La Voz Latina Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month



La Voz Latina (LVL), Trinity’s Latino cultural organization, starts off every fall semester with a heavily packed schedule to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15. This year, LVL organized an array of events encompassed by the theme “Pasado, Presente, y Futuro,” or “Past, Present and Future,” which aims to discuss and celebrate Latino socioeconomics, politics, and culture throughout time. In order to carry out this year’s set of thirteen events, LVL partnered with seven other Trinity organizations, such as the Chapel, Trinity College Black Women’s Organization, Men of Color Alliance, Stop the Raids, Asian American Student Association, Trinfo café and the Interfaith House, as well as external connections, such as Dr. Pedro Noguera (NYU), and Connecticut politicians Angel Arce and Edwin Vargas.

One of LVL’s notable events this year was the common hour talk, presented by the NYU sociology professor, Dr. Pedro Noguera. In his discussion, Dr. Noguera spoke about educational inequality in the US, and how it can be combated, as well as examples of schools that have been able to give low-income and immigrant students a high quality education. Many students, professors, and even a Hartford principal were in attendance at the event, to learn from this highly notable speaker.

On Sept. 28, LVL partnered with Trinity’s Chapel to have a Chapel Service about Liberation Theology. The chapel singers gave their beautiful interpretation of Spanish hymns and Rev. Allison Read discussed the Latin-American Liberation Theology, a religious outlook that puts emphasis on helping the poor and fighting inequality. Liberation theology, founded by Gustavo Gutierrez in the 1970s has further developed and branched off into other doctrines such as Black, Feminist, Womanist, and LGBT theologies. After the service, Rev. Read gave a visual presentation of Liberation theology while attendees enjoyed their brunch composed of tortillas, eggs, guacamole, salsa, amongst other delicious options.

Continuing LVL’s Hispanic Heritage Month events, Connecticut State Representatives Angel Arce and Edwin Vargas came to speak at the Rittenberg Lounge on Oct. 2. They spoke about the importance of political participation and discussed some differences in Latino participation between the US and Latin American countries. After their discussion, the State Representatives answered any questions asked by the attending students and professors.

LVL partnered with Trinfo café on Oct. 3, to have a screening of the movie “Mi Familia,” a comedic, yet dramatic movie about a Mexican-American family and the difficulties associated with immigrant and a first-generation identities in the US. LVL and Trinfo welcomed not only Trinity students to the event, but was also open to the Hartford community.

One of LVL’s most anticipated annual event is the Pig Roast, which is held every year in the Backyard of La Eracra (69 Vernon St.). During the annual Pig Roast, a whole pig is roasted and served alongside catered Puerto Rican food. On Oct. 5, LVL and AASA co-hosted the event, so that there were also Chinese and Korean styles of eating pork.

While Hispanic Heritage Month is coming to a close on Oct. 15, LVL will remain very active throughout the semester, holding many educational and recreational events. LVL hopes to continue partnering with multiple organizations across campus, as well as with organizations at other colleges to emphasize the relationship that many interests and cultures have with Latino cultures.


Cinestudio Preview: “The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”



Apes. You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them. That’s a possible takeaway from this week’s Cinestudio movie, “The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” It’s a sequel as well as a prequel, following up on 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and acts as a prequel continuation of that movie for the 1967 science fiction/camp extravaganza “Planet of the Apes.” All of the title redundancy aside, context isn’t as important here as you might think. What you need to know is this: You’ve got your Apes, and you’ve got your Humans. Can they live in peace? A savvy reader may guess at the answer. (The answer is “of course not”.)

To begin: there are very few humans still alive in the world where the movie take place, and those who survived the plague that ravaged mankind a few years back live hunkered in a San Francisco skyscraper. Mere miles away, in the solitude of Golden Gate State Park lives a confederacy of, mostly, gentle and super intelligent Apes led by the hero of the first movie, Caesar (played by Andy Serkis). Caesar has been governing the Apes peacefully, and has earned their respect through leadership skills, meaningful staring, and the ability to occasionally grunt a few words in human english.

The Apes are isolationists, which is to say that they live independently of their human neighbors, but, surprise! There’s conflict, misunderstanding, friendships forged, and ultimately, a betrayal between the two cultures. It’s “Dances with Wolves”, but with apes. It’s Kevin Kostner’s 1990 film, “Dances with Apes.” Forgive me- I couldn’t just let that sit there. In all seriousness, this first act is nothing we haven’t seen before, and in truth, the second part of the movie is made up of war scenes by torchlight.

There’s a powerful cast to be had: Gary Oldman portrays the leader of the human commune, making speeches about how far everyone has come, and coming to hate his Ape neighbors. Keri Russell, Jason Clarke and Kodi Smit-McPhee make up the rest of the human cast, but feel very underused, except Jason Clarke, who acts as the main character. The real acting power is given to Andy Serkis and the apes on a silver platter. This is wise, because they are the real triumph. These monkeys look real enough to fool even Jane Goodall, assuming she wasn’t paying her closest attention, or hadn’t had her morning coffee yet. In addition, their scenes are visually beautiful, each one taking careful steps to pose them in dramatic and statuesque positions. When the apes are crowded around eating, or pointing to a human, they look as though they’re raising the flag at Iwo Jima, or have just been snapshotted by Dorothea Lange. It’s masterful filmmaking and it pays off in the long run.

What might wear on you a little bit, however, is just how seriously the movie takes itself. It’s about war between chimps and humans, which is pretty subjectively ridiculous, and yet it seems to think it isn’t. It has forgotten it’s gimmicky past. All we really want is for Gary Oldman to take a few steps back, squint his eyes like he wants us to buy the HTC One M8 smartphone and say “You know something? We’re fighting monkeys.” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is so full of heartbreaking silence and tearful face touching that someone should step in and say, “As a friend, take it down a notch.” It’s a heck of a ride though, and Cinestudio’s sharp screen will capture Caesar and his friends spectacularly, in all of their primate glory.

In the end, this film has a lot going for it, and whether or not it’s the next great movie doesn’t matter – after all it was designed as a summer blockbuster, and that’s what we have here. Whether you go for the Apes, or for the depth of the thing, you’ll come out of the theater much the same as when you entered, with the sneaking suspicion that you’ve just had a pretty good time.

Make sure you stop by Cinestudio this Thursday, October 9 through Sunday, October 11 to watch the movie.

Bantam Artist of the Week: Studio artist, Alexis Deschenes ’15



Senior, Alexis Deschenes  ‘15 may be an extremely motivated and diligent Psychology major, but her interests and talents definitely extend much further than simply the confines of academia. Deschenes, who is also a Studio Arts minor, has over time acquired excellent skills, and a growing passion for the visual arts. What began as a raw, but earnest liking for drawing that Deschenes has harbored for nearly as long as she can remember, has steadily escalated into a field that she would love to also pursue in the future. In an interview with the Tripod, she stated, “I hope to have my art exhibited. That is definitely a goal. I enjoy creating art, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a hobby. It is much more than that.”

Deschenes’ artworks that are generally two-dimensional in nature can be easily recognized by their distinctive abstractness, generally featuring a seemingly calculated arrangement of lines, geometric shapes, and a bold use of color combinations and contrasts. In reference to her style, Alexis admitted that she is fond of “the juxtaposition between geometric shapes and chaos. Color also plays a huge part in my work, as color relationships can really make or break a piece of art.” Abstractness in visual art was something that she has also grown to appreciate. When she started off, exploring different techniques and forms of representation, she was not at all a fan of abstract art. It was only when she was thrown into it, through a class assignment in college that she gradually began to enjoy it. She particularly expressed that while the assignment caused her some frustration, the more she worked on it, and the more feedback she received, the more rewarding the entire process became. Following this assignment, she found herself independently exploring and experimenting with the endless visual possibilities that she began to find in abstract art. The best part about working on abstract pieces as opposed to realism for Deschenes is that, “you really don’t know what the piece is going to look like at the end.”

Despite her excitement in the spontaneous development of abstract art, and the fact that she never walks into the studio with a complete idea in mind, Deschenes works are not random. She focuses on the process of building relationships between shapes and lines, on a canvas, and eventually between the resultant forms. She justified that, “It is really all about layering – either shapes on top of shapes or lines. I also find myself constantly stepping away from a piece or rotating it. It’s amazing how much flipping a piece around can change your whole perspective on the composition.”

Deschenes is particularly partial towards using oil paint, because of its versatility when it comes to blending, making drastic changes to a composition, and for it’s opaqueness. As far as drawing is concerned, she loves to work with charcoal, because of the range of light and dark tones that one can achieve, using it. Although she is also skilled in the use of other types of media, such as printmaking, she prefers to stick to what she is most comfortable with so that she has the most freedom to play around, and to convey her ideas. Speaking of her own specific works, Deschenes stated that the piece she is most proud of is an untitled oil painting that she worked on for about two months.  It was her first attempt at working on a larger surface, and despite being daunted initially by the amount of space she had to cover, she loved the way everything came together at the end.  Working on this piece also made her realize one of the challenges while making an artwork that she continues to face-“I never know when to walk away from a piece and declare it a finished work. I always feel like more could be done especially with bigger works,” Alexis explained.

Due to her own emphasis on process, as an artist, Deschenes tends to look at works made by other artists through the same lens. Consequently, she hope to be able work on a stylistically surrealist piece, inspired by her favorite artist, Salvador Dali, in the future. As of yet, she expressed that she has been most influenced by Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky. What strikes her in Kandinsky’s’ abstract work is the way that he achieves “this look of a ‘controlled chaos.’ His pieces aren’t too chaotic where it’s distracting to the viewer, but it’s just the right amount of disorder.”

Two classes at Trinity that have influenced Deschenes the most as an artist are– Painting I and her freshman seminar, InterArts. While the Interarts seminar informed her conceptually about the variety of approaches and the breadth of styles that the definition of art entails, her Painting class pushed her to really hone her techniques. The combination of these classes has informed her individual approach towards art.

Deschenes’ advise as a senior to aspiring artists at Trinity is to “take as many art classes as you can and to venture outside of your comfort zone or medium.”


Trinity students participate in New York City’s “People’s Climate March”



On Sunday, Sept. 19, 2014, the largest climate rally ever held took place along Central Park in Manhattan. Over 400,000 people were in attendance, shutting down large parts of the city as everyone marched towards the U.N., where a climate summit was held.

The event in New York was one of 2,646 similar events worldwide, occurring in 162 countries. Of the attendees, one in eight were college students, totaling over 50,000 young adults. Several celebrities made appearances, from Sting to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the turnout was extraordinary, on par with some of the great protests of the 1960s.

There was a massive buzz in the air on the warm morning as roughly 30 Trinity students stepped off a tour bus on the West Side of Central Park. The drizzle and thick cloud cover certainly didn’t dissuade anyone from attending, as evidenced by the roaring river of foot traffic that swept the students through midtown. People of every description were on all sides, all pressing forwards down Central Park West, carrying signs about causes ranging from the climate summit to the state of socialism in America.

The march was intended to demonstrate the will of the people to the United Nations, which convened for a summit concerning climate change two days after the march. Given the sheer force of will and record-breaking participation, it seems that the burgeoning environmental movement is gaining serious mainstream traction, which is a step up from its grassroots origins in the late 1960s and 1970s. A trend towards “green” living has begun, and the idea of environmentalism has evidently found a foothold in the public consciousness. Information concerning this critical issue has become much more accessible and widely available, thanks in large part to the proliferation of the internet and social media—as the 630,000 social media posts surrounding the event clearly testify.

The marchers were a cross section of humanity, to be certain. The ages ranged from infants to the elderly, and entire families were present. People of every walk of life were there, from aging foreigners to fresh-faced college students, all shoulder-to-shoulder out on the street trying to make their voices heard amongst the clamor.

It is apropos that there was such a massive turnout of college students, since the movement can trace its history back to many college campuses three and four decades ago.

Throughout the march, one could barely go a block without seeing a Tufts, Northeastern, or Trinity sweatshirt, in keeping with the tradition of college protests and political involvement. What started out as a few dedicated scientists, students, and activists has blossomed into marches and global awareness. Though the forum of the discussion has changed – from college campuses and laboratories to the Internet, the UN, and the streets – the message is still the same: global warming and climate change are critical issues of our time, and action needs to be taken.

As participants meandered along the New York City streets, it became clear that different people have different conceptions of what action to take.

Many people promoted vegan lifestyles, while others were indicting oil companies from the sidewalk, while still others were extolling the virtues of the eating organic. While all are admirable causes, it seems as though a climate rally became something of a collective soapbox for 400,000 people to stand up on. Though simply being together was a form of solidarity in itself, seems as though the protestors are on different pages, and only time will tell if the United Nations or any governing body can sift through the plethora of science, opinions, and ideas brought forth by the people, and craft practical, effective legislation around the passion and energy of the masses.

After the massive to-do of the march, one is left with an important question; what effect did this event have? After 400,000 people clogged up New York City for a full day, one would like to think that there was some tangible effect of this outpouring of humanity. The summit addressed many important points: agreeing on a long term, effective plan, cutting emissions, moving markets and money, pricing carbon, and planning for future summits in Lima and Paris, among other things.  President Obama even mentioned the protests in his address to the UN, acknowledging that the constituents of countless nations across the world have spoken, and that change is afoot.

The biggest question in all of this is how much of the UN’s discourse is rhetoric, and how much will translate into meaningful action.

There is a significant moneyed interest for maintaining the status quo, and the UN has long had trouble going against such powerful interests. Only time will tell if the UN’s commitments are substantive, or if the 2014 climate summit was little more than blown smoke and empty platitudes.

Whatever history will say, walking down Central Park West, watching all the different people coming together for public discourse, everyone with something to say, and everyone moving forward, was a truly humbling experience for those who participated.

Amherst’s Dr. Nick Cowan discusses “exoplanets”



On Friday afternoon, Trinity College welcomed renowned professor of atronomy at Amherst College, Dr. Nick Cowan, to give a presentation at McCook Auditorium entitled “Planetary Science from the Top-Down: the Exoplanet Opportunity”.

During his presentation, Cowan discussed the planets that orbit stars. He began by giving a contextual history on the planets. According to Cowan, the first hints of extra solar planets were discovered in 1990. “These were planets orbiting other stars,” Cowan said, “They were nearby stars that are thought to be 10 or 100 light years away from [the] earth.” He added that at the time no one knew whether these were planets or not because the data was insufficient.

Cowan continued by saying that in 1992, there were pulsar planets. To clarify for those in the audience, Cowan explained that a pulsar is a neutron star.  When a star dies, it gets old and runs out of hydrogen to burn. Eventually it blows up like a supernova, leaving whatever is left as the pulsar star.

In 1995, Cowan recalled the first encouraging piece of evidence. This evidence was a planet discovered around a sunlight star. The planet was considered odd because it orbits around a star in three days and theories developed that such planets were not supposed to exist. Today, these planets are now fairly commonplace.

Cowan continued about planets larger than earth, known as “super earths” and finally arrived at what the conditions of planets are today: “There is one and a half thousand planets that we know their masses very well…and there’s another few thousand planets …we don’t know their mass… and there’s about a hundred planets where we know both how heavy they are and how big they are,” he said.

Once he finished explaining the current state of the solar system, he said that there are three questions to ask. “The first question we might ask is how did these worlds get there? And we don’t really have an answer for that. We thought we understood how planets formed back in the [old days] when all we knew about were the eight planets in our solar system but now that we have all these new planets, it turns out that the theories that can explain … those theories don’t work at all for extra solar planetary system,” Cowan said. “The next question you can ask is what are these worlds like? In other words, are they rainy? Are they cloudy? …That’s not an easy one to answer either because we don’t have a really good predictive model of climate…[the last question is] which of these worlds has life on it?”

Cowan noted that in order to understand number three, one must understand number two. Throughout the rest of his presentation, he tried to answer the second question, which may also lead to the answer of the third question. Cowan mentioned that he spent a decade working on the presentation which he gave Friday. “The work I presented … spans about a decade of research by me and my collaborators (I started grad school ten years ago),” he said.

Cowan began his science career at McGill University, where he studied physics. It is a decision he is still very proud of today.

“I studied physics in college and chose exoplanets over more established fields of physics because it felt like frontier science, where you could tackle a problem and make a big impact,” Cowan explained. “The field has been expanding like crazy and is still very exciting, so I’m happy with my decision.”

After receiving his undergrad degree at McGill, Cowan moved to Vancouver to work in the field of nuclear physics at the University of British Columbia because he wanted to live on the west coast. After he completed his time at Vancouver, Cowan moved down the coast to Seattle. He enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle and received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Astronomy. Cowan continued to pursue his career and moved to Illinois. Both Cowan and his wife enrolled in the postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University. After four years in the Midwest, they both landed what Cowan calls “their first [potentially] permanent jobs” at Amherst College.

Being a family man as well as an astronomer is not an easy job, but Cowan makes it work.

Both Cowan and his wife are professional astronomers, “For the past couple years we were on the job market, which meant that one or the other of us was traveling every week or two,” he said. “Things are less crazy now, but we still average about one trip each a month, not counting local commitments that we can drive to.

There are a couple consequences of this: we rack up a lot of frequent flyer miles, and we religiously use Google calendar so that we don’t, say, both plan travel abroad when our son is supposed to be in school.”

Cowan is also a member of NASA’s ExoPAG executive committee and promotes research in exoplanet climates. For more information about Cowan and his work, visit


Remembering Jack Chatfield, Trinity professor and alumnus



On the evening of Thursday, Sept. 18, Jack Chatfield, a Trinity alumnus and long-time professor of history, passed away after a battle with both Parkinson’s disease and cancer. He retired from Trinity three years ago.

Chatfield was beloved by his students and by his peers alike. When he left the College in May 2011, one of his colleagues, Michael Lestz, wrote, “This will bring to a close a truly remarkable career. Jack is a legend at Trinity College. During a teaching career that began in 1976, Jack won every teaching award that the College offers and came to be recognized as one of the History Department’s most scrupulous and successful directors of scores of theses and thousands of shorter papers. He is beloved by students present and past, and whenever Trinity faculty or staff members visit with our far-flung community of graduates, former students unfailingly inquire after Jack and remember his kindness and close attention to their intellectual development through the undergraduate years.”

One of Chatfield’s students remarked that “to have had Professor Chatfield is to have seen teaching in its purest, most refined state. His passion, patience, and enthusiasm are the core of my education at Trinity.”

Another one of his colleagues said that “Jack’s open office door welcomed myriad students who sought him out.”

He was a pillar of the history department for many years. He specialized in American history and he taught courses on a variety of topics that included Colonial America, Jacksonian America, the Cold War, race and slavery, and the American experience in Vietnam.

Chatfield was a Trinity graudate, a member of the class of 1964. After graduating from the College, he went on to enter the graduate program in history at Columbia University. He earned a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1988.

In 2007, Chatfield granted the Tripod an interview about his experiences at Trinity as a student and as a professor. That interview is reprinted here as a tribute to the time he spent at Trinity and to his legacy at the College. The interview was conducted by Carver Diserens.


CD: Not only are you a Trinity faculty member but you are also a Trinity alumnus, is that weird at all?

JC: I wouldn’t say weird. My undergraduate years were vital to me and it was a rare sort of gift to be able to come back to the college to which I owed so much. The one thing that was unusual is that when I came back to teach, many of my former professors were still teaching here.

CD: On your curriculum vitae it says that you were a student at Trinity from 1960-1962 and then 1963-1965, is there a story there?

JC: Well, I had to take the year off from 1962 to ‘63. I failed math and science. There was a very elaborate and demanding curriculum then. If you failed to complete your core requirements in the first two years, you were asked to depart, and you had to complete them before returning. The core included two semesters of European history, two semesters of English literature, two years of a foreign language, two semesters of advanced mathematics and two semesters of science. I failed math flatly, but I dilly-dallied in science and didn’t take it seriously.

CD: So what did you do in your year off?

JC: I had a close Trinity friend who decided to work full-time for the southern civil rights movement. He joined the staff of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Albany, Georgia. SNCC had established a voter registration project in the rural counties bordering Albany. I joined him there in September 1962. Things were quite volatile due to the strong opposition to black voting rights in the south.

CD: Aside from different core requirements, how has Trinity changed since you were a student?

JC: Co-education is the most dramatic change. Trinity was still all male when I graduated in 1965. Fraternity life is also quite different. In my rough estimate, in the 60’s about 80-85 percent of the students were in a fraternity or social club. On Vernon Sreet you had St. Anthony Hall, AD, Alpha Chi Rho, DKE, Sigma Nu, Theta Xi, and Psi U.

CD: You were a student during a very politically volatile time in the US, were Trinity students very politically active then?

JC: In the early sixties the vast majority of students were not active. But there was a small group who were very committed. One student mobilized a group to join the sit-in near Baltimore. After ‘65, when I left, things became a lot more volatile. Vietnam was the big issue, of course. The Students for a Democratic Society had a strong chapter here.

CD: I’ve been told you wrote for the Tripod while you were here, is that true?

JC: Yes, I did and it was a vital experience for me. My first editor was a man named Peter Kilborn who went on to The New York Times—for years he was the chief economics correspondent. After that, a friend, George Will (who won a Pulitzer), took over. There were many controversies in the nation at that time, and George tackled everything from the Civil Rights movement to the vices of Trinity fraternities. He waged a campaign against so-called “restrictive clauses” barring the pledging of Jews or Afro-Americans. One night a batch of Tripods were burned!

CD: It must have been intimidating working with him.

JC: I’ll be frank, I was always a little bit intimidated by him and I still am. As a youngster I was spellbound. I had never met anyone like him—he had a razor-sharp wit, was a brilliant writer, had read everything.

CD: As a historian, if you’re hosting a dinner party and can host any three historical figures, who gets an invite?

JC: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

CD: In regards to history, does it really repeat itself?

JC: I believe history reveals common patterns, motivations, and impulses. But I don’t believe it repeats itself as we commonly say, because the forces that are at work are never quite the same.

CD: In closing, what message do you share with your students that you would like to share with the Trinity community?

JC: I guess I would say whether or not history is the king or queen of the academic disciplines, there are few experiences so rewarding as to plumb the depths of a historical experience, a historical era, or a historical personality.

Professor Chatfield will be remembered at Trinity for his passion, his kindness, his wit, and his myriad contributions to the College coummnity. The Tripod staff extends its most sincere condolences to his family during this sad time.

Secret Service Director resigns in wake of White House security breach




Recent events in the nation’s capital have given all American citizens an extra reminder to lock their doors and set their alarm systems. Reports from various sources have cropped up in the last week detailing shocking news that there have been several close calls with White House security, including gunshots fired at a front window and an invasion by a man who sprinted across the lawn and into President Obama’s home. Following these circumstances, a Congressional hearing was called for the head of the Secret Service, Julia Person. She has since resigned.

At 7:20 p.m., Iraq War veteran Omar J. Gonzalez hopped the fence around the White House and sprinted across the lawn. He entered the North Portico doors with a four-inch folding knife, a detail that was left out of initial reports by security officials. He made it all the way to the East Room, where President Obama typically hosts dinner parties and receives distinguished guests of the House. To do so, Gonzalez actually overpowered a Secret Service agent during his rampage. Later, it was found that alarm boxes meant to alert security officials were apparently muted, and should have informed guards inside that an intruder was on the premises. Furthermore, instead of being stopped by a locked front door, Gonzalez was able to run through much of the first floor and make it to the East Room, where another Secret Service officer finally tackled him. Gonzalez successfully made it past three guards that should have been able to stop him from getting deeper into the President’s home. The Obama family was not in the White House at the time of the incident, but the event shows significant flaws in various levels of the executive mansion’s security systems, and, shockingly, is just one of a recent slew of breaches.

The next day, nineteen-year-old Kevin Carr from New Jersey attempted to drive his car through a barricaded entrance and he refused to stop. He was arrested before gaining entrance to the complex, but caused streets surrounded the entrance to be closed for some time. Before these recent attempted invasions, on September 11, a man dressed in a Pokémon outfit was arrested at gunpoint after he successfully jumped the fence and made it onto the White House lawn carrying a toy from the show.

Perhaps one of the more shocking events occurred years ago, the truth of which has only just been brought to the attention of the American public.

In 2011, a gunman fired his semiautomatic rifle at the White House. He shattered a window on the second floor close to the formal living room of the Obama family. A second bullet was embedded into a window frame, and several more ricocheted off of the roof and sent wood and concrete pieces to the ground. The final count revealed that at least seven bullets successfully hit the White House from across the 700 yard South Lawn. The President, First Lady, and daughter Malia were not home, but young Sasha and her grandmother Marian Robinson were inside during the incident. After the gunshots were heard, Secret Service agents sprang into action to determine what was causing the noises and how big of a threat it was.

After a few minutes of surveillance, an officer came over the radio and commanded fellow agents to stand down, stating that there were no real gunshots, just noises from nearby construction sites.

After several miscommunications and various theories about why gunshots may or may not have been fired, a housekeeper in the White House who found pieces of broken glass and concrete inside on the floor finally discovered the truth four days later. The perpetrator, Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, was later arrested, but not until days after his attack on the White House.

Each of the events has called into question former Director Pierson’s ability to lead, and the effectiveness of what should be one of the strongest, most capable defense teams that United States maintains.

Several levels of security measures were bypassed or circumvented in each of these incidents, including alarm boxes on the complex, guards who were supposed to be maintaining posts at various locations, undercover agents not noticing the intruders, lapses in the chain of command, and misreports of how events actually occurred. Some of these, and other, situations have reflected poorly on specific Secret Service agents, such as those who were sent home after being found intoxicated and unconscious in the hallway outside President Obama’s hotel room in Amsterdam this March.

Other events have revealed that Director Pierson is unfit for her important role as Director of Secret Service. It has been shown and reported by various individuals that she perpetuated a culture of dishonesty and obsession with reputation within the agency, two poor values that appear to have led her to make questionable decisions and evaluations in times that required diligence and focus.

Following her resignation, reports were released that President Obama is in the process of finding a suitable, and hopefully more effective, replacement to protect the First Family and the White House.



Obama’s promise signals turning point in foreign poilcy



Until recently, President Obama’s political capital had been seriously depleted by continual congressional investigations and international chaos. However, since promising to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS in the president has projected a sense of power that, at one point, appeared to have been lost forever.

Yet, in the last few weeks we have seen that Obama never really lost that dynamic quality that makes him a once-in-a-generation politician. The question is whether he can sustain his momentum, given the complexity of the foreign policy situation that his administration must now confront.

During the UN General Assembly last month the President exhibited a similar kind of strength when he again vowed to dismantle the Islamic State’s “network of death.” He also  called on China to commit to seriously reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the UN Climate Summit. He claimed that China, a country that wants the privileges of a super power, must also face the responsibilities that go along with such influence. The power of the president’s climate speech strikes a different tone from past speeches addressing Chinese policies, where he appeared weak and lacking the strength in confronting the Chinese.

This strength has also been seen elsewhere with regards to the United State’s efforts to combat the Islamic State in the Middle East, now known as the Islamic State of Syria and Levant. The Pentagon announced that over 50 countries have now signed on to fight the radical group, along with Britain, Denmark, and Belgium who have commited to join in airstrikes against them in Iraq.

This is a remarkable shift in the President’s foreign policy outlook considering  that two years ago Obama refused to take action in Syria, where estimates reveal that Assad forces had killed well over 200,000 Syrians as well as displacing millions more.

Obama, who was in part catapulted onto the national political scene over his opposition to the war in Iraq, now faces a similar kind of task to that of President Bush in destroying a network of radical fighters in Northern Iraq and Syria. Many see the President’s recent actions as a departure from his previous outlook to not get involved in international events and crises.

Now, he is making the argument that the United States cannot afford to lead from behind in this struggle, as groups like ISIL and the Khorasan group, a radical Islamist network borne out of the so-called “decimation” of Al-Qaeda leadership, pose a direct threat to the homeland.  We can conclude from the President’s proposed actions that he will no longer sit by as international developments shape as well as derail his foreign policy agenda. He now believes that in order for the United States to project its strength across the region, we must lead in building a coalition of European as well as Middle Eastern countries that have a stake in the success of ridding the region from Islamic extremists.

When the President was asked why the United States must again lead a military effort in the Middle East when relatively stable countries in the region are more geographically-positioned to fight ISIL, Obama responded bluntly, stating, “this is how we [the U.S.] roll.” Obama further added, “this is always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation.”

Obama later said, “Our military is the best…and when trouble comes up anywhere in the world…they call us,” suggesting a different foreign policy approach in his administration that legitimizes the claim that the United States is the ‘worlds policeman’ when it comes to fighting terror and threats to liberty around the globe.

It will be interesting to see how President Obama will fill the role of America’s new wartime president in the coming months. In 2007 and 2008, when then-Senator Obama was running for president, he continuously bashed President Bush for his failure to assist in building a democratic government in Iraq and his inability to sustain an international coalition to fight Al-Qaeda and other terror networks.

Now, the current president faces the formidable task of pushing back ISIL and other radical groups, bringing together long-time warring ethnic groups in Syria and Iraq to fight ISIL, negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran, and placing pressure on an Assad regime that has long vowed it will not going anywhere. Can this president successfully balance these complex foreign policy matters that have created more chaos in an already chaotic region and also maintain what I believe is a second wind of political strength?

Having said this, the model for success in the Middle East cannot be based solely on airstrikes alone, but will require a strong coalition of moderate peoples within Iraq and Syria that have a personal interest to protect and preserve the very freedom and liberty ISIS threatens.


Trinity opens Financial Research and Technology Center in Raether Library



On Sept. 25, Trinity College opened the new Financial Research and Technology Center, located on level A of the Trinity College Library.

The new center is located near the entrance of the library, equipped with eleven Bloomberg terminals, which are professional subscription services. The terminals grant one access to Bloomberg professionals that provide both financial data and news data. The data received from the terminals are updated by the second, so student researchers will find it easy to access accurate data.

Cheryl Cape, an instructional technologist in educational technology at Trinity College, said the center is to be used for financial and technology and other functions. T Bloomberg terminals are a professional subscription service created by the previous mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. One may access instantaneous financial, consumer, and regular news. An average session in the terminals begins with someone signing on and using the instructions provided in the lab. Afterwards, windows pop up. The user can go back and forth in between the windows and type in what they are trying to research and the terminal will provide news that is updated every second worldwide. One may conduct many different types of analysis, such as looking up historical data. Consequently, these terminals provide many helpful financial research tools.

“It is just amazing amounts of information,” said Ms. Cape, “My job is to facilitate, support, and encourage use of the lab. Hopefully students can start to use it, perhaps to pull out research data for classroom reports, papers, or research projects.”

The Bloomberg terminals made its way onto the Trinity College campus two years ago. “It was at that time that I began to hope for a ‘trading room’ on Trinity’s campus to be a reality someday in the not too distant future,” Paul Mutone, advisor of the Investment Club said. “Now that the center is open, I hope all of our students, faculty, and staff will visit the center and learn how to take advantage and make use of all the resources available to us through Bloomberg’s research data base. It is a resource that everyone, not just economic majors, can benefit from. I hope that we utilize the center as a classroom where students can become certified as a Bloomberg user to gain a competitive edge in the job markets.”

Carolyn Kimmick ’15, a member of the Trinity College Entrepreneurship Association (TCEA) has already begun to make use of the terminals. An international studies and Hispanic studies major, Kimmick has used the terminals to look at emerging markets and the trend of corporations going to Latin American countries.

She said that the TCEA is looking at the financial side of things in terms of using the terminals. She said that the terminal has already been useful for her. Just by typing certain key words she was able to find the data that will facilitate her research. Furthermore, she added “[TCEA] are actually planning on doing a private evaluation for a private corporation and using the Bloomberg machines to do that and we have [the President, Peter Ragosta] who…did lots of different evaluations [over the summer] and he is planning on teaching our group how to do that.”

The terminal does not only provide an ample amount of information, but these terminals also provide members of the Trinity community with the tools to amp up their resume with the Bloomberg certification.

In order to be Bloomberg certified, Cape said that by going to Bloomberg University, one could watch four core training videos that give instructions for how to use the Bloomberg terminals. After watching the videos, one can then take the core exam. In order to get certified, one has to take one or more market sector exams such as equity or fixed income exams, and pass with a score of 75 percent or above. Once you pass, you can request a certificate from Bloomberg, for free.

One student who is the real estate sector head for the Investment Club, Megan Green ’16, became Bloomberg certified over the summer while she worked with Bloomberg L P. She commented that the Bloomberg Terminals are great because all the information that is needed is up to date at the minute and at the sector.  Another student, Karl Cottendin ’15, treasurer of the Investment Club, added that not only is the information up to date, but it is also reliable. As a consequence, this allows the club to save time.

The Investment club is planning to break into sector groups like in the stock markets and bonds or currencies. The group will go out and do research to learn what the club should purchase in the sector, as well as later present their findings to club. Finally, the club votes on whether they want to spend their money on the sector’s discoveries.

“They are very excitement about using the terminals,” Cape said when speaking of the Investment Club. “I have been finding them working in here and using them for research, using them for learning, financial literacy and how to understand financial markets, how to research them.”

Cape hopes that other students can start to use it for classroom data and research.

“We envision these being used for being used for research by these clubs and people that are interested in learning more about financial analysis and financial news,” Cape said. She said it could help for those who are seeking for jobs as well. “Bloomberg has job information so you can post your resume, if you click jobs, if you are interested in financial sector jobs, it will list opportunities at Bloomberg, job related events in your area, recruiters, financial news that are hiring,” she said. She continued that not only could the machines in the lab be used for research, but function just as a regular windows computer.

The new lab is located in the library’s 24-hour zone. This means that after library hours, students are still able to access lab with their ID cards. The community members, however, cannot access the lab. All Trinity college community members are encouraged to make use of the new lab.



A new trend has “sugar daddies” paying tuition bills



Ranked America’s 11 most expensive college in 2014 with an approximated tuition price tag of $62,000, attending Trinity requires a considerable financial commitment. While Trinity’s website states that the college provides around 30 million dollars in financial aid to approximately 40 percent of the student population, a portion of those students must seek further assistance from federal, state, and private funds. What if, despite aid from numerous sources, you still were unable to afford college? What would you be willing to do to make your dream of a college education a reality? Some options that first come to mind to ease the financial strain are working on-campus or taking out student loans. However, a surprising number of college women, and some men, are taking different route; the route of a sugar baby.

Essentially, sugar babies are college students who seek the companionship of older, wealthier, people who are financially able to support them., one of the most popular sugar baby websites among college students, defines sugar babies as “attractive people looking for the finer things in life. For example, they appreciate exotic trips and gifts. Sugar Babies get to experience a luxurious lifestyle, and meet wealthy people on a regular basis.” While spokespeople for the website avoid the topic of sex, sugar babies interviewed by The Atlantic, say sugar daddies, sugar mamas, and sugar babies alike are all thinking about it. Sex is not obligatory or always expected, though. A part of creating your profile on websites like SeekingArrangement is defining your terms and your expectations for the arrangement. The companies try to draw a distinct line between prostitution and “sugar,” but it is usually blurred. To avoid being misunderstood as a business that pimps women out to wealthy men for sex, there is a policy requiring sugar daddies to do other activities, such as going out to dinner or museum. If these activities lead to sex, the company sees it as an organic, mutual result.

Many may assume that unintelligent bimbos account for the majority of sugar babies, however that is not the case. Since being launched in 2005, 2.3 million individuals have made sugar baby profiles on Of the 2.3 million sugar babies, 44 percent used a “.edu” email address. After companies recognized the demand for college students, incentives directed at college students increased. If one signs up with a college email account, they receive a complimentary premium membership, a membership that sugar daddies pay upwards of 1,200 dollars for. College students are in high demand because they create the illusion that the relationships are not purely sex-for-money exchanges. How could a well-educated woman be a prostitute?  NYU, Columbia, UPenn, and UCLA are among the top sugar baby schools. A common benefit of having an educated sugar baby is that they are able to understand their “sugar daddy’s” line of work or area of study, an aspect that makes the relationship feel more genuine. Not all sugar daddies just want sexual relationships with their sugar babies, some want to take them to company functions or other formal events.

So, where does the money component come into play? Some girls state their fees and requests upfront, but many have learned that not mentioning payment frequently results in more money. A lot of daddies prefer to give women a credit card in their name so it feels informal and less like an exchange. For consistent relationships, a monthly allowance is usually initiated. The average monthly allowance is 3,000 dollars, but can be as high as 10,000 dollars. If the relationship is inconsistent, the babies are paid anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per date. A sugar baby interviewed at George Washington University advised those considering becoming a sugar baby to not join for purely financial reasons. If a student discloses they are in dire need of money, they lose all of their negotiating power. Travel, jobs, internships, and graduate school connections are among the other valuable benefits that come from having a sugar daddy.

These women often put themselves at risk to obtain these. A majority of arrangement sites monitor messages and conduct background checks by running potential members through national sex offenders, criminal, and financial fraud databases. Lots of “babies” take precautions by using reverse phonebook search engines to verify names, addresses, and enrolment records. Despite numerous safety measures, students still have had unsettling experiences. Another sugar baby from George Washington said she has had three creepy and somewhat scary dates. Luckily enough, they were the preliminary 20-minute dates where the potential partners tested for chemistry.

In a time where female promiscuity is often denounced, I commend these women for their confidence in facing the double standard of sexual relationships. So much negative stigma surrounds the idea of being a sugar baby that one must be mature to acknowledge that fact and still go through with it. Rationally speaking though, these types of relationships are becoming more socially acceptable. Countless college students use Tinder, a matchmaking mobile app, to “hook up.” The definition of hooking up varies from person to person, but often refers to sex. Similar to Tinder, the arrangements usually result in sex and the expectations are indicated before the parties meet in person, but are not required or obligatory. The only differences are the exchange of money or gifts and that the relationship is often between an older man and a younger woman. Some professors consider the culture of sugar babies and apps like Tinder as modernizations of activities in the past. Now, instead of a husband removing his wedding ring and going to a bar, he can easily find a woman who is aware of and comfortable with his expectations online or through an app. Some sugar babies knowingly have relationships with married men, but many are sickened by the idea. One sugar baby was comfortable sleeping with a married man until she saw a picture of his daughter, who was around her age.

No one has the right to judge the decisions those who are struggling to make the financial commitment to higher educational institutions. As the price of tuition continues to grow, so will people’s ingenious ideas for innovative strategies to pay-off expensive student bills.


Lack of printing options inconveniences students



In the drizzling, early hours of a Monday morning, I found myself running frenziedly to make it on time for my 8:30 a.m. film class. I had two stops before class: Mather and the library. I swallowed my food quickly and desperately sprinted to the library with my smoothie still in-hand. My frantic movements garnered the attention of many other students at the library, who glared at my messy hair and falling bag. I could picture myself being welcomed into my class with disapproving stares from my peers and professor on the day had a guest lecturer if I did not get their fast enough. The Mac computer seemed to just be waking up as well as it took two minutes to log into the system. I sat patiently watching the clock tick and then ran to the printer as soon as I gave the command to print.

The last section of my sprint to Austin Arts Center was interesting. I was greeted with a “Hi” as I ran to only look back and realize that it is the cute boy from class. I struggled to respond as I was panting like a dog from running. Nevertheless, I made it! I had successfully submitted my assignment but failed to save myself from the torture of an impromptu morning work out. I could have avoided the above dramatic incident if Trinity College had more accessible printing options.

I know it sounds sill that I am whining about a run from Mather to the library to Austin Arts even though they are relatively close together. However my experience made me wonder about the students who reside on North campus? The only option for them is the writing center on 115 Vernon Street. On the weekends it is locked by campus safety for security. Now what options do they have? The students must make the tedious walk all the way across campus because there are no other options.

Some would say that the solution is to install a printer of your own in your room. It saves one from a morning run and evening walk. We are all college students though, which means we operate on a tight budget. Do we really want to spend our small income from on-campus jobs on paper and ink cartridges every few months? Printers are costly and not everyone can afford to purchase a printer in the first place, much less the accessories necessary for its use. One could say that the school provides 20 dollars for printing needs, so what is the problem? The problem is this inconvenience could become long-term. What happens once the student exhausts the 20 dollars? For instance, a student in an English course could be asked to print all assignments per class. Eventually they might find themselves using Bantam Bucks for printing. One could also argue that planning ahead of time and having the necessary printouts could avoid a panicked morning, but at some point, a run to the library will happen to everyone. We need a long-term practical solution.

The college could install printers in common buildings such as Mather and Vernon Social. Both of these locations are central to residence halls and are also frequent hubs for students. I am not saying that the library is not convenient for some, but dining places are visited habitually. The post office is conveniently located in the basement of Mather. Often times, students finish their meal and walk down to the basement to check their mailbox, completing two tasks in one place. Similarly, students living on North campus can either use Vernon Social or Mather depending on their preference. During thunderstorms or bitter winters, walking that extra mile to the library for the sole sake of printing an assignment is cumbersome. I recommended that Trinity install printers in more accessible and frequently visited locations.

I understand that this increases the responsibility of the maintenance staff, however, it is easier than installing a printer in every dorm. Placing a printer in each residence hall would not only be costly, but also problematic in terms of space. There are 23 dorms, so installing and maintaining 23 printers may be a little excessive. Hence, I do not recommended that printers be installed in residence halls.

At the same time, students cannot avoid the fact that the library and writing center are central buildings, too. Numerous students spend hours at the library everyday and even more so during finals. The library gives students not only the convenience of printers on each floor, but also computers for students to work on. The English Department houses printers as well, and is open throughout the week except on Sundays. Nevertheless, a few professors have office hours on Sundays, so the building may be available for printing. Our current system is not ideal, but is not unmanageable either.

Due to the problems and inconveniences that have resulted due to the lack of printing options, I think that the school should install printers in different locations, like Mather and Vernon Social, so they are more accessible to students.


Trinity hosts state-wide conference about sexual assault



On Friday, Oct. 3, Trinity College hosted the American Association of University Women (AAUW) “Responding to Sexual Assault on Campus: Why Now?” 2014 College/University Conference. There were around 85 attendees, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal among them. President Berger-Sweeney was given the privilege of making the welcoming remarks.

Trinity College is a campus member of the AAUW CT branch, with Laura

Lockwood, director of Trinity’s Women and Gender Resource and Action Center (WGRAC), serving as the campus representative for Trinity.

Trinity benefits from this membership by nominating our students to serve on their Student Advisory Council, with opportunities for students to attend the annual National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in Washington, DC, in addition to other programs.

The wonderful conference began with opening remarks from the AAUW Connecticut chair members, Dr. Lin Rising and Donna Haghighat, followed by Lockwood, who introduced President Berger-Sweeney.

President Berger-Sweeney began her remarks acknowledging the immense honor Trinity had in hosting the event and welcomed representatives from more than a dozen campuses across Connecticut that were present in the room.

She said, “there is no campus issue that is more important today than how [Trinity] address[es] sexual assault and the prevention of sexual assault.”

Berger-Sweeney went on to discuss the ways in which Trinity is working on these issues. “[Trinity] is fortunate for the strong leadership of Laura, who was recently honored with an Outstanding Ally Award from Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, and Karla Spurlock-Evans, our Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Senior Diversity Officer at Trinity. Laura and Karla work in concert with staff from several offices—the Dean of Students, Campus Safety, the Counseling Center, and Residential Life and with SART, our Sexual Assault Response Team, and with other faculty and staff members across campus. But most important for us: Trinity students are driving much of the progress on these issues.”

In regards to the students, President Berger-Sweeney explains how “students have been instrumental in creating a more educated and safer campus with higher reporting numbers. In particular, members of Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS) have made a significant impact at Trinity. This group works enthusiastically to produce four major programs each year to educate the campus on these issues: The Red Flag Campaign, Voices Raised in Power, The Vagina Monologues, and the Take Back the Night march and rally.”

