Trinity’s International Hip-Hop Festival

Trinity’s International Hip-Hop Festival

Do you love hip hop? That’s a trick question, because with Billboard reporting that hip-hop consumption is on the rise, I expect that many of you do love hip hop. If you love hip hop, why not go to a school that feeds your appetite for it?

Trinity Hip-Hop Festival
Photo by Amanda Macchia Photography | amandamacchiaphoto.com

Trinity is home to the annual Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival. Organized every year by the student members of Trinity’s chapter of Temple of Hip Hop, this festival brings hip hop to Trinity’s campus and allows students to experience hip hop from many different platforms. By demonstrating the elements of hip hop—graffiti, break dancing, beat boxing, DJ’ing, and MC’ing—the festival gives students the full hip-hop experience.

The International Hip-Hop Festival began in 2006 when a couple of Trinity students saw that there needed to be a different view of the popular music genre. These students saw that hip hop was being exploited and negatively appropriated by corporations for monetary gain, thereby creating a false image of the genre. Instead of hip hop being displayed as an art form used to ignite lyrical expression and storytelling, the image of hip hop promoted by the media was one that exploited women and promoted drug use and violence. The international hip hop festival was created to help combat such negative imagery and promote unity, love, and music with substance. The festival is Now in its 13th year, the festival has done just that and has gained so much publicity and momentum.

Since the festival is one of its kind, it has been recognized by many publications and news outlets, which has helped spread the word of its work to people all over the world. Every year, the festival brings artists and hip hop connoisseurs from across the globe, including Egypt, Russia, Japan, China, Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Canada, as well as local and national artists. Each of these guests brings their own experiences of how hip hop is used and listened to in their home countries and how it has shaped who they are as artists. From graffiti artists to break dancers, the amount of international talent present on campus during the festival is amazing!

Trinity Hip Hop Festival
Photo by Amanda Macchia Photography | amandamacchiaphoto.com

The festival is split into three days and attendance is free for everyone on campus and for the Hartford community, which helps strengthen the bond between students and Hartford residents. There is never a dull moment during those three days. They are filled with multiple activities that bring the elements of hip hop to life. Through lectures on hop hip developments, break dancing competitions, and organic free styling battles, the hip hop community is truly alive on campus. The big event that everyone looks forward to is a performance from the headliner. Every year, the organization gets some of the industry’s heaviest hitters and pioneers. Past years have seen Rakim, Talib Kweli, MC LYTE, and many others as headliners.

Each year the festival brings a lot of joy to both Trinity’s campus and the Hartford community. It gathers people together and introduces various cultures to the student body. This year’s festival happened April 6–9, and you can read a recap by Seth Markle, associate professor of history and international studies and faculty adviser to the festival. I hope you get a chance to experience the festival first-hand and understand why it is such an amazing event!

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!

How to Get Invovled on Campus and Surprise Both Yourself and Your Parents

How to Get Invovled on Campus and Surprise Both Yourself and Your Parents

Upon entering my second semester of my sophomore year here at Trinity, I’ve gradually become more accustomed and familiarized with all of the broad-reaching opportunities this college offers its students both on and off campus. Especially for a student such as myself who struggled with homesickness much of my first semester of my freshmen year, getting involved and keeping myself preoccupied was one of the best things that I could have done to get myself over the homesickness hump. Despite it being overwhelming at first, the campus involvement fair, held every semester, was a great way to explore what the college had to offer and how I could get involved in something that personally interested me. I remember walking through the doors into the Mather Washington Room and being immediately engulfed in a sea of tables and fliers, all backed behind students enthusiastically cooing you to sign up for their club. The fair has everything from Investment Club to Puppy Club, with a series of clubs and organizations that could deem attractive to almost anyone. Looking to join a sports team at school but not exactly sure if you could handle the commitment of a collegiate sport? Look no further than the numerous club sports Trinity offers such as tennis, lacrosse, hockey, soccer etc. Sports aren’t your thing? Not to fear, there are a series of volunteer clubs and organizations connected with the school such as Best Buddies, Big Brother Big Sister, Relay for Life and more. Even if you are looking for a more chill club environment, artistic and musical clubs such as The Mill on campus and the event planning Barnyard Committee serve as a great way to get yourself involved in something that may taper more to your interest.

