The Washington Post has published an eloquent letter-to-the-editor that Trinity student Charlotte Williams wrote about Susan Kinzie’s article on Trinity’s program at THE ARC. In her letter Ms. Williams objects to the reporter’s characterization of the students at THE ARC. Ms. Williams states, “Her [the reporter’s] implication about blacks and Latinos being intellectually inferior reeks with an air of white superiority….Kinzie used students’ phrases to profile them stereotypically.”
Trinity students at THE ARC are every bit as serious, powerful and determined to succeed as Trinity students have always been for more than a century. These women — and men! — are writing a new chapter in Trinity’s history. They are pioneers. We are the first university, public or private, to offer a degree program east of the river, and we know that there is a large and eager group of future students throughout southeast Washington. Trinity’s program at THE ARC is hardly ‘experimental’ as the article implied — Trinity fully intends to expand its programs at that location and elsewhere in southeast in the months to come.
Historical facts are clear: Trinity once was 95% white, Catholic, traditional-aged, residential, in keeping with its original cultural construct from the early 20th century. Trinity today is 65% Black, 15% Latina, 8% White, 4% Asian, and the balance arrayed among other categories. Many of our students have international origins, with more than 40 other nations and 16 languages present on our campus.
Trinity is very proud of this great diversity, and we certainly believe that the rich depth and powerful ambition of today’s students makes Trinity ever bit as “elite” as we always have been. Our students achieve remarkable success each day, and they repeatedly demonstrate the power of a Trinity education in their classroom performance, their community service, and their accomplishments in the corporate and civic arenas of Washington. The Washington Post could learn a lot about excellence and achievement from today’s Trinity students.