My name is Asaad Manzar, and it’s my privilege to serve as your opinion editor on The Daily Pennsylvanian’s 138th Board. I write this letter to clarify the opinion section’s mission, and to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to representing the Penn community.
As part of the leading independent, student-run media organization of the University of Pennsylvania, we pride ourselves on representing an incredibly diverse and storied institution — and remain unafraid of exploring its vast accomplishments and multidimensional controversies.
The DP’s opinion section acts as an open forum for members of the Penn and larger Philadelphia communities to represent and amplify their views, and operates entirely separately from the DP’s news department. We maintain a roster of staff columnists who write individual opinion columns on a regular basis, and encourage guest column submissions from members of the Penn community — which includes students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. Local community members and on-campus organizations who wish to speak as a collective may submit guest columns as well.
The opinion section also manages the DP’s Editorial Board — composed of a student chair, editors, and other DP staff unaffiliated with the news and opinion departments — which publishes columns that represent the majority views of the DP, and what we deem are important and urgent matters to members of the Penn community. In the past, we’ve pushed for more student holidays, an upgrade to Counseling and Psychological Services, more affordable summer classes, and campus-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
All opinion columns must bear some relevance to others in the Penn community. When filtering columns for publication, we prioritize newsworthiness and timeliness, and we greatly value a diversity of viewpoints. We advocate for views that fuel debate and conversation on campus, and review all opinions irrespective of popularity. The DP does not condone any form of disinformation, misinformation, identity-based discrimination, or hate speech.
The DP acknowledges its shortcomings in fairly representing the wide range of issues within our community. While we welcome criticism and feedback from our readership, we, in turn, are asking our readers to engage and grow with us. Your opinion matters.
Staff columnists are recruited in the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, and guest column submissions are welcome throughout the year. Guest columns can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval, and are generally expected to range from 650 to 900 words in length. Pieces must be fact-checked and edited before submission.
ASAAD MANZAR is the opinion editor for the 138th Daily Pennsylvanian Board. He is a College senior studying neuroscience from Dallas, Tex. His email is email@example.com.