Christian Watson Criticizes Critical Race Theory

When Christian Watson, spokesperson for Color Us United, came to Trinity University to talk about critical race theory (CRT), it was evident that the event would be controversial. Color Us United is an organization that advocates for a “race-blind America.”  The audience gathered in Chapman Great Hall was composed of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) members, a table of liberal students, and a handful of other students interested in hearing Watson’s take on CRT. When asked how he decided to come to Trinity, he replied, “It wasn’t hard at all. I was invited, and I came.” 

Watson was raised by a liberal single mother, but as he grew older, he was exposed to alternative perspectives and started attending seminars that sparked his interest. When asked how he became interested in critical race theory, Watson explained that as an African American man, he interacted with CRT in his personal life and tended to have conversations about it, which led to “a deeper intellectual interest.”  Watson says he approaches his viewpoints from the perspective of  “philosophy, reason, and debate.”

Watson’s thesis is that the so-called diversity that is popular in America does not reflect true diversity. Today’s idea of diversity is limited to identity, a superficial way to sum up an individual. Judging someone simply on external criteria, as many institutions are prone to do for diversity action programs, ultimately gives an incomplete picture of a nuanced human being. He explained that diversity is naturally all around us, in our skills, abilities, personal beliefs, and interests. “Everyone has unique abilities and certain gifts which they must identify.” The problem is that society tries to push people away from their natural gifts and make them conform to a stereotype of what they’re supposed to be and how they’re supposed to behave. Watson concluded with a statement echoing the transcendentalists of time gone by: “Knowing yourself is the most important tool that you could possibly have in this life.”  

After he finished his lecture, a question and answer session followed. As mentioned before, a group of liberal students came to question him. They asked him about the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, to which he replied that Biden nominated her based on race alone, rather than qualification, a perfect subversion of how it should be. When questioned about police brutality against African Americans, Watson countered, “What police brutality?” He said that the idea of systematic racism in the police force was a myth contrived by the leftist media and that the police were inherently good people. Another question came up about intentional inclusivity in the workplace, and he said it was absolutely not a good idea; people should be hired based on abilities rather than identity. This all goes back to the concept of the color-blind system Watson promotes, to ultimately treat everyone equally. 

Christian Watson’s key takeaway is to judge people based on their ideas and what they have to offer, rather than based on external criteria, a lesson that the world desperately needs to hear. His personal experience as an African American in a world distorted by critical race theory drives home the true significance of his message. Watson was an excellent speaker, convicted in his beliefs, which he explained clearly and concisely. Christian Watson delivered a refreshing and thought-provoking critique of critical race theory to the Trinity University students who gathered to hear him and his ideas.

Cover photo taken by Ellis Jacoby.

Trinity Conservatives Demand Campus Safe Space

Imagine walking around campus feeling oppressed at every turn for your political beliefs. At a school like Trinity University where almost no one will come up to you and talk to you about your political beliefs, the Conservative Texans that are Young (CTY) have had enough of feeling constantly looked down on for their conservative beliefs. Following in the footsteps of other major universities across the country, CTY is demanding a safe space for conservatives on campus.

Former CTY President Chad Miller was spotted entering the Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) yesterday afternoon. What reason could CTY possibly have to go to DIO unless to ask the university for a safe space? 

Conservatives have long felt oppressed by their fellow Trinity students. From CTY’s memorable tabling events such as handing out fortune cookies on the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China to building a miniature Berlin Wall and encouraging peers to smash it down, CTY has truly been unable to freely express their political beliefs on campus. 

They are in such need of a safe space on campus that the club even holds weekly meetings in which students can discuss current events and policy issues with their fellow conservatives (or non-conservatives who choose to attend meetings and cause chaos during discussions). 

Former  CTY Treasurer Kyle Smith reached out with a few comments when The Tower asked about his position on the conservative safe space the current CTY leaders are asking for. “We just…like feel like we have no place on campus where we can be ourselves, you know? It’s so hard on us to always feel like people don’t like us. That’s why we want the university to provide us with a safe space.”

Safe spaces are usually created for students who are part of marginalized communities to come together and discuss their unique experiences without outside judgment. CTY claims that because of their unique experiences as conservative college students, they qualify for a safe space. In an unanticipated move, they are demanding interference from Trinity administration to alleviate their problems.