“The overarching question for today is ‘Why now?’” she continued, “I interpret this as: ‘Why is our collective response to sexual assault on campus so critically important right now?’ Of course, many of us might ask, ‘What took so long?’ But regardless of how frustrated we are that this issue has taken this long to draw the attention it deserves, there is no doubt that the time is now. We must seize this opportunity to change behavior, which, I think we would all agree, has persisted far too long.”

“In closing, I would add that we want Trinity to be a campus that is at the forefront of solving the issue of campus sexual assault,” President Berger-Sweeney concluded. “I have every confidence that by partnering with all of you here today, and by learning from our own student leaders, we will achieve that ambition.”

After President Berger-Sweeney’s remarks, Senator Blumenthal spoke as the keynote speaker.

Senator Blumenthal talked about how sexual assault on college campuses is not just a women’s issue. He said that it is a men’s issue as well. Ana Medina ’16 attended the conference and said she was “very inspired by Senator Blumenthal’s statement encouraging everyone, men and women, to stand up against sexual assault because it is not just a ‘women’s issue, it’s everyone’s issue.’  Upon meeting him, he also mentioned that he hopes to see [her] and other students at round tables he will be hosting to further discuss this issue.”

A panel that discussed various programs on the prevention of sexual assault followed Senator Blumenthal’s speech. “A major highlight was the morning panel, moderated by Title IX Coordinator Dean of Multicultural Affairs Karla Spurlock-Evans,” Lockwood wrote, “Ana Medina, ’16, co-coordinator of SECS, was one of the panel speakers. Ana gave powerful comments regarding SECS’ goal to empower students to be active bystanders, to speak out against the culture that demeans women and blames victims, and to talk about individual’s experiences. The other panel participants echoed these beliefs and goals.”

“It was truly an honor to be on the panel because I met so many wonderful people fighting for the same cause as I. During my speech I highlighted how Trinity had empowered me to stand up against sexual assault,” Medina wrote. “I came into college without any knowledge about the issue, but thanks to WGRAC and the resources provided by Trinity I was inspired to make a difference. After speaking, students from other schools and an editor from the Courant approached me to learn more about my work, which demonstrated to me how far and wide this issue goes.”

Joan Hedrick, a history professor, attended the conference. Reflecting on President Berger-Sweeney’s remarks, Hedrick wrote, “it felt like a culture change to hear President Berger-Sweeney call sexual assault the most important issue facing colleges today. She highlighted the on-going initiatives at Trinity: the long-standing attention to the issue by Laura Lockwood; the work of the Sexual Assault Response Task Force (SART); and four student initiatives, The Red Flag Campaign, Voices Raised in Power, The Vagina Monologues, and the Take Back the Night march and rally. The whole conference was informative, stimulating and empowering.”


Ebola in the U.S. raises concerns of preparedness



Until recent weeks, President Obama’s political capital had been seriously depleted by continual congressional investigations and international chaos that appeared out of the control of the now six-year president. However, since his speech from the White House where he promised to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, the terror network that has taken over much of Northern Iraq and major parts of Syria, the president has projected a sense of power that, at one point, appeared to have been lost forever.

Yet, in the last few weeks, we have seen that Obama, a politician who rose to fame because of the power of his personality and the sense of strength he projected, never really lost that dynamic quality that makes him a once-in-a-generation politician. The question is whether he can sustain his momentum, given the complexity of the foreign policy situation his administration must now confront.

Two weeks ago, at the UN General Assembly, the President exhibited a similar kind of strength where he again vowed to dismantle the Islamic State’s “network of death.” He also forcefully called on China to commit to seriously reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the UN Climate Summit, claiming that China, a country that wants the privileges of a super power, must also face the responsibilities that go along with such influence. The power in the president’s climate speech strikes a different tone from past speeches addressing Chinese policies, where he appeared weak and lacking the strength in confronting the Chinese.

Pivoting back to the United States’ escalation in the Middle East to combat the Islamic State, now known as the Islamic State of Syria and Levant, the Pentagon announced that over 50 countries have now signed on to fight the radical group, along with Britain, Denmark, and Belgium committing to join in airstrikes against them in Iraq.

What is remarkable in this shift in the President’s foreign policy outlook is that just two years ago, Obama refused to take action in Syria, where estimates reveal that Assad forces have killed well over 200,000 Syrians as well as displacing millions more.

Obama, who was in part catapulted onto the national political scene over his opposition to the war in Iraq, now faces a similar kind of task to that of President Bush in destroying a network of radical fighters in Northern Iraq and Syria. Many see the President’s recent actions as a departure from his previous outlook to not get involved in international events and crises. Remember the “don’t do stupid stuff” mantra of the Obama administration?

Now, he is making the argument that the United States cannot afford to lead from behind in this struggle, as groups like ISIL and the recently discovered Khorasan group, a radical Islamist network borne out of the so-called “decimation” of Al-Qaeda leadership, pose a direct threat to the homeland.  We can conclude from the President’s proposed actions that he will no longer sit by as international developments shape as well as derail his foreign policy agenda. He now believes that in order for the United States to project its strength across the region, the United States must lead in building a coalition of European as well as Middle Eastern countries that have a stake in the success of riding the region from Islamic extremists.

On Sept. 28th, when Steve Kroft asked in his 60 Minutes Interview, why the United States must again lead a military effort in the Middle East when relatively stable countries in the region are more geographically-positioned to fight ISIL, the president responded bluntly, stating, “this is how we [the U.S.] roll.” Obama further added, “this is always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation.”

Obama later said, “Our military is the best in the history of the world, and when trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don’t call Beijing, they don’t call Moscow, they call us,” suggesting a different foreign policy approach in his administration that legitimizes the claim that the United States is the ‘worlds policeman’ when it comes to fighting terror and threats to liberty around the globe.

It will be interesting in the months to come how President Obama will fit into the role of America’s new wartime president. In 2007 and 2008, when then-Senator Obama was running for president, he continuously bashed President Bush for his failure to assist in building a democratic government in Iraq and his inability to sustain an international coalition to fight Al-Qaeda and other terror networks.

Now, the current president faces the formidable task of pushing back ISIL and other radical groups, bringing together long-time warring ethnic groups in Syria and Iraq to fight ISIL, negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran, and placing pressure on an Assad regime that has long vowed it is not going anywhere. Can this president successfully balance these complex foreign policy matters that have created more chaos in an already chaotic region and, at the same time, maintain what I believe is a second wind of political strength?


Having said this, the model for success in the Middle East cannot be based solely on airstrikes alone, but will require a strong coalition of moderate peoples within Iraq and Syria that have a personal interest to protect and preserve the very freedom and liberty ISIS threatens


“Half The Sky” is full of stories to empower women



This Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Cinestudio, there will be a screening of parts of the documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Created by two of the world’s most informed voices, the movie is a passionate call to fight against the era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. It is based on the book of the same name, an extremely enlightening piece of literature that changes the way we think about the oppression of women in many countries. The series premiered in the United States Oct. 1 and 2, 2012, followed by an international broadcast in 2013.

Half the Sky is a four-hour series shot in 10 countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the U.S. The documentary series explores the lives of women and girls who are living through some of the most difficult and prohibitive circumstances imaginable — and fighting bravely to change them for the better. Traveling with courageous reporter Nicholas Kristof and amazing celebrities advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde, the film offers viable and sustainable options for women’s empowerment and offers ways to instill these options to lead to transformations. The documentary covers six areas of interest: sex-trafficking, forced prostitution, gender-based violence, education, health care, and maternal mortality. The documentary showing on Wednesday will show the segments on sex-trafficking, gender-based violence, and education.

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the movie takes us on a journey through Africa and Asia to meet the remarkable women enduring there. Examples of these amazing women include a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries as a result of early childbirth. Employing their great journalism powers through their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope. The documentary shows how even a bit of help can transform the lives of women and girls all over the world. The Cambodian teenager had escaped from the brothel imprisoning her and, with assistance from an aid organization, built a prosperous retail business that now helps to support her loved ones. The Ethiopian woman received help and had her injuries repaired, later becoming a surgeon to assist other women. Additionally, a Zimbabwean mother of five was given the opportunity to earn her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.

Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn allow us to see that the ultimate solution to economic progress in all countries lies in unleashing women’s potential. It becomes clear that so many people have helped to do just that, and that each of us is able to do our part for women. Throughout so much of the world, the most significant yet ignored economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered fully as a result of emancipating women and bringing them into the formal economy; allowing their citizens to see women’s true worth has transformed their society. Unleashing that process globally is not just the morally correct thing to do – it’s also the perfect strategy for fighting poverty.

If you’re interested to learn more about empowering women worldwide, Half the Sky is the place to start. The organization combines video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools to raise awareness of women’s issues while also providing concrete steps to end these problems and empower women. Change is truly possible, and you can be part of the solution.. Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspiring, Half the Sky is essential reading or watching for every global citizen. Although the documentary is four hours long, the screening on Wednesday will only be an hour and thirty minutes, followed by a discussion. This documentary has been brought to Trinity by our own Half the Sky Campus Ambassador Julia Wald ’15, with help from her co-sponsors: the Women and Gender Resource Action Center; the Women, Gender, and Sexuality department; the African Development Coalition; the International Studies department; the Sociology department; the Trinity College Black Women’s Organization; Model UN; Encouraging Respect of Sexulatities (EROS); and Seasoned and Rising Again Lesbians (SARAL).


The Food Gals find a cheap and tasty meal at Park Tavern





When looking for easy dinner spots, Trinity students often keep to a few old favorites. That’s why when a new place opened up we thought we had to give it a try.

One day we were driving back from Quaker Diner and saw that a restaurant had opened recently next to Plan B burger. Park Tavern, located about 10 minutes away from school on Park Street and in the same location as a former familiar restaurant, Tacqueria Tavern, offers a refreshing change.

On the outside Park Tavern seems a little basic but from within it offered modern décor, natural light and a friendly atmosphere. From the moment we walked in everyone we encountered appeared genuinely happy to help us. It seemed to be a place frequented by regular bar-goers and families alike. Even the owner was present and was very accommodating in seating us immediately and checking in on us regularly.

As college students we are always trying to find the cheap but delicious alternatives to Mather and the Bistro. Since we ate between 3 and 6 pm all of our appetizers were half off.

We were in a group of five and ordered bruschetta, potato skins, calamari, cobb salad and egg plant. In addition, we had the option of ordering two sliders with a side for only $11. One member of our party tried this and claimed that the sliders were delicious but the mac and cheese was even better.

The bruschetta was served on toasted pieces of baguette diced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella.  The bruschetta was good but the potato skins were a group favorite, as they came with extra calories aka bacon, cheese and sour cream. The salad selection was also impressive but we were more tempted by the appetizer options. Especially tasty was the eggplant parmesan, which was breaded with mozzarella dollops and yummy marinara accentuated with fresh basil. We were very impressed not only with the taste of the food but also with its presentation.

Our waitress highlighted our experience offering scrumptious variations on their menu items. She was extremely friendly and ready to assist with anything we might need.  It was obvious from the start that Park Tavern takes pride in serving its customers tasty food promptly and has accumulated a group of regular customers.

Park Tavern is styled after a traditional tavern, the bar being the main focus. When we arrived around 4 pm there were few people at tables but the bar was packed.

Park Tavern’s layout allows for additional seating both indoors and outside.  Between its updated American comfort food and friendly atmosphere, combined with its dedicated employees Park Tavern is definitely worth a try.

We would give the service five out of five stars because our waitress was very diligent and accomodating and the owner made an effort to interact with clients.

We would give the food a 3.5 out of 5 because it was delicious and nicely prepared but we would have appreciated more variations on traditional American bar food. The atmosphere receives a four because it was well-lit and lively but not too loud.


How the ladies of Trinity can welcome in fall’s trends



As the colors of the leaves on the trees turn from a bright summer green to colorful shades of red, orange, and yellow, the clothes on Trinity students do the opposite. We go from our bright blasts of hot pink and turquoise to fifty shades of grey paired with black. It isn’t a bad thing by any means, but it is time that we get a little more adventurous and ‘trendy’ with our fall style, shall we?

It is the little things that truly count when it comes to tying an outfit together. I know that when the temperature drops to sixty, us gals at Trinity tend to run straight to our pile of black leggings and oversized sweaters. Don’t go there yet! Try to utilize that stack of jeans you have—they want some love too! And plus, by putting on a pair of jeans to go to class you have already made yourself look ten times as put together as leggings do. A mid to dark wash jean for the fall is what is in style, but I will say the darker the wash the sleeker you look.

As we move into the fall season where wearing a jacket or coat is acceptable its time to think oversized. The oversized coat is back in style. Not only are they absolutely fashionable but also the oversized coat is extremely comfortable. You can wear the same one to class as you would wear to a formal event. I’m not just referring to oversized as being loose fitting and wider on the shoulders but also in length. This fall the jackets are getting a little bit longer. It is definitely a different look but if you are willing to try it, it will work.

A piece of clothing that became trendy in the summer that is traveling over into the fall is the collared button up blouse. I love this look. Wearing the shirt a little bit big is the way to go. Many people may think that this look is a little “manly” for the ladies but if you roll up the sleeves, unbutton the top few buttons, only tuck in the front, and pair it with a simple short necklace this look goes from wearing your boyfriend’s button down to trendy. This may sound like a lot but this look is pretty effortless and again very comfortable.

Another trend that is traveling an even further distance is from last spring to this fall: the sneaker. I could not be happier about this lasting look. The sneaker has proved that it is here and is not going anywhere any time soon, and we thank them for staying. This fall we should move from the lower rise sneaker to a high top. A low-rise sneaker looks great with shorts and a little T-shirt, but in the fall we are looking for a bit more coverage. This look can be worn anywhere! And especially at Trinity. This sneaker does not need to be fancy, it can be a simple high-rise Converse paired with those mid to dark wash jeans. What else is great about this look is that just about anyone can pull it off.

But, if sneakers aren’t for you, welcome back the bootie from last winter. This fall the bootie is even shorter, probably the same height as the high-rise Converse. We are also, with open arms, welcoming the brown bootie. Last year was all about the black leather, this fall it is a mix between sleek and finished black leather and a decorated brown bootie. What is great about the bootie is how easy they are to throw on. Most of them don’t even have zippers, so if you are on the more effortless side of the spectrum, the bootie is the perfect shoe for you this fall.

Lastly, I will bring us around full circle to complete the fall outfit. Just because it gets colder does not mean it is time to toss aside all color. This fall’s color: maroon! That dark shade of purple/red is what’s hot this fall. It is everywhere from high heels to an oversized cozy cashmere sweater. And I personally love it! A little bit of color adds some personality to an outfit. This fall is not about layering on and running to your leggings, it’s about being comfortable while being fashionable. And these styles allow us to do just that while still looking casual traveling across the long walk.

So, ladies at Trinity, if you’re with me, try to avoid that pile of leggings for a little bit longer. It’s definitely getting colder, but the fall is a time for us to transition, not sprint to winter! Enjoy the change of the leaves while wearing fall’s trends. You’ll certainly look amazing doing it.


Sam Ruddock ’15 on why Prague is perfect for study away



Prague, a city with idyllic backdrops and beloved gothic architecture, is as much a place of beauty as a place of escape for weary college students that seek a break from the mundane.   It is quietly one of the best cities in Europe and definitely a must visit for those looking for a break from the tourists filing into The  Louvre and Roman Coliseum.

The Czech town was the point of departure for what I hope would be a memorable experience studying abroad, entertaining whims, and helping my cultural awareness. As I was planning to go abroad I did something that some would consider imprudent, and chose a city that none of my friends chose to study in.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to get out of the experience; I just wanted a change.  However it wasn’t just the city I chose to study in, but also the experience I thought I would have.

As an economics major, being accepted to study abroad as a student of Charles University was very appealing. Charles Univeristy is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. Being a student at a unviveristy alongside fifty-thousand other students was an additional change from Trinty.

Sure you’ve been to Paris to see the Mona Lisa, and maybe even to Rome to throw a penny in the Trevi Fountain.  There was a dinner and a drink after and most of your experience can be retold through the pictures on your camera.  You probably are still instagraming pictures of you and friends in front of an obscure statue in the Piazza Barberini for another disappointing addition of throwback Thursday.  It’s fine for dull things to happen.  Those things will still be there for you in five years and in ten years if you go back.  There is so much more a semester abroad can offer.

Spend the night in an underground absinthe bar in the heart of Prague.  In the evening, stroll down the cobble stone streets of old town and walk across the Charles Bridge at midnight.  Stumble out with the sun after a late night at the riverboat bar Buccaneer.   Make a morning stop at Bake Shop for a pastery and a pour-over coffee with the cloths you wore from the night before.  You only get to do this once.  Check out a new place to check into.

Prague is famous for its beer.  The Czech Republic drinks the most beer per capita out of any other country and its no wonder with beer this good.  When the weather is nice there are beer gardens that pop up around the city.  Petrin Hill was one such get-away that provided an unbelievable view of the city from the other side of the river.

Situated a block away from the river in Prague. Hemingway’s Bar is a great place to enjoy a drink.  I’ve never had better drinks in my life.  With pictures of the famous author hanging all over the bar and dim lighting enveloping faces with shadows; the ambiance is that of a speakeasy.  I’d recommend going here more than once but be sure to make a reservation because it can get crowed.

Why not visit the overpopuated cities of Europe on the weekends? The cities will always be there. Prauge is quaint yet full of history and I often found myself playing the role of a tour guide for the many friends who visited Prague. Can’t say for certain, but I’m rather sure they envied that Prague really became my city and not just a place to study abroad.

Devon Still’s story is much-needed in the current NFL climate



Throughout the first five weeks of the NFL season, most of the focus has been on the negative off-the-field issues that the league has been faced with. There have been multiple cases of domestic abuse that have made the current NFL climate a very grim one.

The league has been heavily scrutinized by the majority of the public in recent months and rightly so. However, in recent news, a positive story has emerged in the NFL. It is one that has attracted national attention.Over the summer, a little known football player by the name of Devon Still found out that his 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a form of cancer often found in children, and was given a 50-50 chance of survival. Unfortunately, he was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals during the preseason. However, the Bengals pulled an extraordinary move in keeping Still on the practice squad in order to ensure he had health insurance so that he could continue to pay her treatment bills.

The Bengals showed that the NFL can care about more than just football. They showed that they cared for this individual. They supported him emotionally during this hard time and they supported him financially as well. They placed business as a priority that is second to a person’s wellbeing.

The Bengals began to sell Still’s No. 75 jersey, donating all proceeds to pediatric cancer research. To date, the sales have raised over $1 million dollars. However, the support doesn’t stop there. After hearing about Still’s story many people have begun to show their support for the young defensive lineman.

Still’s daughter, Leah, was featured in a music video entitled “Truly Brave” by Hoda Kotb, Sara Bareilles, and Cyndi Lauper. The video featured a number of other pediatric patients. It was intended to raise money that would go towards pediatric cancer research. On Sunday, as the Bengals took on the New England Patriots, the Patriot cheerleaders unzipped their jackets to unveil themselves donning Still’s No. 75 Bengal jersey. Still was caught off-guard and fans saw a tear fall over his eyeblack.

Additionally, the Patriots’ owner, Robert Kraft, donated  $25,000 to the Cincinatti Children’s Medical Center in Leah’s name. I hope that these support efforts continue. It is reassuring to see such care and compassion extended for an individual in need. With all the negativity surrounding the NFL, this heartwarming story was a welcome piece of good news. Still’s story shows that the NFL can care about its players on a personal level. The organization doesn’t have to care exclusively about a player’s ability to perform on the field.

Just as the NFL has chosen to ostracize all the players with recent criminal allegations, it should encourage the entire league to continue to show support for a man who is devoted to his daughter’s battle with cancer. I commend the fund-raising efforts that have been done so far and I hope that such efforts continue.

Beijing must grant Hong Kong the democracy its people were promised



The people of Hong Kong cry out for democracy.  Over the past two weeks, the city’s streets have been a battleground between police and protesters. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have marched, camped out, and rallied together to protest the Chinese government’s anti-democratic policies.

These protests are a response to the voting restrictions that the Chinese legislature announced in late August. The protesters call for fully democratic elections for the position of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the most powerful political office in the Hong Kong government.

However, under China’s newly announced plan, a candidate cannot run for the position unless he or she is pre-approved by a Beijing-friendly committee. So, in essence, the Chinese government would retain control over the head of the Hong Kong government. One reporter said that this system is akin to someone telling you that “you can marry any person you want, as long as it’s one of these three people.”

This system proposed by Beijing is non-democratic, plain and simple. It is an effort by the Chinese government to exercise control over the people of Hong Kong.

Through these voting restrictions, the Chinese government is breaking the promise that it made in 1997 when Hong Kong was given over to Chinese control. When the United Kingdom transferred rule of Hong Kong over to China, the Chinese government promised that the region would enjoy a high degree of autonomy and its people would eventually be granted universal suffrage.

This policy became known as “one country, two systems”—Hong Kong would be a part of China, but the region would be allowed to retain its own political system. By placing voting restrictions on the people of Hong Kong, the Chinese government is reneging on its promise that the city would be allowed to have a democratic political system.

I applaud the protesters for their fierce opposition to the abuses of the Chinese government. I also commend the nature of the protests, which have, overall, been peaceful.

As their chosen form of disobedience, the protesters occupy central areas of Hong Kong to disrupt daily life. This non-violent protest has been met with extreme reactions by the police. Riot police have been extremely liberal in their use of tear gas and pepper spray.

The Hong Kong protests have become known as the “Umbrella Revolution.” The name was coined by Adam Cotton on Twitter to describe the large number of demonstrators that brought umbrellas to protect themselves from the large amounts of tear gas and pepper spray being used by the police.

Despite violent reactions from the police, the protesters have continued to fight for their cause.

I am severely disappointed in the United States and in the United Kingdom for not supporting the demonstrators in Hong Kong.

The United States claims to champion democracy throughout the world and yet our government has remained silent as the people of Hong Kong fight for their political freedom. The United States and the United Kingdom offered themselves as guarantors of the “one country, two systems” agreement when it was signed in 1997 and now both nations seem to have forgotten their promise. Both the U.S. and the U.K. should openly condemn the Chinese government for its autocratic treatment of Hong Kong.

Should we be concerned with the FAA easing rules on drones?



On Thursday of last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it had authorized six different film-making companies to use unmanned aircrafts, otherwise known as drones, for their work.

It marked a huge milestone for the commercial use of drones. Understandably, the technology improves productivity for companies that deal with packaging and logistics, such as Amazon or FedEx. Additionally, drones certainly benefit filmmakers because of their ability to film high in the sky.

However, the FAA essentially banned drones from commercial use in 2011 due to public safety concerns. Thursday, marked the first shift in policy by providing six separate exemptions to companies, giving them the ability to test these drones in a controlled environment.

An article in the Wall Street Journal stated, “The FAA has said the exemptions are a safe, interim way to relieve pent-up demand while the government works out a comprehensive policy governing the industry.”

Clearly, the FAA has a long way to go before they allow the drones to rule our skies. Testing the drones in controlled environments away from populated areas is one way to find out how to regulate the complexity of issues that come with thousands of unmanned vehicles occupying the U.S. airspace.

The conditions that the FAA and film-making companies agreed on were as follows: “Conditions include that the operators are certified private pilots of manned aircraft, that the drones are inspected before each flight, and that the pilots keep the vehicles within sight. They also restrict the companies’ drone operations to daytime.”

These are certainly some needed ground rules; however, how many of these rules will exist when the real set of FAA rules and regulations come out?

The me, the most important rules are those regarding keeping the drone in sight and having flight time restricted to daytime.

Personally, I think it is inevitable for both of these rules to eventually be repealed. The biggest reason the private sector is pressuring the government  to complete these final set of rules is because of the clear increase in efficiency drones would allow when dealing with shipping and delivering packages.

For instance, a company like Amazon prides itself on the ability to complete next day shipping, however it would really limit their ability to promptly deliver a package with a drone if it cannot be flown at night. It goes without saying that an international company like Amazon would have an even harder time delivering items if the drone must stay within the pilot’s eyesight.

In other words, for commercial drones to truly accomplish their worth, they will need to be allowed to fly at night and across vast amounts of land.

Thus, I find it a little concerning that within the next decade or so, I can expect to see thousands of unmanned aircrafts flying above.

Not only does it frighten me that I have no idea where each drone is being deployed from. But furthermore, with the expansion of commercial use, I believe it can only mean that the government could soon be using their own drones for security measures.

I am not suggesting that eventually the government will turn into something of a big brother, peering down on us at every street corner. However, just how far will the use of drones in our society go, and will it  ultimately compromise our feeling of safety?

World leaders must respond to the growing threat of climate change



At the U.N. climate summit in New York on Sept. 23, President Obama addressed more than 100 heads of state about the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate. He said that the issue of global warming will “define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other.” This urgency comes in response to recent statistics about the immediacy and severity of rising global temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions.

2013 saw an unprecedented spike in carbon emissions and this past summer was the hottest in humanity’s history. President Obama appeared personally at the U.N. climate summit to speak about how the global community should respond to this serious issue.

President Obama spent the first half of his speech listing the ways in which the United States has taken action to address climate change. He said that we now harness three times as much electricity from the wind and ten times as much electricity from the sun than we did in 2008. He said, “We’ve driven our carbon pollution to its lowest level in nearly two decades… And over the past eight years, we have reduced our carbon emissions by more than any other nation on earth.”

The listing of these efforts and accomplishments allowed President Obama to call upon the other nations of the world to take similar action in combating climate change. He said that the United States will do its part and the other nations of the world must do theirs as well. He’s right. The battle against climate change is, by its nature, a global one. One nation or several nations reducing emissions is not enough to address the crisis.

President Obama’s appeal came as a response to the hesitation that we’ve seen in large countries like China and India in curbing carbon emissions.

China recently overtook the United States as the world’s largest polluter. India’s carbon emissions are the third worst in the world and are expected to rise swiftly in coming years. These nations carry extreme responsibility in the fight against climate change, but they have not followed the United States’ lead in taking significant action to stop pollution.

Chinese President Xi Jinping decided to skip the climate summit meeting, which suggested that the Chinese government is unenthusiastic about addressing the issue of global warming. However, President Xi sent Vice Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli in his place to say that China was determined to show faster progress in curbing emissions. Unfortunately, such promises by the Chinese government have yet to be matched with concrete action in reducing emissions. In India, the possibility of climate conscious action is more remote. India’s environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said that he does not consider pollution a major political priority. “India’s first task is eradication of poverty,” he said, “Twenty percent of our population doesn’t have access to electricity, and that’s our top priority. We will grow faster, and our emissions will rise.” He said that he doesn’t expect to see a downturn in carbon emissions in India for at least 30 years. Mr Javadekar’s attitude is shocking and it shows that the international community is far from unified on the issue of climate change.

The rapidly warming globe can only be described as a crisis. And, if this crisis goes unaddressed, our generation and generations to come will suffer disastrous consequences that include greatly raised sea levels, stronger and more frequent hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, deforestation, and much more.

I commend President Obama and the United States for taking the first steps in tackling the climate crisis. In order to stop global warming, the United States will need to continue to increase its environmental efforts and serve as an example to the international community.

Meanwhile, the nations of the world that aren’t taking climate change seriously, such as India, need to wise up and join in the fight against one of the most important crises of our time.

Blue Plate Kitchen: A take on modern comfort food






We figured if people talk about a place enough, it’s got to be good. That’s how we ended up at Blue Plate Kitchen. Located in West Hartford, right next to Noodles and Co. (if you’re familiar), Trinity students have been known to flock to BPK for its brunch offerings. However, we found that it had extensive menus for every meal. When we first glanced at the menu we noticed a great variation in potential breakfast choices. From the cereal wall to chicken and waffles, Blue Plate Kitchen seemed to have it all.

Our server was exceptionally nice, immediately introduced herself, and made sure our food arrived promptly and still hot. We ordered banana chocolate chip pancakes, eggs benedict (again), bacon, and burrata. The banana pancakes were ginormous and scrumptious. We suggest getting just one unless you’ve had a particularly long night beforehand.  The eggs benedict were perfectly oozy with cheesy hollandaise sauce, so good that we couldn’t resist cleaning our plates. Just for kicks, we decided to order one of their specials, the burrata (gooey cheese with a mozzarella-like outside). The bacon was crispy, which is an important breakfast requirement for us.  As a major plus, they serve little bits of cinnamon rolls to start the meal.

With exposed pipes, metal tables, and suspended copper lights, the ambiance of Blue Plate Kitchen was undeniably modern yet comforting. It was obvious to us that careful consideration had gone into every aspect of its décor and service.          On top of being a Trin favorite, it seemed like the other patrons were regular customers. If you’re looking for a quick getaway from Mather brunch, this is the place to go. We unanimously decided that BPK is now our favorite brunch spot.

All in all, BPK made an excellent impression and we suggest going there as soon as possible to satisfy your brunch cravings. We can’t wait to go back and try it for lunch and dinner!

BPK offers different family style dinners each night, including, what we found most exciting, “Mom’s” lasagna. You can also order the Captain Crunch encrusted Frenc toast (we thought we should save that for when we want to reward ourselves).

Stay hungry!


Madeleine Kim ’16 shares secrets to a successful workout



The Ferris Gym can seem intimidating for those students who rarely go the gym to workout. It’s a huge room and everyone can see everyone else, but college is probably the only time in your life when you will have a free, all-access gym membership and a class schedule that leaves you open blocks of time throughout the day.  Forget the freshman fifteen and take advantage of this opportunity to get in the best shape of your life!  Here’s a quick guide on how to get started.

If your goal is to start hitting the gym on a regular basis, having a workout buddy can make all the difference.

Besides holding you accountable for workout times, your buddy can also act as a spotter, form-checker, and personal cheerleader.

Prepare your post-workout snack. After a hard workout you’ll probably be hungry enough to eat everything in sight, which makes Mather a dangerous place.  Avoid binges that negate your hard work by preparing a filling, protein-rich snack that you can consume right after you leave the gym.

Eager as you may be to jump right into your workout, as little as five minutes of stretching can save you from injury.  Plus, greater flexibility means greater mobility, and therefore greater depth in your lifts.  Try three rounds of holding a hip flexor stretch, downward dog, and child’s pose for about ten seconds each for a quick yet effective warm-up.

Unless your goal is endurance, you’re probably doing cardio to burn calories and drop pounds.  If that describes you, I have great news: the most effective cardio workouts can be as short as ten to twenty minutes in length.  Swap out your laborious, forty-five minute elliptical session for fifteen minutes of interval training on the treadmill or stationary bike. Not only will your workout be quicker, you’ll also jumpstart your metabolism and keep burning calories for hours after you leave the gym.

If you’re new to weightlifting, machines are a great way to start building up strength with a lower risk of injury than with free weights.  Try the leg press to strengthen your squats or some lat pulldowns if you’re working toward pull-ups.

Machines are a great way to get comfortable moving weight around, but free weight exercises are ultimately the most effective way to build strength; by utilizing stabilizing muscles, they cause more muscle fiber contractions.

For an amazing full-body workout, try choosing a squat movement (back squats, front squats, split squats), a push movement (bench press, shoulder press) and a pull movement (one-arm dumbbell rows, pendlay rows, deadlifts) to complete with free weights for a few sets.  Especially if you’re new to weightlifting, be sure to focus on form to avoid injury.  When you’re trying out a new exercise, look up tips on form first, then have a friend watch and correct you.

If you’re like me and you see the treadmill as a torture device, there is still hope for cardio in your future!  Try choosing three to five of your favorite bodyweight exercises (my faveorite five are squat jumps, push-ups, jumping jacks, burpees and mountain climbers), then do each exercise for thirty seconds with thirty seconds rest in between, and repeat for three to five sets, resting two minutes between each set.  As you build up your endurance, you can increase your active period and decrease your rest period for a bigger challenge.  Bodyweight intervals are almost too good to be true. You’ll finish your workout in under half an hour, your metabolism gets kicked into calorie-burning mode for the day, and you can do it anywhere–even in your tiny dorm room!

After you workout, make sure to hydrate with water. Especially after intense bouts of cardio that leave you sweating, replenishing your body’s fluids is key.  For an extra boost of hydration, try electrolyte-enhanced water or coconut water, which is naturally rich in electrolytes (and high in carbs, to help rebuild muscle after heavy resistance workouts).

Right after your workout, aim to have a meal consisting mainly of lean protein and carbs.  If you’re on the go, try a protein shake with coconut water or some plain greek yogurt with honey.  Whenever possible, eat whole, unprocessed foods because they provide the most micronutrients and fiber to leave you feeling satisfied.

Lastly, make sure to get plenty of good rest before and after you work out. This may come as bad news to busy college students, but lack of adequate sleep severely limits your body’s ability to repair muscles and shed    fat after a workout.  Aim for at least seven  hours per night beacause your mind, body and soul will thank you for it!


Whitney Gulden ’16 on studying abroad in Scotland



I ran away from Trinity at full speed after my sophomore fall to the small town of St. Andrews in Scotland. When you think of Scotland, you will probably think of rain and foggy hills and men in kilts without knickers on.  Most (really, all) of this is true. The University of St. Andrews is just over an hour from Edinburgh and twenty minutes from the closest train, located smack on the east coast of Fife on the North Sea. The tiny town has four streets, three beaches, eight thousand university students, and is famously where Kate met Will. The Kate Middleton and Prince William that are currently expecting their second adorable royal child.

While most of my friends started thinking about going abroad as a junior, I was already 3500 miles away and completely alone.

I went to St. Andrews with a program nicknamed IFSA, or the Institute for Study Abroad of Butler University, which puts groups of students together from all over the country to study abroad through over 100 programs in 17 different countries. As I had hoped, I was the only Trinity student in the entirety of Scotland and completely alone.

With zero friends and only a few distant acquaintances who attended full time, I was free of the Trinity bubble that had started to suffocate me. In Scotland I ate whatever I wanted, met multitudes of full-time students, tried tons of student clubs, attended every social event, and was amazed at how much the full-blooded Scots and Brits could drink.

You see, at St. Andrews students go out almost every night of the week and drink more than I thought humanly possible at many points (yet never really lose control or grace) because everyone is of legal age. There are no fraternities so students flock to pubs, bars, social clubs, and even the student union bars. The student union has not one, but two full service bars.

Unquestionably the best thing about my time at St. Andrews were the balls. Black tie, fancy dress, old school balls. I went to every ball that my body could handle. Starting with The Arabian Nights ball (my hall/dorm’s ball) at Kinkell Byre Castle, to Carnival Ball, to Glitter Ball (for the LGBTQ group) at the Old Course Hotel, to Big Top Ball (circus- themed), May Ball (the last ball attended by over 2000 people), and an almost frightening amount of launch parties and other events. The balls were were very glamourous and really differnt from any college events that happen stateside.

The novelty of boys (really they turned into men) dressing up for parties in blazers and black tie never really wore off on me. The Scots really know how to dress.

Perhaps my favorite events were hosted by the Wine and Cheese club, which I had immediately become a member of.  At these parties you paid about 10 quid (pounds, or roughly $17) to eat as much wine and cheese as you could get your hands on. The night would start out with whites before moving to rose, and a rainbow of reds that were sure to leave the attendees in fantastic spirits before going to a bar later. It was at my second wine and cheese event that I met Hugo and Bella.

I feel compelled to mention Hugo and Bella because in different ways they were such a huge part of my time at St. Andrews. Bella became my best friend and we were absolutely inseparable, she even came to Trinity to help move me in and get what I jokingly refer to as “the American College experience”. I still talk to her almost every day and have huge amount of St. Andrews FOMO because of it. Hugo was my study abroad romance who has a British accent I can only think to compare to Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

He was a history major and took me on long walks/coffee dates on West Sands (the beach in St. Andrews that was the opening scene in Chariots of Fire, not kidding) telling me stories about the history of Scotland and England.

Since I brought up the history of Scotland and England, I’m going to comment on the results of the Scottish referendum. For those of you who can’t be bothered with international news, Scotland recently voted on separating from the UK.

This was a huge deal and the main topic of conversation last spring. The final result (with an 85% voter turnout) is about 45% for independence and 55% to remain in the UK. Delighted to be United, God Bless the Queen.


The old guard holds strong during NYC Fashion Week



It seems as if the menswear shows were just a few days ago, yet the models wearing womenswear for spring and summer 2015 have already walked the runways in New York City. Though the spring tends to have a less dramatic effect than those shows for autumn and winter, the designers of New York Fashion week took the opportunity to show some very wearable clothing that would make sense for women during next year’s spring and summer seasons.

Over the past decade, New York has nurtured a young generation of designers. Designers behind labels such as The Row, Rodarte, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, and Rag&Bone, have worked hard to redefine New York as a capital of fashion in the world. Not since Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren stormed the runways in the late 1980s has New York been such a place to look to.

However, this season the old gaurd of American designers really stepped up their game, reclaiming their ownership over the modern codes of American sportswear. Oscar de la Renta has been keeping on his toes consistently for the past decade. He knows the essence and life of the old school society ladies like Slim Keith and CZ Guest yet can flawlessly merge that lifestyle with an aesthetic fit for a modern women. In his collection this season, Oscar used a bold color palette and added a youthful flair by chopping silhouettes. This collection was all about the crop-top, and the cropped jacket, and even the cropped evening gown. His gold two-pieced embroidered evening gown will be a must-have for spring editorials and red carpet premiers to come. Adding to the youthful feel of the clothes was the color blocking and the heightening of the gown’s hem. The higher hems are more practical yet the dresses they finish are still feminine and voluptuous.

Carolina Herrera took a risk by printing flowers onto some stand out pieces in her collection. The youthful feel of the technique may introduce young women to buying clothing from a woman who would normally appeal to an older set. Erin Fetherston reminds some of a young Herrera. Her collection too, showed a modern, almost industrial take on flower prints. A great trend for spring is evening separates. Gowns, suits, and short dresses that are made up of two or pieces are more attractive to shoppers because those individual pieces translate into better investments for they can be worn in so many different ways.

In addition to Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera’s show, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan were particularly strong this season. It is wonderful to see the younger and older designers feed off each other’s energy and ideas. Despite the strength of the older designers, the younger generation of American designers still showed impressive collections.

Jason Wu was inspired by actress and sex symbol Charlotte Rampling, which always promises for a great collection. Wu showed a sexy take on safari dressing and 1970s disco. He demonstrated his talent for elegant restraint, which is bound to separate him from the other designers of his generation. There was great movement to his dresses, especially the short beaded dresses cut down to the navel that hold the promise to glisten all night long. His day jackets will be the must-have items for chilly April days, while his penultimate and finale dresses are bound to draw blood from stylists fighting on behalf of the actresses they work for.

Tia Cibani also referenced the 1970s, but  she focuses more on the more bohemian side of the decade. Her “Joplin-esque” girl this season went on a trip to the Middle East. Her collection displayed some of the seasons best color palettes (reds, tans, peaches, and oranges) and a really relaxed take on sexuality that can be worn by women of different sizes. It is so exciting to see a woman’s take on what is sexy, as it tends to incorporate more of a mix of strength and femininity.

One of the standout shows this season was Rodarte. The Mulleavy sisters certainly held their title as the poets of the New York set. Their collection was a romantic vision of underwater life. Tidal waves, coral reefs, and fishing nets seemed to be the inspiration for their fashion spectacular. The smart skinny jeans and barn jackets of the early half of the show slowly morphed into longer gowns that had an eclecticism that lacked the messiness that is often the downfall of a Rodarte collection. Their mixing of textiles will make each customer feel special, and the overall collection is one that will surely be referenced and copied for years to come.

Thom Browne showed a rather shocking collection this season. He gave a performance as the world has come to expect of him, but the extraordinary clothes were all wearable. Each piece of his artfully cut suiting can fit into the closet of the most conservative of women. His ability to work textiles and embroidery and color in a wearable way is certainly one of his best assets and it shows he can translate his dream-like worlds to the street.

And of course there was The Row. Smart, light, exotic, rich, and wearable for every age. It’s nice to see a brand that stands out for refinement rather than showmanship.

Now off to London, Milan, and Paris.

Ashley and Katie Hess start “Party of 2” fashion blog



For the Party of 2, better known as Katie and Ashley Hess ’15, finding their passion began with getting dressed in the morning. Despite working in retail on Nantucket and interning for the U.S. senate, the Hess Twins have still  found the most exciting part of their day to be when they’re piecing together their outfit in the morning. Although they have tried many career paths they both knew that they needed culture and passion to be truly happy.

The girls have always enjoyed writing and dressing up, but to them it was just a part of their daily life. It wasn’t until their friends began to tell them that they had talent that they decided to make a blog. They were getting complimented on having a great sense of style. Not only did their sense of fashion start to get highlighted, but so did their writing in various classes and extra-curricular activities. They had raw skills and they knew they wanted to do something with them. Even the boys were complimenting their fashion and writing. They were starting to get the idea of making a blog, but they were hesitant.

They weren’t positive about making a blog until they studied abroad in Paris. In Paris they were in constant awe of how elegantly all the women dressed. They spotted women in Louis Vuitton pumps in the grungiest of subway stations. To dress up was expected and they loved being immersed in the high fashion world of Paris. Being surrounded by huge designer names coupled with being in need of something exciting in their life was what finally pushed them to make the blog.

The blog has slowly become more and more popular. There are a lot of fashion blogs out there, but to the twins it’s not about having the best blog. It’s about “Faking it till you make it”. They want to put their best work out there so that others can enjoy and hopefully learn a thing or two from it.

A huge priority for the blog, from their point view, was that they wanted to make it reasonable. Party of 2 was meant to appeal to girls in their twenties, and the average twenty-year-old is not going to be strutting around carrying a Birkin bag while wearing Tom Ford jumpsuits. They wanted to show off high fashion in a way that college students could relate to or at least pretend to emulate.  That isn’t to say that Ashley doesn’t like to rock her Louis Vuitton studded sneakers. They like to throw in a few nicer things and then cheaper items to balance the rest out. This goal of keeping the blog realistic comes from the way they were raised. Their mom showed them that getting a fancy bag or a nice pair of shoes every once and while is ok, but your closest can’t be jammed full with them. They also don’t like their parents buying all their clothes, so working hard to get nice pieces is really important in their minds.

One of the best parts of the blog for them is that they get to work with each other on something they both love. They have always been really close and are able to work well together. Their energies balance each other out. Katie says she is creative and pays attention to every little detail. While Ashley is the “lets get this done with” kind of girl who is able to make important decisions. Not only has working with family helped the outcome of the blog, it has also helped them emotionally. They acknowledged the fact that by making the blog they were putting themselves out there and taking the risk of being rejected. Both of them said they couldn’t imagine doing that without the support of one another.

When asked about the future of the blog they weren’t exactly sure what they are expecting. All they know is that they love the blog and are happy with the success it has had. Editors of larger fashion blogs have complimented them for getting their blog known so quickly. Getting known in the fashion world is a difficult process, and they seem to be making it so far. Even though they want to continue with the blog in the future, they also hope to find jobs next year—hopefully ones involved in fashion. They are taking everything one day at a time. For now, they hope that everyone checks out their blog and maybe even gives their Instagram a follow.

Trinity College in the 1980s from the pages of The Ivy



Once again I stumbled upon an old stack of Ivies from Trinity’s history in the offices of The Trinity Tripod. For those who are unfamiliar, The Ivy is Trinity’s yearbook. Though it is seldom looked upon as a serious historical artifact, yearbooks can say as much about a generation as music, law, or any formal documents can. Yearbooks have an obligation to record names, majors, sports teams, clubs, and so on, however The Ivies left plenty of room for images of both daily life and special affairs.

The particular Ivies that I found myself entranced by were all from the 1980s. Last year I came across the Ivy from 1969 and felt a real interest in writing about the style that the then students at Trinity had adopted. What caught my eye more than the fashion, which was spectacular, was how much fun students appeared to be having.

