One major characteristic of going to a small school like Trinity is the community. Maybe it’s one of the reasons you chose to enroll, maybe it’s how you’re able to maintain a close connection with multiple professors, maybe it’s a curse. A small community is a benefit; realize its full potential.
On such a small campus, you have the ability to enact change, and many Trinity students before you have, from writing an open letter challenging university officials to begin to admit Black students in 1954 to demonstrating the importance of sexual assault awareness with the Clothesline Project. Year after year, Trinity students speak up for their beliefs, and they make actions, and they near change. And then summer break happens, or winter break, or even just midterms, and students’ determination fizzles.
Every year, Student Government Association (SGA) grants University-Sponsored Organizations (USOs) funding. At one of their Spring 2017 meetings, SGA denied the operating budget of one of those USOs, Greek Council, an action that became colloquially known as “Greek-gate” to Trinity students. At the following meeting, the room was packed with students protesting that decision.
In 2017, the university revoked access to on-campus residence halls from students living off-campus, and students were upset. At a meeting in September of 2017, dean of students David Tuttle gave students the opportunity to ask questions about the rationale behind the choice at a SGA meeting.
This past May, the Trinity student body divided over debates of Chick-fil-A’s presence on campus. There were students who believed it was against the First Amendment to remove the chain, there were students who believed it was against an entire community’s existence to keep the chain, and there were some who didn’t see the connection. Ultimately, SGA decided to create and present a resolution. Not even a week later, the university responded with a rejection of SGA’s resolution.
Since then, there has been little talk of all-campus card access, “Greek-gate” and Chick-fil-A, save the occasional reference on TU Snaps.
Most of us are only students nine months out of the year, and during those times in between, we lose sight of those issues that matter to us on campus. If we want to see real change, it will require continuous action.
Trinity offers a tight-knit network. You have direct access to SGA; they have meetings weekly (Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in the Waxahachie Room). You have access to forums like the Trinitonian, and you even have access to the university president, through his weekly office hours. Take advantage.