My Experience in Trinity’s Legislative Internship Program

My Experience in Trinity’s Legislative Internship Program

Connecticut State Capitol

This semester, I am taking part in Trinity’s Legislative Internship Program. This is a full- or part-time program that places students with Connecticut state legislators. I’m doing the program part-time, and I get to spend my days at the Connecticut State Capitol and Legislative Office Building. I applied to the program last semester, and 14 students were given the opportunity to be interns this year, most of whom are majoring in political science or public policy and law. The program is selective, and the application process was somewhat long and a bit stressful, considering that I applied during finals. However, in the end everything worked out, and thanks to Trinity I am gaining unforgettable work experience and learning so much about local and state politics.

The job of an intern at the State Capitol might sound like easy work, since one would assume this is regular office jobs. Sure you have to make copies, file stuff, and do other tasks that might seem tedious,  but there is so much more than that. For starters, as an intern you get see some of the meetings that happen behind closed doors between legislators. You get to attend hearing and forums regarding legislation that directly impacts all state residents. Furthermore, you get to meet so many interesting and nice people that care about the state of Connecticut.

I am currently working for the Senate Majority Leader, Bob Duff. I can truly say that this has been an unforgettable experience. I have seen how Senator Duff meets with people and interacts with the public. In addition, I have learned on how he fights for legislation that he thinks is important. This is legislation that will help the people of Connecticut, as well as towns like Norwalk and Darien, which are the towns within his district. He has definitely taught me a lot about government and how much time and dedication public service requires. Since Connecticut has a part-time state legislature, Senator Duff drives all the way from his district, which can be almost an hour a day with traffic. Every day he comes into the office ready to talk to people that are interested in passing legislation that can help Connecticut.

However, the internship is not done once I step out of the Capitol. As part of the Trinity Legislative Internship program, we have to analyze and study all of the politics that happen within the Connecticut State Capitol. Every Tuesday evening, from 6:30 to 9:00, all of the interns meet for a seminar. We have readings assigned, and we also have to type weekly analytical reports that relate to legislation and or issues that our assigned legislators are facing. Furthermore, we have to give an update on what we did during the week and explain are our current projects within the Capitol.

I would recommend this program to any student who is interested in working in the government or politics. You get an exclusive look at how state government operates, what it takes to create legislation—including what happens behind closed doors and the debates that rage on over specific legislation that you might care about. This of course is great work experience and will give you an edge if you plan to go into this field. For this reason, I urge students interested in politics to apply.

The Film Community at Trinity College

The Film Community at Trinity College

I always knew I wanted to be a film major ever since I was in middle school. I grew up watching movies from all eras, all qualities, and all languages. Film has been one of my favorite hobbies for such a long time. When I was in high school, I even made my own movies. Therefore, when I was seeking colleges, I knew that film would have to be a big part. Well, I am glad that I came to Trinity because Trinity can boast of a vibrant film community.

The film community begins with taking film classes. Here you will meet many students that are already film majors, or students that are interested in film as a major. I would recommend taking many production classes because those can be very time consuming, so its best to get them out of the way if you are planning to become a film major. The production classes allow you to meet people who love movies as much as you do. Furthermore, the film production classes allow you to get hands on experience using high quality equipment such as DSLR cameras or high-end audio equipment. This all becomes more fun when you start learning with some of your friends and eventually start making movies for class together. Finally, another reason why film studies is a great major is because its simply fun! You get to make movies about anything you want. You get to meet interesting people who are currently working in the industry. Finally, you make great friends that spend most of the time with you talking about movies. For this reason, I think that film studies should always be considered as a potential major.

Trinity also has an on-campus movie theater called, Cinestudio. How many other colleges can say that? Students that love film often volunteer to sell tickets, or manage the theater, making sure that everything runs smoothly. This movie theater is open to the public and often you will see people from outside Trinity come to enjoy movies with students. Trinity students along with other college students get discount tickets to the movies. However, if you volunteer, you actually get rewarded with free movie tickets for you and your friends. Overall, this is a great place to enjoy watching movies and meet other people that enjoy watching movies, too. Volunteer here if you definitely love movies.

