The state [convention] of the Union


Angela Yim, editorial editor, and Rigo Bonilla, staff writer, won third and fourth place respectively in the Critical Review competition at JACC’s state convention in Burbank, Calif. April 3-6. Photo credit: Charles Ryder

A constant race to meet ever-approaching deadlines; crisp, white pages brimming with black and red ink; fingers scrambling on keys; interview after interview; Starbucks baristas that know you by name. All in a day’s work for a Union journalist.

The Union staff found themselves immersed in this rapid-fire lifestyle at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) State Convention on April 3 to 5.

“It’s incredibly fast paced. From the minute you arrive until the minute you leave it’s go go go go go,” Kate McLaughlin, journalism instructor and the Union advisor, said.

The convention had a myriad activities for journalists including workshops, orientations, competitions, events, writing labs, a vendor fair, writing critiques, and photo critiques.

For Matt Simon, 24, editor-in-chief, journalism major, and Angela Yim, 26, editorial editor, communications major, their main focus the convention’s design layout-related activities.

One design layout workshop was led by Spencer Holladay.

He is “like some big shot designer dude [and] big in the news world… I learned a lot from his workshop,” Yim said.

She hopes to incorporate ideas that she took away from the workshop both for the newspaper and for her personal use, she said.

Simon discussed design ideas for future issues of the Union with Holladay.

“I spoke with Holladay afterwards about my page that I had turned in. So he kind of gave me pointers in terms of what we can do and how to make stuff be more impactful for the reader,” Simon said.

Simon is hoping to earn JACC’s general excellence award by implementing the ideas he took away from the convention’s workshops.

“General excellence is something that I’m striving for this semester,” Simon said. “So, I’m hoping that the changes and the progression we’re making really adds in when we go to regionals in fall.”

While the Union staff won a few awards, Yim felt they could have done better and said the convention inspired her and others to better the newspaper.

“It’s definitely a rude awakening for the Union,” she said. “I think everybody kind of walked away from JACC with that much more of a fire in our stomachs. We are that much more fired up to work harder and put more effort and, you know, really give it our all instead of kind of riding on our history.”