Cornell Sun Employee Handbook

I. Company History and Mission
II. The Cornell Daily Sun Business Department
III. Attendance Policy
IV. Dismissal Policy
V. Promotion and Transfer Policy
VI. Marketing Department
VII. Advertising Department
VIII. Human Resources Department

I. Company History/Mission
The Cornell Daily Sun is a historic independent student publication. Founded in 1880 by William Ballard Hoyt, The Sun challenged Cornell’s leading and original publication The Cornell Ezra which was founded 12 years prior and eventually became a literary journal. In 1912, The Sun became the “first collegiate member of the Associated Press” and throughout the 20th century faced competition from the Cornell Daily Review and the Ithaca Journal. In 1996,  The Sun followed its competitor The Ithaca Journal in a switch from evening to morning publications along with a change in content from national to local and university related stories. After this shift, the new slogan became “Independent Since 1880”, representing The Sun’s commitment to remain financially independent in an effort to curate its own content without university influence.

The twenty first century initiated a new and exciting era for the The Cornell Daily Sun. In January 2003, The Sun Alumni Association purchased the former Elks Lodge in downtown Ithaca which became the new Sun headquarters and office– ironically next door to Ithaca Journal’s office. In 2004 ,the Cornell Student Assembly made the decision to provide the New York Times and USA Today free of cost to all undergraduate students; in response, The Sun became free and printed full-color front and back pages. As “Ithaca’s only morning newspaper,” The Cornell Daily Sun was published every day until 2016 when it transitioned to a new print edition every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday during the academic year– shifting from print to digital in an effort to invest in the future of publication. Common features of the Sun include the “Cornell’s 161 Faces” as well as the infamous sex column that appears every other Thursday.

The Cornell Daily Sun is a historic publication with a rich history, strong following, and unwavering support from alumni. On Sept. 17, 2005, more than 370 Sun alumni and guests gathered to celebrate the Sun’s 125th anniversary. The Cornell Daily Sun is the oldest independent college daily in the United States and is staffed entirely by Cornell students, aside from a few full-time production and business positions.

II. The Cornell Daily Sun Business Department:
The Cornell Daily Sun Business Department is comprised of three smaller, individual departments: Advertising, Human Resources, and Marketing.

Our department mission is to collectively support The Sun in all business efforts. Mainly, we strive to increase the monetary success of the newspaper, supporting the Editorial staff in their advertising, marketing, and recruitment needs. We aim to make the Sun a profitable, successful independent business that is sustainable for years to come.

The Cornell Daily Sun Business Department collectively meets once a week at the Office at 135 West State Street in downtown Ithaca. At this meeting, we discuss our progress towards our goals, ideas for innovation and change, and the best ways to support the Sun as a business.

Our Business Manager acts as the Chief Financial Officer role, overseeing our funds, revenue, and success. He/she works closely with Alumni, Full Time Sun Staff, and the Editor-in-Chief to ensure The Sun is meeting its goals and striving for a successful future.

III. Attendance Policy
A designated human resources associate will keep track of each associate’s absences at the Business team meetings on Friday at 5:00pm.

Associates are allowed three excused absences per semester. An excused absence indicates that the associate has contacted the designated human resources associate 24 hours prior to the team meeting on Friday at 5:00pm to inform them that they could not attend the meeting.

In the event that an associate exceeds three excused absences their specific department manager and business manager will meet with the associate at the office to discuss the reason behind the excessive absences or incompletion of work. The managers, together, will decide whether the associate’s explanation is valid or whether the associate should be removed from the business department.

Unexcused absences will not be permitted with the exception of extreme emergencies. For every unexcused absence, an associate will be expected to meet with their Department Manager at the office to discuss why they were unable to attend the meeting and their commitment to the Sun. The Department Manager reserves the right to provide the associate with an additional project or assignment to compensate for missing the meeting should they feel that the associate’s reasoning for their absence is unacceptable.

Failure to complete an assignment or project within its designated timeframe will account for one of the associate’s allotted excused absences. Each department manager reserves the right to equate an incomplete or late assignment to one of the three permitted absences.

IV. Dismissal Policy
There are two ways to terminate employment: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary terminations include resignations. If an associate is considering terminating his or her involvement with the Business Department, he or she will need to inform their current department manager as well as the business manager. From there, the parties involved will negotiate the best way for the associate to resign. Involuntary terminations include disciplinary action. If you have three or more unexcused absences or tardiness at meetings within the semester, you will be dismissed from your position in the Business Department. The first time you don’t contribute your part to an assigned project, you will be asked to meet with your Department Manager to discuss your commitment to The Sun. If you fail to contribute to an assigned project again, you will be dismissed from your position in the Business Department. Any action on your part that jeopardizes the reputation of The Sun will also lead to dismissal.

V. Promotion and Transfer Policy
In each department there is a manager, assistant manager, senior associates, and associates. All former managers, and seniors, will move into the senior educator position, where they will help mentor new managers. Associates automatically become senior associates once they have been in the Business Department for over one semester. Associates can apply for the manager or assistant manager position of their department once they have been in the Business department for one semester. Senior associates and managers, who have been in the Business Department for two semesters, may apply for Business manager. Members wishing to transfer to another department must first reach out to their current manager. They can then contact the manager of the department they are wishing to transfer into. The new manager should allow the prospective member to sit in on their department meetings. A member cannot transfer until they have been in their current department for one semester.