What about discussing film? Well theory classes actually offer a platform for discussion. The film professors are very engaging and some of the most fun people you will meet at Trinity. They know so much about the history and theory of film and their classes are always interesting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch a movie every week and then talk about it? For example, last semester I took a film theory class where we saw a James Bond movie. After the class, I did not expect to know so much about psychoanalytic theory and all the things that go into making a James Bond movie. Some professors also assign movies that are shown at Cinestudio for class assignments! How about having class in an old fashioned movie theater?

The Trinity College library can boast of one of the best collections of films from all over the world. You can check the DVDs out and watch them in one of the many rooms that have a projector or TV within the library. Many of the Criterion Collection DVDs are here, and of course all film lovers love the Criterion Collection. Therefore, try watching a movie in the library with your friends. Bring popcorn, and I guarantee you can have fun.

Finally, one of the best things about the film community at Trinity is the Trinity Film Festival. This is an annual event where undergraduate students from all over the country submit 10 minute films to the festival that are then judged by celebrity judges from the film industry. There is a red carpet rolled out for this event and after the screenings of the films there is a black-tie reception where all the filmmakers get dressed up and are awarded prizes for their films. The event is open to the public. This year, the Film Festival will be held on May 5, 2018 at 5 pm. Hope to see you there!

Three Services that Trinity Recreation Offers That You Might Not Know About

Three Services that Trinity Recreation Offers That You Might Not Know About

Staying in shape can be fun. Keeping a healthy diet is always great and nothing beats finishing that last set of bench presses. Trinity College offers some services that students can take advantage of. Here are some ways to maintain a fit and active lifestyle and keep a healthy routine while at Trinity.

Open Swim

Throughout each semester, Ferris Athletic Center holds open swim hours. In addition to the hours set aside for our swim team’s practices, anyone can go to the pool and get a work out in during the day.  There are student life guards on duty as well that watch over the pool and make sure that everyone is safe.

Fitness Classes

Trinity offers some fitness classes for those that are interested in finding alternative ways of staying fit. Be it Zumba, Spin, Barre, or swim lessons, Trinity has you covered. You can sign up for any of these classes on the college’s athetic website and get academic credit for the semester.

Renting Equipment

Ferris Athletic Center offers balls and rackets that can be rented out from the front desk. Interested in a pick up game of soccer, tennis or basketball? Well simply take out a ball from the front desk by leaving your ID in exchange for the equipment. Once you are done, just return it and get your ID back. In addition, you can also take out bicycles if you are interested in riding around campus or to downtown Hartford.

The Music Scene ‘Neath the Elms

The Music Scene ‘Neath the Elms

Trinity College is home to many talented musicians. Some students have taught themselves how to play different instruments on their own while other students have come from a more academic music background. Either way, students at Trinity love music and the musical opportunities our school offers. In addition to instrumental musical talent, we have very talented singers who perform in a cappella groups on campus. Trinity is also rich with poets and has a thriving hip hop scene. Even if you are not into performing, there are plenty of students who are always talking about the latest releases and guesses for album of the year.

The Mill is one of the biggest highlights for musicians and artists on campus. The Mill is our Music and Arts Community House and is always inviting off campus bands or having student bands perform concerts at the indoor or outdoor venue spaces. It is a place full of music lovers and musicians alike. The house includes a recording studio where bands and a cappella groups record their own music. The Mill also has open mic nights happening throughout the year. If you are interested in heavy metal, punk, indie rock, alternative or even folk music, then the Mill is the place for you.

The Mill also hosts events for organizations on campus such as Temple of Hip Hop and Iron Poet. The Temple of Hip Hop is always putting on events that have to do with Hip Hop culture, but not just the music itself. This includes graffiti artists and b-boy dancers. Temple of Hip Hop also organizes the Trinity College International Hip Hop Festival which brings people from all over to participate in this giant music and dance festival on campus. Iron Poet on the other hand is far more focused on poetry, rapping, and spoken word and also holds several events throughout the year.

