June 22, 2024

Sometimes out with the old and in with the new doesn’t mean starting with a completely clean slate; sometimes it just means changing and building on the past.

Dave Parbhakar plans to do just that, now that he’s taken over the reins of the Conestoga College Journalism Association. As president for the 2011-12 academic year, he plans on adding more career-oriented aspects to the socializing the association focused on last year.

The mission statement for the association – club for students in the journalism-print and journalism-broadcast programs – is, “To build a cohesive unit and help one another succeed in this industry.”

Parbhakar said although the association was able to build toward a cohesive unit through social activities last year, it lacked the second part of the equation: “helping one another succeed in this industry.”

He plans to accomplish the second half by taking time at meetings to talk about “jobs, volunteer experiences and how you succeed in this field by putting together good news stories and visuals and clips and things of that nature.”

Meetings will feature a show and tell portion in which members can show off their work and learn from others. Members can also ask each other for help on class assignments.

“Not everyone can afford a tutor,” said Parbhakar, “And it (the association) doesn’t just bring people together, but improves their skills (too).”

The possibility of organizing tours around industry facilities such as CTV and Rogers was discussed at the first meeting of the year on Monday, Sept. 12.

Larry Cornies, co-ordinator of the journalism-print, journalism-broadcast and new media programs, supports Parbhakar’s vision.

“It’s probably time that the journalism association broadened its scope beyond just the social aspect and became more involved in the directions that Dave is suggesting.”

However, Cornies emphasized the importance of maintaining the social aspect in a small industry such as journalism.

“There aren’t that many journalists in the country like there would be accountants or lawyers; it’s a comparatively small little fraternity … That’s why I keep telling folks in the journalism association, ‘Do the networking. Become familiar with each other socially because chances are you’ll meet again.’”

Parbhakar said he thinks other programs could benefit from forming similar groups.

Although the association has existed in years past, Parbhakar plans on making this year the first time that it will be officially recognized by Conestoga Students Inc. as a sanctioned club. The benefits of this include up to $150 in funding per semester for certain costs incurred by the club and free printing of 100 posters, which Parbhakar intends to use to get the club some publicity.

He’s hoping that the association will increase interest in the program, particularly among those in the media foundations program which gives graduates the option of applying directly to both journalism programs.

All CSI-sanctioned clubs need to submit forms showing a minimum of five members, including a president, vice-president, treasurer and full-time faculty adviser. They also need to explain their purpose, what they plan to do at meetings, when those meetings will be held and what they will do with the funding provided by CSI.

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