Staff Writer Policy



1. Purpose:
The purpose of this policy is to define the title of staff writer and the benefits that come with it.  The title of staff writer will be used to encourage writers to stick to deadlines while ensuring they still produce good, reliable content;

2. Definitions:
“Contributor” refers to any person who is paid for their contributions to The Peak (see Pay Policy for details),
“SFU Student” refers to a contributor who has submitted less than three full pieces for The Peak,
“Peak Associate” refers to a contributor who has submitted three or more full pieces for The Peak but has not earned the title of staff writer,
“Staff Writer” refers to a contributor who produces consistently exceptional content as determined by individual section editors and is rewarded for that work,
“Editor” refers to any editor at The Peak, including copy editor and Editor in Chief,
“Section Editor” refers to the editors in charge of specific sections (ex. Arts, News, Photo, etc.),
“Editor in Chief (EIC)” refers to lead editor of the paper as elected by The Peak (see Constitution for details),
“Editorial Meeting” refer to weekly meetings held in which editors discuss the direction, content, and other relevant aspects of The Peak,
“Board of Directors” refers to the governing body of the PPS as elected by the various branches of the PPS (see Constitution for details);

3. Policy:
           a) If an SFU student or Peak associate creates consistent high quality content that is turned in on time, they are eligible for the title of staff writer:
                   i. An SFU student is eligible once they have submitted five pieces and have been moved up to the title of Peak associate,
                   ii. A Peak associate is eligible following their fifth submitted piece in their time as a contributor;
           b) Staff writers are entitled to certain benefits (as outlined in section 5) and retain their title until they graduate, choose to stop writing, and/or have their titles revoked (see section 6),
           c) There shall be no limit to the number of staff writers but the title should be reserved for the best contributors at the paper,
            d) All content of this policy subject to change following a majority vote by the Board of Directors;

4. Procedure:
            a) A section editor will nominate an eligible contributor that they believe deserves the title of staff writer during any editorial meeting,
            b) The editors shall discuss the contributor to determine if they deserve the title of staff writer,
                   i. The section editor who nominates the contributor shall be responsible for presenting the contributor’s case to the editors. This includes but is not limited to who the contributor is, past work, example of merit, etc.,
                   ii. The EIC will lead this discussion;
            c) The editors shall vote either in favour or against of the contributor’s title change via secret ballot,
                   i. All editors must be given a chance to vote and must be provided notes from the discussion if they were not in attendance,
                   ii. The EIC shall be responsible for ensuring the secrecy of the vote and that all editors are provided with the needed materials to vote;
            d) The contributor will be given the title of staff writer following a vote of 75% in their favour,
                   i. The EIC is responsible for informing the elected staff writers of their new title, benefits, expectations, and disciplinary procedures,
                   ii. Should the contributor wish to decline the title, they should inform the EIC at this time;

5. Benefits:
            a) A staff writer must maintain their status until the end of any given semester in order to receive all benefits,
                   i. As long as this condition is met, staff writers are eligible for benefits no matter when in the semester they received their title;
            b) A staff writer will be credited as such on all work following their title change,
            c) A staff writer will receive a $50 bonus at the end of every semester that they hold the title for,
                   i. Staff writers will not invoice for this bonus. Ensuring staff writers receive their bonus will be the responsibility of the editors with final oversight done by the EIC;
d) A staff writer will automatically be a member of The Peak collective.

6. Disciplinary Action:
            a) Staff writers must maintain staff writer standards or they may lose their title,
                   i. Staff writer standards includes, but is not limited to, submitting content in a timely manner (i.e. Before the pre-agreed upon deadline or a new deadline arranged 24 hours prior to the original deadline), ensuring the piece contains no overtly libel content, and is free of plagiarism. All standards are subject to editor discretion,
                   ii. Missing a deadline is excusable in the case of an emergency. Editors reserve the right to decide what constitutes an emergency. General academic rules should be used as a guideline;
            b) Should a staff writer not maintain standards, they will be given one warning, an explanation of the why they are getting the warning, and advice on how to fix the problem,
                   i. The editor experiencing a drop in standards is responsible for telling the EIC. The EIC will issue the warning and will inform other editors of the warning;
            c) Should the staff writer not maintain standards a second time, they shall have their title revoked and will not receive any further staff writer benefits,
                   i. The editor experiencing a drop in standards is responsible for telling the EIC. The EIC will inform the staff writer that their title is being revoked and give the explanation as to why this action is being taken. The EIC will also inform editors that the title has been revoked and why;
            d) Former staff writers are eligible to regain their title following a correction if the behaviour. The procedure for reinstating a staff writer is the same as the initial procedure.