The Ivies themselves seem to address a rather intimidating topic which is to define what a year at Trinity was. There is a pressure to inform future generations as well as please those who attended college here  during the 1980s. There is a strong balance of social life, academics, facility, history, and sports. Not surprisingly, many traditions still exist today. Students still hang out on the quad, dress up and go out, fall asleep in the library, and give it their all when participating in sporting events. More specifically, there is still a large rowdy gathering for Spring Weekend and the famous lemon squeezer was still attempted to be stolen. In an age that is obsessed with instagram filters, it was a true pleasure to see a black and white photograph of the  statue of Bishop Brownell.

There seemed to be a heavy sense of pageantry and tradition in the 1980s. Every event featured seemed to be strongly attended by the student body. This is one trend I would love to see return to all areas and activities that occur on campus. There were fabulous images of the grand march for graduation, and even a full page spread on the outdoor student boxing tournament that happened on campus. Perhaps it was easier to get involved and try new things at Trinity before Netflix seemed to confine people to thier dorm rooms after classes.

Smiles run across every page and seem to bring a metaphoric color and lightness to every page black and white page. The 1980s are fondly or horridly remembered for crazy decadent style, yet the pages of the Ivy tell a different story. Most students are dressed in an understated yet stylish fashion.

There are of course the popped-collars and tennis sweaters, but many of the students look like they may have rolled out of bed, and it’s very possible that they might have. Yet there is something chic in looking effortless, for it implies that you have better things going on than to waste precious time worrying about what to wear. This devil-may-care attitude reaches it stylish peak with well-draped tee shirts and sunglasses. Hair seems to be mostly windswept and makeup is minimal. It is almost as if students back in the day were so preoccupied with their academics, extra-curricular- fraternities, sporting events, clubs, and each other that they forgot to worry about impressing others and just focused on having a great four years.  What a thought!

It well may be that I’m glamorizing the past in the mists of the hectically busy lives many students here at Trinity are living in present day. The question of what future generations will see when they see us in the pages of the Ivy in thirty or thirty years begs to be answered. Only time will tell.

Let’s live like it’s 1985.


Nick Reichheld ’15 on his time studying in Vienna



Making the decision to leave the comfort of Trinity and the company of my closest friends after two and a half years was not an easy decision to make.  I had always wanted to go abroad but when the time came to decide where and when to actually go, I was hesitant.  I knew that I would regret not going, but I also couldn’t help but be conscious of what I would be missing with the coming spring semester.  Once I had finally made up my mind to go, I had to conquer the next hurdle of deciding which program to commit to.  After much deliberation I combined every theoretical aspect of my ideal program and found that there was a pre-existing program that met all of my criteria.  I wanted to be able to travel as much as possible, the more often I was able to hop on a train or a plane to some place I had never been before, the better. I wanted to experience a wide array of cultures, foods, peoples, and landscapes.  So it was with all of this in mind that I boarded a plane that January with the destination of Vienna, Austria.

Once I had come to terms with the fact that I would not be seeing Trinity and its inhabitants for, at the very least, five more months, I set my mind on the horizons and on preparing myself for what would surely be the most amazing time of my life.

Vienna, being in the geographic center of Europe provided the ideal location to get around as much as possible and see and experience more places than I ever thought would be feasible in such a short time.  In five months I had seen Vienna, Salzburg, Halstatt, and St. Anton within Austria, Nice in the south of France, Brussels and Bruges, Belgium, Berlin and Munich, Germany, Budapest Hungary, Prague in the Czech Republic, as well as Rome and Florence, Italy.  I tasted foods and drinks of every different kind from every different place and interacted with some of the most interesting and captivating people that I could have ever had the good fortune of encountering.  I romped around in lederhosen at springfest in Munich, biked through the fairy-tale city of Bruges past intricate canals and beautiful windmills, and made wishes on bridges in the old town section of Prague.

Vienna was home base for myself and eight other Trinity students.  We were lead by the ever-reliable Gerhard Unterthurner through a cultural seminar about Vienna and our travels throughout the city, country, and continent.  Our housing was stationed in student apartments adjacent to the Westbahnhof train station for über easy access to transportation all over the city and beyond.  Some of my favorite nights included completing the challenge at Travel Shack, the student dive bar with an Australian feel right down the street from our housing, hanging with the bartenders, and even one day of making a trip an hour into the countryside to a Heuriger (winery/traditional Austrian food) for someone’s birthday that I had never met, and subsequently getting a ride to a beach party along the Danube and hitching a ride the hour back into the city in the early hours of the morning.

Our days were filled with exploring the history and majesty of one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world and perhaps stopping for a nap in one of the plentiful green spaces like Stadtpark or the hills behind the Schönbrunn palace.  In any case, whether we were spending six hours on a train to our next destination, lounging in the sun on a rental boat in the middle of the Danube, or wandering about the Museums Quarter and popping through our favorite locales, every day was an adventure.  It is truly impossible to entirely appreciate the incredulous nature of one’s time abroad while it is occurring.  Even after spending my last night in the city staying up from dusk ‘til dawn walking through all of my favorite places and breathing in Vienna, its history, its beauty and my memories for one last time, I didn’t truly comprehend how much I would miss it all until I had returned. I’d most certainly recommend it to anyone.



Recent tragedy in Syria raises questions about vaccines



Whether or not you should partake in receiving vaccinations has been a topic of debate in America, especially when it pertains to young children. One such controversy has stemmed over the use of the MMR vaccination. Some have argued that it causes autism. However, no conclusive evidence has arisen that shows a definite correlation between the two.

This isn’t the case for everyone receiving vaccinations though. On Wednesday September 17th over 50 children died after receiving a bad batch of measles vaccines in northwestern Syria. Insurgent forces currently control the area. There were also members of medical volunteer organizations, who had been administering the vaccinations as a part of a UN program that intends to stop diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, and polio from spreading in the area. One possible explanation that has come up is that the high number of deaths was potentially a result of the the vaccine being diluted by atracurium, a muscle relaxant that is used during surgery.

So the real question becomes whether this was a fault of the people administering vaccinations or whether it was a case of sabotage.  One victim’s story makes me particularly sad to think that this may have resulted as a case of negligence. In that story, a father gave a vaccination to his eight-month old daughter and within minutes, she was dead. Out of grief, the father collapsed. How can anyone explain to that father why his daughter died while she was receiving a vaccine, something that was supposed to help her live? How does one tell him it was an accident? And what if it was actually sabotage? Why would someone choose to target children who have had no say on the tensions that have plagued Syria for the past three years, as well as beyond that? At least 15 of the children who died were under the age of one. It is unimaginable to think of the pain that these parents must suffer as a result. Thinking about how these families will be able to move on is difficult. Hopefully, they can get answers soon, even though those answers will not bring back their children.

I for one have always been a big fan of children being vaccinated. Having seen what a disease, such as polio, can do to someone makes me believe that taking a preventative strike is always more beneficial than a curative strategy. However, as I read about the case in Syria, I couldn’t help but think about how I would, if I were a parent, go about getting my child vaccinated in a time and place of turmoil. There are people there who may choose to harm those who have no say in a conflict they do not understand, like children.

It is one thing to think that a vaccine may cause autism. It is a whole new question to wonder if vaccinations could be used as an instrument of death. Then I think again that if this was a case of negligence, how did it happen? Was the medication labeled incorrectly? Was it a case of limited time? I strongly support medical organizations going to countries, like Syria, in order to help with things like vaccinations. However, if the process for administating vaccines is  rushed – as can be seen by the situation in Syria – there can be deadly consequences.

The question then becomes what else can be done for these organizations, which are already trying to do their best with limited supplies. I honestly cannot provide an answer to this dilemma. In a perfect world, all the various countries would be able to provide help to other countries that are struggling, but that usually is not the case. While there are countries who try to help as much as they can, it does not seem to be enough. There is a quote that reads “in times of need, we are all neighbors.” How great would it be if we could employ that policy? Nevertheless, there is always something which causes a divide, whether it be money, politics, or other factors.

For now, it seems that the tragedy surrounding the deaths after the vaccinations in Syria is most likely from a mix-up and not an actual attack. Sadly, these volunteers were only trying to help, and hopefully this incident does not derail their efforts. Yet, this case should serve as a reminder of the importance of careful label reading and double-checking medications even with time constraints. It is important to remember  what can happen if one is not overly cautious. I hope that those parents who lost their children as a result of this incident will be able to find solace and peace one-day. I also hope that what happened in Syria with the vaccines is not now used as a good reason of why vaccinations should not be given. Despite the tragedy that happened in Syria, vaccinations are good and can help save the lives of those who have it administered.


Health Center appointment policy neglects emergencies



As college students and, for the most part, adults, Trinity’s student population is held responsible for their own well-being. Ferris Athletic Center is available in order to help maintain a healthy exercise regimen, multiple food options are available for a nutritious diet, and several counseling services are offered in cases of emotional, spiritual, or mental stress. Trinity College is equipping its community with fantastic facilities in order to maintain balance and health in every aspect of life. Except, of course, actual medical assistance and aid.

The Health Center, attached to Wheaton, is staffed with smiling faces, and an inviting environment that welcomes all who enter its doors. Pamphlets, posters, and displays are spread throughout the cozy waiting room, each detailing how to approach dealing with everything from depression to sexual assault. The Health Center’s page on the Trinity College website boasts an impressive list of available services, from allergy shots to confidential testing for sexually transmitted diseases, diagnosis of various health conditions to delivery of prescriptions from a nearby pharmacy. Above this extensive list, the Health Center details its policy for seeing patients: “Appointments are required, walk-ins are triaged and referred off-campus for urgent care or scheduled into the next available appointment”, and if a student needs medical care after hours, he or she may receive “telephone advice by calling Campus Safety at 860-297-2222 and asking to speak with the nurse on-call” as needed. This policy seems fairly reasonable and does not appear to leave students without medical care. That is, until a football player with a herniated disk walks into the waiting room, explains his urgent condition and is told that a nurse is not on call for two hours, so would he like to have a seat and wait? Yes. Something like this actually happened.

For those students fortunate enough to not need drastic medical care, or treatment beyond basic consultations and diagnoses, the appointment policy is nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Students at Trinity have busy schedules, so finding the right time to see a doctor about that spreading rash might be difficult. In most cases waiting a few days, or even just hours, does not actually matter.

However, those with time-sensitive and dangerous cases may suffer from this system. These ailing students get tangled in the red tape of needing a specific appointment. It can be assumed that the aforementioned football player did not anticipate herniating a disk in his back, so he did not have a scheduled appointment to be seen for this incredibly dangerous injury. There are countless other conditions, illnesses, and injuries that are similar in their emergent nature and impossibility to predict, so why is the Health Center not prepared to address these issues at all times?

Appointments should be part of the Health Center’s policy. In addition to teaching students the responsibility and importance of taking the initiative in getting medical help, it also allows the Health Center to stay on top of its various cases and services. Students who can make appointments, should. There is no denying that there is a reason this is the typical method to get healthcare. If the Health Center is going to mimic real-world policies, just as student’s ailments on campus mimic real-world problems, it should also be prepared for real-world scenarios, including emergencies. In addition to taking appointments, a nurse or physician should always be on call in case of walk-in situations such as these. Students without appointments should be free to go to the Health Center and know that they will be treated, or at least made more comfortable. Triaging is a critical part of providing health care and the Health Center’s policy details how it is used in assigning appointments. Yet, in the case of the injured football player, no one triaged him properly. If they had, he would have been sent off campus immediately, or been ushered to an exam room. Instead, he had to wait hours for someone to come in and confirm the obvious by saying, “Yes, you do need help.”

Clearly the system has been working fairly well so far, but it is fair to say that in almost any area, there is always room for improvement. In the case of the Health Center, perhaps reevaluating, revamping, and reviewing their policies would help them better serve the needs of the students. Those few times a student needs emergency care, it should always be provided without avoidable delay.

New features of iPhone 6 overshadow complaints



The iPhone 6 is the most advanced iPhone product that Apple Inc. has produced thus far. It recently came out with not only one, but two display sizes; 4.7 inches on the iPhone 6 and 5.5 inches on the iPhone 6 Plus. It also includes a new retina display called Retina HD, which allows you to see and take images more clearly and read fine print.

The new iPhone has also significantly improved video-taking capabilities. The new program is called iSight. It gives users the ability to take HD, Time Lapse, and Slow Motion videos.

The new iPhones are also extremely thin at 6.9mm (iPhone 6) and 7.1mm (iPhone 6 Plus). They also come with the Touch ID feature, which has helped to improve security. This feature also allows you to make purchases in iTunes, the App Store and iBooks with only your fingerprint as confirmation. In addition, the iPhone 6 has combined Touch ID and Passbook to give users the ability to use the iPhone to pay for items in the store — all you need is your fingerprint.

Most people have enjoyed the larger screen and overall increased size of the iPhone 6. There is more room to text and type more accurately, watch movies and to read e-mails, books and surf the web. Even though some have said it is difficult to reach the top of the screen, the home button has a feature that allows you to double tape it, which enables anything on the screen to slide down for you to reach.

Another perk of the iPhone 6 is its louder speaker. Whether you’re sharing a video with a friend or playing music out loud for a group to hear, the increased speaker volume is a small addition that has been received with great appreciation.

One of the biggest customer-favorite upgrades is the camera. The HD feature lets every picture you take come out as clear as day. Combining this capability with the panoramic setting has also significantly enhanced the quality of panoramics. The slow motion feature has also been improved so that quick motion videos (i.e. sports, dances, car races) can be seen in epic clarity. The newest setting of the camera app is Time Lapse. Not only do customers enjoy this because it is new and exciting, but it produces stunning time lapse videos that could normally only be produced with a $500 camera and movie editor. All of these upgrades are enhanced even more by the camera’s incredible focus. You could be riding in a car or quickly moving your phone around during a soccer game and  the camera stays steady and produces a clear picture.

Additionally, there is a new feature called spotlight. It is the pull down bar that searches your phone, the internet, the app store and much more. This becomes very convenient when you are in a rush and trying to look something up quickly.

However, one change that has been difficult to adjust to is the new placement of the power button. It is no longer at the top of the phone, but on the side. Some say it has taken them quite a while to adjust. Eventually though, the placement ultimately becomes convenient because it is more accessible from the natural way you hold a phone in your hand.

Despite the new additions, iPhone 6 has been highly criticized. Already, one week after its release, multiple customers have complained that the new phone was bending in their pockets. The new iOS 8.0.1 software, which is supposed to update apps and add new features, has been said to crash customer’s phones, and disable cellular service. Apple is currently working on iOS 8.0.2, taking care of the glitches, and has apologized for anyone affected by the new software.

The camera also sticks out slightly from the rest of the phone, making it a little wobbly and unstable when placed on a flat surface. This can be frustrating for those trying to watch a video or film on their phones. However, the new improvements and special features have been able to temporarily compensate for this malfunction and there have only been minor complaints.

Personally, I have been a fan of iPhones ever since I got one five years ago. After holding the iPhone 6 and playing with it, I can say I would definitely purchase it. Even though the larger size may take some getting used to, it’s sleek and rounded shape allows it to fit comfortably in my hand. Nowadays people have begun to use their phones more for doing work, using social media, taking pictures and videos instead of actually using it to call people. I think the new iPhone 6 is able to meet these needs both conveniently and beautifully. The overall appearance of the iPhone, new design  and camera – an essential feature for our generation – have all been significantly enhanced. I think that the majority of people who have had complaints about the additions to the iPhone 6 are experiencing difficulty with the new software and programming rather than the actual phone.

A European look at U.S. airstrikes against ISIS



I write here with the understanding that not all Trinity students have had the privilege of being exposed to views other than those that are largely pro-American with coinciding dispositions. That is to say that this is not an attack on American views and the like, but rather to introduce the views of other countries; namely those of the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany, some of the main players of the EU (linked with the languages I understand). I also won’t insult your intelligence by regurgitating what you probably already know from news headlines and the like, but rather people’s opinions on the matter. Please note that I only use these opinionated sources throughout for the actual views people have, but realize that obviously not everyone shares this same view. It’s quite hard to completely encapsulate everyone’s feelings in a few paragraphs, so do realise I will discuss what is perceived to be the general majority.

The Dutch largely view Obama’s announcement of the U.S.A.’s launching of airstrikes against ISIS as ‘quite impulsive’ according to the Dagelijkse Standaard, and American patriotism is to blame. This is a relatively common view shared by Europeans, as nationalism in the ‘Old World’ has led to many a conflict and thus is viewed with deep suspicion. In very simple terms, all it took was a few executions publicized on mass media to have the Americans chomping at the bit once again for military action.

Despite this suspicion, the Dutch public seems to be largely in favour of the actions taken by the US for they whole-heartedly agree with the eradication of the ISIS militants. On Wednesday, September 24th, the Dutch showed their diplomatic support for the U.S. by conducting their own airstrikes with F-16s from Leeuwarden, wrote Metro Nieuws. The only other thing the Dutch disagree on is the U.S.A.’s airstrikes against targets in Syria, because they view them as actions potentially supporting the Assad government.

Now before I go on, I should probably note that of course there were other factors leading up to Obama’s decision. But rather than it being a quiet matter where the US says ‘something must be done for these poor Kurdish people,’ he has instead opted for the charge to glory on a massive wave of public sentiment with a little more emotion and seemingly less planning than that is politically healthy. The Dutch were quick to notice when the NOS Journaal showed Obama’s speeches before the executions – that the US would provide support to the Iraq government but that’s about it – and after them, where he took on a very pro-American stance that harkened back to the days of his predecessor. But more on that later, with the German opinion.

The British are the odd ones out of these three EU countries, as they consistently back American actions on the world stage. That being said, it came as no surprise when the BBC announced that the House of Commons voted with an overwhelming majority to launch airstrikes alongside the US against ISIS. However, some do feel that the Americans have rushed the issue, dragging the UK into another Libya situation where no real plan exists other than ‘eradicate them completely.’ The only issue where the British veer away from their US pals is on the topic of airstrikes in Syria. Like the Netherlands, they believe that taking out rebel bases actually supports Syria’s tyrannical government, even though they belong to ISIS.

The German perspective is mirrored in the way that the newspaper, Der Spiegel, out rightly states the public opinion – Obama seems to be imitating Bush. On the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks Obama announced that the USA is once again involved in Iraq and that the public opinion is on his side. The perceived lack of planning is also alarming, bringing a fear that this will indeed be a long, drawn out conflict that Germany would like to avoid. This should be relatively easy as Germany can only have a defensive army and therefore cannot fight on foreign soil. The air force just revealed on September 27th that they are also below NATO requirements and would not be able to help the situation anyways.

So concludes an insight of EU countries’ views on US foreign policy – ones that hopefully convinces someone to challenge the view that the U.S. is a misunderstood superpower policing the world on its own. Perhaps those ‘unwilling’ NATO allies that ‘freeride on U.S. defence spending’ are actually a little more tacit in their approach rather than what some media encourages one to believe. We as Americans should be wary of our emotions when it comes to our foreign policy.

Trinity Field Hockey wins at home against Bates



The Trinity College Field Hockey team began their Saturday with a decisive home victory over Bates College.  This weekend’s victory over the Bobcats was no fluke as they added another win to their winning streak.  With an overall record of (5-2) and a NESCAC record of (3-1), the Bantams have proven themselves to be formidable opponents, winning the last three contests in which they partook.

The win was a direct result of the Bantams ability to play stifling defense.  The girls managed to keep possession and control the ball in Bates’ defensive half. This was the second game this season where Trinity kept the opposing team to three shots or less. Only two shots were taken on the Trinity net and only one had to be saved by Goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick ’16 in her second consecutive shutout.  Bates keeper Christina Vega ‘15 did not have the same luck.  A chronically weak Bates defense let a strong Trinity offense take twelve shots and Vega could not overcome the onslaught as Trinity put two balls in between the pipes.

Bantams forward Brenna Hobin ‘18 opened the scoring in the 29th minute netting her third goal of the season off a pass from midfielder Cara Daly ’18. The assist marked Daly’s first collegiate point and the goal was all Trinity would need thanks to ball control and a stout defensive effort.

The second goal would not occur until the second half was underway.  Casey Quinn ’17 gave the Bantams some breathing room with a quick insurance goal in the 39th minute. Trinity forward Olivia Tapsall ’16 picked up the assist on Quinn’s shot as she has now registered a point or better in all three of Trinity’s conference wins.

During play, Trinity played a clean game where it counted, out of their 33 fouls, none resulted in penalty corners, however the Bates team was not as successful. The Bobcats had a total of 38 fouls, which resulted in 5 penalty-corners.  By playing a tight and clean game defensively, the Bantams were able to alleviate pressure on Fitzpatrick and keep their focus on moving the ball up the field.

Olivia Tapsall led the Bantams in both shots and shots on goal (4:3) while other Bantams who took shots include Nicki Rivera ’16, Sophie Doering ’15, Olivia Tapsall , Casey Quinn, Brenna Hobin, and Kelcie Finn ’18 .  This relentless offensive pressure and a tenacious defensive showing was the reason why the Bantams came out on top.  The Bates Bobcats had no bite at all this weekend, falling to a overall record of (1-5) and a league record of (0-5).

A brief analysis of the Bantams’ season can show that the future looks bright for the field hockey team. The only conference loss to date was to Williams and that was only by a deficit of one goal in a tightly contested game.  Trinity rests third in the NESCAC (based on overall record) trailing only Bowdoin.   The conference is up for the taking, and the Bantams look ready to take it.

Bill Detrick remembered: legendary coach passes at 87



The Trinity community mourns the loss of long time coach and mentor Bill Detrick, who passed away last week at the age of 87.  He is survived by his wife Barbara, as well as his three children and his six grandchildren.

Detrick attended Central Connecticut State University where he played football, basketball and baseball.  He remains the only athlete in the school’s history to earn twelve varsity letters.  He graduated in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in business education.  He later went on to earn a masters degree in guidance from New York University.

After college and a 16-month stint in the navy, Detrick returned to Central where he coached the men’s basketball team for 29 years, setting yet another school record for amassing 468 victories with the Blue Devils.  Fans of CCSU basketball remember Detrick as a passionate, caring, funny and somewhat eccentric coach and leader.  Detrick has been honored by the university as his No.4 jersey was retired, he was inducted into the school’s inaugural hall of fame class and the gymnasium where he spent so much of his playing and coaching career at, has been renamed after him.

After leaving Central Connecticut, he joined the Trinity College Athletic staff in 1990 as the head coach for the golf program.  During his twenty-three year as head coach, he successfully turned Bantam golf into one of the most successful Division III programs in the Northeast.

He led Trinity golf to seven New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship appearances, as well as their first league title in 2010.  He was named NESCAC golf coach of the year three times during his tenure and in his final season at the helm of the program, steered the team to a second place finish in the conference championship.  Since his retirement, Trinity has renamed its annual fall golf tournament to the Bill Detrick Invitational, to honor his legendary career.

Detrick left Trinity as a personal mentor to many of his players and students.  John Shilling ’14 golfed for him for three years at Trinity and remembers him as a caring, kind and respectful man. “He [Detrick] showed me that I always have a place to turn when things stopped going my way.” Shilling explained.  “Most importantly though, he taught us how to treat others.  Whether it’s our teammates, coaches, opponents or family members that come to the matches, we were to treat them with respect and kindness.  That’s how coach treated everyone.”

Current Trinity student, Donny Hunt ’15, recalled the first time he met Bill Detrick.  “I first met coach in an interview at Ferris when I was still a senior in high school.  After talking with him for a little over an hour I realized that I would do anything to play golf at Trinity.” Hunt explained.  “His top concern was always developing kids into men by the time they graduated and guiding them through college to make sure they would leave as a better person than when they first stepped onto campus as freshmen.  He was an incredibly loyal person who would always give help or guidance to those who sought it. “

Bill Detrick’s wake was held last Monday.  Schilling and Hunt attended the ceremony as well as countless others.  “Most wakes I have been to have been somber, uncomfortable and generally sad affairs.” Schilling admitted.  “Coach Detrick’s wake was different.  You could see people smiling as they recalled the numerous stories they had about him.  I laughed with my fellow players as we remembered the best times we had playing under coach.”

“It was inspiring to see that amount of support from all the people who wanted to see him for the last time.” Hunt remembered.  “It was an honor to explain to people at the wake that I was a part of his last team.”

Bill Detrick remains one of the most influential names in both Central Connecticut and Trinity athletics history.  His legacy as a player, coach, mentor and friend will live on in the hearts of the hundreds of people he touched and supported.

Chudi Iregbulem ’15: Bantam Athlete of the Week



After their recent blowout victory against Williams, the Trinity College Football team has once again started their season undefeated at 2-0. This perfect record has been achieved in part by senior running back Chudi Iregbulem ’15, who is now starting at the position full time after helping the team achieve previous success over his career, including their 2012 NESCAC Championship. Hailing from Torrance, California, Iregbulem has honed his skills at the position and demolished the competition with his blistering speed and agility, both on the ground and even in the air. His statistics only prove this theory; in the football team’s past two games, he has scored a total of seven touchdowns through 610 total rushing yards. Needless to say, the veteran back has been a defining part of this year’s team.

Iregbulem has always been a big fan of football and sports in general.  While he may play football, he’s received inspiration from his other favorite sport: basketball.  “My favorite athlete growing up and still to this day is Kobe Bryant because of his great work ethic and “mamba mentality.” He’s inspired me to relentlessly work for whatever I want and to have an unbreakable confidence while doing it.”  This hard work and “mamba mentality” of Kobe have certainly paid off. Thanks to an aggressive rushing attack, he has greatly contributed to the scoring of Trinity’s 70 points thus far through 921 yards of total offense. He certainly is not running away from anyone with numbers like that.

Iregbulem credits his high school football career for being an integral part in his success as a Trinity College Bantam. “My high school competition was fairly strong. The fact that I was able to have great success in that league really helped to give me the confidence that I could play at the next level and that there was nothing to be afraid of.” That confidence has defined his playing style. After Evan Bunker, the all-time leading rusher in NESCAC history, graduated in 2014, Iregbulem has filled his spot nicely. He’s become the top scorer on the offense, scoring 42 of the offense’s 70 points so far this season. He hopes to keep this successful streak going in order to achieve the team’s goals for this season as he states, “My favorite sports moment was winning the 2012 NESCAC title my sophomore year and hopefully that moment can be replaced by winning the championship again this year!”

It looks like this goal is certainly achievable for Iregbulem and the Bantams this coming season. However, they understand that they will have to go through the rest of the NESCAC first. While they have had two major wins over Colby and Williams, Trinity will have to prove themselves against Amherst and Middlebury, who beat Trinity by a combined four point difference between both games last season, and rivals Wesleyan in the last game of the season. With the way Iregbulem and the team have been preforming, the outlook is very bright for another championship and 8-0 season.

Widener Gallery presents art from Trinity’s Kress Collection



On Tuesday, Sept. 25, Trinity’s ‘Widener Gallery,’ located in the Austin Arts Center, hosted an opening reception for its exhibition ‘Into the Light.’ The exhibition features Old Master paintings by Italian, British and American artists, which have remained in Trinity’s possession for many years, but have not been exhibited in a very long time for a variety of logistical reasons. Amongst these valuable art works on the walls of Trinity’s own art gallery, are four highlight pieces that have recently been successfully conserved. These paintings, along with a few others on display originally belong to the renowned Samuel H. Kress Collection.

The Widener Gallery that is overseen by Trinity’s Studio Arts Program, presents a series of fascinating exhibitions every year—generally featuring internationally or nationally acclaimed contemporary artists, as well as exhibits of the best student work completed during the academic year. The historical nature of the current works on display, as well as the fact that they belong to the college, immediately make this ongoing exhibition stand out. Most members of the Trinity community, including faculty members who attended the opening reception, expressed that in their many years here they never realized that Trinity even had it’s own fine art collection. In reality- the college is in possession of a praiseworthy number of paintings, prints and other significant works of art that will hopefully in time come to the surface too.

 In reference to the highlight works in this exhibition, it is necessary to realize the story and significance of the Kress Collection. Samuel Kress (1863-1995) was an American businessman and philanthropist, who used his wealth to create an extremely significant collection of Italian Renaissance and European artwork dating from the 13th to the early 19th century.  In 1929, Kress established a foundation to promote European art in the United States (the Kress Foundation). Through this foundation, he donated works from his collection to various museums in the US, most significantly to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  By the late 1950s, the Kress Collection consisted of over 3000 objects, and while a majority of them continued to be donated to museums, some were distributed amongst a few educational institutions, including Trinity College. For a painting to have been a part of the Kress Collection, puts it in line with works by some of the greatest artists such as Raphael, Botticelli, Bernini, Veronese, Titian, and many more; and for Trinity to be in possession of such works is remarkable.

Another major topic of discussion in relation to the works in the exhibition pertains to the conservation of four of the paintings. Professor Cadogan of Trinity’s Art History Department expressed that one of the reasons that some of the paintings belonging to the Kress Collection have not surfaced in such a long time, was because of their fragile, and deteriorating conditions. The age of the paintings had caused some of them to have a yellow or brown tint from varnishes, making them look dull. In a few pieces, several cracks were evident, and in one of the extreme cases, a wooden panel had buckled up so much that the painting had a dent right down its middle. Due to the high costs of restoration projects, Trinity approached the Kress Foundation a few years ago, that was willing to sponsor them. The four paintings that were in conditions that could not be displayed because of  their fragility, were cleaned up, over-painted, and treated for their material to better survive weather fluctuations. There are several debates surrounding restoration projects and it is interesting to view the paintings in light of these. Some people argue that flaws and age-related deterioration reiterate the historic nature of a piece. Yet when the flaws become distracting to a viewer who ends up noticing things like cracks instead of the subject of the painting, conservation projects are important to preserve their aesthetic nature and to prevent them from further deterioration. When a piece is restored or conserved, however, it must be done in a manner that allows viewers to distinguish between the work of the original artist and the restorer. At the Widener Gallery exhibition, viewers have the chance to view some of the paintings alongside photographs of what they looked like before and through their restoration projects. Viewers can also read about the treatments that the pieces underwent. The exhibition also features a case that contains the pigments used for over painting.

Professor Cadogan also discussed that due to the digitalization of everything these days, many people tend to view an artwork as simply a surface image rather than a material object. One of the excellent things about this exhibition is that it brings to light the material realties of an artwork over time, giving students and other members of the Trinity community the chance to reconsider their way of looking at art itself. The theme of restoration and conservation of art is also a new conversation for Trinity members to engage in, in relation to the works in the exhibition.

Given the infrastructural shortcomings of the Widener Gallery, in terms of temperature control, and security in particular, it does not qualify to showcase significant pieces of art which could be temporarily outsourced from other institutions.  We are thus at this time very privileged that Trinity has its own collection that can be displayed in the gallery. The exhibition is also in sync with a new course offered in the art history departments titled, ‘A Closer Look at Art and Architecture,’ which examines materials, techniques and artistic processes.

The exhibition runs until Oct. 26.

TV Review: “How to Get Away with Murder”



Shonda Rhimes—the brains behind hit dramas such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”—has a new baby. With the series premiere last Thursday, “How to Get Away With Murder” has officially become the hottest show of the new Fall lineup. There are three things a show’s pilot is suppose to do—introduce the characters, give us an understanding of the show, and most importantly, make the audience extremely excited for the rest of the season. Rhimes’ new show did all that, fantastically.

It features Viola Davis as Annalise Keating, a criminal defense attorney and a professor of law. Her students are intimidated by her and they do anything to impress her, including Facebook stalking a witness or sleeping with a stranger for incriminating emails. And while it is a bit on the nose—with Keating’s class called “How to Get Away With Murder”—we learn at the end of the episode that Keating’s top five students will murder an important character and they must use all they have learned to get away with it.

It is impossible not to compare “Scandal” with this new show—they both feature two strong Black female leads, there is a small dynamic team to support the lead and they are both products of Shonda Rhimes’s genius.

I personally watched the pilot episode right after the season premiere of “Scandal,” and, as a fellow Gladiator of Pope, it does kill me to say that Viola Davis’s character is more intense than Olivia Pope. And here is the reason why: while both of these characters are wickedly smart and unbeatable at their job, Olivia Pope will play her card in order to be good and Keating will do whatever it takes to win. Keating is not the knight in white, she does not care if her client did it or not, she does not care if she has to cheat on her husband to get what she wants—she will do what has to be done. Maybe I’ve gotten bored with Pope’s only weakness being the President. This new charactor, Keating, is a character I will enjoy seeing for many seasons to come.

Again, this is another brilliant show by the amazing Shonda Rhimes. Professor Keating’s “How to Get Away With Murder” is not a class to skip!


Bantam Artist of the Week: Florence Dou ’16, Radical Musician



Last week I found myself surrounded by a group of friends working on a difficult problem from a 400 level mathematics course. They were all deep in discussion, attempting to understand what they were doing, but after some time they decided to take a break. I expected them to talk for a few minutes, letting the problem fade away, but instead something completely unexpected happened. Of the five, three took out their ukuleles and began to play “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”  The only woman in the trio was Florence Dou ’16, a double major in Mathematics and Chemistry and a talented musician.

Since the age of seven, Dou has been practicing the piano. Her journey with music began when her parents forced her into piano lessons. While at first she played to satisfy her parents, with time she came to grow fond of the piano and found herself striving to do better.

Her motivation to improve and grow as a musician led her to participate in a few competitions. She shares, “Back in Trinidad we have a national music festival and it is [also] a competition. I entered every year since I was 10 and I [won] a few championships.” However, she admits that her favorite part of the competition was the sight reading portion where, “you get new music you’ve never seen and you play it on the spot. I was really good at that and I always won.” She believes that her natural gift at sight reading has led her to successfully pick up other instruments on her own.

After practicing the piano for many years, Dou wanted to try the guitar. She only played for two years, and although she hopes to pick it up again, without a guitar she doesn’t think it will be returning to it soon. Still eager to learn something new, she decided to purchase a ukulele and teach herself how to play it. “I bought it last semester and have learned off youtube videos. I don’t have as much time as I would like for the piano, so I wanted a small instrument to play on my own time,” she explains. Out of all of the instruments she plays, Dou says that the ukulele is her favorite one because “The other instruments that I learned [to play], I was trained classically with lessons. [With the ukulele] I just looked up videos and learned how to play [the songs]. [This instrument] is a lot more relaxing, fun, and enjoyable. It [also] has an island vibe that reminds me of the beach and sounds like a happy instrument.”

From balancing chemistry, math, and music, Dou expresses that her biggest challenge is “finding the time to practice but [when] I have the time I get into it and develop a habit. [Then it becomes] easy because it is fun and it doesn’t feel like homework or a chore.”

Despite the challenge, she admits that her favorite part of playing an instrument is that, “I like that I’m not just all about my books and I have another interest, you know, that is kinda more artsy. I also like that when others play what I play we can have a connection. Sometimes I bond with people over mutual interests in music and we play [instruments] and sing together. I really [enjoy] that.”  Furthermore, she shares, with a laugh, that playing instruments, “[is] a really good stress reliever… I think it helps with my school work too somehow.”

Currently, Dou is taking private cello lessons for course credit at Trinity. She enjoys playing a new instrument, especially one where practicing is part of her homework load. Once she finishes the course, however, she says she will not learn how to play any new instruments for a while. She shares that she wants to get better at the instruments she already knows how to play, especially the piano, which she has not played for a long time.

Dou hopes to do research in chemistry or work in pharmacology post graduation.

However, she hopes to keep music in her life by teaching music lessons. “I want to give piano lessons when I’m older because [I have tutored children before] and it was a lot of fun. I like children and I like piano, so why not combine them?” she states. To aspiring musicians she advises, “Everyone starts off bad… I started off bad too but if you’re really interested in [an instrument] you like it requires time and effort.

I don’t think anyone should be afraid at being bad [at first] and the only way to get better is to keep doing it.”


Cinestudio Film Review: Coming of Age Movie, “Boyhood”



A movie like “Boyhood” has great expectations for itself. Rightfully so – it was filmed over the course of twelve years (2002 to 2014)and tries to capture one of the basic keystones of life- growing up. The “Boy” in the title, Mason, (played in a breakout performance by Ellar Coltrane) begins a boy and ends up a man- that much is pretty obvious even to those who haven’t heard about the movie.

The plot is long term, meandering, and full of distant implications. For instance, one scene may affect the character’s personality in another scene that takes place many years later. The characters begin with a simple naiveté that disappears as they grow through time and experiences. People can be two-faced in the world of “Boyhood”- they have many angles and scars, and rarely learn from their mistakes in time to prevent others from making the same. At the same time, the characters are also loving, kind, and full of ambition and hope. If all of this sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s happening all the time.“Boyhood” is amongst the best representations of reality, in years.

Its characters grow naturally, as its’ cast does, and we can feel the progression of time as it passes. For that reason, the plot is less of a main event than a side-effect. Because the subject matter is childhood and coming-of-age, it feels very familiar, but spectacularly, it is never humdrum or boring. “Boyhood” gives the gift of a new perspective on simple things.

Mason’s story begins at age six. He is sweet, and whiney; and he fights with his sister in a way that makes us believe that we have just stepped into their tiny Texas living room ourselves. But then, the currents of trouble start to swirl, and a slightly older Mason is forced to deal with the sadness of his single mother (portrayed by Patricia Arquette), the arrival of his estranged father (portrayed by Ethan Hawke), and a host of other true-to-life issues that spring forth in new installments. This movie really feels like a series of short films.

Each chapter holds a new challenge for our hero, and he overcomes them beautifully. Ellar Coltrane plays his role well, particularly early on, and later in the story. The awkward teenage years take a slight toll on the acting power of Coltrane, but even that seems to fit the character he portrays with a certain degree of appropriateness. Ethan Hawke delivers some of his very best work, and shows us what he’s been up to for the last twelve years. Patricia Arquette is both powerless and divine as the scorned mother figure who rises from the ashes, time after time.

That said, there’s something about watching this boy grow up in front of us that makes him the most interesting and compelling character.

We feel for Mason through it all, but also judge him somewhat, when he makes bad decisions (and not to mention- bad haircuts). There’s a little bit of the viewer in him, and because we are his home team, we root for him. The same goes for his family: His mother goes from a broke twenty-something year old single mother to esteemed Houston college professor, and his father goes from distant immature classic car driver to a deeply religious and ever present father. At the end of it all we feel like we have gone the distance with them, maybe even helping them out along the way.

As other movies are run through with hidden meanings, symbolism, and greater significance, so too is “Boyhood.” The difference is that we are being shown the genuine article- the greater meaning of our own lives, and childhoods. That is why we feel uplifted, and maybe a little sad when the movie lets out. “Do we seize moments, or do moments seize us?” asks a character at the end of the movie.

The lesson is that we have been seized- by the magic and mess of a young person’s life in “Boyhood,” but also by the powerful riptide of our own, fast-paced lives. As Ferris Beuller so wisely said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” “Boyhood” plays at Cinestudio on Friday, Oct. 3, and on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Emma Watson discusses gender inequalities in speech at U.N.



Emma Watson spoke at the United Nations’ HeforShe campaign this past week at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

Her message was not focused on hard-line feminist ideals. Instead she honed in on the real issue of social pressures that cause gender inequality among men and women.

While she expressed her want for equal pay among men and women in addition to having equal representation in positions of power, she also used personal anecdotes to show the sort of cultural and social pressures that cause women and men to feel insecure about themselves.

For women, she explained that many teenage girls choose to quit their favorite athletic activities so that they avoid being labeled as “muscular”.

For men, she explained that they often are not held to the same standards in terms of parenting.

In light of the recent allegations against NFL running back Adrian Peterson, these arguments really hit home. Peterson has been charged with child abuse to his four-year-old son. Often our culture exempts males from such acts because it is pawned off as “tough love”. However, it is exactly this sort of parenting that teaches boys to use violence in order to correct behavior.

Girls, however, are often taught to be passive within the classroom. Watson recounted a time when she was described as being “bossy” for wanting to direct a play that was to be performed in front of parents.

Personally, I commend Watson for using her influence for good. Celebrities often promote the social norms for each gender.

For example, Jon Wayne is the perfect “man’s man,” someone who doesn’t let his emotions show and who uses violence to solve all of his problems. Young males see these norms in movies and video games and, as a result, they begin to follow those norms.

Furthermore, women are often portrayed as being beautiful and skinny in movies, forcing girls to try to fit this picture so that men will find them attractive.

Additionally, Watson talked about how women who are labeled as “feminists” are often thought of as unattractive. Many think of them as “men haters.”

Yet, while she was arguing that men should push for equal rights across the board, she narrowed in on a less talked about subject— men who face inequality.

She used the increased suicide rate among men between the ages of 20 and 40 in the U.K. as an indication that men also face the same sort of social pressures that women do. Watson concluded that she had seen men become insecure due to a distorted sense of what it means to be a successful man.

Gender inequality is an international issue and no country can boast equal rights for both genders across the board.

Often the topic is discussed within the classroom but almost every time it is mentioned nationally, the focus is on equal rights, not on the social and cultural causes for gender inequality. Most gender norms are formed through the media, movies and other such outlets. Obviously, it is not an easy issue to solve because it demands that an entire nation work together to change social standards.

However, Watson did a commendable thing by bringing the issue to the center of our attention. In using her influence as a popular female actress, she is an excellent example of how people in positions of power can use their influence to bring national attention to important issues.


We should celebrate the peaceful nature of the Scottish referendum



This past Thursday, Scotland held an independence referendum that asked voters, “Should Scotland be an independent country?” 54.2 percent of Scots said no and 45.7 percent said yes. The political consequences of this vote are sure to be discussed at length for months to come, but I’d like to focus instead on the peaceful and democratic nature of the events and the discussion surrounding this vote.

For much of history, independence was a bloody affair. In the United States, we have two particularly vivid examples to look to. The first is our nation’s founding in which we separated ourselves from Britain. The result was the Revolutionary War in which 25,000 American soldiers and 24,000 British soldiers were killed. Our independence was not achieved through peaceful means.

The other American experience with secession was the Civil War in which 600,000 Union and Confederate troops died. This war is a example of how democratic process and peaceful discussion can fail and subsequently lead to horrible bloodshed. Unfortunately for the world, violent independence movements didn’t end with the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. They continued throughout the twentieth century and they continue today.

To use a recent example, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, a paramilitary faction which sought to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom, used bombings and terrorists tactics from 1971 to 1997 as a means to achieve their political goals.

I think that what we’ve seen in Scotland is a triumph for modern democratic process. There was widespread open debate leading up to the referendum. Voters had access to information sources through which they could become informed about the issues at stake in the decision. Overall, proponents and opponents of secession did not resort to demagoguery. Instead, as I watched the debate unfold, both sides made their arguments with care, logic, and sincerity. In particular, I remember David Cameron’s appeal for unity in which he passionately and honestly communicated the reasons why he thought the two countries should stay together.

We can see this referendum as an example of the political progress we’ve made. Think back to the times when power was held in the hands of the few or, very often, the hands of one. Kings, emperors, and oligarchies made decisions for entire nations and entire populations. The voter turnout in the Scottish referendum was 84.6 percent. So over fourth-fifths of the population had their voices heard. That is the essence of representative democracy.

The Scottish vote on independence is representative of the level of peace and level-headedness that we can achieve in today’s political disputes. Our age can be one in which disagreements are settled with words, not weapons. We can fight with informed debate, not with our fists.

It’s wonderful to hear that there have been no violent reactions to the failed vote. Many Scots in support of independence are devastated, but they are not resorting to violence as a result of their disappointment.

I applaud the ways in which the people of Scotland and England have gone about this important issue of independence. If only all of today’s political disputes could be handled so peacefully and democratically.


New rush format will prove beneficial to Trinity and its students



With rush week already upon us, I want to talk about the positive aspects of greek life because, more often than not, fraternities and sororities are portrayed in a negative light.

