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Princeton student paper details solutions for lack of diversity among its staff

In a delightfully politically correct bit of introspection, the editorial board of The Daily Princetonian reveals that the publication “has not kept pace” with Princeton University at large when it comes to that ever-important diversity.

The “Prince” Board sent out via its listserv a 10-question survey to its entire staff, and approximately two-thirds (100 people) responded.

“By studying the results,” the Board writes, “we have identified where [we] lag behind, and we have developed plans to rectify [the] shortcomings.”

The Board concedes it is less diverse (mostly white and East Asian) than the general Prince staff, and this, it says, is “deeply concerning.” To address “this particular inadequacy,” as well as the results of the questionnaire, the Board came up with several solutions.

For starters, the paper will “establish internal liaison positions” which will pull from myriad campus groups such as Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources, and Education (SHARE), the AccessAbility Center, the LGBT Center, and the Women*s Center.

The paper also will forego the requisite of prior knowledge regarding “the particular style and lexicon” of reporting. It now will “pay special attention to staffers who have never formally interacted with journalism” and will recruit “as widely as possible,” most especially from “historically underrepresented groups.”

Further,

[c]ontributing to the ‘Prince’ or serving on the Managing Board requires significant investments of time and energy. In some cases, serving as a ‘Prince’ staffer or editor requires students to sacrifice other commitments, particularly jobs that may provide critical income for their families or financial aid packages. Furthermore, we recognize that members of our staff have varying financial needs. With the support of our Board of Trustees, the 142nd Managing Board is examining how to assist these members. The 143rd Board, which begins next month, will continue this work. …

Finally, we acknowledge that we will only accomplish our goals if the paper’s uppermost leadership reflects the community we cover. Many students of color and students from disadvantaged backgrounds contribute to the ‘Prince,’ but fewer go on to serve as editors. Through mentorship and training for all students, we hope to diversify every level of the Managing Board.

The staff survey gathered information about respondents’ “gender, sexual orientation, disability, zip code, U.S. citizenship, ethnicity, race, religion, guardian education level, and household income.”

Notably missing: a question about political ideology.

Read the full piece.

MORE: ‘Diversity’ now part of Kenyon College’s promotion, tenure guidelines

MORE: Boston University ethnic law student groups demand more diversity

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About the Author
Assistant Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over a decade, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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