Common Hour discussion on elections



On Thursday, Nov. 12 during Common Hour, Student Government Association’s (SGA) Academic Affairs Committee hosted a discussion centered around the issues of the 2016 Presidential Election.

Chipotle catered the event, and attendees queued up to get food, the line meandering to Vernon Social, almost to the door. The event had markedly higher attendance than most other SGA events, and the Chipotle supply gave out quickly under the weight of the audience numbering more than 70 students.

A panel of professors from various departments served as the anchor for the discussion and provided interesting and educational perspectives in the context of their fields of study. John Alcorn of the Language and Culture Studies Department, Ben Carbonetti of the International Studies Department, and Mark Silk of the Religion Department. Each professor had a very unique contribution to the discussion. Professor Silk was able to give a broad historical perspective in the context of past elections from his experience as a journalist, as well as a cogent analysis of the problems and goals of the disparate candidates across the two parties. Professor Alcorn expounded upon his idea that the United States’ borders should be more porous, not less so. He referred to the United States’ relatively restrictive immigration policy as “Global Apartheid,” and advocated for entirely open borders. He further expressed his disappointment that the issue of immigration has become such a divisive and politicized hot-button issue, precluding citizens from rationally considering the realistic benefits and problems with different proposed immigrations laws. Professor Carbonetti had a more level-headed analysis, picking apart the relative strengths of the two parties, the demographic shifts within the states and across the nation that will likely impact voting trends, and the public perception of the more salient issues upon which both voters and candidates have been arguing at great length over the past months.

This student  discussion is  in line with   the initiative SGA has been taking to engage more completely with the student body. In years past the SGA has been distant and out-of-touch, but this year the SGA is looking to interact and better the school in as many ways as possible.

Cranksgiving alley cat bike race to support local food pantry



Although the weather is getting colder, the time is just right for the annual Cranksgiving charity alley cat bike race.  The 11 a.m. event is scheduled to take place on Saturday Nov. 21, at the Trinity College Chapel.  An alley cat race is a unique style of competition that combines a traditional bike course merged with a scavenger hunt. While they take place all over the country, this particular race is a charity event to benefit a local food pantry.  The original Cranksgiving was founded in 1999 in New York City and has grown into 80 events in distinct cities across the country. As a whole each year, the program provides thousands of meals for hungry families just in time for Thanksgiving.

Upon arriving at the Chapel, participants will be able to check in and receive their instructions for the race.  As with all Cranksgiving events, there is no set route, just a list of items that must be bought and a list of stores that must be visited in order to complete the race.   On average, the race takes about two hours, but a quick cyclist could crank through the event in a shorter amount of time, and race organizers also welcome those who want to take a more leisurely pace.  In the few minutes allotted after the instructions have been opened, teams must plan their route carefully.

Each participant is asked to bring about $20 to donate to the Grace Episcopal church food pantry. Each rider is expected to carry the items they collect on the way to the finish line at the church.

Those interested in taking part are strongly advised to bring a bag in which to carry the grocery items, a lock to keep the bike safe when entering the store, as well as a helmet for protection.

When the Hartford race began in 2011, there were only a handful of participants, but last year the number approached 100, and this year, organizers expect to have an even better turn out.

“Last year, I did the Cranksgiving race with my first year seminar, and had a lot of fun.  My group came in first for my class and we ended up with a few awesome T-shirt prizes,” a participant told the Tripod. “It was really awesome to see all the food piled high at the pantry once we were done with the race. One racer with a cargo bike must have bought a hundred pounds of groceries to donate.”

The event is still open for registration and organizers are eager for as many people to take part in the event as possible.  Many students and faculty have already committed to racing this weekend, and the weather forecast is favorable.

Students organize public dialogue on campus culture



The raw and frigid wind that swept across campus on Saturday did not dissuade the football team from playing their homecoming game against Wesleyan, nor did it stifle the energy of a group of demonstrators who also took the field to represent Trinity before the student body, the faculty, and assorted alumni. On Saturday November 15th, during the game’s halftime, over 100 students, faculty and staff members, and alumni stood across the field in view of other game attendees to express their feelings of dissatisfaction with the culture at Trinity College. The participants’ sentiments touched on themes of race, gender, and sexual orientation, but the overall tone of the event was broader in scope; the demonstration was centered around the lackluster dialogue concerning these social issues, and the sense that the culture of Trinity College is one of close-mindedness, exclusivity, and intolerance. The demonstration was motivated in part by recent events at the University of Missouri and Yale University, and the national dialogue about race and free speech that has erupted in their wake.

The demonstration was part of a larger movement that has swept the nation in the past days and weeks, a campaign that involves showing solidarity for the students struggling and protesting in Missouri and elsewhere in the country. Solidarity events have ranged from sit-ins and walk-outs to moments of silence and rallies of various kinds. Many of Trinity’s peer institutions within the NESCAC had campus-wide events to show solidarity last week.

Members of Trinity’s student body organized their own iteration of these events with Solidarity in the Field. The event was coordinated largely by word of mouth and social media, with a Facebook page stating that, “many of us have decided to stand in solidarity with each other, students at Mizzou and Yale, and students across the country who are experiencing discrimination at their respective institutions.” Issues of race and ethnicity are not major talking points around campus, according to the protesters, and students of color often feel excluded from many aspects of Trinity life. In the words of Amber Townsend ’17, “We do not have the privilege of not considering the web of oppression that entangles people of color all across America, because we endure it every day.” Given Trinity’s stated commitment to a diverse and inclusive academic and social atmosphere, that such significant barriers exist on campus is of great concern to both the administration and to the student body. The notion of campus diversity can itself be problematic, according to the speech made by several students on the football field. “We must carry the burden of being both a teacher and a student, because our presence on campus is for the benefit of white students. Diversity is a goal which serves to round out their college experience and we are treated accordingly,” elaborates Townsend.

The protesters made clear, however that “this opportunity is not exclusive to students of color and is open to anyone, including faculty members, staff members, alumni, citizens of Hartford and anyone else who would like to stand in solidarity with us.” The event addressed more issues than those of race. While issues pertaining to students of color were the central subject of the demonstration, the action itself was a reaction by many Trinity students who do not feel a part of campus life and culture. Solidarity on the Field is thus representative of an intersection of many issues, and the effect that they have on many aspects of student life, both social and academic.

Solidarity on the Field began at halftime of the football game. The participants assembled on the track and waited for the players to vacate the field. The mood among the demonstrators was confident and expectant – there was clear faith and confidence in the message that they were bringing forth and spirits seemed high in anticipation of the innovative event. Over 100 students assembled on the side of the field, and with them stood a number of faculty and administrators including Dean of Multicultural Affairs Karla Spurlock-Evans and President of the College Joanne Berger-Sweeney. The demonstrators streamed onto the field and formed a long line from one endzone to the other, arm in arm. Once everyone was on the field, the speech began, delivered by several members of the Trinity community. The opening was delivered by Adachi Ogbenna ’16, and addressed the events in Missouri and at Yale and expressed the intentions of the demonstration: “We, as members of the Trinity community, stand in solidarity with the University of Missouri and Yale University as they endure acts of terror and disrespect both overt and covert against students of color on their campuses,” she said.

Townsend picked up where Ogbenna left off, addressing the illusory concept of diversity and the challenges faced by students of color in the Trinity community. “When our presence is not wanted, we are attacked with racial jokes, epithets, and intimidation,” said Townsend, “We are sexually exoticized, and treated as cognitively inferior. The transgressions we experience here are exactly in line with those that students have experienced at Missouri, Yale, and hundreds of other campuses.”

After Townsend came Camryn Clarke ’17 who addressed the steps taken by the college to remedy some of the issues faced by students of color, saying “Students, faculty, and staff from all walks of life have come out today, dressed in black, to show their support for us and our sisters and brothers at other campuses… We are thankful to our professors for teaching the entire student body about the racialized oppression we face, and for legitimizing our experience as students of color.” She further praised the football team for wearing black athletic tape and black under their jerseys as a sign of solidarity.

The last person to speak was Nico Nagle ’17 who spoke of the continuing dialogue that Solidarity on the Field hoped to inspire. “There is much that remains to be done,” said Nagle, “we are reaching out for your help in making it [Trinity] a safer and healthier environment not only for us, but for all of Trinity.” He ended the speech with a call to action, encouraging all students to walk out of class on Monday at noon as a sign of protest, followed by a meeting to continue the dialogue and consider further courses of action.

Immediately prior to the beginning of the demonstration, the stands cleared out with spectators going to find food or to visit the tailgate. The speech was delivered to a largely vacant stadium, with small knots of students and alumni huddled against the cold. Those who remained however, seemed receptive to the message of the protest, and a large number of viewers joined in after invitations from the speakers, to cheers from the participants. President Berger-Sweeney stood alongside those who spoke, applauded their efforts, and joined in the chant of, “one, two, three, solidarity!” That erupted from those standing together in the middle of the football field.

The Solidarity on the Field event was, as Nagle said, not the end of the efforts to promote dialogue around issues of race and inclusivity on Trinity’s campus. A walk-out from classes began at noon on Monday the 16th, and students, faculty, and staff all flowed from academic buildings and elsewhere on campus to the Washington Room in Mather Hall. By a few minutes past noon, the room was bustling and the energy was mounting. Chairs were assembled in a large circle, stretching across the room, and additional rows were added, fanning out throughout the space. A sign-in sheet on the wall kept track of the myriad attendees, who ranged from students to faculty to President Joanne Berger-Sweeney. Additional postings on the wall asked three probing questions: the first “Where on campus do you feel most safe?” the second “Where on campus do you feel most unsafe?” and lastly “Who do you turn to when you feel most unsafe?”

The opening remarks were delivered by the organizers of the event, who thanked everyone for being in attendance and laid out the basic structure of the proceedings. They addressed the Solidarity in the Field event and spoke of the need for a broad-based discussion of campus culture, particularly in regard to issues of race and gender.

The crux of the event was based around audience participation. Each attendee was handed a notecard and asked to write briefly about an experience with discrimination from Trinity’s campus, either a direct experience or simply something that they had witnessed. Those who were comfortable relating their experiences were encouraged to do so at a microphone in the center of the circle of chairs, and those who wanted their experiences discussed, but were not comfortable sharing themselves, put their notecards in a jar to be read later. A stillness and silence descended upon the room while people plumbed their memories, considering their own experiences and how Trinity and other students may have impacted those experiences.

A small queue of students formed around the microphone, and one by one, the students shared their stories. While some were small occurrences emblematic of the problematic culture of Trinity, others told stories of profound hatred and bigotry. Emboldened by the brave few who began, more and more students came up to share their perspective and recollections. The stories were as varied as the students telling them, and they addressed issues as far ranging as identity and belonging to institutional and individual experiences with discrimination. Emotions ran high, and tears were common. Whenever someone showed their distress, they were invariably supported by a friend or two, and outbreaks of snapping in approval or bursts of applause were common during people’s narratives. Even President Berger-Sweeney related an experience of hers, where a vendor on campus was enormously rude to her, not realizing or thinking that she was the president of the College. “I belong here,” she asserted, “and all of you do too.”

Wake Up World began winding down at a quarter past one, as many in attendance had to leave for class or other obligations. Yet the momentum of the event proved hard to stop. Many people remained behind, and the sharing of stories continued past the time when the Wake Up World event’s reservation on Washington Room expired at 2 p.m..

On a campus that is so often reticent when it comes to issues of race, class, and other social issues, Wake Up World was representative of new energy that is breaking the apathy and stagnation that often bogs down Trinity’s campus culture. The issues confronted on Monday are rarely discussed so publically around Trinity, and such substantive discussion is a rare occurrence. It is unclear at this moment whether the dialogue begun with Wake Up World will continue in a productive fashion as the organizers and participants hope. What is clear is that these issues, previously left to simmer under the surface of tradition and convention. The poignant power of the event defied easy description, and it is difficult to put words to the energy that transcended the barriers of class and race in an attempt to bring the campus community together to form a more sensitive, welcoming atmosphere at Trinity.

In all, the last week saw significant change in the nature of social dialogue on Trinity’s campus. There is no guarantee that the conversation and energy will be as productive as many would like, or that it will permeate through all of Trinity’s disparate social and academic circles. Nonetheless, Solidarity on the Field and Wake Up World signify a shift in norms and modes of thought on Trinity’s campus, and bring to the forefront of student consciousness issues once relegated to a few on the margins. The changing conversation will likely come to involve many different groups around campus, and those intersections will likely provide fodder for interesting changes in the weeks and months ahead.

Students see new music facilities as major improvement


Today I woke up to the metal crunching sounds of construction that seems to be constantly occurring on the Trinity College campus. The first time that I visited campus actually, I remember the same sounds and husky workers trudging around what is now the Mather Cafeteria. Construction seems to always be happening here, but I guess I can’t complain, except when the whole school goes dark for days or we mysteriously receive warning to cover our noses on a certain parts of campus. This construction though will eventually lead to something (at least I think so), and it isn’t a Starbucks.

For all of those who came to Trinity with a significant musical background, as you have most definitely already heard, the school is finally expanding its ever so tiny music department. Once and for all, the beautiful activity and lifestyle of music is for the first time receiving a home of its own. Practice spaces for Chamber Ensembles, Jazz Ensemble, Samba Ensemble, Concert Choir and individual practice and an intimate 80-person performance hall will exist within this new building coming soon to campus. I, for one, am excited. Finally, I can practice drums without walking all the way across campus and many other South Campus musicians can bask with me in the glory of such a due improvement to the somewhat deficient music program here.

I do not criticize the faculty or the students within the Music Department in any way. I would just like to state how much better the campus will be with a more significant and well-known musical presence. Boasting almost 60 music classes (including all of the ensembles) but commonly only offering a fraction of that, the program is severely lacking considering how important music is to “the arts.” I can level, though, with a small department. Especially with the very cozy 2200 undergraduate population, it is not uncommon that a given major is not enormous or even consists of less than 10 people. So there really is nothing wrong with a small major. In fact I could see students finding a great sense of community within such a major and a significantly greater connection with their professors and peers. But even considering this, the music department does not currently have the proper involvement or the breadth that I would prefer in a liberal arts college.

The practice rooms are extremely scarce, the equipment is pretty out of date, and the classes offered seem to decrease in number every semester. But hopefully that is about to change.

A lot of this lack of development comes from the fact that most incoming freshmen do not think of Trinity as a school with a strong music program. When they think Trinity, they think: ECON, POLY-SCI, ENGLISH, VINEYARD VINES, KILLER PARTIES.

Personally, I came to Trinity for the incredible environment that I found, the perfect size and excellent writing program stood out in the group of schools that interested me. Music had to compromise a little despite how integral it was to my life. I didn’t come for the music but what I found here was actually quite intriguing. Despite some obvious pieces that lacked on the academic side, the Trinity music scene is actually extremely unique.

For one, there is a music scene here at Trinity; you just have to keep your eyes open. The Mill, on lower Vernon Street, is the holy land and nucleus of this scene. Not only does this beautiful, rustic, brick house encompass the deep culture of music but it radiates opportunities for music creators, producers, and listeners alike. Inside this temple, records, posters and graffiti adorn the walls of the three floors while a functional recording studio, a giant mural of Andy Warhol and a majestic blue wall painting of Ben Franklin exist, awaiting your presence. There is so much incredible music to be experienced there as The Mill is not only an easy outlet for Trinity bands to perform but also an easy and free way for students to see up-and-coming young bands as they tour the area. Here, the real, gritty, authentic music scene dwells and spreads its rays outwards. But by no means is this the only place where music lives on campus. Elsewhere, a more ethnic and worldly source of music comes from the annual Samba Fest that happens every Spring.

This enormous event, that now is put on in downtown Hartford, was originally started by our very own Eric Galm here on the steps of the Austin Arts Center. He flies in many Brazilian musicians every year to Hartford and puts on an array of cultural events that are passionate and charged with an incredible South American rhythmic energy. Galm’s samba ensemble, that meets every week, also plays in this festival and is another unique outlet for people interested in world music. I see it as a huge asset but many people still do not know much about this music culture of the school, which I believe should change. Music majors even have the opportunity to major in Ethnomusicology or in American Popular Music, which I find to be pretty unusual when it comes to musical studies.
If only the school had an academically organized orchestra because I would, without a doubt be all over the idea. But again, there isn’t the drive within the population to build this scene. Trinity needs to build this program to incoming freshman and attract more talented artists to attend. It would take a while but it would work.

From personal experience, the small but tight music program is adequate. The Jazz Ensemble is very small but it gives me the opportunity to improvise with some like-minded students and keep my chops from high school intact. I have not taken any classes in the department, but my peers comment that the professors are just “musically nerdy” enough to be cool, and, from my experience, though relatively few, the musical staff is extremely well versed in what they do. There are two bands on campus that I play in (one of my own creation, one that recruited me), which I find to contribute to the best musical source on campus– the underground scene. For now, those of us who stay up at night, wishing for a more relevant music department, won’t have to wait too much longer.

Soon rickety-cracks of construction will transform organically into the sweet sounds of piano and strings. It will not be long before the Trinity College music scene takes a small and hugely expensive step into being seen as a school with a significant musical presence. I do not underestimate the extremely unique way in which our college has created a music scene, but we can do more. I hope for an expansive musical future here at Trin.

Climate change: our nation’s most recent hot topic


In a year, as the overwhelming deluge of political coverage constantly reminds us, Americans will choose a new president. While the rhetoric of both parties remains largely the same as it always has, with very few concessions to the other side on any issue, there is really only one particular topic that I think is by far and away the most important to consider next November: the environment. While I think that the Republicans have solid, well-thought out positions regarding most of their platform, the average Republican’s stance on this issue is abominable, misinformed, and dangerous; and until this climate of denial changes, voting for any of them seems, to me, laughable.

Yes, tax cuts and welfare seem like they are important, and they do effect many people in America. Hot political topics like abortion and marijuana constantly crop up in the news, and it seems almost impossible to talk about politics without, eventually, landing on foreign policy. But none of these issues even come close to how serious our environmental choices are.
Global warming is a problem that impacts literally every single person on the Earth. The sea levels are rising, we have deforested more than half of the world’s forests–are on track to finish off the remainder soon, and U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are increasing exponentially. Droughts and wildfires are becoming increasingly widespread, and we have had record-high average temperatures during 13 of the last 15 years. Many scientists already warn that it will be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to reverse the damage we have done to our planet. We are in the midst of the greatest mass extinction of human existence, and during our lives, Earth is going to drastically change for the worse.

In thirty years, I will not give a damn about how high welfare was or whether or not I can legally smoke pot. It won’t even matter to me as much if Iraq was invaded for the twelfth time or if conservatives constitutionally ban abortion. In thirty years, the most significant question will be, “Did we reduce the Earth to a barren rock or not?”

The Republicans are idiots regarding climate change. It baffles me how shortsighted and egocentric they are. Republicans fight environmental regulation at any chance they get, claiming it will harm businesses or cost too much to the taxpayer. Many even deny the existence of climate change. The Republicans are the problem: they have shifted the discourse from “What can we do to fix this enormous problem?” to, “Does this problem even exist?”

Humanity is going to ruin literally our entire world, and the Republicans have stuck their heads so far into the sand that absolutely nothing can get done. It shocks and horrifies me that only 54 percent of Republicans even “believe” in climate change. Climate change is not a “belief!” How much hotter does the planet need to get before Ted Cruz is disabused of the notion that scientists “falsify climate change facts,” or Marco Rubio decides that he was an idiot for thinking that “humans do not cause these dramatic changes in our climate?”

I would rather have a president that wants to protect the planet for me and my descendants than anything else. Many other “worst case scenarios” like Iran getting a nuclear weapon, or the United States defaulting on its debt, or even ISIS taking over the world: none of these scenarios come close to global human extinction. This is not hyperbole. This is what will happen in the very close future if something does not change.

The United States, per capita, is responsible for most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to deforestation more than any other country in the world. More than that, we are a leader and set an example for other nations: what we enact, others may strive to emulate. Our past record on the environment has been inconsistent at best, and this is why we need to have a Democratic President, as well as Congress, courts, and, in my opinion, every elected official.

So remember, next year, the issue that’s really important, because it’s not Second Amendment rights, abortion, or healthcare. None of these issues come close to affecting as many people as climate change does. Vote Democratic for the sake of the environment. They’re not perfect, but they’ll treat the environment a hell of a lot better than the Republicans.

Yik Yak: Platform for communities or for threats?


Yik Yak’s mission statement claims that it is “building the most authentic way for people to connect with their communities and find their herds.”

The app’s objective may seem great at first glance, but that positivity quickly dissolves once your team, fraternity, sorority, friends, or even your race are the subject of a negative post.

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, at University of Missouri and Northwest Missouri State University, Yik Yak was used as a platform to make threats against African-American students.

The posts at the University of Missouri read, “I am going to stand my ground tomorrow and shoot every black person I see,” and “Some of you are alright. Don’t go to campus tomorrow.” Those posts don’t really sound like statements that really bring a “herd” together.

So what happens when someone makes a blatant threat on Yik Yak? In the case of the threats made at University of Missouri and Northwest Missouri State University, two students were arrested.

While Yik Yak does have the reputation of being anonymous despite the location aspect of the app, the social media platform does have guidelines for law enforcement when criminal activity is suspected or apparent on the app.

The user’s IP address at the time of installation, IP address from each post, GPS coordinates of each post, time and date of post, user-agent string associated with the device from which the message was posted, and sometimes phone number are stored to the app’s records when Yik Yak is installed and used.

In emergency situations, like kidnapping, bomb threats, school shootings, or suicide threats, law enforcement can bypass the normally required subpoena, court order, or search warrant. Yik Yak evaluates situations on a case-by-case basis.

Following the threats in Missouri, Yik Yak co-founder and COO Brooks Buffington addressed the Mizzou threats on the app’s website, regarding them as “completely unacceptable.” Even though it appears Yik Yak cooperated with law enforcement to locate the two men arrested this past week, what if it had been too late?

I believe there are many ways to think about this. On one hand, Yik Yak provided a place for the offenders to voice their plans, which in the end helped locate them and prevent any harm they could have carried out. On the other hand, Yik Yak can be a source of confidence for those who post threats or other degrading material. Those who post and those who “up” and “down” posts are hidden behind an almost absolute veil of anonymity. As a result they have less concern and shame about their views.

In addition to the ill notion of “support” those behind the racist and threatening posts received from Yik Yak, the app has a history of bullying.

The harmful messages about others on the app have gone so far that some colleges have banned the app.
In May of this year, Cosmopolitan published a piece about College of Idaho’s decision to ban the app. The college’s president, Marv Henberg, struck a note with many when he said, “If someone puts a racist epithet on a Latino’s door, or a black person’s door, there’s at least a potential evidence thread that can be investigated. Not with Yik Yak.”

Even though it is possible for Yik Yak posts to be traced to a certain extent, locating the authors of threatening and offensive posts does not settle the fear students like those of Mizzou felt.

Threats do not make up a majority of Yik Yak feed, but Yik Yak seems to be a popular platform for them because they are becoming more frequent.

It is hard to balance the freedom of speech against the safety of others, so it will be interesting to see how schools continue to handle the impact of Yik Yak on campus.

Donald Trump hosts SNL, makes huge mistake


Political figures are elected into office in order to represent a professional and appropriate view of the United States. A former Celebrity Star Apprentice and a veteran of hosting Saturday Night Live, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is no stranger to the limelight. After declaring his place in the presidential election, he has been trying to advocate his political agenda to the American public. A constant target of mockery in the comedic realm, it is hard to make a statement on the appropriateness of his agreement to self-deprecation. As a political figure, especially one trying to become President of the United States of America, it is relatively unprofessional of Donald Trump to present himself as a joke. That should be left to the comedians, whose job is to make fun of important figures.

Throughout the forty years that Saturday Night Live has been broadcasted on television, they have had countless politicians make guest appearances on their show. However, to legitimately host the show in the midst of political tension is simply unprofessional. Political bias aside, no important figure that may end up representing our country should be spending their time hosting a comedy show. Saturday Night Live is notorious for its political impact on viewers. When Trump hosted the show in 2004, he was not hosting as a political candidate. He was hosting as Donald Trump: Celebrity Apprentice. Other important political figures have hosted Saturday Night Live, but new presidential candidates have followed through with their participation. Interestingly enough, the presidential candidates that did host Saturday Night Live ended up not winning the presidential elections. By no means do I blame Saturday Night Live for why these presidential candidates did not win—Saturday Night Live is one of the greatest live television shows the world has ever seen, in my opinion. I do, however, blame the unprofessional decision of these political officials. Making a cameo is one thing, which I still believe to be mildly unprofessional pending the sketch they appear in, but hosting is another.

Saturday Night Live is one of the hardest comedic jobs out there; the comedians and writers on the show have one full week to think of countless fresh and new sketches in order to please viewers. This position is incredibly time consuming and very exhausting to cast members and writers. With that said, it is concerning that a presidential candidate who should be spending his time proving his legitimacy to the country chose to spend an entire week focused on hosting a comedic television show. Had Trump wanted to be in the limelight to prove to the country that he’s laidback and can take a joke, a simple cameo would have sufficed.

Contrarily, some could argue that his decision to host the show could help him succeed in connecting to younger voters and proving to the public that he is actually a “cool guy.” But a president is a president. By mocking himself and spending his very valuable time on a comedy television show not only makes him look unprofessional, but it makes him look weak. Our concern for electing our next President of the United States should not be that he is able to “lighten up” and be “chill.” The reputation of our president should be that he is calm under pressure, makes good political choices, and devotes his time to bettering the country. Trump makes a lot of important points regarding politics during his political interviews on how he believes we should better the country. Unfortunately, many Americans take him as a joke and speculate that his presidential candidacy is a political move on the part of the Clinton campaign to earn Hillary Clinton more votes. Trump has been rising in the polls because he has been successful in staying true to his honest demeanor. Yes, Trump came into the presidential election with the reputation of an angry reality star with an unimaginable amount of money. However, he has proved his mental and political strength to the country and gained many political advantages as a result. Unfortunately, his decision to host the show seems to be two steps back. Trump is a businessman; running for president is a business. It is a political business. Since Trump has an incredible amount of experience in the business world, it is relatively confusing that he made such a silly mistake in hosting the show.

Recently, Hillary Clinton made a cameo on Saturday Night Live as well. Yes, the sketch on which she appeared was funny, but it made her look extremely unprofessional. They mocked her reputation and she jumped in to mock a very serious concern amongst Americans: her “deleted” e-mails. This made her look unprofessional and even dishonest. Trump, someone who is proving himself to the public more and more, should have looked at Hillary Clinton’s mistake and been smarter with his decision to host.

Trinity football wraps up season with win over Wesleyan

The Trinity College football team played their final game of the season against rival Wesleyan University this Saturday, Nov. 14, on Jessee/Miller Field. The Bantams entered the game 6-1 after a tough and disappointing loss against Amherst College, while the Wesleyan Cardinals entered the game at 5-2. The homecoming game saw former and current students fill up the stands with excitement.

The Bantams scored on their second drive of the game after a short punt from the Cardinals allowed Sonny Puzzo ’18 to work with a short field, completing a long pass to Bryan Vieira ’18 down the sideline to put the Bantams in the red zone. Max Chipouras ’19 ran into the end zone from seven yards away for the opening score. This put the Bantams up 7-0 and gave them momentum to continue to dominate the Cardinals on both offense and defense.

Trinity’s defense completely shut down the Cardinal offense in the early going, led by Preston Kelly ’16, who let the team with nine tackles and three tackles for loss. Wesleyan finally got into scoring position in the second quarter, but Trinity’s Patrick Dorsey’17 intercepted an arrant pass on 21-yard line. The interception led to a second score for the Bantams, this time a 24-yard field goal from Kyle Pulek’16 with less than five minutes to go in the first half. Pulek attempted another field goal with just under a minute to go in the half, but it was blocked by Wesleyan’s Jordan Stone. This kept the score at 10-0 heading into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals were finally able to score when running back LaDarius Drew ran for a 3-yard touchdown. This made the score 10-7, but it wasn’t this close for too long. The score was no indication of how close the game was, with Trinity dominating most of the afternoon. Running back Nicholas Gaynor ’17 led the Bantams with 88 rushing yards on 15 carries, while John Spears ’18 played very well with two receptions for 19 yards in place of starter Darrien Myers ’17. Defensively, Kelly led the way and ten other Bantams recorded at least three tackles. Corey Jean-Jacques ’19, Shane Libby ’19, and John Murtagh ’16 all recorded sacks, and Liam Kenneally added six tackles, ending the season as the Bantams leading tackler with 61.

Trinity scored another touchdown in the beginning of the fourth quarter after Chipouras dove for the pylon from two yards out, his 12th touchdown of the season, the most in the NESCAC. The run essentially secured the victory but the Bantams got a little sloppy toward the end of the game, fumbling inside their own ten-yard line. The defense, however, put together a phenomenal goal line stand to stop the Cardinals from scoring. On the ensuing play from the one-yard line, though, Puzzo fumbled giving the ball right back to Wesleyan. Moments later, Wesleyan scored a touchdown on a quarterback run from one yard away. Yosa Nosamiefan ’17 was able to block the extra-point attempt, though, making the score 17-13. The subsequent onside kick was recovered by Bantam Paul McCarthy’16, allowing Trinity to run out the clock.

The Bantams finished the season 7-1, second in the NESCAC behind only Amherst. It was the final game in the careers of captains Ian Dugger, Frank Leyva, Matthew Porter, Kyle Pulek, and fellow seniors Henry Foye, John Murtagh, Paul McCarthy, Mike Castellana, Lyle Baker, Franco Serrao, Brendan Dowling, and Preston Kelly. The seniors finish their career with a NESCAC Championship and a career record of 26-6.

Despite not finishing the season with an 8-0 record as they had set out to do, the football team had a very successful season. The team returns nine offensive and eight defensive starters in 2016, and looks to get back on top of the NESCAC.

Trinity squash teams gear up for successful seasons

As the fall sports season comes to a close, the winter brings upon a tremendous force, Trinity College Squash. Both the men and women’s teams will begin their seasons anew starting this December, and both are hoping to dominate the NESCAC and beyond.

The men’s team is looking for yet another repeat as they come off of a fantastic 2014-2015 season. The men last year with an almost perfect record of 20-1 and stayed undefeated at home. They won the NESCAC Championship for the 9th consecutive time, and they also won their 15th College Squash Association (CSA) National Team Championship title. The men have won the CSA title a total of 15 times in the last 18 years. The team won the Potter Trophy last season with decisive victories over Pennsylvania, Cornell, and St. Lawrence, all of which they beat with a score of 7-2 or better. Needless to say, the men look to repeat these tremendous feats in 2016. With the added benefit of hosting the NESCAC Championship at home, there is plenty on the line for this amazing team.

After losing their top two players from last season and four from their top-nine, the men look to revamp their roster in 2016. Rick Penders ’18 looks to take over the top spot and Michael Craig ’19 is poised to play a prominent role in the top of the lineup, as well as a host of other talented freshmen. Co-captains Juan Camilo Vargas and Afeeq Ismail return to the top-nine, and there will be intense competition to round out the lineup. The men’s first match is Dec. 5 at Bates College and their first home match is against Dartmouth on Dec. 7.

The women are also looking to achieve victory. Last season they won the NESCAC Championship for the 9th straight time and were also runner-ups in the CSA Howe cup. The women finished the regular season at 17-2, clinching the NESCAC Championship. At the Howe Cup, the Bantams beat Cornell and Penn to advance to their third straight Championship Finals, which they ultimately lost to Harvard. The women will also be hosting the NESCAC Championships at home, giving them the chance to achieve the NESCAC crown once again.

They are led by captains Kanzy El-Defrawy ’16, who is the number one ranked player in the entire country, and Sachika Balvani ’16. Anna Kimberly ’17 and Raneem Sharaf ’19 return to the top of the Bantam lineup, while Alexia Echevarria ’17 and Katiria Sanchez ’16 look to earn their spots in the top-nine. The women’s first match is this Sunday, Nov. 22, against Stanford at Harvard, and their first home match is Dec. 7 against Dartmouth.

Both teams will be headed by coaches of high pedigree. The men will be coached by Trinity mainstay Paul Assaiante, who has recently coached the U.S. Olympic Squash teams at the Pan American Games in Toronto. Having won many accolades, Assaiante looks to lead the men to victory once more.

The Women will be coached by Wendy Bartlett, who was previously honored as the 2014-15 NESCAC Coach of the Year. Also awarded with many accolades, Bartlett looks to clinch both the NESCAC and the CSA.

Malalai Wassil ’99: Evolving from Afghanistan to U.S.



During her time at Trinity, Malalai Wassil ’99 focused much of her efforts on working hard outside of class. She was a residential assistant in High Rise and Vernon Place (called New Dorm at the time), interned for the Italian Vice Consul for several years, and babysat for President Evan Dobelle. Each of these roles influenced her as a leader and propelled her to be vice president of her class in her junior year. By the time Wassil graduated with a political science degree in 1999, she had already assured herself, “I’m going to do something big.”

After graduating, Wassil moved to New York City to work in contract management at Travelers Insurance, and took night classes at New York Law School. Though she was already successful from the start, she had her sights set further—on Afghanistan.

Wassil lived with her family in Afghanistan until she was six years old. She knew all the while during her experiences in the States that she had intent of returning back to her home country, and made bold efforts during her time here to push towards a return to the Middle East. While living in New York City, Wassil and a few friends founded an extremely successful charity for the education of young Afghan women, called the Rebuilding Afghanistan Foundation. While still in law school, she attended a lecture by a New York University International Studies professor about human rights violations in Afghanistan. After discussions with the professor following the lecture, Wassil decided to join his research project for the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. She boarded a plane in January of 2005, and finally was where she felt she needed to be.

Wassil was abruptly forced to leave the region shortly after arriving, due to a Battle of Algiers-esque bombing attack in an Internet café that she frequented often. With shrapnel buried in a deep hole in her back and an extreme concussion, Wassil returned to the United States for medical attention while simultaneously writing a Boston University commencement speech for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

After healing, she headed straight back to Afghanistan. Over the course of the next ten years, Wassil worked as an attorney for extremely important clients, and made massive improvements to laws surrounding power and electric energy, preventing monopolization by certain companies within the sector. She also taught several classes at the American University of Afghanistan.

She remained in the region until January of 2014, leaving for personal reasons within her family. She has been taking classes at Georgetown Law School to obtain her LLM master’s degree since her return.

When Wassil came back to the United States, she was “so scared of what was going to happen to the ‘plan’.” She had worked very hard to build up a life in Afghanistan, and was terrified to let go of it. When she came back to the U.S., her walls of confidence were slightly knocked down and she needed to re-evaluate her own personal empowerment strategies. As she has compared it, “when your North Face parka doesn’t do the job anymore, you need to upgrade to a Patagonia.” Wassil took up meditation and, by spending dedicated time being grateful for what she has been given on this earth and for the opportunities that she has been able to take advantage of, she has built herself back up to “a person that she can be proud of.”

When asked what advice she’d give to Trinity students moving forward, Wassil mentioned two things. One is to “see outside the bubble.” Just by nature of being a small school, Trinity is inherently a ‘bubble’ of familiarity that is easy to get trapped in. During her time here and beyond, Wassil always made an effort to stay in touch with things outside of those she is directly involved with, and keep in mind what really matters. Her next piece of advice is that, “authenticity of who you are will ultimately allow you to achieve your own success.” Wassil is a very inspirational and empowering woman, and she says that all of her achievements have come from staying true to what she believes in. This type of integrity has led her to success, and will lead others to success as well if they follow in her (very impressive) footsteps.

Cinestudio Preview: Ambitious “The Walk” premieres on campus




The element of danger can make any situation more interesting to watch on film. Danger is effective—it glues a viewer to a story like little else can. If that’s true, then Robert Zemeckis’s new film “The Walk” should have no problem at all in its effort to win the hearts of those who see it. But the movie, a chronicle of the 1974 tightrope walking “coup” of Philippe Petit, has some trouble as it works to achieve this feat.
Petit’s story begins in Paris, where the main character, a young French mime and stunt artist, became inspired to string a wire between the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and walk across it without any safety precautions.

Petit is played with a bulky and persistently Americanized French accent by none other than the talented and interminably dreamy Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Gordon-Levitt’s Petit is clearly the center of the movie—so much so that the friends he enlists to help him in his adventure, both French and American, are less endearing than sidekicks and yet have more screen time than simple extras. Philippe is our main man here: even our narrator. For this aspect of the role, Gordon-Levitt stands atop the torch of the statue of liberty, as if to remind us all that he enjoys high places. The character comes across as slightly mawkish and full of some kind of sugary magic. Petit explains and recounts the events of the story to us like a tour guide at a children’s museum.

As the film takes off, Petit, ever the optimist, begins to make his plans. The first act of the movie is a bit of a drag, lightened somewhat by the mentoring presence of Ben Kingsley as a classic grandfather type figure. When the crew arrives in New York, though, we are gifted with a bit more liveliness. The Twin Towers, which were still in the last days of their construction in 1974, are masterfully recreated with digital work. To enter the towers and attempt their grand feat, Petit and his friends must split up—one team to each tower—smuggle and distract their way up the skyscrapers. It makes for exciting heist style movie fun, but as the wire-walker and company spend a night in the top floors of the tower, hiding around corners to escape from a nameless security guard, there’s a sense that the filmmakers are simply stalling for time. It takes a moment before the savvy audience learns what all this is really leading up to, but it’s impossible to miss once you see it.

Just as this nighttime sequence begins to wear on a little too long—in fact, just when a perfectly reasonable viewer might be losing faith in this inspirational poster of a movie in general—something changes. It feels as if the wind has shifted somehow, high up on those towers, as the sun rises through a fog that is hanging over the city below. Though it may have been difficult to take him seriously so far, in the moment when Philippe Petit takes his first step out into the void, our stomachs drop collectively. The titular scene in “The Walk” is like a dose of real magic. It is gorgeous and scary, but there’s something about it that keeps it just out of step with the world of the real. Though helped hugely by the faithful recreation of the towers and the NYC landscape, much of the ingenuity of this scene comes from careful cinematography and, to give credit where it is due, a simple but effective performance from Gordon-Levitt. While it may be taxing on those who labor under a fear of falling from heights, it is not long before that ever important element of fear begins to subside. Instead, “The Walk” now projects a warm feeling of inspiration that keeps us from losing interest.

