We know there is a byline at the bottom of this editorial, but here are the people who write it each week. Our names are Julian Andrews, Jono Gruber, Matthew Gutschenritter, Meg Robbins, Nicole Wetsman and Emily Weyrauch. All of us are white. All of us come from high schools that had the resources to support a student newspaper and four of us worked on that publication. Five of us grew up in a state touching the Atlantic Ocean. All of us are liberal-leaning. Our goal is to represent the entire student body, so we are falling short if our staff does not reflect as many of the perspectives, experiences and interests of Bowdoin’s students as possible. This week we will send out applications for next year’s Orient leadership and we would like to reach out to people who do not necessarily fit the current mold.

We are proud of the weekly paper that we produce. We think our stories are well-reported, we stick by journalistic ethics and we cover topics that are important to the campus. We are happy that we’ve been a forum for discussion on campus and that our opinion section has included a diverse range of perspectives.

We are also lacking in some key areas: writers who don’t have experience writing journalistic articles before college often fall through the cracks because we don’t do enough to train them, and some avoid approaching us in the first place out of fear of being under-qualified. Because our article topics are generated by a group of students that represents a relatively small community on campus, we miss some potential stories from groups we don’t have connections to, and our newspaper doesn’t include as many conservative voices as we would like. While we have strong women members of leadership, there is very little representation of racial and ethnic minorities on our staff, especially in leadership. 

These are not new problems, and they are not ones that are exclusive to our campus. As Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor of the New York Times wrote on the importance of newsroom diversity this year: “When the group is truly diverse, the nefarious groupthink that makes a publication predictable and, at times, unintentionally biased, is much more likely to be diminished. And that’s a good thing.” 

We want to let all students—not just those who seek us out and come into our house (which is notably removed from the most trafficked areas of campus)—know that the Orient can be a place for them if they are interested. We are looking into the factors—social, cultural, political and financialthat discourage students from joining our staff and we are committed to doing our best to break down these barriers. 

We want to share the opinions and experiences you bring to the College. We want to hear the stories that you think are important and want us to cover. We’d like to talk to you about how to make the Orient better and more inclusive. Most importantly, if you’ve ever wanted to contribute to the Orient, we’d love to have you. No experience necessary. 

This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Julian Andrews, Jono Gruber, Matthew Gutschenritter, Meg Robbins, Nicole Wetsman and Emily Weyrauch.