Trinity has various instrumental and vocal ensemble groups that anyone can join. Some of them, like The Chapel Singers and the a cappella groups, are audition only, but other groups allow anyone to join without an audition. Trinity has 5 a cappella groups, two all female, two co-ed, and one all male group. There are also other vocal groups like The Chapel Singers, The Gospel Choir, African Choir and Trinity Choir. For other musicians, Trinity has instrumental ensembles like Jazz Band and Samba Ensemble. Students can also take individual lessons on any instrument of their choice for a semester or take part in a smaller ensemble for a class credit.

Finally, WRTC is Trinity’s radio station on campus that allows anyone to have their own show where they can talk about music and share their playlists. Whatever your musical interest or involvement is, Trinity has so many opportunities for any musician or music enthusiast ‘Neath the Elms!

Raether Library and its Benefits

Raether Library and its Benefits

Raether Library and Information Technology Center is one of the best academic places on campus. Students often come here to get their work done. Aside from being a place that holds books, the library actually provides many great services to help students get their work done.

One of the services offered is the ability to reserve rooms within the library to hold group study sessions. On their website, a student can find the schedule to reserve the space. This allows for a secure way on getting a quiet space to get work done. In addition, many of the rooms include computers, projectors, televisions, or any technological devices that can help with research. These rooms are useful when it comes to viewing movies for film classes. Reserving spaces works for getting work done.

Within the library exists another library. Watkinson Library and College Archives is a section of the library that specializes in documents and archives. Sometimes, professors will ask for primary source documents for an assignment. The staff at Watkinson Library is ready to help you and guide you in the right direction. As a student, you have access to documents from the American Civil War! All of these archives are held in quiet level C, which also acts as great place to study and read when you absolutely must get work done.

The staff at the library is also a great resource. When writing research papers, looking for sources can be a daunting task. However, students at Trinity are able to schedule appointments with librarians. They are a helpful source of information. They will not do your work for you, but they will definitely point you in the right direction. They will either recommend a book that can contain helpful information or they can show you a specific database that deals with a very specific topic. They are a great help.

In addition, level B of the Library holds the technology center. Students can come here to get their technological questions answered. Student workers who know about computers can instruct you on how to set up your laptop to print from the colleges printer. In addition, they can also show you more about your own devices. Students can even come here if they want to set up an Xbox One or Apple TV to the wi-fi network. These guys know what they are talking about when it comes to technology.

Finally, the library is a great place to relax. Sure, you might not believe me after I discussed how much students use this building as a resource to get their work done. However, its true, the library is a aesthetically pleasing location to go and read a novel. You can pick one out from the many leisure reading books from the library’s collection, which also contains graphic novels and manga. Also, throughout the building there are many puzzles that can be used to take stress away. Finally, how can I not mention Peter B’s which is the coffee shop with pastries and great drinks inside the library. Why not come and enjoy a cup?

Where To Get That Caffeine Fix?

Where To Get That Caffeine Fix?

With finals season, comes the all nighters, the long essays and group study sessions. And here at Trinity College, we like to pair that with great coffee. We love our coffee, so much in fact, that Trinity is home to two very well established coffee shops, The Underground and Peter B’s. As a coffee aficionado myself (and borderline caffeine addict), I always need my fix of joe. Both coffee shops compete for ratings and popularity among students. However, they are very different from each other right down to the roasters of their coffee. The difference between them is what makes them both great coffee experiences depending on what you’re looking for. And having both on campus is a huge plus! Based on the opinions and descriptions of each coffee shop, you, dear reader, can decide your favorite on your own.

The Underground

The Underground, the UG, the UGG, or da Uggie is a lounge known by many names. The main feature that distinguishes this coffee shop is the fact that it contains great comfortable seating and a really cool, laid back ambiance. The lights are usually dimmed, and produce a soft yellow glow that give the coffee drinker a warm feeling even if they are drinking an iced coffee with a hazelnut flavor shot. In addition the Underground has board games, coloring books and chess tables to help pass the time and maybe relaxfor a bit. Alex Rusbarsky ’18 states that an additional benefit of the Underground is that its located right next to the Cave, one of our dining halls, which allows students to obtain food along with their coffee. The Underground also holds events, such as movie screenings and open mic events. Conversely, at the UG, the low-lighting can cause students to fall asleep, which might interfere with work and other activities if you need crunch time. But there are plenty of very comfy couches where you can always find someone napping. The UG does not sell snacks, however they have their share of seasonal flavor shots and special drinks for every occasion. Overall the UG is pretty well liked amongst students.