The actual sequence of the wire-walking lasts for a solid ten minutes at least. It is the crowning achievement of the entire film, certainly. But with regret, this is an achievement made far less impressive by the droopy and somewhat saccharine quality of the rest of the movie. One sequence, no matter how eye opening and beautiful it is, cannot retrieve the majority of “The Walk” from mediocrity; yet, it does help make this a worthwhile film. It is worthwhile, but less than stimulating for the most part.

For all of those who are interested in seeing “The Walk,” by all means see it—but then, go home, and watch another movie. This one is titled “Man on Wire” and was released in 2008. It is a documentary about the event at the center of “The Walk,” and is full of the wonder that is lacking in more earthbound sections of that film. It also contains a touch more darkness—an important aspect of a story that is less about a dream coming to life than it is about staring death in the face to fulfill that dream. See this, and you will feel some frustration with the fictionalized account, but more than that you’ll be amazed by a truly top notch film. “Man on Wire” directly inspired “The Walk,” which is to say that “The Walk” owes everything it has earned to the older documentary. While it is true that between the two there is a clear frontrunner—and that frontrunner is the one not headed by Mr. Joseph Gordon- Levitt—“The Walk” will thrill you regardless and remind you never to forget about the dangers of gravity- or the joys of forgetting them. “The Walk” runs at Cinestudio from Nov. 18 to 21.

Food Dudes: Royal Masala offers decent Indian nearby



If you’ve read the Trinity Reporter recently you may have seen the small piece about Royal Masala Restaurant and Bar in downtown Hartford. Royal Masala advertises that they offer a 10 percent discount to Trinity students who dine in and show their Trinity Student ID.

The restaurant is located on Main Street in Hartford about a quarter mile south of the downtown area. The exterior is modest, with a red awning reading “Royal Masala.” The entrance to the restaurant is not in the front as it appears, but is actually on the side, down a side street. There is a lot of street parking in the area, but if you are visiting at a busy hour, there is a parking lot behind the restaurant.

The décor of the restaurant is interesting. Near the entrance there is a Greek-style pillar structure, which opens up into the main dining area. The dining room has a lot of natural light, a result of the large windows in the front that face onto the street.

The tables have white tablecloths and various pieces of décor art and large mirrors fill the walls. Two large crystal chandeliers hang in the center of the dining room. In the back of the restaurant, there appeared to have been a large function room in addition to the dining area. There are about 20 tables in total in the main area.

Service throughout the meal was good. Water was refilled often, and the food arrived very quickly after ordering.

The music that was playing may have been a little bit aggressive for the setting and style of the restaurant – they played through a playlist of top 40 remixes that did not quite seem to match the mood of the Sunday lunch vibe or clientele.

I ordered chicken tikka masala and garlic naan. The chicken tikka masala was served with rice. The tikka masala was $16 and the naan was about four dollars. The menu is generally typical to what I have seen at Indian restaurants – appetizers, a variety of chicken dishes, lamb and goat dishes, and vegetarian options as well. The menu also featured several types of Biryani, a dish consisting of spiced rice with meat or vegetables. Most main dishes run about $15-$18 dollars.

The meal’s presentation was definitely a high note. Everything was served in nice white dishes. This was definitely unique compared to some other Indian restaurants that I have been to and was a classy touch.

The chicken tikka masala was tasty. I ordered medium, which was not very spicy at all. Personally, I would go for hot next time. The serving was generous, with many large chunks of chicken and plenty of delicious sauce. The chicken was flavorful, tender, and juicy. There was good depth of flavor from the tandoori spices and cooking process. The sauce was thick, creamy, and packed with flavor.

The rice was served on the side in a generous portion. It was steaming hot and fluffy. The garlic naan was a highlight for sure. Equal parts bready and crisp, it was spread with butter and garlic. Crispy bubbles had been created in the oven and the texture was perfect. The naan was the ideal means to soaking up the extra sauce from the chicken tikka masala. I highly recommend the garlic naan and I am sure all the other types are just as delicious; they had several others.

Royal Masala is open Tuesday-Sunday, and they deliver as well. Although I would consider it on the pricier side, it is definitely a good place to go if you are craving Indian food. It did not blow me away, but its proximity to campus and delivery option, as well as 10 percent discount for Trinity Students dining in, definitely make it a good spot to check out.

Max Le Merle ’16 reflects on his time at Trinity



Initially, when I arrived at Trinity College, I was completely alone.  As I was from San Francisco, the culture at Trinity was completely different from anything I had expected; People were more reserved, less openly friendly, and winter was absolutely brutal (I wore shorts and t-shirts for the first month of winter, as I didn’t have any cold weather clothing).  There was a single person at Trinity who had gone to the same high school as me (and she was a senior).  I’d never really felt so completely alone in my life.

Transition into college was also an uncomfortable time, made much more so due to the strong insistence to go out to fraternities on weekends which, as a freshman boy who didn’t know anyone, made me feel even worse as I waited outside the gates and sold my integrity and self-pride to gain entrance.

Throughout my freshman year, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being uncomfortable and alone.  There wasn’t really anyone I felt I could connect with and, on top of it all, my classes were proving extremely difficult to stay caught up in.  For anyone feeling the same way, I was there, and I know what you’re going through.  Needless to say, I didn’t feel as though I really fit in, and after my first semester I applied to transfer.

By the time the year was nearly over, I was all set to transfer.  Upon receiving the letter of acceptance, I was forced to sit down and think about the decision I would have to make.  For some reason I’m not really able to explain (partially remembering the words a departing senior had mentioned to me that “Trinity is what you make of it”), I decided to stay and give Trinity another chance.  I convinced myself that, if I still didn’t like it by the end of the Fall of my sophomore year, I would apply to transfer again and officially leave.

When I came back to Trinity my sophomore year, I decided to approach things from a new perspective.  Over the course of the first month back at school, I decided to create my own club the “Business and Market Analytics Society.”  I joined ballroom dance, Budget Committee, the Investment Club, and I tried to get more involved on campus.  After a few months, I decided to stop the Business and Market Analytics Society and stopped attending ballroom dance. However, going to both taught me that Trinity offered me all the opportunity I needed to do what I wanted.  This realization made me slowly fall in love with the college and I started meeting people who aligned more closely with what I was passionate about.

When I look back, most of the people who I had considered my best friends freshman year, became distant by sophomore year.  I met new people, I found new hobbies, and I started growing as an individual.  Today some of my closest and most loyal friends are those with whom I decided to randomly jump into a conversation with.  Some I met in class, others I saw alone on the quad and decided to approach them and ask them about themselves.  Some of them were shy, quiet, and introspected but inside had the warmest and strongest personalities of anyone I’d ever met.  I strongly encourage people to step outside of their comfort zones and to engage in conversations with others who you might not otherwise speak to.  Don’t be afraid to say hello, to reach out and, even after facing denial, be willing to try again. Through this I was able to find some of the most truly supportive and caring individuals I’ve ever had the privilege to talk to. It was in many of these students that I found support.

Over the course of my sophomore year, and leading into my junior year, I started to understand who it was I wanted to be.  In high school, I had little to no identity outside of rowing and few friends who weren’t athletes like myself.  At Trinity, I realized that by trying new experiences and by throwing myself into a myriad of activities and clubs, I had complete freedom to sculpt myself into whoever it was I wanted to be.  My classes were still difficult, social life was still challenging (there were still plenty of times where I felt alone), but I was starting to have fun.

I found that the more I got involved and the more I branched outside of my comfort zone, the more I was exposed to experiences that helped me grow as a person.   My junior year, I found a whole range of new friends who supported me and believed in me.  I started to approach administration and various student leaders about opportunities to get involved.  I became good friends with Josh Frank ’16, our SGA President last year, who advised me and would eventually prove an invaluable guide as I took on the role of SGA President this year.  I started talking to Georgios Papadeas ’15, former president of the Trinity College Investment Club, after our meetings to gain insight into his views on leadership at Trinity College.  Over time, we became close friends, and eventually he chose me to succeed him as TCIC president.  Slowly, I began to realize that there is serious power to be found in talking to people outside of your comfort zone, or to people by whom you might initially feel intimidated.

In my position now, I am excited at the prospect of meeting new and ambitious students.  I’ve had some fantastic conversations with driven underclassmen and many have now joined me as strong executive members on SGA.  If you ever have any questions about academics, social life, if you need help, or just want someone to talk to please feel free to send me an email or knock on my door.  I’m always happy to meet new people.

Now, I think staying at Trinity College was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  This place has truly become my home and I’m so proud to be a Bantam.   There have definitely been some bad moments, but Trinity has taught me to persevere and to get involved to affect the change I want to see in my community.  Now, seeing initiatives like Campaign for Community and #WakeUpWorld, it is clear that other students are fighting to affect change as well.

Trinity gives us the opportunity to stand up for what we believe in, and to try to bring about a difference.  In a way, even though I thought it was ridiculous at first, the Bantam is a very good embodiment of the College as an entity; we’re small, and perhaps not too outwardly intimidating but, if you put us in the ring, we’ll always punch far above our weight.  This is true of both students at Trinity College and of our extremely successful alumni.

This year, I am so proud to see the College listen to the student voice and to take their concerns seriously.  Trinity College is a small school, but empowers students to create their own identity on campus.  Anyone can start a club, anyone can join student government, and anyone can write editorial pieces in the school newspaper.  If you want to have a voice, all it takes is the willpower and drive to make yourself heard.

This place is truly what you make of it.

Review of House band Snakehips’ recent single: “All My Friends”



While Snakehips’ most recent EP “Forever (Pt. II)” came out last March, they recently released a new single “All My Friends” ft. Chance the Rapper. They put on a crazy good show in Brooklyn over the weekend that inspired this review.
For those unfamiliar with Snakehips and their awesome sound, they have been described as “London based, left-field down tempo synthesists of several genres, including rap, electronic and a little R&B.” Coincidentally, this description fits another group who has experienced a meteoric rise in success over the past two years, Disclosure. The similarities between the two groups, Snakehips and Disclosure, are evident. They both are two-man groups hailing from London—their sounds frequenting clubs with jazzy, thumping bass, disco overtones and subtle hip-hop influences. Snakehips’ style is particularly impressive live, as they possess an undoubtedly rawer sound than Disclosure’s seriously produced house tracks. While Snakehips’ music generally falls within the greater house genre, the simple smoothness of their sound, compounded with R&B style bass, leaves listeners conflicted between the desire to groove to the jazzy-house or jump with their hands in the air.
Leading the “Forever (Pt. II)” EP is the self-entitled track “Forever (Pt. II),” which features the suave styling of Kaleem Taylor whose clean R&B sound are typical in an emerging house genre that values simple lyricism and jazzy flow (see Disclosure’s “Willing & Able”). The song begins with a funky, syncopated guitar beat and discotheque overlay, but a few measures after, the bass hits a church-like chorus repeatedly exhorts, “Forever in my life.” “Forever (Pt. II)” is a love song of the unrequited kind, but it is much more than that. The musicality of the song easily overshadows its lyricisms, with its layered beats and hip-hop samples; yet, the song’s love message adds a pleasant longing to a track that simply bumps.
“Gone,” featuring SYD, and “Poison,” featuring Daniella T.A.O.L., are the next strongest tracks on the four-song EP. SYD (formerly Syd Tha Kyd), Odd Future’s main producer, lends her minimalist vocal talents to a song whose sudden lightness contrasts nicely with Syd’s hypnotic house-rap style. “Poison,” with Daniella T.A.O.L., is closer to a pop tune compared to “Gone.” While both songs are laden with hip-hop style beats and production, Daniella T.O.A.L’s. feminine sound gives “Poison” a feeling reminiscent of other renowned female house accompanists, Jhené Aiko (“The Worst”) and Alina Baraz (“Fantasy” ft. Galimatias). “Overtime,” featuring Sasha Keable, is perhaps the weakest song on the EP, but deserves a shout-out for being at least an overproduced, Mary J-esque house tune—and at best a chill song to listen to quietly in one’s room.
Snakehip’s new collaboration with Tinashe and Chance The Rapper, “All My Friends,” can be found somewhere on the spectrum between “Forever (Pt. II)” and “Gone.” It is a definitively down-tempo track with a surprisingly critical message regarding the animalistic tendencies of excessively inebriated club-goers: “We open with the vultures kissing cannibals/Sure I get lonely, when I’m the only/ Only human in this heaving heat of the animals.” The reduced, almost underground hip-hop beat meditates upon the poignancy of these lyrics and Chance the Rapper’s unique auto-tuned verse. Chance The Rapper is by no stretch a competent singer, but his verse provides an interesting wrinkle in an above average track. Frankly, the message comes across as preachy for a group whose audience and genre is often characterized by excess and indulgence. That said, “All My Friends” is still a great choice for casual listening alone or with friends.
Snakehips currently ranks among my favorite emerging house groups, despite their roughly six years of experience in the music industry. Only recently have Snakehips hit their stride, finally making American tour stops to sold-out crowds filled with feverish supporters–like their performance in Brooklyn this weekend. Their sound and evident musical influences mark a greater pattern in the narrative of electronic music constituted by a movement away from atonal, festival EDM style. Like in current pop music, the disco revival has brought electronic music sounds designed to bring audiences to their feet and dance with a certain lightness, joviality, and musicality missing from EDM acts. Snakehips brings an altogether unique essence to the electronic genre that accompanies the newfound jazz, hip-hop and disco influences. Also, for the music video fans reading this, the “Forever (Pt. II)” video is a gem, particularly in a music industry more concerned with profitability than artistry.

Review of a new host at NYC’s Daily Show: Trevor Noah



Last Thursday, Nov. 12, I was lucky enough to attend a live taping of “The Daily Show”. Although it no longer features America’s beloved host of 16 years Jon Stewart, The Daily Show offers a fresh new face, starring South African comedian Trevor Noah.
Born in Johannesburg, Noah comes from a mixed-race background and a complicated childhood. His first few comedic gigs were in South Africa, performing on various television shows and stand-up routines. Although posting some controversial tweets earlier in his career, Noah was still Comedy Central’s number one candidate to replace Stewart. He started the coveted job as host of the show in late September of this year.
The Daily Show is a left-leaning political satire program covering news stories from the week in a humorous fashion. It has been on the air since 1996 and has had only three different hosts.
The show itself is broken down into segments, the first of which the host (now Noah), opens the show with short, witty news stories covering each briefly. Noah then moves into a longer segment that is not filmed live, but where a correspondent will cover a story and maybe conduct an interview. Finally, there will be a longer segment dedicated to going in-depth, covering one specific issue. There will also be a guest appearance from a celebrity, politician, or musician who will, depending on the field, provide another form of entertainment.
I got to the studio, located at 11th Avenue and 51st Street in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, at about 4:30 in the afternoon—just as the sun was beginning to set. Many arrived hours before the show even started. The lines outside began to grow, and the general admission seating filled up; there were only enough spots for approximately 60 guests. Inside, the studio featured an array of LCD screens, all projecting “The Daily Show” signs and pictures of Noah. In center stage was a desk on an elevated platform, with one chair for Noah—no seats for guests or anyone else.
After finding my seat, one of the head technicians came out and gave the audience a lengthy yet comedic set of rules: “No bathroom breaks, no interruptions, and no stalking Trevor, no matter how big and cute his dimples are!”
Finally, a warm up comedian came on stage. To get the crowd pumped for the imminent show, he would have us scream and shout every time he said the words, “Trevor Noah.” He poked fun at everyone his eyes landed on, mocking their jobs and hometowns. While this was all in good fun, it was easy to sense the anticipation for Noah to make his appearance.
Noah came out wearing a navy blue skinny suit, smiling, dancing, and engaging the audience. His charisma, and distinct South African accent captured everyone’s attention.
Noah promised that if we gave him all of our energy, he would give all of his right back. He took about five questions from the audience before starting his show.
Before seeing this in person, I thought that The Daily Show was a much more inter-personal experience. Unfortunately, however, there were about four cameras and two technicians in between Trevor and the audience. Moreover, the technology did not always work as planned; Noah had to redo about four different takes throughout the show. We did get a chance to see him crack jokes and do a little improvisation with the audience during the “commercial” breaks.
His guest that night was Christine and the Queens, a French singer promoting her new album of the same name. She sang three different songs and claimed that the studio venue was “one of the strangest she had ever performed in.”
Although it is a 30-minute show (including commercial breaks) on television, The Daily Show process, from the time one lines up to enter the studio until the time one leaves, takes almost four hours. A true work of art, I definitely recommend both watching and attending if possible. Trevor Noah has big shoes to fill, and to me he is starting out his journey on the right foot.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah airs on Comedy Central, weeknights at 11:00 PM Eastern.

Trinity Choir to perform with professional musicians



Those without plans are in for a special treat this Friday, Nov. 20 at the Chapel. As part of a series of musical performances, the Trinity College Choir will be signing alongside an accompaniment of professional musicians. Though the Chapel may be the domain of the Chapel Singers, the Trinity College Choir is well versed in performing in this special venue. Every year, the Trinity College Choir sings along side the Chapel Singers in the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols,  a tradition of over five decades at Trinity.
This week though, concertgoers will hear two works, both by American composers, which are unique in their origin and beautiful in their execution. Under the direction of John Rose, Adjunct Professor of Music, exfactio (to name one of his many titles) the Choir will sing Best Beloved by Chris DeBlasio (1959-1993) and the second O Antiphons for Advent by the high acclaimed Robert Edward Smith, who happens to serve as Trinity’s Composer-in-Residence. Best Beloved is a musical set in four parts based on four Jacobean poems by the John Donne, William Drummond, Francis Quarles, and Psalm 63 of the King James Bible. The pieces is neo-romantic in style, featuring striking, rich contrast throughout, further enhanced by the Chapel’s acoustics. The second work features a dynamic, colorful setting of the featured prophetic texts. All are welcome to this free concert in the Chapel. ​

Poetry Corner: Bhumika Choudhary ’18



Reality or Illusion
The two heaviest keys of the piano
Are pressed down together to make a sound, the sound of a
Paused heart beat. The repetition, the intensity
Takes me to a black box,
Where silver zigzag lines are piercing my ears like a bee’s constant buzzing.
My pupils are dilated, my throat is dry, and my breaths heavy
I try – I try to run towards the golden doorknob
Except the painted faces in white clothes have encircled me.
I scream, I shout until I hear the rustling and whizzing of dry leaves.
I open my eyes to find myself –
On my queen-sized bed,
Wrapped in my blue floral blanket.
The wrath of the sun has finally subsided
Leaving behind a canvass of black paint
Which was once the color of a calm ocean.

Seated on an A-4 sized wooden table with smooth grey edges,
I inhale the fresh virgin air
And experience my once warm palm become cold against the metal arm of my chair.
My eyes marvel at the creeper’s artistic embrace of the cemented walls,
Which reminds me of veins traveling within the human body.
As I admire the dance of green on pale white
My focus shifts.

In the midst of serenity
I hear footsteps in the distance
I hear muffled voices
That become louder and louder.
And in that moment
My peace is shattered.

Golf Club offers inclusive opportunities for students



While many Trinity students have an interest in sports and are athletically inclined, not all participate in a sport at the varsity level. Therefore, club sports are a viable option for students wanting to participate in a competitive sport that they are passionate about without the early morning practices or huge time commitment. Trinity College’s Golf Club is currently building its presence among the other club sports offered. It provides students the opportunity to either learn the game of golf or improve their skills.

Alexander McGrath ’18, Co-President of the Golf Club alongside Alex Johnson ‘18, encourages all students interested in golf to join the club. McGrath wrote, “The Golf Club is a great opportunity for anyone, regardless of ability, to go out and simply play. The golf club is open to types of skill sets, regardless of ability. We have members that have been playing golf most of their life and those who are just beginning and are learning the fundamentals. We don’t hold tryouts or practices.”

Interested students must first register on IMleagues and search for Trinity College. Johnson and McGrath schedule golf outings every weekend to various courses in the Hartford area. McGrath emphasizes the fact that joining the club “requires a small financial commitment in the form of buying one of our customized Trinity Polos, Adidas hats, or golf towels.”

Like many student clubs and organizations, members of the Gold Club can play for free as long as they document their expenses and turn in their receipts for reimbursement. McGrath says that the club is also “exploring the possibility of getting new customized Trinity gear in the spring.”

The club plays predominantly at Stanley course and Goodwin course, respectively, but McGrath explains that the club is currently exploring possible new courses in the Hartford area. Upperclassmen also offer rides to members on the weekends so that all students have the opportunity to play. McGrath explains that “The Golf Club was founded with the principle that students would be able to have access to different course in Hartford. It allows people of differing abilities to compete against each other, or simply play for their enjoyment.”

The club has worked closely with Trinity to encourage athletes to take advantage of the many resources at their disposal. It was founded on the values that students should have an affordable and convenient access to golf, regardless of ability. The club is under new leadership that strives to provide students with free golf, since the school reimburses members, and continues to maintain the golf community on campus.

McGrath is passionate about the community that the Golf Club provides students, saying that “The Trinity Golf Club intends to foster the values of golf within the Trinity College community while providing a convenient and affordable means for student participation. We offer a welcoming environment for students interested in pursuing the game of golf.  Players with little or no experience gain an opportunity to develop their games and experienced golfers have a chance to engage in competition.”

Stanley Course is located at 245 Hartford Rd, New Britain and Goodwin course is located at 130 Maple Ave, Hartford.

HERO law was right, in spite of consequences




On Tuesday, November 3rd, Houston held a referendum that repealed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a bill that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, age, marital status, military status, and nine other characteristics. Houston’s mayor, Annise Parker (D), the first openly gay mayor in a major city in the United States, had introduced the bill, and the city council passed it in May 2014, but a petition was signed to call for a referendum on whether or not to repeal the law.

The petition failed because not enough signatures were validly signed. Many of them lacked required information: names, dates signed, addresses, voter registration numbers, or dates of birth. Some signatures were considered invalid because they were on the same pages as incompleted ones. The Texas Supreme Court overruled the decision and said that the decision would go to a referendum if the city council did not repeal the ordinance by August 24th. For over a year since the law was passed, residents, lawyers, and politicians fought over whether or not to to repeal the ordinance because it had added protections for transgender people in public accommodations, and would have let them use bathrooms that corresponded to their gender identities. The moment that the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance included gender identity as separate from sex and sexual orientation was the same moment that led to its repeal.

When Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Minnesota, Illinois, and California enacted anti-discrimination bills based on sexual orientation and gender identity, they included gender identity under sex, or as part of sexual orientation. Legislators use the strategy in order to pass bills that add protections for transgender people in areas where such bills are relatively difficult to pass because more people oppose discrimination based on sex or on sexual orientation than on gender identity. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance included gender identity as its own entity and added protections for transgender people in public accommodations, or “every business with a physical location in the city, whether wholesale or retail, which is open to the general public and offers for compensation any product, service, or facility.” New Jersey, Vermont, and Maryland are among the few states that have passed such a bill.

Massachusetts, one of the leading states in LGBT equality, has yet to do what the city of Houston tried to do. In 1989, it was the second state to add anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and did so in employment, housing, credit, and services. In 2003, it was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, and, in 2011, it added protections for transgender people in employment, housing, credit, and public education. The 2011 An Act Relative to Gender Identity excluded public accommodations because opponents argued that its inclusion would have allowed sexual predators to purport to identity as women to gain entrance into women’s bathrooms. Transgender people in Massachusetts who are denied access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identities must file discrimination claims based on sex, sexual orientation, or disabilities. Nondiscrimination bills that include gender identity as a separate entity are harder to pass.

Including public accommodations changes is harder because many people think that such accommodations include bathrooms. However, public accommodations are businesses, and neither are bathrooms. Opponents continue to use the bathroom argument in order to scare voters into repealing the ordinance to remain in effect. Last year, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R) asked Houstonians to tell the city council members and Mayor Parker that voting for the ordinance would “be unsafe for women and children.” Before the referendum, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) tweeted, “Vote NO on City of Houston Proposition 1. No men in women’s bathrooms.” An early draft of the bill also drew attention towards bathrooms because it would have allowed transgender people to use whichever bathrooms corresponded to their gender identities. Enough voters voted no because they believed that the ordinance threatened women’s safety in bathrooms.

Hence, Houston’s population of 2.2 million people is still not protected from discrimination. If public accommodations or gender identity were excluded from the bill, then conservatives would not have used the bathroom argument. If gender identity were included under sex or as part of sexual orientation, then more voters would have voted yes. However, gender identity is not part of anyone’s sex or sexual orientation, and legislators should not have to pretend that it is in order to help pass antidiscrimination laws. States and cities that provide transgender people with anti-discrimination protections because their legislators lied say the same thing that California, Oregon, Hawaii, Minnesota, Illinois, and Washington said when they enacted protections: not enough of their governors, mayors, legislators, or residents think that transgender people deserve the same protections as everyone else.

Clery Act Data reveals surprises about Trinity trends



The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or simply the Clery Act, was put into place in 1990 after the rape and murder of 19-year old Lehigh University student Jeanne Clery. The Clery Act requires all colleges that participate in federal financial aid programs to supply timely warnings to students and publish an annual safety report.  Under the Clery Act, the annual safety report must report all crimes and offenses that occurred by type of crime or offense and by the general location where the crime or offense occurred.  The general location categories are:  on-campus, non-campus, and public property.  The Clery Act also requires colleges to separately report crimes and offenses that occurred in residential housing as a subset of the on-campus category.

All of the NESCAC colleges published their 2014 Annual Safety Reports on October 1, 2015 as required by law.  These reports are publicly available on each college’s website.  The total number of crimes and offenses can be broken down into four major categories:  Forcible sexual assaults; alcohol arrests & violations; drug arrests & violations; and other crimes, which include aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, and robbery (none of the colleges reported any murders or deaths by manslaughter).

Despite the belief in some circles that Trinity is a party school, the Clery numbers do not support that conclusion.  Trinity is a distant number four in terms of alcohol arrests and violations.   Trinity is also often regarded as unsafe because it is the only NESCAC school in a high-crime neighborhood, yet it is only number three in the total number of other crimes reported.

A closer look at the reported data reveals some interesting information.   For example, Middlebury reported an incredibly low nine drug arrests and violations in 2014, and only one in 2013.  However, Middlebury footnoted its 2014 Safety Report to indicate that Vermont decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2013.   In 2012, before this law was passed, Middlebury reported 52 drug arrests and violations.  Possession of marijuana in Connecticut is still a crime, which may help to contribute to the number of drug arrests that Trinity has to report, crimes that Middlebury can handle differently – to the benefit of their crime numbers.

Trinity’s numbers are similarly revealing.  Trinity’s fraternities and sororities are widely believed to be the source of many of Trinity’s assault, alcohol, drug, and other problems. Trinity’s reported Clery data does not support that conclusion.

Almost all of Trinity’s fraternities and sororities fall into the non-campus reporting category.  The Clery Act defines non-campus as “any building or property owned or controlled by as student organization that is officially recognized by the institution.”  The US Department of Education’s Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting explains the non-campus category in greater detail, writing: “if it is owned or controlled by the student organization, it’s considered non-campus under Clery.  There is one exception to this rule.  If a fraternity or sorority house is located within the confines of the campus on land that is owned by the institution, the building is considered to be “on campus” even if it is owned or controlled by the fraternity or sorority.”

Mr. Jorge Lugo, Trinity’s Campus Safety Office Assistant in charge of its Clery Reports, explained that Trinity’s Greek Life Organizations are considered off-campus since they “own or control their property.  Even if they are within the confines of our campus, they are considered non-campus under Clery. For example, Psi U, which owns its property, is counted in non-campus, even though it is within the confines of campus.”  Therefore, incidents and violations at Greek Houses are considered non-campus incidents.

Over the 2012-2014 reporting period, Trinity reported 772 alcohol arrests and violations, 756 of which occurred in student housing. Not a single violation was reported in the non-campus category, which is the GLO reporting category.  Over this same period, Trinity reported 326 drug arrests and violations, of which 325 occurred in student housing, and only one in the non-campus category.  All 5 of the weapons possession offenses were on-campus in student housing.   14 of the 19 dating violence violations occurred in student housing, with none in non-campus locations.  Of the 49 forcible sex offenses, 35 were in student housing, while five of the 49 occurred in non-campus locations.

Trinity fraternities and sororities are often blamed for being hotbeds of student misconduct and blamed for promoting “rape culture.” However, the overwhelming majority of cases of student misconduct, from alcohol to drugs to weapons to dating violence to sexual assault, is committed by Trinity students in student housing, not in the GLOs.  The statistics provided by Trinity in compliance with the Clery Act reveal its GLOs to be pretty safe places.

These statistics spell out a number of interesting trends among the colleges in the NESCAC, and Trinity’s place within them, as well as telling information about Trinity’s own campus. This data flies in the face of many perception about the college, and will likely spur rigorous debate among students as to its implications.

Forcible Sex Offenses   Alcohol Arrests/Violations   Drug Arrest/Violations    Other Crimes*
Wesleyan Wesleyan Wesleyan Wesleyan
(43) (540) (166) (31)
Trinity Bates Trinity Tufts
(23) (372) (119) (21)
Bowdoin Conn College Conn College Trinity
(20) (321) (93) (17)
Williams Trinity Tufts Hamilton
(20) (258) (87) (10)
Tufts Bowdoin Hamilton Amherst
(14) (156) (81) (9)
Amherst Colby Bates Williams
(12) (151) (60) (9)
Bates Williams Williams Conn College
(12) (84) (59) (8)
Conn College Amherst Bowdoin Bates
(12) (83) (43) (6)
Hamilton Tufts Amherst Colby
(11) (81) (37) (6)
Middlebury Hamilton Colby Middlebury
(10) (65) (13) (6)
Colby Middlebury Middlebury** Bowdoin
(4) (64) (9) (5)


*     Other crimes are aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and robbery. There were no reported cases of murder or manslaughter at any college.

** Vermont decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2013. In 2012, there were 50 drug reports.


Paintball incident aftermath

For the past couple of weeks, Trinity College has been facing the same incident over and over again. Someone is either walking or driving on Allen Place when a red or dark colored vehicle approaches them. The passengers in the vehicle then proceed to pelt the individuals with paintballs. There have been many theories as to what is going on. Some students believe it is just a prank that is either from the Hartford community or the Trinity College community. Others believe that it might be gang activity.


On Tuesday, the Trinity community was informed through an email that the incident occurred again. According to the email written to campus community at about 1:45 p.m., a student told Campus Safety that he was waiting for a bus at New Britain Avenue and Henry Street when two people riding a silver scooter passed him by. One of the individuals hit him on the hand with a paintball. Since this was done in broad daylight, it seems that there must be a certain motivation for the perpetrator of these paintball incidents. One of the motives maybe Halloween.


According to Brian Heavren, the Interim Director of Campus Safety, similar incidents have occurred before. They generally happen before and after Halloween.


“Traditionally, Hartford has experienced these incidents immediately prior to and after Halloween and then they have stopped,” he said.


Although Campus Safety has not been able to find out who is involved in these paintball incidents, they have made some progress.


“Several of the incidents fall into a pattern of time of day, day of the week, and location,” Heavren said.  “With one exception, the incidents occurred on weekends and in the early morning hours.  In addition, the majority of incidents occurred on Allen Place or Crescent Street.  We have identified two vehicles that appear to have been involved in more than one incident on campus.  A gray Pontiac and a red SUV.  These images have been shared with the Hartford Police Department.”


The Hartford Police Department, being aware of the incidents, has taken some measures in their search to find the culprits of these incidents.


“The police department has been given the photographic and video evidence that we have,” Heavren said.  “They have shared it with their officers so they can look for the vehicles that may be involved or question people found in other parts of the city found with paintball guns.  The police department has also increased their presence on campus to prevent further incidents and to identify the vehicles and their occupants should they return.”


Another thing that Heavren mentioned is that he does not believe that any specific persons are being targeted. “Campus Safety has no information that leads them to believe that any individual or group has been targeted,” he said. “It appears that the people committing these assaults are driving on city streets contiguous to our campus to locate individuals or groups that are walking or congregating outside.”


In regards to what should students do to keep safe, Heavren advises students to be cautious. “With the weather staying warm, Campus Safety recommends that students are mindful of their surroundings,” Heavren said. “Look for vehicles that are moving slowly as they approach pedestrians or vehicles that are repeatedly circling the campus.  Upon reaching your destination, do not linger outside or form large groups.”



Campaign for Community culminates in TrinColl2Action

Chris Bulfinch

News Editor


For the past weeks, the Trinity community has heard much about the Campaign for Community, an initiative developed by the Berger-Sweeney administration late last semester to address a variety of issues on Trinity’s campus. The program culminated with TrinColl2Action, a large forum hosted in Vernon Social during the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 7. The event was largely built around the presentations of five working groups, each of which was tasked with engaging with different issues across campus; there were five working groups, addressing the issues of academic environment, rape and sexual assault, campus pride, social environment, and community involvement. The Campaign for Community’s goal was, in the words of Kate Dietrich-Manion, ’18, the Student Representative on the Administrative Working Group, “to provide a space for students to address issues related to diversity and inclusivity on campus. The Campaign was student-orientated from the beginning, as it the students who shape the community they wish to create.”

TrinColl2Action opened in Vernon social at 2 PM on Saturday afternoon. As soon as they walked I the door, attendees were issued nametags and shown the refreshments, as well as a sign-up sheet for the next stage of the campaign, involving the implementation of the student recommendations.

With guests settled, the program began. Maggie Elias, ‘17 and Edward Fox, ‘17, delivered introductory remarks, followed by an icebreaking activity geared towards fostering a sense of intimacy amongst attendees. The opening activities flowed into speeches from President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Chaplain Allison Read, and Kate Dietrich-Manion, ’18. Each working group gave a presentation laying out the issues that they confronted and their prescriptions for administrative action to remedy the problems that they identified. Each student within the groups spoke to varying degrees of length about the work that they had done. The presentations opened with a short skit depicting a “typical” Trinity encounter that is symptomatic of the working group’s given issue. Each group proceeded to expound more explicitly on the problem that they tackled, and made specific policy-based recommendations as to how the problems could most effectively be addressed, and what role the student body and student organizations could play in these changes. The were also tables set up for each of the working groups so that any curious audience members could visit after the presentations to learn the recommendations of the working groups were as varied as the topics that the working groups covered. The Social Environment working group sought to address perceived and salient social divides on campus. “Our recommendations were threefold,” says Jake Rubin, a member of the Class of 2015 who has remained on campus to pursue a Masters in Neuroscience, “First, a student leader conference to unify the leaders of social/cultural organizations [in order to] foster more collaborations. Second, we recommended that the new NEST program for first-year students be used as a platform for integrating the incoming class with the rest of the students on campus.” Rubin continued: “Our third recommendation was that we make better use of the Collegiatelink website.” Their working group’s revamped Collegiatelink website consolidates information about clubs and campus events into a single location, allowing for greater awareness of happenings on campus.

The second group to present dealt with Trinity’s academic environment. According to Molly Thoms, ’17, “We identified that Trinity students often say that they “work hard, play hard” when in reality they work a little, play a lot. We’re hoping that dynamic can be shifted in favor of greater engagement with studies.” The working group’s plans to make this shift happen include three major suggestions. The first is the implementation the Northam Honors Society to provide high-achieving students with a network of similarly driven students. Secondly, the working group recommends members of the newly-created Northam Honors Society be given the latitude to create honors seminars, a program called the Collaborative Class Program (CCP). Under the auspices of the CCP and the faculty, five seminars would be chosen each semester and added to Trinity’s course catalog. Enrollment would be restricted to Northam Honors Society members, though other students could petition to join. The last of the Academic Environment working group’s suggestions entailed the creation of faculty-student diner parties. These events would be organized by students and faculty, as well as related academic offices. The student and faculty member would each invite five other students who they believe would be able to contribute meaningfully about a given topic of discussion around which the dinners would focus.

After the Academic Environment discussion came the Rape and Sexual Misconduct working group’s presentation. As their name implies, the Rape and Sexual Misconduct committee was confronting the tragically pervasive issues of sexually-based crimes on Trinity’s campus; in their own words “The Trinity College community needs improvement in the following areas: policy language, administrative transparency, sexual misconduct and rape culture education for the student body, trauma response training for the community at large, and a wider array of resources for students and faculty.” The Rape and Sexual Misconduct working group had the following ideas for the Trinity administration:

1. Change the ‘or’ in the definition of consent in the interim sexual misconduct policy to ‘and’;

2. A student-made informational video detailing statistics from the Summary Report;

3. Monthly campus safety emails reporting instances of alleged sexual misconduct and adjudication results;

4. Yearly bystander intervention/rape culture/trauma response training for students, faculty, and staff.  Students should complete this training four times over the course of their Trinity career as a graduation requirement.  Ideally, the training is to be completed by the first month of school.  Please note that this recommendation would need to include a separate budget to pay for trainers;

5. Increasing the budget for WGRAC and SECS campus-wide events that will impact the entire campus;

6. Continuing to offer the school-sponsored YWCA Counselor Advocate Training class for more than eight students at a time as a full one-credit class so they can use their training to be a volunteer peer educator on campus. (Great thanks to Arleigha Cook for the info)

The Rape and Sexual Misconduct working group had a petition at their station that advocated for their first suggested change. The petition seeks to change the policy, which reads, “Effective consent is informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon activity.” The working group’s proposed change would amend the “or” in that sentence with an “and.” This seemingly small edit would have profound ramifications if adopted; sexual encounters would have to be enthusiastically agreed to not only physically (a realm where perceived ambiguities can have horrifying consequences) or verbally, but physically and verbally. By increasing the parameters of consent to include both physical and verbal dimensions, the rule is all the more clear and exacting in its definition of what constitutes proper sexual conduct. It could be argued that the petition, if successful, would be the first tangible change attributable to the working groups.

The fourth working group addressed community involvement, under the title “Trintersectionality.” The working group sought to bridge the gap that exists between the Trinity community and the city of Hartford. The problem, in the words of Nico Nagle, ’17,  is that there is “a strong student opinion that the integrity of the campus [is] threatened by “locals,” a truly derogatory term for Hartford residents.” As far as a solution is concerned, Nagle stated: “Being students at the institution, our group found that the long-term goal of establishing good relations with Hartford would be to change this ideology, and to thus encourage behaviors that put more students in Hartford at large.” The Trintersectionality working group had four basic measures in mind for the administration to take, as far as connecting with Hartford and encouraging diversity was concerned. The first is to create a Sophomore Seminar, which similar to some of the First-Year seminars in that it would engage with the Hartford community. Secondly, the working group suggested a “36 for 36” community service requirement for graduation. To graduate, every Trinity student needs a minimum of 36 credits – Trintersectionality’s idea is that every student should be required to participate in 36 hours’ worth of community service, in a field related to their studies. Trintersectionality’s third idea involves the implementation of a “World College Day,” a celebration of college students from around the world that would take place in the spring, in a manner akin to Homecoming. The final suggestion that Trintersectionality had involves the creation of “People’s Scholars,” students who, in the words of Nagle, “[have] shown exceptional commitment to Hartford, and to positively influencing their community using their skills and knowledge.”

