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From the Editor

Sara Wilkerson
The Montgazette Editor-in-Chief

Journalism is not dead.

Despite the rising political tides in our nation today, traditional journalism is not dead. Rather, the reputation of journalism has been tarnished.

What has tarnished the reputation you ask?

Let’s begin with the fact that the arrival of the internet has made clickbait, tabloids, you name it, rise into prominence. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to pass off any headline as an actual news story, even when it is just a fake news story published by media organizations to make headlines and to make a quick buck. For these reasons and more, fake news has now become a new norm.

In all honesty, I find these trends to be dismaying as a journalist. And as your new Editor-in-Chief of The Montgazette¸ I vow to disprove the belief that journalism is dead through original storytelling in this publication. Which leads me to say…

Hello there! I am Sara Wilkerson and as your new Editor, I vow to not only prove that journalism is alive and well, but I intend to do so by having you, the students of MCCC, have your voices and your storytelling be heard through this publication.

My predecessor, David Aston, made it the paper’s mission to have the voices of Montgomery County Community College be heard. I intend to carry out the same mission. Therefore, I’d like to make an invitation.

I want to invite you, the students of MCCC, to have your voices be heard through The Montgazette. Any story that you want to tell, whether that’s through news stories about events happening on campus, to essays that you write for any of your classes, to opinion editorials on what interests you, I want you to have your voices be heard. I am open to any and all stories that are submitted to The Montgazette via our email submission box: montgazette@gmail.com.

I believe that through these stories, we as a team will be able to prove that traditional journalism is indeed thriving, not dying, in today’s ever changing society. The only way we as a student body can do this, however, is through original storytelling.

With that being said, what you say, students of MCCC?

Let’s prove to the naysayers and the critics that they are wrong; that journalism is indeed alive, that journalism does indeed exist, that journalism does have a place in a changing society such as ours.

Let’s prove that storytelling matters, together.


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From the Editor

David Aston
Montgazette Editor-In-Chief

Stories come in many forms and styles. It’s what makes life so colorful and dynamic. This month, we’re springing off this idea by telling some of our stories with pictures.
Our writers pulled out the stops by sharing their vision on every story in this issue. Sometimes, words aren’t just enough. Chuck Palahniuk, author and essayist famous for works like “Fight Club,” I think said it best. “If emotion can create a physical action, then duplicating the physical action can re-create the emotion.”
This is one of the ultimate goals of The Montgazette. You read and view stories in a fluid fashion; that’s why many newspapers are printed digitally now. The Montgazette strives to achieve a balance by bringing the stories that relate to you and reflect your voice.
The need is greater than ever for college students to stay engaged in their history as they live it. Because of this, The Montgazette is seeking a better way to reach you.
We tried many forms of digital “outreach.” Now we’re reaching out to you, the readers, to tell us how you want to receive The Montgazette digitally. Send an email to montgazette@gmail.com. Or reach out to us on Twitter or Instagram @montgazette.
All stories that are told, but especially those told as we live them, really do make an impact and tell future generations how we spoke about the world in our own voice. So, bring out the emotion. Make a physical act. Contribute to the future of the paper that truly is The Students’ Voice.

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From the Editor

David Aston
Montgazette Editor-In-Chief

Hopefully, you gave thanks over the break for the many freedoms we have. Among them, the freedom to have an awesome and safe educational experience here at Montgomery County Community College.

With outbursts in many cities across the country for various reasons, it’s nice to know our Campus Safety offi cers and college staff keep working hard to keep us safe. They are the unsung heroes of our unique college community. Do them a favor, walk up to them and give them a genuine thank you.

Let me give thanks as well to all of you, the students of Montco. Whether you’re graduating or transferring or going into the workforce or, better still, coming back to continue your education here, you make this publication worthwhile.

We all face challenges in life. They are what make us think, learn and grow. We are born with the tools to overcome any obstacle and Montco helps you sharpen skills so you can overcome yet greater obstacles.

So if the aftermath of the election or any other personal crisis makes you feel like you can’t go on, our Student Affairs team has a solution I encourage you to take advantage of. The college has crisis counselors available to discuss whatever is disrupting your life. Visit the Student Success Center at either the Central or West Campuses. You can also call to make an appointment. All details are the college’s website at mc3.edu.

In the end, don’t forget to say thank you.

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The campus-wide poetry contest in conjunction with the Symposium and on the topic, “The Stories I Tell,” was a great success with some 60 poems submitted for consideration. Ms. Woodson offered her critique and encouragement of the poets.

Thank you to all of you who participated, thank you to our great faculty review panel for their hard work, and good luck and be encouraged to all contestants!