When asked how the club can reconcile its anti-government tendencies with its desire to take advantage of university authority, current CTY Campus Events Chair Dave Baker had this to say: “it’s okay when it gets us something that we want. I mean, uh, it’s okay because Trinity is a private school. Officially, we as a club support private institutions over government ones, so we think Trinity is a pretty cool place.”

But, according to CTY and other conservatives on campus the club claims support its efforts, Trinity University would be an even cooler place if they created a safe space for its marginalized conservatives.

Trinicat Conspiracy: Revealed

Every year at Trinity University, as the school year draws to a close, a problem arises; what to do with the Trinicats. These staples of campus, beloved by all, are cared for by the students of the Cat Alliance during the school year. However, during the summer these students go home. What happens to the Trinicats then? One would suppose the university would start to take over care for the cats, or that students of the Cat Alliance would come by to deliver the cats’ meals. A recent source has revealed to The Tower a much darker, more sinister, secret.

As students pack up the contents of their dorms, lugging books, chairs, and clothes back to their cars, it is a common sight to see the Trinicats out in full force, rubbing up against students, seemingly asking for pets. Their quest for students’ attention is not a plea simply for a few measly scratches; the cats, being as wise as they are, know what is coming. Some cats are lucky, as they get adopted by the loving members of the campus community. The unlucky ones who get left behind face a far more gruesome fate.

Enter St. Anthony Catholic High School. Every year, the anatomy class dissects an animal that many high school students dread: a cat. Now, where do these cats come from? They are remarkably opaque about their sourcing of these poor animals, with no material on their website indicating anything about the lives these cats had before they reached the school. That is for one simple reason; the school itself does not know where these cats come from. The teachers there simply buy from the cheapest local source available. Little do they know just how close these cats used to live.

The first night after finals, when all students have left to go back home to enjoy their summers, members of Trinity’s staff commit a deed that, while heinous, helps to keep the University afloat. Grabbing nets, tranquilizers, or anything else they can get their hands on, they leave the comfort of their air-conditioned offices for the heat of a San Antonio summer night. The hunt has begun. The remaining Trinicats cower in fear, hiding under cars, in crevices in buildings, high up in trees, but to no avail. The pure number of faculty members overwhelms even the cleverest of cats. One by one, they are caught, rounded up, and sent to the labs of CSI, where they are placed into vats of formaldehyde, to be sold to local high schools later.

In a few month’s time, this cat will be dead.

Now, the clever reader you are might ask, “what is your proof” or “that’s utterly ridiculous.” I know, I was once in your shoes too; hopelessly naive and ignorant. However, once you dig into the details, it starts to make much more sense. Have you ever stopped to consider why Trinity University, a school of under 2,800 students, has an endowment of over $1.7 billion, a total of over $600,000 per student? There can only be one explanation, that the University is making most of its money on the side. And what’s the most lucrative business that an academic institution can engage in? That’s right, the clandestine collection of cat cadavers. 

While the most intelligent amongst you have already been convinced by this impeccable logic, some of the slower among you might need a bit more proof. Enter the University itself. While writing this article, the president of the University failed to proactively send us a comment supporting the hypothesis of the status quo, or in fact, any statement at all. Now, was this because the University likely had no idea that we were writing the article? Doubtful. Was it because this story being broken to the student body population would devastated the reputation and future stability of the school? Most assuredly.

Think this is Sabrina? Think again.

Next fall, when moving back into your dorm, take a closer look at the Trinicats. The new, hapless strays and rescues may seem familiar; they might even come when you call their name. This is due to the hard work of the University. They scour the shelters and streets of San Antonio, looking for cats that look as similar as possible to the Trinicats of the prior year, so that no student notices. If you look closely enough, however, the difference is clear. A few stray hairs on one cat, a scratch on the ear of another; the new cats are never identical. Only then, my dear reader, will you become truly convinced of the depth of the Trinicat Conspiracy

BREAKING: Trinity University Postpones Spring Semester Until Jan. 31, 2022

While enjoying their winter break, Trinity University students received an email this morning notifying them of the new plan for returning to campus for the spring semester, which was scheduled to begin on Jan. 12, 2022. As of this morning at 11:16 am, Wed. Dec. 29, the spring semester will not begin until Jan. 31, 2022. 

