This issue of the Herald contains 24 viewpoints written by current students at Hobart and William Smith Colleges who identify as people of color. This process began on April 8, 2019 when the Herald began reaching out to students. Emails were sent based on student involvement and recommendations by faculty, staff, and other students. (We recognize that these research methods do not include every student of color at HWS; therefore, we ask if any students would like to submit a perspective they should email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will publish it on our website.)
We would like to take a moment to quickly lay out our research methods for this issue. After students were emailed, a certain number responded saying they would write. We did not want students to complete a survey or follow a set list of questions. Instead, we asked them to write about their experience on campus. A general question we provided was: “What has been your experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as a student of color?” We asked that if any bold / general claims were made, that they be backed up by a source in some way as well. However, this piece was meant to be about their experience, and we wanted each student to be able to represent that experience as truthfully as possible.
We offered another process as well, for students who did not have time to write. As is noted with four of the published pieces here: pieces could be “conducted as an in-person interview with a single question asked: “What has been your experience at HWS as a person of color?” The student’s response was transcribed and approved by the interviewee prior to publication.” This allowed us to ensure that any student who wanted to write was provided the opportunity. We did not want any student to feel excluded from the process because they were busy or their schedule did not allow it and we made every effort to be ensure that our process could work for everyone.
We also offered anonymity to writers. Per “The Herald’s Journalism and Ethical Policies” we could do this as this issue met both conditions we require for anonymous sources: “1) The source’s information is important to the article and releasing would be integral to the article and/or 2) The safety or well-being of the source would be in jeopardy.” We also followed the “Model Code of Ethics for Collegiate Journalists” which says under item 27 that “confidentiality [anonymity] should only be given if there is a real danger that physical, emotional or financial harm will come to the source if [their] name is revealed.” We assessed that all of these students could be in danger if their name was revealed and made the decision to offer anonymity. (For more information, please email the Herald and we can discuss our process further.)
For these pieces, we also followed the same framework from the October 19, 2018 Coordinate System issue, where we solicited viewpoints from transgender, non-binary, and/or gender non-conforming identifying / questioning students or alums. Our pool of perspectives comes from students spanning across different socioeconomic, sexual, international, religious, and educational backgrounds. We did not discriminate on any basis and were accepting new names for viewpoints up until the print deadline.
All of the viewpoints are printed in a randomly numbered order and are numbered only for convenience, ease of reading and reference.