Faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous, ambitious: the five traits of a Trojan. We all learned
them at Orientation, and we all see them waving proudly above our heads on the newly
renovated Trousdale Parkway.
USC’s recent launch of a major bike safety campaign, however, demonstrates a gaping hole in
this fabulous five.
The campaign, known as “We are Considerate. We are USC.,” includes among its proposals the
unofficial addition of a sixth Trojan trait: considerate.
It’s about time. The traits of a Trojan are great traits to have, but they can be used for negative
purposes as well as positive. It takes education and skill to construct a bomb, ambition to develop
a plan to use it, faith and courage to carry that plan out—but the act of blowing up a building
does not make a person great.
Kindness and respect, alongside these traits, are necessary to ensure that we are responsible and
contributing members of our Trojan community.
As administrators recognized, bike safety is a campus issue that could benefit from such
benevolence. It is unfortunate, though, that it took students running each other over with their
bicycles for USC to realize a sixth trait was needed.
The addition of “considerate” under these circumstances seems to be little more than a political
play, to make students more enthusiastic about the new rules and bike lanes they might otherwise
find inconveniencing and unfair.
On the USC Safe Communities website, Vice President for Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson
and Associate Senior Vice President Charles Lane state that “we aren’t suggesting that we carve
this word into the base of the Tommy Trojan statue.”
The five official traits on the statue, then, still take precedence over being considerate. In reality,
however, consideration for others should be our top priority. We are the Trojan family after all.
Aren’t we supposed to look after one another?