In Pacific Lutheran University’s student-run media, we pride ourselves on inclusivity.We try to work together, integrate with other offices and do our best to be as inclusive as possible.
However, with limited resources available to us, be it money, people or time, inclusion can be difficult to achieve.
While covering an event for The Mooring Mast — the second event I attended that day because the news section is low on reporters — I overheard someone speaking ill of our beloved publication.
The person in question described his or her disdain about our Feb. 28 issue and how there were no female speakers from the social justice event, “Legacies of the Shoah,” on the front page.
As a woman myself, I can sympathize with this person’s discontent with The Mast’s 13th issue. As a member of the paper’s editorial board, however, I was filled with an intense rage.
Not many know this about The Mast, but putting the paper together is not just a job where we clock in and out — at least not yet. We don’t have set hours. We don’t have a quitting time. We stay up putting the paper together until it’s completed. Tuesday and Wednesday nights, I’m lucky to go to bed before 1 a.m.
On Feb. 26, the night we put together the issue in question, Editor-in-Chief Jessica Trondsen and I were laying out the “Shoah” story for about an hour and a half, maybe two. One story on one page took two hours.
The order of those three male speakers’ photos? That took a good 45 minutes. I ignored the other three and a half pages of the news section until this story was completed, causing me to go home at 4 a.m.
I am by no means complaining. I love my job, and I love working within student media. But I become frustrated when someone speaks poorly of something I spent a lot of time and energy on.
Now, I agree, there should have been a better representation of women on the front page, and for that, I apologize. Please understand, angry person, that we had no pictures of Victoria Barnett, Professor Dorothy Roberts, Jean Franco or Dagmar Herzog.
We had no pictures because we have a limited number of photographers — five, if you’re wondering — and our photographers had a limited amount of time available to them to attend “Shoah.”
Actually, if you’re worried about female underrepresentation in that issue of The Mast, here are the numbers. There are a total of 14 people on our editorial board, nine of whom are women. Twenty-two people wrote in the 13th issue, and 16 of them are women. Of the 33 stories written in the Feb. 28 issue, 22 of them were written by women.
While we recognize the importance of a woman on the front page, we also see the importance of our female representation throughout the entire publication.
So to you, irritated individual who spoke smack about our hard work, we at The Mast would love your input. Send us your photos of women across campus, and I’d be happy to make a column dedicated to them. If you think you can do a better job at laying out my news section, please come to The Mast office in Anderson University Center room 172 and help me out.
I will gladly go to bed at a decent hour while you make sure every story fits, every ad is placed and every picture has a woman in it.
The Mast needs to be more inclusive anyway, and we do want that to include your opinion. Afterall, we put the paper together for you, our audience.
We value and encourage your feedback because you should hold us responsible for what we publish.
If you would like to have your voice heard about underrepresentation in The Mast, the overrepresentation of sass in this op-ed or really anything about anything, please consider sending a letter to the editor to http://mastmedia.plu.edu/contactus/write-a-letter-to-the-editor or joining our staff.
But in the meantime, please be mindful of the hard work completed by all women, whether they be Holocaust speakers, sassy student journalists or anyone else just trying to do her job.