The Reach Of The Cactus

How the Student Newspaper is Affecting the Community


Socorro Carrillo, Cactus Staff Writer

With 3,000 copies of The Cactus in circulation it’s overwhelming to think where they all go. Some copies travel to Aravaipa others stay in the Library at Signal Peak, while a select 25 end up at Province “Active Adult” Community. Wait, what? In the middle of Maricopa, rests Province, a retirement community that houses over 2,000 residents. Within the gated community lies a village center that acts as a club house of sorts.  Residents spend their days getting fit, conversing, running up and down the Pickleball courts and when they can, skimming through The Cactus.

As soon as the copies are set down, they’re quickly scooped back up by another’s hands. Someone will pick up the paper expecting to just skim and suddenly they find themselves sitting in one the centers comfortable chairs. They read each word with awe and delight, their faces light up as they read an interesting opinion or ask their significant other about the answer to the crossword. Province Front Desk Employee Jasmine Bartlett has seen this process many times.

“All of the residents love the Cactus! They’re always so impressed by the quality of the work,” Bartlett says, “Even we employees are impressed, when I get a chance I look through it, it’s simply awesome!”

One resident who is taken with the publication is Judie Patterson. Judie and her husband Larry or “Hoppy” as everyone calls him always snag the first copies if they can.  Both enjoy the variety of articles that the paper covers. Judie shared with me that both her and Hoppy enjoy reading the tech article’s tips and tricks. Judie is also overcome with amazement that The Cactus is produced by students.

“It’s amazing that this is produced by college students. It so professional and so well done,“ states Patterson. “The quality of the pictures, the layout, the journalism! It’s hard to believe it’s run off of a campus.”

Province itself publishes its own monthly magazine. The “newsletter” is filled with pictures of province events, club descriptions and meeting times, and a monthly “meet your neighbor” feature. However, not much is revealed about what goes on “beyond the gates.” The Cactus allows residents to not only see what has happened in the surrounding community of Maricopa but also all across CAC’s five campuses. Residents Phil and Cece Wieserman (pictured) shared this sentiment,

“We like to see what goes on in the community. We would have never known that the “Vaqueras” did so well this past season.” Says Wieserman, “The local paper doesn’t report that stuff it’s nice to see it coming from the student’s level.”

It’s safe to say no matter where the Cactus travels it’s bringing the best of everything and influencing more people than we realize. Whether it’s giving the Patterson’s a place to go for date night or entertaining those who work the guard shack, the Cactus’s reach is broadening every day.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);