Editorial: The Evolution of Involvement

Of late, the Trinitonian has been thinking a lot about involvement, and it was inspired, in part, by our longtime frenemy””we might actually be soul mates””the Association of Student Representatives. Yesterday, ASR hosted a wildly successful meet and greet at Big Bob’s Burgers. We’re talking-300-students-within-the-first-40-minutes kind of successful. We admire ASR’s dedication to promoting the event, but, even more, we admire their dedication to pulling students out of their rooms and getting them involved in campus life. The past couple of ASRs have proclaimed dedication to campus involvement, but it appears that this ASR might actually mean it. However, the whole situation makes us wonder, did Trinity students need to be pulled out of their rooms or did the pulling simply disrupt some much-needed relaxation time?

It feels like a strange sort of dichotomy exists at Trinity where we brag to outsiders about how involved and well rounded our students are, but, on the actual campus, there is a perceived lack of involvement, not to mention lack of enthusiasm for campus goings-on. It really made us wonder how students of the university define involvement.

Why does it seem like the only involvement the campus will accept is large crowds at football and basketball games and SEC-style tailgates? Also, why is the only involvement we will accept also the involvement we are, apparently, least likely to participate in? We hold ourselves to a weirdly specific standard and then get mad at each other when none of us live up to said weird standard. Mayhap we should take a hot second to reevaluate what “involvement” actually, um, involves.

The fun reality of the involved vs. uninvolved debate is that we are all involved at Trinity. Like, thousands of dollars annually involved at Trinity. We all take a full course load, and, at a university such as Trinity, our involvement (buzz word!) at Trinity doesn’t stop when class is over. We all have experiments to run, books and essays to read and papers to write. We also all have to attend lectures and study for tests. Basically, our academic involvement never ends. However, purely academic involvement on campus doesn’t seem like enough to enliven anyone, and this is where problems start to arise.

The truth is, academic involvement might be enough to sustain some Trinity students, and that should be completely fine and not judged by the rest of us. Just because Sally wants to go Greek, join T.U.V.A.C. and work for the Mirage doesn’t mean that she is a better or more important member of the Trinity community than Susie, who’s only real commitment to the university is her 18-hour chemistry workload. Sally and Susie should do whatever makes them happy.

The flip side of that non-judgment coin is this non-judgmental piece of advice: To all you Susies, should you wish to become involved, Trinity is ripe with opportunities. In this very issue of the Trinitonian you can find an article about the awesome H.O.P.E. Hall that creates a volunteer community for students to live and work in. In next week’s issue, we’re talking about a new group on campus looking to bring awareness to body image issues. Opportunity is everywhere on this campus.

In conclusion, the Trinitonian salutes you, involved students of Trinity. Which is to say, we salute all 2,300 and however many of you there are. We think you’re doing great. Also, and this might be the best incentive to try a new club or activity on campus (but only if you want to, we’re really serious about that part): we’re pretty sure ASR is now buying everyone who gets involved in an extracurricular a burger, fries and a beer. Don’t quote us though. Love you, ASR, call us.