Campus issues deserve your voice


This week, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg stood in front of hundreds at the United Nations, with thousands tuning in, to implore that something be done for our environment immediately.

For more than a year, Thunberg has been on a school strike to promote awareness of the climate crisis. She has left her country to sail across the ocean to speak in front of politicians three times her age in a language that is not her first.

Some say she is too young to know better and think she belongs in school. Some commented on her lack of a smile. Thunberg is 16 years old and is fighting for a better future, yet she’s being ridiculed.

Though on a smaller scale, students at Trinity are not unlike Thunberg in their desire to create change. When meats were poorly labeled and cross-contaminated in Mabee Dining Hall last year, students in Trinity’s Muslim Student Association started speaking with David Tuttle, dean of students, to change it. When students felt uncomfortable with Chick-fil-A on campus, they took action to get rid of it. Fortunately, members of Trinity’s administration don’t ridicule students for wanting to make change. However, there seems to be an expectation that students should make change entirely by themselves.

Don’t like the food you’re served? Say something. Feel like you’re unwelcome in this community? Do something. But should it be entirely up to students? Shouldn’t we hold the university accountable for providing us with a safe, comfortable community?

Should we have to worry about strangers being on campus, soliciting things from us? Should we have to worry about how corporations have access to us through our Trinity emails (i.e. emails sent through the Barnes and Noble bookstore from companies like Venmo and Target)? We’re required to live in this space for three years, yet dining options don’t always suit our dietary restrictions and don’t always promote environmental practices that we want to support. This is supposed to be our home, yet many students who are part of marginalized groups feel unwelcome.

Not all students at Trinity feel so pressured to make change. But just like how Thunberg is one of millions of people her age looking to make change, there are students on campus trying to do the same in our small bubble.

Take note of them. Support them. The students who are social justice peer educators in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the students who pioneered new affinity residence halls, the students who have approached Student Government Association and the university’s administration with complaints about how things are handled.

While it shouldn’t be our job to point out our university’s faults, we have to make our voices heard regarding the issues we care about. Higher-ups will only take responsibility for creating change if we demand it, so support those students who are trying to make Trinity a better place for future students.