Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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Inside our newsroom: David

Rather than feeling out of place, my participation in these classes provides an opportunity.

This piece is part of a series that members of the Citizen staff wrote to share our stories and in response to comments that Trustee Linda Handy recently made about our newsroom.

~~~

As the oldest journalism student at Laney College (I just turned 68), I suppose I am most entitled to take offense at Trustee Handy’s remark about participation by “older adults” at our recent candidates forum. I had the honor of interviewing Dyana Delfín Polk, the candidate for the Area 6 seat on the Peralta Board of Trustees.

I honestly believe, however, that Trustee Handy was just misinformed both about the format of the event (which was open to the wider Peralta community) and the demographics of the students in our class. 

I am one of several “older” Laney journalism students who decided to go back to school after pursuing a career in another field (in my case, advertising). Rather than feeling out of place, my participation in these classes provides an opportunity to sharpen my writing skills, to think objectively, and to learn about journalism from an outstanding professor. It also has been a lot of fun to work alongside other highly committed journalism students of all ages and backgrounds. 

During my interview with Ms. Polk, we discussed the best way to reverse declining enrollment. I offered my own story as an example of how seniors represent an untapped segment of potential new students. Facing a double-digit drop in enrollment, it is imperative the Peralta district and its trustees expand their view of what represents a “typical” community college student. 

About the Contributor
David Rowe
David Rowe, Associate Editor
After a 40 year career in advertising, David is considering journalism as his “second act” and preparing himself for that new profession by taking classes at Laney. During his days in advertising, Rowe headed up the media departments for a number of leading ad agencies in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. In this capacity, he was responsible for the planning and placement of tens of millions of dollars of paid media. A high point of his career was placing Intel’s first Super Bowl TV ad in 1997. Rowe has a lifelong interest in journalism dating back to high school in San Jose where he started an underground newspaper called, appropriately enough, The Del Mar Free Press. The school administration threatened to suspend him, so Rowe, with the help of his attorney father, sued the school district in Federal Court and won and injunction. Ultimately, the case was decided in his favor and California state law regarding the rights of high school students was re-written as a result. Rowe is a political junkie who enjoys watching all the Sunday morning news programs and is actively involved in the Joe Biden presidential campaign this year.
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