The Daily Nexus news team strives to be a voice for, foster connections with and amplify its diverse student body. 

However, after reflecting on our coverage of student organizations — specifically those centered around specific cultures and identities in past years of the news section — we recognize a dissonance between our coverage of cultural and ethnic student organizations on campus. 

Though the university prides itself in its diversity and breadth of students on campus, many marginalized groups in our community often do not have the avenues to express their experiences, voice their concerns and share what they have to offer for the student body. 

This separation has sometimes given way to distrust between the Nexus and student organizations, as well as a lack of accessibility. We realize that the Nexus must actively work to repair these relationships and make a conscious effort to increase our coverage of the student body to all students in our community. 

In an effort to redress this barrier and expand our coverage to more accurately represent our community, we are creating a new community outreach beat within the news section beginning Winter Quarter 2022. 

First, we would like to introduce you to our community outreach team, which will be led by two current news editors. 

My name is Asumi Shuda (she/they), and I’m a second-year political science major. I am a Japanese immigrant and an Asian American queer woman. As a student involved in Nikkei Student Union, the Legal Education Association for Diversity and the Daily Nexus, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the important work student groups do.  I know that we cannot represent the entirety of the student body, but Sindhu and I hope that this position will create greater accessibility for students to connect with the Nexus and diversify our coverage to include all students, from all organizations and all backgrounds. 

My name is Sindhu Ananthavel (she/her). I’m a second-year communication major, and a Tamil American woman. I experienced my entire first year at UCSB virtually, and one of the only ways I managed to connect with the UCSB community was through the Nexus. I spoke to so many people from different walks of life, heard so many different perspectives and was a better person for it. Needless to say, forming the community outreach position and having an entire position responsible for creating closer ties with student organizations, and subsequently the student body, is something that truly excites me. I hope that this position is successful in bridging the gap between the Nexus and student organizations and makes way for more meaningful connections between us as a media outlet and the student body.

As community outreach editors, we hope to better represent the student body through this new beat and get a more in-depth, personal understanding of student voices and issues from the perspective of campus organizations themselves, leading to a more expanded, detailed, representative breadth in our coverage moving forward.

Identity-based student organizations are pillars of the UCSB community, and we, as the student press of campus, hope to work as a channel between these groups and the rest of the community. We hope to further a trust between the Daily Nexus and campus organizations that is integral to honest, respectful community reporting.

We also want to acknowledge that we cannot expect every organization to feel comfortable in interacting and connecting with the Nexus, as some of those relationships may not exist or have been negatively fostered in the past. 

We know that this position is a two-way street, and we cannot engage without the consent of our campus community in letting us into their space. We want to stress that we will only operate at the pace of which these organizations would like to engage with us. As community outreach editors, we are not simply utilizing student organizations for coverage, but we would like to create meaningful, safe relationships with groups on campus and provide them with representation at and a voice within the Nexus. 

We would like to assure student organizations that may be more hesitant to speak with us that we will clearly and effectively communicate our intentions with establishing a connection with them.

We are also aware that, ultimately, we will not be able to be in contact with every single organization on campus because we are a two-person team with limited time and resources. However, we will make a conscious, focused effort to make connections with as many interested organizations as possible as we expand and solidify these new positions.We hope that student organizations will be open to engaging with us, and we’re excited to begin this process. 

In the long term, we hope to foster a better relationship between the Nexus and student organizations on campus and especially make organizations of marginalized students feel like the Nexus is an outlet that will accurately represent them. Through forming meaningful relationships with other organizations, the Nexus’s relationship with the student body will be strengthened and our reporting will more accurately reflect perspectives on campus. 

Through the creation of this beat within the news section, we hope to move past the hesitancy and barriers that organizations might feel with the Nexus and build a solid foundation for future community outreach editors to be able to better cover the student body in a personal, accurate and inclusive manner. 

Our office hours will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. If you are interested in speaking with us, please fill out our interest form, and if you would like to give us feedback, please fill out our feedback form

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Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was a Community Outreach Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at news@dailynexus.com
Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (she/they) is the Community Outreach Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year. Previously, Shuda was an assistant news editor during the 2020-21 school year. She can be reached at asumishuda@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.