It’s a small school, stop the gossip


We can hear you. We can hear the echoes of your roommate’s complaints from the second floor of Coates Student Center. We can hear you name-dropping at local coffeeshops, and we can even hear the Greek Life “secrets” about which organization did what to whom and when.

On a compact campus like Trinity’s, you’d think people would know how to keep things under wraps. But the same way everyone can see you when you’re sitting on your partner’s lap in the library, everyone can hear all your business if you’re not careful.

There are a couple pros and cons to your university having small student, staff and faculty populations. Pro: everyone knows everyone. Con: everyone knows everyone. Chances are if you complain about someone by name on your way to class, you pass multiple people who have connections to that person. Friends, enemies, it doesn’t matter. We’re all connected on this lovely brick campus.

While gossip can be fun and is generally meant to be harmless, it’s best to follow our rule of thumb: if you don’t want it brought up at a Trinitonian story idea meeting, don’t bring it up where others can hear. “Gossip” can include everything from petty drama to serious allegations, and all of it gets passed around Trinity quickly even when it’s kept as quiet as possible.

Consider this a nudge to be kinder if you have a habit of talking about others in a way you wouldn’t want them to witness. Venting is healthy, especially when it’s about a larger issue that might be difficult to solve — 3-year residency requirement, we’re looking at you. But be wary of your surroundings and make sure you’d be alright if your thoughts make it through the grapevine.

Being a part of a small college community can be a curse when it comes to this, but in many ways, it’s also a gift that many college students don’t get to experience. By the time you’re a senior at Trinity, you can recognize most of your classmates by appearance, if not by name. One conversation can reveal a network of connections between you and people you only considered a person in your First-Year Experience.

We have the opportunity here to see each other as unique individuals because of this, so every hushed conversation weighs heavier than if we weren’t all so connected. If you want to make the most out of your time here, ditch the gossip and bring legitimate issues to people you trust to help you. Making this a practice will only prepare you for future jobs, friend groups and social situations to come.