Saturday, August 18, 2012

College of San Mateo newspaper adviser retires after classes supporting paper are canceled

Remitz
Ed Remitz, the faculty adviser behind the muckraking student newspaper at the College of San Mateo, announced his retirement Friday (Aug. 18), a few days after he learned that four of the five journalism classes he taught were canceled this fall.

The student newspaper, The San Matean, often went head-to-head with college administrators, questioning how money was spent and the secrecy behind those decisions.

Administrators said the courses supporting the paper were canceled due to a lack of enrollment this year, although there had been similar problems with low enrollment in previous years.

More broadly, Remeitz felt The San Matean taught its young journalists to question authority and ask tough questions of powerful decision-makers.

But Remitz said that school officials told him that The San Matean — which was entirely produced by students, with no editing by Remitz — contained too many typographical errors and didn't present a positive image of the tax-supported San Mateo County Community College District.

"Every effort should be made by a college to protect its journalism program and I don't think every effort was made here to save it," Remitz told the Daily Post.

Remitz had taught at CSM for 23 years. Previously he was a reporter at the Sacramento Union newspaper. He's also a member of the board of the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club.

3 comments:

JulieVMy said...

I was one of Ed's students at CSM in 2010 and it is very sad to see someone with such passion for teaching retire because of budget cuts. 

FYI you misspelled Remitz in the fourth paragraph. 

Spectrum Magazine said...

GREAT job Mr. Remeitz. You have been an inspiration to so many! I would have to agree that there was a lack of effort by officials to save it. I would assume because your teaching were correct in "questioning authority." I hope I get the opportunity to help you fight this . . .

Mario Mihelcic said...

Letter: More than journalism, CSM's newspaper was civics lesson
August 20, 2012, 05:00 AM Letter

Editor,

As alumni of The San Matean, College of San Mateo’s student newspaper, we were disheartened to learn that all journalism classes were canceled at CSM. Ending the journalism classes by effect stopped the production of The San Matean. The journalism program at CSM and our work at The San Matean as advised by Professor Ed Remitz has been a life changing experience for all of us. The program was not just about newswriting, reporting and editing, but ultimately it was a civics lesson. As students, we learned hands-on what it meant to be responsible and active members of our American democracy through the power of The San Matean’s watchdog role. Sadly, we can attest to the fact that for some at CSM, including faculty and administrators, this civics lesson was lost upon them. Instead of celebrating a First Amendment student newspaper at CSM, the program review which led to the cancelation of journalism classes focused on grammatical and content errors of the student newspaper.


Unlike the vast majority of work completed behind closed doors in college classrooms, our work at The San Matean was public. That’s how we learned to take responsibility for our role as reporters. Professor Remitz never bowed to the pressure placed upon him to edit his students’ work, and we are all grateful to him for taking that stand on our behalf. It made us stronger writers, reporters and citizens.

Margaret Baum, 2009-2011
Kayla Figard, 2010-2012
Malinda Gacula, 1999-2000
Mario Mihelcic, 1996-1997
Alexis Terrazas, 2005-2008