It seems like just a few weeks ago we were cramming for finals, saying goodbye to friends and making sure any damages in our rooms were hidden before our resident mentors made one final pass through the building. If we were successful, the residence halls still look the same. The buildings are still standing, parking is still impossible and, for the most part, everything is right where we left it.
But let’s not forget everything that changed while we were gone.
In June, 49 innocent people in Orlando were enjoying freedom and a sense of pride that would have put their lives at risk just a few short years ago. Their celebration was cut short as a shooter reminded us all of the level of hatred that still exists toward the LGBTQ+ community. The following month, police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were assassinated after clocking in to fulfill their duty to serve and protect citizens from danger. Barely a week later, we watched in horror, though not surprise, as patriots in Nice, France frantically searched through debris in streets where excitement and unity were on full display just minutes before.
Even more animosity came when both of the United States’ major political parties announced the candidate they will be endorsing in the 2016 presidential election. We’re used to polarized parties, but the amount of effort from the media and the general population that has gone into attacking each candidate is unprecedented.
Perhaps the Olympic games have reminded us that we can still find common ground. For the last three weeks we have watched the world’s greatest athletes swim, jump, throw, shoot, flip and run to break world records and shatter barriers, paving the way for the next generation to set the bar even higher.
To summarize the summer, breaking news was the norm. We experienced months where shocking events happened almost on a weekly basis, and the media barely finished reporting one tragedy or scandal before they had to race to cover the next. Some say that the frequency of violence we see, along with the subsequent media coverage, has desensitized us to the reality of death and destruction. Others claim that our exposure to images of pain and desolation has made us more aware of social injustice. Either way, the years we’ve spent in college have been marked by a trend of tragedy, controversy and sensational stories that bombard us almost 24/7. Television stations, online newspapers, print publications and public figures on social media seem to be competing for our attention and waiting for our reactions.
As journalists, we can sympathize with the various outlets’ desire for an audience. We will concede to them and acknowledge that our publication probably will not be the first to break a story about a record-setting Olympian or a natural disaster overseas. For that, you can choose from a variety of national television stations, online news sites, newspapers or magazines with reporters who have access to national and international public figures. That’s the thing, though. Those sources are virtually interchangeable.
Here at the Trinitonian, though, we work to give you something no other information source can. We are completely student run, so we know the questions students have and the issues that are important on our campus. We have access to the people who make our curriculum, organize our on-campus events, oversee clubs, know how our money is spent and ultimately make changes at this university, so we can graduate and impact this generation for the better.
As the saying goes, “The more things seem to change, the more they remain the same.” We know that the Trinity community is passionate about ending this trend of turbulence that has become almost routine in our day and age. We are passionate about making your voices heard. As we enter a new semester, we encourage anyone who has an idea, a concern or a thought that they want to express to step up and take advantage of this public forum that we print every week. Through dialogue, together we will be able to make an impact so that future summers will not remain the same as the one that just shook our nation and world.