Opinions & EditorialsEditorials

– Open letter to Editors of California newspapers –



California Community College newspaper Editors and faculty advisers,

My name is Joe Fitzgerald, Editor in Chief of The Guardsman at City College of San Francisco. I’m writing to you asking for your support as fellow editors and newspapers in a major battle for all of our community colleges across the state.
Above is a video version of this letter, by the staff of The Guardsman of City College of San Francisco.

It’s the opinion of our paper’s staff and our college’s stakeholders that the California Community College Student Success Task Force represents the greatest threat to our community colleges that we’ve seen in a long time.

For those of you that may not be familiar with them, the Task Force is sending recommendations to be written into statewide legislation that would disassemble non-credit courses at our schools, and charge out of state tuition fees to those taking classes outside of a strict educational plan that emphasizes two-year transfer over the goal of community based learning.

Many more recommendations made by the Task Force threaten to dismantle the way education is accessed in Community Colleges all over California.

Estimates at this point say that at least 200,000 students that California currently serves would be turned away from our schools if the Task Force recommendations were taken into effect, verbatim, today.

We at The Guardsman want to generate mainstream media coverage in the state to garner as much public support to topple the Task Force’s recommendations as we can.

In order to do that, we propose that we unite in the following:

  • As many California  community college newspapers publish a front page editorial denouncing the findings of the task force the week of December 5, just before, or just after.
  • (see an example of our front page editorial HERE)
  • Simultaneously uploading that same editorial on Dec. 7th to the web
  • listing a “call to action” underneath or close-by the editorial, listing phone numbers and emails for the community college board of governors, governor Jerry Brown, and cal. community colleges chancellor Jack Scott, urging readers to call and email them to denounce the Task Force
  • Each college sending out a press release on Dec. 3 to their local daily and weekly newspapers alerting them to simultaneous publishing of the front page editorial

Some of the problems the Task Force identifies are not new to California colleges, and are legitimate issues. But the solutions they offer go too far, and are simply a way of “giving up” on scores of students who depend on our colleges. Please join us in our fight against the Task Force by signing the form below, and publishing a front page editorial against them.

Wishing happy holidays,
Joe Fitzgerald
Editor-in-Chief/Video Journalist – The Guardsman Online


Research Links:
Guardsman research document: The Most Problematic Task Force Recommendations
Our own reporter, Lance Kramer, combed the Task Force document, did independent research, and came up with a list of the most problematic task force recommendations for easy reading.

City College of San Francisco Academic Senate homepage
This page has tons of links to emails, published documents, and  websites of people and groups who have denounced the Task Force. If you need to do research, this is where to start.

An example of our own front page editorial (from the City College of San Francisco “The Guardsman”)
You can republish our editorial verbatim, or make your own!

VIDEO of Statewide debate on Task Force recommendations. Makes the document very easily digestible and very easy to understand:

Student Success Task Force homepage

Task Force Member Emails and Phone Numbers



Comments are closed.

The Guardsman