The financial reward system outlined here is a continuation of our previous efforts to partially compensate contributors for their work.

What are financial rewards for?

The Quest is investing in two main goals:

  1. Serving the information needs of the Minerva community by publishing independent investigative reports about important student issues.
    1. Are 1,500+ words after editing.
    2. Must present extensive research, including interviews.
    3. Should demonstrably respond to student needs and debates and/or contribute new information to the community.
  2. Increasing content from historically underrepresented student perspectives that have previously been under-voiced in the Quest, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students, students from outside the US and western Europe, and lower income students.
    1. Are 700+ words after editing.
    2. Can include reports and opinion pieces. 
    3. Should demonstrably respond to student needs and debates and/or contribute new perspectives to the community.

Financial rewards will be given to student contributors who fit into at least one of those categories. They are intended to incentivize the creation of content by students who otherwise might not have been willing or able to dedicate the time and/or resources to this work. Consequently, if a student is committed to finishing a project out of personal interest and would be able to finish without the incentive, we encourage them to withhold from applying. We will leave this evaluation up to individual students, however; while the Quest leadership will vet content for meeting these two categories, we will not judge a student’s need or motivations. 

How will financial rewards work?

We will devote a maximum of $300 USD of the Quest’s approximately $900 in savings to the rewards program over the coming academic year. Each semester (including Summer 2020) at least $100 will be available for financial rewards, to be paid out in five $20 rewards on a per-article basis. 

Once a student expresses interest in writing an article, the main editor they are working with will ask them if they are interested in the financial reward program if they have not already specified this themselves. The main editor is the point-of-contact for the writer throughout the process and should be specified in the Notion card for the story. Every student writing a report or an opinion piece (but not creative pieces or pieces based on assignments) will be made aware of the program at the beginning of the process, and it will be up to their discretion to decide whether to apply or not.

The student will complete a short application briefly justifying their eligibility for rewards at the beginning of the writing process and receive the $20 payment via Venmo or Zelle once they satisfactorily complete the article, as evaluated by a majority vote of the Quest editors. If the final article does not meet the categories above as evaluated by the Quest editorial team, the payment will not be made. In the event that more than five students apply for the rewards program in a single semester, payments will be made according to whichever students finish their articles first. If less than five students successfully apply, the remaining money will be rolled over to the next semester (ie, if four students are paid in the summer six students may be paid in the fall). 

This process is subject to change as we continue to refine our reward system. If you have any questions, email [email protected]

Correction: This article was updated to explicitly encourage BIPOC students to apply for the rewards program.