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Relay for Life raises over $21,000 for the fight against cancer



On Friday, April 11, Relay For Life held it’s annual event in the Koeppel Community Center. This event culminates in a huge contribution towards Relay For Life’s fundraising effort towards the American Cancer Society. The activities began at 6pm with the opening ceremony. The night included plenty of meaningful and exciting activities, including the lip sync contest, survivorship lap, and an a cappella concert.

In addition to the event on Friday, “the Relay for Life Committee was able to host an exciting fundraiser at The Tap for the first time on a Tuesday night,” wrote in an email Cody Patrina ’15, one of the committee members. “Entry was $5, with a good deal on drinks at the bar for those over 21. We had a great turn out, and raised about $800. The Committee definitely plans to hold this fundraiser again next fall and spring semesters.”

According to the Trinity College Relay For Life event page, 49 teams in total participated in the event, accounting for 413 participants and $21,818.01 in total donations, however the website warned the numbers may not reflect all participants, teams, and donations.

“Our fundraising goal for 2013-2014 is about $40,000. We continue to fundraise through August, so we can’t say whether or not we’ve hit goal yet or not. Each team generally tries to raise about $1000 per team. This year, several teams surpassed their goals, and they were Alpha Delta Phi, Psi Upsilon, Sarah Wolcott’s Team, St. Anthony Hall, and Women’s Rugby and Swimming and Diving,“ Patrina said.

Alpha Delta Phi finished as the top team, raising a total of $2,120, with Psi Upsilon coming in second with a total of $1,665 and “Sarah’s Team” finishing third with $1,555, having most of that come from the top fundraising participant and team captain Sarah Wolcott, who raised $1,255 single-handedly.

The event truly brought the community together to support the fight against cancer as the 49 teams were comprised of different student groupings all across campus; from Greek Life, to athletic teams, to other community service organizations, to just a group of friends willing to help out.

The American Cancer Society describes the Relay For Life event as, “A life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.” At the Relay, teams of people camped out in the Koeppel Center and took turns walking a lap around the rink. Each team was asked to always have a member of their team present at the event.

According to Patrina, the event “got off to a late start, [but] we managed to stay on schedule and attract a large group of students to the event. Particularly popular events included the Date Auction and the Lip-Sync Contest. For the Date Auction, we easily raised over $500. For the Lip-Sync Contest, two Kappa Kappa Gamma seniors, Mariko Nitta ’14 and Catherine Hultgren ’14, won our cash prize, although all acts were entertaining.”

The importance of the night was clear with the opening ceremony, which was meant to “bring everyone together for a high-energy event kickoff to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, to inspire hope by sharing recent accomplishments and progress, and to remind everyone that while we are winning this battle, fighting cancer is a year-round priority.”

The next activity to follow was the Survivors Lap. All past cancer survivors were asked to walk together around the track and, as they walked, upbeat music played while the other participants who lined the track cheered on the participants. The activity is meant to celebrate their victory over cancer.

Following the a cappella concert, date auction, and a cake decorating session, came the Ceremony of Hope, which Steph Taylor ’15 referred to as “probably the most emotional moment of the entire event.” The lights in the Koeppel Center are dimmed, while the Committee heads ask for participants to crack a glow stick for every family member that they know that has either passed, suffered or currently is suffering from cancer. The participants are then asked to place the glow sticks in a paper bag and walk around the track together in order to show not only the loss an­d suffering that cancer has caused these individuals, but also the support that these individuals have amongst each other and from everyone else attending the event.

However, the mood quickly changed following the ceremony, as a number of teams took the stage to compete in the lip sync contest, to which the winner received $500 dollars. The evening ended with a campfire outside of the Koeppel Center, a last chance to remember the lives of those that were lost and to continue to support the fight against cancer over the next year.


VIP Days welcome prospective members of the Class of 2018



This past Thursday, April 10 and Friday, April 11 brought hundreds of eager, newly-admitted members of Trinity College’s Class of 2018 to the Admissions Office’s annual VIP Days, an exploratory program designed for students who are still in the process of making a college choice.

Upon receiving an offer of admission to the College, regular-decision candidates are given the opportunity to come to Trinity as a “VIP” where they may take a student-led campus tour, sit in on classes currently offered, and meet with students and professors of a major or department in which they have a particular interest in studying.

The program’s goal is to leave prospective students with positive impressions of Trinity’s academic community. Raekwon Wheeler from Springfield, MA, an admitted member of the Class of 2018, spoke very highly of his experience as a VIP, “I really enjoyed the VIP Days at Trinity. Having the freedom to explore the campus on my own allowed me to really envision myself at Trinity. The VIP Days were more than just a tour and a Q&A session; I got to engage with potential classmates, meet some of the staff, and walk around imagining myself at home for the next four years.” Wheeler also commented on Trinity’s a capella groups that performed at the opening session. “I really enjoyed The Accidentals and The Quirks! They were pretty awesome.”

The Admissions Office at Trinity has been running the VIP Days program for many years. Current student, Samantha Esposito ’17 recalls her experience at last year’s VIP Days as an integral push in choosing to enroll at Trinity. Esposito particularly enjoyed a conversation she had with a member of the Office of Study Away, where she learned of Trinity’s many programs and flexibility with studying abroad. She hopes to one day study for a semester at Trinity’s Cape Town campus. Students, both prospective and current, all treasure the amazing relationships between students and faculty members as one of Trinity’s best features.

