Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snippets of CSM San Matean History

From Class Act: College of San Mateo: A History by Michael Svanevik & Shirley Burgett

Pg 20 (The precursor to The San Matean)

The Bark, as the student newspaper, a weekly, four-page, four-column publication first published in September 1924, was originally called, referred to the mansion (where CSM was first housed) as a "funny looking...dilapidated old house."

Pg 21

Bark writers faithfully recorded the school's deficiencies. Editors reported that the place "resounded" with the clicking of a single typewriter. When the overworked machine ceased to function in 1924, it was considered important enough to report in the town newspaper.

pg 26 (The birth of The San Matean)

Administrators and student body officers objected to the fact that the official junior college newspaper had been called The Bark. Perhaps they felt that the name was trival and lacked the dignity they believed this official journal deserved. Thus, upon movement of the campus back to Baldwin, the newspaper was changed to The San Matean. The first edition under the new masthead was Sept. 7, 1928. The San Matean, originally a sophisticated, eight-column full-sized newspaper, was published bi-weekly. The new journal was often touted as "the most professional of all junior college publications."

pg 28

An editorial in The San Matean noted that commuting students needed some sort of lounging room where they could assemble and talk. "The cars parked in front of the campus form a very incomplete clubroom." It was pointed out that their "lecture-wearied attention" would be attracted by the acquisition of a pool table. Deans weren't amused.

pg 38

Likewise, The San Matean, a large 17-inch by 22-inch format before the economic crisis, was now halved to "depression size." Editors claimed they'd overcome "all obstacles."

pg 41

She (Carlena Morris, wife of then CSM President Jum Morris) mailed copies of The San Matean by the hundreds.

pg 55

In fall 1944 (during World War II), eight of nine on The San Matean staff were women...

pg 61

During the college's last years at the Point (Coyote Point), many of the (steam) pipes burst. (Eroding steam pipes leading to the buildings were only a few inches underground) Each time one let go it sent up a spout of hot steam. (Philip C.) Garlington (then Dean of Instruction) added that they were patched in a sort of "band-aid" manner, but the campus often "resembled a Yellowstone Park geyser basin, we all watched carefully where we walked."

Students took perverse delight in these conditions, referring to the geysers of steam as "Mauna Loa." A writer in The San Matean noted that "frantic efforts" were being made to repair the persistent volcano which some "enraged students had trained to swallow up teachers." The writer noted that "the instructor of Sanskrit has been reported missing."

pg 66 (on choosing a new name for San Mateo Junior College)

Marlin Gill wrote in The San Matean (April 16, 1953) that the name College of San Mateo "would be a standing memorial to the junior college's [ast president, Charles S. Morris. The initials of the new name (CSM) would be the same as those of President Morris' initials. The school radio station already bears the code name KCSM."

pg 86 (on crowning the Homecoming Queen every year)

Editors of The San Matean were especially hard on the event: "Remember, only one girl comes out victorious. The rest go back to being dogs."

pg 87 (on then CSM President Julio Bortolazzo decreeing that cigarette machines would not be permitted on the new campus-College Heights)

The editor of The San Matean wrote: "To ban all tobacco sales on campus, even in the bookstore, seems an action unbefitting a respectable collegiate institution. The announcement that CSM is the third California junior college to ban tobacco sales does nothing to add to its stature."

pg 88

The San Matean ran advertisements headed: "Does LSD (a mind expanding substance not yet declared illegal) in sugar cubes spoil the taste of coffee?" Readers were encouraged to write Dr. Timothy Leary, Ph. D. for a long-playing record with the "facts about five levels of consciousness expansion."

pg 89 (on the campus dress code)

The campus dress code, rules established in the late 1950s at Coyote Point, became a focal point of further student agitation. Editors of The San Matean found the regulations "absurd and antiquated."

pg 106 (1968 riots at CSM)

Strikers wearing red arm bands entered the offices of The San Matean. Five typewriters were destroyed, one window to the outside was shattered and the glass cubicle around the adviser's office was smashed.

pg 109

In September 1969, The San Matean headlined: "The Agony and the Insanity-Will it Continue?"

pg 112

...Jeanie Higgins ('73) became the editor of The San Matean. This was the first time that women held these two important positions (the other being Debbie Rondoni ('73) who was elected student body president). Cartoons in the student newspaper which typically featured busy, empty-headed blonds almost immediately disappeared to be replaced by images of muscle-bound, air-headed men.

pg 113

The San Matean mocked tradition in the fall of 1972. "All you gorgeous guys can enter the 'Mr. CSM Body Beautiful Contest.'"

pg 128

Winthrop Griffin ('51), once the editor of The San Matean, graduated from Stanford where he had been editor of the Stanford Daily. He later commented that the instruction he received while at San Mateo was "as good or better than anything I got at Stanford." Griffin went to Washington and, during the 1960s, served as press secretary to Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Thereafter, Griffin became successful as a free-lance writer. Among his published works were Humphrey: A Candid Biography.

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