In an email from Tess Coody-Anders, the Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing at Trinity University, students learned that the decision was made due to the “dramatic increase” of positive COVID-19 cases in the Trinity community. Throughout the winter break, students have been responsible for self-reporting any positive COVID-19 diagnoses or any close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Trinity’s Nerve Center has taken these numbers into consideration when making this decision in an attempt to keep students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy. 

One of the concerns of the university is how contagious the Omicron variant of COVID-19 seems to be. If the virus spreads quickly among students, faculty, and staff on-campus, the university is concerned that it will be overwhelmed and not able to properly accommodate individuals who must quarantine on-campus for their own safety or the safety of their families or roommates. 

When asked to comment, Coody-Anders said that the academic calendar for the Spring 2022 semester is being adjusted and that faculty will adjust their syllabi accordingly. Students’ spring break will not be changed, postponed, or canceled. The decision to start the semester should not interfere with athletic events or activities, and the university is doing all that it can to protect students, faculty, and staff from COVID-19.

Article updated 12/20/2021 to include comments from Tess Coody-Anders, VP for Strategic Communications and Marketing at Trinity University.

Trinity Wants to Have Its Cake and Eat It Too

The administration at Trinity University has made it clear that it wants to put temporary safety over the eternal liberty and trust of its faculty, students, and staff. It will charge students the full price of tuition to attend a limited university. Trinity claims to offer one of the highest quality educations in the United States, but it is not allowing students and staff the ability to take full advantage of that high-quality education.

Over these past two weeks, the administration of Trinity University has sent out two emails to all students outlining the new COVID-19 restrictions that will be on campus, despite giving the impression in the Spring Semester that there would not be a return to COVID-19 restrictions in the Fall. These new restrictions include an indoor mask mandate for everyone regardless of vaccination status, a maximum of 4 persons in a residence hall room (with masks), no outside group or visitors to campus, limits on event sizes, and a requirement of Trinity’s version of a COVID-19 green pass to access campus.

There needs to be mass civil disobedience and non-compliance over these new regulations.

Nathan Darsch, Class of 2022

Trinity stated that some of these policies would be re-evaluated come mid-September, but that only leaves open the possibility for even stricter regulations.

The problem is not just what Trinity will do but also what Trinity has failed to do. It did not even consider getting feedback from the student body on what COVID-19 measures, if any, should be implemented. I know as a club president that I was never consulted over this past summer on what the university needs to do to make sure their student organizations remain active. 

How many student organizations have effectively died because they were unable to meaningfully recruit new members, because they were unable to host events, because they were unable to maintain interest and required membership numbers? My student organization was lucky to have enough members to survive and get through the past year, but I know others cannot say the same.

The university has also not given students any information on how it is expanded its health services–if it has expanded at all. Many students need additional support, especially in the form of counseling, during this time.  How many students now suffer from chronic depression and anxiety, and suicidal thoughts because of the university’s draconian lockdown measures over the previous year? How many students lost their scholarships because they were unable to maintain the GPA needed because of their worsening mental health?

Trinity is once again going down the road that will kill its student body’s spirit and sense of community.

Trinity says it is following CDC guidance and “trusting the science,” but how can we fully trust the guidance given when the chief people in charge of it have either undermined the very science they now promote or have flip-flopped on too many issues to keep track of? Trinity needs to trust its students to be mindful of their own health, not health and policy experts that have shown they are willing to lie to the American people. 

Trinity University has already reached effective herd immunity, in part due to its strong “recommendations” to students to get the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the American Lung Association, 70-90% of a population needs to have some form of immunity for herd immunity to be reached. Trinity University is currently 91% vaccinated (as of the last update on August 9), and at least 81% of the San Antonio adult population has had at least one dose (as of the last update on August 4). When combined with natural immunity, Trinity University and San Antonio have effective herd immunity or will have it very soon.

I am very thankful for the student body’s work to vaccinate themselves, especially those with risk factors, but we need to recognize when enough is enough. There needs to be mass civil disobedience and non-compliance over these new regulations. If we roll over and allow the university to take these measures freely, it signals that they can continue to make restrictions with impunity. We are a young and healthy student body, and it is time we start acting like it instead of allowing our lives to be dictated by fear.

Trinity University Reinstates Masks and Other COVID-19 Safety Procedures

Article updated on 8/5/2021 at 10:45pm CT. We included new information from an email sent to students earlier this morning.

