I can’t help but notice that this semester’s Journalism department, both in terms of the staff and the club (for whatever that distinction is worth), is much more active than last semester’s. I don’t mean to downplay the achievements of last semester – I’m still proud to have been a staff member. However, I will say that compared to last semester, I think we’re rolling in stronger and stronger content. Take, for example, something like the photography. Last semester it was getting to the point where we were getting most of our photos from bigstockphotos.com, our provider that’s supposed to be used only when we absolutely can’t get a picture ourselves. That might fly for sections like Entertainment and Opinions, or a News story where it was impossible to get a relevant picture. But they started cropping up in sections like Sports and Features, and we had to take a serious look at how those made the paper and the staff appear (lazy). Fortunately, we’ve made significant steps forward in that and other departments. Scott Fong, our Photo/Graphics Editor, has come to us from a career in photojournalism. We’re lucky to have him, and his incredible pictures have contributed a lot to our paper. It’s certainly helped get us off our “addiction” to bigstockphotos.com. But it’s not just the newspaper that’s improving. The staff and the Journalism club are much more active than last semester (did the club even exist last semester?). Almost as soon as the leaders of the club were made official, they began planning fundraisers like the bake sale on the 16th and our upcoming game tournament on the 23rd. The goal is to fund the JACC trip that the Journalism department makes every year. This year it’s in Sacramento, and as you might imagine, it’s expensive to not only get down there, but to make reservations in a hotel that can hold all of the attendees. From what I understand, most of the cost is put up by the school, for which I don’t think any of us could be more grateful. However, the portion that still remains is a significant dent in the struggling college student’s pocketbook, and so we appreciate any help we can get. Seeing as how the bake sale sold out by the time it was time to close it down, I’d say it was a pretty big success. Right now we’re looking into doing it again next week right before our gaming tournament, and maybe even during – give the gamers something to snack on while they Brawl it out for the $250 prize. Either way, we’re all looking forward to the conference next week. If the stories of the people who have gone are any indication, it’s looking like it’s going to be fun.