About The Lawrentian

Since 1884, The Lawrentian has been Lawrence University’s student newspaper. The Lawrentian is entirely student-run. It is one of the university’s oldest and longest-running student organizations, as well as the oldest Lawrence publication still in production.

Mission Statement

The mission of The Lawrentian is to inform and represent the diverse intellectual community of Lawrence University. The Lawrentian seeks to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the people, events, ideas, and culture within the Lawrence community and around the world. To this end, The Lawrentian reports, acquires, and distributes news, information, and other content that meet the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression.

Editorial Policy

Lawrence University defines hate speech as “forms of expression (whether words or symbolic actions) that attack or use discriminatory language, or create an atmosphere of intimidation, harassment, or abuse, because of an actual or perceived identity group membership.” The Lawrentian will not publish anything that falls under this definition of hate speech. This applies to everything published in The Lawrentian including letters to the editor, staff editorials and any work written in any of our sections.  

All information claiming to be fact, including information contained in an editorial or opinion piece, will be verified for accuracy. This process will involve multiple rounds of flagging any potential inaccuracies as well as a team designated to addressing any flagged information. From there, editors will work with their writers to discuss the result and how to move forward with the piece if necessary.

The Lawrentian reserves the right to refuse to publish material that violates our standards. When we find that we are unable to decide whether a piece violates these standards, we will reach out to members of CODA and at least one of our staff-advisors to aid us in our decision-making.

If there appears to be a conflict of interest in either of these resources, we will seek for additional outside perspectives so as to not allow this to deter our commitment to truth and inclusivity.

Letters to the Editor Guidelines

Any letters to the editor received during a standard news cycle will be published in the edition immediately after the letter has been edited, revised and reviewed. The letter will appear on The Lawrentian website at the same time as the rest of that edition. If a letter to the editor is received outside of the standard news cycle, it will be edited and revised per usual and will be uploaded to The Lawrentian website once that process is complete. Letters received outside of the standard news cycle will not be published in print. 

Letters to the editor must be less than 500 words, regardless of whether they will be published in print or online only. Letters to the editor will be edited for clarity, accuracy, style and grammar. 

Manifestos and election campaigns will not be published as letters to the editor. The Lawrentian defines a manifesto as a written statement declaring publicly the broad outlook, motives, ideologies or intentions of its issuer. To ensure the Lawrence community is informed on issues relating to student campaigns, all candidates should be able to present their campaign; however, because only one letter is published in each edition, The Lawrentian is not an appropriate platform for such submissions. Should an organization or office wish to publicly declare reformed policy, we encourage them to publish via their own platforms and to submit a Story Proposal Form, using the QR code to the right, for a staff member of The Lawrentian to cover as a News or Features story.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

            During the 2020-21 news cycle, the editorial board of The Lawrentian implemented practices and policies designed to expand coverage to encompass multiple perspectives and amplify diverse voices. 

By establishing sound policies, creating systemic processes for enacting them, and drawing on support from individuals across campus for ongoing process analysis, The Lawrentian staff will maintain objective standards and promote inclusivity.  As a part of this procedure, every staff member will be required to sign the following statement of diversity and inclusion.

The staff of The Lawrentian reaffirms its commitment to representing the diverse community of Lawrence University that embraces all members, including those marginalized by aspects of their identities. The principles of respect and inclusion are critical to our mission as a newspaper dedicated to cultivating dialogue across differences and to the representation of all members of the Lawrence community. The Lawrentian is committed to equal access and opportunity for all voices.

Commitment to Journalistic Integrity

The following statement is intended to serve as a guide as well as to ignite continuous discussion and deliberation. It should test and strengthen the morals that guide each staff member of The Lawrentian. This statement aims to foster a culture that expects us to utilize our consciences each day in our journalism. It was written with the intent to guide news reporting, but these principles should be upheld by every staff member at The Lawrentian, including but not limited to writers, editors, photographers, and artists.

The Lawrentian staff takes great care to ensure our journalism is correct and appropriately in context. We devote our resources as well as our diverse skills to presenting the most comprehensive version of the truth possible. However, like all people, we have opinions. We aggressively challenge our own assumptions, opinions, and overall perspectives in the pursuit of the truth. Thus, we welcome questions as well as criticisms so that we may reflect and learn from our mistakes. 

To tell the truest story possible, we must treat those we interview and cover with fairness and professionalism. Whenever we quote, edit, or otherwise interpret what people tell us, we aim to be faithful to their meaning in order to truthfully represent their stories. We do so by conducting our interviews, summarizing the interview and sharing our understanding of the conversation with those being interviewed to ensure they are accurately being represented. We do not share our articles with our sources prior to printing, but we do seek to accurately represent the people we cover. In addition to this, everyone affected by our journalism in any way deserves to be treated with respect and compassion. 

We do our best to report thoroughly, but we know that mistakes will inevitably be made. Errors of omission and partial truths can inflict great damage on our credibility and the representation of the stories we cover. When we find that we can’t deliver all of the answers to important questions, we explain our shortcomings and work to fill any gaps in our reporting.

Through our reporting, we avoid exaggeration and conjecture. We do not mix fiction with our news reporting, and we edit and present information honestly. When editing, we seek to add impact while clarifying our journalism — never to slant or distort the story. We maintain this high-level of accuracy and professionalism through several rounds of verification and conversations between writer, source, and editor. 

To secure our community’s trust, we must make it evident that our primary allegiance is to the Lawrence community. Any conflicts of interest with that allegiance, whether in appearance or in reality, compromise our credibility. Under no circumstances do we skew our reports for personal gain, to support The Lawrentian as an organization or to please the administration that funds us. Decisions about what and how we cover are made by our editors and writers, not by the Lawrence administration. 

To inspire confidence in our journalism, it is critical that we give our community the tools to evaluate our work. We reveal as much as we practically can to the Lawrence community and strive to make our decision-making process as clear as possible. We provide our community with several opportunities to provide feedback through regular open meetings with members of the editorial board, regular evaluations administered to the Lawrence community, and forms specifically intended to make critiquing our work as accessible as possible.

The Lawrentian Editorial Board:

Editor-in-Chief – Molly Ruffing ’22

Copy Chief – Shania Johnson ‘22

Managing Editor – Ethan Wachendorf ‘22

News Editor – Alex Freeman ’23

Variety Editor – Celeste Reyes ’22

Sports Editors – Gannon Flynn ‘22

Features Editor – Dani Massey ‘22

Arts and Entertainment Editor – Sarah Matthews ‘23

Opinions and Editorials Editor – Lauren Kelly ‘22

Photo Editor – Alana Melvin ‘23

Web Manager – Nora Murphy ’22

Public Advocate – Matvei Mozhaev ‘23

Copy Editors – Luther Abel ‘22, Sam Victor ‘23, Hasif Ahmed ‘24