SAN ANTONIO – Despite reports that publication of the award-winning student paper at San Antonio College, The Ranger, would come to an end of this fall semester, Alamo Colleges District Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores said Monday that’s not the case.
“The current publication is called The Ranger, it is digital and (it) will continue,” Flores said. “65% (or) two thirds of our students (at Alamo Colleges) are Hispanic or Latino. And so, we know that we have a responsibility to prepare students for the future. In this case, we’re looking at journalism and communications.”
Rocky Garza Jr., managing editor of The Ranger, said Flores’ comments gives him and other students hope.
“We’ve heard that same comment, and we’re really relieved,” Garza said. “(The Ranger) is a big proponent around Alamo Colleges, and it should remain solely at San Antonio College or SAC. We’re just hoping that they (will) hire the right person for the right position to continue The Ranger itself.”
Although the digital publication will continue, Flores said a rebranding and expansion into other mediums is possible. Exactly what that could look like is still up for discussion.
“We’ve been talking about talent at only one school,” Flores said. “We have four other schools, and so, I think that is an enhancement in the student pipeline, in particular for journalists. We have a responsibility, and we look forward to engaging professional journalists as part of that conversation.”
However, Garza doesn’t fully side with Flores.
“I believe (it) should stay here at San Antonio College because this college is known for its journalism,” Garza said. “At (SAC), you’re able to be in an actual writing lab. You are in a dark room (and can) learn how to edit photos compared to, if you’re (enrolled in) Palo Alto (College’s Media Writing Course), you’re just learning how to write.”
Garza, Ranger Editor-in-Chief Sergio Medina, along with other student journalists will have a chance to speak to administrators about the newspaper’s future at 10 a.m. Tuesday at an ACD invite-only Community Visioning Event at the district’s office off North Alamo and Broadway.
“It’s a semi-structured engagement,” Flores said. “We’re going to report on the current state and future state of the student publication, The Ranger, at San Antonio College. We’re going to have a future talk about journalism.”
Professional journalists have also been invited to the event.
“The biggest question is, the plan, you know,” Garza said. “How are we going to determine how we keep the program here? How do we boost enrollment numbers? What is the criteria for what makes a perfect professor to continue (The Ranger)? And how do we bring those students or other folks that want to write to SAC?”
According to Flores, the future of journalism goes far beyond SAC and could include digital radio and television.
Although it is a public meeting, Alamo Colleges District will not livestream or record the two-hour event for others to view. Garza will be in attendance and report on the meeting for The Ranger.
ACD officials said Tuesday’s conversation will be the first of several meetings to improve the vision of their communications programs.
For questions regarding the event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.