Illustration by Ren Rader
In my year and a half of working as a columnist for the Trinitonian, I’ve witnessed discourse that has inspired action on our campus. I’ve gotten a total of 18 hate comments — I counted for the purpose of this column. I’ve received emails explaining why a column of mine was incorrect, and I have had administration reach out because of my writing. Looking back on my columns as I make a transition from columnist to opinion editor, I’ve been through it, to say the least.
It was my infamous fraternity and sorority life column that garnered the worst attention. From arguments in the comment section to discourse about my writing on TUSnaps to someone recording themselves burning the opinion section, the weeks following that column were the worst of my life. And yet, through all the crying, isolation and retaliation, not once did I consider quitting the Trinitonian. Writing has been my passion since I first learned how to write. Undoubtedly, looking back at my first columns makes me embarrassed; I was a terrible writer. A mediocre one too. But there was something fundamentally significant in the core of what I wrote that seemed to garner lots of attention: Our campus is ever-evolving and requires voices that can challenge what we believe is the norm.
It’s no secret that there are certain people who refuse to talk to the Trinitonian out of mere distrust. Or that certain individuals believe we’re a some leftist, liberal newspaper who hates conservatives. While those who have followed my writing know very clearly what I believe in, I want our opinion section to be inclusive of everyone, including those I disagree with. During my time as a columnist, I’ve learned to open my ears to voices I didn’t grow up around, and that includes people who argue against everything I fundamentally believe in.
Do remember, I am the mere opinion editor being led by you, the reader. This isn’t the Kayla section, nor the Trinitonian-staff-only section — this is the Opinion section meant to serve all the voices in our community. I encourage you to gradually regain faith in the Trinitonian as a vessel for your discourse. I believe the community when they say that past Trinitonian staffs have given them reason to create distrust. I believe we have had and continue to have flaws in our paper, and we have diversity issues on staff. But I encourage people to let that past perception melt away as newer people take over the Trinitonian and are working to regain the trust of the public through our unbiased reporting and encouragement of you, the reader, to write in to our paper more often.
We are changing, evolving and learning. It is an honor not to be the Trinitonian’s opinion editor, but the reader’s opinion editor because what matters most to me is providing a platform for all voices on campus. If you have any questions, concerns, critiques or columns, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.