Student journalism at Seattle Central has had a long but turbulent history at the Capitol Hill community college. Now, students and faculty are on track to start a brand new student-run newspaper.
Johnny Horton, Seattle Central English faculty and advisor to the budding publication has been vetting applicants for the five member publication staff of “board members” — and an additional individual to be social media manager.
“We’re going to have a focus on both investigative reporting and hard news within Seattle Central as well as the community,” said Horton. “What happens in Seattle politics and what happens in Capitol Hill affects students here.”
If everything goes smoothly, according to Horton, the new staff will begin publishing to its website by the end of January with a full-fledged print edition in swing by the end of the winter quarter. Continue reading →
Police are investigating after a bizarre incident at Seattle Central Wednesday in which a man was arrested after school security found he was carrying what authorities said was an assault rifle inside a guitar case on the Capitol Hill college’s Broadway campus.
A SPD spokesperson tells CHS that the man was taken into custody without incident when officers arrived at the school after being called by security just after 5 PM as the 34-year-old had been detained and the weapon discovered. Police say a witness spotted the subject who is believed to have been formerly enrolled at the school and told security he was known to carry a gun.
Officers arrived, seized the weapon, and took the man into custody for trespassing and carrying a firearm on a school campus, a misdemeanor offense. The man reportedly did not make any threats. The SPD spokesperson said he did not know if the suspect told police why he was carrying the gun in a guitar case. Police say the man was also wanted on a felony warrant for larceny in another county. UPDATE 12/12/2016: According to police, the department report describes the weapon as a “semi-automatic” rifle but the spokesperson said he did not have information about the specific type of gun involved.
“We are extremely fortunate that no one was harmed and that at no time was anyone on our campus directly threatened,” a school announcement about the incident sent to students read. “This incident had a positive outcome because someone on campus was vigilant and reported their concern to our Public Safety Office.”
The suspect was booked into King County Jail and is awaiting charges.
UPDATE: SPD has posted its brief on the incident here.
Seattle Central faculty held a walkout Thursday in a call for fair wages and solidarity during ongoing contract negotiations — and, as she has been for labor issues across the city over the past five or so years, District 3 representative Kshama Sawant was on Broadway to cheer the crowd on.
The teachers union AFT Seattle Community Colleges Local 1789 voted to hold what was called a voluntary walkout across the Seattle Colleges campuses — SCC, North Seattle College, South Seattle College and the Seattle Vocational Institute. Continue reading →
Archival photos from Seattle Central’s history of activism. (Images: Seattle Central College)
Kshama Sawant has frequently used SCC’s campus for political events. (Image: Alex Garland)
It says a lot about Seattle Central College that, even on its 50th anniversary, a comprehensive history of the Capitol Hill institution has never been compiled.
While many universities typically tap faculty researchers to document their school’s past, Seattle Central’s faculty is almost entirely teaching-focused. The college is also not particularly steeped in its own traditions. If anything, the Broadway campus is perhaps best known for its history of students actively engaged in the political and social movements of their time.
East Precinct commander Capt. Paul McDonagh speaks with family and supporters at Wednesday’s march
Pictures from Wednesday’s #justice4hamza march (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)
Hamza Warsame’s photograph has been shared widely on social media.
The police investigation into the death of a 16-year-old Seattle Central College student continues as concerns about the cause of the incident have mounted on social media.
Hamza Warsamedied on Saturday following a 60-foot fall from a building near Summit and Thomas, according to Seattle Fire. Seattle Central identified Warsame Monday in a message to students. In a statement released Tuesday, Seattle Police said its investigation was ongoing and did not specify if detectives suspected foul play.
The department is aware of community concerns about the case and Assistant Chief Robert Merner is personally supervising the matter. As with all death investigations, we ask the community to be patient and avoid jumping to conclusions while detectives conduct their work.
A representative from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office told CHS its investigation into the death was on hold while police continue to work on the case. The medical examiner’s report may also be delayed as investigators gather details from Harborview Medical Center, the representative said. UPDATE 12/9/2015 3:10 PM: The medical examiner said Wednesday afternoon that the announcement of the cause of death in the Warsame case remains “pending investigation.”
Four days after her brother’s death, Ikram Warsame told CHS she has become increasingly frustrated with the lack of information on the investigation. “I want the police to bring justice to my brother, to find out what happened to him,” she said on Wednesday while on her way to a vigil for Hamza at Seattle Central.
The 18-year-old UW Bothel student said she believes its unlikely her brother’s death was accidental and she’s certain it was a not a suicide. “This was murder, this was not a suicide,” she said. “He was content with his life, he had high hopes for the future.”
Ikram said her and Hamza’s parents immigrated from Somalia to Seattle in 1994, where Hamza and Ikram were born and raised. After obtaining his associates degree, Ikram said Hamza wanted to attend MIT in Boston to study computer science. “He was interested in technology, he was a game fanatic,” she said.
A game of musical chairs at a Seattle Central Unity Fair past (Image: Dave Lichterman for CHS)
Seeking to “raise the ceiling” for its system’s students, the Seattle Community Colleges District Board of Trustees have voted to drop the word “community” from the names of the three schools in its system:
At its meeting on March 13, the Seattle Community Colleges District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the District to Seattle Colleges and to change the names of the colleges to Seattle Central College, North Seattle College and South Seattle College.
In a statement, SCCC SCC officials said the change was good for the school’s image and a more accurate description of its mission. “We believe this will inspire prospective students to reach higher than they thought possible,” district chancellor Jill Wakefield said. “With the same open admissions policies and the same low tuition, local students can start at a local college that can eventually take them all the way to a bachelor’s degree.”
The name changes are expected be fully implemented by September for the start of the Fall Quarter, school officials said.