Why Does Trinity Need the Tower?

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. 

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