Daily Campus clarifies policies on opinion page

On Friday SMU’s Women’s Interest Network and SMU SPECTRUM created a petition on Change.org. The Daily Campus ran the petition titled “Daily Campus: STOP publishing articles contributing to rape culture and misogyny in general” verbatim in Monday’s edition. The petition cited three independently authored columns that were published on The Daily Campus opinion page in October and November. The petition asked for support to “stop The Daily Campus from continuing to do harm.”

Last night, The Daily Campus management team met with representatives from the SMU Women’s Interest Network and SMU SPECTRUM to have an open dialogue between the three student organizations.

The Daily Campus has publication policies that adhere to the opinion page specifically. The opinion page is an open forum for campus voices to create dialogue. Contributor columns, as were two of the three columns cited in the petition, as well as Letters to the Editor, do not represent the viewpoint of The Daily Campus as a publication. Editorial Boards, on the other hand, do represent the consensus of the editorial board, a managing body of The Daily Campus.

The note we run with all Editorial Boards, such as the most recent one that ran Oct. 23, reads:

“Opinions expressed in each unsigned editorial represent a consensus decision of the editorial board. All other columns on this page reflect the views of individual authors and not necessarily those of the editorial staff.”

Historically, The Daily Campus has strived to report on all campus issues. Sexual assault is not something we have trivialized. In May of 2012, The Daily Campus published a three-part investigative series titled “Sweeping rape under the rug.” This series played a large role in the creation of The President’s Task Force On Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures. We continued covering sexual assault as well as following the progress of that task force through 2012. The 41 recommendations of the task force were released in May 2013. While covering the release and implementation of those recommendations in news pages, the Editorial Board also voiced its opinion that while these recommendations were a good first step, bigger steps needed to be taken.

Along with that coverage, a search for “sexual assault” on smudailycampus.com will lead to news stories and editorial content we’ve devoted to the issue recently and in the past.

The Daily Campus recognizes and respects the difference between its goal of ethical journalism and WIN’s and SPECTRUM’s goal of activism and awareness. Our opinion page invites those activist views along with all student voices.

Letters to the Editor, of 250 words or less, and guest columns, of 500 to 600 words, should be submitted to thedailycampus@gmail.com, as stated in our policies printed at the bottom of each opinion page.

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