Trinity University detailed its COVID-19 safety measures for the upcoming semester in an email sent to all students on July 30. While over 80% of students and faculty will be fully vaccinated by the beginning of the semester and had few COVID-19 cases during the spring semester in 2021, Trinity University decided to impose further restrictions on students, faculty, and staff. These new restrictions are due to the impact of the Delta variant and for Trinity “to promote a healthy and safe semester as we return to in-person learning and living.”

New restrictions include: 

  • the wearing of “well-fitting masks… by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings at all times” and the wearing of masks outside if one finds himself in a setting in which he is in a crowded space or cannot social distance
  • The testing of all students and staff regardless of vaccination status upon returning to campus
  • Weekly testing of all unvaccinated students and staff
  • A green badge from the ProtecTU Daily Health Check for all students, faculty, and staff for entry into public spaces or classrooms
  • Completion of the vaccination status form to be let onto campus and register for classes

Trinity stated in the email that it would re-evaluate these protocols come mid-September, but the university left the possibility of stricter protocols open. This may only be the beginning of stricter COVID-19 regulations due to the Delta variant.

Tess Coody-Anders, VP For Strategic Communications and Marketing at Trinity University, informed The Tower that the university currently stands at an 86% vaccination rate that continues to climb. However, these vaccinations do not entirely protect them from getting infected and carrying the “same viral load as unvaccinated persons.”

When asked about whose guidance they are following for these protocols and if they are imposing a mask mandate, Coody-Anders said that Trinity “will follow CDC guidance as we have throughout the pandemic and return to universal mask wearing for all” and that after a few weeks of testing unvaccinated individuals they will “re-evaluate the need for the vaccinated to wear masks.” Trinity University will also be checking statements and figures provided by the South Texas Regional Advisory Council to understand better how COVID-19 is affecting San Antonio.

Coody-Anders also informed The Tower that Trinity University is “fully committed to providing students in-person learning” but did not say whether or not the university is planning on potentially going partially or fully online again this semester.

However, Coody-Anders was unable to answer many, perhaps just as important, questions at this time. Of the questions asked, she did not provide answers to the following questions: 

  • If the university has expanded mental health services to accommodate students struggling due to the impact of COVID-19
  • If the university received feedback from students before finalizing the COVID-19 safety procedures
  • Whether students can have off-campus guests in their dorm rooms
  • Whether students can have guests who live in other residence halls in their dorm rooms (this was forbidden in Fall 2020 and for the beginning of Spring 2021)
  • Under what circumstances the university will remove the mask mandate
  • Whether students are able to report one another for not following these rules, as they did during the last school year
  • Why Trinity requires students to report their vaccine status if the vaccine is not required
  • What will happen to professors who do not enforce or check whether or not their students completed the Daily Health Check and got a green badge
  • What will happen to students if they are unable to display a green badge due to not having an electronic device on their person
  • Whether Trinity University believes these new rules are an infringement on the liberties of students, staff, and faculty?

Trinity University and Coody-Anders did try to make it clear that the administration at Trinity does care about its students and wants them to have as close to a normal semester as possible. However, the university has created many unanswered questions, and students are looking for answers that the university can not give at this time.

Update 8/5/2021: Trinity University sent a follow-up email to students on Aug. 5 to clarify some of the new COVID-19 procedures. The email stated that on-campus meetings will be limited to 50 persons for indoor settings and 250 for outdoor events. Off-campus guests and visitors will not be allowed on campus. Furthermore, residence hall dorm rooms will be restricted to 4 people maximum, and masks must be worn while guests are over. They reiterated that these rules will be reconsidered in mid-September.

Trinity University Hosts Socially-Distanced Annual Chocolate Fest

A number of balloon towers greeted students when they arrived at the sign-in table by the entrance to Storch Memorial Building. Even though the long line promised a considerable wait, students seemed excited for the event. One of the first large scale in person events on campus in almost a year was finally about to begin. 

Over the afternoon of Mar. 5, 2021, Trinity University’s Student Programming Board (SPB) put on the annual Chocolate Fest. The theme this year was Travis Scott’s Astroworld, so the festival was appropriately named Chocolate World. Traditionally the event takes place around Valentine’s Day and allows different clubs and departments to make chocolate treats that anyone can try. However, this year’s Chocolate Fest was different due to COVID-19.  

