The Maroon-News’ Open-Door Policy

Nathan Lynch

Apart from my tour, the first thing I did when I set foot on Colgate’s campus was to be a part of The Maroon-News pre-orientation program. I met the newspaper’s editing staff, got to know the practices of the newspaper and started working. As best I can count, those of us who started with pre-orientation have been involved in producing over a hundred issues of the newspaper over the past four years, either as editors or writers.

There have been some moments I’ve been especially proud of, and some regrets. The newspaper is notperfect, but those of us who work for it do work hard to produce what we doevery week.

The relationship between the newspaper and the community is the most important thing for those of us who work here, and we constantly ask ourselves if we are highlighting what matters to the community. I’ve always defended the hard work that our large and dedicated staff put together. However, the sense I’m getting is that the relationship between newspaper and community seems to occasionally falter. The difference between us and a professional media organization is that the distinction between The Maroon-News and the community is fluid. We are only limited by those who want to participate: students have the ability to drift into our

organization and leave it. That being said, I think we are missing out on many voices in the community, voices that we can’t replicate with our staff. There are instances where people express discontent in our tight-knit community, however, often their voices never make their way into the newspaper. I want to remind everyone reading this column that there are no barriers to writing for the newspaper, and if you don’t feel like your views are represented, the newspaper is a place for you to do so. We have an open-door policy: as long as you adhere to our submission policy, if you are writing a Commentary piece, or the journalistic guidelines of writing a News, Arts & Features or Sports article, you are welcome to join. We want your participation.

There have been a number of instances in which The Maroon-News has been involved in controversy on campus. I can’t express enough how much concern we take in trying to ensure this doesn’t happen, and how personally embarrassed I am when we print something that is offensive rather than insightful. There’s nothing I or the rest of the editorial staff wants more than writers who can dissect the problems on this campus and intelligently express their opinions. With our intelligent community, there is a broad range of opinions on this campus that need to be expressed. Yet, at the same time, it is not my place to demand that students take the time and perform the labor of writing down their opinion. This is, of course, a paper comprised entirely of volunteers who receive nothing other than the satisfaction of being read. We can encourage people to write endlessly, but we can’t force anyone to participate.

There will always be space for your voice in the newspaper. Next year, the very capable editorial staff will be working hard in the offices of 304 James C. Colgate Hall on Tuesdays, starting around 4 p.m. If you have any interest or passion about being part of Colgate’s community, please swing by.

Contact  Nathan Lynch at [email protected]