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Criterion Editor

Jonah Valdez


What Friends character are you most like?

My knowledge of the show is very limited.  I would occasionally watch a few re-runs that would air on late-night television. However, I would say I am most like Ross, only because we have the similarity of fixating much of our attention and passion into academic topics (He is a college professor and Paleontologist in the show).

What is your major and year?

I am a Sophomore, pursuing my history major and a minor in English.

Even though you’re studying the past, the Criterion focuses on current events and news. What made you interested in being Editor?

One of the most valuable things about studying history is building an understanding of past societies and how their peoples functioned, therefore, helping us in the present to understand why the way things are.  It is this rich connection with the past that helps us value current events.  Each present-day circumstance is not only a product of history, but literally “history in the making,” if you will.  Working to present the news of our world, locally and abroad, also furthers the development of our understanding of the society in which we exist.  Realizing who we are, as a whole, may lead to several positive outcomes: progression and change.  This idea of changing our society for the good, progressing our thoughts and perceptions, can be a byproduct of understanding our world.  The news can aide this cognitive process, hopefully leading to positive action. Since we have been confused and stymied by stereotypes, myths, lies and deceit, ”telling the truth is a revolutionary act” (George Orwell).  The Criterion only presents the truth; we print words of consequence and reason.  While seemingly quixotic to consider, we have the responsibility to shape our society into a more ideal place.  And perhaps someday, students will look back, read about our society and say, “They really had it together back in 2013. They are an example to us all.”
These are the foundational values that have driven me to assume to Editorial position of the Criterion.

You’re pretty young to already be Criterion Editor, how do you balance school, life and the Criterion?

Sometimes I plan each week with careful detail.  But most of the time, I live each day by a thoughtfully improvised script, weaving through the countless responsibilities of life, school, and the Criterion. Consistency with organizational skills is certainly something about myself that I can improve.

Why should students read the Criterion?

As I mentioned above, reading the news and understanding the society and campus in which we live is a high calling and a responsibility to not only ourselves, but future generations.  Through an understanding of our surroundings, we can engage in discussion and dialogue about the pressing issues and major events of our time.  These conversations can lead to action, thus, effectively forming into a wave of positive change for both the present and future generations.  Information is powerful.  Truth is powerful. These influencing factors shouldn’t be underestimated.  Instead, they should be fostered and valued. The Criterion provides an outlet in which all of these standards are upheld and illustrated for you the student, and for society as a whole.

How could a student get on the Criterion staff if they were interested?

If you want to write articles, take photographs for stories, or contribute by aiding in the editing process, please, do not hesitate to email me at, or call/text me at 619-869-6750.  To be a member of the Criterion staff is to be a voice of this campus, our students, this generation. Together, we can accomplish things unparalleled.