Small local bakeries gave away their goodies to students instead of clubs, giving students a unique situation from years past. That Cookie Tho Bakery, Annie’s Petite Treats, El Paraiso Ice Cream, Macarons by Drew, and The Art of Donut all had tents situated on upper campus where they gave away their desserts. 

COVID-19 regulations necessitated other changes to the festival as well. Students had to sign up for a time slot and a tour group several days before the event, so walk-ons were not allowed. The structured nature of the tour required some waiting for sign-in at the beginning, but after that the tour flowed quite smoothly. Each group numbered about 12 people and was led by a guide from station to station getting chocolate desserts from each.

 A refreshing cup of peppermint hot chocolate started the tour off in a Winter Wonderland. Next up was the giveaway booth, where attendees received a choice of numerous articles of free clothing emblazoned with Chocolate World logos. Following that students headed to Candyland, where they could try cupcakes and chocolate-shaped board game pieces. A short hop from Candyland took tours to Carnival, where we took in more donuts than we could carry. After donuts we went to Space where we enjoyed cosmic brownies, earth cake pops, and galaxy macarons. The final stop was at Fiesta, where we had churros in chocolate sauce, chocolate conchas, and chocolate paletas.

The success of an event of such a large size shows how it is possible to hold events on campus in the time of COVID-19 and still follow social distancing and masking requirements. In general there was a positive reaction to the event. When asked about Chocolate World, attendee Christian Kennedy, Class of 2024, stated that he “was glad that it happened, though [he] really wished there was more happening on campus, and hopefully this shows that more events can be done and done safely.”

Experts Weigh in on the Importance of the Electoral College

Any attempt to reform the Electoral College will bring seismic changes to American politics and government, and we have to take these reforms seriously and discuss them.

I was in a meeting in November of last year for the TU Election Initiative when the idea of a webinar open to all students and faculty was floated. Several topics were discussed before we settled for something relevant at the time: the Electoral College. Scheduling the webinar for late January, we figured the institution would be a good topic to keep students engaged and give them an opportunity to field questions to experts (we got three experts to attend: Gary Gregg, John Fortier, and James Pfiffer). I volunteered to moderate the Q&A portion, giving myself a front-row seat and facilitating discussion between the panelists and the Trinity community. The only thing I worried about was that students would be disengaged by the time of the webinar, and there would be scant interest.

That changed when the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building on January 6, the day Congress was to certify the electoral votes and cement Joe Biden as the 46th President. While the Electoral College was not front and center in news coverage following the riot, I was hopeful that interest in the Electoral College in the Trinity community was revamped. I saw that that was the case when well over 50 students, faculty, and staff attended the webinar. 

Each of the experts took around 15-20 minutes explaining their positions and opinions on the Electoral College. Each discussed the Electoral College history, why it is the way it is, and possible reforms (e.g., the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact). After they were finished, I took over as moderator and fielded as many questions as I could. I have to give credit to the audience for asking many tough and insightful questions, such as asking about the compatibility of alternative voting systems (e.g., ranked-choice voting) with the Electoral College and any possible bias toward red/blue states. I was impressed with the number of questions that were asked, but I could only get to so many before the webinar was over. 

Overall, I think the webinar went very well. The attendance rate, the expertise offered, and the questions asked prove that the Electoral College factors heavily in people’s minds when they think about politics and voting. Additionally, it is still a controversial institution with serious efforts being mounted to reform or abolish it, although the Electoral College is probably not going away anytime soon. That means we have to continue to have conversations, discussions, and debates about the future of the Electoral College because the institution is more than a method of picking the next president. It represents what kind of republic we want and what values we prioritize.

Any attempt to reform the Electoral College will bring seismic changes to American politics and government, and we have to take these reforms seriously and discuss them. And it always helps to remember our history and know-how the Electoral College has shaped the presidency and how it continues to function today. Its future is certainly up in the air but based on what I saw during the webinar, and I am confident that we will find a way to make the institution more democratic while preserving the republican principles this country was founded on.

Get to Know TU Clubs

This semester is a very strange one to be a tiger, especially for first year students. Rather than being able to attend the annual Student Involvement Fair and being overwhelmed by students handing out fliers, goody-bags, stickers, and cookies, the Class of 2024 attended an online zoom session with various clubs after watching their self-made introductory videos.

