Our Charter

1. Mission Statement

I. The fundamental mission of The Lawrence is to provide The Lawrenceville community with a comprehensive survey of on and off campus events, student opinion, art and culture, and athletics. As the primary mirror and voice of the student body, The Lawrence strives to offer a source of personal and community reflection so as to enrich The Lawrenceville experience intellectually, culturally, and socially.

II. Content in the paper reflects all Lawrentians’ opinions, even regarding more controversial issues, no matter the personal opinions of the Editorial Board members. In keeping with this objective, all students, faculty members, and former Lawrentians alike are permitted and encouraged to submit articles.

III. All writers and Editors must abide by professional standards of journalism as outlined in Section 4 of this Charter.

IV. The Lawrence is primarily a student-run publication so as to ensure that any other parties of the School may not use the paper for their own personal interests.

2. Board Positions

Editor-in-Chief: The Editor-in-Chief has a thorough understanding of the components of the paper as well as a forward vision for how the paper will develop on a weekly and then tenure-long basis. The long-term vision of the paper rests with the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief also maintains a close relationship with the Managing Editor, remaining knowledgeable and collaborating with him or her on ongoing projects. Finally, the Editor-in-Chief is completely and solely responsible for editorial, business, and operational decisions of the paper and thus has final say in any and all decision-making (decisions made by the Editor-in-Chief are deemed “Editorial decisions”). However, disciplinary issues are handled as outlined in Section 4.

Managing Editor: The Managing Editor is responsible for ensuring that the paper is published on time, every week. This job involves keeping in continual contact with the Section Editors about the progress of pages and regularly updating the Editor-in-Chief regarding these matters. The Managing Editor may challenge Editorial decisions when deemed necessary. He or she is also responsible for ensuring the financial well-being of The Lawrence. These tasks include maintaining a balanced budget and reaching out to potential and current advertisers and subscribers. The Managing Editor strives to enlarge financial reserves for The Lawrence so that the paper may expand and test new journalistic practices in the future.

Section Editors: All Section Editors are primarily in charge of the high-quality and timely production of their respective pages. Their responsibilities include reaching out to writers, editing articles, and physically formatting the pages themselves. The sections are: News, Opinions, Sports, Arts, and Features. Section Editors are also to be active voices in all decisions made by the Editor-in-Chief, challenging Editorial decisions when necessary. There may be more than one Section Editor per section, if need be.

Associate Editor: The Associate Editor runs the Associate program, a system by which select students are brought into the office each week to help the Editors edit and write. In addition, the Associate Editor regularly hosts school-wide writing workshops, teaching the community about the journalistic standards of The Lawrence. Finally, the Associate Editor is in charge of performing any tasks the Editor-in-Chief or Managing Editor may ask of him or her and takes care of any gaps between the expectations of Section Editors and the work they are actually able to perform effectively.

Editorial Board: The Editorial Board is comprised of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Section Editors, and Associate Editor. Together, while respecting the Editor-in-Chief’s responsibility to make final decisions, the Editorial Board advises the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor on all issues regarding The Lawrence.

Copy Editors: The role of the Copy Editors in the production of The Lawrence is to meticulously read each article and make sure it abides by grammatical and stylistic standards established in each Board’s Style Guide.

Photography and Graphics Editors: The Photography Editor and Graphics Editor are in charge of the visual aspects of the paper. They work closely with the Section Editors to obtain photographs and draw graphics to be published in print and online.

Web Editor: The Web Editor is in charge of managing the online aspects of The Lawrence, including the website and any other web-related project the Board initiates.

Staff Writers: Staff Writers are Lawrenceville students who write at least five articles within the span of a single term.

Faculty Advisors: Faculty Advisors offer the Editor-in-Chief and the rest of the Editorial Board professional advice, suggestions, and guidance during any and all Editorial decisions. The Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor consult Faculty Advisors regarding all issues related to the newspaper.

