Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Where is Trinity headed, and how do we get there?



Trinity Days, Spring Vacation, it’s just one thing right after the other. Beyond the impending midterms and assorted homework, how is it that we can take the time to contemplate grander things? As many of you prepare to be on your merry way it might be worth it to spare a moment or two contemplating Trinity. The college stands at what may be a critical point in its history. The past few years have brought with them diminished funds, cultural doubt and reevaluation, a falling ranking on lists of top liberal arts schools, and administrative chaos.  As 2015 progresses, we will soon determine if these problems will be sorted out.

The attached cartoon points out some of our present predicament. Greek Life and partying are tacitly accepted as integral parts of student life despite the publicly expressed desire to “clean things up” via methods like diversifying the student body as outlined by President Berger-Sweeney when she spoke to WNPR. While Trinity is charging forward, it’s hard to tell where we’re headed with efforts like the $2.025 million spent to acquire 200 Constitution Plaza. Committees have been formed to figure out what to do with the space, but the fact remains that a large investment was made with an unclear idea of the future. For the next few months, Trinity’s newest asset will languish until a plan can be made. After, there will be investments made in renovations and preparations that will ensure that the current Trinity student body wont see the benefits, unlike UConn’s similar effort to put parts of their campus into Hartford which won’t be done till 2017. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that a tenured professor on average costs about a million dollars, per slot made available. If that’s the case, would it have been a better investment to have hired two professors to improve the quality of Trinity’s education in the next couple years rather than taking a radical plunge with no plan and unknown future costs? Is Trinity charging forward like a chicken with its head cut off, unsure of where it’s headed and likely to fail?

Of course what’s done is done. While we may complain about what has happened, it’s important that when we can, we intervene to control what will happen. President Berger-Sweeney has made efforts to allow students to participate more in the decision making process of the school’s future, and some of the aforementioned committees are student run. It may turn out that 200 Constitution Plaza, when completed, will be an important milestone in rebuilding Trinity’s honor as a “Little Ivy.” The best thing that you can do as a student of the present is to make sure that when you have the opportunity to add your voice to the present process you do so. Who knows, you may make the difference in ensuring that Trinity is not a headless chicken guilelessly charging forward, right over the precipice.

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