The final working group dealt with Campus Pride. The basic idea is, in the worlds of Sarah Beckmann, ’18, “improving a sense of school pride on campus,” helping to increase boost the morale that Trinity students feel in calling themselves Bantams. President Berger-Sweeney participated in this working group’s opening skit, wherein she played herself addressing a crowd of new Trinity students in the not-too-distant future at a bonfire proposed by the Campus Pride working group. A bonfire for new students was only one of the ideas that the working group developed. They also suggested showing Jaws on the quad (the film contains an oblique reference to Trinity in its first few minutes, making it apropos to Bantam culture beyond being a classic film), as well as introducing a community service day similar to Do-It Day.

The commendable efforts that Trinity students put forth serving with their working groups, did not take place entirely in a vacuum. A number of administrators and faculty members served alongside the students, and they “did a great job” and were very helpful, according to Sarah Beckmann. In addition to faculty and staff assistance, the college also brought a consulting firm on board to help with the Campaign.

President Berger-Sweeney, in her final address to TrinCall2Action, made two bold statements. In the first, she told the audience that she only cries on two occasions, the first being dramatic sporting events, and the other being when the students that she is responsible for make her proud. She thanked the Campaign for Community participant for bringing a tear to her eye. She then pledged presidential support for the Campaign for Community in the amount of $25,000.

This revelation clearly has significant implications for the Campaign for Community, and in a larger sense, student life at Trinity. The ideas put forth by the various student working groups are all the more feasible with the stronger financial backing offered by president Berger-Sweeney. In the words of Arleigha Cook, “such a substantial donation speaks to the commitment the administration has promised to make.” Jake Rubin agrees: [President Berger-Sweeney’s announcement] tells me that she’s committed to listening to what we’ve come up with in our SWGs [Student Working Groups], taking into account the student feedback on our recommendations and creating the programming/structure needed to accomplish our community goals.” In reflecting on the possibility of the Berger-Sweeney administration adopting the Campaign for Community’s proposed changes, Nico Nagle had this to say: “I do not only believe they will, but I believe they have to. If not an original pitch, some iteration of these programs is absolutely necessary. When a community features a lack of respect, and a palpable amount of ill will, you have entered a social crisis, and a movement becomes necessary.”

For all of that, it is still unclear what form, if any, the recommendations and prescriptions that the Campaign for Community will take as far as college policy is concerned. The administration has declined to comment on what action, if any, has been or will be taken with the tremendous volume of informed student input that it has received. Some may question the wisdom of making Trinity’s self-reinvention so beholden to student perspective, but the Berger-Sweeney administration has doubled down on the strategy, and it has paid dividends in a sense; the administration is now aware of how many students feel. Whether the president’s $25,000 generosity is a genuine endorsement of the Campaign for Community’s initiative or simply an experiment with a high price tag is not entirely clear. What is clear is that many students worked very hard to offer tangible, feasible ideas to address many of the issues facing the Trinity community. TrinColl2Action was a powerful statement of student intent and will. What the administration will do with it remains to be seen. Whether the creativity of Trinity’s students is enough to confront the difficulties that the community faces remains to be seen. But all Trinity students should be watching intently to see the outcome, if for no other reason than that it will tell them much of the future.

Preparing for better food at Trinity



With the recent addition of the Food Advisory Committee to Student Government Association, Trinity has already seen some significant changes to the food offerings in the various dining halls across campus. Two weeks ago, Committee Chairs Lauren Glasse ’18 and Kelly Vaughan ’17, along with SGA President Max Le Merle ’16 and SGA Vice President Josh Frank ’16, met with Chartwells Resident District Manager Toby Chenette to discuss ways to expand the dining options Chartwell’s currently provides.

Le Merle ’16 made the suggestion that there should be more basic grocery items available to purchase on campus, due the number of students cooking for themselves in their townhouses; within days of that suggestion, The Cave and Outtakes were stocked with eggs, milk, vegetable oil, pasta, and marinara sauce. Students were also disappointed to find that the popular Caprese and Hippie Chic sandwiches were omitted from Bistro menus this year; the committee brought this to Toby’s attention and both have be re-added as permanent items to Bistro menus. Other recent additions include almond milk as an alternative base at the smoothie bar in the Bistro, providing lids on the smoothies at Mather, more varieties of meat and fish at Infusions, and a build-your-own macaroni and cheese bar in the Bistro.

Chenette also plans to tackle larger matters such as providing more vegetarian and vegan dining options. Chenette has been extremely proactive by putting the suggestions given to him by the committee into action, by adding small but exciting revisions to the dining halls within days. This week, Chenette will meet with the full Food Advisory Committee, which is made up of twelve students, to hear feedback on the new changes, as well as to discuss more ideas for innovation at all four dining locations.

Smaller first-year class matriculation stresses budget



It is no secret that Trinity’s tuition is steep. In CNN Money’s annual list, “Ten Most Expensive Colleges”, Trinity is ranked seventh. With a school whose tuition is 85% higher than the $25,229 national average of college tuition according to, Trinity’s annual budget would seem to be a correspondingly substantial amount. However, the enrollment size of the Class of 2019 put the annual budget into a new perspective.

Between the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years, Trinity received a slight increase of approximately 1% in applications for admission, going from 7,507 to 7,570. This small increase did not have an impact on the acceptance rate for admission which remained the same, 33%, as last year. However, Admissions projected to have an entering class of 605, but instead, only 563 accepted their offer for admission. Mr. Angel Perez who was newly appointed as Head of Admissions at the beginning of the school year said, “This [605] was a higher target than in previous years.  One of the conversationsa we are having at the Cabinet level right now is whether or not that was an appropriate target based on Trinity’s enrollment trends.  In my initial analysis of Trinity’s enrollment data, I believe the College set the target too high last year.  We are still discussing what the right target should be in the future.”

Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer, Mr. Paul Mutone, said that “The total budget for this year is $135,040,000.” Although the decrease in the number of students for the class of 2019 is substantial, the impacts will be minimal. “Division leaders are trying to adjust our budgets to address the deficit without having a major impact on the mission critical work of the College.”

However, yearly endowments which are a pool of assets such as stocks and bonds, that “provide a significant and reliable stream of revenue to permanently finance the College’s key priorities,” according to the Trinity College website. In 2012, the endowment was $42.5 million and has been rising exponentially. In 2014, it was $542,771,036. However, its endowments still lags behind other NESCAC and New England Colleges. For example, Smith College has a $1.85 billion endowment and Amherst College has a $1.25 billion one – Trinity is barely trailing behind Wesleyan University which has a $793.3 million endowment.

This admissions season, Trinity has omitted standardized test scoxqres and is instead opting for a larger emphasis placed on GPA and a Trinity specific essay question. This will lead to an even larger increase in applications for the incoming class of 2020. As of now, Trinity, especially the class of 2019, has reaped some benefits with its small class sizes, special attention from faculty, and opportunities for first choice in classes.

Women’s soccer misses NCAA tournament after tough loss



The Trinity College women’s soccer season officially ended Monday, Nov.9, after not receiving a bid to the NCAA tournament. The Bantams lost 1-0 in a tough match against Bowdoin in the NESCAC semifinals. Nonetheless, the Bantams had a very successful season, finishing with an overall record of 11-6, and a 6-4 conference record.

The match-up with Bowdoin was very defensively oriented, with both teams combining for only five shots on goal for the entire contest. Forward Nicole Stauffer ’17 had the Bantams’ best scoring opportunity in the 12th minute when she shot a ball from the top of the box just over the goal. Just three minutes later, Bowdoin forward Evan Fencik netted the go-ahead goal for the Polar Bears, on a shot that tri-captain goalkeeper Monica DiFiore ’16 couldn’t secure.

In the second half, the Bantams had another scoring opportunity when tri-captain forward Lexi Menard ’16 misfired a shot wide left from just outside the Bowdoin box. Unfortunately, scoring opportunities were hard to come by throughout the game. With one minute left, Trinity had one last chance to equalize with a corner kick opportunity, but Bowdoin’s defense was stout.

Following the loss, the Bantams were left at the mercy the NCAA selection committee to see if they would qualify for the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, an unforeseen loss by Babson to Springfield College made Trinity’s odds look bleak, and they ultimately did not get a bid.

For seniors Menard, DiFiore, Abby Siebert (tri-captain), Kelsey Thomas, and Julia Leahy, the loss to Bowdoin marked their final game dawning the blue and gold. DiFiore had a stellar senior campaign, finishing second in the NESCAC with 96 saves and a save percentage of .835.

Despite the loss of 5 seniors with starting experience, the women’s soccer team looks very bright. Laura Nee ’17 finished ninth in the NESCAC in total points, with 14, while freshman Taylor Kirchgessner ’19 was just behind her with 13 points. All of Trinity’s top goal scorers, including Nee, Kirchgessner, Caroline McKenna ’19, and Andi Nicholson ’17 are returning next year and the team boasts a strong young core for the 2016 season. Kendra Lena ’17 and Sarah Connors ’18, tied for the second on the team with 3 assists each will also be back next year.

The toughest challenge will be replacing one of Trinity’s best goalkeepers of all time in DiFiore. Stephanie Allieri ’18, Julia Pitino ’19, and Mary Bennewitz ’19 are currently the Bantams’ other goalkeepers on the roster. While 2015 didn’t end the way the team envisioned, the team did post soome very solid statistics this season. In 17 games played, the Bantams outscored their opponents 27-20, and had the best in-conference shot-on-goal percentage at .591. With so much talent returning, the Bantams looks to top the NESCAC next fall.

Trinity football’s undefeated season ends at Amherst



The Trinity College Football Team fell to Amherst this past Saturday in a low scoring 7-16 game. This is the first loss of the season for the Bantams, who are now 6-1, while the Lord Jeffs continue their undefeated streak at 7-0 and lead the rankings.

The Bantam offense started off strong in the first quarter with a nine minute drive, but a holding penalty pushed them out of field goal range and left them scoreless. Luckily, the Bantam defense was able to force the Jeffs to punt on a three-and-out possession. After a botched punt, Amherst punter Jackson McGonagle attempted to run for the first down but was tackled a yard shy by Johnny Medina ’18. After help from a pass interference call, Bantam running back Max Chipouras ’19 scored the first points in the game with a one-yard touchdown run. This would be Trinity’s only score of the game.

Amherst started its next possession on the 50-yard line after a short kickoff and Bantam penalty. While the Jeffs made their way to first and goal, captain linebacker Frank Leyva ’16 broke up a third down pass. This lead to a 24-yard field goal by Amherst kicker Charlie Wall, putting them on the board with 3 points. Two plays into the Bantam’s following offensive drive, quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’18 was intercepted by safety Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn, setting up an 11-yard touchdown for Amherst quarterback Reece Foy to McGonagle. While Wall missed the point after attempt, Amherst took a permanent lead at 9-7.

The Bantams finished the half with an impressive 60-yard, 15 play drive. Puzzo and Chipouras made first down runs of over 15 yards while wide receiver Darrien Myers ’17 was able to convert a key fourth and one play. However, the attempted field goal by kicker Kyle Pulek ’16 was blocked by Fairfield-Sonn. Despite leading Amherst in possession and yards, Trinity was down at the half.

The first score of the second half came from Amherst on a three-yard touchdown run by Amherst running back Ken Adrinka. Amherst left 54 seconds on the clock in the third quarter following a successful extra point by Wall. Trinity’s offense was pinned within its own end zone for most of the quarter.

Picks were abundant in the fourth quarter. Bantam defensive back Paul McCarthy ’16 picked off Foy in the Trinity end zone to shrink Trinity’s deficit, but Devin Boehhm managed to pick off McCarthy on a fake-punt reverse pass in turn. While Bantam defensive end Lyle Baker ’16 made an important stop to force a punt on third and two, the Trinity offense could not score. Puzzo passed for 53 yards and ran for 23 more, to Amherst’s 13-yard line, but the Bantams were pushed back 10 yards on their 12th penalty of the afternoon. Amherst sealed their fate when Fairfield-Sonn picked off Puzzo on the next play to end the game.

Offensively, Puzzo completed 22 of 37 passes for 174 yards while Chipouras rushed for a game-high 67 yards. Myers also made 10 catches for 65 yards. Defensively, Trinity linebacker Liam Kenneally ’18 led the defense with 10 tackles.  Linebacker Shane ’19 Libby had seven.

Despite leading in possession and yards and having some key defensive stops, Trinity was outscored in a game crucial in determining the NESCAC Champions.  In order to win the championship, Trinity will need to win its last game and Amherst will need to lose to Williams. The Bantams play their last game at home against Wesleyan this Saturday, Nov. 14.

New and improved Trinity boxing club wins first match



On Thursday I spoke to Oliver Lykken ’16, who took the initiative to take the loosely-organized smatterings of a boxing club that existed when he was a freshman, and turned it into an organized club with a coach and an off-campus gym that, as of this Halloween, competes on the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) circuit. Lykken said that he’s been running the club since his sophomore year. The biggest challenges that he had to face while bringing this club to fruition mostly consisted of a lack of public interest, issues around financing, and being the last of the SGA’s priorities. Lykken explained that whenever the boxing club had a conflict with another club or campus group, they were never the ones who got priority. He said that he was able to overcome these challenges by means of his tremendous work ethic and the refusal to back down. He had countless meetings with Assistant Director of Recreation/Intramurals & Club Sports Kathleen Kilcoyne garnered as much interest as possible at every activities fair, sent out hundreds of emails, and tabled in Mather. He also said that he put up numerous flyers which, unfortunately, he later found had been torn down. Lykken described it as a “constant grind,” always talking and promoting untiringly. He emblemizes the tenacity and perseverance it takes to make things happen by means of institutions.

He went on to elucidate that the boxing team partners with the city of Hartford through a non-profit organization called the Charter Oak Boxing Academy (COBA). COBA trains underprivileged inner city kids in boxing at the Olympic level. A coach affiliated with the non-profit, Johnny Callas, reached out to Lykken, and the partnership was born. The boxing club is now not only a solid, legitimate, competitive team, but also another great partnership between Trinity and the city of Hartford. Lykken, now a senior, says that he’s very happy to have such a “solid” team as his legacy. For all the hard work he put into it, I’m sure most would agree that he deserves nothing less. But, as admirable as Lykkens contributions have been to the team, equally impressive is Tim Galvin ’19, who won Trinity’s first ever boxing match, whom I interviewed on that Thursday as well.

Will Verdeur: How did you feel going into the match, were you nervous? What was it like?

Tim Galvin: Yeah, I mean, it’s pretty nerve wracking, getting up there in front of all those people with the chance of you falling down on your face knocked out cold in front of all those people, you know?

You’re nervous but you’re also excited for it too to prove yourself, all the hard work you’ve put into it and to get out there and do your thing. I mean, the feeling in the dressing room before you fight is enough to drive somebody crazy, in your stomach and in your head, and you’re second-guessing yourself, it’s really tough.

Those four steps up into the ring are the longest four steps of your life.

WV: I can imagine. So tell me about what it was like during the fight.

TG: Well, once you’re in the ring and the bell rings and you step in there, the first 10 seconds, you’re kind of feeling each other out, like, how the fight is going to go, what the other person fight is like. To be honest, fresh out I got in there and he lit me up with four or five shots, and kind of woke me up a bit. I was like “alright, this kid can fight, it’s gonna be a tough one,” and the first round consisted of him being the aggressor and me kind of sitting back, throwing a lot of jabs.

But, after the first round ended, you’re gassed. It’s a two-minute round but you feel like you just ran four miles, you’re totally shot. Coach gave me a lot of pointers in between rounds that kind of made me turn the fight around and, coming out of the third round, the final round, I felt good about the way everything went and I was lucky enough to pull off the decision.

WV: So, how do you feel now? I hear you’ve got another one coming up.

TG: It was good to get my first fight out of the way. It was on Halloween. I had a great night that night. It was awesome, I had all my friends calling me after the fight congratulating me, there were a couple of good pictures.

I have another fight Nov. 20 against UMass and UConn, and West Point on November 21st in Winchester, Mass. West Point’s the toughest team in the East division of the NCBA. They’re all tough kids. They do boxing intramurally as well. They have to, so they kind of get the pick of the litter out of every kid in the whole school to be their fighters. I know I’m going to have a tough test then.

WV: Well it sounds exciting, though. I’ll make sure to see it.

TG: Yeah it is exciting, but it’s also tough, getting out there and getting punched in the head and giving blows back. It’s really nerve wracking. The night before my first fight I couldn’t sleep at all, just in the anticipation.

But, it’s a big load off your back after it’s over. Win or lose, the toughest part is just getting in there, you know, as long as you got in there, I mean, it shows a lot for someone to get in there.

WV: Awesome. So did you have any boxing experience from before, or is this, like, you just picked it up recently?

TG: Yeah, I’ve been boxing my whole life. There’s this program in my neighborhood where literally like, five years old and up, they throw you in the ring with another kid your size.

WV: And where is that, exactly?

TG: Dorchester, Mass., inside Boston, it’s a neighborhood of Boston. Anyway, they start you young, and since then I’ve been in and out of the gym, so I had a big boxing back-ground, a lot of my friends box. From the time I was 10 to 14, I was boxing every day, and then I kind of lost sight of it for a little bit.

I got here and I saw they had a club. I thought it’d give me something to do, keep me out of trouble, keep me from going out too many nights a week or whatever. Then, they said they compete on the NCBA circuit which at first was kind of nerve wracking, like, I don’t know if I’m ready for this. But, I got my skills back after the first two weeks, felt like I knew what I was doing, Coach said I looked good. It was good I had previous experience, and that I had a good basic skill-set, and he really helped me out and made me a better boxer really quickly. But the previous boxing experience really helped me a lot.

Social media and the impending threat of “likes”


Surrounded by constant social media presence and awareness, society is under constant surveillance by its peers. It comes as no surprise that users of any form of social media revolve their attention and determination of self-worth over the amount of likes a post may receive. There are a variety of posts a person may put on different forms of social media such as photos, videos, statuses, etc.

However, given society’s technological advancement and more prevalent access to social media servers, it is certainly worrisome to consider the drastic effects this increase in access can cause.

Different forms of social media, such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram focus much of their viewers’ attention on the amount of likes a post receives. These various forms of social media continuously undergo a variety of updates and changes in order to make sharing and accessing the app easier to the public.

Since the percentage of social media users has increased immensely throughout the 21st century and will continue to grow, it certainly has a drastic effect on the well-being of individuals and their tactics of social media use.

It clearly goes without saying that people who hide behind their computer have easier times saying what they feel. However, this has impaired individuals’ abilities to have face-to-face contact, and feel comfortable with face-to-face contact.

The way that a person interacts over social media is exceptionally different from how they would act in person.
With more time to think before we speak, it baffles me that people choose to say more offensive and ludicrous things, as opposed to constructive, concise, and organized thoughts.

As a result, some people using the “likes” of social media have a more strategic and more cautious outlook on what they share and post. Fearing judgment from a greater group of people, since social media users are able to reach large groups of people at once, people tend to be much more aware of the timing and the placement of each of their posts.

Recently, I was told that the best time to post a photo on Instagram is Sundays after 8:00 P.M. and Wednesday evenings after 7:00 P.M.

This strategic time specification is what drives people to feel reassured that they will not have an anxiety attack after posting at these times since, statistically, they will receive more likes and attention.

The fact that likes alone can have such an impact on when people post and what they post is a relatively baffling concept.

As someone who partakes in this social media anxiety, it is certainly ridiculous to think about what is upsetting me.
Will I be able to change my actions and outlook on how caught up I get on the amount of likes I get on posts?

Most definitely not.

We live in a society where that matters, where getting the right amount of attention via social media is pivotal in who you are as a person.

It defines your ability to reach a broader spectrum of people and it defines how well-liked, no pun intended, you are.
Still, I have an assortment of photographs that I am waiting to post on Facebook and Instagram for the “perfect time” so that it may receive the “perfect amount of attention.”

This anxiety, without a doubt, is instilled in the majority of social media users.

The amount of times that peers, including myself, have deleted posts because it has not received an adequate amount of attention in a timely manner is simply depressing.
In fact, the concept of “likes per minute” is a ratio invented by social media users to determine whether or not a post will receive attention.

Likes determine a person’s self-confidence. If a post does not receive the amount of likes that a person had intended when posting it, that person will certainly feel a stab to their ego.

Disappointment seems to be more prevalent amongst social media users than people who have never used any form of social media. Of course, I don’t have the facts to back this claim up. However, it is pretty safe to say that if you weren’t playing devil’s advocate- because everyone has an opinion- you would agree with this entire article.

In fact, I have had my own personal social media anxiety over the fact that a changed profile picture or an Instagram post has received less than one hundred likes. That is at least one hundred people who physically like a post.

When a person receives three hundred, maybe even more, likes on a post, I can’t help but wonder how that person determines his or her own self-worth.

Do they consider themselves a D-list celebrity for receiving a button-press from a large group of acquaintances or strangers?
It is difficult to combat this social media anxiety, but it is more difficult to determine a person’s honest self-worth when we only know them through their likes on social media.

Letter to the Editor: free speech rights on campus


Dear Trinity Tripod Opinion Section Editors:

Last week, an article was published decrying the lack of First Amendment rights on Trinity’s campus, with author Rebecca Reingold ’17 claiming that it was a violation of her First Amendment rights when professors deduct points from her papers for not agreeing with the respective professors’ opinions.

Reingold also had a problem when her “peers, when they disagree with what (she) says, she feels like a terrible person.”

The problem with her article is that it is fundamentally flawed in both her understanding of the First Amendment as well as in her argument.

Reingold claims that the First Amendment protects her right to free speech on Trinity’s campus. This is false.

The First Amendment guarantees that the government will not interfere with a citizen’s speech. It means that Obama cannot censor the New York Times if they are going to criticize his policies, or that a mayor cannot imprison someone who says he is doing a bad job. However, it has absolutely nothing to do with private organizations: Businesses can, and do, punish people for speaking out of turn.

The First Amendment does not protect Reingold’s right to say whatever she wants in her papers or to her friends, no matter how many times one claims that we have “free speech.” We don’t.
But one might argue that, while not protected by law, free speech is certainly a good thing on a college campus, right? I can agree with that.

However, I certainly do not agree that people should get a pass on terrible ideas.

Yes, one ought to be able to express any idea that one so desires. However, if one is unable to back these opinions up with solid argument based in fact, then the ridicule that follows is absolutely legitimate.

Reingold wrote that professors take points off her papers for “simply disagreeing” with her. I find this impossible to believe. The vast majority of the issues in America can be reasonably argued from both sides. I think that it is more accurate that the opinions in said papers are probably just not well argued, to which losing points is an accurate response.

I think that it is a good thing that Reingold sees herself as an “opinionated” person, but when one expresses ideas, criticism is inevitable.

In her article, she writes that she fears that she will be attacked “simply for expressing herself” in her article.

But that is just the thing: if you believe your own free speech, then you also believe in the free speech of others, including the ability to disagree with one another.

I am “attacking” Reingold’s ideas because I think that she is wrong, just as I believe that any ideas which are poorly formulated ought to be debated.

One of the amazing things about many American institutions is that we can engage in these debates. The First Amendment protects us from persecution from the government when we engage in free speech: it does not protect people from persecution coming from anyone else.

It can be tough to handle getting a “B” on a paper. Before blaming the professor for taking points off for not agreeing with oneself, it might be a more prudent choice to research the fundamentals of one’s argument first, and then to build a convincing case explaining why that person is right.

Since Reingold failed to do this on both counts in the article that she published in last week’s Opinion section, I think that it is probably much more likely that the reduced points on the papers she wrote have less to do with the politics of her ideas and more to do with the content of said ideas.

Food Dudes: POSH Tomato dishes up quality pizza



I am sure you have seen the flyers floating around Vernon Social Center about the new fast-casual pizza concept, Posh Tomato, in Blue Back Square. Opened by Chad Kirby and Dan Taskila, the owners of Goldberg’s, Posh Tomato is a new franchise of the restaurant  from Brooklyn, New York. This week, I did every curious student the favor of checking it out.

When you first enter the restaurant, the surroundings look strikingly familiar to a very well known fast food chain: Chipotle. There is a glass case with all the pizza toppings lined up. The menu is printed behind the counter. The interior is sparse but warm, with wood decor.

Posh Tomato is designed to be a super fast version of a pizza place. The pizzas feature extremely thin crust, which allows them to cook in only about two to three minutes. The restaurant itself is relatively small, with about 10 tables inside and another eight or so outside. It is extremely clean and the staff is exceptionally friendly. The woman who appeared to be the manager was very attentive and made sure that everything was prepared to my satisfaction.

During checkout, the cashier accidentally charged me $2 too little and when I pointed it out, I was told that it was their mistake so the difference was on the house. Customer service was definitely a strong point for Posh Tomato. Even though it is a fast-casual place, they certainly do not neglect the service.

To order, you can choose between several pre-designed pizzas or create your own. If you choose to create your own, you walk down the line and select the toppings you want as you go.

The pre-designed pizzas include options ranging from a traditional cheese to Caesar salad and a ‘taco pie.’ The Caesar Salad pizza features a plain crust with a Caesar salad on top of it, a healthy twist on a traditional pizza. For each pizza, there are three types of crust to choose from: plain, whole wheat, and gluten free. Whole wheat and gluten free are a $1 or $2 upcharge, respectively. If you choose to create your own you select a base of “classic,” “margarita,” or “Bianca” (white).

For pizzas, I ordered a “spicy buffalo” and also created my own. The buffalo chicken consists of Frank’s red-hot sauce, a cheese blend, grilled chicken, onion and Gorgonzola. For the pizza I created, I chose classic sauce and added green peppers, chicken, and feta cheese. I also ordered a dessert chocolate pizza, which had marshmallows, chocolate and cinnamon dust.

The pizzas are cooked amazingly fast. Honestly, I was surprised by how fast they came out of the oven. By the time I was finished paying and getting my drink, my meal was only about a minute wait. The pizza is brought to your table on a wooden board.

The unique crust caught my attention right away. It is extremely thin, even thinner than I expected. The outside of the crust puffs up like a cracker. The buffalo chicken was actually one of the best buffalo chicken pizzas I have ever had. There was a lot of sauce (many other buffalo chicken pizzas I have had are lacking in this department), and the Gorgonzola cheese was the perfect addition to the pizza and covered the blue cheese flavor that you expect with wings.

The pizza I created was very good as well. The green peppers were fresh and the feta cheese and house tomato sauce was a good pairing. The toppings are all top-notch. You can tell that every one of the toppings is extremely high quality. The pizzas are definitely personal size; most people would eat an entire pizza. Due to the ultra thin crust, it is much less filling than your typical pie. It was nice to leave feeling satisfied instead of feeling uncomfortably full. If you come with a huge appetite, just be aware that the thin crust makes for a lighter meal so that you are not disappointed or surprised.

The dessert pizza was a great end to my lunch. The marshmallows were perfectly roasted in the oven, and when paired with the chocolate drizzle and the cinnamon dust, the dish tasted very similar to a s’more. I ordered the small size for the dessert pizza. Unlike the entrée pizzas, the dessert comes in two sizes, and it was quite large. It was definitely large enough to split between two to four people.

One of the best parts about Posh Tomato is how fast it is. You get a fresh cooked pizza and when all is said and done, you could easily be out in less than 20 minutes. The restaurant is extremely quick, high quality, and comes with attentive service. Posh Tomato is a very cool concept and I recommend checking it out next time you are in Blue Back Square and in the mood for pizza or a quick lunch.

Review of “Funny You Should Ask…” The Kafka Project


When the Kafka Project premiered last week at the Main Stage at Austin Arts Center, There were undoubtedly few theatergoers who knew what lay in store for them. To those who were familiar with Kafka, much of the play they had come to would feel familiar, at least. But Not one audience member left at the end of the night without a dazzled feeling given off by the arrival of something completely different.

Less of a play and more of a fever dream, “Kafka” was full of a strange energy. It seemed to avoid all notion of a discernable plot, though there are countless important threads that tie each vignette together. These scenes were not a part of a greater story, but each was shrouded in a gloomy fog and felt (aided by costumes and set pieces) as though it was hauled directly from the dread fueled and depressed streets of Germany in the earlier part of the twentieth century- the place that spawned so many of Kafka’s writings.

Like those writings, “The Kafka Project” was not fully comedic, and not fully dark. It walked the line between the two elements, A balancing act paralleled only by a few rather literal ones that take place during the performance.

Of the relatively large cast, there was a nearly universal competence. Each member was able to successfully jump back and forth between the brooding blankness of one character, and the almost aggressive comedy of another. It was required of each actor not only to prepare for their roles, but also to prepare for each role in a scene: this is because more than once, and with what must have been extreme difficulty, several members of the cast would actually rotate through the portrayal of a single character. It was not overly easy to follow who was who, but because this was far beside the point, It was pulled off with surgical precision by a very talented, probably exhausted cast.

“Kafka” was littered with concept scenes and multi-media work: Silent film played a pivotal role in the project, as did music and movement, and even a few moments of audience cooperation. The sheer physicality of the performance was powerful and memorable. One scene found members of the cast hurtling through the aisles: while it is a small wonder that no one was injured, the action and closeness of the performance was felt all the more intimately.

One of the more interesting qualities of the show was just how seamless it all seemed: If there were missteps or fudged lines, they almost always came off as correct dialogue: the strangeness of Kafka would allow for just about any catastrophe and the audience would take it for granted as a part of the high art in front of them, a notion that might make Kafka himself laugh.

And so, In the aftermath, It seems that there are two ways to appreciate the ethereal and unforgettable Kafka project. The first is as a triumph of expression: the resurrection of the ideas of a writer long dead, and a reinterpretation of his work for a new era. Or, there is the simple entertainment value of the thing. Something so strange as a woman singing sweeping arias while squatting inside the ribcage of a gigantic metal snail will leave an impression on anyone who sees it. It is never wrong to provoke thoughts for their own sake. Whatever its effect, the Kafka Project represents a high point in Trinity’s arts world that will be difficult to top for some time. Let us hope that it will open the artistic floodgates on campus, and mark the beginning of a stranger, better new era.

Album review: St. Germain returns with new sound


French DJ Ludovic Navarre, better known by his moniker St. Germain, just broke a fifteen-year silence with a self titled album. Millennials may recall the jazz-influenced electronic album “Tourist,” headlined by hit single “Rose Rouge.” Defined by catchy house beats and a seductive smoothness, “Tourist”’s tracks remained staples in clubs, restaurants, and house parties across Europe. Navarre’s huge success – topping billboards and winning the Victoires de la Musique, France’s equivalent of the Grammys – led to extensive touring worldwide and increasing popularity in the United States. St. Germain was, at the time, an innovative name in the electronic scene; Navarre’s work opened many new doors and gave rise to the exploration of further genre-crossovers such as electroswing. Mixing rich vocals from the likes of Marlena Shaw and live instrumentals including trumpet, saxophone, and flute, the components of classic jazz paired effortlessly with head-bobbing percussive loops.

Having achieved international acclaim, one might wonder why he so suddenly vanished. According to a recent interview from Music Times, Navarre was at a creative dead end – any attempt to piece together new material merely sounded like a continuation of “Tourist.” “I didn’t want to repeat myself,” he wrote. “The compositions were similar, the musicians were the same, so I decided that I really wanted to depart in a different direction.” His extended hiatus from touring and recording ended in 2006, when he traveled to West Africa to delve into the colorful history of Malian music. Over a period of six years, Navarre collaborated with drummers, vocalists, and guitarists in Mali, as well as musicians from the Malian community in Paris.

The result of those six years of full-time work is an aural masterpiece of storytelling. “St. Germain” consists of eight distinct yet cohesive tracks. Each song is a microcosm, with its own unique qualities, yet still reflecting the mood of the album in its entirety. Starting simply, Navarre delicately builds in his signature loops, growing gradually toward a multi-dimensional, captivating finish. The album features complex rhythmic textures; layers of patterned synths provide a background for riffs on the balafon and kora, traditional Malian wooden instruments.
One of the most enjoyable traits of “St. Germain” is its subtlety. The African flair, accentuated by warbling, passionate guitar improvisations, weaves in and out of the ambient atmosphere. No individual element ever becomes overwhelming – Navarre organically finds balance, avoiding heaviness or monotony that occasionally characterizes loops while also avoiding a cluttered, busy soundscape. This understated clarity allows recognition and appreciation of little intriguing moments; with every subsequent repetition, new details reveal themselves and enhance the whole listening experience.

The opening song, “Real Blues,” instantly engages with its vibrant framework of shakers, plucked strings, and raw vocalizations that fade in and out of focus. Lyrics are not necessary in expressing an emotional narrative, and in keeping with Malian style, the striking utterances flow very naturally throughout following tracks. “Voilà” showcases stunning vocal and guitar solos that soar against a steady backdrop of percussion. Alternating and often intertwining, the two melodies circle around each other and combine to create vivid tonal intricacies. “Hanky-Panky” and “Family Tree” return to jazz with ride cymbals, a fluttering alto sax, and piano interludes.
“St. Germain” is not an album for EDM enthusiasts in search of cheap thrills. Nor is it a thorough explication of West Africa’s ethnomusicology. Instead, it retains the sophistication of Navarre’s previous work and incorporates a kaleidoscopic range of new sounds, inviting audiences to listen again and again.

Cinestudio preview: Lily Tomlin in “Grandma”


Arriving soon to our wonderful Cinestudio comes “Grandma,” a recent dramatic comedy directed by Paul Weitz. Fresh off the screen of Sundance Film Festival in Utah, “Grandma” boasts the honor of not only being the closing picture of the widely celebrated and highly competitive cinema festival, but also the first that legend Lily Tomlin has starred in since 1988. Weitz, a fellow NESCAC grad, I won’t say which but it ends in—Esleyan, who many know from the classic comedy “American Pie” (1999), which he co-directed with his brother. More recently, he directed “Admission” (2013) with stars Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, which received fantastic reviews from critics and public alike for his new potential classic.

The film primarily regards the character Elle (Lily Tomlin), a post-menopausal lesbian poet viewed by the audience after she breaks up with her short- lived younger girlfriend, Olivia (Judy Greer). Elle, who is seen briefly reminiscing about her past as an unbridled flower child, is suddenly faced with a strange dilemma when her young, lackadaisical granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) walks through her door, pregnant and asking for a $630 abortion. Both Sage and Elle are practically broke—the former because her hyperactive mother confiscated her credit card, and the latter simply because made wind chimes out of hers. In classic film fashion, the two decide to embark on an epic road trip during which they stop first to accost the slacker father of Sage’s baby, played by a very much grown up Nat Wolff (whom many would recognize for the role of his youth on Nickelodeon’s Naked Brothers Band). Then, they visit a former lover of Elle’s when she lived a heterosexual life played by Sam Elliot and his thick, gravelly resonance. Finally, they muster enough courage to see Elle’s daughter/ Sage’s mother (Marcia Gay Harden) for whom they again ask for money but in turn get ridiculed aggressively by her fiery personality.

Naturally, with a character such as Elle, a template for “eccentric woman over the hump,” there is without a doubt a place for comedy. A resentment of the young generation, a misunderstanding of certain normalities of today, and an unrestrainable deadpan realism all pervade the personality that must be created for such a character. And anyone who watched “Laugh In” in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s would know that this challenging but ultimately hilarious embodiment is perfectly suited for the amazing Lily Tomlin. With a career that extends far and wide—from an off broadway beginning to winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Nashville to even voicing “Mrs. Frizzle” in the TV Series “The Magic Schoolbus,” the comedian and actor is truly versatile. Considered by the San Francisco Chronicle to be “one of our best comedic actresses for the past 50 years,” Lily Tomlin has consistently made people die of laughter, starting early with her unforgettable characters Edith Ann (a naively philosophical 5 and a half year old), Ernestine (a relentlessly condescending telephone operator), and recently adding “Elle” to her grand collection.

Within this atmosphere of an extremely awkward and trying experience, Tomlin actually makes us laugh at the absurdity of life and turn the subject into dark comedy. There is something unique about the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. They possess the wisdom of one’s parents to an even greater extent, yet because of some benign disconnect of two generations and a generally more lenient attitude, we find it easier to confide in them and gain a friendship strengthened by family. Through the conflict in this bond that is found in the movie, one can understand that it is not necessarily about aging but about how much we can learn about ourselves at any age. “Grandma” may be one of the best film manifestations of this idea.

Grossing a whopping $6.8 million in the box office with a meager $600,000 budget, “Grandma” is certainly making a name for itself with the public already. Huge names in the media including New York Times, Time Magazine, and The New York Post all give the film extremely positive ratings. Not to mention a rare 92% on esteemed review site Rotten Tomatoes—”Grandma” has indefinitely achieved something The Wrap calls “without a doubt one of the year’s best films.” “Grandma” will be playing at Cinestudio Nov. 12-14.

Poetry Corner: Hannah Ho ’19



I. Cantabile
In the dusky light
dust-motes dance.
Hints of gold glint in your eyelashes-
I am drawn to them as a moth to flame.
Breath whispers on the surface of my skin.
Fingers brush feathery patterns on my
shoulder blade and the soft
curve where hip meets thigh.

II. Adagio
You heard the whisper
of falling
mist and smiled
at its soft melody,
You traced the path of
the moon across the
night, brimming with glow,
each kiss tasting of
cool starlight.
III. Pianissimo
I stare unseeing at the hazy
glints of light reflected
on the surface of my tea,
and imagine for a
that they are fireflies drifting
through a summer night.

IV. Più mosso
The bone-white birches stretch
their limbs in the bitter breeze –
in the ancient swollen hills,
veins of the earth—
where the sky bleeds into the horizon.

