The Trinity Tripod: our obligation

3 min read

by Pete Prendergast ’16

Editor in Chief

Today there are several American college publications that claim to be “the nation’s oldest continuously published college weekly,” “the oldest university newspaper in the United States,” or an adaptation of the same assertion.  The Bowdoin Orient, the Cornell Daily Sun, the Dartmouth, the Harvard Crimson, the Miami Student, the Simpsonian and the Yale Daily News all claim this “oldest in the country” superlative as their own. While only one of these publications can be the true original, this desire to be first is indicative of the prestige that we value in a student newspaper.  In the same way that we often equate a university’s worth with its age, we misguidedly respect publications more for their history as opposed to their merits.  A newspaper is only as good as its content.

We cannot forget the importance and the power that the press holds.  In the context of the nation, our most sacred right grants us the freedom to utilize the press to speak out, voice opinions and link the interests of our population to the powers that govern.  This paramount ideal applies in everyway to a college community.  We as a student body have not the privilege, but the right, to stay informed, to question our administration, to voice our thoughts.  As college campuses prove time and time again to be epicenters of social change, innovation and progress, the role of college newspapers must never be undermined.

The first issue of the Trinity Tripod was released to the Trinity community on Friday, September 3, 1904.  And on the paper’s very first front page the following statement was printed:  “The object of the TRINITY TRIPOD SHALL BE TO FURTHER ALL THE INTERESTS OF TRINITY COLLEGE; to arouse greater interest in the athletics and all college organizations, by giving quick and accurate accounts of games, college activities and all general college news; to bring the faculty, graduates, and undergraduates into closer touch with one another by giving them the means of expressing their opinions upon matters of current interest; to endeavor in every possible manner to increase TRINITY SPIRIT and, by circulating this paper among colleges and preparatory schools, to bring TRINITY COLLEGE into greater prominence in the country.”

As the Tripod enters its 112th year of publication, we promise to uphold these standards.  We promise to keep the students of Trinity informed.  We promise to maintain our publication as a haven for free expression. And most importantly, we promise to represent Trinity College to the rest of the world as honestly and as truly as we can. We are a community made up of leaders, academics, innovators, entrepreneurs, athletes, champions, artists, and scholars.  To every student, the Trinity Tripod pledges a platform for your voice to be heard.

-PJP

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