Students begin work on “The Contemporary”


As we enter an election year, many of us have started to organize our opinions on various political issues in an effort to have relevant and reliable thoughts when considering our candidates for office. For many of the younger students on campus, this is the first opportunity they’ll have to vote and make an impact on the political authority of our country. While getting engaged with political debate can be intimidating, several students on Trinity’s campus have assembled in order to create a political journal that members of the Trinity community can rely on for authentic, intriguing political thought from their peers. This semester, “The Contemporary” will release its first issue for students to enjoy and learn from, just in time for presidential debates and commentaries.

The first of its kind on campus, staff members of “The Contemporary” seek to enlighten its readers with engaging political accounts.

“I founded “˜The Contemporary’ as a non-partisan journal of current affairs that seeks to inform the public and serve as a forum to elicit constructive dialogue among readers in the Trinity University community and beyond,” said Benjamin Collinger, a first year student and editor-in-chief of “The Contemporary.” “We strive to present student scholarship of varying mediums in an engaging format for undergraduates.”

Inspired by the political potential of the students on Trinity’s campus, Collinger hoped to spread insight by tapping into the minds of students with a variety of thoughts and opinions on an assortment of issues.

“Trinity contains an abundance of unpublished insightful knowledge pleading to be harnessed. My hope is that “˜The Contemporary’ will uncover the discourse just below the surface, and benefit our community as a result. This community requires an outward-looking journal that encourages its students to become invested in current affairs,” Collinger said.

Once he arrived on campus, Collinger actively began organizing information and contacts necessary to produce the journal.

“In October, I approached two of my professors, Dr. Singh and Dr. Aloisi, about sponsoring the project. They agreed to become advisers, and I began the process of registering our new student organization. Afterwards, I approached several students about becoming editors of the publication,” Collinger said. “Near the end of last semester, we were officially approved as a registered student organization. Since December, we have been promoting “˜The Contemporary’ and soliciting submissions for the inaugural edition. We plan to publish once every two months.”

The inspiration for the publication has already intrigued and stimulated the political interests of current staff members.

“I was first approached by a professor in the Political Science department, Dr. Aloisi.  She had mentioned that a first year wanted to start a journal on campus and asked if I would like to join the editorial board.  From there I got in touch with Benjamin Collinger, our editor-in-chief, who has really lead the team to where we are today,” said Jessica Cruz, a junior political science and psychology double major.

Staff members have already noted the positive impacts they expect the journal to have on campus.

“I found it really interesting that Benjamin wanted to establish a journal on campus specifically for current affairs.  It will provide students with a new forum to express opinions and research about relevant topics to today’s society,” Cruz said.  

By publishing “The Contemporary,” staff members also hope to gain new insight on political issues by encouraging students to speak out or read along.

“There is much to think critically about when it comes to current affairs. We believe that Trinity students have so much to offer in terms providing fresh and thoughtful perspectives. So why not create a journal for students by students? We’re hoping “˜The Contemporary’ will provide an official medium to for students to display their works with the local community,” said Chloe Phea, a junior neuroscience and political science double major.

As the domestic editor, Phea evaluates each submission to ensure that everything going toward the publication is appropriate and compelling; she and other staff members are always interested in receiving new submissions.

“Getting involved with “˜The Contemporary’ is rather simple!  People interested in submitting material including research papers, opinion pieces, art and political cartoons should forward their submissions  to [email protected],” Phea said.

“The Contemporary” will be releasing their first edition soon. In the meantime, students interested in contributing to the journal are encouraged to contact the journal by email to discuss providing items or commentaries in future issues.