V. Doloroso
Stand, defeated
in the rain
the broken curve of your back
a graceless threnody
And I, as sad as a willow tree without any leaves


Cry until the ivory cracks under your fingers.
Blood and salt swirl amid tautened strings,
the felt hammers, coating, burning,
black gloss melting in the heat.
Resin dripping onto bare toes
still working the pedals in somnolent patterns:
drip. drip.
Strings make a new sound as they snap,
a sort of desperate twang,
a dying gasp.
You play even when the keys are gone,
Your arms splashed with grey milk.
You play until there is nothing left,
resin hardened into a shell, shattered.

Chapel Organ Recital


For many, the organ is an awe-inspiring instrument, separated from all others by its scope and gravitas. Few pursue the organ with such fearlessness as Isabella Demers does. Presently, Demers serves as Organ Professor and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University in Texas. Known for her desire to tackle the most difficult pieces with a fierce tenacity, she has received rave reviews for her concert performances in the past.

This Friday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 P.M. in the Chapel, Demers with will put on a free recital including works from great composers like Bach and Reger, as well as excerpts from the Harry Potter Suite. Known as a dynamic and engaging organist, her programs include an eclectic mix of old masters and modern themes. Demers’ has traveled throughout the country and around the world, sharing her gift with dazzled audiences.

Throughout the year, the Chapel will host several accomplished organists as part of an annual organ recital series. The Trinity organ is one of the largest in the Northeast, with nearly 6,000 pipes. Organ lessons are provided for those interested by College Organist John Rose. ​

The Mill presents Charly Bliss and Trinity’s KST



Amidst the commotion of midterms, it is important for students to unwind and take a break from their rigorous workloads. The Mill, at 79 Vernon Street, is known for providing a stress-free place to kick back and relax on the weekends. This weekend in particular, the Mill is hosting a New York City band named Charly Bliss along with Trinity’s own new band, KST.

KST, a generally upbeat rock-and-roll band, formed over the summer while the band members were working around the Hartford area. They had a good amount of free time, which naturally led to the band getting together and producing music. KST consists of Henry Minot ’17, on bass and vocals, Ted Ballenger ’17, on guitar and vocals, Zac Garber ’16, on guitar and vocals, and Alex Rusbarsky ’18, on drums and vocals.

Rusbarsky described the band as generating “cosmic sounds,” while Garber said they produce “mellow jams.” At the Mill on Saturday, Nov. 7th, from 10pm-12:30am, you can find KST opening for the New York University band Charly Bliss. Charly Bliss has a strong female vocalist with and categorizes themselves under the “bubblegrunge” genre. At the concert, KST will be performing half cover songs—which will be upbeat and catchy— and half original songs, which the members believe have a “chill” sound. When asked about their audience, Minot said that their sound will likely attract the youth. Minot notes that he “does not tell elderly they cannot listen, but will not encourage them to listen.”

The members of the band all have different musical influences, such as Twin Peaks, Kurt Vile, Mac De Marco, Primus, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Wilco, and the Grateful Dead, and The Strokes. Along with their favorite inspiring musicians, there is also inspiration behind the name of the band. KST comes from Julius Caesar’s final words to Marcus Brutus: “Kai Su Teknon.” KST can be found on Facebook under the name “KST,” which will also be linked to the Facebook event for Saturday night at the Mill.

This will be KST’s first time performing live, and it will take place indoors on the stage of the Mill—a place that the band members are very familiar with. KST wants people to come out, have a good time, sing along, and make decent decisions on a Saturday night. The band is also in the process of booking gigs around local bars, including the Tap, so look out for them! They will be dropping a mix tape fairly soon, and it is said to be fire.

“Funny You Should Ask…” Kafka Project debuts



When something is called Kafkaesque, it usually means that the thing being described is unusual and unknowable. Bizarre and convoluted. But most of all, the word is a reference to the works of Franz Kafka- an altogether more specific and more meaningful etymology. Kafka lived a psychologically driven life gilded by the strange words of his writings.

A German writer-philosopher who rose to prominence in the early twentieth century, Kafka wrote novels and short stories that were packed full of obscure but powerful quotes. He also wrote mantras about the slapdash nature of existence, and the sense of lostness and alienation that plagued him through all of his days.

Kafka’s words and influence are many and influential. Take this gem for instance: “Self-control is something for which I do not strive. Self-control means wanting to be effective at some random point in the infinite radiations of my spiritual existence.” In other words, this was a man who did not work very hard to fit in.

It is a difficult task for any person to try to match Kafka at his work, but Michael Preston, professor of Theater and Dance, has been hard at work with his wife, Barbara Kauger, in an effort to do just that. Preston is the director of ‘“Funny You Should Ask” The Kafka Project’, which runs from Nov. 5-7 at Austin Arts Center.

The two theater scholars chose this particular piece of experimental theater after many months researching the influential writer. When asked about the significance of this play when compared to any other option, Preston responded intricately: “I try and choose pieces that both interest me but that I also feel are relevant to students. My wife and I have been researching Kafka and our interest in how his work is full of humor and I believe that his particular mixture of humor and tragedy speaks to a college population and taps into the absurdism prevalent in our lives.”

The idea of this kind of absurdism in the format of a theatrical production begs many additional questions; Kafka’s work is known after all for being strange and surreal: exactly how could this play be formatted in such a way that it will translate the warped and comedic works of Kafka to the stage?

Preston responsed, explaining, “it is a play seen through a fun house mirror. It uses text from Kafka’s writing, in particular his short stories and mixes in classic vaudeville routines and silent film scenes. These are there because he was interested in both theater and silent film and wanted his writings to affect people as strongly as these other forms did.”

Trinity’s theater program has rarely attempted to tackle a more complex piece of theater than this. The “Kafka Project” was created by Preston and his students, and hopes to invoke and arrange the writings and concepts of Kafka in a way that might reach and affect the audiences who will see it performed.

“It’s not a traditional play,” says Preston of the end result of his work. “But, I hope that it will be both accessible and enjoyable. It is trying to unearth some deeper truths about death, schooling, love and life, but uses humor to do it.”

The Kafka Project uses many methods to communicate its themes —even ghosts play a role from time to time. With everything in place and waiting for the curtain to rise at Austin Arts this week, the stage is set for Kafka’s own spirit to make an appearance in one way or another. Here’s hoping.

Cinestudio preview: 75th anniversary of Fantasia



Early next week Cinestudio will be showing the “75th Anniversary Celebration of Fantasia,” in honor of Walt Disney’s beloved classic. “Fantasia” was initially released in 1940, as an experimental motion picture combining classical music and animation. The goal of the movie was to bring attention to classical music and was intended to be an ongoing project. The film was slow to catch on, but soon it gained the attention of the public. Since then, it has received positive reviews and has become a Walt Disney classic. With the help of conductor Leopold Stokowski, Disney was able to create a masterpiece that is still being celebrated today.

The original film, which was released in 1940, contains eight short segments; each distinct and separate from one another. Each segment features a classical piece, accompanied by Disney’s animation. Some of the most popular pieces include Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite,” which encompasses a series of animated dance across all four seasons. Also, Amilcare Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours,” includes a humorous ballet starring four different types of animals. However, the most famous segment of “Fantasia” is Paul Dukas’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” in which Mickey Mouse is characterized as a magician’s apprentice, who finds his way into trouble, upon trying on a wizard’s hat. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment is unquestionably the most popular since it was the only portion to be make a reappearance in the film’s sequel, “Fantasia 2000”.

“Fantasia 2000” was released in 1999, and was a sequel to the 1940 version. The new film continued the same ideas, featuring new songs and animations. This movie also consists of various different segments, ranging greatly in content, yet still set to classical music. One of the segments is set in New York City during the 1930s. Another features humpback whales. “Fantasia 2000” also has a segment set to Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” which is widely only associated with graduation. All eight pieces are visually and audibly fascinating. “Fantasia 2000” also had the thrill of being the first animated IMAX film.

The film was widely appreciated and enjoyed upon its initial debut in 1940. A 1940 New York Times article states, “audiences for the first time in their lives will be ‘seeing’ music and ‘hearing’ pictures.” This description is so accurate since Disney was able to carefully construct his animations to fall in perfectly in tune with the classical music backdrop.
In addition, “Fantasia” features one of the world’s most cherished animated characters, Mickey Mouse, in a new lens. Mickey was traditionally seen in the animated short film, “Steamboat Willie”, and his new role in “Fantasia” added an element of magic to his character. Mickey is still marketed today in the Disney parks with the same sorcerer’s garments he is seen wearing in the 1940 film, and can be seen in the popular attraction “Fantasmic!” in both Disney Land and Disney World.

It is no surprise that the “75th Anniversary Celebration” film will be playing in many cinemas across the country, due to its admiration across generations. Trinity College’s Cinestudio will be playing this film from Sunday Nov. 8th until Tuesday Nov. 10th.

Drake and Future Produce “What a Time to be Alive”



“What a Time to Be Alive,” the collaborative mixtape created by the Canadian rapper Drake and Atlanta trap star Future is what its title seems to suggest – an homage to the massive fame and fortune both artists have acquired in the past year. While this shameless ego stroking is relatively typical to the hip hop scene as of recently (think Drake’s “We Made It”) this mixtape serves to contrast Future’s undoubtedly grittier trap roots with Drake’s glamorized, almost Hollywood image. In summary, the album gives the two an opportunity to loudly proclaim their obscene wealth and lavish lifestyles on thumping beats that are designed to get club-goers dancing.

One such proclamation of Drake and Future’s recent, meteoric success is “Big Rings,” a shout-out track in which Drake, all swagger, exhorts to listeners “And I got a really big team/ And they need some really big rings/ They need some really nice things/ Better be comin’ with no strings.” Drake’s OVO crew, which features another successful Atlanta rapper, ILoveMakonnen, is effectively taking a victory lap following Meek Mill’s crushing defeat after his much publicized feud with Drake this summer (see Drake’s “Back to Back.”) Future, however, paints a vastly different picture of wealth compared to Drake’s very much manufactured image of luxury that derives from the artist’s comfortable upbringing. Whereas Drake’s OVO crew is one that boasts a hyper-glamorized reputation, Future asserts, “I’m an official trapper.” Future is an individual accustomed to the hard, dangerous, yet lucrative reputation that characterizes the Atlanta trap scene. Both artists vehemently claim allegiance to their crews for helping them become the artists they are today. Brash and unapologetic “Big Rings” gives Drake and Future the shout-out to their friends and they’re enviable lifestyles.

Other songs on the album stand out as similarly ego-driven elegies to each artist’s respective fame and fortune. Track’s like “Live from the Gutter,” “Scholarships” and “I’m the Plug” provide a characteristic perspective to the album with its simplified production and hypnotic bass often seen in Future’s club bangers. These songs are not what one would normally expect from Drake, an artist who often spares no expense in producing and marketing his songs /brand. This is a positive outcome of Drake’s collaboration with Future. While Drake does not pretend to share the same upbringing as Future, his over the top, ego-inflation meshes well with Future’s equally unabashed proclamations of his trap lifestyle, embodied by fierce allegiance to his crew and strong dislike for lawful authorities. The contrast of Drake and Future’s lifestyle and upbringings gives an interesting look into the current rap game where perceived reputations of “toughness” are increasingly ignored in the pursuit of fame and fortune.

“Diamonds Dancing” and “Jumpman” are the kind of tracks one might more easily recognize on a Drake album, due to their heavy production and clear marketing strategy —the case of “Jumpman,” a homage to the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Michael Jeffrey Jordan. This leads me to my final point. While the album contains a few good tracks, among my favorites “Live from the Gutter” and “Diamonds Dancing,” there are none that I can describe as certifiable “hits,” a la Drake’s “Hotline Bling” or Future’s “Where Ya At.” In fact, had it not been for the fact that the collaborating artists released “What a Time to Be Alive” completely unannounced it’s unlikely the mixtape would have received the amount of press that it did. Nonetheless, Drake and Future released the album to its unsuspecting fans almost as if to casually say, “Oh yeah, here’s another album. No big deal.” Such is the nature of hip-hop today. While “What a Time to be Alive” is not an all-time classic like the Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” or Jay-Z’s “Watch the Throne,” it holds its own as a creative work in an industry that is increasingly defined by over the top “mic-drops” and colorful self-proclamations.

Red Chador ignites discussion around Trinity Campus



Fear is a powerful force in our lives, whomever we are. Seeping dread and confusion are constants in the minds of some, and nothing makes people more frightened than those things that they do not understand. What defines us is not what we are afraid of so much as how we respond to fear. Are we forced reflexively to look away? Or do we conquer these fears- face them head on and learn from the things about which we had been ignorant?

A good number of us learned that about ourselves last Wednesday, with the appearance of an unusual sight on campus. If you saw her, you did not forget her: A woman draped in shocking red from head to toe. She is the Red Chador: a vision of otherness devised by one of Trinity’s staff.

Walking slowly, sometimes stopping in archways, corners, even reportedly entering classrooms at times, the Chador made a long and slow journey across campus. Hundreds of students and staff passed her by, many of them vigorously avoiding eye contact, many of them nodding respectfully, and a few laughing unabashedly at the mysterious vision. The Red Chador even took a walk through Mather hall at around 12:30, peak lunchtime. The crowds seemed to part and swirl around her, raising eyebrows, and a small amount of alarm among the throngs. In what is often called the athletic section of the dining hall, the Chador was invited tremulously to have a seat and stay awhile. Always silent, the woman in red nodded and smiled darkly along with the conversation of the students, rising to leave maybe three minutes later.

Social media was flooded in minutes with images and short videos of the Chador, but few knew who or what she was. This mystery is of course a part of the art itself: The unknown needs to be shrouded in obscurity- it needs to be, well, unknown.

Anida Yoeu Ali is a visiting Assistant Professor in International Studies: a performance artist and self described “global agitator” who makes it her business to probe the minds of those who see her pieces. In the past she has made headlines by donning elaborate costumes and visiting locations all over the world in order to create her art. One exhibition followed the exploits of “The Buddhist Bug”, a hundred foot long creature created by Ali, which appears in photographs across Cambodia: from Angkorian temples to local schools and streets. Others see her dressed all in white and pushing a baby in a stroller through distant cities: this is the “White Mother”. Professor Ali is a Cambodian American, and her work often stems from a Cambodian context, and from notions of societal place and status in the worlds of religion, nationality, and everyday life.
The Chador was not alone, however. The entourage of photographers that circled the Chador from a distance were seeking to capture the art that will be on view at Austin Arts Center from November 4th to December 14th. After all, the Chador is an art piece- first comes the performance and then comes the photograph.

It would seem that the Red Chador herself, then, represents more than just a strange sight on campus. It is likely important information that a “Chador” is a full length religious gown worn most often by Muslim women. It is not unlike a burka, and the gown worn by the Red Chador herself is sequined and crimson, with a train that hisses dramatically over the ground. The image is both mystically charged and jarring, and instantly conjures images of faraway places and the exotic. It seems likely that raising questions about religious acceptance is a part of this work, and the common places and halls of Trinity seems above all an important place to examine this.

That said, some students expressed conflicting thoughts about the appearance. Diana Chandler, ’18 said that the Red Chador was probably trying to make a very interesting statement, and that “It’s in your face. You cannot ignore it…I think it’s very effective, but it depends on what your cause is. Her message was not entirely clear. With that said, If I had had the chance to speak to her, I think it would have been more clear…If she has a reason and a cause, then you can spread the message that way.” Winston Brewer, ’18 seemed most eager to learn what the piece is intended to say about Trinity as a whole. “When I first saw her I was wondering what was going on, then someone told me it was a political statement about our reactions to other cultures …I think she was trying to prove that Trinity students would have a bad reaction to her.” Brewer says that he felt most as though he was being called out: “I felt like I was being judged.”

Political statement or not, the Red Chador got some kind of rise out of just about everyone who encountered her. But therein lies the art: It seems most likely that the Chador is, in her essence, intended to make some defensive, and some curious and interested. Most of all, it is to be thought provoking. And so, now that the Chador has come and gone (presumably), Trinity is left to its thoughts. Those who spotted her, spoke to her, or avoided her are asked why they did so: as the subtitle of the exhibition asks, “What is it you fear?”

Bantam artist of the week: Rapper “Spike” (Justin Martin ’19)



Justin Martin ’19, otherwise known as Spike, gives off a unique aura to those around him. Hailing originally from the wooded Pascoag, Rhode Island, he began to write rock music early as a means of journaling and expressing the ideas that constantly floated around his mind. Three to four concept albums, Martin notes casually. “Nobody who knew me would ever believe that I rapped” says Martin, “but once they heard me, they would say ‘oh, that makes sense now.’” As an extremely introspective young man, Martin finds most of his expression and creative passion though his raps and even has created some recent Internet fame under the name “Martin the Dragon.” Martin initially copied a lot of what he heard on Odd Future and Eminem records, gradually creating what listeners can now see as a well-influenced but distinctive flow. With a poetic vocabulary and subtly cerebral bars, Martin portrays a bare-bones realism that is seldom seen in popular rap today. By shamelessly addressing bleak realities and bringing the depths of the human psyche to the forefront, Martin is easily compared to the urban poet Earl Sweatshirt. He admits and laughs that he takes so much of his style from Earl but still retains a distinctive voice through “a blunted omnipresent lyrical force” as he calls it, “simultaneously remaining present and personal.” Soon his lyrical talent became a way for Martin to show off to his “hip-hophead” friends who were not as successful when rapping.

The northern Rhode Island house in which Martin grew up, filled with old furniture and dusty signs of age, slowly became a church-like retreat for the boy. Sitting weekly, alone in this “unsettling” shelter, Martin was forced to think and be solitary except for the occasional interaction with his father. His album named “1676,” which was based off of his family hardships and time spent in that house “symbolized the weird aspects of life that ask to be portrayed.” Martin evokes a stirring image of an old wooden house in the woods—a strange temple of creativity that fed the young rapper with a wealth of inspiration and cynicism.

Martin does not believe that there is one specific way that he presents his art of the rhythmic word to his audience. Since many of his listeners find him through the Internet, it is difficult to display Martin’s music in a certain way. However, he tries to be honest and not to come off as “pushy” to the listener. Music is ever-evolving and his goals are extremely variable. This is why Martin dislikes but appreciates his older work as a landmark of where he once was.

“If there is one thing that I attempt to do with my music, it is to connect people with the ideas that are not commonly connected to through modern rap” explains Martin insightfully. Martin aims “to subvert what is popular and just depict a white kid trying to be a white kid.” In just one sentence, anyone can get a glimpse of his active mind and learn where this artist delivers such conceptual verse from. He captures a sound in his piano and digital drum-heavy beats that conjures a familiar innateness—one with a contemplative, yet frantic tone. On a day to day basis, creative stimulation comes to Martin in an agitated, commanding manner that requires “a frenzy of intention,” as he calls it. This encounter is vital to all moments of creation. Understanding the encounter and concentrating on it allows the artist to fully milk the situation for all its worth until the light dims and inspiration dwindles away. “It feels like a mass building up inside you,” says Martin “and you just need to barf it up.”

Here at Trinity, Martin has remained primarily where he finds comfort, continuing to write regularly and actively learning through experience. The Mill, though, is a place on campus where one could find the allusive rapper where he pursues his musical abilities on guitar and offers his talent to the Trinity Hip-Hop Collective. Currently, he is in an intensive poetry seminar, but in future semesters he plans to pursue more music theory and recording arts. Martin tells me that he also would love to begin working on a psychedelic concept album and thoroughly analyze what truly makes up a concept album.

“To create something that tells a story but also projects discovery on the listener” is an idea that he would love to bring to fruition soon. Channeling the mood and raw emotion of Thom Yorke, yet “in the vein of The Dirty Projectors,” Martin hopes that this sound will likely come. His abstract idea of what he wants his product to be is inspiring to any who listens to him. His passion for simply doing what he is commanded to do produces something that listeners can bob their body to but also contemplate and question. Surely you will hear more of Martin as time goes on and his music can be found at and

This Week’s Cinestudio preview: Straight Outta Compton



Andre Young is lying on the floor of his bedroom. The year is 1986, and the young man is listening to a plucky R&B tune on his headphones. Sunlight streams through the window of the messy room. To the viewer, this scene implies safety, calmness, and happiness. But outside this bubble of music lies Compton—a wasteland of crime and violence where any glimmer of hope is immediately hushed by the sound of distant gunshots, sometimes not so distant.

This is the world of our next big Cinestudio movie, “Straight Outta Compton.” The movie, which premiered to general audiences last summer, is a cross-section of a time when the rap music scene was just beginning to see its own potential. Speaking artistically, LA seems to have been going through a Rap Renaissance in the late 80’s. At its heart was a circle of artists that would grow to huge proportions over the decades to come.

But rap as we know it had a rough road to travel—it was born from crime ridden neighborhoods and reflects the turmoil of its home. “Straight Outta Compton” takes us down this road in the company of a pivotal act from the era, N****z with Attitude (NWA). From their quick and very luck driven rise to their heartbreaking, violent fall, NWA began with that young man in the headphones, Andre Young, more commonly known by his rap name, Dr Dre. He and his friends have been marginally interested in making music for some time, but only when Dre actually assembles them do Ice Cube, Eazy E, MC Ren and DJ Yella (these last two hardly have any lines) finally break out of obscurity. Leaving Compton behind, the newly popular group goes on tour, racking up cash and stirring controversy. Rap had never been so open and honest about the horrors of the ghetto—their first albums were violent and crass, but only in an effort to capture the grime and grit of Compton.
Here waits the pivotal aspect of the movie—these men are young and impressionable, as much as they’d like to say otherwise. They are all on the threshold of a new world of art and enterprise, but behind them lies only Compton, crime and the violence they write their lyrics about. The effort to fully escape the broken home they all share tears them apart, and leaves us wondering if things could have been different. After all, many classify NWA as “Gangsta Rap”—the criminal element is essential to the music.

“Straight Outta Compton” gives a moving and engaging portrait of an undeniably important musical group. The five main characters succeed at being confrontational and fiery, but are also relatable and emotional beings, which is more than some directors would allow.

The movie works because it tries its hardest not to flinch or shy away from subjects that make NWA seem a little less than admirable. But while it boasts strong character work, “Compton” has a few rough edges and a few loose ends. Narrative problems abound but are easily forgiven because of spot-on acting from all five of the group’s musicians.

Whatever you may think of the album for which the movie was made, “Straight Outta Compton” was conceived with heart and genuine understanding for this specific place and time.
“Straight Outta Compton” plays at Cinestudio from Oct. 29 through Oct. 31.

Food Dudes: Tisane Euro Asian Café offers funky brunch



Tisane Euro Asian Café is the place to be for Sunday brunch. Squeezing through the door and towards the front desk putting my name in with the waiter was not an easy task. Once I gave the hostess my name, it was about a 15-minute wait for a table. Located on Farmington Avenue, the restaurant is about ten minutes from campus.

Tisane is another word for herbal tea, and the café is true to its name. It has a variety of herbal teas to choose from, as well as coffee.

When I visited, the restaurant was packed tightly with a diverse mix of people, from hipsters to more conservative types. The bar area was overflowing with people, many of whom were waiting for tables in the dining area. The restaurant was also relatively loud and the lights were dim. The walls were decorated with interesting art as well as a striking number of restaurant awards. There were easily 20 awards decorating the walls. One of the more recent ones I noticed was a “Best of Hartford 2014” plaque.

Tisane serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily and on Sunday, they also serve brunch. Lunch and dinner items include sandwiches, salads, noodles, burgers, and appetizers. Many of the dishes have are either Asian or have an Asian-fusion component, such as the barbeque chicken spring rolls.   

The brunch menu has all the classic favorites as well as many other creative options – take the ‘Texas Red Eye,” for example. This dish includes toast topped with caramelized onions, shaved steak, mushrooms, poached eggs, hot sauce and blue cheese fondue. Had I not eaten nearly three-quarters of a large pizza the night before, I probably would have ordered this item. It sounds like an amazing combination, but definitely too rich for my Sunday morning state. A more traditional item, “The Little Frenchman,” features a buttery croissant with eggs, smoky bacon, and cheese.

I ordered the “El Camino” which was a toasted tortilla served with three eggs cooked any style, refried black beans, pepper jack cheese, fresh avocado, salsa, and sour cream. The dish came with a side of home fries.

I also ordered a Bloody Mary to go with my meal, because from looking around the restaurant and the number of people drinking, it seemed like I had to give it a try. I definitely made the right decision. Made with herbed vodka, the Bloody Mary was nice and spicy, making it the perfect addition to my brunch.

There are several varieties of Bloody Mary at Tisane, including the original “proud Mary”, a chili Cajun spiced version called the “Ragin’ Cajun,” and a barbeque inspired “Bloody Texan.”  You can also order pitchers of Bloody Mary’s.

Also on the drink menu are many alcoholic tea combinations. Different teas are paired with appropriate liquors to make a drink. The “Earl & George” is earl grey tea with Bailey’s mint.

The El Camino meal itself was something in-between art and breakfast. The tortilla was laid out perfectly and spread with beans. The eggs were placed on top, with the fresh avocado, salsa, cheese, and sour cream used as the final touches. My eggs were over easy, just as I ordered them. Each component was delicious, and the fresh avocado was really what put the dish over the top. The home fries were delicious as well, although I was barely able to finish half of my serving, given the generous size of the portions.

My meal total came to about 17 dollars before tip, and that included my drink. I definitely did not leave hungry and at only six dollars, the Bloody Mary was by most standards a bargain.

My only complaint would be that it did take about 15 minutes to be seated and the wait could have been managed better. I normally have no issue waiting, but the staff needed to turn the vacated tables over faster. Empty tables would sit dirty with used dishes for up to ten minutes before someone would bus it and set it for the next party. The staff was inevitably extremely busy, but given that the line was nearly out the door, they could have been more attentive to getting people seated. Once seated, however, the service was extremely attentive and quick.

Overall, Tisane Euro Asian Café was a good find, and I will definitely head back to try the lunch and dinner options. Brunch is definitely one of their most popular attractions and for good reason. The menu is interesting, the drinks are good, and the atmosphere is unique. I definitely recommend checking out Tisane.

537 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105

Trinity’s Long Walk Societies presents endless benefits



The Long Walk Societies (LWS) were formed in 1992 as a way to show the College’s appreciation for leadership donations to Trinity College. The LWS bring together generations of donors and volunteers – veteran leaders and emerging leaders – to support virtually every aspect of academic and student life.

LWS members are civic-minded alumni and parents, engaged members of the community who give at the leadership level. Their unrestricted gifts are investments in an exceptional liberal arts education, and these members choose to prioritize Trinity College in their philanthropy. This past year, LWS members represented 83% of all giving to Trinity.

The benefits of LWS are endless. Members are recognized in Trinity’s Annual Report of Philanthropy and at LWS events. There are several events and receptions throughout the year on campus and regionally throughout the country. In addition, members can network with Trinity’s most active and generous donors, alumni, and volunteers.

Another opportunity for LWS members is to attend Industry Series events hosted by successful Trinity alumni. Last year, a Real Estate event was held. It was hosted and moderated by Mark Ravesloot ’79, P’11,’15, and a vice chairman in CBRE: Commercial Real Estate Services’ Manhattan Office. In addition, the panel featured Jon Estreich ’75, of Estreich & Company, Peter Duncan ’81, P’13,’14, of George Comfort & Sons, Inc., and Lisa Cadette Detwiler ’87, of Corcoran Group real estate. These alumni spoke about commercial and residential real estate climates in New York City. In addition, they offered their thoughts as well as responded tactfully to a question and answer session between audience and panel.

This year the LWS is looking to host Series events about the public relations and advertising industry, the fashion industry, and possibly the technology or film industry on the west coast. These events are all at no cost to LWS members.

There are many different society levels within the LWS, beginning at a gift of $2,000. However, a distinctive part of the LWS is the young members aspect. Trinity’s young alumni, through the 10th reunion, can become members with a gift of $100 multiplied by the number of years since graduation. In addition, these young alumni have the option of paying for their gift in monthly payments, rather than all at once. This allows the younger members of the Trinity community give back to their alma mater in a much more reasonable fashion.

This year, the Board of Trustees is challenging young alumni from the Classes of 2006 to 2015. Members of the board have pledged $200,000 to help fund the Young Alumni Scholarship Challenge Program. If 100 young alumni donate LWS level gifts by Nov. 17, there will be a scholarship named in honor of the LWS. As of Oct. 25, there have only been 20 out of 100 donations made.

The members of the LWS are individuals who are dedicated to supporting Trinity College, interested in building relationships and connections among its passionate parents and alumni, and dedicated to engaging and influencing the future of the institution.

The gifts from young members, parents, and older alumni towards the Long Walk Societies — no matter the amount — make a huge impact on the lives of current and future Bantams.

Trevor at the Bistro: Chef extraordinaire with a big heart



I sat down at the Bistro with a small cup of soup, listening to the music coming from a small boombox that rested on the counter. A man in a pink shirt danced in front of the stoves, his black apron tied loosely behind him. He was singing along to the blaring pop songs while he made my sandwich. When he turned around he beamed at me and told me to “have a great rest of my day.” This was my first impression of Trevor at the Bistro. I could tell he brightened everyone’s day with his joy and laughter. It prompted me to sit down with Trevor and learn about his life, both in and out of Trinity College.

Trevor grew up here in Hartford and truly loved it. He graduated in 1985 from Hartford Public High School, and  he remembers playing football on Trinity’s field during high school. When he was 16, he worked at Chuck’s Cellar as a dishwasher. As time went on, he moved up in the kitchen until he was the one running it. He ended up running Chuck’s kitchen for over six years. After that, he began working at different part-time jobs and then started working at the Bistro. Now, Trevor has been a part of Trinity’s family for 16 years, starting back in January of 2000. He told me about how different the Bistro was back then. When he first came to Trinity, the Bistro had tables and burners set up in the hallways. The lines ran through the hallway and out the door. Laughing at memories of the ridiculousness of it all,  he reflected on how long ago he began working at Trinity, joking that he is “waiting for the day when he remembers serving the parent of one of the freshmen.”

Trinity has become a home away from home for Trevor. He has grown up with his coworkers and has watched their kids grow up. His face lit up when he talked about his family of Trinity staff. He had a kind of glowing happiness about him that I could feel from across the table. “I just love coming to work,” he said. His favorite thing about Trinity, however, would have to be the students. He loves cracking jokes with the students that come by his station every day. “The students are so warm and I just want to let them relax and loosen up after their stressful day,” he explained. “I just want to be here and work for the students. For you guys.”

Most people may know Trevor as the guy at the Bistro who is always dancing and blasting music through his boombox. When I asked him about his favorite music, he told me there wasn’t a kind of music he didn’t like. He said he could listen to anything, but if he had to choose, R&B would have to be at the top of his list, explaining to me that R&B feels like storytelling. He always enjoys listening to the stories of love and life that R&B musicians sing about. However, Trevor also likes listening to pop music,  fondly remembering listening to 96.5 with his brother when he was younger.

Next to music, Trevor also loves making and eating good food. When he first started at the Bistro, he worked at the Infusion station and cooked steaks and pasta for the students. He told me how he “found his calling” making grilled sandwiches. Something about the process of creating makes them his favorite food to cook. He watches the Food Network as much as possible to get new ideas for sandwiches and to see what other chefs are creating. Right now, Trevor’s “special sandwich” is a steak, egg and bacon sandwich.

Outside of Trinity, Trevor is still a pretty busy and happy-go-lucky kind of guy. He loves to dance when he goes out with his girlfriend. They go out together to different restaurants, too, and try new foods and recipes. He also enjoys going out with his coworkers as much as possible after work. Equally as important to him are his sports teams: He often goes into New York City to see a Yankees game or a basketball game. His favorite football team is the Cowboys, and even hopes to move to Texas at some point in the future.

At the end of my interview with Trevor, I asked him what he would like the students to know about him. He smiled and said the thing that would make him happiest would be to get to know the students that come through the Bistro. He loves working for Trinity and loves all the kids. He wants students to joke with him, laugh with him, and invite him out with them. He enjoys talking to the students as they walk through and wants them to know that someone cares about them. He loves remembering everyone’s order. “It brings a smile to someone’s face when I already know what kind of sandwich they want, and that brings a smile to mine,” he said.

Trevor also wanted the students to know how things have changed at the Bistro. He told me how they used to have “Late Night at the Bistro” and how great of an experience that was. It was a time for him to bond with the students and for students to bond with each other. When the dining hours changed, they took away this late night dining option. Trevor said he misses that and hopes the students do too. He also misses the Bistro being open on weekends and serving food while people watch the various sports games on Saturdays. Trevor told me: “If the kids want things like that to happen again, they need to speak up — that is the only way things will change.” He is there working for us — for Trinity’s students — and wants everyone to know he always is looking out for them.

I felt honored to talk to this man who cares so much about his job and the people he serves. His boundless cheerfulness and love for Trinity’s students was simply amazing to see. Hearing about Trinity from his perspective was great. He is truly an inspiring person and someone everyone should get to know. Stop by the Bistro, say hi, take a break from your busy day to smile and joke with Trevor at the Bistro.

Men’s soccer falls to Middlebury in NESCAC quarterfinals



The Trinity Men’s soccer season ended on Saturday, Oct. 31, following a lopsided loss to the Middlebury Panthers in the NESCAC quarterfinals. The team finished the season with a record of 6-6-4 (3-5-2 NESCAC), but the season certainly did not lack excitement. In fact, it couldn’t have been a more exciting season, with an amazing eight games going to double overtime and another single overtime contest.

In the team’s final regular season match, they took on the Amherst Lord Jeffs, ranked second in the nation, and did not disappoint. Following the pattern of the entire 2015 campaign, the game fittingly went to double overtime, ultimately ending in a 1-1 tie. The result was especially impressive because it ended Amherst’s 14-game winning streak, and was the first time the Bantams beat or tied the Lord Jeffs since 1999.

Amherst took the lead in the 27th minute following a penalty kick goal from Greg Singer. The Bantams fought hard to get back into the match taking 13 shots for the game, but were down by one at the half.

In the second half, the Bantams continued to attack, when finally in the 62nd minute, Tobias Gimand ’17 netted the equalizer, assisted by captain Mark Perreault ’16 and Sam Millbury ’18. What ensued was a rollercoaster of emotions for both teams.

In the 65th minute, the Lord Jeffs netted what would have put them up 2-1 but were called for offside. Similarly, in the 76th minute Dan O’Neil ’17 shot the ball into the back of the Amherst net, but was flagged for offside.

The game went into two overtimes, and in the 107th minute Cody Savonen ’17 ripped a potential game-winning shot on goal that the Amherst keeper was able to save. That was the Bantams’ last scoring opportunity and the game ultimately ended in a tie. Goalkeeper Domenic Quade ’17 had a stellar performance, making 9 saves on the afternoon.

The great game against Amherst gave the Bantams a lot of confidence going into the NESCAC quarterfinals against Middlebury. Unfortunately, the Panthers were the wrong team to run into on Oct. 31. Despite playing a highly contested overtime match with Middlebury two weeks prior, the Bantams were quickly put in a hole after a 20th minute goal. The Panthers led 2-0 at halftime, and added 3 second half goals to defeat the Bantams 5-0.

The match was the final one for seniors Jack Vogel (captain), Mark Perreault, and Josh LeBlanc. The men’s team undoubtedly has a ton of promise for 2016, with the starting lineup graduating only one senior. Returning captain Gimand is sure to lead the charge with fellow juniors Savonen, Quade, and O’Neil, among others making a huge impact.

Women’s soccer goes on second half run on senior day



On Oct. 27, Women’s Soccer hosted the Amherst Lord Jeffs in their final regular season game of the year.  With a 10-4 record entering the match, Trinity had already secured a spot in the New England Small College Athletic Conference playoffs.  Still, the team entered the season with the mindset that they wanted to win every in-conference game, so emotions were running high.

In the past, Trinity has had success against Amherst, winning 1-0 and 2-1 in the 2013 season, and 1-0 again last year.  However, this year Amherst boasts a No. 19 national ranking, and it was clear that this year’s game would not be an easy win by any stretch.  This time the tables were turned, as the Lord Jeffs made up for their shortcomings against Trinity in the past years.

Amherst’s first goal did not take long to come, and in the eighth minute, the visitors were up 1-0 off a close shot from forward Andi Nicholson ’17 following a deflection off of a corner kick.  They continued the offensive pressure, getting consecutive shots on cage, making life difficult for Trinity keeper Monici DiFiori ’16.  Amherst’s second goal came in similar fashion just five minutes later after DiFiori punched away a corner, and Ashlyn Heller jumped on the loose ball and put it away to bring their lead to two.  Emily Hester made it 3-0 with just 10 minutes to go in the half, and just like that Trinity found themselves down three goals at halftime.

However, the offense just could not find their stride that day and Amherst doubled their lead in the second half, and put Trinity away 6-0.  Obviously, the loss is disappointing, but the girls had just four days to prepare for their playoff match against Bates and needed to have a short memory.

Once again Trinity had home field advantage, and thus a little bit of time to prepare for the afternoon game.  Bates struck first early off an impressive long distance shot trickling outside of the box from freshman Sarah Gutch, following a cleared corner kick.  This time, however, the lead stayed at one, and not for very long.  Laura Nee ’17 was able to work a cross into the middle, and found Caroline McKenna ’19 on the other end, who one-touched it into the side netting.  The team and their fans were electrified, and the cheers echoed off the walls of Seabury Hall.

In the 33rd minute of play it looked like Trinity was primed to take the lead, when the referee awarded a penalty shot after a sloppy challenge from a Bates defenseman in the box.  Nicole Stauffer ’17 situated the ball on the penalty dot, but her shot just missed high.  Thankfully, the miss would not prove to be haunting for Stauffer.

Just a few minutes later the Bantams were working the ball up the field once again, and as the team moved into the attacking third, it would be Nee grabbing her second assist of the game, this time finding the other first-year standout Taylor Kirchgessner ’19.  Nee finessed her way along the end line and played the ball to Kirchgessner for a go-ahead goal to give Trinity the lead.

The rest of the game was just as tense, though the team shifted their focus slightly to the defensive side of the ball to preserve their lead; doing everything they could to turn away the Bates offense.  Both teams continued to get shots off, but neither were able to convert any more of their chances.  The defense held out, and Trinity got the 2-1 win in regulation.   

The win is a huge testament to the women’s team’s mental toughness and teamwork to be able to come back after a 6-0 against Amherst and then hold their lead for over 30 minutes of play.  The win propels them to the NESCAC Final Four where they will meet Bowdoin for the second time this season.  Trinity beat Bowdoin 1-0 just a month ago.  The game will be played on neutral turf at Williams College this Saturday Nov. 7.    

