Dear Kalamazoo College Community,
We, Mallika Mitra and Katie Schmitz, are excited to take on the challenge of being Co-Editors-in-Chief of The Index for the 2015-2016 academic school year.
We have both spent more than two years with the newspaper, as both staff writers and section editors, and we have watched The Index grow and change. However, we believe that there is still a lot of work to do. Here, we would like to outline some of the visions we have for the newspaper, as well as call out to any students, faculty, or staff who feel like they have questions, concerns, or ideas regarding The Index.
First, we would like to make The Index a more inclusive environment. The newspaper is supposed to be by the students and for the students, which means that it must include all students’ voices.
We will strive to make The Index a publication that all students can be proud of, and all students can feel comfortable having their voices heard in.
We have started reaching out to StuOrgs these past few weeks, and will continue to do so, especially those who have not been represented in the newspaper in the past.
We want to discuss how The Index can become a more inclusive organization, and a space in which anyone can come to meetings and be listened to. We will also reach out to students, faculty, and staff who have been active in making aspects of campus more inclusive and representative of all students.
Second, we want our writers to have the knowledge and language to discuss subjects that are more difficult to have conversations about. We plan to hold workshops in which writers will learn how to respectfully and appropriately approach sources.
In order to gain and retain staff writers from all different niches of our campus, we plan on emphasizing beat writing, in which writers can choose what topic they wish to write about and stick with it.
For example, if you are interested in writing about musical performances, food, business, or any specific area, we would love to have your writing. We would also like to collaborate with StuOrgs on this front.
The Index is for the students, and should therefore be a way in which the students can learn about what one another are doing. We hope to get members of StuOrgs to write columns updated the rest of campus on their organization’s plans and activities.
Although the responsibility of The Index staff is to get a publication out each week, we also feel that it should create an environment in which students can learn about journalism. We want students who have no experience with writing, photography, or layout to feel like they can reach out to us and become involved with the newspaper. We will make it our responsibility to help students along as they learn about the behind the scenes of publishing a newspaper, as well as challenge students.
For example, if a student is a fan of reading profiles, they should express this at a meeting or in private to one of us, and we will pair them up with a student who has more experience writing profiles and push them to do so.
During our time with the newspaper, we have been pushed past our limits and given room to explore, and we would like to extend that privilege to others.
We believe that all these changes, in addition to close attention to spelling, grammar, content, and good reporting, will lead to a better newspaper. Reflections and debriefs will be held among the staff to ensure that cohesiveness and cooperation are being exhibited throughout the year.
If you have any feedback, questions, comments, concerns about The Index, or a desire to be a part of the newspaper in the upcoming year, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mallika Mitra & Katie Schmitz