I am not trying to craft a pro-greek rant and tell you all the reasons why you should join greek life. Instead, I wish merely to discuss what I, personally, have gained by joining a fraternity, as well as the benefits greek life can provide for Trinity.

Following my freshman year, had I gotten better grades I certainly would have transferred. I liked the friends I had made and I really enjoyed my classes as well as my professors, but the glaring hole for me was the lack of an enjoyable weekend.

I, like many other freshman males, would stand outside the “gate” or “door” of the fraternity waiting and desperately hoping I could come up with something clever to say that might convince them to let me in. But, more often than not, I would wind up walking home alone only to close down my night much earlier than the rest of the campus.

In high school, I played on sports teams almost year-round and had a great group of friends, so not having that feeling of camaraderie with a big group was new to me.

During the first semester of my sophmore year, I didn’t make the grades to be elidgible for rush so I was spared the pressure to go out for rush. However, I saw six out of my nine housemates join their respective fraternities.

Once I had friends in fraternities and sororities, I had a much improved social life on the weekend but something was still missing.

I became eligible to rush in the spring of my sophmore year but had no intention of going out for rush because I had decided I would strive for better ideals than those that the fraternities embraced. However, it only took one more night alone to realize that I wanted to find my own social niche on campus.

Commonly it is thought that fraternities place alcohol, drugs and girls at the top of their priorities. However, after I had decided to go out for rush, I found that every fraternity has a different sort of style. Each places certain values above others, whether it be the good or the bad. So I chose the place that seemed to fit the same sort of criteria that I was looking for.

One suggestion I would make when going through rush is to keep your mind as open as possible. Of course you would like to rush the same fraternity or sorority as all of your friends, but when I step back and look at my process I find that some of the best friends I’ve made since joining a fraternity have all been kids that I had not interacted with ever before.

Trinity may be considered a small school but there are still plenty of students that you may never come across during your career here, joining a fraternity or sorority is a great way to “force” a relationship to evolve with someone you may have never talked to before.

I think Trinity’s new approach to rush is very beneficial for incoming sophmores as well as the school itself. There are many fraternities and sororities that a lot of underclassmen don’t even realize exist. Although I’m sure many students won’t plan on rushing those places, by getting a few students to break from the norm, it could certainly help to improve not only that student’s experience here, but also has the potential to greatly enhance the social life on campus.

Of course there are many other ways to help improve social life, so I am not saying that the only way to better Trinity’s social experience is by increasing the population of greek life. Nonetheless, I think it greatly helps Trinity to expand the variety of fraternities and sororities on campus. No one wants to be that freshman waiting at the door, begging to be let in. But by increasing the diversity and involvement of greek life, it would allow for Trinity’s social life to be much more inclusive.


Americans must stop the habit of texting behind the wheel



Since the widespread appearance of text messaging packages, we’ve seen politicians, parents, and billboards rail about the evils of texting while driving. For a long time, I thought that all the fuss was an overreaction—just an older generation looking for another way to prove that kids these days are making all the wrong choices.

But recently I’ve begun to actually look at the realities of today’s roadways. The next time you are in a car, preferably when you’re a passenger and not the driver, look around at other vehicles and observe what the drivers are doing. You will find that a surprising number of them are not looking ahead at the road as one would logically do. Instead, their heads are bowed for extended periods of time and they cursorily glance up at the road from time to time.

In a study conducted by the consumer reports national research center, two-thirds of individuals said that they had observed other drivers texting in the past month. In the same study, 30% of drivers under the age of 30 admitted to texting while driving in the past month. So one can see from the statistics and from everyday observation that this behavior is widespread.

For many years I was ignorant of just how dangerous it is to be looking at one’s phone at the wheel. If a driver is talking on his phone, he is 1.3 times more likely to have an accident. That statistic is surprisingly low. Talking on the phone does increase the risk of an accident, but not by much. Texting, in huge contrast, makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash. In 2011, 23 percent of auto collisions in the U.S. involved cell phones, which equals 1.3 million crashes nationwide. Many drivers are unaware of just how distracted they are when they look to their phones. When a driver looks at his phone to text, his attention is taken away for an average minimum of five seconds. If that driver is traveling at 55 mph and he looks at his phone for five seconds, he has driven the length of a football field without looking at the road.

In response to the danger and prevalence of this behavior, the majority of states have passed legislation that prohibits texting while driving, but several states are holding out. Oklahoma is one such state and its representative, Josh Cockcroft, said, “I’ll be the first to say it’s dangerous and foolish to text while driving. But where do you stop? Can I not eat a cheeseburger in my car?” This is an idiotic statement. Clearly the U.S. government has decided that there are some things that a driver should be prohibited from doing, namely driving while intoxicated. Drunk driving is illegal because it poses a significant danger to others. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a texting driver is six times more likely to have a colision than a drunk driver. We uniformly condemn and outlaw drunk driving, but we still have not achieved uniform prohibition on the more dangerous action of texting while driving.

Getting all states to adopt laws against this behavior is the first step to solving the issue; however, even if laws are passed, enforcement of those laws remains extremely difficult. Texting while driving isn’t as cut and dry as speeding. Officers have a difficult time confirming that a driver was indeed texting.

It will take some time for laws and enforcement to adequately address the issue. So in the meantime, I think that the change must come from the drivers themselves.

The American public needs to recognize the extreme dangers of looking at one’s phone while driving and resist the urge to do so. Most of us would find it morally reprehensible to drive drunk. It’s time that we begin to consider texting while driving an equally reprehensible act.

Allan K. Smith Reading Series welcomes Fred Bahnson to discuss his recent book



Last Thursday, Sept. 18, the Smith House hosted a reading and discussion conducted by writer Fred Bahnson. Trinity College students as well as faculty members gathered at the Smith House Reese Room to listen to excerpts from Bahnson’s recent book: “Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith,” to learn more about his own background, and to hear about his experiences writing creative non-fiction. The reading kicked off this fall’s Allan K. Smith Reading Series that hosts authors and poets as part of a college endowment.

Bahnson originally holds a masters degree in theological studies, from Duke Divinity School, but he also grew interested in agrarian traditions and in food shortly after earning his degree. Almost immediately after graduating, he travelled to Chiapas, Mexico as a peace worker. Living amongst Mayan coffee farmers, he developed an interest in farming. Publishers categorize his book as a memoir, but he himself considers it to be a “hybrid work that is part memoir, part essay, and part theological writing.” In his book, he writes, among other things, about his experiences in Mexico and about his interactions with his Mayan friend, José. In his discussion at Trinity, Brahnson read various excerpts from his book that conveyed a sense of his various experiences. He intermingled readings with discussions and light humor that definitely kept the audience very engaged and intrigued.

When Bahnson returned from Mexico, he continued exploring “permaculture, and uber organics,” until 2005 when a Methodist Church asked him to help start a community garden in Cedar Groove, North Carolina. This was definitely another turning point for him.

He worked on this project for the next four years and realized his interest in the relationship between faith and garden-cultivation.

Although it was an amazing project for him, Brahnson acknowledged in the discussion that “working with people constantly was rather difficult for the writer-hermit sort of person [that he was].” In 2009 and later in 2012, he received writing fellowships that led to even more interesting projects. Having worked at the community garden, he decided to consider the way that different people of faith have initiated community gardens, as he felt that these were stories that were not being told. Thus began Brahnsons’ immersion into the lives of various communities of faith that followed agrarian lifestyles.

Over the course of his fellowship, Bahnson lived among four different communities. The first was a group of Trappist monks of the Benedictine tradition in North Carolina, who were essentially a group of celibate men that prayed seven times a day, and worked on the farms at all other times. Bahnson described his time here as his week of “spiritual-rigor.”

He then spent a while at a farm run by a Pentecostal church that employed people who suffered from addiction, or had criminal backgrounds. He was not only fascinated by the division of labor on the farms but also the religious rituals that the church employed, including prayer tunnels.

Next, he spent time at a farm run by a Protestant Church, as well as a Jewish run farm in Connecticut. In his writing, he attempted to use natural imagery as a metaphor for his experiences and encounters on these farms based on spiritual, as well as agricultural aspects. Brahnson read an excerpt from his time at each of the different farms and traditions, to the audience at Trinity.

Upon being asked about his writing habits during his time immersing himself into community gardening cultures, Bahnson admitted that he had to set aside time to write everyday, but it was an extremely good balance for him to go back and forth between manual labor and writing.

He also clarified that while his ideas and opinions towards faith and religion are transparent in the book, he has written for a general audience, regardless of religious interests.

Furthermore, he admitted that in order to be able to successfully write creative non-fiction, he had to, and still continues to, unlearn the conformities of academic styles of writing that he had to adopt while at Divinity School.

Similar to his use of a garden as a metaphor in this book, he hopes to use a mountain as a metaphor to write another book that engages with his interests in hiking and skiing. His advise to aspiring writers at Trinity is to continuously read works by good writers , and to emulate their approach towards writing, and lastly to focus on details and the things beyond the obvious. It was a privilege for Trinity to host the acclaimed writer, Bahnson, who is currently also the director of the Food, Faith and Religious Leadership Initiative at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

Continuing the Allan K Smith Reading Series, Trinity will also host three award-winning poets, Lorraine Doran, Anna Ross and R.A. Villanueva on Oct. 2.


Bantam Artist of the Week: Annie Upton, passionate painter



If you’ve ever bumped into senior, Annie Upton ’15, you would notice that she is often in an athlete’s outfit—running shorts, a t-shirt or sweater, gym shoes, hair up in a bun, and a headband. Balancing academics and sports is no easy task, but Upton has been up to the challenge all four years of college. As if that doesn’t keep her busy enough; as a painter she often finds herself absorbed into a masterpiece for several hours.

While she may not have the “typical look” of a painter—beret, paint smears, and a smock—Upton has been painting since her first day at Trinity. Although she is a Psychology major, she knew that during her undergraduate career she wanted to pursue something she was passionate about.

“I’ve always been into art since I was a kid because my mom is really artsy…  I use to paint in my aunt’s studio but [I didn’t formally take classes] until I got to Trinity,” Upton said. Between drawing, sculpture and prints, just to name a few, she had an array of choices when it came to choosing the medium she wanted to focus on for her Studio Arts minor. “ I love color, so I knew I liked working with them, and drawing doesn’t always do that. I [also] like abstraction and that helps me push the limits with my pieces.”

Upton admits that she has many favorite artists, but none that inspire her the way her great aunt has. “My great aunt inspires me the most. She works with watercolors and has taught me many ways to approach art. Professor Byrne is also a great inspiration and has taught me useful things about the art world.” Along with these role models, Upton also finds colors and landscapes to be her biggest muses. “ I’ll get really inspired by a color I see, [but I also get inspired by] landscapes. I love painting the landscape of Lake Michigan, which is where I’m from.”

Her deep love for colors and landscapes help define her painting process. “I typically pick a photograph or landscape I really like and focus on the colors. I use that to begin my piece.” From here, she will often use tape as a straight edge to make the colors look like they’re coming off. Many of her pieces have been showcased at Trinity’s galleries throughout the year, and others are proudly hanging at the homes of her family members.

In a world where art can be anything, Upton shares that she likes painting because, “I like the idea of a blank canvas and that there are really no rules. You can really do what you want with it and I love to see when people interpret the abstract.”

One of her favorite creations is a piece that she recently completed. “I just really like it because its of a place that I love and it’s based off of a photograph [from] a great day. I love how it turned out [and] it also has a meaning to me.”

Upton does not see herself pursing art professionally, but plans to keep up with it as a hobby and a passion. However, she admits that she wouldn’t mind teaching an art class to student under the age of fifteen.

To aspiring artists, or students looking to indulge in the arts, Upton encourages:   “Don’t be afraid to try something new. No idea is too crazy and really hone in on what your own creativity is. Don’t feel the need to hold back because art is all about pushing limits. No matter what you create it is art because it is an original piece by you.”


Coming Soon: “Frank,”more than a fiberglass head



The film, “Frank”, is a simple movie. It revolves around a simple man with simple beginnings who happens to enjoy wearing a fiberglass head over his own, which makes it suddenly not so simple. Michael Fassbender plays Frank, who is the lead singer of an underground indie pop band from England, called “Soronfbrs” (don’t worry, it’s unpronounceable).

After their keyboard player attempts to drown himself, the band is left in need of a replacement.  Jon, (Domhnall Gleeson) an aspiring, but talentless, musician is chosen to play. Jon’s life is quiet, and boring. His town is a rainy and hyper clear variation on a theme: a nice place with no deficit of safety. He is not happy here, and knows that in order to get out, he has to become a great musician.

From the start, there are obvious problems with the dynamic of the band. They fight and squabble with one another, usually spurred on by Clara; a tall, dark and expertly shrewish Maggie Gyllenhaal. Each member of the band (several do not speak, and if so, they only speak in French) is caught in the gravity of the enigmatic Frank.  He captures every scene, and actually draws the eye across the screen. Frank is the beating heart of the movie, and there is quite a lot of heart. He speaks in a muffled singsong, but also teaches lessons and quietly tells stories, reminding the viewer, forcibly, of Atticus Finch from
“To Kill a Mocking Bird.”

After their first show, “Soronfbrs” goes to Ireland, living in the woods in order to create what Frank believes will be their perfect album. This is where the fun begins, and where we start to wonder: “Is this all a weird dream?” Our hero, Jon, doesn’t fit in with the band – he is much too normal. Jon tweets and blogs his way through the movie, reacting to weirdness much in the way that the average person would. It’s a more comfortable way to see the twisted and wonderful band members being themselves – from the viewpoint of someone who thinks like we do. Watching these creepy rock stars live like Vikings in the forests of Ireland couldn’t be more fun and thought provoking if it wanted to.

Months pass in montages. Jon grows a beard, and becomes a real member of the band, but even kind and accepting Frank won’t play his music. Instead the band chooses to sing about stews and carpets, rather than love and emotion. The cast sings and plays its own instruments live, and the effect is bone chillingly unnatural and totally appropriate. Some of the music alone will make you laugh out loud.

This movie is hilarious. Fassbender shines even through his head as Frank – making us love him more, and beyond that, making us believe in the idea of him. It is an exercise in bonkers fun – the reason for it’s quality is that it doesn’t, for the most part, try to be more than it is: a sweet, gimmicky, satisfying tour of a world without conventions. “Frank” is a special movie to everyone who watches it. It tugs at the heartstrings like a gangly thirty something hipster plucks his bass guitar, and makes you think, “This is mine.”

Unfortunately, while that kind of moviemaking is daring and fearless, there is a bit of an overreaching motion to the movie as well, exclusively toward its end.

The whimsy that once propelled us is lost, and replaced with a sad, and truthfully confusing message about mental illness that isn’t really necessary.

I won’t lie to you – the last fifth of the movie is a stone cold downer, which starts to sour the feel of gentle mania that lives everywhere else. “Frank” makes us laugh, but shouldn’t really be trying to make us cry. That said, it is well worth the ride, even if just to find out “what’s going on inside that head…inside that head.”

“Frank” will be featured at Cinestudio from Sunday, Sept. 28 to Tuesday, Sept.  30.

Guitarist Yovianna García performs at Trinity College



On Thursday, Sept. 18, Trinity College was fortunate to host Puerto Rican classical guitarist, Yovianna García for a Common Hour discussion, as well as a concert in the evening at the Austin Art Centers’ Goodwin Theater.

García grew up amongst a family of musicians in Puerto Rico and attended Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico; and later the Hartt School where she earned a masters degree in music.

While her musical talent brought her to the United States and placed her into many international contexts as evident in her collaboration with Taiwanese percussionist Sayun Chang, her recent music reflects back on her Puerto Rican background.

The panel discussion on Thursday afternoon gave García a platform to discuss identity, culture, politics, and history that surround Puerto Rican music. Associate professor of the history department, Professor Luis Figueroa, as well as Dan Román, assistant professor of music, were also part of the panel. Students and faculty of the Trinity community gathered together to participate in an engaging and enlightening discussion.

The evening concert featured Garcia’s recent solo guitar program, “Herencias,” and also included compositions by Leonardo Egúrbida, José Ignacio Quintón, Ernesto Cordero, William Ortiz, Héctor Hernández and Trinity’s own faculty member, Dan Román.

García’s program consisted of an eclectic variety of pieces that was under the overarching theme of contemporary Puerto Rican music. To hear how such music was transformed within the span of a mere century was a fascinating experience, as well as a couple of hours in the Goodwin Theatre. García’s performance was filled with an intense, yet calm, passion, and her love for music was evident – perhaps because this is the music that embodied her culture and identity.

Many of the pieces that García performed showcased her masterful handling of her instrument, and brought out the unique timbres and delicate tone that the guitar has. “Prisma de mi Infancia” and “El Coqui” – composed by Egúrbida and Quintón respectively – were two such pieces that exhibited the multifaceted abilities of the classical guitar.

The undulating rhythms provided a steady and beautiful harmonic flow to the melody that presided over it, and the quality of sound that García produced was stunning. The melodies were never lost in the wash of sound, but were very distinct and clean, which is a testament to her high level of musical skill. García was also able to use her voice in some of her pieces, whether they were to rap (in the case of “121st Street Rap”), or to sing (as in the case of “Y llegué hasta mí”). “121st Street Rap” is a composition by William Ortiz that represents the sounds that he listened to growing up in Harlem, and García was able to further portray those sounds through her guitar.

Perhaps one of the most impressive pieces on the program was a piece that was composed by García herself. “Y llegué hasta mí” was truly a piece that blew the audience away. From percussion instruments, to her vocals, to guitar; it was able to successfully combine all of these elements into a coherent piece that was a fascinating auditory experience.

Each component of the composition added something unique to the overall experience, bringing in new sounds, distinctive timbres, and different textures to the table. It is hard to say what was more impressive: her playing of all the instruments by herself, or the way in which she incorporated the instruments into her piece.

A facet of her performance that may have escaped some people, is the high skill level required to perform some parts of the piece.

A specific instance of this would be the polyrhythms between the guitar, her foot tapping against her chair, and percussive sounds created using her mouth. Most people will say that it is hard enough playing two separate rhythms using two different instruments, but to do it with three was a sight to see, and again, reinforced the technical level of her musicianship.

All in all, the concert was remarkable and as García definitely intended, it was a musical journey that touched, educated, and inspired the audience, particularly in light of Puerto Rican culture and history.


Trinity community mourns the loss of Peter Knapp



This past week, the Trinity College community lost one of its most beloved members, Peter Knapp. He was a long-time employee of the College, having served at Trinity for 46 years.

Knapp became part of the Trinity community when he attended the college as a student from 1961-1965. While he was a student, Knapp served as an assistant in the Watkinson Library for all four of his undergraduate years. During that time, he also received the Ferguson Prize and the Jerome P. Webster Student Book Prize. After finishing at Trinity, Knapp continued his education by earning his master’s degrees in history from the University of Rochester and library science from Columbia University. In 1968, Knapp joined the Trinity College library as Head of Reference. He later began working with the college’s archives and in 1974 he became the Head of Reference & College Archivist. Twenty years later, Knapp became the College Archivist at Watkinson Library and worked with his wife, Anne Knapp, on the historical piece, “Trinity College in the Twentieth Century,” which was published as the “second volume” of Glenn Waver’s History of Trinity College. He worked at the Watkinson Library until his death and he was consummate in each of the duties that he held at the College.

To his colleagues and friends at the Watkinson Library, Knapp was more than the college archivist. Sally Dickinson, the assistant curator and preservation Librarian at the Watkinson Library, worked with Knapp for 13 years.  Dickinson said that Knapp was very approachable and a kind spirit.

“He was very gracious and very even-keel,” she said, “He put a good face to Trinity College.”

Dickinson went on to say that Knapp had a very calm temperament and was a wonderfully valued presence at the College. “He knew all the ins and outs, and now that he’s gone, we’ve lost that memory…an institutional memory,” she added.

Henry Arneth, the Special Collections Assistant at the Watkinson Library, first got to know Knapp when he began working at the College four years ago. Arnett said that Knapp was a role model for him. “One of the things that I took away [from Knapp] is the way he worked, the way he treated people and the way he acted. He inspired my leadership and he continues to inspire my work,” Arneth said. “He treated everybody with such a great amount of dignity that it inspired you to do the same thing.”

Arneth continued that Knapp was an extremely calming presence, “You can work with him, you can do almost everything with him because he just had that wonderful way about him.”

Arneth went on to say that he liked the way that Knapp always thought everything through before he said something, “He never spoke rashly, he never spoke out of anger. In fact, in the four years we were together, I probably only saw him angry once. And there were many incidents when he could have gotten angry, but never did. He kept his head.”

Arneth went on to talk about how Knapp always wanted to find the perfect word for every thing, whether he was speaking or writing. He cared deeply about using just the right word or phrase in his writing and speech.

Arneth remembered that Knapp half-jokingly  mentioned that he had 20 boxes full of drafts of the book, “Trinity College in the Twentieth Century.” This is a testament to the care and passion that he put into all of his work.

Arneth went on to talk about how much Peter Knapp loved Trinity, “He enjoyed the students and the time that he got to spend with them. He loved what he did.”

“Trinity College in the Twentieth Century,” Knapp’s legacy, was published in 2000. Arneth said that in writing the book, Knapp was a consummate scholar.

Knapp and his wife, Anne, described the changes that Trinity went through during various wars.

The volume depicted images showing how the College looked at its previous location. The book shows that Knapp saw the College grow and develop from the time that he was a student in 1961 to the present day.

Arneth mentioned that Knapp was extremely proud of the College’s legacy and that he remained proud of the College to the present.

For Arneth and many others who knew Knapp, he will forever be a part of the Trinity community.

He gave so much to the College and its members over the years. Our condolences go out to his family during this sad time.

Intruder with knife breaches White House



This past Friday, a man with a knife jumped the fence surrounding the White House and managed to get through the residence’s front door before being apprehended by the Secret Service. Neither the intruder nor any agents were harmed during the breach. President Obama and his family were out of the house when the incident took place. They had left moments earlier on their way to Camp David for the weekend.

The individual’s name is Omar J. Gonzales and White House officials have said that they have no reason to believe that he is connected to any terrorist organization or protest group. On Saturday, he was charged with unlawful entry into a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon.

The intrusion took place at 7:20 p.m. on Friday. Gonzalez started to climb the fence and officers stationed inside the gates began running toward him. They did not fire at him because they concluded that he did not have a gun and did not appear to be carrying anything that might contain explosives. In White House security protocol, agents are supposed to hold their fire if an intruder does not appear to be armed. The moment that Gonzalez reached the grand entryway, agents stationed inside the house tackled him. It is likely that the restraint shown by the Secret Service saved Gonzalez from serious harm. However, it was this restraint that allowed him to get so far into the premises. The Secret Service put out a statement on Saturday afternoon saying that “although last night the officers showed tremendous restraint and discipline in dealing with this subject, the location of Gonzalez’s arrest is not acceptable.” In the wake of the attack, the Secret Service is reexamining its security procedures.

Senior Secret Service officials raised several questions about the handling of the incident. The foremost being why the Secret Service agents on the grounds didn’t release the White House attack dogs when Gonzalez jumped over the gate and sprinted across the lawn.

As of Sunday, the Secret Service is considering implementing checkpoints to screen White House visitors before they are allowed to enter the public areas around the residence.

President draws attention to Trinity’s drop in rankings



Trinity College has long been considered one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges, as much of the literature distributed by the College makes abundantly clear. As one of the “Little Ivies”, Trinity is well known for its exceptional reputation, which in turn is indicative of the quality education available to students. U.S. News and World Report publishes a (relatively) comprehensive list of colleges, ranked by a set of relevant criteria, in which Trinity has consistently ranked in the Top 50 Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States.

A disquieting development has recently come to the attention of the Trinity community at large—Trinity has fallen from rank 36 to rank 45 in the most recent issue. President Berger-Sweeney sent out a newsletter on Sept. 9, addressing the valid concerns, and pledging to make necessary changes to help reverse this trend.

The U.S. News Report rankings are determined by a variety of factors, namely faculty-to-student ratio, faculty salaries, tests scores of incoming students, alumni giving rates, and the college’s reputation. The first two characteristics are grouped by President Berger-Sweeney as “faculty resources,” a critical set of metrics not only in terms of college ranking, but in terms of college functionality. A well-equipped and well-paid staff is far more likely to deliver the kind of life-changing educational experiences that define college life.

These experiences in turn would ideally create a dedicated base of alumni, who in turn could donate to the school, extol its virtues, and help the alumni giving rates, one of the more influential barometers of college performance according to U.S. News and World report.

Trinity’s statistics in these previous categories affect the world’s perceptions of the College, which in turn affects one of the most important metrics of the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking: reputation.

It is interesting to note that U.S. News report regards reputation not as a compendium of alumni experience or the quality of candidates in the job market coming from Trinity, but rather what colleges think of other colleges.

U.S. News and World Report asks the vast majority of well-known colleges to review one another—on the basis of the aforementioned metrics—and rank their peers. The average of these lists ultimately becomes one of the U.S. News and World Report’s metrics that influence the overall ranking chart.

Given that Trinity’s rank has fallen fairly substantially in recent years, it stands to reason that the College is somehow deficient in these areas relative to its competition.

President Berger-Sweeney can’t realistically comment on exactly how the College wound up in the position it’s in, but she assures the community that steps are being taken to address the problems of the school. Looking at relevant information, understanding the college’s past, and looking to the future are the current prescriptions for Trinity’s ills.

Nonetheless, the question persists; why has Trinity fallen in these barometers? Some assert that the change in the Greek life scene has disillusioned some alumni, leading to lesser donation rates.

Others believe that Trinity needs to be more selective, that there is a party culture here that takes away from the all-important academics. Some believe that class sizes are an issue, and that we need to find the ideal median between small classes and lectures – the former being one of the benefits of a small liberal arts college.

President Berger-Sweeney believes in finding the ideal class size for each type of class not to enhance our statistics, but to find the number of students where each class delivers the best possible lessons and classroom experience.  Furthermore, Trinity needs to expand its applicant pool, geographically speaking. While we have strong interest from the northeastern United States, a greater geographic diversity would bring new minds and ideas to the campus, always a good thing to have.

Whatever the cause, Trinity needs to focus inward, on having the best available teachers, classes, and students—goals towards which President Berger-Sweeney is working.

Increasing alumni donations, expanding applicant pool, and getting the word out about the great things being done here are all goals of the College.

In the words of President Berger-Sweeney, “This is something we can change. I don’t think that we are getting out enough of the great things that we’re doing. Every member of the Trinity community is empowered to change public perception.”

All of this to-do about the rankings begs an interesting question: Are we beholden to the opinions and values of exterior institutions?

What U.S. News and World has to say affects the applicants to the school, both students and professors, which in turn will affect the academic careers of thousands of students, and potentially cost the school millions of dollars. Academia is a business, and at the end of the day, good reputation and good PR are worth their weight in gold. This brings up an intriguing line of thought; are schools becoming preoccupied with their image to the point that they manufacture the great experience had there, which is disingenuous.

President Berger-Sweeney, expounding on her own experience as an administrator at both Wellesley and Tufts, has an interesting philosophy to this end: “You don’t want to be subordinate to the rankings but you don’t want to stick your head in the sand—if there are demonstrable ways to improve reputation, I think that’s important…”

But ultimately, it’s the quality of the education that matters, a sentiment that President Berger-Sweeney believes firmly in, and the College will strive to maintain and improve the quality of a Trinity education.

Threat from Trinity alumna frightens campus community



At approximately 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11, Trinity College Campus Safety sent out an email to the entire faculty and student body alerting them “that an alumna from the Class of 1984 has threatened to come onto campus and cause some kind of disruption that would be ‘newsworthy.’”

According to Associate Dean of Students Chris Card, the Trinity administration received a call from the alumna’s brother minutes before. His sister, the aforementioned alumna, had left him a voicemail about coming to campus. “Although the threat was unspecified, it is an unusual and ambiguous message and one needs to err on the side of caution,” Dean Card wrote, “Certainly the person who reported the matter to us thought the issue was significant enough to alert the college.”

Pierce Classen, the president of St. Anthony Hall, was holding a pre-rush Greek Life event when Fredrick Alford, Dean of Students, and Tim Dunn, Associate Director of Student Services for Social Houses, approached him with a large photograph of a woman. Classen said that Alford and Dunn began to question him about the woman, asking whether he had ever seen her or knew who she was. He said he did not know who she was and that he had not seen her.

Dean Alford and Tim Dunn then informed Classen that this woman was the suspicious alumna who had threatened to come on campus. “They had told me that this woman, who was a member of the Eating Club at The Hall and a self-proclaimed brother, had attempted to break into Ogilby numerous times over the summer,” Classen said that the “Trinity administration was concerned that she was back on campus and wanted to make me aware as The Hall president.”

Dean Card wrote that Trinity’s initial reaction was to “act out of an abundance of caution, keep the campus community informed, but not cancel classes or scheduled activities at the College.” In addition, “Campus Safety called in extra staff and placed restricted access on college buildings. The Emergency Management Team was activated and the team established a communication link with the police and sent out notices and updates to the campus and to parents.”

Classen noted that there were numerous Hartford police officers surrounding Ogilby throughout that day, including one that remained in the driveway for the entire state of alert.

Campus Safety was extremely active and present throughout all areas of the campus throughout the threat as well. Throughout the day, the Emergency Response Team also followed up with vague emails to the Trinity community, informing them about building restrictions and the cautionary measures that were being taken by Campus Safety and Hartford police officers.

The last message that the campus received stated that the Hartford Police Department had been in contact with the alumna and there was no longer a need for increased security on campus or limited access to buildings.

There was no follow up as to any of the details on the threat, who the alumna was, or what action was being taken in the future to ensure the safety of everyone on campus. When asked about further follow up or information for members of the Trinity community, Dean Card simply stated that Trinity College administration and the Emergency Response “continue[s] to review [their] protocols and procedures to ensure that [they] can respond effectively to situations like these.” Dean Card did not comment on or give follow up information about the alumna or the lack of information shared with the student body.

There have been a variety of rumors traveling around campus including the name of the alumna and whether she was actually on campus on the day of the threat. It has been said that she was on campus throughout the day approaching students and saying various things to them. Others have said that the “newsworthy” disruption was to hold a peace rally in remembrance of 9/11.

In addition, numerous sources have said that the alumna returned to Trinity multiple times last year and attempted to attend events at The Hall. When asked about these rumors, Dean Card said that he is “not going to respond to rumors. [One] may check with [their] sources and determine if they are credible.”

Although the alumna has been identified, the Tripod has not been given permission by the administration to disclose her name or photograph at this time.


U.S. Government should address immigration issues



Executive action on immigration seemed inevitable after reports reached the public ear of the influx of Central American children entering the United States at its southern border.

Ideological, geological and demographical factions drew their rhetorical guns with the uncommonly shared notion that something needed to be done.

After separate House and Senate bills failed to gain the necessary support, the limelight shone on the Oval Office.

President Obama had the executive authority to make any number of legislative efforts (among them amnesty) to curb what many believed to be a humanitarian crisis and fill in a rather large crack in the foundation of U.S. Homeland Security. He, nevertheless, chose the route of inaction.

On September 6, the President announced that he would not move on immigration reform until after the midterm elections, a decision influenced by Democrats’ fear of losing a majority stake in the Senate.

The irony here is that Senate Democrats think wiping their hands clean of a popular issue will absolve them of blame come November.

Former House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, would surely attest that submitting to Congressional inaction in a period of partisan extremism is a costly political strategy.

American party identification is a lesser-of-two-evils proposition. Voters are beginning to take note of fringe candidates as a form of protest against the perceived stagnancy of a centrist government.

Politics are cyclical and House Democrats now face a stubborn onslaught from the far right in the form of resurgent Libertarianism.

A vote for a third party Congressional candidate is a vote against one’s own interest. The greatest threat to the fluidity of the Legislative branch the squeaky wheel like Texas Senator, Ted Cruz. His vocal opposition to the granting of amnesty to some 50,000 unaccompanied minors has exacerbated the partisan tension that continually plagues our “do-nothing” Congress.

Experts on the issue have defined Obama’s inaction on immigration in simple terms, without due consideration of the complicated economic and militaristic web that is American foreign policy.

For example, the media has recently portrayed Honduras – a major source of underage refugees – as being crime-ridden and corrupt. This depiction is not entirely untrue. According to the most recent Human Rights Watch world report, Honduras had the highest murder rate in the world in 2013.

Stats like these cause us to view violence in Honduras as a characteristic of culture akin to the prevalence of baguettes on the backs of bicycles in France. We often fail to look deeper and why Honduras has become a Grand Theft Auto incarnate.

In June 2009 Honduras’ democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, was exiled at the hands of a Fascist shadow government headed by Roberto Micheletti. What is most important about the exile is that in the month following the Fascist takeover, the Obama administration refused to acknowledge Honduras’ military coup as such. They also refused to support Zelaya’s attempt to regain control of the country.

A political theorist would go crazy trying to find a legitimate reason for why the White House would want to remain inactive while Fascists stake unconstitutional claim to a country over which the United States has economic influence. Looking closer though, you learn that these are not your everyday Fascists. These are well-connected Fascists, which makes the question a little more complex.

In August 2009, the Foreign Policy Group reported that lobbyist and former Clinton adviser, Lanny Davis, would represent the interests of the coup in Washington. Davis would have essentially acted as just another egghead lobbyist had it not been for his friendly connection to Hillary Clinton, who was still Secretary of State when the coup took place.

In a July 2009 cable between the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, and Secretary Clinton, Llorens labeled Zelaya’s ousting as an “unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch.”

Regardless, Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration, by extension, continued to ignore similar calls for intervention in Honduras. Now, five years later, the U.S. is sending millions of dollars in military aid to Honduras annually.

In 2013, 21 Senators signed a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that urged an investigation into the allocation of U.S. funding of cartel-controlled security entities in Honduras. In the letter, the Senators addressed “reports of corruption and extrajudicial killings” within the country’s government.

Despite the concrete complaint, no tangible action on the issue has ever resulted from letter.

The Obama administration, advised by Secretary Clinton, legitimized and backed a cartel-run Fascist government in Honduras. This led to rampant corruption and subsequently resulted in Honduras having the world’s highest murder rate. It also ultimately caused a domino effect leading to a human rights crisis and eventually ended with tens of thousands of Honduran children flooding to the U.S.-Mexico border. Now we’ve come full circle.

Whether for political, military, or economic reasons, the Obama administration has time and again buried its head in the sand when Honduras finds its way into national headlines.

To conjecture beyond the concrete evidence available is to invite conspiracy theories, which is not what this is about.

Just as 50,000 children don’t disappear when the lights go off, drug traffickers and corrupt government officials will continue to terrorize Hondurans regardless of how many Senate seats the Democrats retain in November.

We are witnessing government at its lowest point of efficiency. We must use the unfortunate example that the political breakdown in Honduras has provided us in order to adopt a new political understanding and distill our tainted sense of American Democracy.

Only then will humanitarianism reclaim its purpose as an end and not a political means.


Threat to campus leaves many confused and concerned



Despite how silly the emails may have sounded to some, many students were genuinely afraid of the message that a “threat to campus”  was sent out last week—a few even changed into sneakers between classes in anticipation of the need to flee from a lunatic alumna. Others used Yik Yak as an outlet to comment on how humorous the situation seemed.

Should all students have reacted the same way? Were some too cautious, and others too cavalier? It really is not fair to say because of how much indefinite information was flying around from dozens of different sources.

In order to properly prepare the student body and the entire Trinity College community, Campus Police and other administrative bodies on campus should equip the students with specific information, as well as a consistent plan of action for the few times a situation such as this arises. Communication is key in times of stress. The day that a plan is needed should not be the same day when that plan is created.

Part of the reason the reaction from the student body was all over the map was due to the fact that the email originally informing the campus about the threatening woman lacked a lot of concrete information. Campus Police reported that the woman was an alumna of the College who wanted to return to campus and do something “newsworthy,” but provided little other information except for a brief, and rather generic, physical description. The concept of a newsworthy action started a bout of brainstorming among many students, and even took over class discussions. Some assumed she was on campus to do the unthinkable: take the lives of students and faculty. One professor claimed he knew she just wanted to hold a prayer service. An entire lab class came to the conclusion that she would most likely be streaking across the Main Quad. The point is, no one knew for sure.

Of course Campus Police would have informed the student body and the faculty if they knew her plans, but the lack of specificity threw students into a tizzy. It would have been inappropriate to release the woman’s name, but what about speculating on why she would want to return to campus? What about information from her family about the woman’s mental state and her potential plans? Campus Police mentioned in the email that they were working with the Hartford Police force to try and track down and learn about the woman. Did anything come of the collaboration? Would they bring the Hartford Police into any situation like this or was there something that triggered the need for a stronger response team? If the latter, what was this trigger? All of these questions could have been addressed, and yet weren’t. Campus Police did an incredible job handling the situation and does so on a daily basis, but the most effective way to keep the community safe is to have each and every community member on the same page. Some people were ready immediately, and others needed more convincing about the severity of the issue. That’s where the extra information could have been useful. Even slightly more detail to narrow down the possibilities would have garnered a more overall serious reaction — from the students, especially.

As mentioned, the students’ emotional reactions to the email thread about the threat were all over the board, from genuine terror to complete dismissal. Physical reactions varied as well. Some chose the sneaker route in case they needed to run away from a threat. Some moseyed to class as if it were a normal day. Still others ignored the part of the email that said partaking in normal activities was safe, and chose to skip class for their own safety. The inconsistency, from the perspective of both Campus Police and the administration, was quite concerning. What if the alumna really did intend to harm members of the Trinity College campus? Those students dismissing the email warning would have been endangering themselves by not being ready for a potential threat.

Can these students be blamed, though? Certainly not. A consistent plan of action or recommendation should have been included in the email, and information from any and all sources should have been consistent in content and tone. For instance, the woman was a threat, but people were free to be outside and act as though it were a normal day? She wanted to do something newsworthy, but most likely wasn’t dangerous? A professor said she wanted to pray, and a TA said she wanted to cause harm? It’s no wonder the students didn’t know how to respond.

The solution to this is not difficult, but requires advanced planning on the part of campus leaders, administrative officials, and Campus Police. A protocol should be established on what information to release and how to release it. For a situation like this with so many variables, those in charge of campus safety should be in near-constant communication in order to develop a plan and spread the word on just how students should react. With everyone on the same page, the reaction of students would follow suit, and everyone on campus would be safer for it. Preparation is key, and having a basic outline of what to do in these rare occurrences helps keep everyone on their toes without tipping over.


NFL faces complaints regarding its disciplinary policies



Earlier this month, Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice was released by his team and indefinitely suspended by the National Football League. These penalties resulted after the release of footage documenting Rice knocking out his future wife in an elevator. Immediately, there was an outburst against the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell and the League as a whole. Despite a huge transformation of the discipline system in 2007, the National Football League is still lacking an effective and fair procedure for dealing with domestic violence.

Following a season in which 50 NFL players were arrested, Goodell implemented a tougher personal conduct policy. With this remodeled system, he became both the judge and jury of every case. This gave Goodell a great deal of power, but also made him responsible for any incident that was not handled appropriately. He said he wanted to discipline players without involving law enforcement because, “it is [his] job – not law enforcement’s job – to protect the National Football League.” Whether or not Goodell has done a respectable job upholding this statement is highly debatable.

When examining the League’s past punishments for crimes, there exists a history of lighter consequences for domestic violence compared to other violations such as drug use, weapons charges, and drunk driving. Most players guilty or accused of domestic violence only received a one game suspension while other crimes have garnered suspension from up to four games.

Though unsettling, there are many more examples that demonstrate the NFL’s lenient attitude towards domestic violence. In 2011, Green Bay Packer’s linebacker Erik Walden was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend. Even though the charge was reduced to disorderly conduct and then dismissed after Walden agreed to perform 50 hours of community service and receive counseling, he was only suspended for one game. Two months preceding Walden’s arrest, Cincinnati Bengal’s wide receiver, Jerome Simpson, received a three game suspension after police seized two and a half pounds of marijuana sent to his home. The difference in punishments is disturbing.

The nature of crime is not the only factor in the League’s decisions, the importance and influence of the player is also considered. In 2008, three Pittsburgh Steelers players were accused in domestic violence cases. Two of the players were considered extremely crucial to the team’s effort to advance to the Super Bowl and were subsequently spared from suspension. The lesser-known third player was promptly terminated from the team in just hours following his arrest. The player that was let go never played in the NFL again. The video of Ray Rice’s assault has only now shed the light on this long time problem.

In addition to the media attention given to Ray Rice’s crime, news outlets have also been closely following the arrest of Minnesota Viking’s Adrian Peterson resulting from allegations of child abuse. Both of their initial punishments were laughable. Rice and Peterson’s initial punishments were suspensions of only two and one games, respectively. It was only after public outcry about the lacking consequences that their rulings were increased to indefinite suspensions. Goodell also decided to add a six game suspension for first time domestic violence offenders as well as a lifetime ban for second time offenders to the NFL discipline system. He also wrote a letter to all teams in the League apologizing for the failure of the system. These are needed and promising improvements, but it is upsetting that it took a horrific video to prompt their creation.

Although Rice is unable to argue whether or not he abused his wife due to the release of the video, he is still advocating against his indefinite suspension. It is completely baffling for him to expect to be able to have his job again after committing such a horrendous act. Not only that, he had been previously deceptive and not forthcoming about the reality of the situation. Rice already got off easy in the court system by entering a pretrial intervention, which included the expunging of the felony charge of third degree aggravated assault after one year.

He rightfully deserves to be indefinitely suspended by the NFL. While many are shocked at the singular fact that he punched his then-fiancée, others are still even more horrified to see what occurred before and after the knockout punch. After Rice’s initial punch, his then-fiancé lunged at him only to be punched a second time, knocking her out cold. Without hesitation or any sign of remorse, he went on to drag her unconscious body out of the elevator. Rice’s defense is that League was aware of the video prior to his original two game suspension and that the increase of his punishment is a violation of double jeopardy. Regardless, Rice should not be allowed to play in the NFL again anytime soon. Amid all of this controversy and past offenses, some have blamed the victims.

In 2010, NFL legend Brett Favre was accused of sending inappropriate texts and pictures to New York Jet’s employee Jen Sterger. Sterger said the case was handled in a way where she was treated as if she was the one who did something wrong. Favre was later proved guilty. In May, following Rice’s repulsive attack on his wife, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” The tweet was later removed, but its effects are still present. Women’s rights and domestic violence victim support groups have called on NFL sponsors to withdraw their support until Goodell is out of office, or drastic measures are taken to correct the discipline system.

While what happened to Janay Rice in the video is harrowing, it may just be what the NFL needed to fix its standards when it comes to handling domestic violence committed by players.


Watkinson Library opens new “Artists’ Books and Prints” exhibition this month



This past Thursday, Trinity College’s Watkinson Library hosted an Open House event, inviting the Trinity community to take a look at its ongoing exhibition titled “Artists’ Books & Prints: An Exhibition”. Viewers had the opportunity to not only take a look at the impressive works on display but also to speak to the curator of the show, Sally Dickinson and other friendly staff members of the rare collections and special archives library.

The exhibition features books and prints that were mostly acquired by the Watkinson Library in 2005.  The featured artists include Barbara Milman, Nancy Weaver, Robert Kirschbaum, Clifford Burke, Kristin Gudbrandsdottir, Angela Lorenz, Amanda Barrow, and many more.  The artists represent a range of diverse time periods, backgrounds, and styles. Dickinson identified their engagement with a similar medium as the common thread that justifies their work to be viewed in relation to one another. She has further organized the works by placing them in various cases according to themes: Anti War, the Environmental, Global Perspectives, Social Issues, Race & Sexual Identity, Fine Press Traditions, Conceptual Art, and Student Collaborations. Each of the cases are meant to show that books are extremely versatile in the ways they can represent various themes and ideas.