Another great thing about Trinity College is the availability of on-campus jobs for students. For many students, keeping themselves busy with a paying job can be a much-appreciated bonus. If you were looking for more of an office job on campus, a job in either admissions or career development could be the one for you. Looking for something in the library instead? Lucky for you, the library circulation desk is a great place for students to help other students and become more familiar with the interworkings of our library. If you walk a bit further down the library lobby, you will stumble upon Peter B’s, one of the great student-run coffee shops on campus. Peter B’s is not only an awesome place to hang out, get some work done or grab a coffee or snack, but it’s also a lively and fun work environment. I’ve heard from many of my own friends that there is never a dull moment while working there, and being able to work alongside and serve your friends is incredibly entertaining. And you get paid to do so! The other student run coffee shop on campus, The Underground, is another great, more chill and relaxed coffee shop that is laden with large comfy couches and cool music. If the other jobs mentioned above don’t seem to do it for you, you could also get a job in the Trinity Recreation Department, either being a student gym supervisor or a lifeguard. When looking around at all of the available jobs and resources available to you as a student here, its crazy to think that last year I had hardly any idea these opportunities existed!

Furthermore, as a student reaching their sophomore/junior/senior year at school, the presence and talk of internships can become all encompassing. Lucky enough for us, Trinity offers a series of internships during the school year both on and off campus that can allow you to get a head start on your early-job experience. One trip to the Career Development Center will help you gain a better understanding as to what you may want to focus your interest in on, and how you can find the perfect local internship match for you!

We are incredibly lucky to go to a school that has all of the available resources and opportunities that Trinity College does, whether that is in terms of clubs and organizations, on-campus jobs or networked internships. Don’t string yourself along with empty promises that you will sign up tomorrow…get involved today!

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!

ACES Thanksgiving Drive

ACES Thanksgiving Drive

Right before thanksgiving break every year, ACES, the community service club on campus, holds their annual thanksgiving drive. They ask for any donations people are willing to make, whether that be money, or food. They also ask students to donate their meal swipes at the end of the week (the swipes that are left over, and won’t be used).

Once they have collected all the donations and the money, the presidents, Alex Donald ’19 and Lexie Axon ’19, and a few other members of the club go to Stop & Shop and buy food to donate. Since the goal is to make 100 full Thanksgiving meals for people who cannot afford them this season, they buy whatever is still needed after people donate food. The goal is to have 100 of each item -turkey, juice, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, beans, peas, cranberry sauce, gravy, dinner rolls, pie crust and pie filling. The workers at Stop & Shop are extremely helpful in this process, since there is so much food to buy. This season, we wound up filling 9 carts full of food, and the workers helped us take it all to the front, check it all out and were even willing to store some of it in the back, so we could come back the next day.

Once all the food has been brought to the community service office, the presidents ask the members to spend just 30 minutes to an hour at the community service office on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The more members that come the more efficient the process, because the office is set up so that the members can make a chain and pack each of the bags efficiently and with all the ingredients. Trader Joe’s donates 200 bags so that each family can get a double bagged meal, since it is very heavy. Once all the bags are packed, the presidents, and their advisor, Joe Barber, take the bags to Hands on Hartford so that they can be donated to families without the means of providing their own Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday.

Homecoming Weekend 2017

Homecoming Weekend 2017

Trinity just welcomed back Alumni with their family and friends to Homecoming Weekend 2017. This past weekend, the campus was alive with an a cappella concert Saturday morning, a tailgate tent, and of course the football game main event.

Starting early Saturday morning, cars rolled into campus. Hatchbacks opened up and tables laid out with hot chocolate, “Box O’ Joes”, donuts and other snacks popped up around the Hansen parking lot. Current students and alumni mingled and chatted despite the briskness of the morning, their gloved hands wrapped around warm coffee cups. Homecoming is a great time of year for all generations of Trinity students and their families to come together. Even though it tends to get colder around this time of year, Homecoming is always an exciting and warm time on campus. Saturday was certainly no exception!

Trinity’s five a cappella groups all put on a concert in Vernon Social. The Dischords started, followed by the Accidentals, The Trinitones, The Trinity Pipes and The Quirks. Alumni from each group were also able to attend the concert and they each got up on stage with their groups to sing their traditional Homecoming songs. It was a wonderfully musical way to open up the weekend.

Outside of Vernon Social, there was a tent set up with a complimentary lunch buffet, tables with face-painting and other fun games and activities. After the tailgating reception, families and students went over to their tables in the Hansen parking lot and waited for the flag ceremony and the kick off of the game.

