In the 102 years The Heights has served the Boston College community, our mission has remained the same: For a Greater Boston College. We have and will continue to strive to keep the community as accurately informed as possible. We are, however, aware that our newsroom does not accurately reflect the growing diversity of BC’s campus. In order to continue to properly serve our readers, The Heights is taking steps to recruit diverse members to our organization.
At present, The Heights is composed of individuals of whom 83 percent identify as white. Ninety-four percent of our editors identify as straight, and 31 percent receive financial aid. Our lack of diversity is a problem and we are aware of it.
Throughout this semester, our outreach coordinator will be in contact with as many student groups and departments as possible to cultivate relationships with AHANA+ students and administrators. It is our hope that these relationships will open a line of communication between The Heights and the BC community which will allow us to more accurately cover all students and their stories.
Going forward, we will contact departments and student organizations which serve AHANA+ students to give them the first opportunity to apply for positions at The Heights. We know that we are responsible for ensuring that we advertise our openings to all members of the community, so our outreach coordinator will prioritize cultivating a diverse applicant pool in the future. Our main priority during our next hiring period will be to add AHANA+ artists and columnists to ensure that all campus voices are being amplified.
Additionally, we will donate 30 percent of all revenue generated from advertisements to Black-owned businesses for the month of February in recognition of Black History Month. On top of our ongoing donations throughout February, The Heights will be allocating $10,000 of advertising space for nonprofits that are working to combat racism. Our team will work hard over these next few weeks to contact local and national nonprofits and ensure that they are aware of this offer. The offer will remain open until we reach our quota.
As of 2021, The Heights will be distributing an annual census to gather demographic data of our staff. Starting in 2022, after the second annual census is recorded, The Heights will release an annual diversity report tracking our progress or regression in increasing representation of staff in many demographic areas.
Our editorial this week calls on the BC community to confront the presence of racism on our campus. We recognize that The Heights has contributed to the problem and we are committed to using our newsroom as a force to promote equality and inclusion in this community. We understand that we are not free from fault and are worthy of criticism for our lack of diversity and the impact it has on our campus. But we hope that our actions over the coming year will demonstrate our commitment to making a positive difference.
In our first edition of the fall semester, I will write to provide updates of our progress in our efforts to diversify our ranks and our coverage. If any community member would like to reach out to us to offer feedback or discuss our initiatives and shortfalls, they can fill out a form on our website or email me.