The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Part time adviser won’t cut it

Editorial Cartoon, Volume 76 No. 4 (Christopher C. Long/2010 The Inquirer)

The Inquirer is in danger of losing its full-time faculty adviser when Jean Dickinson retires in May after 15 years at DVC.

This is not acceptable.

If she is replaced with a full-time instructor by the beginning of the 2010-11 school year, an award-winning publication that serves the entire DVC community will suffer irreparable loss.

The Inquirer is the college’s only independent media source and a First Amendment forum for diverse opinions. This is particularly important at a commuter school, where students attend classes and then leave for jobs or family.
For the past 60 years The Inquirer has acted as a “watch dog” on government, be it the Associated Students of DVC, the Faculty Senate or the district governing board. It also provides news about clubs, special programs, sports, interesting classes and much more.

The Inquirer editors and staff need a faculty adviser who works as many hours as they do to put out the both the print and, most recently online editions. Anything less is exploitation and a disservice to students.

A part-time faculty adviser will only be paid for the six weekly hours the class is scheduled.

Yet, editor in chief Ariel Messman-Rucker puts in at least a 35- to 40-hour week. Other editors and staff members also work long hours, not just on production days that can last until 9 p.m. or later, but also before and after class, nights and weekends.

News doesn’t just happen between 12:30 and 2:20 three afternoons a week.

When the shooting occurred last month at DVC following a rugby match, Inquirer reporters were following the story for our online edition all day Sunday. This included many phone conversations, text messages and e-mails among reporters, editors and the faculty adviser.
President Judy Walters has agreed to fill six of 12 faculty vacancies created by retirements. But she does not plan to hire three of these new faculty members until spring 2011.

That is too long a wait for a journalism program that is losing its only full-time instructor and department chair.
It means hiring new part-timers and paying them only for the hours the journalism classes are in session – not the hours needed to get the job done.

And if the Box 2A Committee names journalism one of the three priority hires, then it means a full-time instructor takes over as adviser to a publication that has lost continuity, momentum, and most likely, students.
The Inquirer editorial board appreciates Walters’ decision, which could lead to a new full-time journalism adviser, but we urge her to allow hiring to take place now.

The Inquirer is not like any other program at DVC. We must have a full-time adviser, beginning with the fall 2010 semester.


Contact the Inquirer at [email protected]

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Part time adviser won’t cut it