Harvard's student newspaper elects its first black woman president

Inclusion will be among her messages

By CHRISTINA MAXOURIS AND BRANDON GRIGGS, CNN
The Harvard Crimson via CNN

Kristine E. Guillaume will run The Harvard Crimson next year as the venerable university newspaper's first black female president.

(CNN) - Kristine E. Guillaume will run the Harvard Crimson next year as the venerable university newspaper's first black female president.

Guillaume, a junior focusing on African-American studies along with history and literature, has served as one of the paper's central administration reporters, during which time she covered Harvard's presidential search and interviewed two university presidents.

Founded in 1873, the Crimson bills itself as the nation's oldest continuously published daily college newspaper. Past Crimson editors include Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy and many leading journalists, among them CNN President Jeff Zucker.

Guillaume grew up in Queens, New York, where she attended Townsend Harris High School. She is one of three chairs of the Crimson's Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, which this year has focused on recruiting editors from marginalized backgrounds.

"If my election has validated anyone's experience or validated anyone's belonging in Crimson, then my hard work will be worth it and will continue to be worth it," Guillaume said.

It's a message she hopes her new post will convey: Everyone should feel like they belong at the newspaper and the university, no matter their background, race, ethnicity, gender orientation or sexual identity.

"At Harvard you're in a space that was made for white men, so if you're not the cookie-cutter white man who Harvard was built for, it can be difficult to navigate being here," she said.

"I want people to think about how to navigate, and feel like they can and get through their education and feel like they do belong here. That's a big thing for me."

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