Gillian M. Reinhard ’20
Trinity College’s Junior Class, in the fall semester, had two representatives in Student Government: one class president, who was uncontested, and one senator, who this semester went abroad. On the eve of a special election for four open SGA Senate seats, contested by six individuals, the question remains: why is the Class of 2020 not active in the advancement of an important campus purpose, and why have students not embraced an opportunity to shape the direction of Trinity?
To go an entire semester with hardly any representation means that the interests of the Class of 2020 were not heard throughout the course of important business conducted during the fall. While it is true that many of us studied abroad during this time, this is still not an excuse. How can we, as a class, feel that our needs are being addressed when we are hardly represented in our own student body?
Some of the most passionate Trinity students I have met are in my own grade. They’re involved in a variety of different activities. However, a lack of representation in SGA is a clear sign of disengagement.
I have written countless editorials on this issue through my work with the Tripod. When I graduate, I will certainly feel that I have made my mark on campus life and have been passionately involved in bettering Trinity. I truly believe this is something every member of my class should also feel upon graduating, but most likely will not.
Yet another question I have concerns why the three vacant senate seats were left unfilled throughout the fall. The Student Government Association surely knew of the lack of interested candidates when general elections occurred in September, yet they took no action to remedy the inequity until now. Why the delay? If the answer is that students were unwilling to serve, then each and every junior must consider their obligations and the imperative call of service to SGA.
Indisputably, it is refreshing to see the four seats in the Senate contested this spring, with six candidates seeking election. Many of the elections I have covered in my time with the Tripod were run unopposed.
We have an important role to play in defining the Trinity that we wish to see. When one class loses representation, the issues immanent to that class go unheard: housing concerns in predominately junior locations, concerns about academic preparation in junior classes, and off-campus housing requirements, to name a few, lose the voice of a class.
It is imperative that as soon-to-be rising seniors, we, as a class, step forward to define the tenor of the school climate. We have an opportunity to lead by example, showing to the underclassmen that the Class of 2020 is invested in furthering the Trinity community.