Dickinson said that she has been extremely interested in the way “books can express themselves through their structures, and particularly also in the way that texts and images can contribute towards the visual presentation of a book.” The books in the exhibition have been created using different types of materials, bindings, and, obviously, content. These factors allow for a variety of interpretations and reading or viewing experiences.

One of the books that stands out in the exhibition, a piece that Dickinson herself said she was very fascinated by, is Kristen Gudbrandsdottirs’  “flag book” called: “Faces of the Fallen.” A flag book is one that is made up of an accordion styled binding that allows various flaps within each page to be opened up to create an entirely new image.

In Gudbrandsdottirs’ piece, there are four flaps per page, which consist of alternating texts and black and white photographs that document individuals that were cremated at the Arlington National Cemetery. When the accordion binding is extended and laid flat, all the photographs together form a landscape view of the cemetery itself. Thus the structure of the book enhances the experience of the reader or viewer who is interacting with the book.

It is very common for most people to immediately relate the term “art” or more specifically “visual art” with paintings, sculptures, or films. Likewise, books are often immediately associated with the act of reading. Keeping these expectations in mind, the exhibition immediately pushes the boundaries of what art is, as well as what books can serve as, for many viewers. The books in the exhibition are not just meant to be read, but rather to be interacted with.

Their visual aspect contributes to the narrative that they create.  Furthermore, given the diminishing use of physical books with the arrival of the kindle and other reading technologies, it is interesting to be in a space that invites a discussion about the physical aspects of a book such as its unique binding, shape, size, and so on.

This exhibition reminds us of how fascinating physical books are. And it demonstrates how fortunate we are as a community to have the Watkinson library as a resource. This selection of books is only a glimpse into the vast treasure trove of the Watkinson collection.

This exhibition runs until Nov. 25, 2014 and takes places in the Watkinson Library Reading Room.


Cinestudio Review: “Begin Again,” a musical drama



“Begin Again” is a musical drama directed by John Carney. It stars Keira Knightly as Gretta, a young girl traveling from England to New York City and Adam Levine as her boyfriend, Dave Kohl, who pursues an album with a record deal. They write many of the songs on the album together. However, after some unfortunate and unexpected events, Gretta is left alone in the big city.

As a result, she finds herself spending much of her time with Dan Mulligan (played by Mark Ruffalo), a failing record producer and alcoholic dealing with an unsuccessful marriage and a strained relationship with his daughter. After meeting in a bar, Gretta and Dan find the support they need in one another.

The movie was strong overall. The characters were intriguing, some likable and others not so much. Gretta, Dan and Dan’s daughter, Violet (played by Hailee Steinfeld), each shed light on the human experience. It is a movie you see parts of yourself in, whether you’re dealing with betrayal, or feeling lost, or trying to save a failing relationship, or simply looking for love.

The plot was intriguing and did not leave the audience bored, however it was at times predictable. As you watch the progression of Dave’s record deal and see him becoming more and more successful, you can tell she will eventually be left behind.

However, the end is quite powerful because they are reunited. She has a decision to make and what she chooses is not expected, yet it adds to the meaning of the movie, which is not to settle or remain where you are comfortable but to take chances.

Keira Knightly wonderfully portrays Gretta as a sweet yet headstrong young woman. The connection that Knightly and Ruffalo have on screen lends gravity to their characters’ strong and unique relationship.

At times, it is questionable if they will end up together, but at other times, they work as a team and share the same passions and goals.

The best relationship throughout the film is between Gretta and Violet. With the absence of Dan in Violet’s life, she searches for love in other places, specifically in the boys at her school. Steinfeld does a great job conveying the struggles of the everyday girl. Eventually, when Gretta enters Violet’s life, she becomes a role model for her and reopens the door blocking Violet and her father from each other. She shows Violet how to respect herself and brings the confidence she had all along to the surface.

Mark Ruffalo is brilliant in his role as Dan Mulligan. He conveys anger, sadness, and determination to show his caring side, while also being very witty. At first, as a viewer I rolled my eyes as the movie starts with a scene of him waking up with a hangover in a grungy apartment. However, as the movie progressed and the reasons for his careless behavior are revealed, I found myself liking him much more.

The sprinkles of comedy throughout the movie were refreshing, especially after watching the characters deal with various heartaches.

Personally, the most interesting part of the film was the music. The primary writer on Begin Again’s soundtrack is Gregg Alexander. The organic and simple sound of each song mirrors Gretta’s character perfectly. The lyrics were meaningful and relatable as well. Not to mention the unique combination of the cello, drums, keyboard, electric guitar, violin and acoustic guitar. As soon as the movie ended I wanted to head back to my dorm room and download the album.

I also loved how the music served as a source of connection between all of the characters. It’s what joins Gretta and Dan together and serves as the movie’s backbone.

“Begin Again” was well worth my time. It was authentic and very artistic. Whether you’re a confused freshman or a senior planning your next move, the film’s characters, music and plot will draw you in and make you feel like part of their story.


Bantam Artist of the Week: Romero Board, Jazzy Engineer



Imagine walking into a room with a desk covered in papers, notebooks, and books. Upon looking closer you notice that the papers are full of equations, the books are thick volumes of physics and the notebooks consists of engineering jargon that may not make sense right away. However, as you turn to look at the bookshelf, instead of seeing more physics or engineering textbooks, you see a stack of music sheets and a large black box leaning against it.

Meet Romero Board ’16, an electrical engineering major who indulges in music composition and plays the saxophone and piano. He came to Trinity with ten years of saxophone experience and four years in piano. Initially, he began playing the piano because his parents encouraged him that everyone in the family learn to play a musical instrument. However, Board states, “ I never cared for the piano. My mom forced me to take it up. [It wasn’t until middle school] that I got to choose a different instrument. I went for the saxophone.”

Everyone in his family had taken up a woodwind or brass instrument, and after not doing too well on the drums, Board knew that the saxophone was the perfect instrument.  He mentions that he, “decided to play the saxophone because [at that time] I really liked jazz. My grandfather played jazz through college [and that had an influence on me too.]”

In addition to playing the saxophone, Board also composes music because he has “always [liked to build things] since [he] was little.” He admits that this is also the reason he is pursuing a degree in engineering. “I guess you can say I like engineering and music equally, but I find engineering to be more beneficial for a future career… I don’t dedicate much time to playing the saxophone, so I don’t think I would get very far,” he comments on his decision to balance his two passions.

While his engineering courses may take up most of his time, Board still manages to find the time to compose music. Last year he composed an original song for his music composition course and performed it for professors and students.

After this project he also had the pleasure of composing a song for a film his friend was creating. However, these aren’t the only pieces he has created. Back home, in Chicago, he composed and performed music for his church and forum meetings.

When composing music, Board states that his inspiration comes from ballads. “I like ballads [because] they are slow and steady, but have interesting twists. They are kinda jazzy and yet laid back,”  he explains. In addition to this, he also says that he tries “to make songs that are relaxing… where I don’t need to be excessively hip.” He enjoys playing something that lightens the mood.

He may not have much time to practice the saxophone at Trinity, but Board shared that in Chicago he likes to “play songs with a friend at community parks or at his house.” Having played in a jazz band with his friend throughout high school, Board enjoys playing the saxophone with someone that is familiar with his style and taste.

Moving forward, Board acknowledges that, while he may not focus solely on the saxophone, he still wants “to keep up with it and have friends [he] can jam out with.” He thinks it is a very cool talent to have, and one he hopes to keep for a very long time.

As an engineering major, there may not be much overlap between this field and music but Board advises that, “ [it is important] to find your placement and not let your goal take advantage of something you find interesting and fun. Don’t let your side that sees beauty be taken away.”


Dean Alford reflects on his time at Trinity



This academic year, Frederick Alford is retiring from his position as Dean of Students, a position intimately associated with campus life. The Dean and Associate Deans of Students advise students on academic matters, oversee student discipline, and perform certain counseling duties among other things. Dean Alford is to be succeeded by Robert Lukaskiewicz who is presently working as Associate Dean of Students.

Before becoming Dean of Students at Trinity Dean Alford had twenty years of experience in the education field. These years included stints at Hawthorne College in Antrim, New Hampshire, and Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he worked as Dean of Students. Currently he lives on campus with his wife, he has two adult sons.

In the intervening years since his appointment in 2003 the Dean has had plenty of personal adventures with students and associates from the campus though he insisted they were tales best told among friends. When asked if he thought he’d seen any many major changes or trends in the student body since his appointment he wrote that one he has noticed is that the current generation of students seems quicker in turning over their problems to adults than previous ones have.

When it comes to the community Dean Alford had much more to say, he strongly believes that Trinity and Hartford have a mutually beneficial relationship that pays out through cultural, educational, and economical dividends.

He particularly praised Joe Barber for the long hours he spends every week trying to bring together Trinity students and the citizens and agencies of Hartford. However, Dean Alford noted, “…there are so many people who deserve credit for making this relationship work that I won’t do it justice in a few sentences.” Since it has only been a few weeks since orientation I asked him about his thoughts on it.

He said that orientation is a critical time as it sets expectations for new students and allows, “…new members of the [Trinity] community feel a sense of belonging.”

In his retirement, Dean Alford plans to continue to work with people in the field of education as a part time position with an attorney assisting colleges, universities, and secondary schools with legal issues.

He also has a “bucket” list that he wishes to complete that includes learning Spanish, playing the piano, and traveling to new places. Although, as of yet, he will have to wait and see if he can make any progress on his list.

Dean Lukaskiewicz like Dean Alford has had extensive previous experience in the field of education and has worked as a principal at several high schools. At his last job he worked as Dean of Students for the College of Saint Joseph in Rutland, Vermont. He got his Bachelor of Arts at Syracuse University and received a Master of Arts from Villanova University.

He has since moved to Hartford and lives on campus with his thirteen year old daughter. Describing his current job as Dean of Students he wrote, “I oversee the judicial process and residential life.  In terms of judicial process, I’m responsible for handling student violations of the social code. This includes assisting Area Coordinators with residential policy enforcement and the management of the Honor Council hearing process as it relates to the social code. In terms of residential life, I assist the Director of Residential Life with overall supervision of the residence halls and Area Coordinators.”

Dean Lukaskiewicz is pleased about working at Trinity as he appreciates the college’s mission to provide a liberal arts education and looks forward to getting to know as many of the students as he can. Dean Lukaskiewicz had this message for students: “Work hard, take care of each other, and make good decisions”.

Trinity students help out around Hartford in this year’s Do It Day



On Sept. 6, over 700 students, administrators, faculty, staff and alumni came together for Trinity College’s 16th annual Do It Day. This event, which takes place on the first Saturday after classes begin, has become one of the largest community service events in the history of the College. Volunteers head out to many different places throughout the city of Hartford and participate in a variety of community service projects. Ultimately, Do It Day has strengthened relationships between Trinity and local organizations, as well as afforded students the opportunity to connect with the city of Hartford.

This year, more than 50 community organizations hosted volunteers. These locations ranged from historic landmarks to city parks to art and media centers. Some of the participating organizations included the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses, Pope and Keney Park, Hartford Artisans Weaving Center, Trinity’s Cinestudio, and WRTC Radio. Foodshare, Leadership Greater Hartford, and Hartford Habitat for Humanity (whose executive director is Trinity alumna Karraine Moody ’01) also hosted volunteers.

Volunteers were given a variety of different tasks that involved all sorts of skills to complete. Some weeded and gardened while others painted and organized office spaces. Other participants inspected and packed produce, constructed benches and tables, read to children, picked up litter, and maintained trails, parks, and the riverfront. Emily Sullivan ’17 spent her day at Pope Park, mulching, weeding, and planting flowers.

“We had an awesome time working at Pope Park. It’s a gorgeous recreation and park facility right off campus,” says Sullivan, “We got to know the people that work so hard to keep the park beautiful and helped them do some garden maintenance. We also all had the opportunity to meet some new people while working”.

Most sports teams, fraternities, sororities, and other clubs sign up as groups and go into the city to work together for a good cause while also enjoying each other’s company. Others can sign up individually and choose the organization where they would like to spend their day. Michelle Treglia ’18, a freshman, had the opportunity to volunteer with the softball team, which she will be playing for in the spring.

“I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in Do it Day with the softball team this year. It not only brought us closer together as a team but also gave us the chance to better peoples lives in the Hartford area,” Treglia ’18 writes, “Being only a freshman, I didn’t know many of the girls yet but we definitely grew closer as we did yard work and cleaned up the homeless shelter! The older girls were telling the younger girls about their past experiences and it really made all the freshmen feel welcome as we did the work together, helping each other! I didn’t feel like I was a freshman on the softball team anymore, I felt like I was just part of the team!”

In addition to the work done all over Hartford on the beautiful summer day. Trinity alumni from the Boston area organized a satellite Do It Day that took place on the same day, allowing for the Trinity community to give back to the Boston community.

Although Do It Day is only one day out of the year, it takes months of planning and work to make it happen. This year’s co-coordinators were Sarah Wolcott ’15 and Liznel Aybar-Ventura ’15. Both Wolcott and Aybar-Ventura, with the help of Joe Barber, director of the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement, stayed on campus over the summer, working every day for this event to run smoothly and be successful. Reflecting on the event, Aybar says, “Do It Day was an event that took essentially three months of intensive planning. Joe, Sarah and I worked all throughout the summer to contact almost 200 community organizations, over 150 restaurants, and hundreds of Trinity students, faculty and staff in hopes that on September 6th we’d have an incredible day of community service. Being in charge of such a big event took a huge effort, but seeing everything come together with the help of the college, as well as the city of Hartford, was a very rewarding experience”.

Do It Day has grown significantly over the years and Barber is amazed by this great success. He told the Trinity Communications Office, “The first year, we had about 150 volunteers, which was impressive for just getting started. For the past four years or so, we have seen it up to about 700. The event wouldn’t happen if not for all the sports teams, Greek organizations, and other groups that provide a lot of volunteers,” says Barber, “plus individuals who sign up for Do It Day, and all the behind-the-scenes volunteers, orchestrating and providing support back on campus”.

For those who participated, the Hartford community greatly appreciated it. For those who did not, be sure to get involved next year for a fun and rewarding day!



Rush Week introduces students to Greek life




As the third week of classes begin, sophomore and junior students are gearing up for Rush Week and their opportunity to join a Greek Life Organization (GLO).  Hosted by Trinity College’s Inter-Greek Council in conjunction with the Dean of Students’ Office, Rush Week is an opportunity for interested students to visit the Greek Organizations on campus and to decide if they’d like to join the 18 percent of the student body that is involved in Greek Life.

As a result of a newly centralized rush process, interested students will be required to visit every GLO on campus during the first two days of Rush Week.  Boasting an impressive range of diversity, the entire Greek system will be on display over these two days, consisting of currently-male organizations Pi Kappa Alpha, Alpha Delta Phi, Psi Upsilon, Alpha Chi Rho and Kappa Sigma; currently-female organizations Kappa Kappa Gamma and The Ivy Society; and co-ed organizations Zeta Omega Eta, Cleo of Alpha Chi and St. Anthony Hall.  Spanning from Brownell to Vernon Street, these organizations are as diverse ideologically as they are in membership, styling themselves as feminist sororities, literary societies, and secret orders.

Allen George ’15, President of Alpha Delta Phi described his organization’s plans for Rush Week, saying, “We will be hanging out with non-alcoholic drinks and finger foods on our patio with music, getting to know everyone. We will be telling them about all of our past philanthropic efforts and community service work as well as academic events we put on in the spring and what we plan to do this fall. We also will be providing tours of our house so they can get a feel for where they will potentially be spending lots of their time if they decide to rush our fraternity.”

As every rushing student is required to visit every house, organizations which have historically had trouble attracting people to their rush events are guaranteed to do so this year.    Inter-Greek Council President Evan Abraham ’15 noted the strengths of the new system stating, “I think the new rush format is good for all parties involved because every GLO gets exposure and the same chance to recruit members.”  Abraham also included his excitement to meet everyone interested in Greek Life as opposed to merely in his own Psi Upsilon, saying, “I am excited to get the chance to meet every student participating in rush as opposed to last year when only people interested in my GLO came.”

After participating in the two days of official rush, potential new members will attend a smattering of unofficial events including invitational mixers, interviews and dinners as the Greek Members carefully consider the best fit for their organizations.  Then, following the issuance of “bids,” invitations to join a GLO, rushees will have the opportunity to enter an organization, perhaps following an optional 10-day orientation.  Of course, Rush Week is not open to everyone.  As a result of the new regulations imposed on the Greek System through the Charter Committee Report, interested students must be sophomores or older and must have achieved a GPA of 3.0 cumulatively or the previous semester.  Furthermore, every student interested in joining a GLO must have registered on a new, online software which aids the organizations in ranking and recording their potential new membership.

When speaking of the difficulties in issuing bids, Pierce Classen ’15, President of St. Anthony Hall stated that “It’s tough to determine who to give bids to because the overwhelming majority of Trinity College students are qualified rushees.”

Alpha Delta Phi President, Allen George ’15, added, “Deciding who we give out our bids to join AD is one of the most difficult times of the year…[it’s] never fun or easy but is unfortunately a necessary part of the way all GLOs operate.”  Historically, there are often limited spaces.  Some have claimed an expanded Greek System would be the solution to this problem but such a solution has not yet been explored.

When asked about Rush Week, Eamon Bousa ’16, Vice President of Greek Affairs for the Student Government Association, lauded Greek accomplishment saying, “With programming including Halloween on Vernon, the Inter-Greek Council Backpack Drive and our first ever Greek Week, the Greek community served the campus well last year.  I’m extremely excited to see what the newest additions to the Greek family are able to accomplish.”  As members of Greek organizations, new members participate in a range of activities such as hosting social events, raising charitable funds, inviting guest speakers and participating in leadership seminars.  The members of this year’s class will have the opportunity to both maintain existing traditions and pursue new opportunities.

With such a diverse group of organizations, it’s no surprise that students choose Greek Life for a broad array of reasons including philanthropic opportunities, a sense of community, alumni connections and an expanded social circle.  Discussing his decision to pursue Greek membership, Sebastien Broustra ’17 stated, “It’s always fun seeing familiar faces on the weekend and seeing how people really come together when they’re part of a fraternity. I think joining one is great for meeting new people, especially upperclassmen and I think belonging to a fraternity could offer a great sense of belonging to something not only for college, but also where you will have a reliable support system over all of the country, and in some cases the world.”


Jane Bearinger advises students to follow their passions



Twenty-four years since she received a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry, alumna Jane Bearinger returned to Trinity College on Thursday, Sept. 11 to share how her alma mater helped cultivate the endless passion and determination that led to her success in different fields of scientific work. The many students who attended this Common Hour event in the Washington Room were treated to a reassuring story that addressed the reluctance and insecurity that most college students feel as they consider declaring their respective majors. Ms. Bearinger emphasized that although she was passionate about biochemistry from the start, she was also concerned that she would not be able to branch out to other scientific fields, should her interests stray from her specific work. As a result, Ms. Bearinger conveyed her most important point in the beginning of her lecture when she described how she dared to leave one of her first jobs after college to pursue other interests—that one must not be afraid to take “a leap of faith,” to follow any curiosity that might arise from other projects.

It was this passionate interest for learning and improving that Ms. Bearinger credits her professors at Trinity for kindling. She praised one now-retired professor, Dr. James K. Heeran, who taught her the valuable lesson that, although she was not a straight-A student, “it was what one does in the lab that matters”.  A second professor at Trinity who made a lasting impact on Ms. Bearinger, was Dr. William Church. Dr. Church helped to jumpstart Ms. Bearinger’s career by directing her to her first American Chemical Society meeting, through which she was eased into the interviewing process with different companies. In this manner, Ms. Bearinger emphasized that Trinity had an invaluable impact on her success.

After her attendance at the ACS Meeting, Ms. Bearinger went on to work for a company as a chemist in 1993. This was one of the first unexpected turns that her life would take, as she admitted that she never thought that she would do research or live in New Jersey, much less at one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Merck & Co. Here, Ms. Bearinger looked at plants that hailed from the Costa Rican forest to see if one of the elements in the plant could lead to a new “blockbuster drug” that could help with hypertension.  However, after some time, Ms. Bearinger felt that she wanted to do something more. Despite the daunting questions she received from her coworkers that pointed out that she might not get another job as good as the one she had, she left Merck and Company to go back to school.

Ms. Bearinger attended Northwestern University and received her Masters and PhD in Biomedical Engineering. As she learned more about her area of interest, Ms. Bearinger became enthralled by the possibility of helping society by gaining insight into possible treatments for cancer and other serious diseases. She developed a polymer coating as part of her masters work. One application of the coating was on cardiovascular stents, which enable minimally invasive repair to the cardiovascular system. A powerful motivator that Ms. Bearinger enjoyed in retrospect was that her advisor initially said that the coating design would not work. These words “invited her” to ultimately receive her first patent

However, soon enough, Ms. Bearinger wanted to change her focus from polymers to a different study. She had become interested in how Titanium promotes osseointegration, among other studies that would ultimately improve the way people recover from surgeries like hip replacements. Therefore, despite protests, she first moved to CA to finish her thesis work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and then move to Switzerland for postdoctoral work. In Zurich, Ms. Bearinger was surprised to discover how her studies in Polymer science and electrochemistry came together. Consequently, she pointed out that after such stress, going to Switzerland was one of the best things she could have done for her research.

Another lesson that Ms. Bearinger hoped to impart on the students in attendance was that “life is messy”. By this, she explained that life has many ups and downs, and chaotic twists and turns. For instance, she explained that at one point, she was slated to brief Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, on leveraging medical and programmatic lab efforts. However, a sudden re-organization dissolved the Medical Technology Program at the lab.  Yet, what was an even more important lesson that Ms. Bearinger hoped to convey, was that life is still “fun” despite its confusion. She gave examples of successful inventors such as Bill Gates to emphasize that, although they created something great, she did not want to have to follow in their footsteps to be successful. Instead, she pursued what she found to be interesting. Consequently, that something interesting proved to be a successful business called Corporos Inc. Today, she finds that working as a head of this company has forced her out if her comfort zone and pushed her to learn more about topics such as negotiating, partnering, legal issues, etc.  Additionally, her company reaches out to third world countries in Africa to work on sensitive, disposable diagnostics for the diseases that trouble those areas.

As much as it is a struggle in college to declare one’s set path in life, students found it both a relief and an inspiration that there are trailblazer’s like Ms. Bearinger who show that this is what makes life “fun”.

Trinity Golf finishes strong at Detrick Invitational



The Trinity College Men’s Golf Team started their 2014 fall season out strong with an excellent performance at the Bill Detrick Golf Invitational.  Twelve schools gathered at the Indian Hill Country Club last weekend to compete in a tournament named after the former long-time coach of the Trinity Men’s Golf team who retired two years ago.  The Bantam’s performed a cut above the rest, entering two teams in the tournament both A and B squads rounding out the total number of teams in competition to thirteen.  Respectively, the A and B squads took home 1st and 2nd, a much better position than fellow NESCAC school Wesleyan, which barely managed a 12th place finish.

William Burchill ’15 led the team with a consistent performance, shooting a 72 both days on the course.  The consistency was key as Burchill trailed Worcester State’s Jackson Davis by one stroke for first place after the first round, but Davis fell from a 71 to an 82 in the second round, eventually falling to the 13th spot in the tournament.  Other top- ten Bantam performances came from three members of the A-team and one from the B.  Jeff Durkin ’16 placed second at 146 (73 and 73), Nick Buenaventura ’15 shot a 149 (75 and 74) taking the fourth spot, Tom Romano ’16  clinched fifth with a 150 (75 and 75) and Don Hunt ’15 brought home seventh place with a result of 151 (76 and 75).  These impressive individual performances brought the A and B teams to team scores of 590 and 616, a good distance away from third place Nichols College which could only pull together a score of 622.

A strong start to the fall season by the upperclassmen is a positive indicator of how the season and year will progress.  Back in the spring the Bantams took home the third-place trophy from the NESCAC Tournament, finishing behind Williams and Middlebury.  With most of the core talent returning from last season the Trinity Men’s Golf Team is a contender for the first place spot this year.

Matthew Greason ’03 begins his second season as the Trinity College Head Golf Coach in 2014-15, doubling as the Men’s Ice Hockey Coach as well.  He has big shoes to fill following Bill Detrick but has already began to prove himself as a coach out on the links with this incredible season opening performance this year a solid season last year.

In related news off the course, the Men’s Golf team has received praise for high academic acheivment.  Specifically, Trinity College golf captain Greg Palmer ’15 and Nick Buenaventura ’15 were selected as NCAA Division III Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholars, while William Burchill ’15 and Alex Lynch were named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Academic Team.  Burchill also repeated on the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team. These accolades serve as a reminder of the duality of all Trinity scholar athletes, even while maintaining rigorous practicing schedules they do not let their classes fall by the wayside.

The Bantam Golfers will be a team to follow this year as they are a favorite in the conference. Tahey will be competing in the Williams Invitational this weekend, looking for a top-three finish.

Equestrian club continues to develop and compete



While sports like football, basketball and hockey often dominate the world of collegiate sports, on Trinity’s campus there is a team that competes in something that is arguably far more difficult than any of these sports: The Trinity College equestrian team.  While it is still a club sport rather than varsity, the team has a coach, trains diligently and meticulously and competes with some of Connecticut’s biggest schools in the sport of show riding.

Each year the team attracts anywhere between 14-18 Trinity students.  Many of whom have little to no experience, while others, like Mallory Taylor ’15 and Brooke Moore ’15 have been riding since they were young.  Taylor fell into the sport while attending summer camp, while Moore began riding at the age of seven with her mother.  Both have been a part of the Trinity equestrian team since they were freshman and have seen the club grow significantly during their time here.  In 2011, the team began training at Oak Meadow Farms in East Windsor, CT.  That was when Oak Meadow’s head trainer Amy Kriwitsky joined the club as Trinity’s newest coach.

“She [Kriwitsky] has definitly grown the team a lot in the last five years.”  Taylor explained.  “She has really encouraged us to get out there to find new talent around campus.”

In a given year, the team will show in more than ten competitions around the state.  They participate in events with the likes of UConn, Yale, Wesleyan, Sacred Heart and Post University.  At an equestrian event, each rider will either ride in the flat class or the fence class.  In flatting, the rider shows the horse strictly on the ground while fencing includes different levels of jumps.  The host school hires a judge and each rider is awarded points for their performance.  Throughout a season, a team or rider may be eligible to compete in regional shows.  The top two regional riders or teams can advance to zone competitions and then advance to National competitions.

Last year, veteran rider Jennifer Dorfmann ’14 was invited to compete at Nationals in Harrisburg, PA.

Although the team is a Trinity club sport, they have improved over the last five years to the point that they are able to compete with and beat Division I New England Schools like Yale and UConn.  Coach Kriwitsky is a UConn Equestrian alumni and has played arguably the largest role in the squad’s recent success and growth.  However, the team is still looking to improve and develop further.

“I think the biggest thing were hoping to accomplish is competing and showing together more as a team rather than as individual riders.” Moore said.  “It’s a lot of fun and we form special bonds.  We’re hoping that the girls in the club can continue to identify more as a team.”

The team’s next competition is on Oct. 4.  With continued emphasis on finding new talent and training hard together as a team, there is little to stop Trinity Equestrian from becoming the next big varsity sport on campus.

Joan Rivers deserves the praise she has been given



The year is 1961, the place, Greenwich Village. A young woman, with a kind face and blond hair set in high curls around her face, has just finished delivering around ten minutes of stand-up comedy at the revered “Bitter End” night club on Bleecker St. Her name is Joan Molinsky (she would later go by another name). This is the beginning of a career that will span 56 years.

When we think about Joan Rivers, we see her in our mind’s eye: a visual comedian, and in the second half of her life, warped by plastic surgery. But how many of us can truthfully say that we knew who she was? Or what she was really like?

She was an actress, first and foremost. Indeed this is what she always considered her profession to be—acting. While that might seem strange, Rivers played a role her entire life, that of a fiery and unapologetic woman who was so absurdly confident in herself that she made it her life’s ambition to hurt other people with her comedy.

And the character did hurt—many celebrities can say that they felt bullied by Joan Rivers at one point or another throughout the years. That being said, she was a clever woman who saw comedy for what it is, a means to overcome tragedy, sadness, and of course, our own shortcomings. Her comedy often came in two parts. First came the façade, then hidden underneath that veneer was the truth of the matter. If you were famous enough to earn this—if your infamy was such that it would catch the attention of this withered woman in a designer coat and elicit a really mean joke, then surely you had made it in the world. Those who felt bullied were missing the actual point rather spectacularly. Singer/songwriter Cher once said that if she were to stay in Rivers’ monologues for the rest of her life, it meant that she was still relevant.

Speaking from the feminist point of view, Joan Rivers lived in a time when being a comedian was a right reserved almost exclusively for men. Indeed she was making jokes that stereotyped women. She was a parody artist, turning the concept of housewifery on its head, and then giving it a swift kick for good measure.

In her stand-up she touched on topics that are still taboo in comedy, and many of them got her into mountains of trouble. The message that she was trying to convey to women was, at its root, a truth about feminism—a woman should be allowed to do whatever a man can do. That is what she strove for. In fact, she did it far better and far earlier than was ever thought socially acceptable for anyone in her generation

As a woman herself, removed from the character, Joan Rivers was unhappy throughout the majority of her life. Conversely, she overcame her problems with laughter and charity. After the suicide of her husband in 1987, Rivers became a supporter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, later serving as an honorary board member. She was among the earliest and most influential gay rights advocates of the twentieth century. She was also a supporter of the nonprofit organization God’s Love We Deliver, which supplied AIDS victims with meals, often delivering food personally.

In the end, Rivers was beloved by the same people she often spoofed. She in turn loved them back and envied them. It is clear, however, that she could never find much love for herself.

To say that she was not a “groundbreaking feminist”, a champion of the arts, and a fiercely funny woman is legitimately ignorant and such comments are especially cruel in the days and weeks after her death. What can be said about her is this, she was a tragic figure. If you cannot laugh with her, then it is your job to cry for her. She was a woman, and you have the choice to take her for what she is. We will never see anyone like her again.

As Joan Rivers herself once said, “Comedy is to make everybody laugh, and deal with things. If we didn’t laugh, where the hell would we all be?”

Women’s Volleyball prepares for Amherst and Williams



The Trinity Women’s Volleyball team has had a very strong start to their 2014 season, boasting an overall record of 6-2 and a 3-1 record at home. The team has already participated in two tournaments. At the Brandeis Invitational, the Bants’ earned victories in all of their games, beating Coast Guard (3-1), Emerson (3-2) and Emmanuel (Mass.) (3-2). Less than a week later the team hosted their annual tournament, the Trinity Invitational. Trinity soundly defeated both Westfield (Mass.) (3-0) and Brandeis (3-0), then came out on top with a 3-2 win over Western New England College. Unfortunately the ladies fell short in their final game of the tournament, losing to WPI (3-1). The ladies only other loss this season came between tournaments on September 9th to Western Connecticut (3-0).

Trinity Volleyball Head Coach Jen Bowman will enter her 11th season as head coach for the Bantams, and is assisted by Alexandra Beatty and Peter Maneggia. The 2014 squad is led by Tri Captains Barb Massa ’15, Kate Giddens ’16 and Hunter Drews ’16. Massa serves as the team’s only senior this year, as Giddens and Drews, both two year starters, were elected captains as juniors. The entire team is made up of only fourteen players this year, and so far all of the classes have contributed to the Bantams winning record. Claudia Varner ’18 leads the first years in digs with 35, Randhi Whitman ’17 has racked up 59 digs thus far, and Giddens leads the juniors with 93 but is followed closely by Katie Stueber ’16 who has garnered 86. Massa has contributed with seven kills to date.

With at least twelve matches to go in a season consisting of more than twenty, it is hard to predict exactly how far Trinity will go this season. Last season, the Bantams came up short in the NESCAC Quarterfinals to Bowdoin, who ended up defeating them 3-2 in a heartbreaking match. Bowdoin ended up making it to the finals only to lose to number one seeded Williams. Trinity finished the 2013 season with a record of 15-12. The squad also said goodbye to one of its most memorable and accomplished players Hannah Brickley ’14. Not only was Brickley selected as Volleyball First Team Academic All- American (the graduate carried over a 4.0 GPA during her time spent at Trinity), she also was a four year starter who led Trinity in kills with 355, attacks with 1,151, and digs with 372 and added 20 aces and 46 blocks (3rd on team) with a .220 hitting percentage (2nd on team) in 2013. While it will be difficult to ever fill Brickley’s shoes, the team is full of capable players this year that will step up or already have.

Next Friday, Trinity will take on Amherst at home; the match currently is slated for an 8:00p.m. start time. The Bantams do not get any sort of a break after Amherst, as they play 2014 NESCAC champions Williams at home the next day on Saturday, at noon.

Recent Ferguson protests have not been entirely productive



One month after an unarmed Michael Brown was shot, approximately 35 protesters attempted to block a portion of a Missouri highway. Late Wednesday afternoon, Interstate 70 near Ferguson, Missouri, less than five miles from the location of the shooting, was partly barred with demonstrators. The dozens in the road planned to gather for four and a half hours, the same amount of time Brown’s body laid in the street following the fatal altercation.

The aim of the protesters was to increase pressure on Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, to elect a special prosecutor to manage an investigation of Brown’s death. Many already oppose the current attorney, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch, due to his family ties with the St. Louis police department. Last week, when Nixon terminated the executive order that put Missouri in a state of emergency, he also indicated that he had no power to assign a special prosecutor in place of McCulloch. Since the investigation has begun, McCulloch has decided to present evidence to a grand jury rather than arresting Officer Wilson, the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.

When first reading about McCulloch’s apparent ties to law enforcement, I was puzzled as to why his replacement was met with hesitation. If one looks objectively at the Missouri laws concerning prosecutors and possible conflict of interests or bias though, there exists no solid basis to replace McCulloch. For example, when researching his ties with law enforcement, the law outlines the situation in which the prosecutor is a family member of the potential defendant or officer. Since no evidence has been presented to indicate that McCulloch is related to Officer Wilson, there is no reason to elect a special prosecutor.

I also find it slightly frustrating when the civil rights movement is given as a reason to elect another prosecutor. While civil rights is an important social issue, if one considers the situation impartially, they will acknowledge that there is no Missouri statute that cites a history of racial tension as reason to disqualify a prosecutor from a particular case. If McCulloch opponents are still ardent that he is prejudiced, they should have expressed that opinion when he was running for office. There are still ways for McCulloch to be removed, either through recusal or through the Missouri court system. To remove him solely due to the protests would contradict the democratic process.

The demonstration was described as peaceful, that was, until what seemed to be an unnecessary amount of police officers arrived. The crowd accredited their tension and annoyance to this. While there were only about 35 protestors, there were 100 officers from three different law agencies. As strains between the two groups increased, a small group of demonstrators began to throw small items such as bricks, stones, glass bottles, and water bottles at the law enforcement officers.

Police proceeded to arrest 35 protestors, most for unlawful assembly and some for assaulting officers. A Ferguson native commented after the arrests, “they’re absolutely too aggressive,” in reference to the officers who greatly outnumbered the activists. Participants in the protest were also upset because organizers were under the impression, after meeting with law enforcement officials earlier in the week, that they were allowed to convene on certain parts of the highway. Following Wednesday’s events, Eric Vickers, a lead organizer who is the chief of staff for State Senator Jamilah Nasheed and an active participant in Michael Brown protests, indicated that the demonstrators would reconvene and cause another disturbance to bring attention to the issue.

Many of the obstacles demonstrators have dealt with leads to the question, are the demonstrators going about promoting their cause in an effective way? Even prior to Wednesday’s events, several black leaders questioned how causing an inconvenience for a large number of commuters, who do not have a say in the case and were not willing participants in the demonstration, would promote their cause. Members of the N.A.A.C.P. and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network chose not to participate in the highway blockade. When organizers were asked about the effectiveness of the protest, they responded by saying the disruption was a “small sacrifice” for their purpose of seeking justice for Michael Brown. Their reasoning was based on the impression that the inconvenience they caused would lead to discomfort, which would then compel more to take notice of the purpose of the civil disobedience.

Activists for Brown may not need to cause any more inconveniences for attention, though. The same day the highway blockade took place, a video that shows the reactions of witnesses immediately following the shooting was aired on CNN. The short clip, taken on a cell phone, displays two construction workers’ responses after watching an unarmed Michael Brown suffer from fatal gunshots. While there is a lot of other evidence in the case, some legal analysts are calling it a possible game changer. First, the men in the video are not natives of Ferguson and are white. While race should not matter, it has played a huge role in this case.

The grand jury is made up of nine whites and three African-Americans, so some believe a majority of the jury will be more able to relate to the witnesses because of their race. Another important detail of the video is that it displays the immediate reactions of witnesses because most accounts that were provided were given at least an hour after the death. While other witnesses have said before that Brown’s hands were up in a sign of surrender, the fact that the bystanders in the video said the same thing immediately following the gunfire, legitimatizes others’ accounts.

As the grand jury continues to be presented evidence, and the media closely follows the case, it will be interesting to see if the organizers of the past protests decide to form more in opposition.


Charges against Rice raise questions about NFL policies



Just one week ago, football enthusiasts and casual sports fans alike were glued to their televisions after a shocking breakthrough in the supposedly closed case of Ray Rice’s aggravated assault. The Baltimore Ravens running back had been previously charged with aggravated assault against his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, at an Atlantic City casino. Charges were dropped after Rice agreed to attend counseling, and the National Football League (NFL) suspended him for two games. The NFL fan base was split on the issue of whether this was sufficient punishment—several Internet memes poked fun at the NFL’s disciplinary system, saying that if a player were to choose one rule to break, domestic abuse would be the best one. Why? Historically, players accused of such violence and degrading acts saw very minor repercussions from the NFL.

As time passed after the date marking his original suspension, Ray Rice faded into the background and other stories began redirecting the attention of the media.

Just days after the start of football season, however, celebrity news website TMZ released a horrifying video of Rice and Palmer alone in an elevator. The video shows Rice winding up and punching Palmer in the face, full force. She drops to the ground immediately, and Rice ends up dragging her limp, unconscious body out of the elevator. The video caused an uproar, and the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract. Shortly thereafter, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell smartly chose to suspend Rice indefinitely, saying that the video changed matters and that he had not known the extent of the crime beforehand because he had never seen the footage.

Sadly, these auxiliary consequences have come far too late. In a recent poll by ESPN, 55 percent of interviewees thought that Roger Goodell was lying when he said he had never seen the elevator footage. Would it be a surprise? The NFL has a long history of providing millions of Americans with incredible games and events. Sadly, it also has a history of handling domestic violence and abuse with such minimal competency that the issue seems to almost not matter at all to the organization.

Following Rice’s time in the spotlight, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy’s previous criminal record was called upon as further evidence of the NFL’s complete and utter failure to deal with such serious matters. Prior to the Panthers’ decision to deactivate Hardy during his case’s legal proceedings, released an article on Friday, Sept. 12 titled, “If there were a Greg Hardy video, would Greg Hardy be playing Sunday?” The question is a valid one. While each situation may have slight distinctions, how different can the two crimes be?

Sadly, these are not the first such stories to come into the mainstream press, especially not the first ones from the NFL. Jerry Jones, owner, president, and general manager of the most valuable NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys, was accused of sexual assault just a few days ago. Ray McDonald, defensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse against his 10-week pregnant fiancée. Earlier this year, former NFL star Darren Sharper was accused of having drugged and raped numerous women all over the United States. Each of these shameful stories occurred in the past nine months. Countless others can be found easily, each of them more upsetting than the next. According to, the NFL’s relative arrest rate for domestic violence is 55.4 percent, and domestic violence arrests account for 48 percent of the total number of NFL arrests for violent crimes.

The questioning title of the Sports Illustrated article poses a real and serious query to the NFL, and to the public: is domestic violence getting the attention it deserves? Or is it ignored until depressing, horrifying stories, images, and videos are blasted across the Internet and onto televisions, forcing people to witness the disregard for human life that comes with any form of domestic or sexual abuse?

When asked his opinion on the Rice video, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees explained, “Everyone deserves to be held accountable for their actions because certainly that is the expectation for players.” Shouldn’t that be the same mindset everyone has about these types of issues? Domestic abuse and sexual violence are preventable, and yet day after day people are bombarded with stories about terrible, heartbreaking crimes such as those committed by the aforementioned professional athletes. The conversation must not stop with Roger Goodell and the NFL, however. It is the responsibility of each and every able-bodied American to try to put an end to such terrible actions. President Berger-Sweeney has started the Sexual Assault Response Team, and numerous groups on campus are doing their part to keep people working toward ending this epidemic of domestic and sexual violence. Inside the bubble of Trinity College it is all too easy to let headlines and news stories fade to the background and take the backseat to Yik Yak and late-night dorm gossip. As the next generation of adults and leaders, however, this needs to change. The sad truth is that it will seem distant and inconsequential until it enters one’s own life, and by then the damage is done.

Despite fall in rankings, Trinity still has many strengths



The U.S. News college rankings were released last week. Trinity placed 45th in national liberal arts colleges. This is a significant drop from last year’s ranking of 36th. For some, the drop could be a source of panic because of the potential repercussions that it signifies.  It could mean that Trinity is becoming much less attractive to prospective students. For current students, the drop may affect the chances of applying to graduate school. It may even affect the job prospects that students have after graduation. While I agree that rankings are something we should be aware of, I think we should focus less on the negative aspects of Trinity and instead focus more on the many positive aspects of the school.

Trinity has maintained an intimate faculty to student ratio of 9:1. I think this is one of the key hallmarks of a great liberal arts college—the ability to actually get to know your professor instead of just being another face in the crowd. A majority of Trinity’s classes, approximately 60 percent, have fewer than twenty students and only two percent of classes have 50 or more students.  Classes with 50 or more students are most likely introductory level courses. More times than not, if the student remains with that particular subject, they will go on to get to know the professor better over the course of the next four years. Another positive aspect of our school is the fact that Trinity has a 91 percent retention rate, which means that 91 percent of students from the first-year class return their sophomore year. So while Trinity may not be number one in the rankings, it’s still number one in the hearts of those students who return after their first year.

Furthermore, Trinity has made many improvements over the years, such as enhancing campus safety. The number of burglaries on campus dropped from 24 in 2010 to eight in 2012 and the number of cars stolen on campus went from 10 in 2010 to two in 2012.

Even with these positive attributes, it is hard to deny the facts and reasons why Trinity has by dropped swiftly in the span of one year. Joanne Berger-Sweeney mentioned that Trinity’s ranking has changed by 23 points over the past 10 years. President Berger-Sweeney stated that Trinity has falled in the  rankings because there has been a decrease in the scores that the U.S. News Report uses to assess faculty resources, selectivity of students, levels of alumni donation, and how highly guidance school counselors rated Trinity.

In terms of how much alumni give back to the school, it makes sense if there is a fluctuation over the years due to a fluctuating economy at large—there will be some bad years and then there will be some that are good. If alumni do not give back each year, it may not necessarily be a matter of the alumni choosing to stop donating to Trinity, but rather it may be related to other external circumstances. The primary thing to do in this case is to remind the alumni of the reasons why they loved going to Trinity as a way to inspire gift giving. I think that hosting events such as reunions and Homecoming will work well to this end.

As for the other factors, I think time will make a large difference. On the subject of student selectivity, yes, Trinity may not be as selective as other schools, but I choose to see this as something positive rather than something negative.

