Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday: stay

Can Student Newspapers Make Campuses Safer?

Recently a colleague of Rebel Girl's was intercepted on her way to class by an administrator who had some important news: a student in the class she was about to teach had been charged with harassing other students at a nearby campus.The remarks made to the other students were racial in nature and the student was seen as a threat, removed from campus and was facing disciplinary action. The professor was advised to be aware and to call campus security if needed.

We are often told that we as faculty and staff cannot be be made aware of a student's previous or ongoing conduct issues - so why was this administrator able to inform this professor of a possible threat in her classroom?

Because, the professor was told, the conduct was public - published in Fullerton College's student newspaper, The Hornet.

Here's The Hornet's coverage of the initial incident:
FC student shares firsthand experience about recent harassment on campus that’s currently going viral

And its aftermath:

Rebel Girl, intrepid sleuth, also discovered that the student in question was not only enrolled at IVC this semester - but also during the previous summer session when, according to a student, he was removed from class by police for disruptive aggressive behavior toward other students. Rebel Girl tried to verify the summer incident through the IVC Crime Blotter but found no evidence. It could be that such removals from classroom are not tracked (and perhaps don't have to be) on the Crime Blotter. 

There's more to say here, of course, there always is, but it's Friday and there's other work to do, there always is, and loyal Dissent readers know how to connect the dots by now and what the picture shows. It's a familiar picture.

Fullerton College has been served by The Hornet since 1922.

Of course a student newspaper does more than report news items related to campus security; such publications also promote athletic programs and their achievements, theatrical productions, concerts, academic programs and campus events such as Banned Books Week (IVC recently hosted a similar event).

Renewed interest in campus safety might also include a robust discussion about how a revived journalism program and student newspaper (online and/or print) might serve the cause of security - and the needs of our larger campus community.

Please notice how The Hornet keeps the Fullerton College campus community informed and safer - and hey, just this once, keeps us at IVC safer too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "all of the clocks strike NO"

my dream about time 

a woman unlike myself is running
down the long hall of a lifeless house
with too many windows which open on
a world she has no language for,
running and running until she reaches
at last the one and only door
which she pulls open to find each wall
is faced with clocks and as she watches
all of the clocks strike

To hear Clifton read this poem, click here

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Saddleback student's killer sentenced to death

Robbin Brandley, Saddleback student
When Rebel Girl first came to Orange County as a grad student in the late 80s, the brutal murder of Robbin Brandley was still in the news as the killer had not yet been caught. Brandley was a 23- year-old Saddleback college student, a journalism major who also worked at the campus radio station KSBR. On January 18, 1986 she was a volunteer usher at an evening jazz piano concert. She was found stabbed 41 times at 10:30 PM in Saddleback College Lot 12.

As it turns out, her murder was the first of five that would be committed between 1986 and 1995 by a serial killer, then a marine at Camp Pendleton.

From last week's October 5, 2018 issue of the LA Times:

Serial killer convicted in murders of five Southern California women is sentenced to death
A former Marine convicted of brutally slaying five women in Southern California and three in Illinois over the course of a decade was sentenced to death Friday.
An Orange County Superior Court jury convicted Andrew Urdiales, 54, in May of five counts of special-circumstances murder, which prompted a second phase of the trial to determine whether he should serve life behind bars or face the death penalty.
Jurors ultimately recommended in June that he receive capital punishment for killing Robbin Brandley, Julie McGhee, Maryann Wells, Tammie Erwin and Denise Maney between 1986 and 1995. Judge Gregg Prickett affirmed that recommendation on Friday.
The original LA Times article:
Student, 23, Slain in Campus Parking Lot : Woman Found Fatally Stabbed After Leaving Saddleback Concert

Check out Nick Schou's excellent coverage of the case some years back in the OC Weekly (which also appeared in The Best American Crime Reporting 2018) : Just a Random Female
The grisly murder would remain unsolved for 11 years. Witnesses offered inconsistent accounts of events in the hours preceding the crime; Brandley's parents became convinced that someone she knew was responsible for the killing. Then, in April 1997, a man confessed to the murder—and several others. The cop writing down his confession would note that the killer had simply wandered around Mission Viejo until he ended up at a dark parking lot, where he saw a woman walking to her car.
The victim, in the words of the confessed murderer, “could have been anybody.” She “was just a random female.”
Robbin's murder inspired 1990 legislation:
1986 Murder in Dark Lot Spurs Campus Lighting Bill
...Reilley said Saddleback College has been at particularly high risk because of its location amid hills where shrubbery can conceal an attacker.
The year before Brandley's death, another Saddleback student was attacked on campus. In April, 1985, a 25-year-old student was abducted from a different parking lot by two men who beat her over the head, stripped her, then dumped her naked, but alive, about six hours later on a freeway off-ramp. Since Brandley's death, at least three other women have reported being sexually assaulted there....
The Brandley family maintains this blog about Robbin:
Who Murdered Robbin Brandley

Recently Rebel Girl has thought about Robbin, and not just because the jury conviction of her killer in May of this year brought her name back into the headlines. She came across Robbin's name in a document she received a few weeks ago which closes with a long paragraph that is a litany of 15 former students who variously were convicted of violent behavior and/or were victims of assaults or died under suspicious circumstances. It was a disturbing list, especially if you have a long memory, but perhaps much less so if you don't.

The most high profile one of these was Robbin Brandley.

Rebel Girl imagines that not enough people working in the district now would recall her name or remember the case. After all, it happened a long time ago, 32 years now, about the time the person who wrote the document started attending the college. 

Robbin Brandley

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary