Skyler Simpkins ’23
As my time at Trinity and the Tripod comes to an end, I wanted to reflect on the changes made this year within the pod and what I hope to see in the future.
I joined the Tripod my sophomore year, mid-Covid, and was the only Opinion Editor on the staff. Outreach was not strong for the Tripod then, meaning that I had to pester my friends to write so I could meet my 2,000-word quota. I remained Opinion Editor for two more semesters—luckily with the help of some more Opinion Editors—and I honestly started feeling burnt out. Trying to dig up some ideas for opinions made me feel insincere, and I felt like I didn’t even know the paper I was supplying these articles to every week. It was hard post-Covid to readjust and begin using our little office behind the Jackson laundry room again, so we didn’t. We met over Zoom and never really had meaningful conversations with our management, editors, or writers. All of us were cogs in a machine, working away to keep our little Trinity College student newspaper running while slammed with schoolwork. You could feel it throughout the staff; we were losing motivation because this paper was only something ornamenting our resumes, not something we felt personally proud of. Well, I knew that needed to change.
Luckily, I was chosen to become Editor-in-Chief for the fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters, and I finally had an outlet to try and make the Tripod a little family again. I wanted the Tripod to mean more to me and all the staff, so, first things first, I re-introduced in-person meetings. Now we could put a face to the name and the story. This made sure we knew who we were working with and what we were collectively working toward: a school newspaper that actually represented its students.
The paper couldn’t just represent the students on the staff, it had to represent all students, and I had a couple of ideas on how to improve our representation. For one, we upped our outreach to contributing writers. Secondly, and completely new thanks to the help of the Tripod’s Managing Editors, we introduced the idea of special editions for LGBTQ+ History Month, Black History Month, and Women’s History Month. We wanted to celebrate the diversity at the College, and these special editions gave us the opportunity to go out and interview student organizations and students. We also got the chance to read and hear amazing perspectives from contributing writers! While we want to champion the diversity on our campus in every single one of our issues, these special editions gave us the chance to spotlight these integral communities on campus. I hope the Tripod continues on this mission to highlight the diversity on our not-so-diverse campus, whatever outlet it becomes.
The next big thing that came to the Tripod—or should I say came back to the Tripod—yep I’m talking about the satirical section Bits & Pieces. Of course, this section wasn’t created by me but by previous B&P/Managing Editor Liz Foster ’22. We, at first, thought the section would live and die with her, but we realized that B&P didn’t have to die that way. People loved the section—I mean, I can’t blame you if that’s the only reason you picked up the paper. Trinity College will always produce insane comedy gold, and B&P will always be able to capitalize on that even if we are down the one-and-only Liz Foster. B&P is released biweekly, and, when it is published, we see a spike in readership. I think it is safe to assume that B&P will continue to grace the pages of the Tripod for the long road ahead. (If you ask me, I think the funniest thing coming from B&P is the group of students that believe the articles are true.)
While there is a lot I did wrong and a lot more I could have done better, I am happy with the couple of changes that came to the Tripod during my time as EIC. I am confident that upcoming EICs Olivia Silvey ’25 and Sammi Bray ’25 will continue to push the Tripod in the right direction.
If you have stumbled upon page two, made it to this point in the article, and are not a senior, I hope you join the Tripod team. Start by writing an article and meeting our amazing editors! I promise you that being a part of the Tripod is one of the best decisions you can make at Trinity College.
Farewell and cluck on,