In 2013, Trinity had an acceptance rate of 31.8 percent, but why should that be something bad? I like to think that prospective students should be given the chance to prove themselves in a more realistic capacity because test scores and grades do not always accurately predict a student’s potential success. The focus should be more on what the individual student hopes to achieve while in college. So yes, while Trinity has a higher acceptance rate than some other schools, it just means that there is greater diversity enriching our campus. The benefits of this go beyond the classroom and can actually provide more opportunities for people to grow.

I am not trying to downplay the fact that Trinity’s rankings have dropped. It is indeed a big deal. However, I think that when potential students visit, they will be able to see all the great things that Trinity has to offer. When current students apply to graduate school or look for employment, I think they will be able to talk about what they have learned at Trinity, not just academically but the ways in which they have grown holistically as well. In the long run, that is ultimately more important than the ranking of a school. As I said earlier, I think with time, Trinity will be able to rise in the rankings again due to the new leadership and the changes the school plans to make.


Cinestudio Review: “Get On Up: the James Brown story”

TRIP SLAYMAKER ’18                                                                                                                                                                                                  CONTRIBUTING WRITER

To those who are not familiar with the American Funk musician James Brown, “Get On Up” is here to tell you that you actually are. He is sampled in contemporary songs more than any other musician in history, his music is universally known as the first of its kind, and his sweaty, bedazzled, wavy-haired visage is seared into the minds of every person who has ever looked into the history of music.

“Get On Up” is based on the life of Brown, and is directed by Oscar veteran, Tate Taylor (director of “The Help”). On its surface the film appears to be a standard issue “rise to fame” type movie wherein the main character goes from rags to riches, but must remember to keep his moral obligations along the way. Only here, Brown doesn’t keep any of those.

To begin, James Brown (Chadwick Boseman) is shown growing up in what can only be called abject poverty. He lives in a shack with his mother, (Viola Davis), and his abusive father. From here, Brown works so desperately to escape from his anonymity and loneliness that he begins to push away friends and family along his rather formulaic journey. Fame is his guiding light, and he will smash through whatever obstacles come his way.

Once signed to a record, James’s band becomes more of a support staff. Here is where the real depth of the character begins to show. James Brown loses his friends, and lets it happen for his career. In fact, the rest of the movie is almost entirely composed of various vignettes of Brown’s sacrifices—his bandmates, his best friend (Nelsan Ellis), and even his family. The film demonstrates how fame and the desire for success can prevail above one’s morals and happiness.

The uniqueness of the movie is found in the shifting and dancing of events ooccurring in the twentieth century. Despite this, the film never loses focus from James Brown and his life. Brown hardly notices the event too. He travels to Vietnam, meets the president, and quells riots, but in the end, all that matters to him is the Funk. Funk moves through the movie like the “force” through Star Wars, and Brown recognizes that if anything gets in the way of his career in Funk he might as well turn in his cape and curlers. In the long run, this destroys him. It really is the tragic story of how a man gave everything for his art and received only loneliness in return. He did everything for his career, his improvement as an artist and he sought nothing more than perfection in return. Brown’s dilemma is a riveting one, and one that is rarely seen in movies: “What if the main character made only wrong choices, and they never got fixed?”

Taylor directs an artful, and fascinating movie, but the real power here comes from the acting. Boseman, who plays James Brown, has bypassed character acting and moved into the realm of “becoming” his character. And the results are so convincing that it is sometimes difficult to make out where character and actor meet. He dances like the man himself, and makes us concerned about the risk of spontaneous combustion. Viola Davis, who plays James Brown’s mother, and Octavia Spencer are always flawless, and there is no exception here.

If there are drawbacks, they are minor; the movie gets bogged down in sentimentality and hallucination scenes. There are monologues in which Brown breaks the fourth wall and this can be a little jarring. Some scenes are just downright puzzling: one features a bout of domestic violence while all parties involved are dressed as Santa Claus. In another, Brown’s music is so intoxicating that it makes a couple want to get up and dance. In short, what the movie has in acting prowess, it loses a little in soul.

That said, Boseman is spectacular. He dances, sings (in Brown’s voice), and generally wows the viewers. He is reason enough to see the movie. “Get On Up” is a spectacle not to be missed by music fans, or acting fans, or a great many types of fans, really.


Interview with Museum Curator, Professor FitzGerald

POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15                                                                                                                                                                                                   ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Professor Michael FitzGerald of Trinity’s Art History Department, a distinguished Picasso scholar curated a recent show at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona titled: “Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions.” The exhibition that ran from April to June 2014 received extremely good reviews and was successful in showcasing the widespread influence that Pablo Picasso has had on contemporary art. The Tripod was privileged to have the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with Professor FitzGerald, via email:

PS: What made you interested in Picasso in the first place?

MF: I was a graduate student at Columbia in 1980 when the Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective of Picasso’s work.  It was a revelation because it included many works he had kept in his personal collection. I decided to make Picasso’s sculpture the subject of my dissertation.

PS: Can you tell us briefly of your previous exhibitions and research interests?

MF: While I was completing my dissertation, I spent months researching the collection of what became the Picasso Museum in Paris. That was my first substantial exposure to working museums.  As I began to publish on Picasso, I was invited by MoMA and other museums to contribute towards, and curate exhibitions. The first major show I completed was an exhibition for the Wadsworth Atheneum in 2001.  It was devoted to issues of artistic practice and presented a selection of Picasso’s paintings and drawings depicting the artist’s studio. After nearly ten years of preparation, I completed a much larger exhibition for the Whitney Museum of American Art, Picasso and American Art (2005-06).  It presented nearly a century of American Artists’ involvement with Picasso’s work and travelled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center.

PS: How did you get involved with the Museu Picasso for this exhibition?

MF: The director of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona saw Picasso and American Art and invited me to curate a sort of “Part 2”—an exhibition devoted to contemporary artists’ interest in Picasso’s work.  That was wonderful, but I wanted to make sure that this focus would make a satisfying exhibition.  Since the Whitney is a museum of “American Art,” I had been restricted to artists working in the U.S.  I felt, however, that an exhibition devoted to contemporary art would have to be global.  At first, I wasn’t sure that I would find enough interesting artists to compose a worthwhile show.  I spent two years searching, and decided it would be possible.

PS: What are the main arguments that you raised through the exhibition and how did its structure contribute towards them?

MF: This may surprise people who do not follow contemporary art, but it is popular among critics these days to ridicule Picasso as overrated and claim that his work is no longer relevant to art today.  I didn’t set out to challenge that view, I just wanted to see if it was true.  As I searched around the world, I was amazed by the quantity and quality of the work I encountered: artists in India, Australia, Sudan, China, Brazil, Argentina, as well as in Europe and the US. The list seemed to be endless. My mission became the presentation of this diverse work to the broad audience a museum addresses.

The role of the curator is especially complicated when dealing with contemporary art.  Some curators believe that they should impose their ideas on the work in the exhibition.  I take the opposite view.  I try my best to reflect the ideas of the artists.  To a certain extent some manipulation is unavoidable. Post-Picasso included the work of forty artists from twenty-five countries, so it is impossible to present every work in a separate context.  I tried to establish categories that would capture how artists were responding to Picasso’s work.  As I studied this very diverse work, five emerged.  Two were his two most widely discussed paintings (Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937), and three were periods of his art: Blue and Rose Period (1901-05), Surrealism (1920s and 30s) and the last decade of his work (1960s-73). Each of the categories was represented by a gallery in the exhibition, and each addressed particular issues in Picasso’s work and contemporary art.                                                                      For me, the most satisfying contribution of the exhibition was the African artists we included, artists from South Africa, Benin, Ivory Coast, and Sudan.  They were really talking back to Picasso.  They made the point that while many artists consider Picasso a central figure, they don’t necessarily feel reverential and may be very critical.

In Barcelona, the exhibition was surrounded by separate galleries displaying the museum’s great collection of Picasso’s work, so viewers had the chance to witness a fantastic dialogue between the art of contemporary artists and “the master.”

PS: Can you tell us briefly about the American artists represented in the exhibition, and how you would compare their dialogue with Picasso, to other dialogues that artists from other nations opened up with him? Does this reveal or address anything unique to American contemporary art?

MF: The situation of U.S. artists is different, mainly because of the Museum of Modern Art.  For at least fifty years after its founding in 1929, MoMA proclaimed Picasso the greatest artist of the twentieth century, and it acquired the greatest collection of his work anywhere in the world.

Especially until the 1990s, many artists felt that MoMA was more interested in historical artists (especially Picasso) than in contemporary art, so many developed antagonistic relationships with the museum and its figurehead.                                                                                                                      One thing that I found was that the attitude is often very different among artists on other continents.  I learned to my considerable surprise that many artists, particularly those in Africa, Asia, and South America, view Picasso as the crucial link to traditions of modernism and the network that now joins artists around the world.  More than any other artist, he is the central figure to address to construct a global presence.

PS: What were the challenges you faced as a curator, and how did you overcome them?

MF: The search for artists lasted several years, and for a long time I doubted it would be successful.  Canvassing the world was certainly aided by the internet, but more important were the recommendations of artists.  Once I made contact with Ibrahim el-Salahi (Sudan), he recommended Dia al-Azzawi (Iraq).  The Turkish artist Bedri Baykam led me to Gavin Jantzes (South Africa).  I first saw the work of Daniel Boyd (a young artist of Aboriginal descent) while in Sydney.

A visit to Atul Dodiya on the periphery of Mumbai not only taught me a great deal about contemporary India, but also cemented a friendship.  In some cases, I worked with an artist for more than a year to choose and obtain the right painting or sculpture.  Travel was essential to meet artists, select work solicit loans from individuals or institutions.  Without the owner’s agreement, there cannot be an exhibition.                                                 One of the pleasures of preparing the show was teaching two seminars on the subject to students at Trinity.  It was great to see how the students’ interest developed as they were introduced to these artists, and our discussions helped shape my ideas.  One class even got to visit Bedri Baykam when he had a show in New York.

PS: How similar was the exhibition to what you may have originally envisioned?

MF: Since I started with a nearly blank slate, the final exhibition was a huge surprise.  Frankly, there were a few paintings we sorely missed.  That is the reality of curating an exhibition: a photograph won’t do.  You have to have the actual object, and realities of physical condition, transportation, personal cooperation, and cost are always factors.

This exhibition was, however, the most satisfying and fun exhibition that I have ever curated.  The press was extensive and very positive.  We even got the front page of the leading newspaper in Barcelona, La Vanguardia—not the front of the art section but the first section.

What really made the exhibition worthwhile for me was not only that I learned so much about artists I had never heard of, but, more importantly, that the artists were extremely happy with the presentation of their work on the walls of the museum.  Many came to our opening, and we toured the exhibition so that each could speak about the work on view.

Perhaps the most moving was Faith Ringgold, a senior African-American artist.  She told how her painting, Die (1967) about civil rights in the US in the 1960s had been rejected by every museum she had attempted to give it to. She described how she had used Guernica as a model for her work, and how overjoyed she was to see “Die” hanging in the Picasso Museum of Barcelona.

PS: If there is one thing  that you realized over the course of curating this exhibition that you would like to share with us, what is it?

MF: To look beyond stereotypes—about Picasso or any other subject.  Everything becomes vastly more interesting when we open our minds.

Trendy Trinity: inside the coolest rooms on campus



Most students have only been here for a week, yet some have already made their dorm rooms feel like home. When first arriving in a Trinity dorm, there is a sudden sense of bland sadness due to the ugliness of the rooms that seems to overwhelm even the brightest of sprits. Though it may seem like a daunting task, transforming your dorm room from a standard white cube into a space that reflects your personality can really boost your morale. Your room is where you begin and end each day. It’s a sacred place where you should feel safe and able to escape the pressures of Trinity. Surprisingly, it takes only little effort and a small budget to make your room feel like home.

Raquel Bedford ’16 is living in Doonesbury for the second year. Bedford, an English major, loves the intimacy of Doonesbury and the sense of community she feels with the students who live in the dorm. The residents of Doonesbury volunteer their time to do community service projects. Because Bedford’s life is so busy, she likes her room to be clean and simple, yet reflect her personality. Bedford is lucky in that she lives in a very large single with her own private bathroom. Her room has beautiful hardwood floors in a rustic and luxurious maple color. There is no rug in the room, because the floor brings so much character to the room. Bedford understands the strength in embracing architectural elements in interior design. Her room is on the first floor and gets great natural sunlight that penetrates the window frame from Vernon Street.

Raquel chose to keep things simple. She based everything in her room on a simple color scheme. Sticking to a limited palette really makes a room feel thought-out. Bedford chose the color green. Her bedding has a geometric pattern. Using bedding that has a pattern or design adds complexity. Everyone is stuck with a bed in their room, but adding pillows and exciting bedding can turn a bed into a sitting area that functions like a couch would in a living room. Raquel framed a mood board and brought a framed picture that has the color green it. Instead of hanging them, they were left on the floor by a hemp basket of blankets and hats that added a bohemian, lofty feel. The walls are rather bare except for two posters. On one wall is a large poster of Harlem in the 1920s and on the opposing wall, above the bed, Raquel framed an inspirational quote with cutouts of green leaves. Having a few powerful posters can say as much as having a fully covered wall.

Michelle Long ’15 kept everything blue in her Crescent street townhouse. Long has both the communal space on the first floor that she shares with her roommates, and her own personal space that can function solely as a bedroom. Long’s favorite color is blue and its not only visually appealing, but very relaxing as well. Long uses several shades of blue to add more variation to her room, yet remain in the same palette. Her room has a beach-like feel due to the color choice, but also due to the lamp and driftwood bookshelf that were purchased at T.J. Maxx. Her room would make as much sense overlooking the Atlantic Ocean as it does the sea of construction on Crescent Street. Long has no posters or wall hangings to speak of. She opted for a minimal approach by framing pictures of her mother, father, brother, and her sorority’s composite picture.

In contrast to the sleek and clean walls of Long’s room are the walls in Abbey Schlangen’s ’16 Jarvis suite. Abbey shares her suite with her teammates and best friends. Abbey and her roommates have been friends for years so they share an impressive amount of memories. The walls of her common room are covered with balloons, streamers and an inspirational quote that Abbey cut out of magazine paper and put on the wall. On one wall is a friendly piñata that has become somewhat of a mascot for the room.  Those who live in Jarvis are lucky enough to have a great window frame that opens to the best views on campus. Over the fireplace is a large Trinity flag and a selection of sticky notes that document inside jokes and funny quotes from over the years.

Abbey’s room has something that you cannot buy in a PB Teen catalogue and it’s called personality. Her bedroom and common room are decorated only with things that have meaning. Using personal photos and inside jokes to decorate really makes a room come to life and cost barely anything.

In her bedroom, Abbey sleeps under a German flag to represent her family’s heritage, a flag from New Hampshire, the state where she grew up, and a rainbow flag to show her support of the gay community and her passion as an ally. Her room is also filled with letters, small paintings, and beautiful photos of her family and friends, many of which she took herself.

No matter which route you take, these three women have created wonderful templates for transforming a drab dorm room into a flourishing home away from home.

Take a trip to West Hartford for some Thai and Tex-Mex





In our never-ending search to find the perfect brunch place in the Hartford area we, the Bonappetempts, found ourselves at the restaurant East West Grille. This off-the-beaten-path and overlooked Thai/Tex-Mex inspired diner looks festive and fun. Though we were originally sad that we were cheating on Quaker Diner, we entered with empty stomachs and full hearts, willing to bring you the honest truth. The first promising sign about the restaurant was the plush gardens on the outside where the owners grow their own vegetables. Second, when we made our way inside, we found that this little gem was indeed packed! We were seated within 10 minutes in a booth partially hidden by cozy curtains. We decided to order off the Brunch menu, so we cannot comment on how their lunch and dinner menus are, though we are anxious to try them in the future.

Since we had never been there before and after much debate, we ordered three things to share from three different cuisines. We decided on Eggs Benedict, Huevos Rancheros, and Banh Bao (pork-filled steamed buns). They took an interesting spin on the classic Eggs Benedict by adding tomato and onion, but also having the option to add avocado. In addition each meal was served with perfectly seasoned home fries and mixed greens, ensuring each guest went home with a full tummy. The Huevos Rancheros was especially good and was our personal favorite. The eggs were cooked to our liking and the tomatillo salsa was just the right amount of spicy. The Banh Bao tasted very authentic and came with delicious Chinese sausage.

In general, we were not very pleased with the service.

Although the servers were very kind, they were slow and often forgot our requests. We waited for water until our check came and we asked for hollandaise sauce on the side, but it came on the Eggs Benedict.

Though the service was relatively poor, we enjoyed the bright yet quaint décor. Its small town vibes are offset by the presence of Asian elements, which include paper lanterns above the windows and woven hats above seating. As if we had stepped back in time, the diner encouraged people to sit at the counter and talk to their neighbor, an experience that is not often found in our technological era.

In general, this restaurant puts a Thai twist on the traditional, old-fashioned diner. We suggest that if you go for brunch, you venture to try the Thai and Tex-Mex inspired dishes instead of the American brunch options. However, those of you still looking for a toast and bacon breakfast, can enjoy the avocado toast phenomenon with an assortment of Thai teas.

Overall here’s the bottom line: the service may not be fantastic, and the food is decent, but the atmosphere will give you a reason to come back for more.

Stay hungry!

Uber arrives in Hartford and partners with Trinity




On Aug. 26, all Trinity students, both new and returning, received an email from the SGA president, which announced Trinity College’s newly formed partnership with Uber. The email said that Uber will now be a part of Trinity’s transportation services. It is Uber’s first time in both Trinity and Hartford. He also added that with the promotion code “TrinColl”, students will be able to receive discounts on their first rides.

Uber has become an exremely competitive transportation service in recent years. It is a ridesharing service, easily accessible through its smartphone app. Founded in 2009, Uber is now available in over 205 cities across 45 countries and 6 continents around the world. Initially, Uber only hired drivers with full-size luxury cars, but in 2012, it began offering smaller vehicles, which lowered the transportation fees. Since then, it has attracted a wider range of customers, including 22 colleges that have formed partnerships with the company. Uber proudly offers “safe and affordable” services to college students around the country.

To use Uber, customers have to first download the smartphone application, which is available for both iPhones and Androids. After setting their locations, customers can request a driver who will then accept it. Then, just by entering the address or name of their destinations, customers can access the route and the estimated time of arrival. Moreover, the customers’ payment information can be saved on the app to use later with just a click of a button. Uber’s cashless payment method saves its customers the trouble of digging through one’s wallet as one does in traditional taxi services.

The same process can connect Trinity students to their preferred drivers: download the app or sign up using In addition, as SGA president John Frank mentioned, Trinity students can use various promotion codes to get discounts and free rides. Primarily, using the promotion code TrinColl will guarantee discounts on the students’ first rides. 

However, there are other promotion codes eligible for discounts and free rides. A few students around campus serve as student campus representatives for Uber.

From these campus representatives, Trinity students can use the representatives’ personal codes that would give students free rides up to $30. For every student that uses the representative’s invite code, the representative receives $5 account credit and $5 cash.

Uber’s arrival to Trinity has provided not only more transportation services but also more student job positions.

To become a campus representative, one can apply through the Uber blog.

Maggie Elias ’17, a Trinity College student representative for Uber, explained, “I use Uber so much, so [Uber] might have seen that. They were launching in Connecticut, and they sent me an email [to apply for a student representative], so I applied for the position.” Elias also explained how Uber allows customers to build personal relationships with the drivers, providing a safer and more welcoming environment. Further, according to Elias, driving for Uber is more profitable than driving a traditional taxi; drivers get to keep 80% of the money they made, thus making it more profitable for the drivers as well.

She plans on further advertising Uber’s availability in Hartford through the Student Government Association and posters around campus.

Besides promotion codes for Trinity students, Uber has other benefits. First of all, it is an on-demand service. With a click of a button, students can get a ride without having to wait indefinitely or trying to catch a cab outside. Also, using Uber, students will know exactly who the driver is each time and can request the same driver each time. Because Uber provides information on the driver, students can hold drivers accountable if the ride gets to be too expensive or if they leave their belongings in the car. Uber is becoming another way for students to connect with the greater Hartford community.

Will Petricone ’18 says, “I used Uber a lot before I came to Trinity, and after hearing that it has partnered with Trinity, I used it to go places around Hartford.”

“It is both convenient and cheap. The drivers are friendlier, and I feel comfortable being driven by someone who I know has gone through a rigorous process for background checks and will be held accountable for anything that happens. I am very excited that Trinity has partnered with Uber and even offers promotion codes for discounts and free rides.”

Berger-Sweeney announces new sexual misconduct task force



On Aug. 29, President Berger-Sweeney sent out an email introducing her task force on the prevention of sexual misconduct. One of her top priorities here at Trinity is to battle the rampant sexual harassment, sexual assault, abusive relationships, stalking, gender identity violence and gender discrimination that pervades college campuses. For her, working to prevent sexual misconduct is “more than a matter of law; it is a moral imperative.” The program includes the implementation of a task force of individuals who will be trained in both preventing and responding to incidents of sexual misconduct. In addition to the task force, President Berger-Sweeney has taken measures to ensure that Trinity students are better educated on the subject of sexual misconduct. While they cannot hope to eliminate sexual assault altogether, it is their goal to decrease the number of incidents while ensuring that those who are affected receive proper attention.

President Berger-Sweeney’s task force includes a wide range of highly-trained individuals who are active members in campus life. The current members of the task force are Fred Alford, Dean of Students, David Andres, Special Assistant to the President, Christopher Card, Associate Dean of Students, Beth Iacampo, Director of Human Resources, Mary Jo Keating, Secretary of the College and Vice President for College Relations, Laura, Lockwood, Director of Women and Gender Resource Action Center, Robert Lukaskiewicz, Associate Dean of Students, Tom Mitzel, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Paul Mutone, Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer, Francisco Ortiz, Director of Campus Safety, Mike Renwick, Director of Athletics, and Karla Spurlock-Evans, Dean of Multicultural Affairs, Senior Diversity Officer, and Title IX Coordinator. Task force member, Laura Lockwood, spoke for the force, stating that “at Trinity, we are committed to educating students about preventing sexual misconduct and ensuring we provide the full support they need should sexual misconduct occur.”

However, it was also a part of President Berger-Sweeney’s plan to guarantee that Trinity students would start the 2014-2015 term with the knowledge necessary to protect both themselves and their fellow students. This year, students were shown the extensive sexual assault video, Not Anymore, produced by Student Success. All students were required to view Not Anymore, with the exception of sophomores, who viewed a similar video entitled Every Choice Matters last year. Not Anymore included a pre-test that challenged students’ knowledge on their knowledge of basic information and statistics regarding sexual misconduct. For example, 20% of women will be sexually assaulted in college. And 33% percent of those assaults take place in the presence of a bystander who could have intervened. Following the test, Not Anymore included testimonials and scenes regarding consent, rape culture, bystander intervention, alcohol, dating violence, healthy relationships, sexual harassment and stalking. Students then took a post-test to see how much they had learned from the program. And while we griped about the small chunk of time taken from our summer, we certainly will not complain if the warning signs or the intervention tactics introduced help us rescue a friend from a dangerous situation.

Upon coming onto campus, all freshmen were shown the hour-long play, Speak About It. College-aged actors stood up and shared a variety of sexual experiences as well as general perspectives on sex and sexual orientation. These bold statements exposed students to the idea of speaking openly with one another about sex. This came into play when the actors later stressed the importance of asking for consent. Promoting the phrase, “consent is sexy,” they showed scenarios where people checked in with their partners without killing the mood.

They encouraged students to ensure that everyone is on the same page so that they can both enjoy the experience. Another important aspect of the presentation was the demonstration of ways for bystanders to intervene in potential assaults.

They introduced the idea of checking up with your friends before they leave a party with someone, particularly if they look like they’ve had a little too much to drink. Some of the strategies involved inviting your intoxicated friend to go somewhere with you, or pointing out to your slightly-more-sober friend that the girl they’re about to take back to their dorm is “seriously wasted”. Though intentionally uncomfortable at times, Speak About It gave students tools to check up on and watch out for one another.

Will President Berger-Sweeney’s plan have any effect? Lockwood says, “an hour-and-a-half video is not going to eliminate sexual assault or upend campus culture,” however, “it will provide a foundation for students to build on. The key is to make sure that bystanders are stepping in to prevent the incidents that are easily preventable, and that if assault does occur, the victims feel safe enough to speak out and are provided the care that they need once they do. Lockwood notes that “third party reports of sexual assault have risen, which is a positive step.”

In the long run, President Berger-Sweeney’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct should help create a safer, more supportive environment amongst members of all genders and gender identities here at Trinity.

Trinity students and Hartford youth develop apps for the city



Trinity is an urban college, and our location in Hartford affords us a unique opportunity to engage with the community. Whether it’s Do-It Day or community service organizations, Trinity has repeatedly made efforts to get out into Connecticut’s capital to serve and to learn.

Over this past summer, however, two Trinity students decided to take the old paradigm a step further, and actively contributed to the infrastructure and accessibility of the city, touching the lives of everyone from local high school students to the mayor. Christine Boyle ’15, and Kenneth Thomas ’17, along with Professor Ralph Morelli, embarked on a project for the summer in which they taught local high school students about a computer program known as “App Inventor”, a simple drag-and-drop programming language, to create apps.

The results were six useful apps created by Boyle and Thomas, with help from a group of 20 high school students which are now in use across Hartford, everywhere from on the street to the mayor’s office.

The project came about as a result of an SF Grant given to Ralph Morelli, a computer science professor here at Trinity. With the money, Professor Morelli, Boyle, and Thomas created a curriculum known as “Mobile Computer Science Principles “, which dealt in the design of apps for tablets, mobile phones, and other portable electronics. The curriculum launched in several high schools around the Hartford area, funded by Trinity, the city of Hartford, and the SF Grant money, and met with success.

Twenty “interns” volunteered to spend six weeks of their summer coding apps at the behest of different organizations around Hartford. Interestingly, the project started out as pure volunteering, with Boyle, Kenneth, and their band of teachers and students contacting organizations to see what they needed. By the end, however, they had made a name for themselves, and organizations were actively seeking out their help, and giving them detailed orders for their app designs. The volunteer project had become something entirely different, almost a software company in its own right.  The job was demanding; interns and lead developers alike were putting in full nine-to-four days, and there were often guest speakers and college admissions representatives present to meet the interns and watch the project unfold. People from IBM and other tech companies visited, and the creator of “App Inventor” even Skyped in for a guest lecture.

Not only had the developers impressed their clients, they had also turned out some equally impressive products. As mentioned, there were six apps developed by this team, each for a different organization, and each with its own unique purpose:

Under the purview of Thomas, two different apps were produced for youth services, and one for a local theater:

App 1.  This is a catalog of youth services offered in Hartford, with search functionality, and contact information for all of the different organizations.

App 2. RiseUp, a Hartford youth empowerment organization, requested an app to detail their programs, include contact information, as well as services offered by the organization.  Interestingly, the first two apps were originally supposed to be one, but RiseUp felt that their app required different parameters.

App 3. The last of the apps produced under Thomas, TheaterWorks was designed for a playhouse in downtown Hartford. The app featured an interactive seating map, as well as the theater’s full website, with a full complement of social media plugins.

Boyle took the lead on two of the other apps.

App 4.  “Hartford Area Tour”, sponsored by the Old State House downtown, organizes Hartford by neighborhood, then creates tours for clients based on a survey of interests. It is analogous to a “Pandora” for the city of Hartford.

App 5. “Rewards 4 YOU” was designed on behalf of the Hartford Public Library, for use in the “YouMedia” space of the library, an up-and-coming youth department.

The app would allow visitors to scan a code posted on the wall, and for each day a scan was done, a point would be added to a library account in the name of the visitors. Points can be cashed in for prizes, ranging from headphones to candy and flashdrives. The hope of the program is to encourage usage of the youth areas of the library, and increase usage of the library overall.

The final app’s development was spearheaded by one of the local high school teachers who adopted the “Mobile Computer Science Principles” curriculum, Joe Kess. This app is arguably the most influential of all.

App 6. The mayor of Hartford himself contracted this final app, which was designed to replace the information kiosk in City Hall. The app has maps of the convoluted interior of the building, as well as a directory with voice-recognition software, which allows people to look up where they might go with a particular question or issue. The app then gives detailed directions to whatever location is pertinent to the client’s request. Should a visitor so desire, the app also has a function that will send a text or voice message directly to the mayor, putting him in somewhat better contact with his constituents.

These apps, in addition to being highly sought-after, have also met with acclaim. The mayor and many newspeople attended Boyle and Thomas’ final presentation, and the apps are being used to this day.

Many students have taken their studies into the real world, and effected tremendous good in the lives of people across the world. Such initiative being taken at Trinity has certainly been helpful: Hartford’s schools gained an interesting new curriculum, twenty young men and women gained valuable working experience and a potential career path, and numerous organizations around Hartford gained valuable apps, some of which are helping the public facilities of Hartford, a benefit that everyone in Hartford can enjoy.

Today, sexual assault education is more relevant than ever before



If you haven’t already seen the footage of Ray Rice’s assault on his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, I recommend saving yourself the time. Personally, it was particularly disturbing to watch and even worse to reflect upon.

For those who have not followed the story, Rice was initially charged with assault back in May for knocking Palmer unconscious. He was able to avoid trial by becoming enrolled into a pre-trail intervention program for first-time offenders, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Following the offense, the National Football League, the governing body of all league matters, disciplined Rice for a mere two games for the 2014 season, fining him a total of $529,000 of his $7 million for the year.

This led to a call to action from the public, considering 45% of the NFL fan base is comprised of women and clearly the punishment handed down to Rice was inadequate.

The final blow to the league’s image came this past Monday when TMZ Sports obtained footage of the events that transpired. The video showed Rice striking Palmer, knocking her unconscious and then proceeding to drag her limp body off of the elevator.

Following the release of the video, the Ravens decided that they had seen all they needed to terminate the contract of their star running back. The league too proceeded to enact harsher penalties for Rice, suspending him indefinitely without pay.

Prior to the league’s punishment, the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell felt compelled to give a statement on the matter, saying, “ My disciplinary decision led the public to question our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”

But the damage was already done. Despite changing the league’s policy on sexual assault and domestic violence offenders following the public outrage, the league looked soft in addressing a serious sexual assault matter by enacting a simple two game suspension, as opposed to the much stricter penalties that player’s are subject to for smoking marijuana.

Simply put, the NFL was implying to players and fans that hitting a woman was a much less egregious act than choosing to smoke pot.

Luckily, in Goodell’s error I find a championing point for the newest president of Trinity College, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, in her short tenure so far.This was the first year that Trinity had required every single student to watch the video entitled Not Anymore that educated and brought awareness to sexual assault and domestic violence.

As I went through the video, I was astounded as to how well the video portrayed the information in addition to how the video was produced in a way to require students to pay attention and stay involved with the video.

Imagine if the NFL required all of their players to complete the same video, who knows how many players might second guess their actions when they hear some of the terrible stories and statistics given in Not Anymore.

It would at least be a step in the right direction for preventing cases of domestic violence and violence towards women, especially considering the NFL has seen ten cases of players being involved in these instances since the start of the 2013 season.

Fortunately for Trinity, Berger-Sweeney has chosen to be proactive in raising awareness towards these issues, as opposed to Goodell who waited for an incident to catch the media’s eye before he made any sort of effort to inform people  of what had happened and prevent players from engaging in such disgusting acts.

Of course, the video may not prevent such an incident from occurring on campus, but it surely is an attempt at avoiding it.


How the Bantam came to be



In the moments prior to this year’s Convocation ceremony, I was flipping through the event program and I arrived at a page that explained the origin of Trinity’s mascot. As I read the story behind the Bantam, I found it both surprising and meaningful. And I’d like to share the story here for those who don’t know it.

“Trinity’s familiar mascot, the Bantam, owes it origin to the Honorable Joseph Buffington, Class of 1875, a distinguished federal judge and trustee of the College. He was noted as an exceptional after-dinner speaker, and his reply to the toast for Trinity at the spring 1899 annual dinner in Pittsburgh of the Princeton Alumni Association of Western Pennsylvania was a historic moment for the College.

‘They tell me that Trinity is in great company to-night [sic],” he noted. “That old John Harvard with the self-satisfied serenity which he generally carries in his clothes, is here; that old Eli Yale with his equal serenity of self-satisfaction has for this evening, at least, stopped telling everyone where he hails from… and is going to spend a real modest evening; that the big tiger [is] good humored now that he is feasted [:] all unite to form an awe-inspiring collegiate trio. In the presence of these mighty chanticleers of the collegiate barnyard, I presume the Trinity bantam should feel outclassed… But I tell you, my fellow chanticleers, that the Trinity bantam has been brought up… on different principles, and the most marked outcome of his collegiate training is the fostering of a habit which leads him to size things from his own standpoint and not have somebody else size them for him. The Trinity Bantam ever feels that whatever company is fit for him to be at, he is entirely fit to be there…’”

Judge Buffington describes an institution that values spunk over status. For him, courage and confidence are more valuable assets than objective success. This attitude, articulated 139 years ago, rings true today. American culture, especially American collegiate culture, is dominated by a preoccupation with status. People want to know where they stand in the pecking order. I especially found this to be the case in my high school. My peers and I were very preoccupied with our class rankings, our resumes, our personal status, and so on. And as my high school classmates and I began the college admissions process, the notion of status intensified. Many of us lusted after a handful of elite schools where we believed the grass didn’t just seem greener, it was greener. To be denied admission to one of those places is to be less than.

Buffington’s toast is a cure for that attitude. For the Bantam, success comes from within, not from without. As such, the bird’s size and status are irrelevant. Judge Buffington’s Bantam affirms our inextirpable ability to determine our own self-worth. As an individual goes through life, he could forever compare himself to the chanticleers of the world and be made to feel inferior. Or rather he could be in the way of the Bantam and “size things from his own standpoint and not have somebody else size them for him.” I won’t comment on the extent to which Trinity students embody or don’t embody this attitude, but I will say that Judge Buffington’s toast beautifully articulates a principle upon which institutions of higher learner can and should be built.

Trinity men’s soccer opens 2014 season with 1-1 tie

Justin Fortier ’18


In their first NESCAC game of the year, the Trinity Men’s Soccer team put on an impressive showing.  On the road at Hamilton, the team spent their night at a hotel so they would be freshly rested for their 1 p.m. game.  The result was a 1-1 draw that could not be broken, even with the two periods of extra time.  The 110 minutes were exhausting, and the field conditions were soggy from a light rain.  The Bantams fought hard against the Continentals but could not recreate the 1-0 win they had last year.

After a scoreless first half, the Bantams managed to put one in the back of the net in the 57th minute.

A quick counter attack gave forward Cody Savonen ’17 the space he needed to beat the Hamilton keeper.   Savonen’s one-on-one was created by a pass from Alex Bednarik ’18.   In a matter of a few seconds the ball had made it from Trinity’s defensive third to the back of Hamilton’s net.

The center defenders for Trinity played excellent defense all game, preventing quality scoring opportunities from developing in the first half.

Unfortunately, they could not defend against the counterattack from Hamilton in the 65th minute when forward Dan Kraynak, who had received the ball off a goal post rebound from Alec Talesnia’s shot, was able to put the ball in the back of the net, giving Hamilton the equalizer.

The rest of the game remained scoreless with a few flares of excitement as both teams had great chances in the last minutes of regulation time.  Hamilton believed they had pulled ahead 2-1 with two minutes remaining on the clock. However, the player was ruled off-sides and the two teams were forced to battle it out for the next 20 minutes of added time.

While both teams looked solid out on the field it is difficult to project where their seasons will go.  Both teams were in the bottom half of the NESCAC last year, with Trinity and Hamilton finishing at positions 9 and 8 respectively.  The Bantams have had an influx of new talent for head coach Mike Pilger to work with that could pull the team to a winning record.  Fourteen new players have joined the men’s squad, which is almost half the team, and Pilger notes “that group will dictate what our team becomes.”

Three days before the Hamilton match, the Bantams easily beat out-of-conference Rivier 2-0, with goals from Tim Shea ’15 and Tobias Gimand ’17. The Bantams took 26 shots and put 12 on goal compared to Rivier’s three shots with only two on net.  While this is not a NESCAC quality team it gave the men’s team an opportunity to begin to feel out their strengths and weaknesses in a competition setting.  Coach Mike Pilger is optimistic about this year’s team and is hoping to escape the peaks and valleys cycle that has been a theme of the men’s team.

It will be a while before the men play a league game at home, but on Sept. 20 Trinity will face Colby College, the weakest school in men’s soccer last year.

The Trinity men’s soccer team should be a great team to watch this year as they are introduacing many new players on the pitch.

Women’s soccer falls to 1-1 after losing to Hamilton

Elizabeth Caporale ’16


This past weekend, Trinity women’s soccer made the trek up to Clinton, NY to take on Hamilton in their first NESCAC contest of the season.  The team, which is led by seniors Maggie Crowe ’15, Karyn Barrett ’15, McKenzie Jones ’15 and Elisa Dolan ’15 suffered a tough 3-2 loss to the Continentals, giving them a 0-0-1 record within the NESCAC and a 1-0-1 record overall. Despite the recent loss, the Bantams began the season with a victory, defeating their first opponent, Saint Joseph’s College 5-0. The ladies have no time to dwell on their latest misfortune however, considering the Manhattanville College squad will be making its way down to Hartford on Sept. 9 for Trinity’s third game of the season. The Valiants currently have an overall record of 1-0-2, having lost their first two games to Saint Joseph’s and Western New England College, while narrowly defeating Ramapo College (Mahwah, NJ) this past weekend.

Of course it takes an entire team and coaching staff to come out of any contest with a victory, however this season, there are several players to keep an eye on. Goalkeeper Monica DiFiori ‘16 has proven that she is a defensive force to be reckoned with, sporting a goals against average of 1.50, while Dolan currently leads the team in scoring with two goals. Other players contributing to the bantams scoring include Barrett, Tori Dunn ’18, Laura Nee ’17, Nicole Stauffer ’17 and Kelsey Thomas ’16.  The coaching staff plays a part in the success of most every team, and this is certainly the case for Trinity. Head coach Michael Smith continues to bring a wealth of experience to the Bantams season after season. He will enter his eighteenth year as head coach. Leigh Howard, a former Bantam herself, will return as assistant coach for her third year. Senior Tri-Captains Maggie Crowe, Elisa Dolan and McKenzie Jones lead the 2014 squad. Trinity women’s soccer plays a fifteen game season.  Preseason begins in late August, along with most other fall sports, regular season play will conclude with an Oct. 28 contest against the Lord Jeffs up at Amherst.

Last year, the Bantams had one of their most successful seasons to date, finishing fourth in the NESCAC, sixth in New England and 23rd in the nation. The squad began last season with an eight game winning streak, something that had not been accomplished since 1981, and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.

Will 2014 bring success for the Bantams? With thirteen games to go, it’s too early to make any sort of accurate prediction, but there is no doubt that this squad has great talent and experience this year.

Trinity’s orientation strategy should be reconsidered


The opening days at Trinity College for the new class of 2018 were filled to the gills with pre-scheduled meetings and activities designed to equip incoming Bantams with skills they would need to tackle college life, as well as allow them to mix, meet, and mingle as a class before veteran college students arrived days later.

The first day was a whirlwind of excitement that began with moving-in and ended with a beautiful Convocation ceremony. Once parents departed, Orientation activities began. A medley of meetings, required events, and social gatherings generated excitement. The road through Orientation 2014 was paved with good intention, but the execution failed to live up to the hopes of the student body and, more likely, the administration.

No freshman really knew what to expect from Trinity. No one knew where Vernon Social was, how to add/drop classes, what a book loan was, or how to approach the dozens of new, exciting, and uncomfortable situations they will face over the next four years. Orientation is a rare chance the administration has to get the attention of the new class and impart important wisdom to students.

Freshmen were pulled out of their comfort zones and thrown into multiple hours of lectures each and every day of Orientation. This was followed by a required meal with an RA or mentor, and a long night of wandering campus trying to find a party or attempting to make friends at the Freshman Carnival. Each of these events held significance and value, for the students who actually attended without swiping their ID and then sneaking out a nearby exit. The core issue with this year’s Freshman Orientation was that students were so exhausted, so saturated with information, and so unengaged that they opted out and took any chance possible to hide away in their dorm rooms and nap or watch Netflix. Can anyone blame them? On any given day, a Trinity freshman in Orientation would be expected to balance multiple hours of meetings with hopes to explore Ferris Athletic Center, the need to visit the Health Center or Registrar, dorm or hall bonding activities, meals, social time to meet classmates, and sleep. It’s funny that in the midst of the flurry of activity, requirements and restrictions about Orientation activities, students were told to relax, make friends, try new things, and make choices about what they wanted to do.

One of the most suprising lessons I realized was the idea that, yes, class is optional. Upon hearing Michael Weber speak in the Koeppel Community Sports Center was full of silly anecdotes, explaining that college students really aren’t required to be students, and everyone present at the meeting sat up a little straighter and listened a little more attentively.

It’s true that attendance is required for a desirable grade. But, in reality, college students have the freedom to make the choice on their own about whether they care. Why not put that into practice during Orientation weekend? The best way to learn is by doing, hence the emphasis on participating in undergraduate research, trying new programs, going out of your way for new experiences. Why not start off with such an important lesson? Why not trust the newest generation of Bantams to uphold the values they are expected to embody while at Trinity?

A potential redesign focused on making students feel trusted to be adults and responsible to learn what they felt was important, the administration would see a much higher level of engagement and compliance. Certainly there are particular meetings that must be attended by all members of the school community, such as the Speak About It workshop and the Campus Safety presentation. Other lectures, however, though informative, were repetitive and not incredibly eye-opening. For next fall, the administration could rank these mandatory meetings in categories, and allow students to choose which seminars suit them the best so that each student is exposed to important information about life at Trinity College, but no student feels bored, disconnected, or inclined to swipe his or her ID and sneak out the back. A student who feels particularly anxious about keeping up with a rigorous course schedule could choose to attend a meeting about academic success and balancing activities with schoolwork, another could sit in on a student panel about extracurriculars, while even another student could attend a seminar about health and wellness resources at Trinity.

College is a learning experience for every student, but not everyone takes the same courses, and not everyone needs to learn the same things. It is a unifying experience that is also incredibly individual. Freshman Orientation should mirror this defining aspect of college life. Being able to design one’s Orientation schedule, incoming Trinity students would get the information they need while getting a much appreciated jump start on learning how to make choices independently and thoughtfully, the way they will need to once Orientation ends.


Recent praise for Joan Rivers ignores her imperfect character


Joan Rivers died last Thursday, Sept. 4 at the age of 81. She was a comedian, known for having a relentlessly harsh sense of humor. At the wake of her death, there was a clear polarity.

Many people revered her and would miss her contribution to pop culture. Others were glad that the ‘Wicked Witch’ from Brooklyn was finally dead.

I initially didn’t think much about Rivers’ death. But soon, I got extremely heated when the media began portraying her as some saint, which is usually what happens to celebrities when they pass. Joan Rivers was not a saint.

Cruelty should not be excused simply because a person died, but this seems to be the case with Rivers. No, Time Magazine, Joan Rivers was not a “groundbreaking feminist icon.” Least we forget the less than classy show, “The Fashion Police,” where Ms. Rivers judged other women solely based on their appearance. Rivers even went as far as to call our First Lady, Michelle Obama, a “tranny.” Not to say that there is anything wrong with being a transvestite, but the implication is that the first lady should be viewed as a ‘manly’ woman rather than a powerful, assertive woman.

Joan Rivers has objectified her own gender, and was a sexist to her own sex. No one can deny the work ethic that Joan Rivers had, and yes she overcame obstacles to achieve what she did, but in terms of her comedic delivery, there was nothing feminist about it.

Sady Doyle, a writer for Buzzfeed, praised Joan Rivers stating that “for five decades, she made a career out of being everything we teach women not to be: superficial, rude, bitter, angry, selfish.” I would argue that these are very negative attributes for anyone to have, male or female. If we aren’t teaching the men of our society the same thing, we should. Immediately. You do not need to bring someone down to be funny. More specifically, you don’t have to tell the world that “Palestinians deserve to die,” as River recently did before her death. It doesn’t sound like a very humorous punch line to me.

However, the question does arise as to why a comedic character with these qualities appeals to the masses. This article was initially meant to criticize Joan River’s career, but the one question on my mind was why had people been putting up with her for fifty years? This is obviously a patriarchal society we live in, and women have it rough (I apologize if that’s too much of an understatement). Rivers must have had a hard time trying to make a name for herself in the world of comedy. Most male comedians don’t have to play such an over exaggerated character to appease the audience. While Kevin Hart likes to play the loud, short black guy and Ricky Gervais can be a mean guy himself, these character performances aren’t embedded into every single one of their jokes. Joan Rivers always had to be in character, on and off stage, on and off the camera, because she did not have the luxury to not be in character at all times.

She was not the only female comedian who was also essentially trapped in a persona. Both Mindy Kaling, from The Office and The Mindy Project, and Lena Dunham, of Girls, are always cast as the oblivious narcissists. Often women who are slightly larger are portrayed as the “spunky fat girl,” and often keep acting out the label in real life. Notice that none of these characteristics are considered particularly positive or flattering for the woman playing them.

In 1986, Joan Rivers was the first woman to ever host a late-night talk show. But the show was a complete failure because no one wanted to see a nice Joan Rivers. The audience only wanted to see that character she had been stuck with playing. With the cancellation of the show, her husband took his own life, and Rivers considered doing the same. Learning that the masses only wanted to see the spiteful version of herself was a lesson she did not forget.

But does this mean she is forgiven? She has made a living out of bullying others.

And yes, that was what America wanted from her, but she was the one that chose to continue.

While I personally cannot excuse her for every harsh thing she has said, I do understand the argument that confined her into playing that spiteful character. She wanted to be a comedian in a society that prefers negative, self-deprecating representations of women.

And if Joan Rivers career has done nothing else, I am glad that her death has sparked that conversation.


Field Hockey starts season hot with two shutout wins

Peter Prendergast ’16


The Trinity College field hockey team boasts a 2-0 overall record this week after shutting out both out-of-conference UMass Dartmouth 9-0 and NESCAC opponent Hamilton College by a score of 6-0.  Trinity finished their 2013 campaign with an 8-7 overall record and are looking to compete as a top contender in the conference.

On September 4, the Bantams welcomed UMass Dartmouth for their 2014 season and home opener.  Trinity got off to an early lead just over five minutes into the game as forward Kelcie Finn ’18 bested the U keeper off a penalty corner from defenders Elizabeth Caporale ’16 and co-captain Sophie Doering ’15.  Just three minutes later, forward Olivia Tapsall ’16 found the back of the net after receiving a pass from Sydney Doolittle ’17.  Trinity maintained a 2-0 lead until the final ten minutes of a half when a surge of goals left them leading 6-0.  The offensive rush began when forward Casey Quinn ’17, assisted by Finn, beat the Corsairs’ keeper at the 26:21 mark.  Two minutes later, Doering scored her first of the game, with help from Caporale and Mia Olsen ’17.  Forward Brenna Hobin ’18 continued the drive with an unassisted goal followed by Finn with her second goal of the game.

In the second half, Finn struck again, completing her hat trick with another unassisted goal that again beat UMass’s Allison Burke in net.  At just before the 60-minute mark, Tapsall scored her second goal of the game after receiving a pass from Samantha Sandler ’17.  The final goal of the game came at 61:11 as Clare Lyne ’17, assisted by Tapsall, managed to shoot one past Burke.  The final whistle blew as the Bantams took a 9-0 victory, their first win of the season.  Goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick ’16 recorded a win as she played over 53 minutes of the contest.

On Sept. 6 the Bantams traveled to Hamilton College for their first NESCAC action of the season.  Finn remained a dominant force for the Trinity offense against Hamilton as the first two Bantam goals came off of her stick, with help from Olsen, Doering, Caporale and Tapsall.  At 18:24, Nikki Rivera ’16 one timed a pass from Finn, beating Hamilton keeper, Victoria Trentini.

Trinity remained dominant in the second half as Finn again scored two goals in a row, the first coming unassisted at 46:50 and the second coming minutes later off a pass from Olsen.  Finn currently leads the Bantam scorers with seven goals and three assists.  Fitzpatrick played a full seventy minutes against Hamilton, recording her second shutout victory.  She saved all three of Hamilton’s shots on net.

On Sept. 13, the Bantams will travel to Williamstown, MA to face the Williams College Purple Cows, another competitive NESCAC rival.  Four days later, Sept. 7, the team will welcome Wellesley College, their second non-conference competition of the season.  The Bantams are certainly off to a great start this season as they have outscored their opponents 15-0 in two contests.  They will no doubt be a top team within the NESCAC as they are on track to surpass their 6th place finish a year ago.  With a mixture of new talent and veteran leadership, little stands in the way of this being one of Trinity’s strongest field hockey squads in recent memory.

Scarcity of 24-hour parking on campus angers students


Receiving two parking tickets within a two-day time span has made me aware of an inexcusable scarcity of 24-hour student parking on.

I live in Jarvis so my primary criticism is centered on Summit Street parking. Here, there are two parking lots with the capacity for roughly 60 cars. This number, though, pales in comparison to the triple-digit number of spots that line the west side of the road. However, in both cases these spots are restricted to students between 5AM and 7PM during the week, amounting to 160 spots.

Right now you’re probably thinking, ‘Gauthier, you lazy expletive, there are plenty of 24-hour spots in North and Vernon Place, get  up and walk instead.’

In rebuttal, I want to remind my haters that parking on a relatively insular, urban campus is zero-sum. The High Rise lot (for the time being) is entirely closed. I pray that any non-legacy admit could guess where High Rise students are parking instead. So, by displacing the roughly 40 High Rise spots and subtracting that number from the combined 85 spots between North and Vernon Place, the availability of spaces in other lots will become increasingly difficult to come by.

The two 24-hour lots with the highest capacity are Ferris Broad St. (80 spots) and Crescent (60 spots).

The Ferris lots are more a collective bone thrown our way by administration than a legitimate student parking option.

On any given weekday, one is more likely to find coaches, trainers, and various other athletic faculty members’ cars than those of students surrounding Ferris. It seems a cruel joke that the majority of the dorms nearest Ferris are either for first-year students, who can’t have cars or, in the case of the Crescent Townhouses, have their own designated lots.

Crescent has been handed a stinking heap of well-deserved criticism since its inception. Even though demolishing a large section of low-rent housing to build luxury townhouses for students is certainly legal, I doubt I’m alone in viewing Crescent Street as a slip n’ slide towards socioeconomic segregation. At the very least, its development can’t be considered beneficial to town-grown relations.

Crescent Street residents still benefit from a decent-sized lot directly behind their townhouses, which I will not argue is undeserved; these students pay thousands for the privilege. Even they, however, should take issue with the relative size of their special lot. There are 22 townhouses, each housing eight to nine students. There are 60 spots. At most, approximately one-third of all Crescent residents can park in the designated lot at any given time (not even counting South Campus residents who park somewhere besides Summit Street during the week).

Even on Crescent Street, Trinity’s own Park Avenue, money can’t buy an assured parking spot for the Rover. Every day, two-thirds of these students must knock elbows with us regulars to avoid a tow fee. In this way, the school’s irrational distribution of twenty-four-hour parking should be of campus-wide concern.

Furthermore, Trinity is quick to boast of its student-to-faculty ratio, which, according to the website is 9:1. Purely proportionately, the ratio of student-to-faculty spots should mirror this figure, but that’s unrealistic. Considering freshmen are not allowed to have cars, the original ratio should be initially revised to 6.75:1. Not every remaining student has a car on campus, so the ratio can be cut in half to 3.37:1.

This should be the ratio of 24-hour parking spots on campus to those allotted to the faculty during school hours.

The definitive number of twenty-four-hour parking spots – according to the school – is 448. If this is the case, there should be 121 faculty spots (assuming every faculty member drives alone to work).

The lots behind Jarvis encompass about half of this theoretical figure. According to my earlier estimate, Summit Street alone offers 161 spots.

While there is no official count of student-restricted spots, one can safely assume that between the remaining 19 lots reserved for faculty, that count far exceeds the mathematically prescribed 121, tipping the scales in favor of the faculty.

I’m not writing with the presumption that a five-digit tuition bill should afford students parking privileges greater than faculty. Nor am I placing undue blame on the faculty. My concern is administrative.

On Trinity’s end, the simplest solution is a reduction of faculty parking. Each faculty lot that becomes a student lot would help to slowly correct the ratio. Opening Summit, alone, would account for the relative shortage of Crescent Street parking.

The backwards distribution of on-campus student parking is an injustice. When students are “allowed” to pay hundreds for a parking pass only to be pitted against each every weekday, the whole process serves only as a means of profit for the school.


President Berger-Sweeney brings new hope to Trinity


This past March, Trinity made institutional history with the instatement of the college’s first African American and first female president, Joanne Berger-Sweeney. Her illustrious curriculum vitae echoes her accomplishments as a teacher, scholar, neuroscientist and administrator. Many wait with bated breath to see how the new president will influence Trinity.

I crossed paths with her for the first time during Venture Trinity. This is only my second week at Trinity and I have noticed that our busy President has taken the time to send out weekly emails. The first impression students on campus have of the new President is that “she is surprisingly short,” and her smile can brighten up the room.

Her years of experience and sincerity are echoed in all of her speeches. This capacity for public speaking is crucial for attracting donators to invest in an institution that helps shape students into athletes, engineers, senators, filmmakers and bankers.

Part of a president’s role is to help raise funds that will allow the college to grow. Funding is crucial to widening the educational sphere and I believe the  President will be able to help expand Trinity’s network of connections. Past experience speaks volumes about a person and the same is true for our president.

Most people share a vision of ‘wanting to make a difference in the world’ during their life, and President Berger-Sweeney is certainly someone who has fulfilled this goal. During her role as the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, she introduced programs and implemented changes which enhanced the educational system. Within four years there was a 10 percent increase in ethnicity diversity of the faculty at Tufts University.

One of the main focuses of an admission office is often to increase the diversity of the student population, not typically to diversify faculty. However, I personally believe that faculty diversity exposes students to different ideas and ways of learning taught by a variety of scholars who bring unique experiences to the table. Through having an overall diverse community, we learn tolerance and gain respect for other cultures.

To that end, President Berger-Sweeney also introduced the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. This implementation suggests the importance of diversifying the student body in its truest sense. A rich community benefits the growth of students and helps create forerunners in numerous fields. Many students from various corners of the world enter college anxious and tools like these empower them. President Berger-Sweeney is engaged and has a vibrancy that will transform Trinity College.

Over the past few months, colleges all over have been tackling the disturbing occurrences of sexual assault on campus. President Berger-Sweeney is a proactive member of society that is focused on tackling the issue of sexual assault. She has reached out to students, faculty and staff to prioritize necessary changes. A leader can only succeed if they listen and we have a leader who does.

I wouldn’t simply define President Berger-Sweeney as just a leader, but also a family person. Trinity College is an institution that values tradition and the new president will not only honor but also create new traditions.

President Berger-Sweeney is an avid reader who has developed and polished her thinking through thought-provoking philosophies of numerous authors. A book she highly recommends is, “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf. This dramatic feminist fiction explores a world for phenomenal women who have no limitations. I think it is symbolic of our visionary president. She has a strong personality and is someone who didn’t shy away when her advisor at John Hopkins told her that she is not fit for neurobiology, but rather switched advisors and continued on her path.

Berger-Sweeney embodies the attitude of a fighter and that is the optimistic attitude a president must have.During the term of former President Jones, the college underwent major construction and connected with the Hartford community. We need to spread the Bantam spirit worldwide.

I cannot predict what changes President Berger-Sweeney will make in her coming years. But I can say that I am extremely excited and optimistic about the future of the College.


Ebola continues its spread across parts of West Africa



For the past three months, the world has watched as West Africa suffers the largest Ebola outbreak in the history of the disease. The current outbreak was first detected in March of this year and it continues to this day. According to the World Health Organization, the virus had affected 3,685 individuals and claimed 1,841 lives as of Aug. 31. And the disease continues to spread. The outbreak currently affects Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

The second-worst Ebola outbreak occured in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the outbreak of 1976, there were 602 cases and 431 deaths as a result of the disease. As one compares the statistics of that outbreak to the current one, the magnitude of the crisis in West Africa becomes more clear.

The news has been flooded with headlines about the movements of Ebola, but many don’t know much about the disease itself. Ebola is a filovirus that causes hemorrhagic fever. It is fatal in 60-90 percent of cases. The disease is not airborne. Ebola is spread thorough the direct contact of bodily fluids. According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms commonly appear eight to ten days after one is exposed to the virus.

Early symptoms include headache, fever, and aches. Then more severe symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting begin. In the final stages of the disease, the severe hemorrhaging begins. Patients lose blood through vomit or urine. Perhaps most frightening of all, blood may begin to seep from a victim’s eyes.

The ultimate cause of death is organ failure. As the victim’s blood vessels begin to leak fluid, the body’s blood pressure falls so low that the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs cease to function.

Officials of the WHO have stated that this is a “containable” disease. Because the virus is not airborne, containment measures can be much more effective. This attribute of the disease makes it less of a threat in highly developed countries with organized and sophisticated medical response programs.

For example, individuals in the United States should not worry significantly about contracting the virus because it has not spread to American soil and, if it did, it is likely that the government would be able to effectively contain it. However, in West Africa, healthcare resources are scarce and unreliable. It has not been successfully contained in West Africa due to what the WHO called “severely compromise healthcare systems.”

Many African governments are struggling to take effective measures to combat the virus. Several nations have attempted quarantines with limited success. On Aug. 20, the Liberian government placed the township of West Point under quarantine for a period of 21 days.

Three weeks is the maximum incubation period for the virus. The quarantine only lasted for ten days, but during that time the residents of the neighborhood suffered under the isolation. West Point, an already severely impoverished area, had limited access to food and other basic necessities during the quarantine period. Many inhabitants in the isolation zone said that they were more afraid of starvation than they were of Ebola.

The most recent governmental effort comes from the Sierra Leonean government which announced this week that it will institute a national quarantine from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21. During this three-day period, health workers will be going from house to house with the intent of discovering Ebola patients who remain outside of clinics. Government officials said that many efforts to stop the spread of the virus have been unsuccessful because many people are harboring—sometimes even hiding—patients at home.

Many families don’t want their infected loved ones to leave home and enter a clinic. Unfortunately, this behavior leads to repeated close contact with the victim, and therefore with the virus, within homes. The Unicef representative in Sierra Leone said that “the fight against Ebola will not be won in the Ebola clinic. By the house-to-house campaign, you try to stop transmission at the family level.”

Members of Doctors Without Borders, many of whom are in the thick of the worst infection zones, have said we are losing the fight against Ebola right now because international aid efforts have been too slow and too weak. The WHO estimates that the Ebola virus might affect as many as 20,000 people before it is brought under control.

During a press conference in August, the director general of the WHO, Margaret Chan, declared the outbreak a “global emergency.” In her address, she called for widespread international cooperation and unity in fighting the disease and said that the countries that are currently affected, “simply don’t have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this scale on their own.”

The WHO announced a “road map” for stopping the transmission of the disease over the next nine months. The plan is expected to cost at least 500 million dollars. The plan calls for 750 international and 12,000 local health workers to devote their time solely to Ebola disease control.

As of now, there is no vaccine for Ebola and no known cure. Several vaccines are currently under development, but none have entered trials yet.


New meal plan policy will leave Trinity students out in the cold



This Spring semester, all Trinity students received an unexpected email on April 14 titled “New Trinity College Policy Regarding Meal Plans.” With these new meal plans, all students with the exception of those that live off campus and that belong to St. Anthony Hall, Psi Upsilon, and Alpha Delta Phi are required to purchase a meal plan. Freshmen may opt to be on the Freshman plan for $2,220—juniors and sophomores get stuck paying $300 more on the Unlimited or Flex plan, and seniors can opt to pay $1,750 per semester for their meal plans.

These new meal plans are not only taking away such opportunities from students, but are also taking more money out of our pockets. They are consolidating us into one small dining facility as well as presenting an exclusionary atmosphere on campus that is unhealthy for our community.

When one Trinity student emailed the Director of Business Operations here at Trinity, Alan Saur, she asked why these changes were being implemented. Mr. Saur’s response was as follows:

“There are several reasons why this change will go into effect.  One is consistent with a philosophy long held at Trinity (and at many other schools as well.  Most all of the NESCAC schools—those we consider our direct peers—have, for many years, already mandated the policy that Trinity will just now adopt).  The coming together of students for meals is an important component in a student’s college experience, both academically and socially, and these are environments which we hope to continually enhance and improve.  Mealtimes provide opportunities for groups of students from varied and possibly opposing backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, values, experiences, and beliefs to gather together and exchange ideas and viewpoints in an informal atmosphere not found in other types of settings.”

It is true that many other NESCAC schools have required meal plans, however, they are vastly different than the plans that Trinity students are being offered next year. For example, at Tufts University and Bowdoin College, there are certain on-campus housing locations that are exempt from the meal plans. At Bowdoin, these are the College Apartments. These are considered on campus residence halls, similar to the Crescent Townhouses. At Williams, the system requires all those living on campus to purchase a meal plan; however, there is a ten meal per week plan that is $300 cheaper per year than any of the plans we are being offered; not to mention, these other schools have a much wider variety of meal plans than what Trinity is offering starting next year. As a junior, I only have two choices next year, in contrast with juniors at Williams College who have an additional choice. All of those plans give Williams students access into any on-campus dining facility. Bottom line, Mr. Saur’s point to adopting a policy that is already mandated in peer schools is simply not correct because Trinity’s new meal plans are vastly more restrictive.

The second piece Mr. Saur pointed out was that mealtimes provide an opportunity to get to know other students. Meal times are indeed an important part of one’s learning experience, but restricting them to Mather Hall will present a number of problems. Mather is simply not big enough to accommodate the whole student body and is the least preferred dining facility on campus. Demand can simply not be kept up with if all students are dining in Mather. Secondly, Mather does not provide a very intimate and fostering environment to create conversation. Mather is loud, disorganized, and has long waiting times for foods that are undercooked due to demand such as sandwiches, the Umani station, and the omelet bar in the morning. Would it not be more beneficial for students to improve their life skills through sharing a kitchen with eight other people in a Crescent Townhouse where everyone must cook and clean? Sharing an eating space and cooking for oneself and others are vastly more important life skills that learning patience in the omelet bar with five minutes until class.

Also to Mr. Saur’s point about students coming together from varied backgrounds to share meals, it perplexes me that members of the fraternities mentioned prior are not required to participate in the meal plan if there is more to it than simply eating. Are these students somehow not required or expected to meet others in the dining facility because they have their own exclusive club amongst themselves? Cultural houses that are also on campus, such as La Eracra, Umoja House, and the AASA house all have fully functional kitchens, yet the students that live in these houses are required to eat at on-campus dining facilities. This idea that certain fraternities are somehow special or different and are exempt from, according to Mr. Saur, sharing viewpoints and perspectives over meals, treads on some seriously dangerous ground and could be and is being seen as discriminatory against certain groups of students.

This answer provided by Mr. Saur raises some serious questions about the priorities of Trinity College. It did not provide a clear and solid foundation of why these meal plans are being required of us. It is imperative that we show Mr. Saur and the other who were involved in this decision that Trinity students would like a real and honest explanation for the changes made.


The Cave: Massive failings in administration-student dialogue



Recently, the issues of the closing of The Cave and the effects on Chartwells workers have been hot topics garnering campus-wide discussion. In an effort to get solid information about the actual situation and express my extreme discontent with the situation portrayed by the information that has been circulating, I emailed a number of the College’s administrators. Ultimately, I met with Trinity’s Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer Paul Mutone and later spoke with SGA Vice President and President-elect Josh Frank ’16. These discussions illuminated a major problem with the dialogue between the student body and the administration over the current situation. This is an aspect of campus life that requires considerable attention if Trinity is to grow as an educational institution and a community.

In my meeting with Mr. Mutone, I learned that the Chartwells layoffs and closing of the Cave are actually two separate situations. The Cave is being replaced by another dining service to be erected in a new facility on Crescent Street (relatively like the Cave but with more dining options) which will also house the bookstore; the layoffs and cutbacks in hours which will lead to five or six workers losing healthcare and benefits and possibly two layoffs are due to the College trying to reduce the rate of tuition increases over the next few years, as costs are getting out of hand. The Cave is planned to close by the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year, and Chartwells to shift operations both upstairs to a continuous-service Mather Hall and the soon-to-be-erected facility on Crescent Street.

Mutone explained that as a part of this initiative to reduce the College’s tuition increases, Chartwells had to manage no increase in operating costs, and Chartwells concluded that labor was what had to give. This “tightening of the belt” across campus also includes cutbacks being made by Aramark, which manages landscaping, and the hiring of fewer professors than are retiring.

No one disagrees that the costs of higher education are getting out of hand, however what was explained to me as a college-wide “tightening of the belt” by Mutone seems to be executed unfairly. He did explain that the administration had “targeted a reduction of $400,000 in administration budget reductions, still being determined” and “Comparative surveys… show Trinity to be on the low end of administrative staffing.” However, asking those who, by and large, are less fortunate than most people on this campus to tighten the belt (even if the College is tightening it as a whole) seems wrong, especially as we construct a new dining facility on Crescent Street. The dichotomy is troubling. It does not seem “civically responsible” nor “socially useful”—two of the values espoused in Trinity’s mission—and is certainly contrary to the values with which I grew up.

In my meeting with Mutone, I brought up the seeming lack of communication between the administration and the student body with respect to these massive changes to campus life. He explained to me that, while there had perhaps not been enough communication, there were two voting student representatives on the Planning and Budget Council (PBC), the forum at which many of these changes were initially proposed, who should have taken part in the dialogue between the administration and the student body. Moreover, he said, a group of students was gathered to meet with Toby Chenette (District Manager for Chartwells) and discuss the changes. Unfortunately, only one student ever showed up to this meeting. While perhaps not adequate, these were two avenues through which Mutone said student input was solicited and a dialogue should have occurred.

Josh Frank was one of the students who served on PBC (with current SGA President Ambar Paulino). After meeting with Mutone, I spoke with Frank about his role on PBC. He explained that these proposed changes (cuts to workers, closing of the Cave, and meal plan changes) were discussed at these meetings, but he had been given strict instructions by Mutone that he could not disseminate any of the information discussed to the student body—he was not to “leak” any of the proposed changes. Frank made it clear that he staunchly opposed these changes, and voiced what I think many students agree with: they would be extremely unpopular with the student body.

Frank explained further that the SGA was asked to assemble a group of students to meet with Chenette, but he and Paulino were under the impression that the proposed changes were not going to be brought up again, and Chenette had said this group was being assembled to see how students felt about Mather, not the controversial proposed changes to the campus dining services. He acknowledged that only one student attended, but that he and Paulino had been willing to assemble another committee. Frank emphasized that part of the reason he ran for SGA president was the feeling that sometimes “students aren’t really taken too seriously.”

Mutone simply responded that this account of events was, “Totally false and I would have other members of the committee talk to you about that.” Paulino did not respond to a request for comment.

Clearly, there is a massive rift in communication between the administration and the student body on this topic. Not only is this evident in the dearth of information which was available to students and the widespread lack of any cohesive communication about the extensive changes to campus dining, but also in the two extremely different accounts of how these changes were envisioned, enacted, and communicated to the student body. In such a situation devoid of information grows rumor, as it always has—the Greeks mythologized this phenomenon with the goddess Ossa (literally “Rumor”). As a student, this divide disheartens me: such a rift and lack of transparency strikes at the heart of the campus community. I dearly hope that, moving forward, there will be better lines of communication opened between the administration and the student body.

Our generation needs to stop burying our heads in our iPhones



It’s a gorgeous day.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the sundresses are out in full force.  You’re about to walk by a friend, or maybe a cute girl, looking for a handshake or maybe you’ll toss in a playful line hoping to make her laugh.  Little do you know, you’re about to get the 21st century version of the stiff arm: head down and eyes buried in his or her phone, completely oblivious to the world.  You wonder what could be so important or urgent for a 20-year old to be staring into a screen on a beautiful spring day.  Oh, but of course, the reasons are vast and justified.  Maybe somebody “liked” their Instagram photo, or maybe a friend fired off a funny Snapchat, or maybe the person was simply texting their mom or dad.

Regardless of the reasons for “head-down syndrome,” the name I’ve given this problem, it is fairly embarrassing, annoying and somewhat insulting. Sometimes I imagine a person with severe “head-down syndrome” in an NHL game getting absolutely demolished by the likes of Niklas Kronwall or a Scott Stevens reincarnation.  Now, that would surely keep a person’s phone in their pocket for the duration of their five-minute walk to class.  Unfortunately, this is not how the world works, but there is a simple solution to this epidemic.  The solution consists of no bone-shattering hits, physical pain, or mental anguish.  Instead, it’s as simple as taking ten seconds to think about what you’re doing.  You’re a human at Trinity College, not iPhone University for the Antisocial.  Communicate with your fellow Bantams, even if it’s just looking at people you don’t know.  Learn how to approach people and learn how to be approached by others.  You’re not going to figure out much about life, nor will you learn much about yourself if you live with your head immersed in a phone.

On a daily basis, the only time I feel disappointed is when I see twenty people with their heads down on the Lower Long Walk heading off to class.  I even get mad at myself when I find my hand subconsciously reaching for my phone while walking around campus.  Usually, I call myself a joke and immediately stick that piece of garbage right back into my pocket. See, I am no exception to this problem, although I’d wager that I’d catch you with your head down before you can spot me zeroed in on my phone.

Throughout human evolution, we as a species have gradually distanced ourselves further and further from each other and from our initial purposes.  Hunting and gathering has been traded in for a Sunday at Stop & Shop, walking has turned into driving, and communication has gone from person-to-person to keypad-to-keypad.  Although I harbor no ill feelings towards people who suffer from “head-down syndrome”, I genuinely hope those reading this will think about this subject matter and encourage a few more people to pick up their heads.  Live life with the people you are surrounded by at any given moment, and if you’re quietly walking by yourself, try thinking just for the sake of thinking instead of hiding from others with your head down.  Pick up your heads, jokes.

Students campaign to keep Rebecca Beebe at Trinity College



Having taken three of Professor Rebecca Beebe’s courses, I have been an avid supporter of the group of students who, for the past four months, have been working to keep Dr. Rebecca Beebe at Trinity College.

These students, ranging from senior anthropology majors to newly matriculated first-year students, continue their passionate campaign despite several obstacles. I have been a strong supporter of these students’ efforts to ensure that Professor Beebe, an adjunct anthropology professor whose classes are among the most popular at Trinity, will return to teach in the fall.

It all started when Annie Arnzen ’14, an anthropology major, discovered that Professor Rebecca Beebe would not return to teach in the fall of 2014. Despite the fact that the absence of Professor Beebe in the classroom bears no direct effect on Annie, who will soon graduate, knowing that Beebe would not continue in such a capacity inspired her to see what could be done to retain a professor who Arnzen, and many others, hold in high regard.

I never recognized the impact this adjunct professor had on my college experience until I engaged Annie Arnzen in a conversation about Rebecca Beebe. Talking with her about Professor Beebe often, Annie recounted the way Professor Beebe learned the name of each student in her classes—something I now recognize as a simple expression of her passion for teaching.

Annie tells me of the first time she had a class with Professor Beebe, a course entitled ‘Anthropology of Violence’ in the spring of 2012, and how she had her photo taken while holding a paper with her name written on it. By the next class, Professor Beebe knew everyone’s name. “From the first day, she changed my standard for the professor—student interaction, exemplifying the way a dynamic professor could engage and inspire a classroom,” she states, recounting a plethora of similar instances. “Acknowledging my passion for anthropology and community action, she assisted me in finding a Hartford-based internship, and developing my senior thesis,” Arnzen adds with deft subtlety. However, Annie Arnzen is not alone. Over one hundred other students, many of whom have sent letters to the Dean of Students office voicing their support of Professor Beebe, share in this sentiment.

Kanzy El Dafrawy ’16, a student from Cairo, Egypt shares a similar narrative. Kanzy describes her experience with Rebecca Beebe, “It was her dedication to each individual in our class, the extra time she spent explaining concepts, the attention she gave my mother when she visited from Cairo this winter, the dinner she invited me to in her home with her four year old son.”

El Dafrawy, a member of the Women’s Squash team, has dedicated a great deal of time to this effort, collecting hundreds of student signatures and building an online petition to spread the word of their push to retain a professor. “It was in her own way of relating to me which gave me a new perspective on myself, my journey, and what I would choose to do with my life during and after Trinity,” El Dafrawy says. While the reality of finding a solution has become a significant challenge for this coalition of students, their energy has yet to falter.

As an anthropology major, I have seen the shifts within the department as professors depart and return from sabbatical with adjuncts filling in as needed. As tenured faculty in the anthropology department return, this natural cycle of lecturer changes has resulted in a vanished need for adjunct professors. This discovery led several anthropology majors to begin a fact-finding mission to invent a creative way to keep Professor Beebe at Trinity. With the full support of the anthropology department, who recognize the increasing importance of anthropology in the corporate world, these students quickly discovered the complexity with which an institution hires a full-time professor. While there appears to be a universal acceptance and appreciation of Professor Beebe as an outstanding educator and empowering mentor, several obstacles still exist in order for her to return in the fall. What was once a push for Professor Beebe to remain within the anthropology department has now become an impassioned effort to establish an inter-disciplinary position for her, allocating funds from other departments to help finance the position. The creativity of identifying such inter-disciplinary collaborations among the largest hurdles faced.

Maggie Lenahan ’14, also an anthropology major, is deeply involved in this creative search. Lenahan, who has only taken one course with Professor Beebe, is clearly committed to this effort – devoting time to meeting with a myriad of department heads, various deans, and administrators. Lenahan expressed to me that “Rebecca Beebe stands for what a small liberal arts professor can contribute to the student body.” However, for Maggie it is not just about keeping a good professor, it’s about taking charge of one’s education. She tells me that, “This movement also illustrates the voice that we, as student investors in Trinity, can have in our education and community.” The goal, it now seems, is to be inventive. To identify departments with some spare change that would be willing to help create such a position, with the hope of allocating funds differently in subsequent years.

Maggie Lenahan describes their current state: “In these final weeks we acknowledge that there are significant time constraints, but we feel strongly that changes can still occur. The power of the student voice can be loud, and it is loud, especially at a small liberal arts institution like Trinity. We want ideas. We want creative thoughts, financial support, and energy or commitment that can contribute to our efforts. We have come so far and we want this to continue. With the support of numerous faculty, various deans, students and alumni, we are confident that we can secure a position for Rebecca Beebe so that she may return to teach at Trinity in the fall of 2014.”

As the eleventh hour quickly approaches, this coalition of students continue to identify and surpass the ingenuity of the administration, taking charge of their financial commitment to this school and identifying spare dollars in the budget to fund this unique position—to allow an outstanding educator to remain at an outstanding liberal arts institution.

For the seniors, including myself, who have worked so diligently, our hope is that as we graduate and move on, Professor Rebecca Beebe will remain, continuing to contribute to the academic and social excellence at Trinity College and energize yet another set of students.


Jones sits down with The Tripod to reflect on his time at Trinity



Ten years ago on July 1, 2004, James F. Jones, Jr. became the 21st president of Trinity College. For the next ten years the College would go through drastic changes and confront its greatest challenges.

Starting in February of this year, President Jones and I met four times to reflect on the last ten years of his time at Trinity and what he hopes to leave behind as he prepares to retire on July 1, 2014, allowing his successor the current Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney to take the reins. Each of our discussions focused on one topic relevant to the Trinity community and the content in this story is entirely based on President Jones’ opinions, thoughts and reflections during his ten years at the College.


Before Jones arrived on campus in 2004, Trinity lacked a proper Advancement operation for the last four decades. While the most recent campaign prior to Jones’ arrival ended in 2001 and raised $175 million dollars, Trinity still had more money to raise. There is no specific reason as to why Trinity did not have a proper Advancement operation in place before 2004. In 2005, Jones and the Vice-President of College Advancement Ron Joyce began to outline a fundraising plan with the intention of not only fundraising, but also creating relations with donors, or “friendraising,” as Jones calls it. The College’s three goals for fundraising were and still are to maintain excellent faculty, improve campus infrastructure and attract more talented and promising students. Given that Trinity’s Endowment (currently at $422.5 million) is smaller than those of our peer schools, the College needs to raise additional funds for financial aid. Jones notes that the Board of Trustees’ main priority is to be able to spend an additional $2 million per year on financial aid dollars for students of need and so that no student has to leave Trinity because of financial constraints. “This is the number one priority for the College right now and it should continue with the next president,” says Jones.

In 2006, the College launched two parallel fundraising campaigns, the Cornerstone Campaign and the Legacy Campaign. The goal of the Cornerstone Campaign was for gifts that would have an immediate impact on campus, while the Legacy Campaign aimed to honor estate planning. Both campaigns were expected to raise $375 million: the Cornerstone Campaign had a goal of $300 million and the Legacy Campaign’s goal was $75 million. Before 2008, the College’s Endowment stood at $447 million, the highest in Trinity’s history. Both Jones and the Advancement Office were shocked at the generosity of the donor base, a feeling that would continue even during the Recession. When the global downturn happened in September of 2008, the Endowment plummeted to its lowest level at $286 million and as donors looked at their portfolios, the final total of the combined campaigns fell slightly short at $369 million. “If the Recession hadn’t happened, the Endowment would be somewhere north of $600 million today,” says Jones. Compared to the past four alumni networks that Jones has worked with in his time at Kalamazoo College, Southern Methodist University, Washington University and Columbia University, Trinity’s alumni base has been the most generous. While there was a year’s stagnation in new gifts, donors kept their pledges to the Annual Fund and continued to give at an unprecedented rate, according to Jones. At the highest point of the Cornerstone Campaign, 47% of alumni had made a pledge. But financial support was not the only way that alumni have contributed to the College during the Recession. In the thick of the Recession, the College did a survey of alumni asking if they would assist the Career Development Office with recruiting and networking. The response was that 52% said they would; the national average is 10%.

But one fact that continues to perplex Jones is that Trinity has one of the wealthiest alumni per capita bases in the country, yet the College’s endowment does not represent that. In September 2012, The Alumni Factor, a college ranking service based on alumni success, produced a report citing Trinity as having the fourth highest percentage of millionaire graduates in the country, with approximately 26% of alumni reporting their worth at over $1 million. For the last ten years, Jones has made the case to alumni that the College needs everyone’s support and believes that the Advancement Office and president-elect will continue this trend.

For those concerned about how the changes to the Greek system will impact donations, the worst is over. According to Jones and data from The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) that the College used, schools that close Greek letter organizations do initially see a decline in donations. Overly dedicated males to their fraternities either lower or terminate their financial support to the College. Within three to four years, though, non-Greek males and females make up the amount of donations lost to Greek males. Trinity followed a similar pattern after announcing proposed changes to Greek life with a dip in donations last year, but year to date the College is doing very well, according to Jones.

Over the past ten years, the campus has seen major infrastructural changes including the Gates Quadrangle, the Vernon Social Center and the Crescent Street Townhouses. The one that Jones is the most proud of is the $33 million Long Walk renovations. Famed English architect William Burges, who was terrified of sailing, never stepped foot in America and the only work he ever did in the U.S. is the Long Walk. The entire Long Walk was taken offline for 15 months which involved relocating five academic departments and 278 beds, a “logistical nightmare” as Jones calls it. But it was the passion of the architects and the 140 workers on site each day that Jones is grateful for. At one point during the renovations, Jones stopped by a room in Seabury where he found the chief architect lying on the floor in a mess of architectural tape saying that this is the only time he will be able to touch anything that Burges designed.


“We take teaching very seriously here,” says Jones about the faculty at the College. If there is one thing President Jones is not worried about leaving behind, it is the faculty. His one wish for the faculty as he departs is that they will be as gracious to his successor as they have been to him. Throughout our discussion, Jones constantly praised the faculty, gushed about the work they do, and referred to them as “blessed human beings.” Trinity is home to some of the world’s greatest scholars within their fields. In 2008, professor of History and 1966 alum Samuel Kassow published Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, a book on the Warsaw Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. The New Republic reviewed the book, as “This may well be the most important book about history that anyone will ever read.” Another faculty member, historian, journalist and professor of South Asian history Vijay Prashad has published 15 books and is quite present in the media, especially in his sparring of words with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Jones says that faculty members love Trinity because the pedagogical model is every scholar’s dream. “The idea of lecturing to 400 people with a microphone is sterile” says Jones. With the student to faculty ratio at 10:1, faculty can develop an intimate scholarly relationship with their students. Jones, who somehow manages to teach a class called “The Emergence of the Modern Mind” in his crowded schedule, caps the class at 12 and says that he can tell after the first paper which students have comma problems.

Jones refers to the faculty as not only first-rate professors, but also highly accomplished scholars. In 2004, the College had serious financial issues to grapple with, but Jones did not want faculty research to suffer. When Jones agreed to join Trinity as its 21st president, the longest serving Chair of the Board of Trustees and a 1968 alum, Paul Raether, said that he would give Jones $200,000 each year that he served as President. The first thing Jones did was divert $175,000 each year to faculty development and now faculty research has soared on campus. Respectfully, Jones emphasized that he cannot take praise for what Raether has done.

While the faculty may excel in the classroom, they also care profoundly about their students outside of the classroom according to Jones. During the economic downturn, Jones had to freeze salary increases and cut benefits, but not a soul on the faculty complained. Instead, the faculty vowed that no student would have to leave Trinity because of financial troubles. “Morally we had to protect these students” says Jones. A faculty-run financial aid program raised thousands of dollars towards this goal and to the best of Jones’ knowledge, not a single student left Trinity because he or she could not afford it.

While Jones has been supportive of Trinity’s professors, they have not always been as kind to him. In April 2009, the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of American Business and Economic Enterprise, Gerald Gunderson, reported Jones to the Connecticut Attorney General’s office for reportedly misusing funds from the Shelby Cullom Davis endowment. Gunderson believed that Jones was using the fund to finance international scholarships, while Gunderson felt that this went against the original purpose of the endowment. The battle quickly became public and made the pages of the Wall Street Journal. In notes submitted to the AG, Gunderson claimed that Jones called him a scoundrel and threatened to not reappoint him. Ultimately, the College reimbursed the endowment of approximately $200,000 that it had spent on the scholarship program. More recently, in late December 2013, Jones and Dean of Faculty Thomas Mitzel published a letter denouncing the American Studies Association’s (ASA) academic boycott of Israel. This letter angered 21 faculty members who proceeded to publish a response criticizing Jones’s and Mitzel’s letter. Over winter vacation, many students read the faculty letter via Facebook. Jones told me that while this group of faculty opposed his letter, many faculty wrote on the faculty online discussion group supporting Jones’ letter. Regarding these attacks, Jones says that they were perfectly collegial and based on a serious difference of opinion. When neophyte college presidents call Jones for advice on whether or not they should accept a presidential position, he always tells them one thing: “If you don’t have the skin of a rhinoceros, you better not take the job because every now and then, someone at your school may launch attacks against you. The presidency is not a popularity contest.” Jones has never wished to silence any criticism from the faculty, even when it becomes a public battle. “If others believe that you are not preserving the integrity of the institution, they should be allowed to say so,” Jones says.


“After 10 years here, our best students are as impressive as any that I have known,” says Jones about the students at Trinity College. Students at Trinity have the opportunity to have a first rate intellectual experience. At the College, this has included doing graduate level work with faculty, writing senior theses and presenting at national conferences. Most recently in the 2013-14 academic year, neuroscience students attended and some even presented their own research at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans and the North East Undergraduate/Graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON). Since 2007, 26 students have won the prestigious Fulbright scholarship and the College has been named a top-producing U.S. Student Fulbright institution three times during Jones’ presidency in 2009, 2012, and 2013. According to the Director of Urban Programs and Fellowships at the Center for Urban and Global Studies Anne Lundberg, President Jones has been very supportive of devoting resources to the Fulbright program. Jones describes Fulbright winners as “wonderful examples of students who are vitally involved in the life of the mind.”

But one aspect on campus that interferes in academics is the growing party culture. Many students who love their academics but dislike the Trinity social scene have cited that as the reason that they transfer and the Charter Committee’s goal is to target this bifurcation. In particular, transfers are extremely dissatisfied with the lack of intellectual life outside of the classroom. Regarding the balance of studying and partying, in a 2011 survey on academic excellence conducted by the Office of Institutional Research, Trinity students reported spending 1-5 fewer hours a week studying compared to the peer schools in the survey. Trinity students clocked in 6 hours a week of partying compared to 4 hours a week at peer schools. While there have been increases in studying over the last few years prior to the survey, the hours are still low compared to peer schools. This same 2011 survey on academic excellence concluded that Trinity students are more likely to work towards the goal of making money and are less likely to pursue intellectual, artistic or social activism work. This is supported by more data in the survey highlighting that Trinity students are more likely to pursue MBAs rather than PhDs.

Jones’ approach to changing this mentality is by focusing on a campaign of raising more financial aid dollars. Currently, 44.2% of Trinity students receive some form of financial aid whether it is need based or a grant. Recently, the College held a reception for a specific group of high achieving students on financial aid, the Summit Scholars, or climate changers as Jones calls them. “The faculty are so verbal about these Summit Scholars, they love them” says Jones. Currently, there are only 56 scholars, but Jones proposed that the ethos on campus would change to a more cerebral and intellectually passionate one if there were 200 scholars. According to Jones, the main difference between students on financial aid and full paying students is the sense of entitlement and that students on financial aid tend to not take their education for granted. To stress, Jones is not saying that full paying students are lazy and not every student on financial aid takes advantage of their time here. But because of the College’s over reliance on tuition income, we admit fewer climate-changing students and have to admit more full paying students. He says that the foundation stones have been laid to change the general ethos on campus, and that between now and the College’s 200th birthday, the Trustees and Administration will join hands to do a campaign focused on financial aid.

Putting aside academic challenges, the College has had its share of racial, homophobic and gender related discriminatory issues. “The one thing we owe each other 24/7 is to treat each other with common courtesy and decency” says Jones. In the spring of 2011, a male Caucasian student threw a beer at Juan Hernandez’s ’13 car, a sophomore at the time, and called him a racial slur. The incident prompted an on-campus race rally with a turnout of approximately 200 people. In this case, the male student was expelled and Jones says that he has zero tolerance for random, discriminatory events. This is a case where Jones stresses that students should trust that the judicial system will do the right thing. In the fall of 2011, a bag of feces was left on the steps of the Queer Resource Center and the incident was treated as a hate crime given the context. More recently, The Princeton Review ranked the College as the 13th unfriendliest institution to LGBTQ students. The College was also ranked as 6th for minimal class and racial interaction. In March 2010, James Hughes of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning conducted a survey on women based on 206 responses. The top three issues for women on campus were issues of sexual assault/harassment/date rape, equality to men inside and outside the classroom and discrimination in education and employment. In the free response section of the survey, the overwhelming majority of comments were related to being sexually harassed and discriminated against, particularly at fraternities. Jones backed up this notion by stating that there is a fair amount of discrimination that occurs at fraternity parties and that he worries about the interrelationships on campus: “I’ve got to think about all of you (as he points at me), not just the bros.” One of the ways to combat discrimination is for the faculty and administration to teach tolerance and acceptance of difference whenever they get the chance. According to Jones, colleges help students develop toolboxes with the skills that they will need after graduating. A tool that Trinity aims to give its students is to be prejudice free. “Schools need to be as close to perfection as they can get, because the world you inhabit is not,” says Jones.


