The beginning of the academic year is one of the most beautiful and exciting times at Trinity. Going into both my senior year and my fourth semester as editor of the Tripod, I would advise first-year students just getting adjusted to college life that becoming actively involved in clubs and organizations at Trinity is one of the most rewarding ways to find enrichment and a sense of purpose in college. The first article I submitted to the Tripod was–admittedly–not the paper’s shining example of journalism, but I have been able to grow and learn as a writer in the intervening years. Trinity College boasts over one hundred and fifty clubs that students can join, but with about 2,200 students, this suggests that a large number of students have to be actively engaged to keep all of these organizations in process. However, often at Trinity, it is a small number of students keeping organizations afloat. The Tripod is an extremely short-staffed organization, with a limited number of contributing writers and editorial staff.
The Tripod receives articles from members of the community throughout the week. They come from a variety of outlets; in response to emails we send to those who have expressed interest in contributing, through online submissions via our website, and any other means. The students that write the most each semester are promoted to section editor, who suggest different topic ideas to writers, edit articles, and utilize our graphic design program, Adobe Indesign. The Tripod functions best as an institution when all different facets of campus life are represented in its stories. The only way to achieve this, however, is to encourage a high level of student participation. The Tripod is the major outlet for students to voice opinion, engage in dialogue, and report on the issues that face our campus community. If you have any interest in writing, or a future career in journalism or communications, this is the perfect time to join in and have your voice heard. Submit an article on our website or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It was the best decision I ever made as a student at Trinity.
Because the student body at Trinity is small, and the number of students engaged in club life is, unavoidably, even smaller, I am constantly interacting with leaders of different organizations on campus that are reported about in the paper. Because campus is so small, it can be difficult to achieve the Tripod’s function as an unbiased source of information regarding Trinity. Additionally, the Tripod staff is entirely self-taught. Some of us have aspirations of entering the world of journalism, but my own passion for working on the paper is driven by my belief that it serves a necessary outlet on this campus, whether it is seen or unseen to certain members of the community.
The Tripod staff is dedicated, but we are also not professionals. There is no compensation for contribution, and the Tripod is instead driven by our commitment to providing the campus with a school newspaper. As I said last semester, we are always trying our best, but with classes, other clubs, and jobs, the Tripod is not always what some anticipate or demand it to be.
The Tripod is seeing an unprecedented number of seniors. Many of us are entering our sixth semester with the publication. We are hoping to publish a Tripod that covers thought-provoking, interesting stories that shed light onto daily life at Trinity as well as a well-designed, twelve page paper. Despite this, the Tripod still faces its own challenges. We struggle with a small staff and difficulties mastering our graphic design program.
In my own capacity as editor-in-chief of the Tripod, I hope to provide quality content that students, alumni, and other members of the community read and enjoy. As a former editor-in-chief once said, the quality of a campus newspaper can often reflect the current stability of an institution such as Trinity. I’m looking forward to embarking on another semester of providing a publication that addresses the issues, quesitons, and ideas facing Trinity College.