The Round Up: Part 2

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Yesterday I spoke about hiring practices at the Round Up (and other campus newspapers). One commenter (thanks Mom!) thinks I may be putting my foot in my mouth to suggest individuals with no experience can’t get the job done. I think experience is not necessary, and have not said new Round Up editor Mark Morris is unqualified for the position. But experience can make a huge difference in training time and getting an organization up and running.

Indeed, the thrust of my argument regarding campus newspapers is that experience is to be supported and encouraged. While WNMU might hire some shmuck off the street to be student editor (me), NMSU actually has a pool of not only qualified, but experienced journalists from which to choose.

Thus begins the second part of our series on the Round Up. Remember Jacqueline Armendariz, our enterprising intern at the Silver City Daily Press? This summer, she’s covered a murder investigation, wrote a breaking news story on flooding in Santa Clara, and has pursued the more mundane, day-to-day stories of a small-town daily with enthusiasm.

Will she be working at the Round Up again next semester? Apparently not. She applied for the news editor position, which she didn’t receive. She won’t be going back as a news reporter, and, after she was turned down for an arts editor job, the position was reposted because of a “lack of qualified candidates.”

Jackie is one of the brightest young reporters I’ve met — she keeps me honest here at the office, always asks tough questions, and has a keen insight into the news gathering process.

Another casualty of the hiring process is Carlos Mariscal, the design editor for the Round Up for the Spring 2006 semester. Mariscal is currently an intern (page design and layout) for the Clovis News-Journal. He applied for the same position for the Fall 06 semester, and waited 29 days from the time he was interviewed to the time Morris informed him he did not get the position. As in Armendariz’s case, the position was reposted afterward. According to the NMSU Student Employment Services Handbook (Section X, “Posting”):

Additional applicants should not be solicited until it has been determined that a sufficient number of qualified applicants is not available in the initial pool.

Why repost the position, when (as in Armendariz’s case) qualified applicants for the job were interviewed? Mariscal even held the position!

That brings us to handbook section XIX, “Termination,” which states:

Student employees may terminate for a number of reasons. However, there are five broad categories under which the student employee’s termination will fall:

A. End of Employment Period – All student employees are automatically terminated as of the job end date specified in Ventana at the time of hire. It should be noted, however, that an incumbent has the right to continue working if the position has not been dissolved.

(italics mine)

What happened to Mariscal here? He was the incumbent, and the position was not dissolved. Am I missing something here?

More thoughts after the weekend — as the saga that is the Round Up continues.

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