Around fifteen minutes before kick off, an impressive 30x50ft American flag was carried out onto the field in honor of all the veterans and their families in the Trinity Community. Veterans attending Homecoming were also able to sign up to be flag bearers.

Finally, after the morning’s festivities, the football game against Wesleyan started and proved to be quite an exciting game. Trinity maintained a 4pt lead through halftime. After the Trinity Men’s Squash team was presented their national championship rings, the game continued and Trinity came out on top, beating rival Wesleyan 28-3.

Overall, Homecoming 2017 was a beautiful weekend. And it was amazing to have campus so lively and full of the excitement of the Trinity Family across generations.

Family Weekend: A Welcome Relief in the Fall Semester

Family Weekend: A Welcome Relief in the Fall Semester

Family Weekend typically falls on the second or third weekend in October. It is nicely timed between the two busy midterm weeks, which offers stressed students the relief of spending time with their families. Usually, parents come up to campus to spend time with their children. Some lucky students even get visits from grandparents and other extended family and friends.

Though many students spend time on or around campus, there is a wide range of activities that families choose to participate in. Some parents bring homemade food and picnic with their families on the quad. Others choose to spend the day hiking at sites near campus. But there are also many activities on campus that families may participate in. Many of the houses on Vernon street are open to parents and have fall activities, or serve food for parents to enjoy and socialize. There is also an a cappella concert on Saturday, in which all the a cappella groups on campus perform with their new members.

Trinity athletics also does its best to make sure that the most teams have on campus games on Family Weekend so that the players’ parents can get a chance to watch them play. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to plan this for every team, however, for the teams who cannot have a home game every year, they have one at least every other year. This year, field hockey played against Wellesley and football faced Bowdoin, and both games were on campus. Also, the equestrian team, men’s tennis, club rugby, and women’s volleyball competed near campus.

This year, the football game was packed with students and their families cheering on the Bantams. Right outside, in the Hansen parking lot, students tailgated with their friends and family. Some students also take the chance to involved their clubs in campus. Relay for life, for instance, held a bake sale to fundraise for the American Cancer Society.

Many professors come to the sports games, and it gives some students the chance to introduce their parents to their professors. It is also the perfect time for students (freshman especially) to show their parents around campus now that they have gotten accustomed to daily life at Trinity. Parents weekend is a lively and carefree weekend, and is a nice breath of fresh air in the middle of a tough part of the school year. It almost always is the perfect fall weather, and gives a chance for students to catch up with their families.

Trinity Days

Trinity Days

Trinity Days, or Trin days as they are better known to students, is the first break students get after the commencement of the first semester back at school. Usually taking place in the fall around the beginning or middle of October, it is the equivalent to ‘fall break’ at other schools. Trinity Days take place in the spring semester as well. Though there is an additional week in March for spring break, students get to enjoy Trinity Days in February. In essence, Trinity Days is when classes for Monday and Tuesday are canceled, so students take the entire weekend to go home and spend time with family or take a break from classes. Many students leave as soon as weekly classes are over, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, to take advantage of the time they spend away from school.

Though many students (especially from the New England area) take the opportunity to go home, many others do not have the luxury. This is why campus is still completely functional during the break. Cinestudio continues to play movies, the dining halls remain open, the shuttle service (which takes students off campus) continues to operate and Vernon Social stays open. There are also rock climbing activities that take place, and every once in a while a faculty member chaperones a Trinity trip to a pumpkin patch or apple picking. In addition, many sporting events take place during this weekend, and these are particularly enjoyable to attend in the blossoming fall weather.

Athletes make up a large portion of the students who stay on campus for Trinity Days. Though some get to go home a little bit later (on Sunday, or Monday), many spend the entire break at school. Many sports teams have games on Saturday or Sunday. This year, for instance, men and women’s soccer had games, the cross-country team had an invitational, and the football team had a game. Even some teams that don’t have competitions, such as the rowing team, stay on campus for practice.

Some students take this short break as an opportunity to visit somewhere new. Many students who live far from campus go home with friends for the break. It gives those students a chance to visit others’ hometowns and spend time with friends in a relaxed setting. Some are lucky enough to take the time to explore big cities, and they spend the weekend discovering DC, NYC, Boston, or even Montreal and Quebec. Others take the chance, at home or elsewhere, to catch up on homework, and focus on upcoming assignments. With midterms looming just around the corner from Trinity Days, work tends to pick up around this time. Regardless of how each student spends their Trinity Days, everyone can agree that it is a much needed and relaxing breath as work will soon begin to pile up.

 

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.