Photo by Sandi Yanisko: The winners of the “The Stories I Tell” poetry contest take a moment to be photographed with Jacqueline Woodson, whose memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming” inspired the theme of the competition. Left to right: Mikayla Stone, Brittany L. Delaware, Savan DePaul, Jacqueline Woodson, Justin Patrick Oakes, and Jana Nogowski.

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Savan DePaul
Poetry Contest Winner

Let’s gather around a hearth, my fellow carbon-based organisms
For an exchange of fantastic tales and morbid wisdom
We can call it a human symphony of spoken word brilliance
With the number of personal stories reaching the millions
He has tales of prejudice, she speaks of horror
But I also have a fable for your awaiting tympanic cavities
An account of an outcast
We begin this tale with a certain skinny African American male who veers slightly off the rail
His name was Savan DePaul, born in a December
Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in a later November
A reasonable explanation for past oddball behaviors
Yet it yielded earth-shattering consequences
Confidence eroded
It’s all hopeless, he quoted
However, with sheer persistence, he persevered
And now he’s here to share a story
About struggle
About willpower
About a wallflower destroying his cocoon and metamorphosing into the best he can be
But enough about me
What’s your story?

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David Aston
Montgazette Editor-in-Chief

There’s an old aphorism, “Figures don’t lie but liars figure.” Many news agency polls leading up to this year’s presidential election magnify each leading candidates’ divisive attitude, focused on how bad the country is going to be if the opposing candidate wins the election. These polls and the leading presidential candidates are missing two key things: People are voting out of fear and they want to hear the candidates talk about key issues.

A recent Pew Research Center poll shows that more than half of potential voters are doing so out of fear. Many of Montgomery County Community College students feel the same way.

Jennifer Zera, a 29-year-old Human Resources student, says she’s voting for Donald Trump because Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy. “She lies and she only appears interested in topics when she is trying to earn votes.”

Brianna Johnston, a Business student, 34, fears for the popularity of Clinton’s opponent. “Trump is bringing our country’s problem with hate and bigotry out into the open,” she says.

Reina Paredes, a 20-year-old accounting student, who says she’s supporting Green Party Candidate Jill Stein, doesn’t like the Democratic Party nominee. “Hillary [is] a criminal and [a] liar who takes money from Wall Street.”

Gail Clark, a Nursing student in her sixties, feels that Trump’s behavior could induce more fear. “[He] attacks women and non-Americans.” What disturbs Clark most is that the candidates don’t “focus on the main problems in our country.”

Michael Malley, another Nursing student, 35, who also says he’s voting for Jill Stein, wishes the candidates would have a more “long-term focus” on all levels of education, from grade school to college.

Katherine Bampfield, a 51-year-old Web
Development and Design student, wants the future president to talk about immigration reform, job creation and “how to decrease some of our cost of living.”

Victoria Esten, an Accounting student, 31, wants to see issues from equal pay rights for women, to the economy to healthcare and schooling discussed. She says, “I’m sick and tired about talking about Trump’s wanting to see Obama’s birth certificate or Clinton’s e-mail scandal. Can we get on with things and get to the issues at hand?”

The polls’ statistics and figures may not be wrong but they aren’t concentrating on the key factors that are important to Montco’s students, much less the country. The sooner news media organizations and, more importantly, this year’s presidential candidates start talking about the issues instead of ignoring them, the more likely voters won’t have to vote out of fear.

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Cameron Dushanko
Montgazette Contributing Writer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year and a half, you know that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were fighting for the presidency of the United States of the United States. But how do the Millennial students of Montgomery County Community College feel about this election and the country that nominated these two divisive candidates?

I decided the best way was to take a survey of Montco students. My questions centered around how the country has improved in this century and how Millennials feel about the results of this year’s presidential election. Out of the 25 individuals I surveyed, I found that their answers mimic those of many recent news agency polls.

The majority of the participants felt that the country has improved since the year 2000 but a sizable 40 percent disagreed. However, when I asked them if they felt this year’s candidates support the middle class, about half said “yes” and just over half said “no.”

When it came to their of the future, 56 percent said they feel that the country will improve in the next four to eight years. The rest said things would either stay the same or get worse.

Reactions to the primaries were shocking. An astounding 58 percent were scared about the outcome of the primary election and a slim 3 percent expressed optimism. Another surprise twist was that nearly a third were disappointed about the primaries’ outcomes.

Figures, of course, don’t tell the whole story. One student who wished to remain anonymous put it best. “We really need to focus on improving morale, living situations and corporate layover, [these things have] made the American dream so endlessly bleak.”

I don’t share this view. I believe that our country has stayed stable since the beginning of this century. But I fear that the presidential candidates are not showing that they are fighting for anyone but themselves. Unless their rhetoric changes, I will continue feeling like nothing has changed.

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