Something needs to change with this paper. I knew this from the minute I joined, but now I feel like I can make that change.
Yes, I have seen the Yik Yak message boards, so I am very well aware of the things Trinity students claim about this paper. Honestly, I’m thankful for these messages, the anonymity lets students speak their mind about the paper’s trajectory without feeling guilty about having those opinions.
Something probably on your mind reading this editorial: why now? Why have I suddenly decided to change the Tripod after years of declining interest and support? Before I address these answers, I want to say that in no way do I think our ideas are superior to all others. If you have suggestions for me, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at email@example.com.
We have recently had a sudden change of leadership, so my avenues for inducing change have increased significantly. Over the past few years, the Tripod’s goal has deviated from representing the Trinity College student body to streamlining operations. This has essentially pivoted the responsibilities of the Tripod staff, leaving Section Editors to complete all the writing, thus ensuring they would never miss an article for publication. The Tripod was on the precipice of encouraging Section Editors to quit receiving outside submissions altogether, leaving only them to do the writing for the so-called student paper. While this may have made things easier and more convenient in semesters ruled by COVID-19 restrictions, this is not the right path for this paper.
The Tripod is a paper for the Trinity student body, but—in all honesty—it hasn’t been that way for awhile. It has, instead, been a paper promoting the voices of the Tripod staff, which, granted, is a group of students but is not ALL students. I want this to change; I want to return this paper to the student body of Trinity College. I feel like this can happen in two ways: for one, we can increase our representation of the diverse cultures and interests that make up this small liberal arts college, and, secondly, we can make this paper desirable to the reader again by actually listening to the student body.
As with all things, there have been ebbs and flows with this paper. The biggest success, in my opinion, being the inclusion of Liz Foster’s Bits and Pieces. So Trinity students, we have heard your laments over the loss of this section, and while we will never be able to replace the satirical genius Liz Foster, we can bring this section back. I feel like this is our first step in recovering the fading interest in this paper. I will keep you all updated on when this section will be returning!
In addition to the cries for the return of Bits and Pieces, students have been requesting space for exploring the interests of the student body, so we figured, why not? While we cannot realistically keep adding new sections to the paper to represent all student interests, we can collaborate with student groups on campus, featuring their organizations, members, and discourses more prominently. This week we have a feature from the Philosophy Club showcasing one of their discourses on Lockean philosophy. I ask for any clubs on campus to contact us with a piece you want included in the paper. We hope this will increase your visibility on campus and give you a platform to promote the amazing things you do in your meetings.
While increasing the visibility of clubs does increase the paper’s representation of the College’s diverse interests, we can certainly do more. Alongside Managing Editors Olivia Papp ’23 and Sammi Bray ’25, we have decided to curate special editions of the Tripod. During the months of February and March, we want to create special editions of the Tripod for Black History Month and Women’s History Month. In these editions of the Tripod, we want to devote our entire paper to the respective group. For our February issue, we want to highlight the opinions of Black students on campus, give a spotlight to Black student writers, and channel the scope of the entire paper to represent Black culture, history, and experience.
Our issue in March takes a special place in my heart. The Tripod is now 100% female-led, so we want to take advantage of this opportunity and share our experiences as women in Trinity College. We also ask for outside submissions from others who identify as women; we want this March issue to bring awareness to the reality facing female-identifying individuals on campus and around the globe.
If you are interested in contributing to either of these special Tripod editions, or if you want to write anything anytime, please reach out to us! I want this paper to be back in your hands! I believe that now, with new leadership, is the time for change. I hope I can fulfill all these promises to you while also reviving the Tripod’s internal culture, so please stay tuned for the new era of the Trinity Tripod.