At a small school like Trinity, it is easy, and sometimes even fun, to attack the institutions on campus for not being as large, well-funded or putatively prestigious as institutions on larger campuses. It is part of our campus culture to mock most things on our own campus. Everything from Mabee to Residential Life to Admissions to student-run organizations on campus play an integral role in the “˜Trinity experience’ that Danny Anderson and Sheryl Tynes always mention when they talk about their vital work that they do for the university.
Without all of the organizations that we have on campus, we would be left with a less-enriched Trinity experience. Every organization and institution we have on campus, in some way, helps enhance someone’s Trinity experience. The institutions are vital, but oftentimes we demean them simply for existing. Yes, living in the age of smartphones and social media makes it easy for students to hole themselves inside of their rooms and emerge only for classes. However, we must remember that these institutions that are now so easy to mock once served as the original social media “” how people found their friend circles and sense of community and purpose.
One of the most vital institutions on campus is the Trinitonian. The Trinitonian is the campus newspaper “” the very newspaper you are reading right now, in case you didn’t know. The Trinitonian is a bastion of free speech and free press on Trinity’s campus. It’s not a cupcake publication “” it runs hard stories on issues that affect the Trinity community. The Trinitonian has shown that it is unafraid of taking on and questioning the administration. Daring to question the administration is vital; on a number of college campuses, the school newspaper is controlled by the administration itself and the administration gets to decide what is and is not acceptable to print. Here at Trinity, the press is proudly student-run and unrestrained by arbitrary rules.
This student-run campus publication plays one of the most important roles in creating the Trinity experience. The campus newspaper serves as a common well of knowledge and information that all students are entitled and encouraged to drink from. Without the Trinitonian, there would be no touchstone at Trinity for information on upcoming, past and current events. The Trinitonian provides a unifying experience for all students to become informed and diligent members of the Trinity community by supplying information about events and allowing students to express their ideas for the student body to hear. The Trinitonian also allows the administration and the student body to give and receive feedback on campus issues.
Far too often, people discredit the work that the Trinitonian and its employees do on campus. Without the Trinitonian, we would be reduced to getting our information from three sources: Facebook posts, LeeRoy emails and physical on-campus advertisements. Without the Trinitonian, there would be no unifying entity on campus to inform the campus of what’s happening.
All of these Trinitonian alternatives have a slew of problems. Facebook posts are hindered by their algorithm and lack of fact-checking. LeeRoy only tells you what events will happen and when. Finally, on-campus advertisements of events are outdated in an age where we stare at our smart phones from the moment we wake up to the second we go to bed. Demean the Trinitonian all you want, but no other campus institution is capable of doing the job that we do on this campus.
Without the Trinitonian, the campus would be much worse off. There would be no way for students to debate crucial, salient issues in print, there would be no way to easily know what has happened on campus over the past week nor what will happen. Trinity would become an information desert. Students would be limited to what they and their friends have noticed on campus.
Yes, sometimes the Trinitonian will publish articles giving print space to ideas that you disagree with, but don’t worry, reading different ideas won’t kill you. Colleges should be at the foreground in the battlefield of ideas, and the Trinitonian puts Trinity there.