From Bradford L. Yankiver, Executive Officer
Front pages of The Tartan from decades past hang framed on the walls of The Tartan?s office. The April 29, 1914, issue reports the dedication of the Design School Theatre, the first theater on our campus. The January 23, 1970, issue?s headline reads ?Strom Attacked by Jeers & Marshmallows?; the page displays a photo of Senator Thurmond with a dozen marshmallows at his feet. And the issue of November 20, 1984, announces, ?Defense Dept. to build SEI [Software Engineering Institute] at CMU.? The Tartan has chronicled the events of our community and has provided provocative and practical information to our readers for more that a hundred years.
As I look at these pages, I am reminded of the importance of a thriving news organization. A newspaper provides its readers with accurate and reliable information they need to make informed decisions in a their lives and to be engaged members of a community. In this way, a newspaper can be a rallying point for a community, inspiring constructive discussion and debate that leads to great change.
With this issue, we reaffirm our dedication to the community, to the University, and to you. It is our greatest aspiration to serve our readership well, and we are actively working to do that. The Tartan Commission Report has been greatly helpful to us, and we have successfully adopted many of its recommendations. We are tackling the issue of diversity in our organization; we are trying to mount more effective recruitment campaign; we are investing in our staff?s training; we are generating a broader network of connections with the community; we are developing means by which the organization can maintain organizational continuity despite inevitable student turnover; and we are developing a new website to make our publication more accessible.
In the creation of last year?s April Fool?s edition, our organization failed our readership, due to a problem from which the whole community suffers: we were not adequately open to and respectful of the beliefs and values of other people. Building a diverse community means doing so on all fronts. We must strive to show respect for difference in ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, political persuasion, scholastic interest, and all other forms of individuality.
The collective knowledge and experience of the individuals who make up the Carnegie Mellon community is immeasurable. We can learn endlessly, simply by interacting with one another. We stand to gain more than we can conceive by fostering openness to and respect for each other?s
Having faced the consequences of passivity in approaching diversity, the leadership of The Tartan knows that to serve our community effectively we must foster pluralism in our organization. In the past semester we have made important efforts to engage the community, but we have not yet done enough. In the coming semesters, The Tartan will continue to lead by example. We will strive to internalize the principles of openness and respect, and we will be more active in extending ourselves to groups which have previously been underrepresented on our staff. Furthermore, we will encourage discussion of diversity-related issues in Forum, the opinions and editorials section of The Tartan.
Underpinning our efforts to address the issue of diversity, The Tartan?s staff and I are dedicated to developing a stronger, more robust news organization. We intend to develop lines of communication that reach throughout this University?s student organizations and its academic and administrative departments. We are developing a comprehensive training program, which will instruct Tartan staff members on our organization?s values, journalistic ethics, and various trade skills ? writing, investigation, interviewing, photojournalism, broadsheet and tabloid design, layout, management, and leadership techniques.
I take on the role of The Tartan?s Executive Officer with great enthusiasm. My predecessor, Mark Egerman, led The Tartan to a semester of great improvement, and helped the organization gain momentum that will guide us into this semester. I am honored to serve the community in this manner, and to help The Tartan to realize its vast potential.