Gustavo Arellano Helps One Alma Mater, Gets Snubbed by Facebook Group at Another

Gustavo Arellano will be one of two investigative journalists talking about the future of newspapers at Orange Coast College tonight. Meanwhile, a Facebook group has started in the campaign to prevent the Weekly's very own Mexican from taking part in a different higher-education gig: a scheduled commencement speech at UCLA next month.

“Is Print Journalism Already Dead?” is the topic Arellano and Voice of OC blog editor and chief Norberto Santana Jr. tackle at 7:30 tonight in room 116 of OCC's Fine Arts Hall. Funds raised from the sale of $6 tickets at the door go to the Coast Report, the student newspaper at Arellano's alma mater, and Silence Lies, a political arts and opinion website.

After his bachelor's studies at Chapman University in Orange, Arellano went on to get his master's at UCLA, whose College of Letters and Science's graduates are to be treated to his commencement address June 11 in Drake Stadium.

The UC workers union previously asked Arellano to boycott his own commencement appearance, to which the Mexican replied, “Time to call Gustavo a scab!

“We can do better,” now argues the Facebook page for the “Bruins Against Gustavo Arellano for UCLA 2010 commencement speaker”
group, which had 327 members when Dennis Romero at our big sistah paper LA Weekly checked yesterday.

“We are in Los Angeles for goodness sakes,” reasons the group for snubbing the Anaheim native. “Why can't we get someone more famous? Don't get me wrong, he's made a name for himself and is very accomplished. However, our school gets the most applications of any other school in the nation, our speaker needs to be THE BEST!”

As Romero reports, Arellano “fanned the flames of dissent” by posting a YouTube video containing audio from a voicemail message he received, apparently from a disgruntled parent.

“No one wants to listen to you,” she is heard to say. “You have done nothing of significance. You are not a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. You have done nothing that these kids can look up to.”

But, if he's addressing graduates from a podium, won't the kids have to look up to him? Just saying . . .

Actually, a Pulitzer is about the only thing Arellano hasn't won (yet). His latest honor was just being named a finalist for best columnist from the Los Angeles Press Club (again) for his ¬°Ask a Mexican! weekly column that appears in 35 newspapers nationwide. Arellano has also written books based on the column and Orange County history.

Speaking of fanning the flames of dissent, the Mexican tells me he's linked to the “Bruins Against Gustavo” Facebook group from his own Facebook page.

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