VI. Marketing Department
Marketing Manager: Oversees the ongoing progress of the marketing department, facilitates the development of individual projects, executes performance evaluations for members of the department and leads weekly meetings

Project Manager: Serves as lead for individual projects, manages marketing associates directly

Marketing Associates: Work directly on the developing projects, aids project manager in the execution of tasks and development of innovative project ideas

Responsibilities of the Marketing Department include:
— Plan, organize, and execute marketing campaigns
— Deliver and develop innovative new products
— Meet face-to-face with potential clients, partners, and stakeholders

What We Are Looking For:
— Self-starter, motivated, and energetic
— Strong communication and public speaking skills
— Effective at multitasking with a proven ability to meet deadlines
— Strong understanding of social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

VII. Advertising Department
Advertising Manager: The Advertising Manager is a forward looking, managerial role as opposed to a day-to-day role. Expected time commitment is 10-20 hours per week. Main responsibilities and duties are:
— Upkeep and follow-up of current Cornell/Local/National Advertising Clients through emails
— Fielding and establishing business calls to clarify advertising questions or concerns or strategy with advertising clients
— Handle all clients within Cornell Portfolio and ensure that progress is being made on all fronts

In relation to the management of the individual advertising department, the Advertising Manager is also responsible for:
— Developing forward-looking projects that will either enhance performance of the Department or mediate lingering issues developing within the Department.
— Establishing teams amongst associates based on schedules, personal preferences, and strengths and weaknesses of particular associates.
— Establishing appropriate Team Leaders that will be most effective in leading Junior and Senior Associates in doing sales runs, initial outreach efforts, etc.
— Scheduling and maintaining individual meetings with associates and management to ensure performance.
— Establishing weekly Advertising Sector Meetings with specific agendas that need to be covered in order to ensure that the meeting is time efficient.
— Attending Board Meetings with the Business Manager to discuss Ad Strategy and Current/Future Revenue Projections.
— Leading sales runs with new associates
— Scheduling Advertising Layout amongst Management and Associates
— Creating the Overall Onboarding Education Agenda for New Associates

Assistant Advertising Manager: The assistant advertising manager is a day-to-day enforcer and executioner. The estimated time commitment of this position is 5-15 hours/week. Responsibilities and tasks in this role include:
— Checking in with associates on sales run progress.
— Keeping up and running database and timeline of clients and associates’ progress.
— Helping manage and respond to emails.
— Develop structure/templates for sales pitches and emails.
— Work hands-on with different associate teams to make sales runs.
— Address day-to-day procedural questions and problems.
— Help lead weekly Advertising meetings.
— Assist Advertising Manager on future projects and lead the actual creation of them.

Advertising Associate: The advertising associates are the salesforce.orgy and advertising consultants for both Cornell and non-Cornell clients across Ithaca. The estimated time commitment of this position is 3-6 hours/week. Responsibilities and tasks in this role include:
— Scheduling and meeting with existing clients, including sending cold emails, cold calls, cold in-person client visits (the Stuart method) and in-person client meetings
— Develop relationships with new clients to bring in more business
— Attend weekly advertising meetings to discuss sales progress, new advertising strategies, and new sales strategies
— Address day-to-day client concerns and sending follow-up emails to review ad performance

VIII. HR Department
Human Resources performs many other functions such as performance evaluations, social gatherings (one or two a semester), group bonding, alumni relations, or any other tasks as needed that can better associates either professionally or personally.

Human Resources Manager: The Human Resources Manager role is to oversee and set the agenda for the entire Human Resources Department. The time commitment is 7 to 10 hours a week. The responsibilities and duties of the Human Resources Manager includes:
— Scheduling, planning, and executing recruitment cycles in both the Fall and Spring semesters. Including, but not limited to: booking rooms for information sessions; coordinating Business Professional headshots for Recruitment Campaign; working with Marketing to design a recruitment campaign; responding to and sending emails to prospective members; planning and coordinating the timing and type of interview rounds; planning and executing the onboarding and training of new associates.
— Implement onboarding plan to help new associates become accustomed to The Sun’s culture, ethics, and other members.
— Implement plan for training new associates for each department. Must work with other managers to craft appropriate and educational training.
— Implement and maintain a performance evaluation system so that employees and members are getting feedback, and giving feedback to managers and upper level staff.
— Plan events for the Business Department throughout the semester.

Human Resources Associate: As an HR associate for The Sun, there are multiple tasks to complete. First and foremost is recruitment for incoming business associates. Recruitment must be:
— Heavily advertised (to be determined by HR and Marketing departments), coordinated, and executed. Advertising includes: social media presence, email list serves, quarter carding, speaking in classes, etc.
— Coordination requires planning of interviewing applicants and which stages/rounds are planned (social round, individual round, group round, etc).
— Execution is making sure everything runs smoothly and is done in a timely manner (beginning of semester), and furthermore, a recruitment report must be performed by new associates.