I’d like to begin this letter with the same acknowledgment that my predecessor made just under a year ago: the Heights newsroom, despite its storied history of covering the Boston College community, does not accurately reflect the diversity of BC’s student body.
In my time on The Heights, this impairment has hindered our ability to thoroughly cover each and every corner of the community. In order to fulfill our mission, ”For a Greater Boston College,” we must work actively to not only increase diversity within the organization itself, but forge new paths of communication and transparency.
Not only should all students feel open to writing or working for The Heights, but also to pitch a story, register a complaint, share an observation, or note anything else they feel is significant and newsworthy.
We began this process last spring, with the intention of expanding outreach to AHANA+ student groups and administrators. In addition to advancing these efforts this upcoming year, The Heights will continue to increase outreach and prioritize advertising space for nonprofits that are working to combat racism.
We will also be granting AHANA+ student groups early access to Heights applications throughout the upcoming year, including staff, editor, and Heights Introduction Program applications.
At present, 85.4 percent of The Heights identifies as white—about a fifth higher than BC’s total undergraduate population. Additionally, 39.6 percent of our editors receive financial aid, again falling below BC’s undergraduate mark, though this time by a third.
There have been some developments, however, specifically in regards to LGBTQ+ representation. A quarter of our editorial board identifies as bisexual or pansexual. In support of our own editors and members of the BC LGBTQ+ community at large, The Heights will be prioritizing advertising space for organizations that assist and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth.
Lastly, we will also be publishing an inaugural diversity report, which tracks our progress or regression in the representation of many demographics through our editorial board. It’s a small step, but hopefully one that lays a transparent foundation for future progress and diversification.
If any community member would like to reach out to us to offer feedback or discuss our initiatives and shortfalls, please fill out this form on our website or send me an email. Through these initiatives, we hope that our actions over the coming year will demonstrate our commitment to making a positive and lasting impact on the BC community.
The Heights Diversity Audit