This Friday, you may pick up this newspaper, read a story or two as you eat breakfast, find a column you passionately like or dislike and immediately share it on Facebook for the rest of the Yale community to debate and devour. It will be just like any other Friday.
The Yale Daily News will arrive in front of you as it does every single day of the academic year. But this paper will be special. It’s special because it is the last newspaper the Managing Board of 2017 will put out. Our managing board has faced many challenges, just as our campus has, and we will leave many legacies in our beloved 202 York St. Our greatest legacy though cannot be found between the lines of our newspaper pages.
Today, we are proud to announce the Yale Daily News Foundation Stipend Program. The program will allow future members of our editorial board and our sophomore beat reporters with the highest financial need to apply for a need-based scholarship that will help compensate the student income contribution.
Finances have been a barrier for too many people wanting to join the News, and it is our hope that the Yale Daily News Foundation Stipend will minimize, and eventually abolish, that barrier. Writing, editing and producing the News everyday is not a small task. It requires a significant amount of time from its managerial board, an amount of time that is not always conducive to holding a job. Therefore, students in the past have been forced to choose between taking a job or getting the chance to fully succeed at the News. This dynamic has at times made it difficult for the News to cultivate the diversity it needs in order to serve as the student voice on campus it was always intended to be.
It is not just the News that demands much of its members. Other student organizations across a whole range of disciplines force students to contemplate the status of their student job when approaching leadership positions. As we take this step to widen accessibility to the News, we hope other organizations will consider how they can take steps to achieve the same goal.
The stipend program has been in the works for many years. Over time, as concerns about the composition of the News mounted, the need and desire for such a measure became increasingly evident. We thank the boards before us and our alumni-run YDN Foundation for pursuing this cause and making it possible. Without the generous donations from alumni and the dedication and commitment of our predecessors, another generation of reporters would be left pondering their future with the paper.
We leave knowing that the News can be a better, more inclusive place than we found it.