To help Tower readers–especially freshmen–find their niche on campus, I’ve interviewed officers from four different clubs to explain their club, how it enhances student life at Trinity University, and why new students should attend their meetings.

Tigers for Life is dedicated to discussing various pro-life issues on campus, educating members and Trinity students, and volunteering and engaging in activism to support the goals of the Pro-Life Movement. According to club president Angelique Lopez (Class of 2022): “Tigers for Life enhances student life at Trinity by bringing more diverse conversations about topics that are important yet a lot of people are uncomfortable talking about. By having weekly meetings and frequent information tables, we seek to educate and spread awareness about end-of-life issues such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, In Vitro Fertilization and embryonic stem cell research. In addition, Tigers for Life seeks to enhance student life at Trinity with its new Pregnant on Campus Initiative which aims to make Trinity more inclusive to pregnant and parenting students. Hopefully, with this initiative, we can help end the stigma against pregnant and parenting students and eventually be able to provide some kind of financial aid for those students.

“If students are interested in learning more about end-of-life issues such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, IVF and embryonic stem cell research, or would like to volunteer helping women with crisis pregnancies, Tigers for Life is a great group to join and welcomes both pro-life and pro-choice students. 

“Tigers for Life remains dedicated to our mission of defending the value and dignity of all human lives this semester, whether on or off campus. In accordance with this mission, the health and safety of our members, classmates and community are of utmost importance given the circumstances this fall. For the time being, we are hosting all club gatherings virtually, but we will adjust our plans in accordance with university guidelines to come and with our members’ circumstances and wishes.” Tigers for Life holds weekly meetings via Zoom every Thursday from 6-7pm.

The Young Conservatives of Texas is the only politically-oriented club on campus for Conservative students. They focus on discussions about both conservative philosophy and policy and often volunteer on various local campaigns. According to the current president, Nathan Darsch (Class of 2022), “YCT enhances student life at Trinity by giving students a place to listen to and be part of more conservative discussion that otherwise wouldn’t have been on Trinity’s campus.

“Any Trinity student can come to our meetings and join us in our discussions. We are actively looking for conservative or libertarian students that believe in the ideas and ideals laid out in the Constitution and by the Founding Fathers.” To keep their sense of community during COVID-19, YCT will “be holding meetings and many of our social events over zoom. Despite having to do most things over Zoom, we hope to still be able to do a few activities on and around campus so that club members can work together and feel like they are part of the community,” said Darsch. YCT holds its weekly meetings every Tuesday from 6-7pm via Zoom.

This semester is the first semester in many years in which Trinity University has had its own chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). Club founders Zachary Neeley (Class of 2021) and Timothy Yen (Class of 2022) founded YAL “to provide an on-campus home for libertarian students at Trinity that could serve the two-fold purpose of talking about issues libertarians care about in a libertarian setting and acting as a way for libertarians to get to know each other in an open and friendly environment,” said Neeley. He and Yen both expressed that they had attended meetings held by YCT, but did not feel that they could talk about libertarian issues they cared about in the majority-conservative meetings. 

Yen said that YAL enhances student life at Trinity because their “approach to campus politics is very simple: cooperation. We want to engage with other clubs on campus, both political and non-political, in the areas where our values and positions overlap. Libertarianism is a political philosophy, but the paradigm of libertarianism, which I like to summarize as ‘don’t hurt others, and don’t take their stuff,’ can be applied to daily life as well. Recently, there has been a project called ‘The Trinity Way’ where students anonymously submit complaints and stories about their experiences at Trinity. I think many of these problems can be fixed using the libertarian framework of resolving issues outside of institutions of authority. We understand that we are not policymakers, but we would like to bring attention to certain issues that we care about as libertarians, such as the war on drugs and the atrocities in Yemen enabled in no small part by the United States.” 

While YAL is primarily made up of libertarian members, Yen said that YAL “welcome[s] all political ideologues to our meetings. We plan on being transparent with our meeting topics, so if anyone may be interested in a certain issue, or perhaps debate us on an issue, they are more than welcome to join us for those meetings. Libertarians have internal debates too, and we’d love to have Trinity students, both those who identify as libertarians and those who don’t, to weigh in.”