3. Operating Procedures

Weekly Operations: The newspaper is published every Friday of the school year, save for Exam Weeks, for a total of 30 issues per year. However, at its discretion the Editorial Board may decide not to publish in a given week.

Selection Process for Incoming Boards: It is the responsibility of the outgoing board to compose and send out applications to the entire student body and then conduct interviews however they see fit. The outgoing Editorial Board chooses the incoming Editor-in-Chief. After narrowing the applicant pool to two potential candidates, the outgoing Editorial Board votes to determine the new Editor-in-Chief. The election of the incoming Editor-in-Chief must be confirmed by the outgoing Editor-in-Chief. However, if the outgoing Editor-in-Chief does not agree with the selection, the outgoing Editorial Board may, by an absolute majority vote, confirm that selection. The incoming Editor-in-Chief has the final decision in selecting any candidate for any position on the incoming board. In consultation with the outgoing board, the incoming Editor-in-Chief first selects his or her Managing Editor and, with the advice of the outgoing board, the two select the rest of the incoming Board. All Editors also rely on the feedback and advice of the Faculty Advisors in making such decisions. The outgoing Editor-in-Chief may create and eliminate positions for the incoming Board. With the consultation of Faculty Advisors, the Managing Editor, and those Editors involved, the incoming Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to alter these decisions. Each incoming Board is typically selected in late February, at the end of the Winter Term, and takes over the paper at the beginning of the Spring Term in late March.

Process for an Editor’s Removal: An Editor may be dismissed from The Lawrence by the Editor-in-Chief after a single warning. Similarly, the Editor-in-Chief himself or herself may be removed by an absolute majority vote from the Editorial Board and the assent of the Faculty Advisors.

Selection Process for Replacing an Editor: If an Editor is unable to serve the full term of his or her position, the Editor-in-Chief chooses a replacement with input from the rest of the Editorial Board and Faculty Advisors.

Process for a Faculty Advisor’s Removal: With a unanimous vote, the Editorial Board may approach the administration and ask for the removal of a Faculty Advisor. The administration then works with the Editor-in-Chief to reach a solution.

Selection Process for Faculty Advisors: After heeding advice from the current Editorial Board, the administration selects new Faculty Advisors for the paper.

4. Policy & Guidelines


I. The Lawrence operates in agreement with the principles of the First Amendment as an agent of free speech. However, given its operation within a private institution, The Lawrence must respect community expectations in the content it chooses to publish.

II. The Lawrence treats all individuals with respect both in print and person, not discriminating on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, nationality, sex, religion, mental or physical disability, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital, domestic partnership or civil union status or any other status protected by applicable law in accordance with the Student Handbook.

III. Writers may obtain information from anonymous sources only as a last resort. In such cases, a writer must have a minimum of two sources that confirm the given information.

IV. All writers reveal to their sources whether or not an interview is on or off the record. The Lawrence does not publish information received off the record.

V. The Lawrence does not publish any articles from writers who wish to remain anonymous. In rare cases, however, in consultation with the Faculty Advisors and the rest of the Editorial Board, an Editor may withhold the identity of a writer if the importance of the article to the community outweighs the value of identifying the writer.

Objectivity: All writers and Editors strive to remain objective in all reporting.

Editorials: An editorial may be written by an individual of The Lawrence Board or on behalf of the entire board. To sign an editorial “This editorial represents the majority views of The Lawrence Board,” an absolute majority of the Editorial Board must agree on the position taken in the editorial itself.

Confidentiality: Only The Lawrence Board and Faculty Advisors review content before publication. The Lawrence reserves the right to not publish submissions of any kind.

Disciplinary Issues: Any student producing work for The Lawrence, whether writer, photographer, artist, or Board member, must abide by the rules and expectations set out in the Student Handbook. Situations involving infractions such as intellectual dishonesty or interpersonal attacks will be treated in the same way that they are in academic and residential contexts.

Amendments to the Charter: Any amendments to this Charter require the assent of the Editor-in-Chief and an absolute majority of the Editorial Board.