Online UpdateEl Vaquero Article Sparks Administrative Outcry

El Vaquero has apparently ruffled some feathers as a result of staff writer Pauline Guiuan’s article “Student Suicides Cause Concern,” reported in the June 9 edition of El Vaquero and Elvaq.com.

Guiuan’s story was about the growing trend of suicides among college students. The two students mentioned in the article both happened to be nursing students. And that’s where the trouble starts.

Glendale College Superintendent/President John Davitt and nursing program director Cynthia Dorroh confronted our adviser, Michael Moreau, on June 19 alleging that Guiuan’s story cast the nursing department in a bad light, and as such, the administration was planning to remove copies of El Vaquero from the campus’ newsracks. The newspapers were scheduled to be removed from the racks at the time that Davitt confronted Moreau on the issue.

‘This is a bad precedent and it’s not the right thing to do.”


— Michael Moreau to John Davitt on Davitt’s preliminary decision to confiscate copies of El Vaquero

But when Moreau went to work on Tuesday, the papers were gone — which was contrary to what Davitt promised he would not do. Davitt swears he did not take the papers, per his agreement with Moreau to keep the papers on the racks until Thursday and have the article removed from Elvaq.com.

“She [Guiuan] maligned the nursing program in a way that, to me, verges on libel. It’s not winnable in court but it is unfair.”

— John Davitt on Pauline Guiuan’s article.

“Although nursing students acknowledge that their classes are stressful and require a lot of hard work, they are also quick to point out that the reasons behind both deaths have nothing to do with the nursing program, and added that both girls were doing well academically,” Guiuan writes in her story. Reading this story, one can come to the realization that, yes, both students happened to be in the nursing program. So this was a good move on Guiuan’s part because it answers the question of whether or not the students’ workload could have been a factor in their decision to end their lives. (Emphasis on “quick to point out.”)

So who took the papers? Custodians, perhaps on someone’s orders? Angry faculty members?

“I don’t think it’s fair. It’s a student publication and as much as they are protecting some people, we found out this information through public sources. And we have freedom of speech. There’s nothing wrong with putting out a story like this to students or the community as a whole. The story didn’t focus on the suicides, but on information and medical data, she said.

— Pauline Guiuan

Moreau was quoted in the Glendale News-Press as saying that this was the first time the administration interfered in his six years as the adviser.

Opinions expressed here are written by El Vaquero staff members and Elvaq.com visitors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Associated Students of Glendale Community College or the Glendale Community College District.