YAL holds weekly meetings via zoom from 5-6pm CST. In addition to this, Yen said that “We also have a GroupMe chat, where we often talk about politics, but we also try to build a community by talking about music, sports, and our lives outside of politics. We actually have a lot in common besides politics, and I feel very lucky that we have the infrastructure to continue our friendship and community while we are not together geographically. Additionally, we engage our members by giving them the opportunity to vote on what kind of posts we put on our Twitter (@TrinityYal) and Instagram (@yalibertytrinityu).” 

The Catholic Student Group (CSG) at Trinity does its best to foster in students both a deep love for Christ and a greater understanding of Catholic teachings. According to the current president, Alex Jacobs (Class of 2020), “CSG enhances student life at Trinity in several ways. First and foremost, we bring the sacraments to campus, primarily the sacraments of Confession and Eucharist. The power of these sacraments is eternal life, which is the greatest life enhancement you could possibly get. Although only a minority of the students on campus actually take advantage of these sacraments, the grace contained in them is the grace of Christ, which is infinite, and so their effects are not limited only to the people who receive them. The people who receive the sacraments on campus become beacons of light, through which God shines his grace on the rest of the campus.

CSG accepts all interested members, particularly “both Catholics and people who are interested in Catholicism. We have opportunities to learn about the faith and can provide any truth-seekers with ample resources to bring that search to term. We will have Mass regularly at 5pm in Parker Chapel. Furthermore, we plan to have some zoom events as well as some random outdoor gatherings with small numbers of people. We also have Bible studies that people are always welcome to join. Some of our zooms will be speakers.”

Why Does Trinity Need the Tower?

I think The Tower has the potential for positively contributing to debates on campus and bringing voices that are not usually heard in everyday discussions.

Last year, The Tower saw a drastic increase in its readership. With this spike comes a natural stream of criticism that carries the same undertones. “Why not just write for the Trinitonian?” “Why create an echo chamber for Trinity conservatives?” I want to address those criticisms in this piece.

The underlying assumption in these critiques is that campus discourse should belong exclusively to campus-sanctioned publications. To deviate otherwise is to disrupt the flow of campus discourse. Before I move forward, I want to clarify that I am only speaking for myself, not for The Tower editorial board or for the other staff writers. Personally, I think the arguments against The Tower are unsubstantiated but fair criticisms.

I chose not to write for the Trinitonian, but not because of any incompetence or unfriendliness at the paper. My interactions with the Trinitonian staff, though few, have been nothing but positive, and I have nothing but respect for people who put themselves on a strict timetable for writing and publishing articles. I’m willing to give the Trinitonian staff the benefit of the doubt and assume they are good people that I can respect. 

Nonetheless, there are reasons I choose to write for The Tower on a regular basis over the Trinitonian. For one, generally speaking, I can write longer opinion columns for The Tower, which allows for a more in-depth discussion of whatever issue I am writing about. I tend to prefer longer columns as they tend to avoid the shock-inducing one-liners that usually saturate shorter columns. I also joined The Tower as an opinion writer because there were no other regular non-conservative writers at the time. There still aren’t. Finally, the editorial board has a very flexible timetable for its writers and is more lenient with late articles, giving us busy, unpaid writers the space and time we need to write good pieces–though, to be frank, I don’t think every article we’ve published has been superb.

But speaking as a non-conservative writer for The Tower, I will say that accusations of a lack of intellectual diversity are unwarranted (though it shouldn’t shock anyone that a conservative magazine is staffed predominantly by conservatives). The Tower editorial board has been nothing but friendly in bringing and retaining me on the opinion staff. Many of the other staff writers have spoken positively about my articles.

I will conclude by inviting those who are more liberal-minded to consider writing for The Tower. I am dead serious about this invitation. If The Tower is willing to have me, I imagine it would not be a problem having a few liberals become regular columnists. If that is too much, people are more than welcome to submit guest columns to the editorial board. If anyone has any doubts about what The Tower is willing to publish, check out my arguably progressive column that takes a personal angle in the debate about transgender people (which was published alongside a conservative counterpoint). And if that is not enough to attract more left-leaning writers, The Tower is open to publishing non-political articles. At any rate, I doubt that The Tower is going anywhere soon. If anything, I think The Tower has the potential for positively contributing to debates on campus and bringing voices that are not usually heard in everyday discussions.