Football sets up championship bout with Amherst



The Trinity College Football team pulled off an impressive comeback to beat Middlebury 26-14 during a frighteningly close Halloween game this past Saturday. The Bantams have now improved their undefeated record to 6-0, making them and Amherst the only undefeated teams left in the NESCAC. Meanwhile, Middlebury’s record drops to 4-2.

Both teams came out fighting in the first quarter, but neither was able to score early on. Panther quarterback Matt Milano drew first blood with a 35-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tanner Contois. The Bantam offense responded with a good drive down the field, but stalled in the red zone, settling for 3 points from Kyle Pulek ’16 on a 32-yard field goal to get Trinity on the board.

Despite the slow start, the Bantams were able to get the ball rolling offensively in the second quarter. Bantam punt returner and receiver Darrien Myers ’17 returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown giving Trinity a 10-7 lead. Andrew Meoli ’18, Nicholas Gaynor ’17, Sean Smerczynski ’19 and Jameson Law ’17 made huge blocks on the play to allow Myers to reach the sideline untouched. The Bantam defense followed through by holding off the Panthers for most of the quarter.

The Panthers eventually scored on an 8-yard pass to tight end Daniel Fulham, Myers’s had another big return on the ensuing kickoff to set up a 25-yard field goal. Defensive tackle Brandon Blaise ’18 blocked a Panthers field goal attempt holding Middlebury’s halftime lead to 13-14.

The third quarter started off with both sides stalling out. A series of punts and another missed Panthers field goal put the Bantams up on their own 20-yard line. Shortly after, though, Trinity quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’18 was intercepted in Bantam territory. While the Panthers made their way to the red zone after the pick, they were stopped on fourth and goal by a strong effort from the Trinity defense.

After a scoreless third quarter and a battle for field position for much of the fourth, defensive end Lyle Baker ’16 forced the Middlebury runningback to fumble in Panther territory with 6 minutes left in the contest. Running back Max Chipouras ’19 fumbled a couple plays after the Bantams took the ball back, but a crucial recovery by receiver Bryan Vieira ’18 allowed Chipouras to score on a 14-yard run on the next play, giving the Bantams a 19-14 lead after a failed 2-point conversion.

Middlebury got the ball back, but safety Spencer Donahue ’17 was able to pick off Milano and give the Trinity offense another go. The Middlebury defense forced a three and out, but was forced to spend all of its timeouts. Middlebury’s final effort to score was stopped when cornerback Archimede Jerome ’17 intercepted a pass at the 50-yard line and ran it back for a touchdown with just 1:17 left in the game. It was Jerome’s first career start for the Bantams, in which he recorded four tackles and the game-sealing pick-6.

Puzzo passed for 229 yards while Vieira led the team with 71 yards on three catches. Ian Dugger ’16 and Myers also performed well with a combined 118 receiving yard on seven catches. On defense, co-captain linebacker Frank Leyva ’16 led the team in tackles with 13, while linebacker Liam Kenneally ’18 had 11 tackles and two sacks, and safety Patrick Dorsey ’17 had 10 tackles. On special teams, Pulek kept the Panthers at bay with four punts inside Middlebury’s 10 yard line, six inside the 20, and two converted field goals. Myers had 215 yards from scrimmage.

This Saturday’s, Nov. 7, matchup with the Lord Jeffs is essentially the NESCAC championship game, as the winner will be the only undefeated team remaining in the league. Should the Bantams win, it would set a great stage for a huge homecoming match against rival Wesleyan on Nov. 14.

Volleyball drops two home matches to finish season



The Bantams had a rough weekend to close their season, dropping two home matches to Amherst and Williams. The season did not go as planned but the team fought hard throughout the year.

On the afternoon of Halloween, the Trinity Volleyball team played the Williams College Ephs at home in their last game of the season. The Bantams, who came into the came with an 8-14 record were not able to hold out against the Ephs and fell in all three sets, 21-25, 24-26, and 12-25.

As they have done all season, the Bantams got out to a quick start in the first set and battled back and forth with Williams into the latter half of the first. Rallies between the teams were long and tensely watched by parents and students in the crowd. Rachel Underwood ’19 served consistently throughout the match, which breathed life into the squad, and brought them back from the brink of defeat several times.

Veteran Kate Giddens ’16 was a big contributor, and recorded 10 massive kills in the game. But the Ephs matched the team’s effort for all three sets, and would not let them run away with the match. Every time Trinity would pull ahead, Williams would pull it right back, never allowing the point differential to get too far out of reach. Williams regrouped after a timeout late in the set and was able to capitalize on some of Trinity’s errors, and close out the first set 21-25.

Similarly, the Bantams found early success in the second set, pulling ahead to 5-0 lead, but Williams slowly chipped away at the lead, and gained back those lost points to keep the game close. Williams served well, but good defense from the Bantams kept the score neck-and-neck until Trinity surged ahead with five straight points from five different players. It appeared that Trinity might take the second game, but they just could not close it out, and Williams eventually stole the second set 24-26.

Downtrodden by the close loss in the previous set, Trinity was not able to muster their team morale to rally in the third.  Unlike the previous two games, Trinity got off to a slow start, and this time the Bantams were not able to pull themselves out of the hole they quickly dug. Williams made the most of Trinity’s slip-ups, and surged ahead to put the game out of reach. A late energy renewal saw the score get to 10-22, but the Ephs were able to close minutes later.  The final score of the final set was 12-25.

It was a heartbreaking loss for seniors Gina Buzzelli, Tori Larson, Katie Stueber, Hunter Drews, Kate Giddens, and Susannah Matthai in their last game in a Trinity uniform, but the six all had their own highlight moments during their time playing.  As coach Jen Bowman gave a pep talk after the game, it was clear that there is a lot of faith in the team’s returning roster. Looking forward, it will be exciting to see if the women can bounce back and hit the court hungry at the start of the 2016 season.

Trinity College students demands the word “and”



Isn’t it a great thing to ask for something and get it? This is the idea behind affirmative, or verbal, consent.

As it reads right now, Trinity College’s new interim sexual misconduct policy states, “Effective consent is informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon activity.”

Yes, there are plent of good things in this sentence.  We have come a long way from where we were.

The next sentence is even better: “It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement.”

But does anyone else see the problem with that first sentence? It’s only one word which has a group of students legitimately concerned for the future of our school: “Or.” “Words OR actions.” Why not “words AND actions?”

Trinity College, are you saying that someone does not have to verbally ask for consent? Are you trying to legally protect yourselves rather than students? Because, according to this one sentence, you don’t have to ask for something (namely, SEX) in order to get it. Goodbye, chivalry; goodbye, manners. I don’t feel safe, do you?

This one word gives future sexual assailants the ability to say in an adjudication hearing “Oh, I didn’t ask for consent. But they didn’t say no and I thought they were into it by their actions. I thought she wanted it.” Or, “I asked for consent and she said nothing, and I figured that since she had been into it up to that point she wanted to go further.”.

One of the first things students learn in Trinity’s bystander intervention training, or most other training and education on the subjects of sexual assault and consent is that people freeze, and frequently are not able to say “no”.

So, if you freeze and your partner doesn’t ask if this is what you want, they can infer your “consent” through your “actions” (and silence).

Some people need a reminder that our policy says: “A lack of verbal or physical resistance does not necessarily indicate consent.”This is misconduct; this is assault; this leads to rape. And under the interim, soon to be new, sexual misconduct policy, this is acceptable at Trinity College. And it is not going to be changed.

On Friday, two deans sat down in Laura Lockwood’s office to discuss changes to the policy with a very concerned group of women.

Several of the women, myself included, are on President Berger- Sweeney’s own Campaign for Community’s Rape and Sexual Misconduct Student Working group.

The hour and a half discussion was dominated by this debate of “or” versus “and.”

Despite this meeting, we were informed that the administrative group had no intention of changing the word from “or” to “and.”

This group of administrators (a group of no students and one acting attorney) refuses to act upon concerns of students and change a single word in a policy which would help protect every single sexually active person on the Trinity campus.

The argument we are up against is summed up as this: human interactions do not always involve words.

Perhaps, if we were not dealing with hormone-crazed, frequently alcohol-saturated college students, this would be a fair expectation.

Even still there are whole states in America that are adopting “yes means yes” and affirmative consent policies. The reasoning behind the change in these policies is simple: preventing sexual assault and misconduct.

Verbal consent is an essential, sadly very overlooked and neglected part of sexual relations. It is essential that Trinity writes into the sexual misconduct policy that verbal consent is a necessary part of consent in no uncertain terms by using “and” rather than “or.”

Many will ask, why such a fuss? It’s just one word: this policy is good in so many other ways.

At the end of the day, we are Trinity College. We are a step above the rest of the country and we should be setting a higher standard for ourselves, even in bed.

Instead, the message being sent is that the administrators do not get it, that they are not listening.

If Trinity really wants to make an effort to prevent sexual assault and misconduct, protect students (and faculty), and educate students about what consent really is, then all they have to do is change a single word. This isn’t just for the current and future victims of sexual assault on this campus.

This is for the first-year man who doesn’t know how to ask. This is for the senior woman who doesn’t know how to say no. This is so the men and women on our campus can have healthier, happier, and more consensual relations with each other.

If you want Trinity to require affirmative consent in the new misconduct policy by changing ‘or’ to ‘and,’ come to Campaign for Community’s TrinColl2Action on Saturday, November 7th in Vernon Social from 2pm-5pm and sign the “We Demand ‘And’” petition at the Rape and Sexual Misconduct student working group booth.

Why not “words AND actions”?

Trinity College, are you saying that someone does not have to verbally ask for our consent?

Are you trying to legally protect yourselves rather than students?

Because according to this one sentence, you don’t have to ask for something (namely, SEX) in order to get it.

Goodbye, chivalry; goodbye, manners. I don’t feel safe, do you?

This one word gives future sexual assailants the ability to say in an adjudication hearing “Oh, I didn’t ask for consent.

But they didn’t say no and I thought they were into it by their actions. I thought she wanted it.”

Or, “I asked for consent and she said nothing, and I figured that since she had been into it up to that point she wanted to go further.”

One of the first things students learn in Trinity’s bystander intervention training, or most other trainings and educations on the subjects of sexual assault and consent is that people freeze, and frequently are not able to say “no”.

So, if you freeze and your partner doesn’t ask if this is what you want, they may infer your ‘consent’ through your “actions” (and silence).

Some people may need reminder that our policy says: A lack of verbal or physical resistance does not necessarily indicate consent.

This is misconduct; this is assault; this leads to rape. And under the interim, soon to be new, sexual misconduct policy, this is acceptable at Trinity College. And it is not going to be changed.

On Friday, October 30th, two deans sat down in Laura Lockwood’s office to discuss changes to the policy to with a very concerned group of women.

Several of the women, myself included, are on President Burger- Sweeney’s own Campaign for Community’s Rape and Sexual Misconduct Student Working group.

The hour and a half discussion was dominated by this discussion over “or” versus “and”.

Despite this meeting, we were informed that the administrative group had no intention of changing the word from “or” to “and.”

This group of administrators (a group with no students and one acting attorney refuses to act upon concerns of students and change a single word in a policy which would help protect every single sexually active person on the Trinity campus.

The argument we are up against is summed up as this: human interactions do not always involve words.

Perhaps, if we were not dealing with hormone-crazed, frequently alcohol-saturated college students this would be a fair expectation.

Even still, there are whole states in America that are adopting “yes means yes” and affirmative consent policies.

The reasoning behind the change in these policies is simple: preventing sexual assault and misconduct.

Verbal consent is an essential, sadly very overlooked and neglected part of sexual relations.

It is essential that Trinity writes into the sexual misconduct policy that verbal consent is a necessary part of consent in no uncertain terms by using “and” rather than “or”.

Many will ask, why such a fuss? It’s just one word, this policy is good in so many other ways.

At the end of the day, we are Trinity College.

We are a step above the rest of the country and we should be setting a higher standard for ourselves, even in bed.

Instead, the message being sent is that the administrators do not get it, that they are not listening.

If Trinity really wants to make an effort to prevent sexual assault and misconduct, protect students (and faculty), and educate students on what consent really is, then all they have to do is change a single word.

This isn’t just for the current and future victims of sexual assault on this campus.

This is for the First-Year man who doesn’t know how to ask.

This is for the senior woman who doesn’t know how to say no.

This is so the men and women on our campus can have healthier, happier, and more consensual relations with each other.

If you want Trinity to require affirmative consent in the new misconduct policy by changing ‘or’ to ‘and’, come to Campaign for Community’s TrinColl2Action on Saturday, November 7th in Vernon Social from 2pm-5pm.

On behalf of Triniy’s entire student population, sign the “We Demand ‘And’” petition at the Rape and Sexual Misconduct student working group booth.

Yeezy and Lisi tackle both tampons and equality



Kanye West is a bold artist who is the epitome of self-expression. West is the subject of my senior American Studies thesis on the revision of the American Dream through social consciousness. The root of my argument is that the past 30 years have demonstrated a dramatic shift away from the traditional whitewashed material-driven aspirations of being able to support perfect family living in a white picket fence home in suburbia. Rather, the new dream is to be able to freely express and define oneself to the greatest capacity. West, despite being a controversial figure and often disregarded as a jocular celebrity, poises himself as a valuable figure in today’s society. Ultimately, I hope this column, Lisi and Yeezy, will offer a humorous account of me analyzing current pertinent issues. So, let’s talk about tampons.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what tampons have do with Kanye West. To be honest, they have no direct association with him whatsoever. But tampons are easily associated with the female body, which plays a large component in gender expression, an issue that arises within Kanye’s discography. UNICEF reports that 1 out of 10 African school girls fail to enroll, skips school, or drops out of school entirely because of a lack of menstrual products and inaccessibility to proper sanitation in their area. This disparaging dearth of sanitary products in the continent’s developing countries constructs a major barrier to providing education to females. On average, the incapability of managing one’s menstrual cycle contributes to consistent absences of four to five school days each month, which is often dubbed the “Week of Shame.” Missing such a large portion of the school year poises these students in a position that will hinder their opportunities for economic growth through future employment opportunities.

But the sanitary product industry isn’t just a problem in developing countries. The United Kingdom’s tampon tax is a prime example of fostering gender inequality. The UK’s Value-Added Tax system marks tampons as a “non-essential luxury item.” Although Great Britain is only one of the nations composing the UK, this demarcation caused such an uproar with Brits that 250,000 of them asked Parliament to eliminate the 5% luxury tax. Upon voting on October 26, 2015, the tax is still in place. It’s essential to note that women Members of Parliament compose only 29% of the 650 seats. I have a lot of bad blood-just a tad more than Taylor Swift-with this issue. First and foremost, there is nothing luxurious about a tampon. The majority of tampons aren’t constructed from quality materials. LOLA, a new tampon brand started by two recent Dartmouth graduates, constructs their tampons from 100% cotton with no additional additives. LOLA’s commitment to creating a body-friendly product is an anomaly within the famine hygiene care industry. After testing various brands, LOLA’s entrepreneurs Alex Friedman and Jordana Kier came to the conclusion that the average tampon is made with a blend of polyester, rayon, and some cotton in addition to synthetic preservatives, fragrances, or dyes. Hey Parliament, my vagina wants to tell you that shitty tampons aren’t luxurious, their invasive to my well-bing. So if I want to pay for tampons that won’t do my body harm, I’ll need to sell an arm and a leg for them. I don’t really see this as a large problem because: I’ll just amputate my leg-the fabric tampon is bleached with chemicals that can  cause a serious, widespread infection. Dudes, doesn’t this sound like a grand old time?

Looking at the prison system within our own country, we can see yet another case of tampon taboo. Many prisons and jail refuse to provide adequate feminine hygiene products to inmates. Last year, the ACLU of Michigan filed a lawsuit on behalf of eight female inmates whose accusations ranged from forcing inmates to share a minute amount of pads or tampons, which routinely leads to bleeding though clothing because one pad per person per menstrual cycle is the equivalent of being sent to hell, to not being able to wash soiled clothing. Walk across most college campuses, with the exception of institutions who are opposed to contraception, which is another issue within itself, and you’ll find free condoms everywhere. On our own campus, I can immediately think of the Health Center, WGRAC, events on campus, and even your RA providing them. But alas, not feminine products. Most of the bathroom dispensers where one can pay for one aren’t even filled on a regular basis. Now I’m not saying that I can’t pay for them on my own, I’m merely suggesting that it’s less taboo to ask for a condom than it is for something that will prevent me from having an “All Red Everything” party in my pants.

Menstruation shouldn’t be an oppressive thing. Every healthy woman without medical issues that prevent periods is subjugated to an already miserable time of the month. In response to Caiytlyn Jenner’s transistion, Kanye mused, “Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, and I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything.” Ladies, let’s listen to our inner Kanye and embrace our uterus’s decision to be heartless to us each month. We can be BAMFS (Bad Ass Menstruating Females). Most girls at this college will never have to face being in a prison or drop out of school because you don’t have a tampon, but bleeding in your pants because you don’t have a sanitary product is downright degrading. Women can’t live up to their full potential if a portion of their being is deemed as a degrading part of society. Because—in the spirit of Yeezy—“Man, this (gender inequality) is f-ing ridiculous.”

Fear of the First Amendment in higher education



An individual right, the First Amendment is one of the most favored and protected rights implemented in our Constitution. Valued and commonly referenced in many court cases, the First Amendment clearly has a major effect on how Americans go about their daily lives. More specifically, practicing our freedom of speech and expression is one of our most powerful rights as Americans. We have the ability to say whatever we want without fear of persecution. Our right to Free Speech is precisely what our forefathers felt would be pivotal in the prosperity of American governance. As an American, appreciating this precious right goes underappreciated when our nation continuously judges and shames certain aspects of American life.

On both ends of the political spectrum, college campuses frown upon certain uses of this individual right. Yes, we are allowed to say what we want to say and be who we want to be but that does not necessarily determine what we are saying and who we are being.

College campuses allow students to express themselves and say what they feel freely. However, this choice of freedom comes with consequences. With every action and every word said, there is no denying that, in our day and age, we constantly feel as though Big Brother is watching. In this case, it is not unusual for college students to feel pressured and cautious when freely speaking. Whether it’s writing a paper for a politically biased professor or trying to express a genuine opinion to a higher authority without being absolutely shut down, college students surely have a difficult time practicing their First Amendment rights.

Generally speaking, Americans are perpetually criticized for anything they may say that expresses any sort of biased opinion. In fact, this article itself could receive an immense amount of criticism either from higher authorities on campus or even from peers who simply disagree. Disagreeing is perfectly okay, receiving consequences is not. When writing a politically opinionated paper assigned by a politically biased professor, it is immensely difficult to accurately express your honest opinion without fear of being subtly penalized for that exact reason. A professor might not state the reason behind taking points off of your passionate opinion, but they will pretend that your “facts” are not “backed up,” and use that as an excuse to take points off, when the reality is that they simply disagree. Of course, there are plenty of unbiased professors who appreciate your honest opinion. However, this gets discredited when students are so accustomed to the penalization of biased professors.

In addition, with our generation becoming increasingly sensitive to a variety of topics going on in the world, it is also difficult for certain organizations or individuals to express their opinion of these matters.

With our politically correct culture on the rise, many students fear saying anything that could not only land them a bad reputation, but even a more serious consequence. If burning the American flag is considered legal and receives no consequential action under our First Amendment right, than why do college students receive the most fire when expressing their personal opinions? Or organizing a peaceful demonstration? Being opinionated makes it difficult to know how to argue my own personal point when I feel so compelled to argue a point that I truly do not believe in. Living in fear that my own opinion is what can actually harm me instead of further educate me is almost the opposite of what I was looking for when applying to college.

Having been penalized and disliked by a handful of teachers and professors throughout high school and college has made me fear my First Amendment Right. Even to my peers, when they disagree with what I say, I feel like a terrible person.

Hate crimes are one thing and entirely different from the point I am trying to prove. Our list of politically correct statements is becoming longer and more confusing to the point that writing this opinion article leaves me in fear that I might be attacked for simply expressing myself. Respecting another person’s opinion and allowing them to speak freely is exactly what our forefathers intended when drafting our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence.

Political bias aside, listening to other points of view and the reasoning behind them is exactly what helps college students grow and prosper as humans. It’s what allows us to separate from whatever bias we have at home. When a student is afraid to express their opinion because it might be considered politically incorrect or “wrong” in a higher authority’s eyes is exactly the issue we college students are facing.

What I believe in and what I think is right may not necessarily be what is best, but it is my opinion and I should be allowed to express this opinion without fearing a consequence.

Mets vs. Royals: the end of at least one classic baseball drought

The New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals are set to square off in the 111th World Series.  However, regardless of which team wins, the fact remains that at least one of the two long deprived Major League fan bases will once again get to enjoy the view from the top of the mountain.

It has been 30 years since the Royals last hoisted the World Series trophy, 29 for the Mets.  It seems as of late, however, that a pattern has been developing; teams that were once notorious for missing the playoffs and letting their fans down in other ways are now suddenly stealing the spot light.  Hell, the Chicago Cubs were just a few wins shy of appearing in their first Fall Classic since 1945, though this loss was much less heartbreaking for Chicago than the Steve Bartman incident of 2003

Not many predicted a Mets, Royals match up at the beginning of the season, yet here we are, nearly through October, with two teams that  I never thought about when baseball was a bigger deal in my life, battling it out for what would be a landmark championship for both.  Sure, the Royals did make it to the World Series a year ago, but the point is that those teams who have won in the past ten years have been made up largely by some of the usual suspects.  Since 2004, the Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Giants have both won three series, while the St. Louis Cardinals have won twice and the damn Yankees notched one of their 27 championships.   Nonetheless, both Mets and Royal’s fans alike have a lot on the line now.

I for one am no stranger to this sentiment.  Growing up in New England, I spent much of my youth surrounded by depressed and bitter Red Sox Fans.  I was taught early on how to observe the age-old tradition of being let down by the Red Sox.  Although I really did not suffer because I was just ten years old when they finally won again in 2004, but many close to me, like my grandfather, had spent their whole life waiting for a Red Sox title, being let down year after year.

So for the Mets and the Royals, there is more on the line than just a parade and ring ceremony. There are people to consider.  There are a lof of fans that go their entire lives without seeing a championship.  The Mets have a chance to give some love to those New Yorkers who have had to wait patiently while the Yankees soak up all the glory.  The Royals on the other hand, have the possibility of giving Kansas City a big championship that can only come from the city’s lone big-time professional team.

The two teams viying for the title could not be more different.  The Mets are charactarized by a stellar pitching rotation, highlighted by stars like Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard.  The Royals are a small ball team, that relies on base hits and stolen bases, as well as a talented and deep bullpen.  The takeaway however, is that regardless of whether the party ends in Kansas City or New York, one group of fans will get a long overdue taste of baseball greatness.


Where is the line between constructive criticism and personal attack?

As I sit here reflecting on what to write for an interesting but still meaningful editorial, I cannot help but think about the responses and reactions, often negative, to what the Tripod staff and I put into print. Criticism is expected when one is responsible for a publication that publishes articles about almost any topic. There has been plenty of backlash so far, and I am positive that there will continue to be, and I am prepared for that.

But when did the line between receiving negative or opposing responses and being personally attacked become so smudged? It is one thing to give feedback or reply to an article, often with a very different position or belief. After all, that is the purpose of “Letters to the Editor.” It is another thing to confront an individual based upon their article or work and question their beliefs and criticize them on a personal level.

Since I accepted my position within the Tripod, it has seemed that people like to go in the direction of the latter. It is much easier to attack someone and tear them down as a person if you disagree with something they have written than to construct an educational and productive response. However, when people choose to handle these things in the nonconstructive manner, much greater damage is done.

I am the first person to get into a heated argument about a current event or controversial topic. I thoroughly enjoy when someone disagrees with my opinion and truly makes me think about something from an entirely new perspective. But the moment that discussion takes a personal turn, my guard goes up. I do not take lightly to people questioning my morals, my integrity, and my work ethic. Like we are always told, there is more to a person than what is seen on the surface. People are constantly going through their own struggles and trying to succeed in all that they do without the need to be criticized and torn down.

As Editor-In-Chief, it is irrelevant how I identify politically, what my family’s income is, how I was raised, my religious beliefs, or anything else of this nature. Other than through my editorials, I am very cautious to keep those personal aspects of my life separate from what the Tripod Staff puts into print. If there is an issue or concern about the newspaper itself and what is published, I am more than happy to address it. I ask people to never hesitate to contact me. But if someone would like to attack me as an individual, I do not want to hear it.

And, for the record, I will never “come to someone’s room on a Saturday night to learn how to properly run an organization and check for typos.” I am not, nor ever will I be perfect, but I feel that I am doing an okay job.


Trinair is an obstacle to student success on campus



Coming from a developing country, the quality of my Internet connection is something I am always concerned about.

I had big expectations for everything Trinity College had to offer, from professors, to food, to parties, and as trivial as it may sound, I had big expectations for Trinity’s technology, especially its Wi-Fi. When I first arrived in 2013, the now infamous Trinair was adequate; definitely better than the Wi-Fi that I had back home in Mumbai, India.

However, an outstanding problem with Trinair is that the connection always seems to be broken. This problem can be fixed by reconnecting to the Wi-Fi network no less than a few frustrating times. However, with the cost of attending Trinity College rising each year, I truly believe that these problems should not be occurring at all. As undergraduates, we have a lot of deadlines to uphold, and frankly a lot of us leave things for the last minute. A broken Wi-Fi connection when trying to submit a paper is something that cannot be used as an excuse, yet it can be the true reason for the late paper submission!

Social media apps, namely Yik Yak, thrive on Trinity’s campus and play a strong role in eliciting students’ feelings about Trinair. Most days, you can’t go on Yik Yak without seeing some negative comment about the Wi-Fi.

Our administration has been active on the app and is aware of some of the more hostile “yaks” about the social atmosphere but seems to not bat an eye when it comes to trying to improve connectivity on campus. From my own experience, no matter where I am on campus, the Wi-Fi disconnects from my laptop at least 3 times when I attempt to connect to Trinair. It takes over five minutes from when I select the network until I can use it, which is just enough time to submit a late paper.

Amanda Lundergan ’17, Arts and Entertainment Editor, described an issue she had very recently with Trinair. “Last week I was writing a paper, and made sure to finish early… I was excited to submit to Moodle ahead of time. But lo and behold, Trinair went down and stayed down for the rest of the night, and my essay was late.” This is something that I and nearly all other students have experienced far too often.

Lundergan noted that this was not the only problem she’s had with the Wi-Fi on campus. She explained, “Also, since I travel to New York every week, I was struggling with lugging my big, heavy laptop around with me. I went out to Best Buy and bought a brand new, lightweight, compact Chromebook. I was having trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi. After visiting the IT Desk in the library, I was told that Chromebooks just simply do not connect to Trinair, and I would have to constantly use an Ethernet cord wherever I use my laptop. Not only would this be an extreme inconvenience, but also my Chromebook does not have a port that would attach to an Ethernet cord.  I feel as if I am not receiving the amount of technological support that a college student should receive.”

Looking at the bigger picture, students seem to think that lack of response to the issue is the administration deliberately not taking action. The lax attitude is something that we are aware of because of the non-stop complaints about Trinair.

The Trinity College administration can easily set up more Wi-Fi repeaters in order to get stronger connectivity around the school in all of the necessary buildings, and avoid the problem of lost connectivity for students. Repeaters are often used with great success to extend the coverage area of Wi-Fi. This is definitely a sustainable long-term investment for the Trinity College campus community because Wi-Fi repeaters are relatively inexpensive.

Instead of students expressing their opinions anonymously on apps like Yik-Yak, they should be more outspoken and search for productive and tangible solutions to these campus-wide problems that currently pose as a challenge to student success.

Kylie Jenner: pop culture’s paradoxical princess





The term “role model” is a dangerous title, an almost parasitic phrase. It can attach itself to individuals whether they want it or not. One day you’re posting pictures of your squatting regiment on Instagram and the diamond encrusted fake nails you wore to your birthday party, and before you know it, you’ve got a million followers, and suddenly you’re a role model. This is the Kylie Jenner story: the story of a girl who went from average adolescent reality-TV star to surgically enhanced sex-symbol before she even knew how it happened. recently published an article titled “The Exploitation of Kylie Jenner: A Danger to Young Women.” That title is pretty dramatic; things tend to get dramatic when the words “exploitation” and “danger” are used. The article discusses Kylie’s branding as a social media star and general ‘bad girl’. In brief, the author said that Kylie is too young for the sexually charged attention she receives, and that she made herself popular through “dismemberment,” which in the advertising business means being known for one’s body or body parts rather than as a complete person. The author goes on to discuss Kylie’s relationship with Tyga, which has come under fire, as Tyga is eight years older than Kylie. The article ends with the assessment that Kylie Jenner and similar figures in popular culture give young girls unrealistic expectations of themselves, which is bad for their self-esteem. Though Kylie is not solely to blame for these issues, being the style icon that she is, she should not be celebrated for her body or for her scandalous relationships.

Maybe Kylie’s shared photos and videos do encourage the “sexualization of women”, maybe Tyga did have sex with Kylie while she was underage, and maybe Kylie Jenner is not the ideal person to have as a figurehead in pop culture.  Then again, Kylie comes from a family that specializes in attaining fame and attention without demonstrating the usual talents that lead to such notoriety. The Kardashian-Jenner clan is famous primarily for being attractive, looking ethnically ambiguous, and for sharing too much of their personal lives with the world.

The truth is that Kylie Jenner and the other Kardashians know how to sell themselves, and if their goal is to be pop culture icons and to be wealthy, then obviously they are succeeding. Some might say that their success is less deserved than that of someone such as Taylor Swift, who has a reputation for her talent as a singer and her wholesomeness –– she loves sweaters, cats, and ‘girl power’.  However, just like Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift strategizes to get attention, though she is seeking a different kind of recognition.

In a perfect world, people in positions of power or influence would be conscientious of the social responsibility they carry.  Realistically, fame does not come with a contract that obligates celebrities to be “good role models”. In fact, that seems to be the real issue. Is it right to assume that someone who is famous should follow a particular moral code?

I don’t think so. Kylie Jenner is one person, but millions follow her actions. If we say that it is her responsibility, her obligation, to be a “good role model”, we are effectively saying that her followers have no responsibility to think for themselves. Attempting to change Kylie’s “raunchy” behavior is almost in the neighborhood of censorship. There are plenty of weird books out there, plenty of illicit movies, and off-color opinions, but as a society, it is the general thought that those materials are free to exist if everyone else is free to ignore them. This is where the concept of “good taste” comes into play.

The media is vilified and blamed for corrupting the youth, exploiting women, and setting unrealistic standards for style and beauty. However, the choice of topics or individuals that receive coverage in “the media” is fueled by demand.  People and cultural themes are only popularized if the consumer wants to read or hear about them. Odds are that you are saying, “What about Kylie’s seemingly fake lips or boobs? What about Tyga? Isn’t the song “Pleazer” about Kylie? Is it not wrong for an 18-year old to have those kind of procedures and tout them as the norm?”  Good point. I wish I’d thought of that.

Changing one celebrity’s lifestyle is not going to fix the problem. There will always be a Kylie Jenner- type person: someone who makes a splash by being shocking and seductive. It is also safe to say that Kris Jenner is not getting my vote for “Exemplary Mother of the Year” (clearly that goes to Blake Lively –– what a goddess).   Unfortunately, for those of us who do not care for Kylie Jenner, there is little we can do to thwart her popularity or change how Kris Jenner parents. If one does not like Kylie’s antics, one ought not read about her, dress like her, or give her one’s time and attention.  I certainly do not.

This is all under the assumption that Kylie truly is a “bad role model”. It is possible that the standards, to which the HerCampus author and many others are comparing Kylie, are antiquated and more detrimental to women’s rights than Kylie herself.  What does ‘the sexualization’ of women even mean?  If today’s women truly want to overcome archaic standards of what it means to be ‘good’ or ‘moral’ as a female, then maybe we need to stop criticizing the women that ignore those restrictive norms. That’s another article though.

Athlete of the Week: Matt Porter



As expected, the Trinity College Football Team has once again demolished another NESCAC opponent as they extend their undefeated record to 5-0. Part of this success has been due to a strong offense, but while many accredit a team’s success to quarterbacks or receivers, few mention the importance of the five men standing in the middle of the field snapping the ball, the offensive line. Known for their tough-as-nails playstyle, the Trinity Offensive line is incredibly imposing, and a large contributor to their success is senior tri-captain, and four-year starter Matthew Porter. Porter normally plays at center, but has also performed strongly at the tackle position. Thanks to him and the rest of the offensive line, the Trinity offense is has averaged about 423 yards per game, and nearly 30 points in their first five games.

While many athletes find their inspiration from a parent or an athlete, Porter has the best of both worlds within his father, former NFL fullback Donnell Bennett. “My father was my favorite athlete growing up because people always told him he wouldn’t make it and he won a national championship in college and also played in the NFL.” His father’s fighting spirit on the run certainly helped to set up Porter for his successes. The offensive line gets especially hands on in the run game, as Trinity has done a good job of creating holes for their runners all season. The offense has 902 total rushing yards, averaging around 180 rushing yards per game.

Porter has been playing since he was in middle school in Chicago before he made his way to Trinity, but his time in prep school were also formative years. “I had good high school competition. I also attended prep school, and that definitely prepared me because I played against some talent from places outside of Chicago. My league in Chicago was pretty tough and we also played suburban teams who were able to focus more on sports.” While the run has been strong, the offensive line has done a fantastic job protecting their starting quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’16, having allowed just six sacks all year.    

With a strong running and passing game, the football team is looking to recreate one of Porter’s favorite sports memories, the year they won the 2012 NESCAC Championship. “My favorite sports moment was winning the NESCAC Championship my freshman year, my first time winning a championship since I started playing in 8th grade.” After helping beat Wesleyan three years ago, Porter and the team are hoping to achieve greatness once again. Despite a shaky 2014 season at 5-3, Porter is confident that this year the squad has a chance to win it again. “I think we have a great chance to go 8-0 and win it all as long as we stay healthy and focused. We have a very talented and hungry team”. If the last five games are considered, it looks like Porter has a good hunch. Be sure to support the Bantams as they travel up to Vermont to take on Middlebury into on a chilly Halloween game.

Football extends win streak to five on Parents Weekend



After a big 34-27 overtime win against Tufts a week ago, Trinity extended their undefeated streak this past Saturday on Oct. 24, with a 28-7 victory over Bowdoin College. Unlike last week, where the Bantams stole the game in overtime, Trinity came out strong against the Polar Bears with a very one-sided win.

Captain Frank Leyva ’16 noted that last week the team stumbled a little against Tufts, and despite getting the win, went on to say that the outcome of last week’s game was “a wake up call of what it will take to win the NESCAC.”

Quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’18 threw for 170 yards, and running back Max Chipouras ’19 finished the game with 155 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Running back Nicholas Gaynor ’17 also added a 4-yard touchdown run for his first touchdown of the season and first rushing touchdown in his career.. Chipouras’s effort earned him honors as the NESCAC offensive player of the year, and increased his touchdown total to eight, tied for the league lead.

Once again Trinity dominated the game on both ends of the field. The Bantams had 432 yards of total offense compared to Bowdoin’s 220-yard total. Wide receiver Bryan Vieira had his second straight 100+ yard receiving game, and his third of the season. Vieira has been an explosive weapon for the Bantam offense all season, and his 115-yard effort against Bowdoin makes him the NESCAC leader in receiving yards with 471.

On the defensive end, Spencer Donahue ’17 and senior John Murtagh ’16 had interceptions, both of which came in Trinity territory. Donahue’s interception came in the end zone, preventing a Bowdoin touchdown, while Murtagh returned his pick 24 yards into Bowdoin territory. The Bantams sacked Bowdoin quarterback Noah Nelson, week four’s NESCAC player of the week, four times and held him to a 38 percent completion rate and only 152 yards.

Furthermore, the Trinity defense did an incredible job neutralizing the Bowdoin rush game, allowing just 70 yards on the ground. Defensive linemen Lyle Baker ’16 and Jameson Law ’17 led the team with 6 tackles each. Baker, Carty Campbell ’18, Kevin Martin ’17, and Preston Kelly ’16 all had one sack apiece.

In the first half, the game seemed to be close, despite a 14-0 Bantam halftime lead. Bowdoin receiver Colin Reynolds felt that his team had fought hard in the first half, but said that in the second half Trinity came out strong, making it difficult for his team to come back. Despite three stalled red zone drives for the Bantams to open the game, they never trailed and didn’t give up a touchdown until the final drive.

Ultimately, because of the great effort and work they have put in, the Bantams came out on top. Leyva felt that the team responded very well all week to last week’s “close call, ” which was clearly shown on the field this past weekend.  Next weekend, Trinity will head to Vermont to face Middlebury College (4-1), who ended Trinity’s historic 53-game home winning streak last season. The Panthers have ended Trinity’s undefeated record 2 seasons in a row, so it is sure to be an intense game.

Boys soccer wins in 7th double-overtime game of season


This past Wednesday Oct. 21 Trinity Men’s Soccer hosted Wesleyan University in a huge conference rivalry match.   Trinity has now played in seven double overtime games this season, winning or tying the last four.

Trinity’s Cody Savonen ’17 netted the first goal in the 7th minute of play off an assist from Mark Perreault ’16.  However, the lead did not even  last a minute as Wesleyan came back to score off a corner kick just 50 seconds later.

Trinity regained the lead in 21st minute after Savonen ’17 whipped a ball into the middle, finding Tobias Gimand ’17 who headed it past Wesleyan goalkeeper Jack Katkavich.  Again, the lead did not last long, with Wesleyan’s Garrett Hardesty ’18 knotting the game at two.

After an uneventful first overtime, it was Sam Millbury ’17 who ended the game-winner off a one-time volley.  The team had a rocky first half of the season, but has picked it up in October.  The Bantams have their season finale tomorrow afternoon at home against Amherst College.

The ladies, too, needed extra time to settle their match against Connecticut College this past Wednesday on a warm afternoon.  The two halves of regulation were a stalemate, as neither team was able to convert their chances.  Both teams had 14 shots, however Trinity was able to put 11 of those on target while Conn. College only had three of their chances on target.