Peter B’s

Peter B’s is located right in the library. This gives an academic advantage to Peter B’s. During finals, many students choose to take a coffee break and come here to get reenergized in order to keep pounding away at those essays. Peter B’s also has the advantage that it serves its own pastries along with their coffees and teas, as Jason McLeod ’19 points out. The pastries are brought in fresh every day from First and Last Bakery in Hartford. Peter B’s also allows for easy access to library files and books since its located within the library. This means that students can order a coffee, bring it back to their desk, or go do research about the topics they are studying. Brii Kuz ’18 points out that the only downside is not being able to use meal plan dollars at the coffee shops to buy coffee, tea or pastries. In addition, the ambiance of Peter B’s tends to be a bit distracting since many students do choose to come here as a social space, therefore causing more background noise. Professors or TAs will also hold meetings, interviews or office hours here. Despite this, students still do enjoy the pastries and coffee from Peter B’s and spend a lot of time there.

My preferences might be biased since I tend to enjoy drinking coffee at the Underground, but in all honesty it really all comes down to what sort of ambiance the coffee drinker prefers and the taste of the coffee. So just go out to either coffee shop, try them by yourself, and come to a decision on your own. The most important thing is that you are able to get your caffeine fix!

Fun Events in the Connecticut Area

Fun Events in the Connecticut Area

THE BIG E

The Big E is the largest fair in New England. Trinity allows you to buy tickets at their front desk and you could always come and enjoy several fun food items such as Fried Oreos or even Fried Kool-Aid if that is your thing. When you are done eating, why not head over and go pet some goats? The Big E provides fun for all people and you can always bond with fellow bantams that attend the event.

Riverside Dragon Boat Race

This yearly event is held during the summer right on the Connecticut River. When you attend, you get to enjoy cheering the Dragon Boats race each other. The event also contains dance routines and an opportunity to learn about Asian cultures. If you get thirsty, pick up some refreshing Bubble tea. This event is a fun opportunity to learn about some of the oldest cultures in the world.

ConnectiCon

Interested in comics? Are you a complete anime nerd? Why not attend ConnectiCon? This even is held every year in the Connecticut Convention Center in Downtown Hartford. Many workshops are offered regarding the art of comics. You can meet your favorite comic book artists and writers. Sometimes special guests from your favorite nerdy TV shows attend. While you attend, you can always pick up extra comics, or Magic the Gathering Cards. If you are nerd, you will love attending this place where you can meet fellow geeks.

Fruit Picking

As another New England State, Connecticut offers great vineyards and other farms where you can go and pick up apples during the fall. Also, if you are doing research during the summer, then you can attend any of these farms to be able to pick up other fruit such as blueberries and strawberries. These events work well to bond with fellow students, and you get to enjoy delicious healthy fruit afterward.

The Haunted Graveyard

During Halloween time, amusement Park Lake Compounce offers one of the biggest scary attractions in New England. One side of the park is completely turned into a graveyard full of zombies, vampires, and other ghouls. Buy a couple of tickets and come ready to take one of the scariest tours. When done being terrified by the Graveyard, you can be thrilled on the many roller coasters and rides offered at the park. Riding them at night provides for a fun experience.

Wine Trail (21+)

Connecticut has great vineyards. After all, the state flag features grapes. So if you are of the legal drinking age, then you will be able to taste many different types and flavors of wine from grapes grown here in Connecticut. Even if you are not 21, learning about the cultivation and wine tasting is fun, so going on the Connecticut Wine trail is always a great experience.

