For The Daily Free Press’ Board of Directors, Spring 2021 was a semester marked by a vast fundraising effort, continued efforts to improve the diversity of our staff, and work to further connect our community. Working remotely with the addition of four new members from our Fall 2020 Editorial Board, the Board met weekly to discuss all things FreeP-related.
The semester kicked off with the distribution of a demographic survey to help the Board learn more about minority representation in the FreeP’s staff. Additionally, we held comprehensive training sessions for all writers including training on social media best practices, basic AP style, racial bias and sensitivity and the FreeP’s structure.
Most notably, the Board executed a comprehensive fundraising effort. We reached out to Daily Free Press and BU alumni and – thanks to the generosity of many – gained the financial security necessary to undertake exciting projects in the coming months. On top of this large push, we garnered support for the fundraiser by holding smaller events at popular campus restaurants such as Chipotle and Blaze Pizza.
Much of this fundraising push paved the way for implementing the Editor’s Equity Fund, which aims to improve the socioeconomic diversity of our newsroom. Editing at the FreeP requires a time commitment equivalent to a full-time job and the Board recognizes that this is not feasible for students who also need an income to support themselves.
The Board hopes to make this fund available during the Fall 2021 semester, and maintain it by committing at least 10% of our revenues to sustaining the fund. The fund would be available for editors to apply to be reimbursed for meals or transportation past dining hall and public transit hours in order to further support our editors’ well-being and the production of the paper. The Board’s Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer will approve requests made by editors based on meeting set criteria – rather than demonstrating financial need – and ensure that funds are distributed fairly and confidentially.
Members of the Board also took on independent projects. Our Alumni and Archival Chair, Sarah Readdean, added a Black History at Boston University archival web page to the FreeP’s website. With still many more years to be digitized, some aspects of the archive include incidents of racism that occurred on BU’s campus, Black culture events, student groups such as UMOJA and letters to the editor that hold The Daily Free Press accountable in its coverage of minorities. Much of the information on this page was featured in our February print edition, which was dedicated to amplifying Black voices on campus and throughout the city of Boston.
Another major initiative that took place early in the semester and gained momentum throughout was the staff newsletter revamp. Thanks to the work of our Community Outreach Chair, Melissa Ellin, and our Staff Development Chair, Allison Pirog, members of the FreeP could look forward to a weekly, informative and entertaining newsletter in their inbox. The newsletter kept our community connected as we endured another semester of social distancing and allowed us to get important information out with ease.
Excitingly, the FreeP’s website also got a new look this semester – with the Board deciding it was time to reconfigure the homepage. The newly designed dropdown menu improves the visibility of our Features subsections and puts more emphasis on the Lifestyle section, which was revamped this semester to provide content our student audience is excited about. The new section highlights subsections of Food, Relationships, Campus Life, and Advice, Pop Culture, and Fashion & Beauty.
As the semester came to a close, we interviewed candidates and selected a highly talented group of editors and associate editors for next semester’s Editorial Board. After spending the past year focused on diversifying our newsroom, we are proud to see that these new leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. We were impressed with all the applicants and cannot wait to see what this new group of editors will do under the leadership of Fall 2021 Editor-in-Chief Lily Kepner and Managing Editor Emma Sanchez.
Moving into the summer, we wish our graduating seniors luck on their new journeys and simultaneously welcome two of our experienced Board members into the roles of Chair and Vice Chair. Former Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chair Ananya Panchal will replace senior Haley Lerner as Chair, and former Web Chair Alex LaSalvia will become Vice Chair as Victoria Bond pursues Secretary & Legal Chair.
As our lives slowly return to what may be a more normal state, we promise to continue working for our readers. Whether it be in-person or remotely, the Board could not be more excited to keep providing staff members, readers and community members with impactful content from The Daily Free Press.
Spring 2021 Secretary & Legal Chair, Fall 2020 Advertising & Fundraising Chair
Spring 2021 Treasurer, Fall 2020 Alumni & Archival Chair
2020-21 Audience & Engagement Chair
2020-21 Vice Chairman
Incoming Secretary & Legal Chair
Spring 2021 Editor-in-Chief
Incoming Diversity & Inclusion Chair
Spring 2021 Diversity & Inclusion, Fall 2020 Career Development Chair
2020-21 Web Chair
Incoming Vice Chairman
2020-21 Grants & Awards Chair
2020-21 Public Relations Chair
Incoming Recruitment & Training Chair
Spring 2021 Community Outreach Chair
Incoming Audience & Engagement Chair
Spring 2021-2022 Staff Development Chair
Spring 2021-2022 Alumni & Archival Chair
Spring 2021-2022 Advertising & Fundraising Chair
Spring 2021 Campus News Editor
Incoming Standards Chair
Spring 2021 Managing Editor
Incoming Web Chair
Spring 2021 Layout & Graphics Editor
Incoming Grants & Awards Chair
Spring 2021 Opinion Editor
Incoming Career Development Chair
Spring 2021 Photo Editor
Incoming PR Chair