Finally, Alexa Barbaresi ’18 was able to take advantage of a shot off the post and tapped it past the keeper to seal the game in the 95th minute.  Like the boys, the women’s team will host Amherst tomorrow afternoon at home in their final match of the season.

Students discuss sex slavery within ISIS



ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), the militant group that designates itself an Islamic state, has been making headlines for months with their involvement in the Syrian Civil War and other conflicts. Well-known for their brutality and strong anti-Western sentiments, ISIS has well earned the ire of the international community for their violent destabilization of large parts of Iraq and Syria.

However, what is not as well-known, is their enslavement of Yazidi women and genocide of the Yazidi men, which came to the attention of the international audience/media late this summer. During Common Hour on Oct. 22, Will Verdeur ’18, led a discussion to raise awareness about the conflict between ISIS and the Yazidi community, a Kurdish religious group in the Middle East.

After reading an article in Inquirer by Trudy Rubin about the situation, Verdeur became devoted to informing members of the Trinity community of what problems ISIS has been causing, beyond what is in the headlines.

Verdeur began his discussion by handing out fact sheets that provided statistics of how many women have become enslaved and how many have escaped and reached safety. The first thing he admitted was a disclaimer that the information he would soon be providing is disturbing and may be difficult to hear.

“The Islamic state found Quranic justification for genocide,” Verdeur explained. “They’ve been killing off the men, but most egregiously, they’ve been selling women off to slavery.”

Approximately 400,000 people managed to escape, but between five and seven thousand women remain as sex slaves to the Islamic State. Their stories are horrific and speak to the violence and chaos that follow the Islamic State.

The non-profit organization called Yazda is a US-based group dedicated to providing “humanitarian, psychological, health, legal, and social support” to those who managed to escape the Islamic State, according to Yazda’s website.

Verdeur has a table outside Mather dining hall to collect donations and signatiures for Yazda’s petition to request President Obama to get involved in the conflict between the Yazidi and ISIS. Students can use Bantam Bucks to donate money to the organization. Yazda has no specific plan of action for the US government to get involved, but Verdeur expressed that they should provide resources and aid to the Yazidi communities.

“At first, I wanted to enlist,” Verdeur told us, “but I decided to be on the more positive side [of the process], not the negative, to be involved in the humanitarianism.”

There are currently nearly 100,000 signatures for Yazda’s petition, and they are working to obtain 150,000 signatures. Verdeur urges that the student body considers signing the petition to help these women struggling to achieve a normal life once more. Verdeur’s grass-roots activism is a much needed effort to help assuage the plight of those struck by one of the most abominable human rights disasters in recent memory, and with any luck, his efforts will galvanize Trinity into taking action and to put the College’s resources to positive, productive, and humanitarian use.

Doug Curtin ’17 begins donation of extra Mather food



Gripes about the food in Mather are common refrains around Trinity’s campus: like any college, students sometimes miss the freshness and taste of their favorite home-cooked meals. Similar to other colleges, Trinity’s students do not eat all of the food that is provided by the dining halls. Since the beginning of the semester, Doug Curtin ’17 has found a creative and profoundly humanitarian use for Trinity’s surplus calories. Curtin, alongside Trinity’s Swimming and Diving team and in conjunction with the staff at Mather Dining Hall, has championed the cause of delivering Mather’s extra food to the McKinney Shelter, a men’s homeless shelter located at 34 Huyshope Avenue, just east of Hartford Hospital. The program, dubbed the “Trinity College Food Recovery Network” has enjoyed more than modest initial success. In the first two weeks of the program, more than 300 pounds of food were donated that would have otherwise gone to waste.

The genesis of Curtin’s philanthropy was an accidental acquaintance that he met by chance while working as an intern at the Connecticut State Capitol: a homeless man named Jake who had been begging in the area. The two became friends after Curtin started bringing him food, and from Jake, Curtin learned of the plight of the homeless in the city of Hartford: panhandling (begging) is illegal in Hartford, and the city has scant funds for social programs to assist the homeless. “Most people can’t ask for help in certain ways,” said Curtin in an interview with the Tripod, “so they have to go to the shelters for help.”

Churches or other charitable organizations run most homeless shelters in Hartford, but McKinney is an exception; it is funded by a combination of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city of Hartford, and the Connecticut Department of Social Services.  The shelter is housed in what used to be a fire station, located away from most of the residential neighborhoods in the area. “You see a variety of people at McKinney,” Curtin elaborated, “there’s no one make-up of a person who’s homeless; some look like they’ve been there for years and years, some fresh to the street.”

The staff at the McKinney Shelter is composed largely of volunteers, meaning that a different group of workers often greets Curtin and his compatriots each time they drop off food. Despite, “so many moving parts that have made it challenging,” the staff of the McKinney shelter is always “more than excited to help us out,” by unpacking and distributing the food, Curtin said.

The shelter has 88 beds, and offers breakfast and dinner as well as showers. Men are allowed to stay as long as 30 days, but attendance at the shelter is fairly fluid; beds are reserved based on who is sleeping in them, and unoccupied beds are often refilled quickly. Day programs help with many of the challenges faced by the shelter’s guests, including job counseling, management of drug and alcohol use, dealing with mental illness, and HIV/AIDS treatment, among other things.

Having become desensitized of the immensely difficult life facing the dispossessed of Hartford, Curtin realized how much Trinity had to offer the McKinney shelter. “I saw that food pantries didn’t have enough food and that a lot of food was being thrown out,” says Curtin, “so why not pair the two? it’s such an easy thing to do,” he added. Curtin explained that he began his initiative by contacting an organization know as the Food Recovery Network, a national effort across college campuses that fights to make sure that food that would normally be thrown out be donated. The Food Recovery Network has existed since 2011 and saved nearly one million pounds of food. Curtin was given a basic plan by the “Food Recovery Network,” and began on the simple three step process to bring the Network to Trinity’s campus.

The first step entailed writing an outline of how the Network would function on Trinity’s campus. Curtin stepped into the position of founder, and got the Swim Team behind him to support the program. They looked into the kind of food served at Mather, to determine its suitability for donation; some shelters cannot accept certain kinds of perishable foods for safety reasons.

The next step involved getting Trinity’s dining staff on board, as well as contacting Chartwell’s, the company that provides most of Trinity’s food. The Mather staff responded enthusiastically: “everybody has bought into it, the Mather staff has been helpful, they think it’s a great idea,” said Curtin. Finally, Trinity’s Senior Director of Dining Service, Toby Chenette, signed off on the project. According to Curtin, Chenette has been very helpful throughout the whole process, helping to coordinate the collection of food as well as providing packaging, which “helps out on the cost side.”

Having gotten Trinity’s Dining Service on board, Curtin began the process of food collection. Employees in Mather collected food over the course of a week, and helped Curtin and the team pack it all into cars, and it was taken to the McKinney Shelter. The first week alone saw a donation of around 165 pounds of food, which quickly established the routine for donating.

The program, which is entering its third week, is still in its developmental stage, but has already gained some traction around campus. The Student Government Association heard a presentation from Curtin, and some organizations have already expressed an interest in helping the Food Recovery Network. “There are a lot of different programs that wanted to help – there are a lot of opportunities to volunteer, we might get the fraternities involved. There’s definitely room for expansion, we’re still in the beginning phase,” says Curtin.

As far as expansion is concerned, Curtin has designs that go beyond the confines of Trinity’s campus. “If a small liberal arts school can donate almost 300 pounds of food in two weeks, imagine what a big sate school can do,” he says, “it’s such an easy thing to do – that’s what I’m trying to drive home, its so simple – other schools can see how easy it is.”

For the moment, Curtin’s activism is making inroads at Trinity, and doing a tangible good to the city of Hartford. “It’s a good opportunity for get to know the challenges that people face in our city – walking into the shelter on a Friday night, you see a lot of different faces,” reflects Curtin. The Food Recovery Network is a significant step towards integrating  Trinity more into the Hartford community. Curtin’s work is an important example of simple yet impactful homegrown philanthropy, an easy and effective way to help the community that surrounds Trinity. It will be interesting to see if other students follow Curtin’s lead, finding straightforward ways to make use of Trinity’s resources to affect positive change.

Ferris fitness passes provide fun exercise for everyone



The notorious “freshman 15” is difficult to avoid when there is free food always available on campus. Students are constantly enticed with Mather’s all-you-can-eat style of food service, however, instead of avoiding temptation entirely, there is a way to burn off the extra calories – and have fun while doing it with friends.

The Group Fitness Passes sold at Ferris Athletic Center allow students to participate in yoga, Zumba, and spin class whenever the classes are available. The passes cost $25 per semester, and the classes take place between two and four times a week, depending on the week.

Miriam Atuya ’16 described how she heard about the passes: “I saw a post on the announcement board in Ferris and got interested. A few days later, I saw a post in my class’s Facebook page advertising about the fitness pass and so I decided to get one.” This is Atuya’s first semester with a fitness pass. “[I like having the pass] because it’s extremely cheap, and I get to enjoy a number of fitness classes over the course of the semester.”

Although there has been a push on the Trinity College Class of 2019 Facebook page to get first-years to sign up for the fitness passes, there is an overall lack of awareness about them.

“I haven’t heard about the passes until now,” Katie Dirico ’19 admitted. “It sounds like a great program, but I’m on the tennis team, and between practice and dinner, I just don’t have time to go to the spin classes or any of the other evening classes.”

For students who are not on sports teams and can have the time, they may find the fitness passes to be a great opportunity to relax and work out at the same time.

Anya Forsberg ’19 is enthusiastic about the program. “I like how it’s casual, and it’s a fun way to get exercise. It’s cheap, and the people who go are non-judgmental. I plan to go to spin classes twice a week,” Forsberg described.

Due to many activities on campus that conflict with the hours of the fitness classes, the number of students who go to each of them is very small. Sometimes there may be only one student at a class, but usually the head count is around three.

“Unfortunately, the classes are during times when some students have either evening or morning classes,” Atuya explained, “hence the limited attendance.”

Students like Dirico already get plenty of exercise, but some cannot find the time to attend the classes or have simply not heard about the passes. The Group Fitness Passes are available for all students, and if someone feels uncomfortable going alone, the classes available through the pass provide great opportunities to bring a friend along and have fun while getting fit at the same time.

In addition, it is possible for students to attend one of the classes as a trial, to see if someone enjoys the classes enough to purchase a pass. For any student who is looking for a new activity on campus to try out, the classes with the Group Fitness Passes could be a great option.

Fountain of Youth could lie in our blood



  For generations, the fountain of youth has appeared as a symbol of immortality in cultures throughout the world.

Though it has remained illusive, new scientific research might exist inside of us. In a lecture on Monday, Oct. 26, Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray P’16 of Stanford Medical School spoke to a large group of students and faculty about his research on human blood. Wyss-Coray’s research on blood focuses on how the composition of the fluid and the factors within it changes over the course our lives. Through his research, Wyss-Coray hopes to identify the proteins involved in the “language of cells” and then correlate changes in the composition of these proteins to ageing.

Wyss-Coray’s research has identified the protein eotaxin as a major correlate of aging.  While typically involved in an immune response to allergies, the prevalence of this protein in blood has been shown to increase drastically over the course of a person’s life. Some studies have shown that those who live longer exhibit lower-than-expected volumes of eotaxin in the blood.

Moreover, research has already shown that the majority of aging is genetic, therefore, his findings that the decendents of those who lived to be over 100 also tend to live longer may be a result of their eotaxin levels. As a natural anti-inflammatory, the eotaxin protein naturally reduces the inflammation associated with  certain allergies. Some studies suggest that certain anti-inflammatory drugs might help prevent the onset of specific neuro-degenerative disorders.

Additional studies suggest that injecting the blood plasma of younger mice into older mice shows an increase in cognitive function in the mice. In a series of studies, a colleague of Wyss-Coray at Stanford Medical School injected elderly mice with the blood plasma of younger mice.

A number of his findings defied the traditional aging models, though, further research is needed to see how long these effects last. This research suggests that the Fountain of Youth may not be at the farthest reaches of the Earth, but rather inside each of us.​

Upcoming events at CDC provide great opportunities



As students are preparing for their midterms and the second half of the semester is about to begin, many also turn to the Career Development Center (CDC) for guidance in securing internships and jobs. Although there are not many events taking place at the CDC this semester, will soon be available for important events in the following semester.

The relationship manager at the Career Development Center, Victoria Sandoval, and the assistant director, Brett Boudreaux, expressed enthusiasm regarding the events taking place in a few months.

The first event will take place during winter break. It is the Job Shadow Program, which is available  to all students, but  geared toward first-years and sophomores. Students are matched with alumni to shadow at their place of work. This program provides opportunities for students to become more aware of what jobs are available and to help them reach a decision on what major or career path they want to take. Applications for the Job Shadow Program will be available in mid-November.

There will be two recruiting consortia available for seniors, one to take place in New York City on Jan. 8 and the other to take place on Feb. 26 in Boston. Seniors who attend a session will have the opportunity to have interviews with several employers all in one day, while also enjoying a trip to a major city. Sign-ups are available immediately.

On Jan. 21 and 22, seniors are welcome to participate in the Bantams and Beyond Program, where they come back to campus early to listen to alumni speakers and take part in workshops that give them skills to adjust to life after college. The program is available for all seniors, whether they are struggling with their future plans or are further in the process of preparation.

On Feb. 6, first-years can participate in the “Exploring Your Options” workshop, which is a one-day exploration of possible career pathways. It helps students figure out what major might be most fitting for each individual, and students will be shown how a career path is often far from linear.

As students make their way through college, it is often difficult to plan for the future. The job market outside of school is undoubtedly harsh, and the prospect of times to come can be daunting. Trinity’s response has been to encourage students to begin assessing their skills and professional preferences as early as possible. By taking action early, students may well be able to make their job search less stressful and difficult down the road.

As many students come to realize, the four years of college go by very quickly and the job search process starts almost as early as their first-year. In order to stay competitive in the job market, the CDC urges students to come in and meet with a staff member to begin the process and to make the most of the resources available to them as they plan for their careers and lives outside of college.

This week’s recent SGA updates



During the last two meetings, held on Sunday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 25, SGA has made some great strides and progress with their goals this semester. First and foremost, SGA President Max Le Merle ’16 and SGA Vice-President Josh Frank ’16 contacted Dean Mitzel about SGA members receiving credit for their work. Members now have the opportunity to receive either a pass/fail or letter grade .5 credit through an internship within the Career Development Center.

Four additional clubs were approved by SGA. They are the Knitting Club, History Club, Swing and Blues Club, and Her Campus Trinity.

Academic Affairs Committee Chair, Chris Bulfinch ’18, reported that his committee is organizing a student-faculty discussion forum about the 2016 election. In addition, they are working on ideas on how to honor student achievement. The committee is discussing having honors within majors announced at Commencement and other ways to reward high GPAs.

Finance Committee Chair, Shannon Burke ’16, reported that the Budget Committee has allocated about one-third of their funds so far this semester.

Student Life Chair, Kate Dietrich-Manion ’18, reported that her committee had its second round of training for Campaign for Community over Trinity Days. Within Campaign for Community, there are five student working-groups addressing different issues on campus. There will be a presentation on Nov. 7 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. for the student groups to share their ideas with the community.

Multicultural Affairs Committee Chair, Zaniyyah AshBey ’16, reported that her committee is drafting a guidebook about what the Multicultural Affairs Committee is and does, which will include information for organizations on how to book rooms, create performance contracts, and other similar things.

Inter-Organizational Chair, Kelly Vaughan ’17, spoke about her committee’s initiative to work with Brendan Norton, a fellow at the Career Development Center to host a dinner for club presidents. Vaughan also outlined her committee’s goals to reach out to more clubs and organizations and assist with marketing and inter-club collaboration for campus events.

Communications Committee Chair, Lauren Glasse ’18, discussed her committee’s plan to improve “Trinity Today,” as well as dealing with other projects and initiatives geared towards improving communication between the administration and the students and among students themselves.

Le Merle also announced that SGA is starting a Food Committee, which Vaughan and Glasse are going to co-chair. The committee has contacted Senior Director of Dining Services, Toby Chenette, to consider new dining options. The committee has also been talking to students about opinions concerning food and looking at dining programs of other colleges similar to Trinity.

The second half of the meeting after the Executive Board’s reports consisted of committees breaking off to discuss their accomplishments thus far and consider strategies for future action.

This  meeting was an important  indicator of the SGA’s direction as far as policy is concerned. As compared to years past , the SGA has a much more defined agenda and set of goals. The committees are being held to much more strenuous standards as far as attedance and initiative are concerned. The leadership has been trying to stress communication between committess and fostering a close relationship with the faculty and adminstration.

Heating and cooling: a complex logistical campus issue



Students have not been enjoying the Arctic blast that has swept across campus in the past weeks. Having to layer up to stay warm, and seeing snow falling in mid-October are all uncomfortable reminders that winter is on its way, and to an extent, already has its foot in the door. Despite the numerous complaints that many students tend to vocalize about the heating system, it appears that very few people actually know how the heating system operates and functions.

Most students on campus have at some point endured the heating system that does not meet their needs. Most students affected in this way usually complain vocally about it. However, not many people actually understand how the system works, who performs maintenance on it, when it switches from cooling to heating or how effective it is.

Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer, Paul Mutone, is able to explain the intricacies of the system. Unbeknownst to many, the system is comprised of underground fiberglass pipelines that run through each building. According to Mutone, “It is a centralized system for the most part. Heating and cooling on campus is produced primarily by using hot and cold water, receptively.” Apparently the system is efficient despite its issues. From an energy utilization perspective, the system serves its purpose properly and well. However, from a service or comfort perspective, the system creates numerous problems, owing to how it functions. Mutone states, “Our problem is that the college has a ‘two pipe’ system and not a ‘four pipe’ system.” The issue that arises from this is that heating and cooling cannot run simultaneously.

Utilizing a ‘two pipe’ system is the underlying problem. Having only two pipes rather than four makes it very difficult to transition from cooling to heating or vise versa. In fact, it is impossible to directly change from one utility to the other. The underground pipes, which contain the water for the cooling and heating, are not constructed to withstand a quick switch from hot water to cold water. Having a rapid change of 125 degrees Fahrenheit in water temperature would cause the pipe joints to break. Mutone explains, “This is also the reason why we have a period of seven to ten days each fall and spring with no heat or cooling as the pipes need time to cool down or warm up. But underground pipe failures are a problem”. Despite best efforts to avoid these issues, “a preventative maintenance schedule is maintained by Facilities” in order to avoid and fix any issues that occur. All of these problems can be very costly which begs the question as to how the administration pays for the system and its maintenance. “This is not a project that would typically generate alumni interest to contribute towards,” said Mutone, “Borrowing money is the most likely option to fund the cost in addition to finding and taking advantage of all energy rebates or grants that are available.”

In essence it can be concluded that the system is fairly old and of poor quality. Even Mutone agreed that “This system is very old and needs an upgrade.” In order to alleviate student concerns about the system being accepted for what it is and tolerating its impotence, students would likely be curious as to whether there has been any talk about changing it. Based on all of the responses that Mutone provided, it seems evident that the system that the school uses is subpar and must be improved. Fortunately, there have been plans to help fix the issues with the system. After asking Mutone about whether there has been a discussion of updating or replacing the system, he replied affirmatively. He declared that “plans for an upgrade, either maintaining the centralized system or switching over to a decentralized system, are being developed”. Despite the very steep cost of upgrading the system, it appears that the school will eventually operate under a better system, as long as a source of funding is found.

For the moment, students all must continue to endure the frigid nights in their rooms with fuzzy socks and enormous sweaters. Unfortunately, as long as the college has the “’two pipe’ system,” if there are one or two-day periods of unseasonably warm or cold temperatures, as there was last weekend, the campus is forced to endure  it. But students should enjoy the coolness of their rooms while it lasts. Come April, many students will wish for the brisk weather once again.

Food Dudes: Jerk Pit Café cooks up Jamaican classics



This week I took a trip to Jerk Pit Café on Main Street in Hartford. Hidden in a small corner of a relatively barren plaza, this restaurant is a hidden gem. Jerk Pit Café serves a variety of Jamaican specialties including, of course, the famous jerk chicken.

Finding this place required the help of Google Maps, but once I found it, I realized it is actually relatively easy to get there from campus. The restaurant is located in a neighborhood on the other side of Interstate 84, so it is about a 10-minute drive, just north of the downtown center.

The area directly north of downtown is historically known to be one of the more poor areas of Hartford. While driving through the neighborhood, it was apparent that the area was underprivileged. But, there were definitely bright spots, like Jerk Pit Café. There is a vibrant immigrant population in the neighborhood that has given birth to many great eateries and local establishments.

The restaurant’s exterior is very unassuming. There is a large sign in the front of the restaurant with the name and logo, as well as a small sign over the door. The interior is simple and relatively bare. The restaurant has a small dining room with many tables, as well as a small eating area by the counter. Both ordering and payment are done at the counter.

The menu is relatively small, with options like jerk chicken, jerk pork, oxtails, curry goat, and others. They also have beef patties, which are a Jamaican specialty consisting of a spiced meat mixture wrapped in a flaky pastry.

I ordered jerk chicken and jerk pork, both in the “small” size. I also added a side of plantains. The chicken and pork come with a hefty portion  of “rice and peas” which is basically just seasoned rice and beans. The meal is also served with mixed vegetables. When I ordered, the woman behind the counter asked if I wanted sauce, referring to jerk sauce, to which I said yes. It turned out to be a great choice, as the sauce was amazing.

The chicken was the highlight of my meal. Extremely juicy, the pieces literally were falling off the bone. It was some of the most flavorful chicken I have ever had. The jerk seasoning was perfectly spicy. The jerk pork was also delicious. It had a nice smoky flavor to it and was moist and tender. Both were spicy. If you are not a fan of heat, skipping the extra sauce could offer some relief.

The rice and peas were also tasty, and they had absorbed all the extra jerk sauce. The vegetables had a hint of vinegar and went well with the rich meats.

The plantains were okay, but I have definitely had better. They did have a nice seasoning on them. However, they did not seem very fresh. They were quite greasy too. Additionally, since I ordered to go, when I got back to campus to eat them they were not hot anymore.

The portions were huge. The small or medium sizes would be plenty for a single meal. With the large size, you would definitely have leftovers and it might even be large enough for two people to split.

The cafe is open very late. On Friday and Saturday, the hours are 10 a.m to 4 a.m. and on Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. I am not entirely sure what the scene would be like for late night given the surrounding neighborhood, but I am sure it remains busy at night with people who crave their delicious food.

Jerk Pit Café is also quite inexpensive. The chicken and pork meals were each about seven dollars, and the plantains were only one dollar. For the generous portion sizes, this was a definitely good deal. They take cash and credit, but there is a minimum of about nine dollars for credit card purchases.

I definitely recommend making a trip up the road to Jerk Pit Café if you are adventurous and in the mood for some traditional Jamaican food. Given the neighborhood’s large Caribbean immigrant population, the food is definitely traditional. One taste of the jerk chicken, and I assure you that you will want to go back.        

2940 Main St, Hartford, CT 06120

Trinity’s Green Campus combats wasteful routines



The buffet-style meals served at Mather create a lot of waste. This isn’t news to any of us. We fill our plates with slightly more, or a lot more, food than we can manage to finish, so the rest of the food gets tossed out.

This food is not all wasted, however. Trinity’s Green Campus club began a composting program three years ago. The group picks up the food waste once a week and dumps it in a designated composting area a few minutes down the road from campus. Coordination difficulties caused the program to stop for two years, but last spring, the composting trips were rebooted. One trip a week is not enough to compost all of the excess food, but it was a start.

This year, Green Campus is working toward taking two trips a week.

Denzel Munroe ’18, President of Green Campus, has been pushing to make the student body more aware of the fact that the food gets composted so that there will be more interest in increasing the number of trips.

“The way it’s always been set up was as a once-a-week trip,” Munroe explained. “Having more volunteers would be a huge help in expanding our program.”

The club is also in the process of working with other food venues on campus to compost their food waste as well.

In addition to the increased composting, Green Campus will be starting a new environmentally-friendly project soon, hopefully to be in full swing by the spring. Joseph Orosco ’19 is leading the project to create a hydroponic garden on campus to provide a year-round garden for students.

“The garden will first be constructed in the basement of Trinfo Café to serve as a demo site,” Orosco described. “The function for the garden is to be able to plant fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and to grow them without soil, to only use sunlight and water containing necessary vitamins and minerals, or to use artificial lighting that can replace sunlight. It will be up to us to decide what to do with the food grown. Some ideas include making meals out of it, selling it, or giving it to those in need.”

This may be the first time that Trinity has been constructing a hydroponic garden, and since it is still in the process of starting up, it may be difficult for Green Campus to gather enough support from the student body to get the garden to become fully functional.

“For those who aren’t very outdoorsy, this is the perfect activity, since you really don’t have to get your hands dirty, and you will not have to deal with insects,” Orosco was pleased to say.

On a final note, since it is often difficult to have the entire student body aware of what is going on within Trinity’s campus, Munroe would like the students to know of one other main activity in which Green Campus takes part.

“Periodically, we do off-campus community service events at nearby parks and rivers,” Munroe stated. All students are welcome to help out with park clean-ups whenever they take place, as well as with any other Green Campus events.

Neuroscience major offers five year B.A./M.A. program



The adjectives focused, ambitious, and incredibly determined undermine the accomplishments that Trinity Alumnae Emily Aiken ’15 has achieved at Trinity College. Excited and enthusiastic to be interviewed, Aiken provided the Tripod with information on her neuroscience major and just how important it is for females to be confident in their abilities. A star-student herself, Aiken was not shy to express the recognition females deserve in the sciences.

Rebecca Reingold: Describe your experience at trinity as an undergraduate?

Emily Aiken: Overall I would say my undergraduate experience was great.  I felt as though I was able to do so much in four years, yet I still which I had more time.  I studied abroad twice (Rome and the Netherlands), was a member and treasuer of Kappa Kappa Gamma, interned at the Institute of Living, was a Health Fellow at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, did undergraduate research for three years, and completed a senior honors thesis.  I tried to find a balance between my academic and social lives, which was often difficult, but retrospectively I would not change any part of my experience.

RR: Why did you choose to continue your education in the neuroscience field at Trinity?

EA: I chose to continue my graduate degree at Trinity because the program was unique compared to other schools, allowing me to finish my bachelors and masters in just five years.  Because I plan to further my education more after this year, the timeline of the Trinity program was extremely attractive.  I also have an amazing relationship with my research adviser at Trinity, which is an extremely important factor in selecting a graduate program.

RR: Do you feel females are under-represented in the neuroscience field? How would you encourage females to have a stronger presence in the STEM fields?

EA: It is hard to say.  At Trinity, I have always felt like females dominate the neuroscience program- even our new President is a neuroscientist.  However, I think that as a whole, females are under-represented across the sciences.  Though it is getting better, I don’t think that girls are encouraged at a young age to pursue the sciences.  I most definitely would encourage females to have a stronger presence in STEM fields.  Thankfully, the gender disparities in STEM appears to be changing for the better, and the career opportunities are endless.  Don’t shy away from a major or career field because you feel or hear that it is dominated by men.

RR: What are your plans after you receive your masters?

EA: After receiving my masters I ultimately plan to attend medical school.  With that being said I have not eliminated the possibility of applying to PhD or PsyD programs in clinical psychology.  I know that eventually I would like to be working with children in a clinical setting.  I am spending this year and the summer finishing up applications and then next year I am going to allow myself a little break from school while I await decisions.

RR: What does Trinity’s neuroscience grad program offer that other schools do not?

EA: The Trinity neuroscience grad program is unique because it is a dual-degree program.  This means that you start your masters during your junior year (or earlier), taking courses for your undergraduate major but at the graduate level for credit.  So in your 5th year (master’s year) you have a reduced course load, thus allowing you to primarily focus on your research.  Most masters programs at two years full time after undergrad.  This program is not only less time, but also costs significantly less because it is started during your undergrad years.  What is also unique to this program is that your research is a continuation from undergrad.  You continue in a lab that you have established yourself in, rather than having to worry about building new relationships at another school.

RR: What changes would you like to see in the neuroscience department?

EA: I personally would like to see that neuroscience program really define itself and become a separate department.  Right now it is a program that includes coursework throughout various departments (Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, etc.).  I think that it would be great to see the program continue to encourage students to take courses in these departments, but also offer more classes that are specific to neuroscience.

RR: What advice would you give to students preparing or considering going to grad school?

EA: I would say to plan ahead and to be happy about any decision you make.  Though the Trinity program is only one additional year, it is a big commitment.  You have to be happy and confident in the work you are doing, whether that be a masters, PhD, med school, law school, etc.  It can be hard at times to see your classmates and friends in the “working world” while you are still working towards another degree.  So you want to make a decision and be happy about it, if that means you need to work for a year or so before making the decision to get a graduate degree, then by all means do that.  Don’t force it.

RR: What career opportunities are there for students who are majoring in Neuroscience but don’t want to be a doctor? How can you apply your studies to other fields?

EA: There are plenty of other career opportunities for students majoring in neuroscience that don’t want to be a doctor.  If you still want to work on the clinical side of things you could continue your education taking a counseling route or earn your Ph.D enabling you to teach at the collegiate level.  There are also ways to bridge the gap between neuroscience and business.  For instance, students who have a background in the cellular/molecular side of neuroscience can work for pharmaceutical companies.  Neuroeconomics and neuromarketing are also newer fields with job opportunities.  Also the liberal arts degree does go far.  Just because you major in neuroscience doesn’t mean that you have to follow a specific career path.  If anything, employers will see that you have taken difficult courses and thus are able to think and problem solve.  In reality, you can work in any field that you want.

Men’s and Women’s rowing compete in Charles Regatta



This past weekend, the Trinity College Men and Women’s rowing teams both competed in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA, which took place on the Charles River. Each team raced two boats and an alumni boat, all of which competed in various 4800m races.

The Men’s team entered a boat in the Men’s Collegiate Eights and Men’s Collegiate Fours races. The Men’s Collegiate Eights boat was led by coxswain Isabella Pizzi ’18, and the crew members were George Demoulas ’16, Charles Tuckwell ’18, Will Corban ’17, Luke Taylor ’18, Jonathan Lemmon ’18, Ian Langer ’17, Ian Robinson ’16, and Christopher White ’16. The boat finished in 11th place out of 41 other boats.

The Men’s Collegiate Fours boat was led by coxswain Charlotte Rosenberg ’18, and the crew members were Taylor Ogan ’18, Alexander Stoczko ’17, Luciano Lutmann ’18, and John Roberts ’17. The boat finished 30th out of 46 boats.

The Women’s Collegiate Eights boat was led by coxswain Sarah Duffy ’18, and the crew members were Claudia Jensen ’16, Antonia Bowden ’18, Madeleine Boudreau ’16, Cristina Pretto ’16, Julia Gorka ’19, Jennifer Sager ’16, Sarah Black ’16, and Caroline Denny ’19. The boat finished 11th out of 32 other boats.

The Women’s Collegiate Fours boat was led by coxswain Talia La Schiazza ’19, and the crew members were Tyler Seckar ’18, Elizabeth Becker ‘16, Meghan Keleher ’16, and Sarah Beckmann ’18. The boat finished 9th out of 35 other boats.

Each team was also represented in alumni races. The Women’s Alumni Eights boat was led by coxswain Gwen Schoch ’14, and the crew members were Jillian Zieff ’14, Claire Barkin ’14, Julia Kelling ’15, Kathryn Hibbard ’14, Georgia Wetmore ’15, Sarah Melnitsky ’05, Lauren Yianilos ’14, and Gillian Burkett ’14. The boat finished 9th out of 48 boats.

The Men’s Alumni Eight boat was led by coxswain Brack Baker ’05, and the crew members were current Trinity Men’s Crew Head Coach Kevin MacDermott, current Trinity Men’s Crew Assistant Coach Edward Slater ’07, Dunstan Scully ’14, Henry Palmer ’06, Ford Reiche, Timothy Godfrey ’00, Mark Komanecky ’15, and Christopher Wilson ’07. The boat finished 20th out of 57 boats.

As the Trinity Women’s crew program celebrates its 45th anniversary, the team reflects on their weekend at the 51st annual Head of the Charles Regatta and looks to use their performance as an event they can draw on for making improvements in upcoming races. “We felt it was a good learning experience to kick start will be a ton of hard training to get ready for spring racing season,” said Jennifer Sager ’16.  The women’s team will be competing in The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia, PA this upcoming weekend on Saturday Oct. 24, where they will seek to improve on their performance from this past weekend. The men’s team will scrimmage against Dartmouth on Nov. 8.

Apple harvest festival delivers fun and food



Along with picking pumpkins, wandering through corn mazes and exploring haunted houses, fall in New England would is not complete without attending an Apple Harvest Festival. Glastonbury, Conn. hosted their 41st annual Apple Harvest Festival last weekend in Riverfront Park. Over 300 volunteers donate their time every year to make this event happen and put together tents filled with local art and crafts and live musical performances. Last year, they proudly brought in over 15,000 attendees, and this year, they broke that record with over 20,000. The weekend of Friday, Oct. 16th, the Apple Harvest Festival boasted over 40 musical acts, dozens of craft booths, delicious food and treats, a pie-eating contest, amusement rides, pony rides, and more. More than 100 vendors were present at the festival, displaying their own artwork. One vendor specialized in keychains with magnified quotes, while other vendors sold homemade soaps, wood carvings, paintings, knitted items, and even musical instruments.

There were also plenty of different activities in which to take part, including silent movies after dark. On Friday night, they played “A Night in the Show,” starring Charlie Chaplin, and “Nosferatu.” On Saturday night, they played “The Balloonatic”, starring Buster Keaton, and “The Charlie Chaplin Festival.” However, there was much more to enjoy than just silent films.

People of all ages and towns in Connecticut attended the family-friendly event. With more than 30 food tents, attendees were able to satisfy their fair food cravings. The food tents included NoRA Cupcake Company, Poutine Gourmet, A Villa Louisa, Pete’s Popcorn, and more.

While some attended for the food, others preferred the variety of live music. There were three stages, featuring truly seasonal seating—stacks of hay. Of the over 40 bands that attended, the Michael Cleary Band was the most engaging. The band,  a five-person, all-male group, performed upbeat, funky tunes. The band grabbed the attention of both the older audience, who appreciated their old-school sound, and the younger audience, who enjoyed their catchy jams while exploring the festival. The Apple Harvest Festival proudly presented the Michael Clearly Band with Edmund Peart on drums and vocals, Zach Vetter on guitar and vocals, Jedd Chlebowski on bass guitar, Vince Delaria on keyboard and vocals, and Michael Cleary on guitar and vocals. The group  has won many awards in their 24 years of touring, such as the 2014 Best Jam Band in the CT Music Awards and the 2009 Best Jam Band in the Hartford Advocate Readers’ poll. Each of the members of the band has their own distinct sound, but together they seamlessly acted as one.  Despite the dropping temperatures and persistent snowfall during the festival, the Michael Cleary Band was able to engage the audience and bring out everyone’s best smiles and dance moves.

All weekend long, Glastonbury was ignited with the spirit of autumn by their unique musicians, artwork, food, and activities. For just $3 on Friday night and $5 on Saturday and Sunday, the Apple Harvest Festival was an affordable off-campus event that all Trinity students should experience in their four years here.

Cinestudio preview: “Shawn the Sheep Movie” seeks an audience



Sometimes in the world of children’s movies, it is said that a certain film is “for adults too” or that the humor is mature enough that “the whole family will enjoy it!” We have been spoiled on this front recently. With the advent of Pixar and the new age of Disney that we seem to have entered, each movie is carefully crafted for years to line up with the more subtle and complicated ideas that float around the heads of parents who are dragged along to the movies.

The aim of these films is to be high-concept and progressive, and they make great movies for adults and kids alike because they are written just as much for the former, but remain fast and entertaining enough for the latter.

I set out to watch “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” a relatively obscure British TV show spinoff of “Wallace and Gromit,” with low expectations. If there is a gimmick here that differentiates it from the other show, it is that the characters, most of whom are sheep, do not speak. Instead, they use squeaky mumbles that sound a little bit like human speech, and gesticulate their bulbous clay hands to get the rest of the information across to the viewer. Sounds fun, right? Perhaps. But to this critic it sounded, quite frankly, like the equivalent of a thousand cold showers.

Shaun is a sheep, of course. He lives on an English farm with a whole horde of mute animals, and they have zany misadventures. The Farmer, who has no name, wakes up in the morning to sort them, shear them, and and keep them out of trouble until a mix-up, arranged by the titular Shaun and involving a tractor trailer and a steep hill, sends the whole cast of characters into the big city. This is not an original plot—though it is almost always reserved for sequels. If you think I am making that movie fact up, I am not: refer to the Muppets, the Gremlins, and Babe.

The story is told in stop-motion animation. It is masterful work, and visuals play an important role in the storytelling. Big headed and round, the characters have a jerky, fleshy motion that is worth a little bit in visual laughs. It doesn’t go too far though, because we have seen this before. Compliments regarding this topic can go only so high—a common reaction might be to say that the filmmakers have “done it again.”

The sheep immediately lose track of the farmer, the man who keeps them in check and gives them food, and so Shaun leads the recovery mission through a vast metropolis of claymation city folk. How will they go unnoticed? Endless trench coat hijinks, and exactly the kind you are thinking of. But of course, if not for their disguises, the sheep might be caught by an animal control professional who is pathologically obsessed with capturing them.

This is all boldfaced, unabashed cliché. And yet, there is something more going on here. Shaun’s story is so universal and so worn out compared to the megalithic heartbreakers that studios like Pixar are delivering every year that the film is somehow refreshing. Audiences, especially college audiences, are not properly conditioned for this kind of low-level slapstick humor. I was not, and I am still not entirely sold, but “Shaun the Sheep Movie” is comfortable. Its simplemindedness gives it a kind of unprocessed sweetness that feels new. The reason is this: Shaun the Sheep is not a character for adults; in fact, he was written for children. This idea feels a little like a shimmering dream from the past, an idea that we have begun to leave behind. But that is the way it was once: kids’ movies used to have far less to do with adults. The reason why the clichés and the trope-weighted, sticky plot do not really matter is because this is not for us. It is actually for kids, with the added benefit of a few really sharp moments and social references that are meant, as an aside, for the adults in the audience. It’s a trick of nostalgia, and it works.

Once you see this switched dynamic for what it is, the resulting feeling is a little like the one produced by a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It is not amazing, but it is not bad either. It is comfortable, and useful, and takes your mind of off things for a little while.