Hartford Jazz Festival

Are you a fan of Glenn Miller and Miles Davies? Well the city of Hartford is happy to host an international jazz festival every year. Come and enjoy great music that ranges from Latin Jazz to classic Jazz. Food from around the world is also available at this event. Finally, you can purchase cool artisan items such as a woven beanie or a dream catcher at one of the many vendors found on the site.

Greek Life Alternatives at Trinity College

Greek Life Alternatives at Trinity College

Trinity College offers a great variety of Greek Life Organizations if you are interested in pursuing a fraternity or sorority. However, what about people who do not think Greek life is for them? Well, Trinity hosts other great organizations that can provide an alternative for anyone who might not be as interested in receiving a bid. Therefore, here are some alternative on-campus organizations that provide a great social experience outside of Greek Life.

The Mill

The Mill is the on-campus arts organization. They are responsible for hosting many events that range from open mics to art galleries. Many great artists have visited the Mill through this organization. Some of the great bands and artists that have come to the Mill include Ripe, Duckworth, Twin Peaks, and Savoir Adore. The Mill is located at 79 Vernon Street, and their facilities include an art gallery, an art studio, a music venue, a bar for students who are of drinking age, and a working recording studio. This organization provides a great social experience where it is possible to meet friends. No rushing is required to join the organization and there are minimal dues involved.

La Voz Latina

La Voz Latina, or LVL for short, is the Latino/Hispanic Organization on campus. They provide a variety of events for people interested in partaking in events that range from enjoying a delicious ethnic dinner, to a hosting a panel about culture in Latin America. The best part is that to join this organization, you do not even have to know any Spanish. LVL is hosted at la Elacra on 69 Vernon Street. The organization also hosts Latin Dance parties and their big event of the year is Salsarengue, a night of maximum fun and salsa. Again this provides a great social alternative to Greek Life.

Hillel 

Hillel House is the Jewish organization on campus. If you are interested in learning about Israel and Jewish Culture, this is the place for you. Hillel is involved in the Challah for Hunger program in which Challah bread is sold and the money earned donated towards great causes. One does not have to be Jewish or convert to Judaism in order to join the organization, therefore it is opened to anyone interested. Everyone is welcome to Shabbat Services and they provide for a great time to learn and enjoy food while also learning about Jewish culture.

The Underground

The Underground is one of the best places to hang out on campus! As a coffee shop located in the Mather Basement, the place is always great to go to and hang out and drink some Lattes, Mochas, or a simple Iced Coffee. The Underground also hosts many open mics in which students are able to go on stage and sing. Student art is displayed on the walls of the coffee shop. Finally, movie nights are held. Therefore, if you come for the coffee, it is easy to stay and do homework. Most of the time you will end up meeting someone down here.

CONNPirg

This organization is oriented towards people who are interested in politics and government. CONNpirg meets to talk about the environment and current policies that could be changed. They also drive a great “Get Out to VOTE” campaign during elections. Their meetings are very social and provide an opportunity to meet like-minded people interested in changing the world in a positive manner.

Overnight Visit at Trinity

Overnight Visit at Trinity

While I was applying to colleges, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted my school to look like. I already knew that I wanted to attend a small liberal arts college in an urban area. Therefore, my search was narrowed to many schools in the northeast. For this reason, I decided to schedule overnight visits to some of my favorites. Amongst these schools, Trinity College in Hartford, CT had a program specifically tailored for prospective students, and I decided to apply.

While visiting Trinity, I immediately fell in love with the campus. Despite being in the middle of a city, Trinity contains many green areas and having a quad full of elms did not harm the image. Trinity also boasts beautiful architecture around every corner. The Long Walk has old brick buildings with artistic engravings on it. I cannot forget to mention the beautiful chapel located in the middle of campus, which many people enjoy taking photos of during winter or summer.

Unlike other overnight visits, Trinity actually made me feel welcomed. The people I met during my overnight stay were very friendly. They actually made me feel part of the community, even if they knew that I might not be coming here. Everyone I met that day made a good impression on me, and I still say hello to them when I see them going to their classes. The people made me realize that Trinity is made up of a vibrant and friendly community. In addition, the small campus size allows more interactions with people. You will meet many people in your classes, and you will be able to say hi to them around campus or at the dining hall. I knew that I wanted my college experience to be filled with people I knew, not random strangers every day.

