Last February it took editors of The Vision over nine hours to lay out the very first edition of their newspaper. But for the more experienced staff set to release its first issue of the semester next Monday, final production is just a short evening's work. As the campus's black student newspaper begins its second semester of publication, staff members say that they expect the publication to be a stronger force this year, and that The Vision is here to stay. The monthly newspaper was formed last January by then-College sophomores Harold Ford and Altoine Scarborough so that black students would have a forum in which to address the issues important to them. Ford, who is continuing as the paper's managing editor this semester, said last week that the publication "is there to articulate and reflect the concerns of the African-American community to everyone." The Vision, which came out three times last semester, is currently the only minority campus newspaper. Two other papers, The Voice and The New Voice, were last seen in the mid-1980s. Wharton senior Gabrielle Glore, The Vision's new editor-in-chief, said last week that although the newspaper's main emphasis is not on creating racial harmony on campus, she hopes that the paper will help non-black readers understand the issues important to black students. She said the paper can be used as a tool for understanding the differences between groups of people on campus. Glore also said the paper helps the black community to address issues openly and to strengthen bonds. She added that she is confident that it will remain a permanent part of the University. The 2000 copies of the first issue will be distributed to University buildings and to all West Campus residences and dining halls. Several black students said The Vision fills a void which they previously felt in their community. "African-American concerns written by African-American students have never been addressed in the DP and that is important," College senior Thomas said. "A lot of times it [The Vision] may not appeal to large proportions of the University population and people may take the stories for granted if they are written for the DP." And College junior Marcella Goodridge said this week that the paper "makes us as a community more recognized, more seen, more known as a force at Penn." "The DP is okay in terms of general information," Goodridge added. "But I think every ethnic group should have a paper to express their individual thoughts." And Wharton senior Stephanie McNeal said she thinks the newspaper is essential for black students because "some things are more important to the African-American community, but not to the University as a whole." While some non-black students said they do not understand the black community's need for a separate newspaper, others said they support The Vision's effort to publish black students' goals and ideas. "I would like to read [The Vision] to have a better understanding of the needs of black students on campus and what they as a community want to do," College junior Denise Wolf said this week.Comments powered by Disqus
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