Halloween on Vernon: a chance to trick-or-treat at Trinity



Halloween on Vernon brings together community service, Greek life, cultural houses and other Trinity organizations that do not necessarily interact with each other on a regular basis. Through celebrating a beloved holiday, it also helps relieve the stresses and demands of a busy academic schedule.

Halloween on Vernon does all this while working toward the goal of incorporating the Trinity community with Hartford.

Hosted by the Annual Community Event Staff (ACES), Halloween on Vernon is an event in which local Hartford kids who might not otherwise have a safe place to go trick-or-treating come to Vernon to do so.

Georgie Wynn ’16, the president of ACES, explained the details of this tradition. This year the event is taking place from 1-4pm on Sunday, Oct. 25. Greek and cultural organizations that have houses on Vernon are encouraged to participate, and to do so creatively. The Hall is making a haunted house, the Asian American Student Association, AASA has offered to contribute candy sushi, and Psi Upsilon is pioneering the newly invented “candy-pong.” Campus organizations that do not have houses on Vernon have the option to set up activity tables nearby in order to participate, and in fact are encouraged to do so. Four to five hundred trick-or-treaters are expected to attend the event, and all members of the Trinity community are welcome to volunteer.

Wynn elaborated that what she most looked forward to about the event was “actually seeing the people that I’m helping. Often community service events at Trinity are very impersonal, and focus more on donations. Halloween on Vernon gives you the chance to really interact with people.” Wynn added that she was excited “to see the entire Trinity community come together—community service, Greek life, [and] lots of separate groups”.

ACES tries to reach out to as many people in the area as possible, putting up fliers in both English and Spanish all over Hartford. The event’s advertising is done in a way that makes information about it abundantly clear, providing contacts to whom anyone can pose questions and concerns.

One difficult part of organizing the event, Wynn said, is reminding chaperones to come—according to her, people tend to forget that they volunteered, since many Trinity students are so concerned with classes, jobs and other activites. Despite this, they are willing to give up their time to help others, something that is often not the first thing on everyone’s mind.

Although there is a fairly apparent division between Trinity and the surrounding Hartford community, Halloween on Vernon is a good step toward the long-term goal of integrating the two. Wynn explained that Halloween on Vernon is a mark of progress, as it sends welcoming message by actively inviting people into the campus. Trinity is an open campus and the act of invitation functions encourages engagement with the community. Mostly, however, she said, reaching out to the children is a good way to make the communities more cohesive.

Family weekend: a chance for loved ones to see Trinity



As changing leaves and colder temperatures return to Trinity, students will see their families and friends return to the College this coming weekend.

Family Weekend, which will be held on the weekend of Oct. 23, is a weekend of events held by the College to bring parents to campus and for family members and loved ones to learn more about Trinity. The weekend, which is held every year, puts on different events to appeal to family members of all ages.

“[The] annual weekend is designed to increase your familiarity with Trinity College and to provide the opportunity for you to experience college life with your son or daughter,” according to a post made on Trinity’s website.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, the College will have events going on across campus. All Friday, classes will be open to parents and families, allowing them to take part in Trinity’s academic life. The Office of Admissions will also be hosting information sessions and campus walking tours periodically during the day on Friday and Saturday.

Different administrators will hold events throughout the day for students and their families. Senior Associate Dean of Students, Ann Reuman, will be holding an event on adjusting to campus life on the second floor of Mather Hall from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. on Friday. Representatives from various campus offices, including the Dean of Students, the Counseling Center, and others will be hosting a student services resources reception at 4:30 p.m. in Vernon Social.

On Friday night, the College will be hosting different events, ranging from a film screening of “Shaun the Sheep Movie” at Cinestudio to “Vernon at Night!” at Vernon Social.

Students and their families will have the opportunity to attend a variety of events and presentations on Saturday, ranging from an Applefest lunch held at the Bistro from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., to “The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet: A Showcase,” a performance of scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the Funston Courtyard from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. President Berger-Sweeney will be hosting a conversation in the Washington Room on the second floor of Mather Hall at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Families will be able to cheer on the undefeated Trinity football team at the Jessee/Miller Field on Saturday at 1 p.m. as they take on Bowdoin College. The weekend events will end with a community brunch held at 1:15 p.m. in the Friendship Chapel on Sunday.

Registration is required for certain events, check the Family Weekend schedule of events on Trinity’s website calendar for more information.

This coming weekend, families and loved ones from all across the world will have the opportunity to see a small slice of what the Trinity experience is like  and learn a bit more about what the college has to offer.

Bantam Student Success Program was a stunning success



The Bantam Student Success Program was a huge success. On Oct. 13th and Oct. 14th the Career Development Center (CDC) put the staff to work and brought in almost 50 alumni for the special Trinity Days event.

The program began on the evening of Oct. 12th with an introduction to the program, and the career development center, and a bit of trivia all coordinated by the Assistant Director of the Career Development Center, Bretton Boudreaux.  Once the teams got the intellectual juices flowing for the days to come, everyone was able to head back for a good night’s rest in preparation for the programming, which began bright and early on Monday morning.  There were several different seminar options available to students in the program including workshops on resumes, cover letters, and personal finance.

Over the first day, the CDC staff worked to outline the hiring process, addressing a breadth of professional issues, ranging from how to find jobs and internships to how to close the interviews. Assistant Director of the CDC Victoria Sandoval ran an interview workshop in which the Career development Center Fellows talked about the do’s and don’ts of interviewing, to give Bantams an edge when it comes down to the final stages of the process.

A few highlights of the workshop included the recommendations to always dress for success, even for a phone interview, because by dressing well, you mentally prepare to take the interview seriously. Another piece of advice was to prepare for questions about fitness for the position and behavior in addition to technical ones. Such questions are important in order to have a grasp of what is necessary to fulfill the duties of the position, but job candidates can also learn about themselves through the process. Such self-analysis often entails questions such as: “What is the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?” or “Why did you choose to attend a liberal arts college?” or “Why are you interested in the position?” These questions can throw the even the most technically-prepared individual off their game, so it is important to prepare fully and be a well rounded interviewee.

The resume and cover letter workshops provided a more personal touch to resume and cover letter guides that are available on the CDC “Careerlink” website. The CDC staff walked though the organizational points and helped students best communicate their experiences and achievements to concisely demonstrate their acquired skills and the value in their past commitments. For those students who previously had not developed a resume at the college level, it was a valuable hour to make strides to get an application ready. After the conclusion of these morning workshops the staff encouraged the students to make a follow up appointment with the CDC so a fellow of staff member can go though specific concerns, and review applications on a more detailed and personal level.

The afternoon brought new discussion topics as well as a captivating presentation from Jeb Balise ’04 on finding individual passions and entrepreneurship. He believes that entrepreneurship is “baked into every single one of our DNA because of our ancestors or our own crazy decisions to travel across the world to try to make a better life.”  Balise is CEO and Founder of PuzzleSocial, the only company to currently have a crossword app in the top 100 in the iTunes store, but he asserted that this endeavor hadn’t always been going so well, “There were dark times three or four years ago when I couldn’t write a paycheck.” But, because he was doing something he loved, crosswords, he was able to push through even when the money was not there and the future looked bleak. He engage with the students in attendance and began to probe the audience in order to understand what they liked to do, and began to get the wheels spinning on what entrepreneurial and career paths may be available in what they love to do. “I know it is a cliché, but it really is true, if you do something you love doing, and put all your heart into it, the money will follow,” Balise said.

The second day’s events were held at the Connecticut Science Center, where students were bussed over for a breakfast before a series of motivating speeches from President Joanne Berger-Sweeney and the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Cornelia P. Thornburgh ’80. The women recounted their own personal journeys and how the students could best take advantage of the day, as well as their time at college and within the greater Trinity network moving forward.

The panels brought together almost 50 alumni and featured professionals from a variety of fields, ranging from non-profits to medicine and finance who were gracious enough to take the day off from work to share their experiences and advice for those interested in breaking into different industries.  While the specific content of the dialogues is off the record, so the students could receive the most honest and sincere perspective as possible, every panelist recommended that students be proactive, and urged students to use every tool at their disposal, from professors, friends, the CDC and the alumni networks,  as well as to learn as much about the industries as possible. Many panelist conceded that they had gotten at least one position from their Trinity connections, and felt inspired to continue to help the new generations of Bantams.

All in all, the BSSP was a valuable Trinity Days experience for all who attended and will continue to be supplemented by CDC events over the course of the year.

SGA approves serveral new clubs to meet every interest



Colleges offer students the opportunity to pursue an area that particularly interests them, develops a skill that they have been working at perfecting for years, or trying out something new entirely for the first time. From club sports to acapella groups to various campus publications, there is seemingly something for everyone. However, some students have found voids in what is offered. With the ease and encouragement of the office of Student Activities; Involvement, & Leadership (SAIL) and Student Government Association (SGA), six new clubs have recently been approved as official school clubs. These groups include the Trinity College Orchestra, Trinity College Ski Club, Women in Arts, Ballroom Dance Club, The Beacon newsmagazine, and Dog Lovers Club.

One of the biggest complaints at Trinity is the lack of space for creative expression and small arts community. With the renovation of Austin Arts Center and addition of a new performance space, Ian King, President of the Trinity College Orchestra, expressed his enthusiasm for his club’s recent approval, saying “we are very excited about filling the obvious void in the opportunity for Trinity students to rehearse and ultimately perform in the orchestral setting…We’d like to think that the new orchestra is a positive first step in the direction of eventually having an orchestra that is run by the music department and is fully accredited by the college.”

Another addition to the arts at Trinity includes the new Women in Arts club, which aims provide a space for women to look at influential female artists both locally and globally and their current influence in society. One of the founding members, Karolina Kwiencinska ’16 says, “We are so excited about becoming a new addition to Trinity and collaborating with different clubs and all of the talented students on campus to create awareness and interest in feminist art as well as in female artists! We hope to provide a safe space for all students to discuss feminism in art as well as a space where students can showcase their artistic work throughout the year.”

Alicia Abbaspour ‘18, one of the founding members of The Beacon, alongside Natalia Claro ’18 and Emily Dowden tells the Tripod, “The Beacon…is an online monthly publication with a mission to engage and inform the student body through accessible news pieces. We hope to encourage our peers to be outwardly focused – that is, to understand and reflect on issues that affect Trinity campus, but also the larger communities of Hartford, our country, and the world.”

After the excitement that ensued among students during finals week when puppies were brought to campus, it’s no surprise that The Dog Lover’s Club has already received lots of enthusiasm from the canine-loving community. Aside from attending weekly meetings, the club is hoping to offer a dog-sitting program for faculty and staff members, monthly showings of dog-related films with dog-themed snacks, a finals week stress-free dog event each semester, and at least one volunteer event at a dog shelter per semester. Co-Founder Molly Schnieller discussed her inspiration for starting the club saying, “Our friends used to make fun of us and say ‘why don’t you just start a club about dogs since you love them so much.’ They were probably kidding, but when we started the process of founding Dog Lovers Club, we discovered lots of ways to use our puppy love for good.” Schnieller says in addition to being active on Trinity’s campus, they are “in the process of starting a dogsitting program on campus that’ll start with faculty and staff dogs and might expand to the Hartford community depending on how things go. We’re also in contact with a foundation called Fidelco that trains guide dogs for those that are blind or visually impaired, and we hope to volunteer for them soon.”

Ballroom Dance Club president Linh Tran ’17 is offering students the opportunity to both learn how to ballroom dance and compete in a professional setting. The club will offer at least dancing class each week under the direction of a professional instructor and a relaxing, unique experience for Trinity students.

Trinity College Ski Club received re-approval for their club. The Trinity College Ski Team has a long history as a top racing team within the Thompson division of USCSA.  The Thompson Division is comprised of colleges including fellow NESCAC schools Tufts University and Connecticut College, as well as larger universities such as Saint Lawrence and UCONN. President Becca Levy ‘16 and Vice President Rob Klein ’16 tell the Tripod, ”The ski team is happy to once again be part of student life at Trinity. We look forward to many successful racing seasons in the future!”

This past Sunday, four more clubs presented in front of SGA seeking approval. The new club additions will allow even more students to become involved in campus organizations and have opportunities to express themselves in a creative and active way.

Food Dudes: Mo’s Midtown serves up tasty breakfast



There isn’t anything much better than a classic diner breakfast on the weekend.

I recently stopped by Mo’s Midtown Restaurant for a late Saturday breakfast and was pleasantly surprised by the value, food, and atmosphere.

As soon as you walk in the door, you are greeted by the smell of coffee and pancakes on the griddle. The dining room is tightly packed, with a long bar that seats about 12 people and several booths running down the side of the restaurant. There is a flat top grill in front of the bar, where almost everything is prepared, making the setting a quintessential diner. Filled with patrons young and old, I could tell that this was the local spot to come for a hearty breakfast.

Luckily, as I walked in, a booth was just opening up so I did not have to wait for a table. There are not a lot of tables at Mo’s, but since it is a diner the turnover is quite fast. The booths are simple with classic vinyl seats. The table had a wide selection of condiments in the corner, including at least four different kinds of hot sauce. As someone who loves hot sauce, I was definitely appreciative of the variety.

Our server was quick to greet us. She immediately offered us coffee and asked if we wanted anything else to drink. The servers were very attentive, especially on the coffee refills – my mug would barely reach the half way point before it was filled up again.

The menu at Mo’s is simple but has all the basics covered, from almost any type of egg or omelet to French toast, pancakes, and breakfast sandwiches. I ordered the eggs benedict, which was served with home fries. I also ordered a blueberry pancake because I could see the massive pancakes that some of the other people in the restaurant were eating and immediately knew I had to try one.

The eggs benedict was classically prepared with thick grilled slices of real Canadian bacon, a lightly toasted English muffin, and a creamy hollandaise. The poached eggs were cooked to a perfect over-easy. The home fries were a standout as well, seasoned generously with spices and cooked in what I think may have been a bit of bacon grease, which added an amazing flavor.

The pancake was delicious and enormous. It was filled with wild blueberries, which tasted fresh. The batter was unique in that it seemed to have a slight cinnamon flavor to it. Smothered with melted butter and maple syrup, these pancakes were to die for. With other options like chocolate chip, strawberry, and raspberry, the pancakes are a must try, even if you only order one to share as a side.

Mo’s boasts modest prices on all of its menu items. The eggs benedict ran about six dollars and the single pancake, which was huge, was only about two dollars. Mo’s only accepts cash, so make sure you hit the ATM before you go. They have an ATM in the front of the diner. However, when I was there it was broken, so it is probably safer to make sure you have cash on hand.

Mo’s Midtown Restaurant is a small hole in the wall that is perfect for a weekend brunch or breakfast. With an inexpensive menu and delicious diner fare, it is the perfect reason to get out of bed on a lazy weekend morning.

Luke Gatti can teach us all a major life lesson


I hope that everyone has seen the video that “went viral” a couple of weeks ago involving a University of Connecticut (UCONN) student, alcohol, a cafeteria worker, a pasta dish, and a partridge in a pear tree.

If you have not seen the infamous clip, that is okay: I watched the entire nine minutes and seven seconds.

In brief, the student was clearly on the downswing of a night of carousing. During the hours preceeding the event, he probably enjoyed a variety of alcoholic beverages, ranging from Natural Lite to maybe some Ciroc, shared with a few of his closest Huskies.
Anyway, this guy entered a University of Connecticut dining hall with an open alcohol container, a huge campus no-no, and demanded macaroni and cheese whilst verbally abusing a manager who had asked him to leave.

There is a lot to address in this story. First, let us talk about the “no open alcohol containers” rule.

Now, clearly, this is a plot to prevent students from savoring the finer flavors of their campus cuisine. I often salivate over the idea of a nice Sauvignon Blanc to pair with grilled chicken à la Mather, or better yet, a nice Port to go with a spoonful of the chocolate hazelnut spread. I digress.

Despite the fact that “Mac and Cheese Kid” (aka Luke Gatti) is actually 19, though I am sure he has a very convincing fake ID and should not have any vessels of alcohol, this “no open containers” rule is a ruse, and Gatti does not buy it.

You have to hand it to the guy: he knew that he needed a ton of IBUs to enjoy UCONNs jalapeno- bacon macaroni and cheese.
Second, Gatti is an excellent example of alcohol-induced false confidence. He relentlessly taunted the manager of the dining area, brushed off a male student who attempted to stop the fight, and ignored a female worker who seemed like she could survive kitchen work in “Orange is the New Black.”

All three people looked capable of taking down Gatti in a fight, yet this did not faze him.

He persisted, querying why, if this is America, he could not just pay for some macaroni and cheese. Gatti is clearly trying to make America great again.

Finally, he shoved the manager. This move was his last. Another dining hall worker, exasperated by Gatti’s antics, put Gatti in a half nelson and took him to the ground. There, the manager and accompanying staff member wrangled Gatti as someone else called campus security. He was then handcuffed and taken away, ultimately recognizing his mistake.

I think that the takeaway from this incident is pretty far-reaching. Gatti made a fool of himself, and he has been called out for it.

Seriously, maybe if there was spaghetti à la Carbonara involved, or even some pappardelle Bolognese, we would all understand. However, this is “Mac and Cheese Kid” who we are discussing, and he crossed a line. The manager who dealt with him should be commended for remaining so calm. He gave Gatti every opportunity to simply walk away. Gatti’s behavior was atrocious and unwarranted, regardless of his drunkenness. In fact, being drunk is not an excuse for being a schmuck. So keep that in mind. For those who drink, who eat at restaurants, who eat at Mather, or who have basic human interactions, we need to think about what we are doing before we do it. We need to ask ourselves if our wants outweigh the respect we owe the people around us.

Otherwise, any one of us could find ourselves the subject of an ironic Jimmy Kimmel skit, and no one wants that.

Jennifer Lawrence redefines feminism and being a “boss”


This week, not unlike many others, Jennifer Lawrence was all over the headlines. Lately, however, her box office hits and perfectly candid interviews were not what dominated the airwaves.
As a result of last year’s Sony hack, the personal information and photographs of many celebrities were leaked. Part of this leaked information included the payroll records of many major films, revealing that, in multiple films, Jennifer Lawrence, and other female actors, were paid significantly less than male costars.

Earlier this week, Lawrence released an essay discussing her opinion of the issue.

So what attracted so much attention to Lawrence’s essay as opposed to the hundreds of others written daily? Much like her interviews, Lawrence’s essay was humorous and fun, while still getting her point across. Additionally, Lawrence’s response could be shocking to some. She writes, “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d***s, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”

Lawrence goes on to explain that she often did not negotiate higher pay in fear of being percieved as difficult or a spoiled brat. While Lawrence does acknowledge that men in the same situation would be less likely to be called a diva or a brat and would likely even be applauded for negotiating a higher pay, she does something that many feminists do not do. She realizes that some of the blame is on herself.

I have never referred to myself as a feminist, but that is not to say I do not fully believe in the power of being a woman.
I grew up in a family of five kids, four of whom are girls. Both of my parents work for FirstPRO, a staffing company with multiple offices nationwide which my mother founded. When FirstPRO is in a magazine, it is my mother’s face on the cover, not my father’s. While their employees do call my dad “Boss,” they call my mom “Big Boss.” I grew up surrounded by living proof that a woman can be the boss in a “man’s world.”

I disagree with a common view of feminism. When it comes to the gender wage gap, women are not helpless victims in a situation that men need to change.

That is where Jennifer Lawrence hits the nail on the head. Had she continued to negotiate a higher price, would she have been called a brat? Certainly. Is she more likely to be called a brat than her male costars? Maybe so. But if more women began negotiating for the pay they think they deserve whatever that may be, it would become a cultural norm rather than a reason to call a woman a brat.

It is much like the joke in school, “If we all break the rule they cannot kick us all out!” If all women unapologetically asserted themselves in the workplace, they would not be singled out. Although arguably unconventional, Lawrence’s essay should be the definition of feminism. She is right: a large reason for her lower pay is her own fault. Many disagree, arguing that employers should adjust women’s pay to equal that of men’s, but employers are going to pay the least that they can to get the job done, that is just business sense.

If feminism truly is about the power of women, the most “feminist” thing a woman could do would be to take action and negotiate a higher salary herself, rather than sit idly by and complain about being the victim of a wage gap. Women are not the victims of big mean men. Women succeed in the workplace all of the time, owning companies and becoming the boss. The ones who do succeed aren’t afraid to take action and risk critisism on their way up.
In the wise words of Beyoncé, “I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.” Until powerful women are not expected to apologize for strength, and until assertiveness is no longer surprising, these classic debates will only continue.

Trinity College’s conformative campus culture


Recently, Trinity College’s administration made the decision to launch a full fledged initiative aimed at combatting the dearth of diversity on campus. Unfortunately, we outwardly wear a skin of white privilege, which for some individuals is a source of pride while it’s a source of misery for others. In reality, Trinity College contains a plethora of students from mixed backgrounds—our institutional makeup has the opportunity to celebrate numerous ethnicities, geographies, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Simply stated, Trinity College is already a diverse community. As students, we have the opportunity to engage and participate in and explore an interesting social landscape. After we leave Trinity, we will settle into new populaces where there will paradoxically be less of an opportunity to broaden one’s own horizons.

There is a consensus that we have a lack of unity, and the voices of these opinions, though they come from specific niches on campus, all hold a heterogenous opinion. So why do many people at Trinity find our community to be a confusing social maze, rather than easily discernible? The answer to this question was originated within the work of contemporary social scientist’s René Girard.
Girard describes human nature’s need for similarity, which is a concept that is applicable to the structure of Trinity College. At the very root of Girard’s theory is the notion of imitation, a longstanding mechanism used in adaptation.

When we arrive at Trinity College as First-Years we transition into the established process of needing to adapt to this unknown environment. At Trinity, we are constantly surrounded by the idea that we are lucky to be at an elite institution. We observe others, whether it be alumni or our peers, achieve success. Each of us wants to obtain our own version of success, although common themes can be identified within each students individual goals and ideal achievements.

What sets Girard’s work apart from other applicable theories to describe our environment is the role of desire. Girard suggests that our desires are always, not sometimes, instigated by another person. If individuals imitate each other’s desires, they typically end up desiring the same object, whether it be physical or metaphorical. And if these people desire the same things, they have the capacity to become rivals because they are in competition for the same thing.

As I previously stated, Trinity aspires to be a successful community—this is an admirable cause. However, the issue with this type of community, a community defined by an equal playing field where we can all be successful, is that we will find ourselves descending into a larger conflict with ourselves. Competition between ourselves is more apparent when we resemble one another.
Now, I’m not talking about physical appearances. I could not care less about whether you wear salmon colored pants, Sperry’s, or a Barbour jacket on the Long Walk because these objects help you blend in with the landscape. I personally love Patagonia’s for their warmth and can’t wait to break out my Bean Boots as soon as the weather declares that it’s cold enough. Choosing to dress, or not dress like your peers, is a deliberate decision.

Rather, I’m referring to the fact that we deliberately choose to accept the fact that we resemble one another when discussing the need for Trinity to be successful. To some, this alludes to the necessity of a more diverse Trinity diverse in order to succeed as an institution.

To others, this means remaining a school rooted in tradition. But to most, this means floating on in an uncomfortable manner and this acts as a catalyst to creating the hostile, unwelcoming community. Too many people on this campus want to accept the status quo.
Deliberate conformity is a conscious method of navigating an environment, but conformity becomes brainless at a certain point. Our campus needs more viable forms of expressing how we think our community can be successful. We don’t need to be force fed the idea that we have the capacity to be diverse; we can recognize that we’re all distinct and we all desire self-preservation.

Now I’m not saying we all need to stand together on the quad and sing Kumbaya together. That would be absurd. What astonishes me is that we can laugh about the fact that no one smiles at each other on the Long Walk, or that Mather has unwritten designated eating areas, but we choose not to argue about the fact that these observations honestly allude to the borderline slave-like adherence to social conformity no one wants to provoke.

The convergence of success, diversity, and individuality is indeed difficult on our campus because there are invisible barriers that will take monumental time to deconstruct. The first step to combatting issues our campus faces the most difficulty in surmounting is to become more vocal.

I see Trinity entrenched in a cold war, a conflict with no direct combat. We don’t want to say anything remotely opinionated because we fear that we won’t be accepted by our peers.

If we want a community where diversity—however you personally define this word—is truly valued and fostered, we need to hear where we each think these problems are, and how to solve them. Proactively speaking abour and analyzing the problems only does so much; the student body must act in order for the culture to change.

Kunduz airstrike: war crime or a fatal mistake?


Over the course of the previous week one of the biggest headlines about events in the “Middle Eastern” news region was surprisingly not tied to ISIS cruelty, Russian interventions, or Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

Instead, the focus was on Kunduz, Afghanistan. The city fell to Taliban forces and became a battleground, as defending Afghan troops were forced back to enclaves throughout the city. Then, a counteroffensive backed by firepower from NATO’s Resolute Support Mission (RSM) helped retake the city.

During the battle a Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, hospital was wracked by explosions from 2-3 AM on October third, that severely damaged buildings and started fires.

Afghan Security forces retook Kunduz, but amongst the casualties were twenty-two dead and thirty-seven wounded patients, doctors, and staff from the MSF’s Kunduz facility.

Within a few days, MSF was calling for an investigation by the Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC). MSF then escalated their position, saying that they were working under the assumption that U.S. forces committed a war crime. The Pentagon acknowledging the airstrike did not alleviate the situation, as MSF president Joanne Liu accused U.S. and Afghan forces of “working together” to destroy the hospital.

Since the airstrike, the 24/7 news cycle has gone into overdrive, as the story evolved with a chain of conflicting and evolving reports coming from both official and unofficial sources. As an explaination, the Pentagon initially stated on the third that airstrikes had been conducted near the hospital and those “may” have inflicted damage to a nearby “medical facility.”

Kunduz’s acting governor, Hamdullah Danishi, issued a statement the next day saying that the hospital’s large garden was used by Taliban who fired on advancing Afghan forces with small arms and rockets that were “tolerated” for some time before returning fire.
MSF responded that there had never been Taliban inside of the hospital compound. In the meantime, the Pentagon acknowledged that U.S. troops were under attack near the hospital and confirmed that it was fighter aircrafts that conducted the airstrikes.

Presently, RSM commander, General Campbell, has settled on a narrative in which Afghan forces made an airstrike request routed to a U.S. Special Forces unit that did not have a “visual” on the “target.” The unit’s request for fire somehow did not go through the usual auditing procedures before an approval that allowed a C-130 gunship to open fire on the hospital. The Pentagon has acknowledged that the strike was a mistake that led to a regrettabe loss of life, and has offered to rebuild the hospital and pay “condolence” to its victims.

As it stands, there is no path to a final resolution of what happened in Kunduz. The U.S. military has firmly established a chain of events and will conduct a deeper investigation, for better or for worse by NATO over the course of several months.
The Afghan government has also maintained that its forces marked the airstrike “target” and requested the strike to deal with incoming enemy fire. MSF insists there were no Taliban in their facility and that they had repeatedly sent GPS coordinates of their hospital to combatants who should have been aware of the hospital’s presence.

MSF’s war crime accusation is built on Geneva Convention protections of medical personnel and protocols concerning proportionality in attack. This accusation is filled with loopholes unless a demonstrated intent to purposely destroy the entire hospital compound can be proven.

And, even if the requested independent investigation by the IHFFC were approved by the conflicting parties (highly unlikely), the commission report is ultimately of dubious value, as the agency has never been tested by an actual investigation in its 24 year history. If it finds anything disagreeable to the report, its public release can be prohibited.

Trinity’s card-only access akin to living in a prison cell


The use of the Personal Access Code (PACs) is endangered –– dorm room locks are being changed to card-access only. While many buildings have yet to see this transition, it is soon to be school-wide. Then, we may all find ourselves donning lanyards –– an accessory that is only justified if one needs it for CIA security clearance.

According to a Campus Safety officer I spoke with card-access is intended to combat the breach of security caused by students exchanging PACs. Apparently, people give out their PACs like candy on Halloween under the assumption that, like a King-Size Snickers, it will make them friends. One bitter ex-boyfriend or angry best friend and this exercise in trust and camaraderie may sour with theft, vandalism, or awkward interruptions to personal time. The possibilities for disaster are very real.

The school is taking these incidents seriously and trying to eradicate the problem altogether. While their proactive stance is appreciated, the change to card-access for dorm rooms is uncomfortable at best. Not only does card-access put unnecessary strain on students and Campus Safety officers, it detracts from “real-life” lessons in personal responsibility.

As students we are constantly in and out of our rooms, and any number of situations could result in a forgotten ID card, such as a 3 a.m. bathroom run or a rushed exit so as not to be late for class, for example. Imagine locking yourself out just before an important exam or appointment and being forced to wait for a Campus Safety officer to grant you entry to your room.

That is another issue with card-access. As forgotten IDs are an inevitable occurrence, letting students into their own rooms will occupy even more of our Campus Safety resources. Officers may miss the opportunity to apprehend the serial butt-grabber if they are engaged in the problems caused by a misplaced ID. Aside from that, they will become increasingly exasperated with the seemingly useless and annoying calls from students who forget IDs. The last thing Trinity College wants is for Campus Safety officers to be fed up with the students they are meant to protect.

School is quite unlike home as it is, and though it may be subconscious, we are always a little on guard. We wear shoes in the shower, never leave our laptops unattended, and do not let our clothes sit in the dryer overnight. This is all to be expected when one cohabits with 2,300 other people. Eventually, the college-induced behavioral adjustments become habit, and we can relax into the ebb and flow of shared living space.

However, card-access to individual dorm rooms crosses the line between conscientious living and restrictive living.
Students generally take these precautions of their own accord. No one monitors us for shower-shoe use, nor should they. College allows us to experience certain facets of adult life, while still living in the bounds of a safety net. Though the card-access system may seem like an extension of that safety net, it also deprives us of the opportunity for personal responsibility. If someone gives out his or her PAC, even if it is given to a “friend”, that decision carries a risk. Misusing someone’s personal information may be wrong, but handing out that information is foolish.
PACs are convenient, and by trading code for card access, the school is causing trouble for the majority of students who do not suffer from compromised PACS. In some ways, the ability to choose just how guarded we are with our personal habits and information, makes school seem less like a “facility”.

Yet with the change to card-access for individual living spaces, each room feels less like a home and more like a cell.

An honest dissection of the upcoming race for President


The quadrennial media circus that is the American presidential election is upon us, and 2016’s media coverage has, once again, proved very entertaining. From the clownish antics of the Trump to Hillary Clinton’s scandalous flirtation with a Gmail account (how dare she!), to the fact that no one has told Bernie Sanders to comb his hair, this political cycle is shaping up to be the zaniest and wackiest yet.

However, it seems that the public has forgotten that we actually need to choose the President of the United States from our twenty-strong ensemble (twenty-one if you count Biden!). Trying to make sense of the mess is exhausting – so let’s get started!
On the Republican side, there are currently fifteen candidates for the nomination, by far the highest number of candidates in the modern political era. Leading many Iowa, New Hampshire and national polls are possibly the three selections most unfit to become President: Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump. Somehow, this gang of misfits has stumbled its way into first place, leading many conservatives to declare that it is the year of political “outsiders.” This is patently ridiculous. Donald Trump will not become president. He has zero support from Republican elites, is almost no one’s second choice, and may not even be a Republican. As soon as the field clears, moderate Republicans will rally around literally anyone other than Trump and his candidacy will soon seem no more than a bad dream.

Fiorina and Carson are, in my opinion, worse, because they seem like plausible candidates, but they are terrible. Carson’s and Fiorina’s platforms are the typical generic Republican blend, with abominable positions on Christianity, gun control, healthcare, and welfare. They come with the bonus that neither of them have an ounce of governance experience. Carly Fiorina caused HP’s stock price to plummet during her tenure as CEO. Carson, I suspect, may be a zombie. He is certainly not exciting in any way. Bad policy, lack of qualifications, zero political experience and (in Carson’s case) a general sense of apathy exuding from his person should force people to take pause before voting for the Republican frontrunners. But I don’t see them winning the nomination either.
Jeb has built a modicum of support from the party actors, but he is far from the clear choice that some initially thought he would be. I don’t love Jeb because I tend to trend liberal socially, but also because I am not a huge fan of the Bushes in general. The other two significant nominees that I’d like to mention are Marco Rubio and John Kasich.

Rubio is, in my option, the Republicans’ best chance. His ideology fits the Republicans like a glove and he is not a part of the establishment, unlike Bush. However, he still has good political experience in Florida, one of the most important swing states in the national election.

Kasich is my personal favorite nominee. Kasich is a reasonable, moderate Republican with a proven record in Ohio, the other huge swing state for the general election. He is relatively bipartisan and stands up to those in his party who he disagrees with. I like Kasich. It’s really too bad both Rubio and Kasich have received almost no media attention compared to the “frontrunners” and currently are floundering in the polls.

I just hope to God that Ted Cruz does not gain any traction. Besides the fact that he looks like a disappointed corn-husk doll that someone sat on, his social and fiscal policy positions are disgusting. Cruz is a nasty piece of work and I find it terrifying that he’s ahead of so many other nominees.
Many Republican nominees are not worth mentioning as they seem to have little to no ability to gain a following or make a difference, which is another reason the entire Republican race thus far has been an absolute embarassment.
On the Democratic side of things, the media continues to give attention to that which does not deserve it. Hillary Clinton will be the nominee. Pretending that anyone else even has a shot is just silly.

In the last dozen primaries, the best indicator of the eventual nominee is the candidate’s endorsement count from influential party members. While Republican Party actors haven’t rallied behind any of the myriad choices yet, the opposite is true for the Democrats. Clinton has the support of 111 U.S. Representatives, 30 senators, and eight governors. There has never been a clearer mandate of party support in the modern political era. For comparison, the Republican “establishment” pick Jeb Bush, who has the support of 30 representatives and three senators. Bernie Sanders has a single endorsement from one representative.

There has been a lot of talk about Bernie Sanders, and while he does seem lovable and his policies reasonable, he simply will not win. Sanders has almost no minority support: he is overwhelmingly supported by white, rich people. This means that he could feasibly win Iowa and Hew Hampshire and then nothing else (which is why I think that he leads some polls there). I don’t think that Sanders is a good choice for the Democratic Party though: I cannot see him winning a general election against anyone. America will not elect a self-proclaimed socialist. Of this, I am almost certain. So who could America elect in a general election? What about the only other candidate in the race?

Clinton is a fantastic pick for the Democratic Party and is also my personal favorite. She is a reasonable, consistent liberal with decades of experience and support. She’s progressive, politically savvy and, in my opinion, totally presidential material. Her biggest competitor hasn’t even officially entered the race yet. Even if Joe Biden were to enter the race, I don’t think he’d stand a chance against Clinton’s political machine. History has not been kind to late entrants to the race. If only the media could stop trying to make a story from absolutely nothing and shut up about this ridiculous “emailgate”, we could move on to the important issues. Instead of trying to break Clinton, the media should focus on someone worth their ire. Say, maybe, Ted Cruz?

First-Years navigate Trinity College’s first Nests


Hamlin Hall looked like a dazzling banquet scene out of Harry Potter. Glasses glittered, gourmet food was artistically arranged and soft lighting illuminated the six students who showed up for the second Nest Dinner. This contrasted greatly from the first Nest Dinner where there were so many students that we overflowed onto two tables. What happened? Well, the same email was sent out for both events, but the one detail that was missing from the second email was the word “required.” That one word made the difference between six students and over sixty students showing up.

Although there were many students who had extenuating circumstances such as sports practices and classes that Thursday night, it was a shame that they had to miss out on an event that was meant to help students break out of their everyday routines and meet people whom they normally would not have the chance to meet. The word “required” was removed because the Nest leaders wanted to have a family-like dinner that would not have the possibility of being tainted by resentful undertones. Since the first dinner went smoothly, they had no reason to think the second wouldn’t have a similar attendance number. However, the word “required” makes all the difference to students.

The nests really are a great source of integration for Trinity students, but they are as effective as you want to make them. Being the social butterfly that I am, coming from Virginia, not knowing anyone, and wanting to meet a myriad variety of people, the nests opened up more avenues for me to do just that. During orientation, I was originally not a big fan about going to the “required” Nest Games. However, I ended up leaving with two things that day: a bruise from getting nailed by a dodgeball and a great group of friends.

Since this is the kick-off year for the nests, there are still things that have to be ironed out. However, the amount of enthusiasm and dedication the nest leaders have in creating a good time to kick back, relax and meet other students is undeniable. Every day, I receive emails from my nest leader that contain invitations to join fun events on campus such as Pizza and Cupcake Thursdays and Apple Picking.

Although the Nests can’t force students to go to events and say “Alright, start interacting in 3…2…1,” students can make the decision to attend an event that takes them out of their comfort zones and cross social group barriers to meet new people that just might become their friends.

Parking outside of the box with Professor Lloyd


“Hell is other people,” wrote Jean-Paul Sartre in No Exit, but in the collegiate world, hell is looking for a parking place. Yet the problem need not be traumatic, and much can be done to alleviate it without paving another inch of paradise, nor writing another ticket. Parking, it turns out, depends on what you drive — and on you.

Sport Utility Vehicles: The ever-popular SUV is perhaps the only non-military vehicle suitable for driving in quicksand and molten lava —making it the obvious car-of-choice for many students. But SUVs also are parking pros due to a little-known trick in their construction: they can be stacked. You don’t need a fancy crane or lift to pile on a second layer of SUVs in a parking lot — the astute parker can self-stack a typical SUV in no more time than it takes to pancake a squirrel.

It works like this: Suppose you’re driving your faithful Ford Exploiter, hoping to grab your favorite parking place behind the Field House. But when you get there, you see your friend Lissa has already parked her Jeep Grand Chickpea in your slot. If the Chickpea is facing you, just follow these steps:

1. Engage your four-wheel drive.

2. With your Exploiter in first gear, slowly drive straight toward the Chickpea. (Note: Make sure the parking break in the Chickpea is engaged.)

3. Your car will begin to climb the hood of the other. Proceed slowly up the hood and windshield until you are driving on top of the Chickpea.

4. You should hear a loud clunk as the docking clamps engage between the two cars. (Important safety note: It is unsafe to stack SUVs if the docking clamp is not engaged, especially if Lissa chooses to drive away while your car is perched on hers. If you don’t hear the clamps engage, carefully back down off the Chickpea and try again. It may take several tries to achieve the correct alignment.)