In addition to a friendly community, I enjoyed visiting a class during my overnight stay. I could choose which classes I wanted to walk into. I decided to enter a psychology class out of curiosity, and saw that students were engaged and eloquently contributing to the discussion. The professor was friendly and willing to help. Now, as a current student I can say that by far the professors at Trinity are the best part of coming here. They are always approachable. The professors at Trinity made my experience far better compared to other schools.

Consider coming to Trinity and visiting. This is the only way that you can experience how it feels to come here. After my visit, I loved the experience so much that I decided that I wanted to experience it far more than just one day. The people are friendly. The location inside and outside of campus can only be described as perfect. Furthermore, the professors are among some of the best people you will ever meet on campus. I suggest considering Trinity as a serious option for your next four years of your academic career.

Schedule an overnight visit to Trinity herehttps://connect.trincoll.edu/portal/overnight-visit

Six Activities to Do Around Hartford

Six Activities to Do Around Hartford

Living in a small city can have its advantages, especially around holidays. Hanging out around Harwith friends is so convenient considering that there are not that many miles to walk through. Hartford is a vibrant place with many activities to do. Here is a list of great things to do around Hartford county:

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1) Movie Night

The city of Hartford contains several movie theaters. Trinity College has the privilege to be home to Cinestudio, our on-campus movie theater. However, if you want to leave campus, transportation is always available to take you into West Hartford where you will find Cinepolis, a standard six-screen movie theater showcasing the latest hits. Personally, when I want to catch a movie outside of campus, I try to go to Bow Tie Cinemas in Hartford since they have sales every Tuesday and your wallet will surely thank you.

2) Art Exhibition

Hartford has a thriving art community. Why not experience it with your friends.? Downtown Hartford is home to Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The Museum holds several pieces ranging from Samuel Colt’s guns to surrealist paintings from Salvador Dali. (Trinity students also receive free admission!) Hartford is also home to Real Art Ways, an independent art gallery and movie theater. This gallery holds pieces from up and coming artist from around the area. The gallery also holds several events such as Creative Cocktail Hour, where people from all ages are invited to come and talk about art over Mocktails (or real cocktails if you’re 21+). Finally, you can always hang out around the city and take the public art tour and experience all the public art that Hartford holds.

3) Good Food

Hartford holds several great restaurants that provide great food. Since there are too many to name, I will name my personal favorites and make suggestions of food that I have enjoyed in the company of friends. If you are in the mood for southern cooking, Black Eyed Sally’s is the place to go. If you go, I recommend the Chicken and Waffles or the Macaroni and Cheese. Another great restaurant is Ted’s Montana Grill, which has great burgers made from buffalo meat. Right next to it, you will find Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, where the flavors will overwhelm you (in a good way!). Finally, if you are in the mood for Mexican food, I recommend either El Sarape or Coyote Flaco (a debate that can never be settled in my room as to which restaurant is better).

4) Physical Activity

Maybe you are in the mood for some physical activity. A fun place to go with friends is Hartford’s trampoline park, Launch. You can bonce and do flips and overall just have fun as if you were a child. You can also share a couple of slices of pizza with your friends while you’re there. Finally, if you are up for more of challenge, you can go hiking around Hartford’s surroundings towns. The town of Newington holds Cedar Mountain, a good place to hike, read poetry, or just talk once at the top.

5) Stay In

Just stay in and do some homework  with friends or by yourself. More work will probably get done if you are by yourself.

6) Park Day

A good place to visit is Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. During the spring semester, you can visit several of the beautiful gardens around the park. Spend some time taking in the rock garden with a couple of friends and move to the rose garden with that special someone. Try to enjoy an ice cream cone from the local restaurant or eat a hot dog. Meet new people in the park, go look at the dogs, or even take some photography. Overall, this should provide a relaxing experience with friends and will allow you to unwind from the week.