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Loyola School of Communication & Design Establishes the Maroon Alumni Board

By Loyola University on Mon, 09/21/2020 - 15:01

The Loyola University New Orleans School of Communication & Design today announced the creation of the Maroon Alumni Board to help improve its efforts at diversity, equity and inclusion. Working with alumni and friends of the 97-year-old award-winning student newspaper, the board will help create a more inclusive newsroom while integrating working professionals into the process of producing The Maroon on all its platforms.

The Maroon will also work to improve its newsroom diversity with an internal census each semester and utilize that data to inform staff recruitment. 

Aiming to advance an environment of equity and inclusion, the School of Communication & Design (C&D) is also establishing a system of tracking sources in stories. The School of C&D will then audit The Maroon’s 2020 Spring semester sources, track its 2020 Fall semester sources, and establish 2021 goals to ensure the people quoted and referenced in The Maroon reflect the community it serves. In 2019, white students made up 46 percent of the Loyola student body. Black students made up 17 percent, Hispanic students made up 19 percent, while all other races made up the remaining 17 percent. 

“This is an important step to making The Maroon a more welcoming place for all student journalists, as well as ensuring that The Maroon’s coverage truly mirrors the community it covers,” said Lisa Collins, interim director of the School of Communication and Design. 

Loyola has already secured commitments for the alumni board: Joe Danborn, deputy news director for The Associated Press, Erica Henry, Vice President, News for CNN/U.S., Ylan Mui, Washington correspondent, CNBC, Ramon Vargas, crime reporter, NOLA.com|The Advocate and Larry Graham in the new role of diversity, equity and inclusion consultant for the School of C&D.

Other initiatives for the 2020-21 school year include:

  • DEI training for the School of Communication & Design faculty and Maroon staffers.
  • A series of discussions with other college newsrooms on diversity.

“The Maroon’s mission charges us to reflect the community back to itself. To do that, we must not only be a mirror and a lamp, but we must also ensure that our newsroom and our coverage itself is a reflection of our community. We can achieve that through intentional actions such as these and, together with our alumni, we will work toward making a greater Loyola,” said Michael Giusti, director of Student Media and chair of the Journalism Department.