Backpage Manifesto

Evelyn Levine

We The Backpage, a conglomeration of Whitman students committed to providing comedy and coincidence to the student newspaper experience, are entitled to and deserving of social and financial equality within the Whitman College Pioneer writer’s staff. Students, community members and alumni value The Backpage. Yet, within the newsroom, it is frequently the subject of dismissal, ridicule and half-page advertisements.

The Backpage does not bother students about passivity in the green energy movement, missing “great” lectures on climbing Kilimanjaro, the exact route a dining hall banana took from Chile to it’s metal basket, scores of an under-under-underdog baseball team or a recently graduated student who still is not earning that much money but is pursuing their dreams regardless. The Backpage is a creative and yet constructed break.

The Backpage requires tact and wit. While other writers are given words during interviews they can copy-and-paste into an article, Backpage writers must create these dialogues. While other writers are given photos of events that are taken for them, Backpage writers must communicate with illustrators to create the visual experience of an article. While other writers are given a direction, Backpage writers must forge their own path.

The Backpage writers not only get less pay; they also get less page, and yet they are still required every week to have enough material for an entire page even if it is not used. The Backpage does not have the right to enter any writing competitions and cannot garner formal praise. The Backpage is under-appreciated, ridiculed and underfunded.

Therefore, the Backpage proposes that The Whitman College Pioneer institute a three-step solution to resolve this great injustice.

1. The Backpage will have a $1 raise.
2. The Backpage will have an official Backpage Appreciation Week.
3. The Backpage will have a bi-yearly competition for best article.

If all of these demands are met, The Backpage will cease the strike and resume working as individual and equal contributors to The Backpage section of the Whitman College Pioneer.

The Backpage Writers