Malcolm Standing, Staff Writer
Under normal circumstances this isn’t a normal position. Still, even with everything going on, it’s an important one.
I remember my first days at Trinity. Frosh Week 2K19. Nervous as hell. Cavorting around the quad talking about all the clubs I was a part of and pieces of paper I accrued over my years in school like we were at a Meet-and-Greet in the Harvard Yard. Me and a hundred other Froshies all trying to impress one another, worrying that we would come off as rude, or worse, dumb. It wasn’t long before a lady in a silly hat marched into the quad and began yelling at all of us. We were called worms, put down, and told to buckle up for what lay ahead at our years at Trinity.
I loved every moment of it.
I view the bishop as the real icebreaker at Trinity College. They are the person who will tell you something that you’ll never hear from someone on a university payroll: Relax. Don’t take yourself so seriously. I was reminded that there is no point to having a stick lodged up my behind when you could be enjoying your time here at this special place. To me, it was something that students could rally around. Making fun of our pretensions with no pretensions. Just good clean fun to help raise the esprit de corps in a place that desperately needs it at times.
It goes without saying that this year is going to be a challenge. The only introduction many first-years have had to this college is the TCM and whatever is going on in the Facebook group. All upper years need to make it incumbent upon themselves to ensure that the social traditions of the college do not die out. Saints, Conversat, The Lit, High Table et al. are on hiatus for the time being, and first years are sadly going to ones who suffer the most from it. The hard truth is that staring at your computer screen is not the same as being the quad singing “Hey Baby” or being in the JCR on a Wednesday night, but we need to do what we can to make sure that 2T4s get the experience here that they deserve.
Obviously, these limitations placed on us by the virus and by lockdown stretch to the Bishop as well. Most first years are living at home. There was no frosh week. My largest audience was a handful of people having dinner in the Quad when I gave an impromptu address regarding the blackout. Even still, as much as I loathe having to yell the Salterrae at a laptop, never let the perfect be the enemy of the ok. This year, I think it’s more important than ever that the Bishop does their best to build camaraderie amongst the first years. The social life here is what makes this place different from every other school in this country. Our traditions here stop this place from turning into a 4-year sleepaway camp for adults. We owe it to the first years of this college to make sure that they’ll get a proper social experience once this is all over. Really, I think being the Bishop is one small way in which I can help make sure that happens.