El Camino can trust The Union news


Maureen Linzaga | The Union

El Camino College’s motto is “Where you belong. Where you succeed.” This is to imply that everyone that attends the college can feel a sense of belonging and a space they can be free to succeed. However, where we at The Union have succeeded we still feel that we do not belong.

Serving the El Camino College community since 1946, The Union strives to be a well-rounded publication that reports on not just news but on the aspects of this college that make it a place to be. Nevertheless, that means we will report on information that is newsworthy and important for the community to hear.

The publication believes in communication from our critics and encourages those who are critical of our practices to communicate those grievances. The Union would suggest our critics to sit down face-to-face with staff to put a person behind the name of a byline. 

Throughout this semester, a common issue faced by The Union has been our lack of access to information we feel needs to be published whether it be by the administration, faculty, staff or students. 

One such example is the obstacles The Union faced when attempting to cover the El Camino Covid Task Force and the decisions that come from their meetings. Gaining access to the meeting and finding members willing to speak on the record proved difficult for The Union. 

When it was created, the task force was meant to be a response to the unknown virus at the time that caused a two week shutdown of the college.

But two weeks turned into two years and the walls are still blocking the public from commenting on issues that they face daily at El Camino College. 

This is not the only obstacle The Union has faced, many reporters have experienced a lack of access to sources that have been unwilling to speak unless Kerri Webb, Director of Public Information and Government Relations, is present. 

While Webb’s expertise is appreciated and helpful to The Union, she is only one person taking on a big job. It is unreasonable to expect Webb to be able to accompany every source our reporters have an interest in speaking with. 

A good example in which The Union has found success has been scheduling an in-person meeting with the Academic Senate President Darcie McClelland and Secretary Maria Garcia in creating a more transparent understanding of how The Union operates. 

Through discussion, McClelland and Gracia explained to The Union how they operate as an entity that serves the faculty of El Camino College in academic and professional matters. 

The representatives of the Academic Senate worked with The Union to set in place the most mutually beneficial way for reporters to attend meetings and request information that would ultimately help our reporting. 

Members of the community want to know when specific events are happening around campus before they happen in a meeting. The Union needs the help of our college officials in order to dive in deeper and give a more accurate perspective. 

In order to allow The Union to better serve the public, we encourage the administration to meet with staff in the newsroom and communicate the best possible ways to go about gaining access and information. It’s not just about journalists but about the community having access to elected officials.