Letter from the editors: Introducing Vol. 259

Opinion by Erin Woo and Layo Laniyan
Jan. 31, 2021, 8:32 p.m.

We’re Erin and Layo, and we’re honored, humbled and beyond excited to serve as the editor-in-chief and executive editor of The Stanford Daily’s 259th volume. 

As the pandemic and its myriad inequities continue to confront Stanford, we reflect on how the community — and our coverage of it — has changed. We reflect on students raising over $300,000 for laid off service workers, on queer students losing the safe space of campus once being back home, on international students facing continuous precarity, on the community reimagining itself in new and expansive ways. It is clear that our coverage has not only shifted, but must continue to shift, in the wake of such upheavals. In this, we affirm our commitment to making The Daily itself a more accessible and inclusive organization and to ensuring our coverage reflects the needs of our community, broadly defined. 

We’re excited to announce the inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team within The Daily, as well as the establishment of a public editor. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team will spearhead efforts to recruit a staff reflective of the communities we cover — and efforts to ensure that staffers from underrepresented backgrounds feel supported and thrive within our newsroom. The public editor will help hold The Daily accountable, both in our efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion and in the rest of our work: Starting Friday, their weekly columns will examine the decisions we make in our staffing and in our reporting, providing explanations where possible and criticism where warranted. 

We’re also in the process of reaching out to community stakeholders — from community organizations to activist groups to workers’ unions — and building relationships that will ensure that we are a publication for all parts of the Stanford community. Along those lines, we want to hear your feedback. Whether there are areas we could better spotlight in our coverage or specific initiatives you would want to see implemented, we both actively seek out and deeply value your perspectives. You can always leave your feedback at this community feedback form or contact us directly at erinkwoo ‘at’ stanford.edu, olaniyan ‘at’ stanford.edu and eic ‘at’ stanforddaily.com. 

And here’s a little bit more about us: Erin is a senior from Atlanta, Ga. studying communication and creative writing. She is a former staff development director and news editor for The Daily. Layo is a junior from Houston, Texas, studying English and Black studies with a specific interest in medical humanities and disability studies. He is the former editor of Opinions and has served on the Editorial Board since Vol. 256. 

We’re deeply grateful to work alongside a strong staff committed to keeping our community informed and engaged, and we look forward to working with stakeholders across all corners of Stanford to make The Daily a publication that truly centers the needs of our community. 

With love and gratitude,

Erin Woo, Vol. 259 Editor-in-Chief

Layo Laniyan, Vol. 259 Executive Editor

Erin Woo '21 is The Daily's Vol. 259 Editor-in-Chief. Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, she is studying communications and creative writing at Stanford. She has also reported for The Mercury News and WNYC. Contact her at eic 'at' stanforddaily.com.Layo Laniyan ’22 is the former Executive Editor for Vol. 259 and former editor of Opinions for Vol. 258. He is a senior from Houston, Texas, majoring in English with a focus in black studies and the history of medicine.

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