Thursday, December 10, 2009

Southwestern College Administration Now Attacks Freedom of the Press

Apparently unsatisfied with their attacks on America’s Freedoms of Speech and Assembly, the Southwestern College administration has taken aim at undermining the Freedom of the Press.

Just before last night’s Governing Board meeting, several different people informed me that less than half an hour earlier, the college administration had decided to handicap one of its prestige programs by refusing to fund the requested printing budget for its nationally-recognized newspaper, the Southwestern College Sun.

In some cases this could be an understandable decision, particularly in times of financial distress. That simply isn’t the case here.

For nine consecutive years, the Sun has been awarded the Pacesetter and General Excellence awards, the top awards given by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) – the top community college journalism organization in the country. In addition, this year all five of the top college and university media organizations – which also include the Associated College Press, Columbia Scholastic Press, American Scholastic Press Association, and the National Newspaper Association – awarded the Sun their highest awards. Also this year, individual journalists won awards on a national level from the Society of Professional Journalists, and on a local level from the San Diego SPJ, San Diego Press Club, and the San Diego County Fair Media Competition.

This is about an average year for the Sun. This is no scrubby little rag we’re talking about.

Starting publication in 1963 – at the dawn of SWC itself – the Sun is truly one of the best-respected and recognized college newspapers in the country, and is one of the school’s flagship programs; one of those programs that drives students to the school.*

Why would the administration want to attack and cripple such a prestigious program, you ask? Because the Sun has come down, again and again, in opposition to President Raj K. Chopra. This fall, they covered the student rally that Chopra has attempted to spin as a “riot” and refused to fall into the administration’s line. They refused to turn over photos of the event when the campus police came out and demanded they do so. They have done proper journalistic due diligence and have watchdogged this shameful administration.

So, though I’m not terribly surprised that the administration has decided to attack the Sun, I am surprised that they have done so in such an obvious, buffoonish fashion. The fact that clearly none of them realized that they have hit a unique trifecta – stomping on the freedoms of Speech, Assembly, and now the Press – only further proves how absolutely out of touch with reality this administration is.

Check out the Southwestern College Sun online edition here.

*And in mentioning the Sun, I’m not attempting to detract from its talented musical performers and teams, or its debate team, which is another one of SWC’s proud flagship programs.


  1. DAAANG! The guy really can't control his anger, can he?

    Anyway, what he's saying is, "I'm God Almighty," (well that's god with a lower case "g') and "Screw you!" Isn't he? Or is it He?

  2. Yep, he's not too good at the whole "keeping it in" thing. I suspect he's kicked a little dog into a wall a time or two in his life.

  3. One more shovel of dirt on Chopra's grave. He's already gone, he is just not smart enough to know it yet.

  4. we're either a very civil bunch or very stupid! we should'a figured out a way to dump this louse and leach a long time ago. what's wrong with US?

  5. I don't think there's anything wrong with folks. The Board has done their best to prop up Raj Chopra, so all the public has heard (until recently) is what a fine job he's done.

    Of course, having the Union-Tribune act as his personal PR firm helps immensely, too, but no one is buying that crap anymore. Even some of the U-T people gave up believing it.

    I agree, and think that Raj Chopra is Dead Man Walking. The public wants him GONE, and he's going to go. They're willing to send the Governing Board, just so they can vote in a Board that WILL fire his butt, and the current Board is too stupid to see it.

    You'd think if they had the collective brains they claim to have, then Salcido, Valladolid, and Roesch would fire Chopra to save their own butts. There's not enough decency between the four of them to fill a spoon, but they could swim laps in the collective stupidity.