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Matteo Busterna, Diversity and Inclusion Director of the 139th Board.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. is committed to providing accurate and responsible reporting on the Penn community. In order to achieve this, it is essential for the DP to have a diverse staff and board that includes individuals from various backgrounds. As one of the largest and oldest organizations on campus, our goal is to create a welcoming environment where everyone feels comfortable. 

The 139th board of editors and managers is dedicated to upholding and expanding upon the progress made in promoting diversity within the organization. We have conducted the demographic survey of our community for the sixth time, and we are now publishing our findings for the third time. 

The information provided includes the demographics of our company as of the spring of this year, specifically at the beginning of the 139th board term. The survey included both appointed and elected board members as well as general staff, who represent the majority of the company. Additionally, we discuss initiatives of diversity and inclusion in the 139th board term.

Our demographics survey this semester had a response rate of over 75%, representing all business and editorial staff including those in 34th Street, Under the Button, and the DP. It is important that our results be the most representative sample of our organization, and increasing the response rate will continue to be a priority in the coming semesters. 

Our staff and board members are still disproportionately white and Asian compared to Penn’s undergraduate population. The percentage of respondents who identified as Asian in the 2022 survey was 8 percentage points lower than that of the 2023 survey. Additionally, the percentage of respondents who identified as white in the 2022 survey was roughly 3 percentage points higher than that of the 2023 survey.

Black and Hispanic/Latinx students are still underrepresented at the DP as compared with Penn's undergraduate population; however, both groups have a higher percentage of students working at the DP when compared to last spring's data. At the board level, the percentage of Black students is lower compared to the general staffer level.

In order to address the lack of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx folks at the DP, we hosted our first-ever diversity recruiting event. The BIPOC Open House welcomed students from diverse backgrounds, enabling them to learn more about the company and hear directly from underrepresented students. We hope to continue the event and increase its visibility in marketing material in future years.

Unlike many news organizations, women are well-represented on staff and in leadership at the DP. While Penn’s undergraduate population is roughly 53% women, 69% of staff respondents and 67% of board respondents identify as female.

We are proud that the DP has made progress in gender diversity over the years, but that doesn't mean that the company is going to stop working to ensure that it becomes an inclusive space for people of all genders. 

While Penn releases the percentage of admitted students who identify as first-generation or low-income, the University does not publicly release data on the percentage of current undergraduate students who identify as FGLI. For that reason, it is difficult to determine how representative the DP is of the student body in this regard.

However, there is still a disparity between the percentage of FGLI students between our board and staff. Compared to last year's survey, however, the percentage of FGLI and low-income students has increased. 

We plan to continue measuring the demographics of our organization and to share that information with our readers.

Our managers correspond regularly with leaders from underrepresented groups to discuss our diversity efforts and will continue to do so. We regularly hold diversity committee meetings that are open for all staff to attend.

As an independent student media organization, the DP is shaped largely by its elected student leaders. We aim to increase the diversity of the board and ensure that current leaders are aware of our diversity goals. To achieve this, we held specialized diversity and sensitivity training for all departments of the DP in the spring, and we are working to encourage all staff members to attend diversity training upon entry to the company.

Additionally, this year we welcomed the third cohort of diversity fellows. The DP Fellows program was born out of an initiative to engage and support students from historically marginalized groups. Members of the cohort receive stipends to work in the company, are paired with an alumni mentor, and attend professional development opportunities. As mentioned in the 2019 Diversity report, we have come full throttle on the mission of offering a program of this stature.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

(From left to right) College junior Oscar Vasquez, College first-year Angele Diamacoune, College sophomore Nethra Wickramasinghe, and Wharton first-year Dalila Gafar were selected to be this year's DP Fellows.

We plan to offer more avenues for our community to learn new strategies and methods for implementing the values of diversity and inclusivity in their daily work for the DP.

We still experience a disparity between our staff and board members who identify as FGLI. This may be due to the significant time commitment required to be in a leadership position at the DP. In 2019, we expanded a scholarship that grants stipends to those who dedicate a significant amount of time to the DP. While this stipend was previously only open to board members who qualify for financial aid, it now is open to staffers as well. We hope that this policy change will enable students who depend on work-study or other sources of income to make a greater time commitment to the DP, including running for and holding leadership positions.

We understand our diversity initiatives require dedication from student leadership as well as openness to criticism and suggestions from the wider Penn community. We want to hear from you about how we can continue to make the DP a more inclusive and diverse place. If you have thoughts, suggestions, or questions, please email us at 

Additional data

We collected a range of demographic information from our staff and board. The graphs embedded throughout the editorial, as well as the following graphs, reflect all of the questions on our survey.

Penn does not collect data on sexual orientation, religion, or disability, so there are no available points of comparison for these categories. Our data is included in full below.