During Jones’ ten years, he has arguably had two major scandals: the 2012 social policy and the handling and investigation into the March 4, 2012 assault on Trinity student Chris Kenny ’14.

Ahead of the faculty retreat in October 2011, the faculty planning committee requested that Jones write a paper on the current state of academics and social life at the College. The paper, entitled “To Reweave the Helices: Trinity’s DNA by Our Two-Hundredth Birthday,” (also known as the White Paper) eventually turned into a proposal for what the College’s academic and social settings would look like in 2023. “I would never have been arrogant enough to have written it on my own,” says Jones, as he cites that this is not the kind of thing that presidents do. He credits the White Paper as one of the toughest assignments of his career and one that he is very proud of. The reaction to the White Paper was varied, and the one issue that every reader centered on was the proposed abolition of the Greek system. Jones says that he does not regret including this aspect in the White Paper and that he would keep it in there despite the fiery reaction from both students and alumni involved in Greek life. “What makes one’s loyalty to a fraternity greater than their loyalty to the College? The diploma has nothing to do with the fraternity,” Jones says.

For the academic helix, Jones made numerous suggestions that he says could become a reality if the student body continues to improve. He writes, “The reputation of a first-rate institution of higher learning rests solely at the end of the day upon one thing and one thing only: academic excellence.” When more students begin to go above and beyond, these changes will naturally occur. One of the proposals was that the College reschedule more classes to meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and that each Friday should be a test day in order to prevent the weekend from starting on Thursday night. The goal of this change would be to show students that academics come before partying. He also recommended that each senior student should be required to do a senior project, capstone or thesis with the final presentations on the first day of Senior Week. Senior Week traditionally has been purely social, but having the first day of the week be marked by the culmination of a rigorous academic project would reinforce the tone that academics come before partying.

For the social helix, Jones suggested that by 2023, the College would be better off freeing itself from anti-meritocratic systems like fraternities and sororities and that we should promote a more inclusive rather than exclusive culture. He did note that the fraternities do carry a burden when it comes to hosting social events for students, which is why the school has invested in more social options. Chair elect of the Board of Trustees Cornelia Parsons-Thornburgh ’80 donated money for four theme houses post-Recession, which Jones calls one of the most generous things he has ever seen, the Vernon Social Center was remodeled this year and phase three of the Crescent Street renovation will include more common areas. The Mill is an example of a highly successful social outlet run completely by students. Throughout our conversations, Jones stressed that his goal was not to turn Trinity into a convent or monastery, but rather that the social excesses need to be curbed. Most notably, in 2008 Alexander Okano ’11 dove into a pool at Psi Upsilon’s annual Tropical themed party which resulted in him being paralyzed from the chest down, and just 18 months later in April 2010, Andrew Cappello ’14 suffered brain and spinal injuries during an initiation period called “Hell Week” at the Sigma Nu fraternity. Trinity banned Sigma Nu from campus and the national fraternity suspended it.

But personal injury incidents are not the only things that have resulted from Greek life. A 2008 survey on healthy behaviors from the Office of Institutional Research and Planning found that Greek males and females can drink twice as much as their non-Greek peers while maintaining the same GPA level. Generally, drinking and partying more leads to a lower GPA, but at Trinity, the reverse is true. For example, the survey cited that Greek males with above a 3.5 GPA have an average of 20 drinks a week, while non-Greek males with this GPA have 11 drinks per week. One question that arises from these numbers is do students choose less rigorous and more qualitative classes as opposed to quantitative classes in order to maintain a level of partying? Jones answered this question by acknowledging that if one’s interest is to get drunk, they most likely will not go towards chemistry, but he did mention that his comments are not statistically proven. Anecdotally, though, Jones’ comments may or may not be supported. According to the presidents of Kappa Sigma, Zeta Omega Eta, Cleo and Pi Kappa Alpha, the majority of their members choose qualitative majors. On the other hand, the fraternity St. Anthony Hall says that its members are approximately 60% qualitative and 40% quantitative, fraternity Alpha Chi Ro says that 60-70% of its members choose quantitative majors, while the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma says that its members represent a wide range of majors. Fraternities Psi Upsilon and Alpha Delta Phi and sorority The Ivy Society could not be reached for comment on this story.

There are positive aspects of the Greek community though, most notably in donations. According to a 2005 report from the College, fraternity alumni are “somewhat more likely” than other graduates to donate. Additionally, a 2007 report by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Washington, D.C. stated that fraternity and sorority alumni are more likely to donate to their alma maters.

While many may view these changes as Trinity specific, there are numerous colleges across the country grappling with the same problems. In February 2014, The Atlantic published a lengthy story on the dark power of fraternities after a yearlong investigation into how fraternities now serve as a liability to colleges. The article cited numerous lawsuits against colleges and fraternities for issues regarding sexual assault, personal injury, battery, fall from heights and hazing. Recently on March 9, 2014, one of the country’s largest and oldest fraternities Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) announced that all of its chapters would end pledging and take up a more cerebral selection process.

Ultimately, the final decision on Greek Letter Organizations came from the Board of Trustees, not President Jones. In 1992, the Trustees voted for reforms to the Greek system, including a co-educational mandate. The Board did not implement these changes, but Jones says now that he sees no signs of the Board weakening its resolve on the proposed changes, including a GPA requirement, eliminating a pledging period and having a co-ed mandate. Jones noted that the suggestion to end pledging came from a Trustee who is one of the most vocal fraternity supporters. The goal of the co-ed mandate is that if females are in fraternities, this would curb the current less than positive aspects. Recently, the Student Government Association (SGA) conducted a campus wide vote on repealing the co-ed mandate. Out of 1,283 votes, 82% voted to repeal the co-ed mandate. When asked about these results, Jones said that there are no signs of wavering and that the Board most likely will not go back on their decision regardless of the situation. The current status of Greek Letter Organizations is that they will be allowed to exist provided that they follow the rules laid out in the social policy.

On March 4, 2012, Chris Kenny ’14 was attacked on the edge of campus in the wee hours of the morning from individuals who came by car. Kenny was badly injured and many, including the College, blamed the surrounding neighborhood. Dean of Students Fred Alford wrote in a campus wide email that the assailants were not Trinity students, and in the initial police report, Kenny claimed that the attackers were “Spanish.” But in the days after the assault, rumors began to circulate that Trinity students were the assailants. Both Jones and the College apologized in the aftermath for making an assumption and began an investigation with Kenny’s parents and the Hartford Police Department (HPD). Two months after the incident, the Hartford Courant obtained internal College reports stating that a witness identified the attackers as “’preppy-looking white males’ accompanied by three females ‘believed to be of college age.” The Courant’s article also had a quote from a Trinity security source, which was passed on to HPD, saying that students approached Campus Safety following the event with information that other students attacked Kenny because of an incident he had earlier that day with a student.

Two years after the incident, the questions remain unanswered. No arrests have been made in the case and Jones could not comment on this given that the investigation is still ongoing. While the victim’s mother Cecily Kenny would not comment publicly on this story, she did write two posts ten months ago in the comments section of a May 2013 Bloomberg article on the College. In her comments, she stated that HPD has ruled out Trinity students as suspects in the assault and that the lead detective in the case has openly stated this. HPD could not be reached for comment on this story. She requested that the College release a statement on the new findings. While Dean Alford acknowledged in an email that he received her request, he wrote: “We could not accommodate her request because we could not, and still cannot, rule out anyone.” With conflicting reports and details, the case continues to remain an unsolved mystery.

For his parting words, Jones has two tips for college presidents: take care of yourself and your family physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and appoint vice-presidents and deans of the highest caliber. “You can’t do it all on your own, you’ll make a mockery of the whole thing,” says Jones. In the past, Jones has always moved onto another deanship or presidency, but Trinity is his final stop. As he packs up and moves South for retirement with his wife Jan and leaves behind some incredible friends, as he says, Jones hopes that people will say that Trinity is appreciatively better off now than ten years ago.

Disney’s latest film “Frozen” takes a modern spin on fairy tales



Recently, everyone has become acquainted with the newest Disney movie “Frozen” this year through its hit song, “Let It Go,” which won the Academy Award for Best Song and garnered a lot of attention after Tony Award winner Idina Menzel’s (a.k.a. Adele Dazeem) rather eventful performance of the song at the Oscars. However, this week was my first time actually watching the film that the song has made famous.

The tale of “Frozen” is set in the fairytale kingdom of Arendelle, where the two princesses Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) live. Elsa possesses a magical ability to create ice and snow while Anna is without special abilities and is born a normal child. When Elsa accidentally injures Anna with her powers, she goes into self-imposed exile, and the two spend the next few years of their childhood apart.

As they move into their adolescence and eventually adulthood, guests come from far and wide when the time comes for Elsa to be crowned queen of Arendelle, including Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) from the Southern Isles. Though Hans proposes to Anna at the coronation, Elsa refuses to giver her blessing out of spite and fear that Hans might be using Anna for something. She then unleashes her powers and plunges Arendelle into an unrelenting winter.

Elsa flees from Arendelle, building an ice fortress high in the mountains where she lives in complete isolation from everyone in the kingdom. However, Elsa unknowingly brings a snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad), who she had created earlier in her childhood with Anna. Anna decides to set out on a quest to return her sister to Arendelle. Accompanied by Olaf, a mountain man named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven, Anna travels up the North Mountain in search of Elsa.

When Anna and Kristoff reach the fortress, Elsa refuses to return with them. Though Anna pleads with her sister, Elsa becomes enraged and again releases her unchecked powers. A beam of Elsa’s ice powers strikes Anna in the heart, causing a streak of her hair to turn white. Kristoff believes something to be gravely wrong and brings Anna to the trolls. The trolls deduce that Anna’s heart has been frozen, and that only an act of pure love can cure her.

Meanwhile, Hans who has been left in charge of Arendelle under Anna’s suggestion, has also led an expedition to return Elsa to the kingdom. In the ensuing conflict, Elsa is captured and brought back to the kingdom. When Anna and Kristoff reach Arendelle, Anna pleads with Hans to kiss her and undo Elsa’s curse. However, Hans reveals that he does not actually love her and had only planned to marry her in order to take control of Arendelle. Without any “true love” to undo the spell, Anna continues to freeze.

A battle then ensues between Hans and Elsa. Just as Hans is about to deliver a fatal blow, Anna throws herself in front of her sister and freezes solid. Though Elsa is saved, Anna appears to be dead. However, just as Elsa begins to mourn, Anna thaws. It appears that her own act of pure love for her sister has undone the spell.

In the end, Hans is exiled from Arendelle. The two sisters reconcile, and Anna and Kristoff fall in love. Elsa assumes her position as queen and learns to control her abilities: she undoes the winter in Arendelle, though she gives Olaf the snowman his own cloud of flurries to follow him around to help him survive the summer.

The creation of “Frozen” seems to represent a marked divergence from the traditional Disney princess story. In “Frozen,” the “damsel in distress” does not wait to be saved by her “prince charming.” It is not the love of the prince that undoes Elsa’s spell. Anna discovers that she had the power to undo the spell all long. I don’t have much to say in the way of critique. As a film, “Frozen” is pretty much everything I thought and expected it to be. However, I’m glad to see that Disney has updated its films for modern audiences of young men and women, who need to see these empowering messages supported in the media. “Frozen” is proof that Disney has come a long way from the days of “Cinderella” and “Snow White.”




“Dirty South” concert headlines 2014 Spring Weekend events



Beginning on Friday April, 25, a long list of Spring Weekend events began to take place, starting with the Spring Weekend Carnival which occurred on the Long Walk Quad and lasted the majority of the afternoon.

“There was a great turnout to the Carnival as students flocked to the quad to socialize and begin their Spring Weekend festivities. We were able to get our wristbands for the concert the next day and the Carnival also featured free fried foods such as corndogs, funnel cakes and fried oreos,” said Michael Lofreze ’16.

Another student, William Harrison ’16, said it was probably one of the highlights of his weekend, “It was the perfect day to be outside relaxing on the Quad. There was a great student presence and the activities and free food made it that much more enjoyable.”

In addition to the fried food being made available, there was also cotton candy, candy art, snow cones and a non-alcoholic Tiki Bar. The activities included a moonbounce, inflatable obstacle course, sumo wrestling, dunk tank, water slide and human foosball. Students were also able to collect novelties such as a caricature, photo can coozie, sand art and wax hands.

In addition, students were able to purchase a Spring Weekend t-shirt or purchase a Spring Weekend towel, which helped support the Senior Class’ fundraising efforts.

The quad began to empty around 4pm as some students traveled to the Entrepreneurship Competition in the Washington Room to support their peers and others decided to take a break from the festivities.

That night featured a number of events that provided some variety in the evening. The Fred hosted a cookout and concert at 8:00 p.m. that featured Action Item and Trinity’s The Boulevard.

“I was very impressed with the turnout! People seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves. Performing with the Boulevard was an amazing experience! I love to sing and feel the energy of the audience. Action Item killed it as well! I was so happy we got them for the concert. They are some of my close friends and a talented group. Their set was really entertaining,” said Malcolm Moon ’15, one of the coordinators for the concert.

Alpha Delta Phi hosted a concert along with Trinity College Barnyard Entertainment in their conjoining parking lot with St. Anthony Hall, which began at 9:00 p.m. and featured the musical acts of Pierce Fulton and Dave Edwards.

“The concert was great. There was great attendance and the performances from Pierce Fulton and Dave Edwards were both fantastic. It started to rain in the middle of the concert, but it only seemed to make the crowd go crazier,” said Madeleine Melly ’16.

The Vernon Social Programming Board also held a “Vegas Night” in the Social Center which began at 9:00 p.m. Food was catered by Goldberg’s and there was an electronic bingo game with prizes from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. There was also a magician and Hypnotist show at 11:00 p.m. 

The headlining event of the weekend was the Spring Weekend Concert which featured Dirty South. The event had originally been scheduled to take place on the LSC Quad, but due to weather conditions on Saturday, the concert was moved inside to the Koeppel Sports Center. Doors opened to the concert beginning at 2:00 p.m. Students were required to show their IDs in order to receive their wristbands, which they could get at designated times on Friday and Saturday. Each student was allowed two guests.

At 5:00 p.m., Mather Hall opened for dinner and no meal was needed as Chartwells provided all the food for free.

The Mill also held a concert later that evening. “We were so thrilled with our turnout, despite the rain and location change. West End Blend, a 14-peice, local Hartford band drew a huge crowd, and the Freelance Whales, with alumni Chuck Criss ’07, were amazing. It was fun to see so many people come support live music on campus,” said Rae Rossetti ’15, one of the coordinators of the event.

The Vernon Social Programming Board hosted “Food & Fun at Vernon Social!” beginning at 9:00 p.m. Similar to the previous night, all the food was catered by Goldbergs. Students were able to create wire art, spin art trucker hats, personalized street signs or take home some memories in the photo booth.

“All in all, the weekend was a lot of fun. The activities were perfectly spaced out and despite the bad weather on Saturday, the concerts both days were a blast,” said Paul Clemente ’16.

The weekend must have been a success as there was limited activity around campus on Sunday. However, the timing of Spring Weekend was not the most convenient, as students need to prepare for finals coming up in a week.

“Miss Miles” celebrates Trinidad’s history and captivates spectators



The stage lights were dimmed and the music began, “Fire Fire in Yuh Wire Wire…” There she was, dressed in a stunning red dress,  high black heels and dolled up hair, Jean Miles has finally arrived. Last Thursday marked the opening of the play, “Miss Miles: Woman of the World” at Austin Arts Center’s Garmany Hall. Written and directed by renowned playwright and director Tony Hall, “Miss Miles” features the award-winning actress Cecilia Salazar as Trinidadian activist, singer, fashionista and public servant, Gene Miles. The play first premiered in Port of Spain’s Little Carib Theater in 2011 and was critically acclaimed as one of the most celebrated plays of the year. Now three years later, Hall has brought the same remarkable play to our campus for an encore performance.

The one-person play traces the life of middle-class woman, Jean Miles from childhood to adulthood. As a child, she attends St. Joseph’s Convent and questions her Catholic religion. After the opening scene, Miles, dressed in a white button down shirt and light blue school uniform skirt, plays with the other children from the neighborhood. Like any young child, she plays with flowers and irritates her parents with her curiosities and absurd questions. In the next stage of her life, the audience learns about her new position working as a civil servant in the Ministry of Petroleum, Mines, Industry and Commerce. She appears to be bored of her job and enjoys dancing and singing to calypso music when she is not typewriting. Her narration of humorous anecdotes includes wild antics in the workplace such as her coworker throwing a typewriter. She also mimics speaking French during her visit to the neighboring island of Martinique during a business meeting. Throughout the play, the catchy hook, “Fire Fire in Yuh Wire Wire…” is used as the theme to illustrate Miss Miles’ fiery character and revelations about government corruption.

In the 1960s, the Trinidadian government hired Lockjoint, a foreign company meant to improve the sewage system in the country. During this period, all of the country’s gas stations were controlled by the central government. It was discovered that the government took several bribes in return for permitting Lockjoint to enter the lucrative business in the country. This incident was a critical movement in the country’s history because it was one of the first major instances of corruption in the government post-independence. Notably, it was also a period of transition and national unity after British colonialism. Jean Miles’ anticorruption campaigns strengthened and unified people as a result of a common cause. She contested politicians’ morality in public service while shining a light of the inner workings of the government.   

Salazar’s outstanding execution of her portrayal of Jean Miles gave viewers the opportunity to understand and relate to the heroine. Her sass, humor and fashion sense captivated audiences around the world. Her multidimensional character depicts “the plight of people who stand for political diligence and have a greater respect for people who are willing to risk their lives to do so,” stated Raquel Beckford ’14. What makes “Miss Miles: Woman of the World” so alluring is the dichotomy of her character and ability to challenge government standards. She is both serious yet humorous, relatable yet intimidating. She stands for equal rights in civic service and reminds government of their duty to its citizens. Despite the seriousness of the politican scandal, her lighthearted humor makes her a relatable character. She is a colourful and flamboyant personality. She seemed to be full of compassion for the underdog, often taking up causes based on principle and putting herself in the forefront of protest. Throughout the play, spectators root for her to expose the corrupt government officials.

Viewers leave with a sense of comfort, inspiration and female empowerment. “Miss Miles: Woman of the World” shows us it is possible to challenge authorities and to do it with style, grace and, of course, a sprinkle of sass.


Shimmel ’14, Barker ’14 win Entrepreneurship Competition


Staff Writer

Fantasy football has become a growing fad among American culture, so much so that even such shows like “The League” on FX, whose humor is centered around fantasy football, have become popular. However, there is still a large demographic that has no idea as to what fantasy football exactly entails. Jake Shimmel ’14 and Alex Barker ’14, winners of the first Entrepreneurship Competition, know plenty of people like this. That is why they designed the next big thing in fantasy football with their new startup company, Underdog. This new service is all about getting people who might not know, or care, about football into the fantasy arena.

While most Trinity Students were out on the quad this Saturday, Underdog and three other startup companies put on their “business best” and pitched their dreams to a packed crowd in the Washington Room. These young men and women had a difficult task: convince a team of veteran entrepreneurs, along with all of us in the crowd, that their idea was worth ten thousand dollars of investment money from the school. These four teams were the finalists of the competition that began in September. Opening the events was George Bell, an experienced entrepreneur and father of two current Trinity students. Despite having extensive success leading companies such as Upromise, Excite@Home, and founding what is now NBC Sports, Bell talked largely about how his story was packed with failures.  Bell warned the finalists of the cold truth: that most of them would be walking away as losers. The important thing, Bell said, was that they remembered that the competition was just an excuse to jump start their ideas. Not receiving the investment from Trinity did not mean that their ideas were not worthwhile.

Up until Underdog’s name was pulled from the winner’s envelope, it was not clear who was going to win. The three other teams that made it to the final round presented wildly different products. There was the Dream Team, made up of Will Gleysteen ’14, Dave Bell ’14, and Sonjay Singh ’15, who designed a new social network based around filling the gaps presented by LinkedIn. With teammate Dave Bell looking on, Gleysteen and Singh handled getting grilled by the judges with ease.

Next up was coAPPerate, chaired by Nate Nurmi ’14, who designed an interface that attempts to bring a variety of social apps into the same streamlined system. Despite his partner, John DiPietro ’15, being unable to attend, Nurmi made his case and weathered a battery of questions from the judges. While all the teams made impassioned appeals, Nurmi understood that his competition was stiff. Before the event began, The Tripod asked Nurmi why he thought he was going to win. “I’m not sure I will,” he said. “”Honestly. Some people have really good ideas here.”

Not all of the pitches involved social media. KGG Solutions, made up of Gwen Schoch ’14, Gillian Burkett ’14, and Vlad Burca ’14, designed a counter insurgency advisory system that would help members of the military better understand and execute their missions at the platoon level. KGG definitely had the most ambitious business plan, and wanted Trinity’s help to start a venture they saw as something with enough potential to be bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars within just a few years.

As the votes were tallied, the tense mood was broken by CTImprov, a professional improv comedy troupe. CTImprov was just the right amount of silly needed to lighten the spirits of everyone who had come in from the beautiful day to support their friends in the competition.

At the end of the day, it was Shimmel and Barker of Underdog that went home with the big check. The panel of three judges grilled Underdog particularly hard after following their six-minute presentation. The two men explained that a big way for fantasy sports to evolve is bringing people who have never tried it into the fold. Their system, built around football at the college level, has users choose the winners of matches rather than predict how individual players will fare in games. This simplified version of Fantasy Football is meant to get people like me involved with my friends in the fantasy experience, without having to learn the confusing point systems involved in the traditional game. With the $10,000, Shimmel and Barker hoped to have a testable version of their fantasy game combined with a mobile application in the near future.

Mike Newkirk ’14, a senior at Trinity who attended the event, said that he thought Shimmel and Barker walked home with the prize because they tailored their business directly to the competition’s limited nature.

Shimmel and Barker have a fantastic start to a budding business and will surely put the $10,000 to good use.

Bantam Multi-Sport Athlete of the Week: Y’osa Nosamiefan ’17

By Brian Nance ’16, Staff Writer

“My most exciting track moment at Trinity so far has to be the speech that Coach Mason gave our 4×4 relay squad right before breaking the Trinity College record. I cannot recall exactly what he said, I just know that it was enough for us to dig deep and perform,” says Y’osa Nosamiefan ’17.

Digging deep and performing is exactly what these Bantams did. Earlier this season, at the 2014 David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University, the men’s track and field 4×400 relay team beat Trinity’s 4×400 school record with a time of 3:23.56. On that relay team is the six foot two inch freshman, Y’osa Nosamiefan. Y’osa has proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the NESCAC and will continue to be in his many years to come. 

 In his rookie season alone, Y’osa has consistently finished as one of the top contenders in the majority of the events that he competes in.

You may already be a bit familiar with Y’osa as the track standout who also contributed to the football team’s success in the fall. On the field, Y’osa wears number 16 and locks down receivers as cornerback.

 On the track, he participates in various events including the long jump, the 55-meter dash, the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash. Y’osa elaborates on how he handles being a two sport athlete, “Being on two separate teams here at Trinity is a bit challenging, it can be difficult to balance the in-season of one team and the off-season of the other. I feel, however, that the track team with the leadership of Coach Suitor and Coach Mason are very receptive to new members.”

 A Boston native, Y’osa grew up mainly playing soccer and running track until he began his tenure at Boston College High School. 

 He started track in the fifth grade and it was in high school that he chose to play football instead of soccer due to their conflicting seasons.  Reminiscing on his beginning track days, Y’osa states, “I always enjoyed running, but I really fell in love with long jump because when jumping, I am basically competing against myself. I can go at my own pace. My older brother also jumped with me in high school so we would always compete against each other.”

 Y’osa has already earned his title as one of the best long jumpers in the NESCAC as he was recently recognized as amongst the top jumpers competing for this year’s league championship crown. We can look forward to continued success from Y’osa because this is merely the conclusion of his first season.

 Be sure to support the men and women’s track teams as they head to Springfield College on May 2 to compete in the New England Division III Championship.  Additionally, Y’osa hopes to lead the Bantams to the NCAA Division III National Championship on May 22 at Ohio Wesleyan University.  The athletic performances of Y’osa Nosamiefan in football as well as track have certainly been remarkable this year.


Trinity Baseball wins back-to-back games in walk-off fashion

By Peter Prendergast

The Trinity College Baseball team enjoyed a pair of walk-off victories on April 27, as they won both games of their double header against Brandeis University. 

Brandeis got on the board first in the top of the second inning, as Conor Doyle hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring Kyle Brenner across the plate from third base. Trinity trailed by one run until the bottom of the seventh inning.  Chris Leach ’17 reached first base on an error and advanced to second.  Leach made it to third off a sacrifice hit by Colton Dana ’17 and came home off an RBI single from Connor Sullivan ’15. 

 In the next inning, Brandeis took the lead again as Ryan Tettemer scored off an RBI double from Brian Ing. 

Down by one in the bottom of the eighth, Trinity’s Brian Wolfe ’15 blasted a solo home run over the left field wall, tying the game at 2-2.  The game moved on through a scoreless ninth, into extra innings. 

 In the top of the tenth inning, the Bantams retired three straight batters to head into the final half inning.  Daniel Pidgeon ’15 led off with a single to right field.  Wolfe followed with a pop up to shortstop and Leach struck out. 

With two outs in the inning, Pidgeon stole second base and advanced to third off a single from Colton Dana.  Connor Sullivan ’15 brought Pidgeon home with a walk off single up the middle to win the game. 

 Peter Burrows ’14 pitched 8.1 innings, letting up two runs on seven hits as well as recording five strikeouts. David O’Brien was the relief pitcher in the eighth, striking out two batters and letting up no runs and no hits.  Sullivan led offensively for the Bantams as he got four hits and two RBI’s.

 Game two remained scoreless until the bottom of the second when Sullivan brought Wolfe home on an RBI double.  In the fourth inning, Brandeis’ Kyle Brenner doubled to bring home Greg Heinemen from second.  The next batter, Dominic Schwartz, singled up the middle to bring home Tom McCarthy from third base and Connor Doyle followed with a sacrifice fly to right to bring Brenner home for the third run of the inning. 

 Trailing by two in the bottom of the sixth, Matt Mortimer ’16 hit a two run double to bring Pidgeon and Scott Huley ’16 across the plate to tie the game at three.  In the final inning, Sullivan reached first base on a fielding error by the Brandeis second baseman. 

 Dylan Callahan ’16 came in to pinch the run and reached second on a single from Nick DiBenedetto ’17.  The next batter, Evan Abraham ’15, reached first on an error.  With the bases loaded, Nicholas Pezzella ’17 singled to bring home the winning run from third base. 

 Ryan Carr ’14 pitched a complete game for Trinity, recording three runs on seven hits and four strikeouts.  Pezzella and Mortimer led the offense with two hits a piece and a combined for three RBI’s.

 The Bantams are currently ranked 5th in the NESCAC East Division, with a 4-8 conference record and a 15-16 overall record.  Looking ahead, the team’s last two games are scheduled for May 3, against Wesleyan.  The Bantams are hoping to upset the conference leading Cardinals, to potentially tie Colby in the division standings as well as break 500 on the season.  The final games will be played at Wesleyan at 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 

Softball enjoys a winning streak and looks towards final game

by Drew Ragosta ’17, Staff Writer

The Trinity Women’s Softball team has been on a hot streak since the middle of April. Coming off back-to-back losses against Tufts University on April 12, Trinity took on Bates College at their home field on April 14. The Bantams took little time to defeat the Bobcats, winning by a score of 12-3 in only five innings of play, snapping their four game conference-losing streak. Pitcher Hannah King ’16 earned her fifth win of the season, in which she struck out four batters and allowed only three runs. Tri-captain Abigail Ostrom ’14 and Erica Correa ’16 had phenomenal offensive performances for the Bantams, recording a combined seven RBI’s, including a two-run homerun from Correa. Elizabeth McQuaid ’16 also had a strong showing, batting leadoff for the Bantams where she hit a triple and two singles.

 Later that week on April 18, the Bantams were matched up against Colby College for their first game of a three game series, again being played in Hartford. Hannah King ’16 led Trinity to a 7-1 victory as a result of her sensational performance on the mound, allowing three hits and one earned run. Olivia Berry ’14 recorded an RBI with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, Abigail Ostrom ’14 recorded an RBI single, which was her second single and RBI of the afternoon. Three runs of scoring in the sixth inning ultimately led the Bantams to victory.

Just a day later, Trinity played a double header versus the Mules on April 19. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Erica Correa ’16 hit a sacrifice flyball, scoring the runner Abigail Ostrom ’14 from third base. With the bases empty and a score of 1-0 in the fifth inning, Claire Propseri ’14 hit a homerun giving Trinity a 2-0 lead. The team did not look back as the game ended a 2-0 victory. Hannah King pitched a complete game shutout for Trinity.

 Later in the afternoon for the second game of the doubleheader, the Bantams were yet again clicking on all cylinders. Christina Galese ’14 opened the game with a solo homerun in the first inning, followed by a two RBI single from Sarah Reynolds ’16. The Bantams held a 3-0 until the sixth inning, when Christina Galese ’14 hit a double, scoring runners Bianca Brenz ’16 and Miranda Riendeau-Card ’15. The stellar pitching from Lily Jewell ’17 helped the Bantams secure a 5-0 defeat over the Mules, capping off a three game series sweep.

 The Bantams had a double header against Western New England on April 22, falling in the first game by a close score of 5-3. However, they were victorious by a score of 10-0 in the second game of the double header, in only five innings!

On Saturday, the Bantams battled it out against Wesleyan with a close game of 2-1, Bantams winning. With an outstanding job pitching by Hannah King ’16, only giving Wesleyan two hits and one run home during the Cardinal’s rally period in the fourth inning. Trinity played Wesleyan again that night. The pressure was mounting for the Cardinals and Trinity was on fire to win again with another close score of 18-11. Senior Abby Ostrom went 3-for-4 with 5 RBI and two runs. The fire didn’t stop with Erica Correa ’16 slamming a home run and a double. Trinity has won seven of their last eight games and currently holds a 7-5 record against NESCAC opponents.

The Bantams will be playing their final game of the season at Worcester State on April 28.

Day of Silence is a chance to examine Trinity LGBT experience



According to the Princeton Review, as of 2013, Trinity College is the 13th most gay-unfriendly college in the United States. Thirteenth! Before then, Trinity had not made the top 20 list. But in the course of one year, we jumped to the not-so-low 13th spot.

The Princeton Review’s annual survey asked 126,000 students at 378 top colleges and universities to rate their school on dozens of topics and report on their experiences with them. Therefore, students amongst our small, tight-knit community must have either personally felt unwelcomed or excluded based on their sexuality or witnessed homophobia on our campus. Not only have people must have experienced or witnessed this homophobia often enough to note it in the survey in the first place, but these experiences also have to have been mentioned more frequently or to a more severe level than 365 other colleges and universities.

The National Day of Silence/Night of Noise is quickly approaching. It takes place this Thursday, April 24. Beginning at 8 a.m., The Day of Silence is a 24-hour period where students all over the country take a vow of silence to honor and represent the silencing that LGBT students often feel every single day. The Night of Noise directly follows the Day of Silence in which participants come together to break the past 24 hours of silence and celebrate not just each person’s individuality, but also our acceptance of all and unity as a community.

In honor of this upcoming event, each one of us, as a member of this tiny school and community, should take a step back and reflect on this issue. With the acceptance and recognition of gay marriage and rights taking place throughout this country every day, do we want to be moving in the complete opposite direction? Do we want our beloved Trinity community to hold the reputation of being so extremely homophobic and unaccepting of those who are not exactly the same as the majority?

I’m not sure about you, but I definitely do not want to be known for that. That is not something we should be proud of. I can say that if had I known about this ranking prior to making my college decision, I may have chosen a school other than Trinity. I expected our community to be better than that. Are we that closed minded that we cannot accept someone who has a different sexuality than you or that may be questioning their gender? Does that make them any less of a person? No. Those same people got accepted to Trinity like you, sit in the same classroom as you do, major in the same thing as you do, and probably enjoy most of the same extracurricular activities as you do.

The National Day of Silence may not be for everyone. I’m going to try to participate, but I know it’s going to be a struggle since I cannot refrain from talking for more than maybe 10 minutes maximum at a time. But, that’s not going to stop me from acknowledging and reflecting on this growing issue right in front of us.

Whether silently or not, take the day to think about how we can change this awful ranking and reputation. I am ashamed of how often “gay” or another homophobic word slips out of my or someone else’s mouth without even realizing it or meaning it in the correct context. Think about this, and the next time you want to throw out such a word, choose something else. You don’t know who is around you, what someone is going through, or who you could be offending. Whether you mean to or not, you may be a part of that homophobic reputation. Watch what you say. Call someone else out if they are saying or acting in an offensive way towards the LGBT community as well. Be open-minded and accepting. Remember that each and every one of us is human and just want to be accepted and loved. It is none of our business who another person loves and nor should it matter. A person’s sexuality is his or her own choice. It is not anyone else’s place to judge or interfere. It is irrelevant whether you agree or not with their choices and wants. It is not your place. Let each person be themselves. Make an effort to welcome and include each person for who they truly are. Stand up to those who may be giving this campus that homophobic reputation. And please, please, please make a genuine effort to remove Trinity from that ranking. It is sad, embarrassing, and shameful. We are better than that.


A senior’s memory of her grandfather teaches a lasting lesson



I put my Barbie dolls in a brown, cardboard box and handed it to my mother. I was excited and ready to be a grown up. Of course, I was only twelve at the time. The sunlight entered the empty room from the large windows and I could see the dust on the floor. I took a deep breath and ran out the room, eager to move into my new house.

I packed the last of my clothes into the suitcase. I had to sit on the other suitcase to zip it up because it was filled to the brim. My mother watched me from the other end of the room as her eyes filled with tears. Six years later, I was moving, but this time to the United States to attend Trinity. I remember that night clearly. My favorite Indian food was being made at home. My last home cooked meal. The scent of the spices was so tempting, so overwhelming. I took a deep breath, hugged my mother, and ran out of the room to eat some delicious shrimp biryani.

Now, with less than a month left for graduation, I cannot even imagine how I am going to shut the door on my empty dorm room and drive away with my parents, literally into a new phase of my life. The sight of the empty room will be unsettling, and a rare sight to see. It’s safe to say  that there are clothes everywhere. On the day, I might just take a deep breath and run out of the room, eager to move into my new life. Or, I might walk away slowly and wonder where the past four years of my life went.

My first day at Trinity, I was terrified. I suddenly lost all my confidence and wanted to run back to my room. Then I took a deep breath and remembered the one man who had taught me all about confidence. I was immediately transported back to July of 2010.

The sound of the waves was soothing. The flickering colors of the sunset were magical. This was the most relaxed I had been in a long time. I knew that it was not going to last long, so I savored every minute of it. Going on a family trip with eight other people was hectic. There was hardly ever a minute of peace. We were not exactly doing these trips to see the world, although it was a bonus. It was more so to spend time with our loving grandparents. All of us were scattered around the world, and these summer holidays were when we were able to give each other our undivided attention.

Just a few minutes later, I could hear my two cousins, Rahul and Janvi, chattering away with my Nana (my grandfather). They were stroking his hair and his skin, commenting on how soft both were. Once I saw the look on his face, I could not stop laughing. He looked petrified of the kids and then this smile broke on his face. It brought tears to my eyes. He loved us so much and would do anything for us. Rahul and Janvi continued the charade for another few minutes until my aunt had to drag them away from him. He came over and stood next to me, and five minutes into our conversation, he spotted another Indian family. The rest of my family shot me a look from a few feet away. We all knew what this meant.

He walked up to the other Indian family and started talking to them, as if they were a part of our family. He did this all the time. In Switzerland, on a boat, he met a German man and his family. His opening line was that he looked like Tom Cruise. It did not matter where the person was from or who he was, he always found a way to talk to them. Rahul, Janvi, and I used to get so exasperated. We used to be so humiliated when he did that. We would look at each other and nervously laugh. He met everyone with kindness. However, if he was upset, he would voice his opinions without thinking twice. His anger was frightening.

The entire conversation with the other Indian family lasted almost thirty minutes. All I could think of was how he had managed to talk to complete strangers for such a long time in the middle of the ocean. I listened to him with fascination. At dinner, he spoke to the waiter for fifteen minutes about his hometown. Whilst going to our cabins, he started talking to a man in the elevator. There was really no stopping him. He spoke to everyone with genuine interest. Later that night, I went onto the deck. I wanted to savor every minute of the tranquility and the sea. A few minutes later, my Nana joined me and we sat in silence. I was really going to miss him when I went back to university. He was such an amusing man with no hatred in his heart. I was curious, and I asked him why he spoke to all those people and how he managed to do it without hesitation. He told me that we all live in our own bubble and get so involved in our own lives that we forget about the people around us. They are here in this world too, and they all have interesting stories about their lives. We should seize every opportunity we have to meet new people and learn. He said that learning is not simply studying. It is about understanding the world we live in as well. And what better way can one learn about the world than by talking to people from around the world?

Later that night, I could not sleep. I kept tossing and turning, thinking about what he had said. I was confident, but not to his level. I hesitated when meeting new people. Eventually, I would break a barrier with them but would not always know how to continue the conversation. I kept thinking about how much I had missed out on and how much I could have learnt had I just had some more confidence. It was more so about embracing the moment. We never know when we would ever return to such an amazing place.

The next morning during breakfast, I had my opportunity. My Nana started talking to some people whilst him and I were waiting for our eggs. It was now or never. Somewhere within me, I found some bravery and started talking. Once I started talking, I realized that it really was not so difficult. My Nana looked at me with pride and started laughing. My mother, on the other side of the room, looked up at me and smiled. When I returned to the table, no one could really believe it. They all teased me for being so strange about it before. No matter how much I admitted I was wrong, they did not let it go. It did not bother me though, I had finally done it. I had opened up myself to a new story, to new people, and had broadened my horizons. It was all thanks to this amazing man, who taught me to never close myself off from the world. He taught me to live life to the fullest without hesitation. Mistakes are the only way we learn. It teaches us to stand taller and stronger, and sometimes being humiliated pushes us in the right place. I will forever be grateful to my Nana, for teaching me how to live life with a smile on your face. He always said a little confidence goes a long way. No matter how scared I am about the next step in life, confidence will take me far. I don’t doubt that for a second.




College’s new meal plan policy will not benefit students or staff



Here at Trinity College, we attempt to foster a sense of community by looking out for each other. However, the proposed changes for the next academic year will do the exact opposite. Trinity has plans in place to close The Cave by next January and the administration has already started to reduce the hours that The Bistro is open on the weekends. The school is considering a decrease in the hours of operation for two of the three sit-in dining halls. If we, the student body, allow these changes to happen, it will financially cripple many of the people working there and severely damage our college experience.

While talking with my peers about Trinity’s plans to close The Cave and The Bistro, the first question is almost always, “Are they going to extend Mather’s hours?” The answer: “kind of.” According to papers distributed by Trinity’s administration about two weeks ago, Mather will continue to open at 7:30 a.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, Mather will operate from 10:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., “limited services will be offered.” Closing down The Cave and Bistro will only exacerbate problems like Mather’s inability to seat everyone comfortably at lunch. Finding a table during lunch on any given day is hard enough. Mather is not suited to serve the entire student body at the same time. With Mather only opening for an extra three hours per day, twenty-one hours per week, what will happen to all the staff that is seen as excess?

This semester, Mather, The Cave, and The Bistro employ 2,115 hours of labor per week, 821 hours of labor per week and 670.5 hours of labor per week respectively. By spring of 2015, Mather, The Cave, and The Bistro will employ 2004 hours of labor per week, ZERO hours of labor per week, and 539.5 hours per week, respectively. The only additional hours will be the new store on Crescent Street. This store will employ 698.5 hours of labor per week. This leads to a total net loss of 364.5 hours of labor per week. The proposed changes will cut hours by almost 10 percent. This massive decrease in total hours of labor will directly hurt dining staff employees’ ability to financially support themselves. The proposed changes look to reduce the amount of people that work 40 hours a week this semester by 18. The changes also look to reduce the amount of workers that receive benefits by 14, or by 13 percent of the workers receiving benefits in the three main dining halls.

This isn’t the first time that Chartwells has made workers’ living conditions unbearable. At the University of Miami, Chartwells employees won a three-year struggle against the British conglomerate. At the University of Miami and many other schools, Chartwells has a history of mistreating workers and reducing costs by cutting hours and benefits. After the University of Miami workers won their case, one of their representatives said, “We love working at U.M. and taking care of the students, faculty and staff here. Now, we can begin to afford to take care of our own families too.” Many of the workers at The Cave and The Bistro echo this message. They love interacting with students every day, but they also want to be able to pay their rent and take care of their families.

Overlooking the financial devastation to these workers who will lose hours and benefits, this plan will save money for Trinity. Trinity has to balance the budget in order to provide the wide variety of services they offer, such as financial aid. Still, I would ask them to reconsider. Chartwells’ history of saving money by cutting workers’ benefits and hours does not create any substantial economic gains for the schools in which they operate, because they end up charging higher fees. As illustrated in their proposed changes for next year, the first part of their plan is in place. I have no desire to see that plan executed here at Trinity.

The new meal plan policy for next year requires almost every student to sign up for one of the limited meal plans. As of the fall semester in 2015, the only students allowed to attend Trinity without purchasing a meal plan are those enrolled in Trinity’s authorized eating clubs or students living off campus.  As a rising junior, I will have the option to purchase the Mather Unlimited or the 15 Flex Plan; both are $2,550 per semester. The Mather Unlimited plan comes with $100 Chartwells dollars while the 15 Flex plan comes with 15 meals per week and $300 Chartwells dollars. These new policies represent the school’s effort to force students into doing what the administration believes is best, rather than allowing students to exercise their own judgment. Trinity administration needs to discontinue these plans before they harm their own long-term goals.

No matter how hard the school tries to force inter-student bonding, it is not something that can be forced. Through extended orientation programs, the new first-year program, or many other first-year activities, it is impossible to create genuine connections between students. Students must be able to do this on their own.

During my freshman year, a lot of spontaneous, sincere bonding happened while I was hanging out with acquaintances in The Cave or The Bistro. Sitting down together for a few hours and sharing a meal with friends created a sense of community among us that would not have happened without this late-night space. Without these experiences, many of my best friends and I would not have become as close as we are today. Friendship cannot be forced. At any time, you can walk into The Cave or The Bistro and witness a group of students simply hanging out. Having this space is a valuable asset to the Trinity community. My favorite bonding program that Trinity runs is the Quest program. Going onto the Appalachian Trail with no one but fellow students forges bonds between incoming freshmen and the upperclassmen leaders. These connections could not have been created from silly games like “Two Truths and a Lie,” forced picnics on the quad, or any other pre-planned orientation programs. Students will inevitably dislike most of the orientation events that are required.  One of the challenges of being a first-year student is finding a place where you can get to know the people you find interesting.  This is what the school needs to encourage more of, not reduce. Both The Bistro and The Cave facilitate student bonding and at this college, we need to protect them.

The Bistro and Cave are valuable assets to this school and they enable a lot of friendly, loving people to pay their bills. In no way will these proposed changes benefit the students of Trinity College. By closing The Cave and reducing The Bistro’s hours, students will have less access to food on the meal plan while still being required to purchase a meal plan.

The financial ramifications to members of the Trinity community, like the loss of financial aid, will be crushing. The dining service employees feeding all of us treat us with respect and love. They deserve better than what Trinity and Chartwells are doing to them. The school is prioritizing balancing the budget over looking out for members of the Trinity community. We need to rearrange their priorities.