Make the Orient your platform
September 22, 2017
We assume that every student has, at least once during their time at Bowdoin, rolled their eyes at something they read in the pages of the Orient. Some students, we suspect, have even felt alienated by the content of this paper.
And this is not without reason. We do not and cannot cover everyone equally. Our staff is comprised of 36 students on a campus of 1,800 students. The editorial board is only five, all of whom are white and wealthy. As a paper we strive to cover all perspectives on campus equally in our own editorial content. We come up short.
But the op-eds, letters to the editor, columns, and Talks of the Quad are not ours: they’re yours. Aside from minor edits for clarity and concision, we publish these pieces as we receive them from their authors.
Most importantly, the opinion pages provide a forum outside of the institution of the College for students to frankly and genuinely represent their own views, to question and criticize policies, systems and ideas, and to challenge our community to improve.
Each issue of this paper presents the opportunity to share your story or defend your argument to an unmediated audience of your peers. Without your contributions, the Orient wouldn’t be your student newspaper.
If you are scandalized, shocked, or baffled by an article, take the opportunity to respond. If “discourse” within College-organized spaces leaves you unsatisfied, let the Orient be your soapbox. If you feel that the policies of the College are insufficient, suggest a change. If you don’t see your own story represented in our pages, share it in print. If “intellectual fearlessness” doesn’t suit you, model your preferred style of intellectual engagement in a column.
Publish an article once in your four years, or publish an article every week. All are equally valuable. Use op-eds not just to advocate for an increase in awareness, but to organize events and turn dialogue into action.
Despite our faults we honestly believe that the Orient has the ability to shape campus discourse. Our online content reached 5,000 viewers last week—views from you, your friends, your parents, and your professors and your neighbors. This is your paper.
The editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Harry DiPrinzio, Sarah Drumm, Alyce McFadden, Ian Stewart and Ian Ward.
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Re “make the Orient your platform”: well said! Bravo also for your statement about the board’s demographics: (White and wealthy). That certainly got my attention – although I’m not sure why you felt impelled to state that fact. If your goal was to engage the readership, I think you succeeded.
Proud Grandmother of member of class of “18”