Olivia Silvey ’25 & Sammi Bray ’25
Whether you are here reading our editorial for the first time or you are a weekly reader – thank you. Thank you for taking the time to pick up the Tripod and flip to the inside cover to see whatever we are thinking about this week. It may seem like a simple, mindless act to you – a few columns, some dozen sentences – but it is very special to us that our writing is being read. There were probably times that you disagreed with us, or maybe you thought we blew a situation out of proportion, that we were too sensitive or not sensitive enough.
Beyond our editorials, you may have disagreed with what news stories we have considered worthy of covering on the front pages, what opinion pieces we highlighted or which Taylor Swift piece we decided to include that week (there were always plenty). Whether you are a fan, a hater or a neutral reader – if that is even a possibility – we appreciate you taking the time to read our words. On behalf of not just us, but the entire Tripod staff, we are incredibly grateful for the support, feedback and YikYaks you have shared with or about your school paper. Our names are on the masthead, but ultimately, to you all in the Trinity community, this paper is yours.
Coming into this semester as two juniors, we were nervous to step into this huge role. There were the normal, logistical worries, like having more of a time commitment, improving the function of our staff and producing good writing. But there is another side to our leadership roles that we were not quite aware of when we initially started out: as your EICs, it is our job to make sure you have an avenue to understand your community and the world around you. This requires seemingly never ending decisions about what goes into our weekly publication. There is a heavy weight of the choices we make of whose voices to amplify – because, as we must all remember, there is truly no such thing as completely unbiased journalism, since bias is present within the inclusion (or exclusion) of a story, even if the words seem neutral.
But, is neutrality the goal? We feel that this semester brought a lot of controversial, emotional and intense issues, which meant that we were making a lot of these weighty decisions. We kicked off the semester with a summer recap that included the suspension of St. Anthony’s Hall, which is understandably a sensitive subject for many. Our front page then moved to coverage of the maladministration by the College’s deans. And now, since early October, our headlines are one of thousands daily that announce the devastation in Gaza. All of these stories required a decision first: to include or not? And inherently, by including – or not – we take a stance. We believe this is why journalism is important. To inform, yes, but also to signal, to draw attention, to wave our arms and say, “hey look over here!” in the right way.
This semester, we feel that we worked our hardest to do it right (damn that perfectionism). At some points, we wanted to rip out our hair, cry and give up our job to quite literally anyone who wanted it. We have felt nervous and even nauseous about how the community will react to what we write or publish. Jokingly (maybe), we have watched our backs and discussed what might happen if someone in a position of power gets too upset about the weekly spread of articles. At different points in the semester, we have grown frustrated when the information we needed for an article was too far out of reach. It is our job to present the full truth to you all and sometimes, the powers that be do not allow us to. But, that does not mean we do not persevere.
After a much-needed winter slumber (although with maybe a few off-season articles here and there), in the spring we are excited to return with more important content like what we have proudly shared with you already. We encourage you to take a chance and share, too. Send us an article, cover an event on campus you think sounds interesting, write an opinion piece, talk about your favorite sports team or write a joke for Bits & Pieces. The beauty of the Tripod is that there is something for everyone – not only to read, but to write. We will continue to first and foremost be a student newspaper, which means there is room for the voice of every single student to be published during their tenure at Trinity. We are not just a collection or representation of staff editors and writers, we are a platform for every matriculated Trinity College student. That means YOU! We hope to hear from you soon and good luck with finals!
Until the spring and with love,
Sammi Bray & Olivia Silvey