Sammi Bray ’25 & Olivia Silvey ’25
It is 85 degrees out, the humidity is exhausting and the green grass out on the quad, showered in sunlight, reminds us all that it is still summer. For those of you without air conditioning in your dorms, our thoughts are with you. Despite the conditions outside, here we all are, back at Camp Trin just as it has been for 200 years – except with some more construction and a few new faces (and women) (and people of color) (and people who went to public schools).
As we reflect on our past, it is obvious that the Trinity we all attend today is a far different Trinity than our alums attended. A far more diverse body of students and staff made up of women, LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color and citizens of the world roam the Long Walk and fill our classrooms. When decades of Bantams return for Homecoming and Bicentennial Weekend in October, we hope they can feel a different kind of energy from this community – one that is supportive, committed to success, and is a place our alums leave feeling optimistic for the future of not only our college, but the world. The November symposium will host a variety of conversations about the College’s history, including this paper’s history of journalistic pursuits. In these discussions, we hope to discover even more areas that we can all improve in as a community. One day when the 2,200 of us here now return to campus, may it be even more diverse, accepting and fruitful than when we left it.
This year, our Bicentennial year, is all about connecting our past with our future through the present moment. That will happen in a lot of places: in conversations between alum and student during Bicentennial weekend, on the stage during the fall symposium, and, if we reach our goals, here in the pages of the Tripod. Our goal at the Tripod is to continue reminding our greater Trinity community throughout the Bicentennial that, as a college, we are still far from perfect. Our student population is still very homogenous and students of color do not feel nearly as ingrained into the community as white students. A class divide is, on some level, always present when some students cannot access the same opportunities as others. LGBTQ+ students do not feel as safe in social settings and as welcomed in this community as they should be. Women are in several ways still second class citizens – our recent Title IX investigation reminded us all that women’s sports are not considered equal – and countless female identifying students feel unsafe in social settings. The “Red Zone,” this period of the academic year we are currently in, is when 50% of sexual assault attacks occur. How are we still plagued by these epidemics?
There is also undeniable good that has come out of the College’s history. To the version of Trinity that existed 200 years ago (or even about 50), two women leading the student newspaper — and with a staff that is a majority of women — would be impossible, ridiculous and utterly stupid. Even though The Trinity Tripod was not established until 1904, we doubt that the founding members and first attendees of this institution in 1823 envisioned this for their future. However, this does not mean that we should discount our College’s past and where we came from. Instead, we believe that we should use our history to reexamine our present and shape our future; as corny as that sounds, it is important. We are excited to celebrate our new position as co-Editors-in-Chief. For the second year in a row, and hopefully next year, a third, the Tripod will be led by female EICs.
In this role, we hope to amplify the voices of all writers, but especially those underserved and underrepresented. We want to tackle tough issues and tricky conversations, even if we are met with backlash or even sometimes bigotry, like the comments received in response to last year’s Pride special edition. We once again want to publish content that makes you think critically and might even make you uncomfortable. It is easier said than done to achieve these major goals, so we hope you will hold us accountable as we work towards them through these specific following changes to the paper: a more democratic editor selection process; opening up our meetings to staff writers; improved communication between writers, editors, the executive board and the community; tangible efforts to get to know each other on a personal level, not just professional; retaining staff writers through each semester; and resuming our letter to the editor program. We want to lead the Tripod unafraid and unembarrassed, and to be able to look back in 50 years and hold these papers as a real and honest representation of our lives at Camp Trin in 2023.
Most importantly, we want to hear from all of you. This is not only our paper, but Trinity’s. Each and every one of you Bantams has a place in these pages, a story worth telling, and a voice that should be heard. Be brave, send us an email, get on that weekly budget email list. Take a stab at it, become a staff writer, or never write again. We are here to help you, to amplify you.
We hope you have a wonderful year and that the summer treated you well. Take chances, reach outside your comfort zone, and speak up for what you believe in.
-Sammi Bray & Olivia Silvey