We at Cherwell are incredibly excited to begin the next term, whatever it may hold. Preparing for the future necessitates examining our past, and just as Oxford has changed over the years in response to calls for greater diversity, Cherwell has endeavoured to make itself a platform with which all students can engage and participate. The paper has embraced these changes, but we acknowledge that change has often not gone far enough and the paper has sometimes failed to sufficiently reform its attitudes and approaches to journalism. While we have begun to move forward, particularly in light of recent events highlighting racial inequality not only abroad but also at the University, Cherwell still has a way to go. As recently as this past term, members of staff have not always been receptive to the views and experiences of other students when they differ from their own.
A matter was recently brought to our attention regarding an article about Lana Del Rey written and posted in June, and we were made aware that this piece as well as the handling of another piece prior failed to consider the perspectives of BAME women and their experiences with feminism. We also acknowledge that other similar instances may have occurred before this, and for this we as a paper take responsibility and apologise.
As we look to the future, we wish to be a platform for the elevation of a diverse cross-section of Oxford voices, and we believe Cherwell has a value as a space for frank and open discussions. With our new BAME Lived Experiences section, we hope to enable people to share views that would otherwise have gone unheard. This is just the start of a new focus on the voices of students that have been marginalised.
We have also taken the need for broadened perspectives into account when interviewing staff, and as we have begun to train them, awareness of key issues has been and will continue to be included. Cherwell is read across the University, and often outside of it, and this means we can and should do our part to effect change.
It is a long journey, one which will far outlast the next term of our time as editors, but we hope to lay the groundwork now. There is great possibility, and we intend to make the most of it.
Best wishes, and happy end of term,
Joe Hyland Deeson and Maya Misra