The â€˜Trinity Bubbleâ€™ refers to the isolation and lack of local involvement seen in some Trinity students. Sophomore Chiara Pride has broken through the bubble and hopes to help others join her.
In addition to being involved in a number of campus organizations, Pride is the activism chair of PRIDE at Trinity and is a member of Trinity Diversity Connection (TDC) and the Trinity Progressives. Pride is an executive fellow with MOVE (mobilize, organize, vote, empower) Â San Antonio, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers young people to participate in politics.
As a fellow with MOVE, Pride focuses on issue advocacy at the municipal and state levels. In addition to drawing attention to unnoticed but important political developments, a core part of municipal-level issue advocacy is voter registration.
Voter registration is particularly important in San Antonio, which often experiences low voter registration and turnout in local and state elections. The portion of the Texan population that does turn out to vote is often not a perfect reflection of the population as a whole.
â€œThe civic health of Texas is really, really terrible, which means that people donâ€™t turn out to vote or didnâ€™t get registered to vote,â€ Pride said. â€œOur political representation at the state level isnâ€™t actually representative of the communities theyâ€™re supposed to represent.â€
Pride encourages fellow students to participate in local politics and to get civically engaged regardless of where they are from. Trinity students can have an important effect on local elections, according to Pride.
â€œYou might not want to register here because you live in Houston or wherever else, but all the political action that youâ€™re present for is taking place while youâ€™re on campus.
â€œItâ€™s hard for young people to make that connection,â€ Pride said,
â€œbut I think that once you do thereâ€™s so much out there that we can move the needle on. Thereâ€™s so much out there that we can have an impact on. While it might not affect us personally for the entire duration of our lives, itâ€™s definitely going to be very important while youâ€™re here in San Antonio.â€
With the help of MOVE, Pride hopes to encourage more Trinity students to participate in San Antonio politics. During most local, state and federal election cycles, MOVE sets up a voter registration table in Coates University Center.
In addition to involvement with PRIDE at Trinity and MOVE San Antonio, Pride is a Texas civic ambassador with the Annette Strauss Institute of the University of Texas at Austin. As part of this program, Pride recently traveled to Austin to learn more about state-level civic engagement.
As activism chair of PRIDE at Trinity, Pride works to bring LGBTQ speakers from the San Antonio community to campus and to help promote Trinity Progressives and TDC events.
Through work with Trinity Progressives and TDC, Pride has gained an appreciation for the smaller scale civic engagement evident across the Trinity community.
â€œI want to take a second to really applaud the work of Trinity Diversity Connection and Trinity Progressives and a lot of the campus organizations that are making an effort to talk about these issues, because thereâ€™s more than one form of civic engagement,â€ Pride said. â€œEven though a lot of Trinity students might not be voting, every time you go to an event hosted by TDC or even by some of the other smaller cultural organizations, youâ€™re participating in your community. If you go do TUVAC stuff or you go do things with HOPE Hall, thatâ€™s you being civically engaged because youâ€™re participating in the community structure and trying to make a difference.â€
On top of her participation in multiple organizations on and off campus, Pride intends to double major in political science and anthropology. Pride says that she is able to handle it all because she is doing what she enjoys.
â€œIâ€™m not going to lie â€” it is difficult, but you find a balance. I think the reason Iâ€™m doing well is that I really love it. I love what Iâ€™m doing everyday and the people Iâ€™m interacting with. Iâ€™ve found a really great community of solid, happy-to-be-here kind of people. While I might not have time to binge watch â€˜Stranger Things,â€™ Iâ€™m still getting that sense of trying to do something meaningful,â€ Pride said.
For more information on upcoming PRIDE, Trinity Progressives and TDC events, like and follow the organizations on Facebook. MOVE San Antonio will have its next voter registration table set up in Coates University Center on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 9 a.m.â€“2 p.m., and they will have information available on the upcoming constitutional amendment election.
For more information on voter registration, contact Chiara Pride at email@example.com.