As you can see, this simple technique can greatly reduce parking overload. Indeed, if you and Lissa get together, tomorrow you can do a double-decker. Just leave your Exploiter mounted on the Chickpea, and let Lissa do the driving. Find a nice Dodge Flimflam, and you’ll be in for a triple treat.
Other recent-vintage cars: Is your car sort of round and puffy, and looks like an inflatable pillow? If so, then it probably is. Unbeknownst to many consumers, several recent car models are fully inflatable, and hence, deflatable. To see if your car is one of these, simply stand in front of your car with your arms outstretched. Relax, and let yourself fall face first onto the hood. If you drive an inflatable, you’ll bounce pleasantly, as on a waterbed. To deflate, find the nozzle under either the front or rear bumper, and pull out the little plug. Allow the car to settle, squeeze out those last little bits of air, and your vehicle is ready to fold and stash in your backpack or briefcase. When it’s time to drive again, allow a few extra minutes to reinflate.
But what if you drive neither a greenhouse gasser nor a power puff inflatable? It’s time for a little creative thinking! Parking isn’t just for parking spaces.

There is space everywhere, waiting for you, space which is not only wide open but legal — for example, when was the last time you saw a car getting towed from a dormitory lounge? Where in the Student Handbook does it say that you can’t park in the library stacks? On a recent rainy day I parked my Prius in the Cave, and no one raised an eyebrow. Creative parkers also scoff at the idea that parking spaces need to be horizontal. Think for a moment of the many possible vertical parking lots around campus, with more going up all the time. With a good parking brake, any brick or concrete building could be great parking, and maybe even save you an elevator trip. All these private places are waiting for you.
Ultimately, however, the “problem” is not spatial at all. You define “looking for parking” as undesirable. Yet while you search, you are physically and mentally alert, and engaged in a complex calculation of the physics and psychology of a thousand other cars and their drivers. Parking, in short, is a crucial part of your general education (and the continuing professional development of faculty, staff, and administrators). That is why the Curriculum Committee is considering a Parking Requirement for graduation, mandating a certain number of hours spent circling as a part of a bachelor’s degree. A major in “Parking Studies” is also in the works, and keys to Zipcars are now part of most financial aid packages.

The strategic value of maximizing the number of cruisers has not been lost on the nation’s elite schools, who realize that every student currently looking for a parking place is a student who is not taking up a precious seminar, dining hall, or dorm space. At Harvard, for example, close to half the student body is looking for parking at any time. At Yale, that number is around 40%. Our own percentage of cruisers -10% – is a promising start.
But more of us have to get out there looking for parking if Trinity is to enhance its academic glory. The College can help by digging more large holes and surrounding them with orange barrels. But it is finally up to each of us with access to a car to overcome our distaste for the quest.

Students, start your engines! (I think I just saw someone leave a spot on Summit, down by New Britain.)
I am a Professor of Philosophy. My other car is a pair of shoes.

Calls to end Columbus Day grow louder

Each year as the second Monday of October grows near, a rallying cry to rebrand the legacy of Christopher Columbus and to abolish the federal holiday that commemorates his journey beats louder and louder.  And why should it not?

By now, the true story of Christopher Columbus is well known and accepted.  Very few who observe the holiday still subscribe to the PG story we all learned in elementary school: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…The Arakawa natives were very nice, they gave the sailors food and spice.”   The problem with this story is that it is well documented that Columbus and his crew tortured, enslaved and killed many of the natives they encountered.  In the name of discovery and riches, they committed these atrocities on a mass scale, yet we celebrate the man today.

To those who support Columbus Day, the holiday is not meant to praise everything the man did, but rather to celebrate Europe’s expansion into the Americas, one of the biggest events in the history of Western Culture.   However, thousands have taken to the internet and social media to call for a rebranding of the day that Columbus arrived in the Bahamas. The hash tag #Nothingtocelebrate is trending across Latin America, and has been posted over 80,000 times in the weeks leading up to Columbus day.

Another campaign that has been growing significantly in North America aims to rename the holiday “Indigenous People’s Day.”  Nine American cities opted this year to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day, including Portland, OR and Albuquerque, NM, which holds one of the largest Native American Populations in the country.  The campaign, which gains more support every year, aims to celebrate Native American culture, a majorly overlooked demographic in the United States and the Americas

We are at a point in history where antequated symbols like Columbus Day are being questioned, and eliminated.  This year for example, we finally saw the Confederate Flag, a symbol for the Civil War and slavery, removed from many government buildings.

The only problem is that social changes like this tend to only gain momentum in response to a specific incident.  In the case of Native Americans and Columbus day, this fight can not just take place each year in the middle of October.

The struggles of Indegenous people are consistently given very minimal attention in the United States,  in terms of both sentiments and public policy.  Native people are very regularly discriminated against and face one of the highest rates of poverty and drug abuse in the country.

These issues should be heard and they should be dealt with.  The fact of the matter is that this country was built largely around the killing and opression of native people, and those kinds of old-world ideals have no place in our time.

Rebranding Columbus Day is as much about giving a voice to the Native American community as it is about rewritting the history of Columbus, but its implications are larger.  It is just a first step in granting an entire group of people equal representation and treatment in the eyes of its peers.


Where is the food during Trin Days?

Trin Days are something that I, along with all the other students, look forward to since practically the second week of classes. It is always a much needed break when classes are getting particularly stressful.

Traditionally, Trin Days were created as “study days,” where students could catch up on work without classes or any other commitments to worry about. However, from my experience, students today look at these days very differently. Trin Days are either spent at home doing absolutely nothing for a long weekend or as a four-day weekend of strictly fun. Either way, I’m not complaining.

As a junior, I spent my first Trin Days on campus this past weekend. Normally, I head home to Pittsburgh, visit family in Massachusetts, or crash with a friend who lives close by. However, this year, I had a decent amount of work and flights home were ridiculously expensive. So, I decided to I’d stick around on campus. It couldn’t be that bad, could it?

As the long weekend comes to an end, I have mixed feelings about staying on campus. It is nice to spend the weekend relaxing and not having to worry about getting up for class first thing Monday morning. I was able to actually get ahead on work whereas that would’ve been impossible had I been home. I also had a few friends on campus so, despite no major social things going on at night, we were still able to entertain ourselves.

But, there was one huge problem about staying around on campus – there is almost no food available on campus. As someone who lives on the north side of campus, I live faithfully off of the Bistro and Goldberg’s. Especially with the Bistro’s strange weekend hours, I eat Goldberg’s primarily on the weekends. But, the fact that Goldberg’s closed at either 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. the past couple days and the Bistro did not reopen on Sunday evening is absolutely ridiculous. I understand that the number of students on campus during Trin Days are significantly lower. But, those who do stick around need to be well fed.

I can honestly say that, because of the lack of food options, I will never stay on campus during Trin Days again. This is extremely sad that Trinity closes places to such an extent that people do not even feel able to stay on campus. Fortunately, I have family who is willing to bring me home from here on out. But, Trinity needs to think about those who cannot so easily do that. They should not be punished for choosing to stay on their campus for an extended weekend.


Season preview: Men’s Tennis



This past week, the Trinity Men’s tennis team defeated Coast Guard 8-1 in its only match of the fall season. Despite losing one match in doubles, and only being up 2-1 before the singles matches, Trinity did not lose one of its six singles matches.

The number one doubles team, comprised of senior Ford Traff ’16 and sophomore Rex Glickman ’18, defeated their opponents in a one sided 8-1 victory. Glickman, who also played at number one for the singles team, defeated Coast Guard’s Mark Guentert 6-1,6-2. Traff, who played number two had a 6-4,6-1 victory.

Kyle Scheffers ’18 won his match at number three singles 6-3, 6-1, while Aaron Segel ’16 did not seem to break a sweat with a 6-2, 6-0 victory at the number four slot. Junior Jagger Riefler ’17 won a long a three-setter match with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory, ultimately dominating in the third set. Fellow junior Philip Winser ’17 won his line six match with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

All in all, our Bantams played very well, only dropping one match to Coast Guard. The men’s tennis team started the year off strong, with a 1-0 record going into the spring season. The future looks bright for what is to follow this spring.

Be ready to keep an eye out for the men this spring, as they will be back in action starting Mar. 14 in their season opener against Bowdoin College.

If this weekend was any indicator for the future, it looks as if Men’s Tennis will have a great year.

Volleyball has positive week, looks to continue success



The Trinity College volleyball team is now 7-8 (1-5 NESCAC) after a 2-1 week of play. On Tuesday Oct. 6, the Bantams took on Smith College at home in their annual “Dig Pink” game to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Clad in pink jerseys, the Bantams dominated the Pioneers in 3 sets, winning every set by at least 10 points. Kate Giddens ’16 had 15 kills and Gina Buzzelli ’16 had 21 assists. The two of them surpassed 1000 kills and 1000 assists, respectively, last week. Anne Hay ’18 added 4 aces in the match.

The Bantams followed the victory with a weekend road trip to Bowdoin and Emerson. In their matchup with the NESCAC leading Polar Bears, the Bantams were the clear underdog. Despite losing in 3 sets and posting a season-low .047 hitting percentage, the Bantams fought hard and narrowly lost the second set 25-21. Grace Metry ’18 tallied 11 digs and in especially great news, Randi Whitham ’17 returned from a broken wrist to notch 7 assists and 6 digs.

The Bantams had to bounce back quickly, though, with a matchup against Emerson the following day, Oct 10.  Following back-to-back 3-setters, this one stretched all 5 sets with a 15-7 final set for the Bantams to seal the victory. Giddens led the team with 17 kills and 6 serving aces, while Metry led the team with 21 digs. In her second game back from injury, Whitham led the team with 26 assists returning to her sophomore season form.

With 7 games left in the season, the Bantams look to get back over .500 and make an end of the season push. The team travels to Connecticut College and Tufts this weekend to take on the Camels and Jumbos in a NESCAC double header.

Exciting victory for men’s soccer in double overtime



The Bantams edged out a win against the Polar Bears of Bowdoin with a final score of 2-1 after not one, but two overtime periods. From the start, it was sure to be a wild game, considering Trinity and Bowdoin’s long-time NESCAC rivalry, and Saturday’s match was one for the books. Drawing an incredible number of fans, the Bantams and Polar Bears battled it out in Hartford for an astounding 109 minutes and 22 seconds, until the game-winner was netted by Trinity forward Cody Savonen ’17.

Scoring began at the 54 minute mark with co-captain Tobias Gimand ’17 setting up midfielder Sam Millbury ’18  for a beautiful bar-down goal.  The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Bantams until with less than one minute left in regulation, a controversial no-call involving what looked like a blatant hand ball allowed Bowdoin to capitalize on the corner that was called. Nabil Odulate headed in a beautiful pass from teammate Ethan Ellsworth. The goal occurred with just 13 seconds left in regulation.

Fighting words were exchanged on the field among players, which filled the final seconds of regulation. The first overtime period ended in a stalemate, and the two teams headed into the second overtime period for a last chance to pull ahead. If neither team scored, the game would have officially been declared a draw. In the last minute of the period, Gimand took advantage of a Bowdoin turnover, stealing the ball and executing a nice through pass to Savonen, who handled the ball with apparent ease, beating two Bowdoin defenders and putting it past Polar Bear goalkeeper Stevie Van Siclen. The victory literally came down to the last minute.

Amazingly enough, this was not the Bantams’ first rodeo regarding overtime play this year. The Trinity Men’s Soccer team has gone into double overtime an astounding five times this season, only losing one of those extended matches.

Well into their season, this win comes at a key time for the Bantams. This victory gives them a 5-4-2 overall record and a NESCAC record of 2-4-1, extending their winning streak to three games. Bowdoin drops down to 4-3-2 on the season. They travel to Western Connecticut on Tuesday October 13th to take on the Colonials who are 4-6-1 on the season.

Football defeats Hamilton College after tough first half



Trinity hosted the Hamilton College Continentals on Saturday at Jessee Miller Field. The Bantams came into the game 2-0 after two consecutive shutout wins while the Continentals were 0-2 after two tough losses to start the season.

The first quarter started off with a one yard touchdown by Max Chipouras ’19, capping a 7 minute drive in which the Bantams offense gained 79 yards in 15 plays. This touchdown excited the crowd and the Trinity sideline as well. This was the only score of the game until the ball went over punter Kyle Pulek’s ’16 head on an intended punt in the second quarter, which would result in a Continentals safety. Although the Bantams were leading with a score of 7-2 going into halftime, the first half was tough for Trinity’s offense. Quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’18 threw two interceptions and Hamilton also recovered a fumble. The Continentals, however, were not able to score off of the turnovers.

The third quarter opened up with a Chipouras two-yard touchdown run after Darrien Myers’17 returned the second half kickoff 65 yards. The extra point kick by Eric Sachse’19 was blocked by Hamilton’s A.J. Cantarella and returned by Colby Jones for 98 yards to give the Continentals an extra two points on the scoreboard. This however would be the last score of the game for Hamilton. Chipouras scored his third touchdown of the game, and fifth of the season, after another one yard touchdown. The Bantams failed on a two point-conversion attempt ending the 3rd quarter with a score of 19-4.

The fourth quarter saw the Bantams put two more scores on the board, including a 29-yard field goal by Eric Sachse ’19 and a 1-yard touchdown run by Ethan Suraci ’18. The game ended in a 29-4 victory for the Bantams and brought their record to 3-0. The contest marked the first time in NESCAC history that a team scored 4 points in a game.

The Bantams defense was stellar, shutting out the opponent’s offense for the 3rd game in a row. Linebacker Liam Kenneally ’18 had a team-high six tackles and defensive tackle Matt D’Andrea ’17 had four tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery. Shane Libby’19 had three tackles for loss, as well as a sack and a pass breakup. Safety Patrick Dorsey ’17 was stout on the back end of the defense with 5 tackles, and cornerback Paul McCarthy ’16 added another interception stretching his NESCAC lead to 4 interceptions on the year.

The Bantams will look to build on their early season momentum as they play the Jumbos of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts this Saturday, Oct. 17.

Big weekend for Women’s Soccer



The Trinity College Women’s Soccer Team had an excellent week as they defeated both Manhattanville and Bowdoin in 1-0 bouts. These two wins have given the women a two game winning streak and have improved their overall record to an impressive 8-2.

The Manhattanville game was mostly scoreless. This was due in part to the Trinity defense, which was able to limit Manhattanville to just four shots. Trinity’s offense was also able to muster a strong pressure game, which outmatched Manhattanville with 20 shots on goal. However, the first half was a low scoring affair, with both teams only having one shot on net.

Sophomore back Laura Nee ’18 almost scored on a long distance shot in the 13th minute, but she could not convert it. In the second half Nee almost scored again in the 55th minute, but it would be first year Caroline McKenna ’19 that would score the game winning goal off a corner kick within the 83rd minute.

Trinity’s game against Bowdoin would prove to be similar to Wednesday’s game. The Bears dominated the first half on the offensive end, but DiFiori was able to save nine shots on target to record another career shutout. However, Trinity’s offense picked things up in the second half putting up 10 shots. Like the Manhattanville game, it would be McKenna who ended the game off of an assist from junior midfielder Kendra Lena ’17 in the 81st minute.  Despite a few last attempts by the Bears to score in the closing minutes of the game, defender Sarah Connors ’18 was able to shut the Polar Bears down for good despite the Trinity defense being outnumbered on the drive.

Overall, the Bantams have dominated their opponents so far, as they remain undefeated agaisnt non-conference teams, and 4-2 in the NESCAC, putting them in second place in the conference, giving them high playoff hopes. The women will have two away games this week, first against Eastern Connecticut State on Wednesday Oct. 14 and Middlebury on Saturday Oct. 17.

Field Hockey puts scare into Bowdoin in OT thriller



Unfortunately for the Women’s Field Hockey squad, going home for Trinity Days would be near impossible this year thanks to a noon game on Saturday.  However, the Bantams got the luxury of home field advantage, and wouldn’t have to trek into the tundra in Brunswick, Maine.

The ladies hosted Bowdoin College, and while this matchup is annual a competitive conference rivalry, this year the Polar Bears of Bowdoin were coming in undefeated at 8-0, including five dominating performances against other NESCAC opponents.  It was Bowdoin who struck first, scoring just seven minutes into the fixture, and it seemed that the game might be another instance of Bowdoin beating up on yet another conference opponent.  However, the Bantams showed a level of grit that Bowdoin had not seen in its earlier games, and it clearly took them by surprise.  Senior tri-captain Liz Caporale ’16 leveled the score at one, and then just eight minutes Sydney Doolittle ’17 put another one past the Bowdoin keeper to put the team up by one.  The Bantams headed back to the locker room at halftime with a 2-1 lead.

After the break, Bowdoin wasted no time getting back on the scoreboard.  In similar fashion to their goal in the first half, this goal came just a little more than six minutes after the second half whistle blew.   However, this was one of the few highlights of the second half and the last 24 minutes of the half were scrappy and hard fought on both sides, neither team yielding another goal for the remainder of regulation play.  After 60 minutes of battling, particularlly on the defensive side of the ball, the game headed into extra time.

It’s important to note that despite the closeness of the game on the scoreboard, by the end of regulation the match had become quite lopsided.  Some notable statistics include:  Bowdoin outshooting Trinity 28 to 9, and additionally had four times the amount of penalty corners (16 to Trinity’s 4).  This means that Bowdoin’s time of possession was significantly higher than Trinity’s, which put the Bantams on defense for the majority of the game.

Further, the uneven shots and penalty corners in Bowdoin’s favor highlight another discrepancy in the statistics.  Trinity’s senior goalkeeper and tri-captain Sophie Fitzpatrick ’16 tallied an impressive 17 saves compared to just three on the part of Bowdoin’s goalie.

However, the relentless offensive pressure from the Bowdoin attackers turned out to be too much in the end as the Polar Bears eventually knotted the final overtime goal three minutes into the extra period, ending the game.

While any overtime loss is disappointing, the ladies’ effort was commendable, and shows that they can hang with the very best teams in the area.

The Bantams will look to put on an even put performance for their next game this Tuesday Oct. 13 at Springfield College.


Trinity College admission application now test optional



Applicants to Trinity College starting this year will no longer need to submit SAT or ACT test scores as part of ttheir application to Trinity College, administrators announced last week.

President Berger-Sweeney announced the College’s decision to go test-optional in an email to students and faculty last Tuesday. This change in the admissions process is one of the first substantive policy changes made by President Berger-Sweeney since her inauguration as president over a year ago.

“To expand our reach in attracting and retaining the best students, Trinity will join other colleges across the country that have made the submission of SAT or ACT scores optional for applicants,” President Berger-Sweeney said in the email.

Angel Pérez, the recently appointed Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success, was the leading force behind the change and has been a strong advocate for the policy since he was hired by Trinity.

“Even though I started on June 1 [of this year], I’ve been flying back and forth since November,” Pérez said. “I spent my first six months doing a really deep analysis of Trinity’s problems and how we could meet them with interesting opportunities.”

Previously, prospective students were required to submit either the ACT or the SAT with two SAT subject tests. Students now will have the option to submit either of those scores and have them included in their application. Trinity joins four other NESCAC schools to become test optional, including Bates College, Bowdoin College, and Connecticut College.

Going test-optional gives students who never would have considered Trinity the opportunity to do so, Pérez said. He added that too often, students with strong academic records will shy away from applying to schools like Trinity because of the institution’s high average SAT or ACT scores.

“I am a really big advocate for the test-optional movement, and I have seen the tremendous benefits that it gives to institutions and students,” Pérez said. “I wanted to expand the kinds of students who would be interested in coming to Trinity and include those who were too afraid to apply because they thought that they didn’t have a chance.”

Pérez said he has seen first hand the success of this policy, through his past research and as Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Pitzer College. He saw an overall increase in the academic quality of the student body after the institution went test-optional. Additionally, he saw the diversity of the student body and the number of students that studied the STEM disciplines increase, and he hopes that those positive changes will come to Trinity.

Nancy Hargrave-Meislahn, the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Wesleyan University, said that Wesleyan chose to go test-optional after seeing research that showed little difference in academic success between those who submit scores and those who do not. While she was not sure if it was due to the test-optional policy, she did note that there were marked changes in last year’s applicant pool.

“We had a 4.5% increase in applications,” Meislahn said. “It’s hard to know how much of that was driven by our change in test policy. However, it was a very diverse pool with significant increases in applications from students from underrepresented backgrounds and who would be first in their families to attend college.”

In addition to the new test-optional policy, Pérez and the admissions office is adjusting other parts of the undergraduate application. In a letter posted on the College’s website directed to school counselors, Pérez stated that Trinity will begin to “incorporate the evaluation of personality traits and characteristics that research has proven predict student success.”

“We’re essentially doing a deeper evaluation of the students through the admissions process,” Pérez said. “We’re going to send a survey to high school counselors and teachers that have written recommendations for students, and ask them, ‘Have you seen these certain characteristics in your student, and if so, tell us that story.’ So many of these students have extraordinary characteristics, but the traditional admissions process doesn’t allow us to hear about them.”

A Trinity College specific essay will also be added to the Common Application, Pérez added. In addition to the traditional Common App essay, prospective students will have two options for their new essay, focusing either on the Trinity or Hartford community.

Pérez hopes that this change will only increase the number of students who make a positive impact on Trinity’s campus.

“We want students who are curious, who are creative, who are open to change and think critically, and while we have plenty of students like that on campus already, I hope that this will continue to increase the number of those students. It’s a win-win for our faculty, students and community,” Pérez said.

Party with Consent to return to Trinity



This Saturday, Oct. 17, Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS) and Women and Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC) will be hosting “Party With Consent.”

Party With Consent is an interactive workshop and open forum that discusses and advocates for sexual assault awareness, prevention, and consent. Jonathan Kalin, founder of Party With Consent will host the event. There will be food, free giveaways, and games. Last spring, Kappa Sigma hosted Party With Consent and there was a significant turnout.

The importance of this event is underscored by Ahmet Bidav ’16, a member of Kappa Sigma who organized the event, who explains, “It provides an honest, and real platform for groups among campuses to have discussions that may otherwise

not be held, or not be honest.”

The event is the culmination of the tireless work of many students and staff members. Colleen Murock ’17, one of the individuals organizing the event for Saturday, wrote, “I heard about Party with Consent when a friend in the Kappa Sigma fraternity told me about an event he was going to host with his brothers last February. At the time, I was competing in the President’s Design Team Challenge for a new Trinity network. Although my team did not win, I introduced the organization in the challenge and worked with Laura Lockwood to integrate it into freshmen orientation and to continue the mission through a mid-semester event.”

Continuing, Murock explained,  “I was immediately enthusiastic and committed to bringing Party with Consent to Trinity’s campus because I believe spreading awareness about sexual assault through an engaging, interactive and informative program would unite students on campus. Furthermore, with the cooperation of Greek life and the support of Trinity staff, the program could potentially change the social culture and interaction between all students.”

In an statement about the event the Director of WGRAC, Laura Lockwood, wrote, “Those who participated in the event last spring knew immediately this would be a unique and engaging program for all students, beginning with first years,” Lockwood explained. “The Saturday night Party (with Consent) for the entire campus is an added bonus! We believe that Party With Consent workshops will build on first years’ knowledge acquired following viewing the video, Not Anymore, and the subsequent first year orientation with Speak About It. As Jonathan says, consent needs to be created. Media and societal messages often run contrary to this concept. With wit and integrity Jonathan guides students through the nuances of how this works in ‘real life.’ Jonathan helps students break it down and explore what consent means without judgment. In our goal to prevent sexual misconduct and promote enjoyable, consensual sexual encounters we hope to expand these workshops for all students in the future.”

Whitney Gulden ’16 was eager to share her enthusiasm for the event with the Tripod.

“Ana Medina and I, the co-coordinators of SECS, are very excited to be working on this unique event which is bringing together Greek Life, Barnyard, WGRAC, and other aspects of campus life to create a great night. In terms of music for the event, AJ Ballard will be playing a solo set before going on with campus favorite band, “Lolita” at 11 p.m. We are very excited to have free beer for those of age for the event thanks to the tireless efforts of WGRAC’s Abdul Staten in organizing the event. We are glad Jonathan is coming back to campus after his massive success last semester and hope that his workshops will be a positive influence on the freshmen class and Greek Life.”

For more information, contact Murock or Lockwood. The event will be held in Vernon Social from 9 p.m. to midnight.

McBride ’88 on how to crush internships



“Only ask questions you know the answer to,” bellowed Bryant McBride ’88 as he fleshed out the secrets to landing a job in his lecture, “How to Eat and Elephant.”  His talk was a part of day one of the Bantam Student Success Program, put on by the Career Development center.

Although the aforementioned advice may seem counterintuitive, it is consistent with the theme of mastering the interview. McBride urged the students in attendance to stay sharp an know as much as possible about the company you are interviewing for and the person who is conducting the hiring process.

McBride, certainly knows a knows quite a bit about the hiring process as he began his managerial career as the Vice President of Business Development of the National Hockey League, and has since transitioned to lead four companies through infancy to successful sales, netting handsome returns for himself and investors.  Throughout his business experience he has been a part of at least 100 hiring decisions, directly or indirectly and had dozens on anecdotes to back up the advice he gave to students.

“The good news is that being smart Trinity students, you all will have jobs, but the bad news is most people hate their jobs.  About 90% of people dislike their job and 10% love it, you want to be part of the 10%, never settle, ” McBride said.  In order to be in a position to have the job you love, you need to add value to every organization in which you are a part of.

In the lecture, McBride was dynamically able to explore the hiring process from both sides. As, a business people are the most important asset, so when it comes to on-boarding new staff, management needs to know they can count on every member of the team.

When the interview finally comes it is important to be in a position to market your tangible skills and cash in on your networking opportunities. Make sure to arrive early and have several  hard copies of you resume to give out to those you meet.

The process may be daunting but McBride, in a Tony Robins-esque performance energiezed the crowd and convince evryone in the audience that they too can eat the elephant of the task that is the hiring process, by approaching it the only way  possible, by digging in and devouring one bite at a time.

Concussions plague Trinity athletes; impact academics



It was Oct. 29, 2011, and New England’s top Division III football player, co-captain, and senior linebacker, Walter Fallas, was stopping one play after another in a game against Middlebury College. At some point during the game, presumably when he was hit by a receiver in the crossing route, he was concussed. He did not immediately experience any concussion-like symptoms until the very next morning, however, having helped lead Trinity to a 42-7 victory. He was out for a week and had to miss the biggest game of the season against Amherst College. The Bantams experienced a devastating defeat, the first since the second game of the previous season-handing over a perfect seasonal record to Amherst. But a week later, fully recovered, Fallas played the last game of his college career against Wesleyan University, contributing to a 27-0 shutout, ending the Trinity season with a 7-1 record.

Four years later, the exact play in which Fallas received his concussion during the Middlebury game is still a mystery. There was never a moment in which Fallas was noticeably hit very hard. Although it is widely believed that concussions occur only when an athlete is violently hit, especially on the head, a concussion can also be received by a knock or bump to the body that results in the brain temporarily losing its normal function. “Every individual has different abilities to absorb forces. Depending on sport, coaching, technique, or form, each person learns ways to better prevent the injury,” said Associate Athletic Trainer Nicholas Van Vught.

It is important that an athlete recognizes the signs of a concussion as soon as possible during a game. On rare occasions, it could take days for concussion symptoms to appear. “It is very dangerous to continue to play with a concussion. If a second concussive force is taken by the athlete, before complete recovery from the previous injury, it could have catastrophic effects, known as Second-Impact Syndrome,” said Van Vught. Second-Impact Syndrome (SIS) can result in rapid and potentially fatal brain swelling.

Although SIS is rare, the probability of receiving another concussion after recovering from the last one is high. According to the NCAA 2011-2012 Sports Medicine Handbook, “In the years 2004 to 2009, the rate of concussion during games per 1,000 athlete exposures for football was 3.1; for men’s lacrosse, 2.6; for men’s ice hockey, 2.4; for women’s ice hockey, 2.2; for women’s soccer, 2.2; for wrestling, 1.4; for men’s soccer, 1.4; for women’s lacrosse, 1.2; for field hockey, 1.2; for women’s basketball, 1.2; and for men’s basketball, 0.6.” However, the amount of concussions one receives is not as important as the severity and the length of recovery. “If an athlete reports to Trinity with a history of concussions we make sure they understand what the medical community knows and understands to be true at this point. If an athlete had a lengthy recovery we would request medical documentation from the physicians or specialist that the athlete had seen previously. Our team physician has the authority to medically disqualify an athlete,” said Head Athletic Trainer Justin LeDuc.

In addition to reporting their concussion history, before a varsity athlete enters Trinity, they must watch an NCAA educational video, fill out paper work, and sign a form aknowledging that they understand the risks of concussions. “I think the school has done a good job educating us, the student athletes, about concussions,” said track runner, Abby Alardi ’19. “The most important thing we can do is educate athletes.”

“Our strength and conditioning coach has begun a neck strengthening program that may help limit the number of concussions caused by a whiplash type injury,” said LeDuc. Four years ago, the Concussion Management Plan was put into place, which stipulated that athletes can be given Baseline Tests containing the Impact Computerized Neuro Cognitive Assessment and the Balance Error Scoring System. From there, the athletes are given a recovery time and are then gradually eased back into their sport through a team-specific protocol.

Although it is normally high impact sports, such as football and soccer, that report the largest number of concussions, all students are at risk of receiving a concussion by doing anything, even something as innocuous as falling. “Unlike other injuries, you can’t physically see if someone has a concussion,” said twice-concussed former high school field hockey player, Kenzie Levy ’18, “A concussion is not like a broken bone that needs a cast: you just have to believe that it’s there and that the person who has one is being affected by it.”

Admissions office working towards reduction in class sizes



Trinity College is looking to make a change in its applicant pool.  Specifically, the Office of Admissions is aiming to gradually decrease its incoming class sizes over the course of the next few years.

“One of the conversations we’re having is whether or not such large class sizes are the correct target,” said Trinity’s Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success Angel B. Pérez.  “Our number is high in terms of context with our peer groups and other NESCAC schools.”

Currently, Trinity holds an undergraduate student body of 2,255 students, the fourth largest among all NESCAC schools.  Wesleyan, Middlebury and Tufts are the only three schools in the conference with larger student bodies.  With their new admissions strategy, Trinity hopes to bring its undergraduate population to levels closer to that of schools like Hamilton College (1,900 undergraduate students) or Connecticut College (1,893 undergraduate students).

The purpose of smaller admissions pools for a school like Trinity is to promote a better academic reputation.  “One thing I have been trying to promote is bringing in smaller class sizes to increase the academic quality of the applicant pool,” said Pérez.

While the school’s new admissions strategy is aimed to improve its academic character, such a decrease in class sizes could have adverse effects on Trinity’s financial situation and the size of its endowment.  As Student Government President Max Le Merle ’16 recently explained, Trinity’s endowment is losing money in tuition revenue because the school has began to accept smaller class sizes.

Because of its effect on Trinity’s financial situation, the biggest problem the school faces in cutting class sizes is how they will be able to ensure a minimal effect on the budget.

“Our job is to figure out how to take smaller class sizes without affecting the budget,” Pérez said. “We over-rely on tuition and fundraising.  But there are other ways to bring in revenue.”

One source of revenues that Trinity may look to expand is in graduate program, summer program and international program tuition revenues.  “We have a small but mighty graduate program but it might be time to expand those programs,” said Pérez. “There is also a lot of time at Trinity spent without students on campus so we have the potential to add new programs for those parts of the year.”

Hannah Ho: a first-class Trinity artist opens up



I sat down with Hannah Ho in The Underground Coffeehouse the other day next to her boyfriend (plugged into his laptop) and several caffeine-fueled Bantams furiously typing away nearby. Ho was wearing a lopsided ponytail that gravity had gotten the best of and a pair of heavily weathered combat boots to go along with her unique, flannel, hipster outfit. An aura of genuine attention glowed from her as soon as I began to speak and she brought her undivided self to the conversation with a clap of her MacBook.

Ho was one of the first people that I met on move-in day and is an individual who genuinely intrigues me. To provide a little bit of background, our artist of the week was born to a young couple in Boston who, by most, would be considered followers of the “hippy” culture of the ‘60s era. Her biological father was a musician who followed John Lennon and Bob Dylan religiously (in fact, Hannah was originally named “Daisy Lennon”), and her mother became a high school English professor, which she remains to this day. The young couple had to give her up for adoption, but fortunately the infant joined a pleasant Chinese family who brought her up and gave her the Asian last name that she sports today. Ho has reconnected with her biological mother in person,
and in middle school, she discovered a deeper connection through a binder that she received, which contained many of her mother’s teenage poems.

As an artist, this rare intimate relationship with her mother’s past is invaluable to her experience with her own art, acting as a time machine of inspiration in which she can find parallels and creative aid. It also allowed Ho to feel the raw thoughts of her adolescent mother, and it commanded her as a middle-schooler to further pursue art. Now that Ho is at the same age as her mother when she wrote her poems, this seemingly magical binder has grown in inspirational value.

“I cannot write sonnets,” Ho tells me, wide-eyed. “I’d rather challenge the idea of structure through free-verse.” Such immediate use of technical phrasing gives you an idea of who Ho is as a person and as a poet. To Ho, not only is poetry a passion, but it is a tool for everyday stress relief. Even the tiniest fragments of nature, such as a bird flying overhead or the wind rustling through the trees, can set off the creative spark in Ho, as she notes that the world around her is where she finds the most inspiration. She enjoys poetry because it involves much more emotion than prose. In the process of mastering tone and imagery, she likes to imitate the pleasurable aspects of music and apply them to her poetry. Not only do words create meaning on secondary and tertiary levels, but the rhythm of poetry evokes an almost musical feeling. It is difficult to understand her work without reading it, but through the passionate free verse, coupled with ideas of music and nature, one can get a good sense.

“It is an incredible feeling to create something aesthetically pleasing,” she says. “To be an artist is to be mouthpiece for ideas that aren’t easily conjured.” Art demands to be created, according to Ho, and it must not only resonate with an audience, but also be open to interpretation. For the listener, reader, or viewer of the art to respond to the piece is one of the greatest pleasures an artist can receive.

In the past, open mics have been an enormously useful outlet for Ho to display her poetry. Not only do open mics incorporate the performance element of the art, but they give the artist an opportunity to directly interact with her audience. Many types of artists are restricted by an invisible barrier between the creator and the receiver, but through slam poetry and spoken verse, one can immediately receive feedback from the audience, even if that feedback is silence.
Here at Trinity, Ho is already deeply involved in the arts. With Guided Studies as her first year program, she is deeply immersed in an interdisciplinary humanities education, but plans on pursuing an interest in art history as well. Outside of classes, one might find Hannah at The Mill, The Fred, or even Dead Poets Society Club where original and classical poems are shared weekly.

As any artist knows, there are many struggles that come along with creativity. After all, struggle and lack of inspiration are two key aspects of creativity. But for Ho, one who feels commanded to write, inspiration does not always come when it is wanted most. The writer calls inspiration an “impermanent thing:” sometimes it comes in droves and it pours into the mind without warning, but sometimes there is nothing. It makes the artist feel uncreative at times, but through action, more inspiration comes and she can move on.

“I hope to bring an awareness to Trinity, to get people excited about what makes them uncomfortable,” Ho remarks. In a school full of Vineyard Vines models and Political Science majors, we laugh that this may be a challenge. But seeing an Econ major step out of his or her comfort zone would definitely make Ho smile. She sees the world in a unique way, but still remains humble and grounded. Through Sylvan Esso records and Asian tea, she finds her peace, and in her poetry and occasional henna patterns, one can get a glimpse of Ho’s worldview. Being a writer by trade would be ideal, Ho notes, but realistically, becoming an English teacher is something she sees in her future. Expect to see Hannah Ho doing great things here on campus, bringing the world new beauty through expression.

Cinestudio Preview: Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man”



This week’s Cinestudio film preview is for “Irrational Man,” a film written and directed by Woody Allen. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix in the role of Abe Lucas, a recently hired philosophy professor at a fictional liberal arts college in Rhode Island. Abe feels his life has no meaning or direction during the onset of the movie. With an already established negative reputation of being an alcoholic, sleeping with students and having a dreary and self-deprecating outlook, Abe begins his summer job on a low note. However, his temperamental attitude intrigues one of his students, Jill (Emma Stone), as well as a colleague, Rita (Parker Posey).

As the relationship between Jill and Abe develops, his life becomes slightly less dull. However, after eavesdropping on a conversation in a restaurant, in which he hears about the unfair behavior of a judge, he decides to commit a serious crime to bring positivity and vibrancy back into his life, as ironic as that may sound. Movies in which the protagonist suffers from an “existential crisis” are abundant in today’s world, but “Irrational Man” stands out due to the unexpected means in which Abe goes about redefining his life and finding happiness. The unusual plot, paired with renowned actors playing complex characters creates a thoughtful film.

“Irrational Man” first premiered in May of 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival and received a positive response from audiences and critics upon its release. “Hollywood Reporter” critic David Rooney describes the film as “a slinky, jazz-infused existential teaser in which various themes from some of the veteran filmmaker’s most memorable work dovetail into a darkly humorous quasi-thriller explored with a deft lightness of touch.”

In mid-July, the film premiered nationwide and received mixed reviews. However, the cinematography of “Irrational Man,” done by Darius Khondji, was widely appreciated due to the appealing use of color in scenic Newport, Rhode Island where the film was set.

Academy Award winning director Woody Allen combines drama, mystery, and dark comedy to create another creative film. Allen’s fifty-year cinematic career includes several noteworthy films such as “Annie Hall” (1977), “Manhattan” (1979), and “Midnight in Paris” (2011). “Irrational Man” is especially valued by those who admire the work of Woody Allen, since it maintains some of the themes and stylistic choices that appear in his other films.

Allen is and has always been known for his cynical and relationship-oriented sense of filmaking humor; the characters in a Woody Allen movie are often reflections of his own neurotic self.
Michael Newton, of “The Guardian”, summarizes the public opinion of the director by stating that Allen “has made a multitude of small things, comic novellas rather than great novels, pleasurable and rewarding works of art that, without trying to be great, have accumulated greatness, remaining tentative and lovable.” At 79, Allen is still writing and directing films which moviegoers can always count on being something out of the ordinary.

“Irrational Man” will be playing at Trinity College’s Cinestudio from Wednesday, October 13th to Saturday, October 17th.