San Antonio – The iconic San Antonio College newspaper, The Ranger, will end publication in December after a 95-year run, school officials announced on Tuesday.
According to a statement from SAC President Dr. Robert Vela, the decision was influenced by the retirement of three journalism faculty members. According to an article in The Ranger itself, the COVID pandemic also played a part, along with budget cuts that forced the publication to go digital-only in 2019, and “continuous low enrollment and engagement over the past three years.”
Longtime faculty members Marianne Odom, Irene Abrego and Dr. Edmund Lo are all retiring, and journalism courses will cease to be offered — at least next semester. However, Vela says he has “no intention of discontinuing student journalism.”
“The rapidly changing nature of 21st century journalism has led the way to new and exciting ways to gather and deliver news and information,” Vela said in a statement released on Tuesday. “We are exploring many avenues that will make sense for the SAC community and keep student journalism thriving on our campus. The intention is to have it remain a vital component of the total learning experience at SAC.”
This year, Associated Collegiate Media named The Ranger one of the Top 100 student publications in the nation. The school was one of only three community colleges in Texas to receive the designation.
But Odom said the pandemic shutdown kept students from experiences that would have helped them hone the needed journalism skills.
“They didn’t have access to, you know, going out on campus. We didn’t have the events, the kinds of things that they would normally get to cover, you know, the festivals, the speakers,” Odom was quoted in The Ranger.
The archives of more than 93 years of San Antonio college journalism will live on through The Ranger Digital Archives Collection housed by the San Antonio College Library.