The OCCurrence Strikes Back

Jack Timperley, Editor in Chief

After a year-long hiatus, the OCCurrence student publication is back at Oakton Community College and is stronger than ever. The hiatus was due to a lack of an advisor and students to get the publication running. However, the student publication is now publishing content with both physical issues and digital content, a first for Oakton and step ahead of many of its fellow community colleges.

Previously, the publication was solely a student newspaper with the old newspaper feel and style. However, students and community members these days don’t tend to read the newspaper anymore, and are more likely to pick up a magazine or read news on their phone. In order to keep up with the current societal norms, digital content allows access to student news on campus from the palms of students hands. Much of the digital content is produced by their collaboration efforts with the Oakton Visual Organization, a student-run media club who produces and edits many promotional videos for other clubs, organizations, and initiatives on campus. The collaboration signifies that many initiatives are changing for Oakton for the better, as the colleges adapts to the needs, wants, and desires of the community, while continuing to honor its rich history.

The college was initially founded on June 25, 1969. However, on January 17, 1970, the first student publication titled, “The Daily Planet” was distributed to the college community, with enrollment opening to 832 students in the fall 1970 semester. The first article on the first page of the newspaper was titled, “The Poor G.I”. The article was in reference to the losses that the soldiers experienced during the Vietnam War. It read, “Let us pray for yet another good and courageous young man will meet the real Uncle Sam and play his silly war games for two long years… but one thing is for sure we know our country;s defence is in worthy lands and we shall never fear for he is here and he is there and for sure the fields of fire are clear because he will always be near – the enemy.” These were the first words in the first publication of Oakton’s student newspaper. The issue also references the importance of the student government and representing the students voice, especially at that time when the country was at war and the dual condition that the college was just starting as an institution.

The publication staff hosted an opening writers event on Oct. 11 at the Des Plaines campus in attempts to reach more students and inspire them to submit articles. Prior to the event, students were asked to submit articles reflecting on the subject of “Poverty and Privilege”, a college-wide theme that echos in and out of the classrooms at Oakton.

One student, Robin Sluzas, spoke about the article she submitted titled “The Mechanics of Being” which is now published on our website and later in this issue. Although the audience wasn’t as large as anticipated, a few students actively participated and were asked about their experiences here at Oakton and encouraged students to submit articles about them. Robin spoke on the act of walking around with the microphone talking to students by stating, “I talked to many different students from different backgrounds and it was a fantastic experience! It adds to the collective mission of the schools values and the schools mission statement. That’s what we’re all about here.” It quickly became evident that everybody has a story a share, whether they think so or not. These stories are exactly we’re looking looking to tell. Stories are not solidified until they are written down or published. We tell stories every day in daily conversation whether or not we’re aware of it. We have an obligation as human beings to share these stories and allow the lessons learned from these stories to be heard and to educate others. Community Colleges provide such a platform in order to ensure that students voices are heard, especially in the times we need it the most.

The OCCurrence is asking for writers and contributors to submit articles about their experiences as students, thoughts on events and activities, memoirs, etc. by emailing [email protected]. Any questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to that email. They meet at both campuses in room 1541 in Des Plaines and room A162 in Skokie at 11am-1pm. Students are welcome to attend anytime within that timeframe to learn more about how they can contribute. Remember to find more and expanded content on their website,