The Channels Editors reflect on the in-person fall 2021 semester

From+left%2C+Opinion+Editor+August+Lawrence%2C+Sports+Editor+Eric+Evelhoch%2C+Editor-in-Chief+Rodrigo+Hernandez+and+Arts+and+Entertainment+Editor+Bianca+Ascencio+pose+outside+the+Channels+Newsroom+on+Friday%2C+Dec.+3+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.

August Lawrence

From left, Opinion Editor August Lawrence, Sports Editor Eric Evelhoch, Editor-in-Chief Rodrigo Hernandez and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bianca Ascencio pose outside the Channels Newsroom on Friday, Dec. 3 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

August Lawrence, Opinion Editor

The first mostly in-person semester since COVID-19 is coming to an end. Physically reporting on-campus events and gathering in the newsroom is a large change from reporting everything remotely and over Zoom. This week, The Channels Editorial Board remembers the highs, lows and most memorable moments from this past in-person semester. 

 

Rodrigo Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

Looking back on the start of the semester, it feels like it’s so far in the past while also feeling like it only started a couple of weeks ago. At first, it was a bit like “catch-up” from all of the events that took place over the summer, including a new superintendent-president, $20 million from MacKenzie Scott and the Vote of No Confidence against the Board of Trustees from the Academic Senate. Within the journalism department and The Channels, we have a new chair and advisor, Darleen Principe, and have been working with perhaps the smallest staff in Channels history. The Editorial Board started off with five including myself. Then about a couple of months into the semester, our News Editor Kiki Reyes accepted a job opportunity for KSBY. While this presented challenges for the rest of the semester, the goal of The Channels is to move students forward with the knowledge and experience of reporting. This semester we also functioned without a Features Editor or an official Photo Editor. Opinion Editor August Lawrence graciously stepped up for the role of Photo Editor, covering two positions this semester. Meanwhile, I overlooked the News and Features sections, along with the paper as a whole. I am fortunate and grateful to work with dependable individuals that serve as writers, editors and photographers. While we may have been limited by the size of our staff — with four editors, five writers and one designated photographer — the content that was produced did not fall short. It was fulfilling to see the growth in others and myself with each week that progressed. Each of the staffers did more than what was expected from them, and the result showed a wide coverage of school events from governing boards and game coverages to local elections and flag lowering ceremonies. While the fall may have been a whirlwind of events, I am looking forward to returning to campus in the spring. 

 

August Lawrence, Opinion Editor

What can I say, this past semester has been amazing. From working with staff in person to sitting through Editorial boards in the actual, physical newsroom on City College’s campus. Coming into an in-person editing role from being remote for two-and-a-half semesters was quite the challenge. We could basically only edit papers and assign stories to staff, with little to no interaction beyond Zoom. It’s been an immense pleasure actually getting to know this year’s writers and building bonds with my cohorts. This semester, besides manning the Opinion section, I focused mostly on photography. At the semester’s beginning, I knew nothing about file editing or how a camera worked. Now I am confidently navigating Lightroom and haven’t left the manual setting on my camera in over two months. At the beginning of the semester, I aimed to focus on helping staffers improve their opinion writing skills and basic editing. This semester’s staff has amazed me with the number of stories they were able to deliver. I don’t think we had more than five stories from staffers that were late for a deadline. My advisors have been so helpful and supportive this semester. I would like to thank them wholeheartedly and say I don’t think we could have done this without them. I would like to say thank you to everyone who worked on The Channels this semester and I’m looking forward to the next one.

 

Eric Evelhoch, Sports Editor

“We are small, but we are mighty.”

That phrase has been my constant refrain for The Channels staff this fall. Everyone has been part of proving it as we’ve returned to campus and our role as watchdogs, reporters and storytellers for the City College community. The return of intercollegiate sports competition has given Vaquero student-athletes the opportunity to prove themselves on the field, court, course or in the pool once again this fall, giving us the avenue to feature their exploits this semester in The Channels. It’s been a challenge keeping up with City College’s 10 fall programs, but with first-year staff writer Jenna McMahon we’ve had the opportunity to cover some compelling athletic action. Be it the women’s water polo team’s run to the CCCAA State Championship game, the women’s volleyball team’s return to WSC-North supremacy or the various entertaining men’s and women’s soccer matches, we’ve endeavored to cover as many on-campus games as possible. It’s also been a goal to have feature previews for teams, as well as have at least one photo gallery for every team that we’ve covered — which I’m proud to say we have. Our coverage has been buoyed by tremendous photography from August Lawrence, Kapono Lizama and Rodrigo Hernandez, despite having minimal experience snapping sports action photos prior to this semester. On a personal note, being back on a college campus as a student for the first time in over a decade was sometimes approached with trepidation. Yet, working with such talented writers, dedicated editors, and a supportive and encouraging faculty and staff has been an absolute pleasure. This has been one of the best learning experiences I’ve had, and I cannot wait to continue being part of a key voice for the City College community come Spring. 

 

Bianca Ascencio, Arts & Entertainment Editor

My third semester at The Channels has brought me so many fun memories with my fellow editors and writers. Being able to finally meet in the newsroom and sit at my own editor’s desk was one of my favorite memories from this semester. Also, another challenge I was faced with this semester was taking my writing and reporting with me while I went on a vacation. That was also memorable because, still, my friends mention to me how I was so dedicated to my craft that I was writing my story during tours, baseball games and concerts. Being back on campus gave us the opportunity to attend live performances from the bands, theatre groups and the dance company again. With a small group of reporters this semester, we really gave our all when it came to producing the best stories for the City College community. We didn’t see having a small group of mostly new reporters as a crutch but as an opportunity to learn. This semester I also got to take a stab at reporting on the Associated Student Government which was one of my favorite things I go to do. I can’t wait to return in the spring and see what more we have in store.

From left, Opinion Editor August Lawrence, Sports Editor Eric Evelhoch, Editor-in-Chief Rodrigo Hernandez and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bianca Ascencio clown around outside the Channels Newsroom on Friday, Dec. 3 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.
From left and clockwise, Editor-in-Chief Rodrigo Hernandez, Sports Editor Eric Evelhoch, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bianca Ascencio and Opinion Editor August Lawrence clown around outside the Channels Newsroom on Friday, Dec. 3 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. (August Lawrence)