The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

Celebrating El Don’s 100th Anniversary

El Don’s 100 year anniversary exhibition at the Santora Arts Building.

El Don is Santa Ana College’s award-winning student-run newspaper. Covering stories in various sections such as Lifestyle, Opinion, Sports and News, el Don has won 28 Associated Collegiate Press National Peacemaker Awards and was added to the Associated Collegiate Press College Journalism Hall of Fame in 2008. It has served its community since 1923, making it over 100 years old. Now it’s the community’s turn to honor the prestigious newspaper that has kept the city of Santa Ana informed over the years.

Located on Broadway and Third Street in Downtown Santa Ana, the Santora Arts Building is home to a variety of exhibitions and is now hosting el Don’s 100th Anniversary until June 1. The entrance of the building contains a collage made up of magazines and paper-print newspapers that cover the walls. One side shows the older newspapers that el Don produced in its early years and the other is colorful with the newer newspapers. The first half of the exhibit displays el Don’s early life showcasing issues such as their first publication that was part of Junior College News as a separate Christmas edition. After that first publication, el Don kept the newspaper up and running.

The second part of the exhibition changes to more vibrant pieces, showing the evolution of time in the 80s and 90s, and even recent articles and magazines. Sarah Bennett, the current el Don advisor, discusses the importance of the articles SAC students wrote in previous years. She speaks for her journalism students who didn’t realize the impact of their stories.

“Those enrollment stories that are really boring that I don’t want to write, like, I realize how important they are now, cause if nobody wrote them in the 1920’s we’d have no idea how big the school was at that time. You’re writing the first rough draft of history, and it really shows in an exhibition like this,” Bennett said.

The exhibition is truly a work of art that displays the history of SAC and the city of Santa Ana. Putting together these artworks isn’t easy, which is why this exhibition wouldn’t have been made possible without the collaboration of the advisors and staff of el Don’s communications department. They truly know what the progression of a newspaper is about and what it brings to its community, presenting this through the exhibit.

Bennett mentions the impact that Bud Little, the former el Don advisor, had on the development and evolution of the newspaper.

“We kind of split the exhibit between before him, and after him, because he also ushered in a new era of design and of award-winning legacy. So you can see in the front room, it sort of looks a certain way, the aesthetic of the newspaper, and then you come into the backroom and it’s like art, and illustration, and design, and color, and photography, and all of this multimedia, cause that was really his legacy,” Bennett said.

This small exhibit shows the hard work and dedication SAC students have put in over the years. The difference between the front of the exhibit and the back of it has a great backstory and explanation.

Kate Guadalupe Bustamante is a current SAC alumnus who was part of el Don for four years and who, like many others, worked hard to put this exhibit together. She believes that el Don has always been about Santa Ana’s residents and the community.

“The main purpose of el Don has always been to inform the community in a way that’s authentic and true to the people here. I think this exhibit really shows that we’ve always been concerned about the city itself and just portraying those stories in a way that’s, like I said, authentic to what they are and not trying to put our own spin on it, but really just highlighting the people of this community,” Bustamante said.

Bustamante highlights some of the community-based and student-opinion articles displayed in the exhibit.

“Like there’s so many, even just from the front you can see all the cool stuff that’s highlighted like boxing clubs, and even just stuff that’s important like the Zoot Suit Riots and Professors Who Care, and it’s all just a bunch of little things I feel that really reflect how people make up what others care about,” Bustamante said

As history indicates, el Don has been consistent in releasing stories that revolve around Santa Ana. They constantly show this in their publications, which are now in the exhibit as well.

“The news that el Don has covered has always been very much for the people. It hasn’t come out of ‘We’re trying to fill this quota,’ ‘We’re trying to show this about Santa Ana.’ It’s always been students who have their own ideas about what they want to show and how they want to represent their city,” Bustamante said.

Another SAC alumnus who has been positively impacted by el Don shares her thoughts. Vera Jimenez, a meteorologist for the KTLA 5 News, expresses her love for el Don and other similar newspapers.

“I think especially now with community papers dwindling, I think that paper like the el Don and community college papers are really crucial because the students that go to community college mostly live either in close vicinity to the campus or they live in the city close to the campus it’s on, so it connects the immediate community to the things that are really impacting their lives. As students we’re not writing about national news most of the time, we’re talking about news that impacts our students and our communities,” Jimenez said.

The el Don 100th anniversary exhibition in Downtown Santa Ana was created for the community by the community to ultimately inform the public and convey the opinions of community college students.

“The student voice as you all know is super important, and the words that you create today might be on a wall in a 100 years from now in the future,” Bennett said.

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About the Contributors
Samara Oregon Ruiz
Samara Oregon Ruiz, Staff Writer
My favorite color is purple, I’ve been dancing since I was 5, and I love to read. 
Keyla Bautista
Keyla Bautista, Staff Writer
I have a dog named Teddy, I love reading, and like visiting new food places.