On Wednesday, we published an op-ed entitled “What does it mean to be the best?: An alum considers the relative importance of admission criteria” by David Kane ’88. Since the publication of this piece, it has come to our attention that the Record’s policy regarding the content in the Opinions section may be unclear to the community.
The Record is an independent student newspaper, which means it is not controlled or directly funded by the College’s administration. The Record publishes op-eds written by anyone in the College community – students, faculty, staff, Williamstown residents, alumni. Per our editorial policy and institutional charter, the Record does not publish anonymous op-eds, op-eds authored by an organization or op-eds consisting of promotional material or simple statements of fact. Op-eds must relate meaningfully to the College or to an issue relevant to the College community. We edit opinions pieces sparingly to ensure that they remain faithful to writers’ voices and visions.
Part of the reasoning for these criteria is that the Opinions section is intended to reflect the opinions of members of the College community. We endeavor to present a variety of opinions in the hopes of representing the varying viewpoints within the community. Contributors to the Opinions section write on behalf of themselves and themselves alone. As is stated on page two of the Record each week, “The opinions expressed in signed columns are not necessarily those of the Williams Record editorial board.” Each opinion is written only by its contributor(s) and is not endorsed by the Record.
As journalists, we at the Record are especially committed to protecting the freedom of speech and of the press. We publish opinions whether or not we agree with them. The Opinions section is a forum for members of the community to express their views and beliefs; we do not censor them by interfering with their right to do so. As long as they adhere to the Record’s aforementioned criteria and do not contain attacks on individuals, we publish the opinions pieces that are submitted to us. This has always been our practice, and we will be clarifying our editorial policy as it is written on the Record website to attempt to prevent any confusion in the future.
Ultimately, the purpose of the Opinions section is to generate discussion within the College community. We encourage readers who feel strongly about something they read in the Record to write a comment, Letter to the Editor or op-ed in response. In this way, the Opinions section can continue to serve as a space for ongoing dialogue and reflection that can move the community forward.
Editor-in-Chief, The Williams Record