From the opinions editors: Introducing our section’s policies

Sept. 16, 2021, 7:03 p.m.

As managing editors of the Opinions section, we remain committed to facilitating a forum for important voices from the community, as well as a structured place for writers to learn and grow. As we get ready to officially kick off Volume 260, however, we aim to better illuminate the identity of our section through the introduction of Opinions Section policies. These policies seek to clarify the bounds of an opinion piece, editorial standards for published articles and the responsibilities of editors.

Our Opinions Section policies are available in full here, while a subset governing external submissions is reorganized on our website here. The policies on our website, like all our policies and standards, is a living document maintained by The Stanford Daily to provide an overview of our guiding principles.

To preserve transparency, the policies outline general criteria for submissions to our section. First, unlike other publications, The Daily seeks to keep specific bounds on what constitutes an opinion piece. It should have a rhetorical purpose and be both argumentative and substantive in nature, with something specific it wants its audience to think or do. Ideally, submissions to our section would focus on issues relevant to the Stanford community and be between 800-1,200 words in length (though that standard is not mandatory).

Second, pieces that fail to honor the dignity and humanity of individuals that make up the Stanford community will not be published; we will not platform expressions of threat, prejudice and animus. As part of this commitment, we will not publish facially reasonable articles linked to authors or groups known to advocate threats on the dignity of individuals and groups.

Finally, parties who submit to the Opinions section must be relied upon to work with our editors in good faith. Provisional acceptance of articles is at the discretion of the opinions managing editors, and The Daily routinely declines articles. Publication is not guaranteed on a next-day basis, and contributors are encouraged to submit at least two calendar days in advance of their intended publication date. Though our editors are expected to frame suggestions constructively, we are not expected to work with combative writers, and an unwillingness to work with edits is sufficient for rejecting an article at any stage.

Our policies also further clarify the continuation of the Opinions Columnist program (pioneered in Volume 259), the anonymity policy for submissions and role limitations for staff in our section. We will also maintain article prefixes introduced in our previous volume. We look forward to the return of The Daily in print, and we hope that these policies clarify our section’s standards for submitters from the community and maintain a nurturing environment for our writers.

Caroline Spertus is the Vol. 259 Desk Editor and Vol. 260 managing editor of Opinions. Contact her at cspertus 'at' stanford.eduSharon Du is the Vol. 259 and Vol. 260 managing editor of Opinions.

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