While The Heights is becoming more diverse, it continues to fall short of representing the diversity of Boston College. And in doing so, it cannot entirely fulfill its all-important mission: “For a Greater Boston College.”
The Heights continues to foster a religiously and linguistically diverse group of editors—31.9 percent of our editors speak a language other than English, which is higher than the national average.
And, for the second year in a row, The Heights serves as a space for LGBTQ+ student journalists. Of the Board’s 47 members, 10 identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer. At a university where the spotlight often focuses on LGBTQ+ issues, this statistic translates to more comprehensive coverage.
Also, fewer students on The Heights’ board identify as white compared to last year—38 compared to 41. More of the board identifies as Hispanic or Latino than both in 2022 and 2021.
But, it still needs to become a more inclusive space, especially for Black students.
So, to respond to this challenge, we’re creating a diversity, equity, and inclusion working group composed of Heights alumni, board members, and staffers who want to build a stronger, more diverse newsroom through thoughtful conversations.
Through regularly scheduled meetings, the group will look to create affinity spaces where both board members and staffers can talk about their experiences on the paper with others who share their identity. Other student newspapers such as The Harvard Crimson have begun utilizing such spaces.
It will also evaluate how the newspaper approaches recruiting students of color at involvement fairs and through its introduction program. It is through these engagements that we recruit the bulk of our writers and future editors.
And lastly, the group will analyze how the newspaper covers communities of color on campus in an effort to make its journalism more inclusive. For the last few years, newsrooms have started to look at how their reporting could include or disclude historically marginalized groups. It is time we start to do some of that work ourselves.
It is my hope that this initiative creates a space in Mac 113 where our student journalists feel more comfortable to talk about their identity and how it relates to the stories they are covering on campus. Through those types of conversations, we can better serve our mission as compassionate, truth-seeking reporters.
If you would like to talk to me about this work, contact me at [email protected].
President and Editor-in-Chief
The Heights Diversity Audit