Newspapers can be counted on for producing content about news, sports, culture and opinions. Within the opinions section, newspapers like The Hatchet also have an editorial board that discusses some of the biggest issues facing campus.
The Hatchet’s editorial board takes a stance on behalf of the paper. In past years, the group has weighed in on topics ranging from the University’s Colonials moniker to renaming the Marvin Center. Last volume, the editorial board has weighed in on everything from the shift to floating tuition to endorsing student calls for fossil fuel divestment and University President Thomas LeBlanc’s resignation. Our work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated College Press.
We’re composed of seven members who each bring different editorial backgrounds. This year’s editorial board is led and pieces are written by opinions editor Hannah Thacker and contributing opinions editor Andrew Sugrue. It also includes managing director Kiran Hoeffner-Shah, managing editor Parth Kotak, sports editor Emily Maise, culture editor Anna Boone and design editor Olivia Columbus. While she is not a member of the editorial board, editor in chief Sarah Roach oversees weekly meetings and the publication of editorial board pieces by providing context and editing content. No person on the editorial board produces news to maintain an editorial divide.
Each week, Thacker and Sugrue meet to discuss top national, campus and higher education news and determine what topic will be discussed. Once a topic is chosen, the editorial board conducts research on the issue and convenes to discuss their opinions regarding that topic. In these meetings, Thacker leads the discussion by asking questions to the group while Sugrue takes notes throughout the meeting. The meeting comes to an end when the board reaches a consensus on their opinion about the topic at hand.
We arrive at our conclusions about editorial pieces and endorsements through rigorous, well-researched debate within our editorial board. Each member of our editorial board brings to the table their own opinions, experiences and backgrounds – we have different majors, come from different places, hold different religious beliefs and espouse several political ideologies. All of these factors ensure we can produce a well-thought-out and nuanced opinion about a topic.
The editorial board’s work goes beyond weekly articles about campus and the District – every year, we help make sense of the student body elections and referenda on the ballot. We meet with all candidates for Student Association president and executive vice president then endorse a candidate for each post after hours of discussion. Our endorsement decision is made based on which candidate will best benefit students. The same holds true for referenda – we discuss among ourselves and ultimately make a decision about which initiatives would best benefit the GW community. This spring, our editorial board endorsed a call for the University to divest from fossil fuels but rejected plans to split the SA into a graduate and undergraduate body.
Just as the members of our editorial board do not think the same way about everything, we know that we do not always align with the views and opinions of every single GW student. But that is not our goal – we aim to foster a dialogue about the issues facing the University, students and the D.C. community. Editorial writing is not about imposing an opinion on people – it is about giving a nuanced perspective that makes people think. We warmly welcome those who come to a different conclusion than we do – and we encourage people who feel strongly about a certain issue to submit opinion editorials sharing their opinions and perspectives.
Volume 117’s editorial board looks forward to the year to come – and we hope you look to us for thoughtful perspectives on campus and national news.