Another year, another finals week of late night cramming, fervent praying and uncontrollable crying. Stockings hung by the fire with care will likely find themselves filled with adderall, liquor and general sadness. So first off, let us say, to all of Trinity, good luck. We hope you don’t need it.

It’s been a crazy year: with that in mind, and with this paper marking our last of the year, join us for a look at the best, worst and downright strange of 2015.

The Good

Overall the year has been kind to Trinity: a new president, re-envisioned curriculums and programs, everyone’s favorite traditions upcoming. No one can say it hasn’t been somewhat exciting. And to culminate it all, this Sunday will mark another year of our participation in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, which, during its course, will pass through our campus. Everyone who lives around campus knows this all too well, particularly at 7 a.m. But despite the inconvenience that the road closures may cause or the fact that you may have to get up early, hold a sign and try to act alive, the marathon is a wonderful event. As President Anderson said in a recent email, the race offers a “tremendous opportunity to put Trinity University on the map for runners throughout the country.” To be a part of the huge event, which according to the race’s website, has raised over $310 million, is phenomenal. Marketing billboards and commercials on PBS’s “Downton Abbey” are great, but a real, visceral experience, from which runners and participants can share the experience with future students, alumni and donors, is what Trinity is all about. Even if it only lasts for a small portion of the overall route, get up, get out of bed and get excited. This is a chance to show San Antonio, and everyone, that we love our school. Feel free to stay in bed if you think otherwise.

 

The Bad

According to NBC News, there have been more mass shootings than days this year in the U.S. alone. The recent tragedies in San Bernardino and Colorado Springs, which saw 17 dead and others wounded, has left us, speechless and saddened by the senseless violence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. Every time we experience this type of horror, candidates, pundits and experts alike are ready to chime in; was it religion’s fault? What about mental health? Why aren’t guns banned yet? What about self defense? One thing is clear. Whatever we are doing isn’t working.And that’s a major problem.

Take California. They have some of the more stringent gun regulation laws in the country, San Bernardino County included; buyers must fill out lengthy forms, get fingerprinted and pay fees. And yet it couldn’t stop the shooting.

Information from the New York Times shows that reported criminals have used around 6,000 guns from other states such as Arizona and Nevada, where regulations are much less strict. Maybe part of the problem lies here. Maybe another part lies in the unfortunate fact that, for monsters like those who perpetrated the recent shootings in California, Colorado and even Paris, no amount of regulation or laws can stop them. Someone intent on breaking the most sacred of laws and human norms likely won’t be stopped by a piece of paper. Owning a gun is a right — yet it shouldn’t be a right that someone should enjoy if they attempt to use it to take the lives of others. True, if we limit the ability to own a gun then we are taking away a fundamental right that many Americans want and deserve. But if we don’t deal with the real problem of guns in the hands of dangerous individuals, the only way we can respond is reactively. We refuse to accept these incidents as normal or inevitable. Something needs to change—the United States makes up 31% of the world shootings, a number which is drastically too high. We don’t have an immediate solution. But whatever side you support at least we can agree on one thing: these shootings need to stop. We should be trying whatever it takes to get there.

The Entertaining

Politics. From Turkey’s Prime Minister attempting to jail someone for comparing him to Gollum to whatever the hell Ben Carson thinks the pyramids were built for, the political circus that has been going on, notably in our own backyard, has made for some splendid entertainment. With the likes of Canada’s pretty boy PM Justin Trudeau to our very own no-holds-barred Bernie Sanders, the candidates running for office are offering us more than the rest of TV Land could hope for. Red Starbucks cups? War on Christmas? Stand aside war on terror says Trump and his sentient hair piece. Critique of donations and ties to Wall Street? 9/11, says Clinton stoically. It’s important to realize that these are potential elected officials and to keep in mind the weight of politics and our role as citizens as we laugh and cringe. But sometimes doing just that — sitting back and laughing, is just as important.

That’s all folks! Have a happy holiday and we hope to catch you reading the Trinitonian come next semester. We’re sure the new year will be just as exciting as the last.