The return of school spirit after the pandemic

School spirit returns as students experience campus life with little to no Covid restrictions

After two years of strict COVID-19 guidelines, Trinity students are finally getting the chance to relish in all that college has to offer.

University-sponsored events are back in full swing and began with quite the success. For the first time, the Dean of Students Office, Greek Council and Student Programming Board (SPB) collaborated to host a Tiger Unity Tailgate that drew scores of students and community members on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The tailgate was held prior to a Trinity football game against Wheaton College and featured free food and drinks, a lively atmosphere and booths from every fraternity and sorority. Students packed the stands afterward, and Trinity narrowly won the game 17 to 16.

The Tiger Unity Tailgate was the start of a new chapter for increased school spirit and unity at Trinity. The pandemic brought with it intense moments of isolation and disconnect from campus life, even for those living on campus. Katharine Heras, junior business administration and management double-major, said that it was difficult to not only meet people but also hard to see the campus as a whole come together as a community when she first came to Trinity in the Fall of 2020.

“I think people just want that sense of community again that we had before the pandemic,” Heras said. “Now we’re trying to rebuild that.”

Heras is a member of the SPURS Sorority and the co-chair of Trinity’s Greek Council along with Collin Adams, junior Bengal Lancer fraternity member and engineering science major. The two were first-years in Fall 2020 and thus were on campus, but had all of their classes on Zoom and did not have roommates.

“I know for our class that came in 2020, it was really hard to find a community,” Adams said. “I think a lot of people start to kind of get in their groove and find their people pretty early on in school, but it was really hard to meet new people.”

Adams and Heras both said that rushing their respective fraternity and sorority aided them in finding a community on campus. This semester, they’ve seen quite the uptick of interest in Greek life on campus.

“I know for Greek Council, we’re trying to increase our numbers a lot,” Heras said. “Last year, 25% of campus was [involved in] Greek life. Now we’re looking at about 33%.”

The Tiger Unity Tailgate provided a fun opportunity for all students to feel the tight-knit community that Trinity advertises.

“I think people, no matter what they might say, are actively engaged in trying to find ways to just stay connected to their peers in school,” Adams said. “I think [the tailgate] was a really good way to do that.”

SPB’s involvement with the tailgate further emphasized to the student body that all were welcome. SPB is an organization on campus that puts on free events for all students to partake in. Chloe Scroggins, senior business analytics and technology major, is SPB’s president and said her goal is to always host free events that promote inclusivity within the whole community.

“SPB wants to have inclusive events, and events where people can bring their friends,” Scroggins said. “We’re trying to enhance that Trinity experience on campus.”

Scroggins said that Sept. 10 was her first time attending a tailgate at Trinity. She said that the tailgate was especially appealing to students because it is the beginning of the year and not everyone is fully immersed in clubs and organizations.

“You don’t have to be affiliated with anything right now,” Scroggins said. “You just have to be affiliated with Trinity and that’s enough. That’s all you need.”