguardsman.com


CHRISTIAN-BASED CLASSES REJECTED BY UC

BY JOHN SERVATIUS
STAFF WRITER

Issues concerning textbooks have denied students UC admission.

COURTESY OF MRT CAMPUS

A Federal judge in Los Angeles allowed a civil suit filed in Aug., 2005 against the University of California to proceed.

The suit, filed by the Calvary Chapel Christian School of Murrieta (Riverside County) and the 5,400-member Association of Christian Schools International, claims the groups’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion were violated when some of their classes were rejected for having a Christian viewpoint and not being academically rigorous enough.

Specifically singled out as not fulfilling UC standards were Calvary's biology and physics courses, as well as textbooks deemed out of the mainstream of current scientific thought. Also rejected were the high school's English course, "Christianity and Morality in American Literature," and its history class, "Christianity's Influence on American History."

Calvary Chapel relies heavily on Christian textbooks from Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Book.

Introductory remarks in a BJUP biology text rejected by the UC reads, "The people who have prepared this book have tried consistently to put the word of God first and science second." Intelligent design, creationism and evolution are all represented between its covers.

The lawsuit alleges that UC admission policies tread heavily on a religious school's right to be religious.

UC spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina summed up the university's position this way: "What we're looking for is this: Is the course academic in nature, or is it there to promote a specific religious lifestyle?"

The university routinely rejects 20 percent of high school offerings annually. It has certified 43 of Calvary Chapel Christian School's courses over the past four years and admitted 24 of 32 applicants from the high school.

So what's the problem?

e-mail: jservatius@theguardsman.com


INCOMING

Faculty Poll
Is is a good idea for media corporations to buy college newspapers?

Yes: 1 out of 19
No: 18 out of 19


“It could be a good idea. We are in the age of globalization and corporations that own media exist everywhere. As long as it's serving the community interests, it's fine.”
— Stan Rappaport, Learning Assistance Center

“Major corporations have enough power today. Don't give them more and make us lose power and control over our media, it will turn our positive message into a negative one.”
— Naasira Ageela, library technology


ON THE RECORD

Should students be required to study biology if they do not agree with the theory of evolution?

Nick Myaskovsky
“No, I don't think that people should have to take the classes if it's against their religion or beliefs.”


Cynequa Caldwell
“Yes. The whole point of going to school is to gain perspective. Regardless if you agree or disagree with the ideas of evolution, you're gaining another perspective."


Eleanor Lueng
“No. If someone doesn't believe strongly about the ideas of evolution they shouldn't have to go against their religious teachings.”


Josh Motta
“Yes. Anyone can use an excuse to not take these classes.”


Edgar Alcala
“Yes. Because everything is a possibility, and you are going to have to learn something new in school anyway.”


Jose Medina
“Yes. Evolution is just a theory. School is just giving us one way of looking at it. There's no concrete evidence either way.”


MILESTONE

BY MILES HARWELL
Editor


When seeking employment, I think most college students say we are in it for the same reason: the money. Most of us don’t like what we’re doing, but we return to our workplaces shift after shift, solely for the allure of a paycheck.

Luckily, I’m now one of the people who have to work very little for a paycheck.

This April, I landed a job as a watchman for the Golden Gateway apartments in downtown San Francisco. The only difference between a watchman and a security guard is that security guards have to tell people to leave. Watchmen just call security if there’s a problem.

The apartments have a rich history. One hundred undocumented-immigrant prostitutes were housed in 40 apartments in the complex in 2002. These women were presented to management as “Art students from good Korean families.” Management responded by providing them with 80 sets of apartment keys. Although most of these women have been evicted, many still operate out of the apartments. Aside from the recent history, the view of the Bay Bridge is breathtaking.

One of my supervisors is quite a character. He verbally abuses elderly tenants, brawls with homeless people on the property and has three sexual harassment suits pending, all from female residents. Seems like a pretty nice guy, right?

My first night on the job, I was approached by two girls entering the apartments, suggesting that I leave my post to socialize with them. “Hey dude, come up and have a drink with us,” one of them said. Considering potentially getting fired, and being a courteous gentleman, I passed on the invitation.

With the limited job duties and scantily-clad women walking around, I can’t ask for a better job.

e-mail: managingeditor@theguardsman.com