Chloe Miller ‘14, a Student Admissions Associate here at Trinity, described her experience during VIP Days as “admissions duties on steroids.” The Admissions Office has done their part in reviewing thousands of applications, and now the decision to enroll as a Bantam is fully up to the accepted students. Miller stated, “Over the course of two days of lunches and tours and receptions, we try to just represent Trinity in its best light.”

In addition to the opportunities to visit college classes and meet current students and faculty, admitted students and their parents were encouraged to attend and ask questions of informative panels. Chloe was on the parent panel on Thursday, where they separate the students from their parents so everyone can ask “embarrassing” questions. The panel consisted of Dean Alford, Dean Mitzel, the Director of Campus Safety Francisco Ortiz, the Director of First Year Programs, a math professor, and Chloe.

She commented, “It was a little intimidating, at first, since I was essentially representing the entire student body! The funniest part was that parents kept asking questions about nightlife at Trinity, and Dean Alford would give his answer, and the parents would follow up, “Great, can we hear it from a student’s perspective now?””

She and many of the other students who helped out with VIP Days all feel that the admissions office did such a tremendous job organizing the schedule for prospective students and their families.

In fact, Chloe added that the most challenging question she had to answer over the weekend was, “Where’s the bookstore?” an inquiry asked an overwhelmingly amount of times by VIPs and parents alike.

Finally, Chloe Miller ’14 summed up this year’s VIP Days program by calling it a great way to relive some of the best experiences from her time at Trinity, and to see a whole group of students who are just starting out with all those opportunities. The 2014 VIP Days were a huge success and it will not be long before many of the VIPs of the Class of 2018 become official Bantams at Trinity College.

Trinity alum gives annual Hall Clement Lecture on HIV/AIDS



Within the next three to five years, Regan Hofmann believes that there will exist a cure for HIV/AIDS. Not just treatments that help people live with the virus, but a true cure.  These and other revelations were plentiful at the 2014 Clement Lecture this past Tuesday led by Hofmann, a Trinity alum from the class of 1989 and current Policy Officer at the U.S. Liaison Office of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS). Speaking in the Wean Terrace room, Hofmann walked a captive audience through her personal story as well as a briefing on the state of HIV/AIDS advocacy movement today.


Hofmann began by describing her first week as a freshman on Trinity’s campus. That was when she first got word about HIV from her mother. It was the fall of 1985, and Hofmann’s mom had just heard about a new virus, HIV. She didn’t want Hofmann to get it, “So my Mother told me, ‘whatever you do, don’t have sex!’” Hofmann, who has now been living with HIV for 17 years, laughs, “Obviously, I did.”


 Seven years after graduating Trinity, Hofmann contracted HIV from her first sexual partner following her divorce from her husband. The man she got the virus from, Hofmann notes, was not a stranger. He was an old friend, and had told her prior to their relationship that he had no STDs. Hofmann thought she was being safe – she was even on birth control. After noticing a small sore on the inside of her thigh, Hofmann had some blood tests done by her doctor. The resultant diagnosis – HIV – stunned both Hofmann and her (now-former) boyfriend. Hofmann felt as if her life was over: her doctors told her that there was no chance for her to have children, nor should she ever have sex again. She had a few years to live at best. Subsequent developments in HIV/AIDS medicine have allowed Hofmann to live a mostly-normal life once more – she can even have sex, albeit protected.  Hofmann believes that HIV/AIDS can largely be eradicated in our lifetime, but in order to achieve that goal, the virus must be understood better by the general public; that getting HIV/AIDS doesn’t mean you did something wrong or bad. For Hofmann, it took seven years before she could tell anyone other than her immediate family that she had contracted HIV.  


When Hofmann finally did disclose her condition publicly, she did so in a big way. Prior to working full time as an HIV/AIDS advocate, Hofmann worked as Editor in Chief of New Jersey Life magazine, as well as different jobs at several major news organizations.  After writing a column anonymously for several years for POZ, the leading HIV/AIDS magazine, she was asked to come aboard as the magazine’s editor. She appeared on the cover of her first issue and the message sent by Hofmann’s first issue in POZ was clear: HIV/AIDS is a global issue, and encompasses everyone, even straight, upper-middle class white women.


Following several years at the magazine, she accepted a position at UNAIDS, where she lobbies the U.S. Congress and other leaders  to maintain and in many cases expand, U.S. support for vital programs that expand education and treatment opportunities worldwide. Despite cutbacks in many foreign aid programs, Hofmann and UNAIDS continue to secure their funding. 2013 was the first year that U.S. contributions to UNAIDS were exceeded by donations from other countries. “The good thing is that [the programs] been so successful that people are seeing the value of them,” Hofmann explained. Still, Hofmann says, U.S. support is essential. “They [in the U.S. government] just need to be reminded sometimes that we can’t pass the baton too quickly,” Hofmann told The Tripod.  “[U.S] leadership has always been so important as a bellwether. If after so many years we start to rescind these donations, what type of message does that send to other nations, especially given that at the same time we’re claiming that we’re soon going to end AIDS? That message has to come with commiserate financial resources.”  While Hofmann is cognizant of the importance of the U.S.’ role in the global HIV/AIDS response, she understands that there has to be a delicate balance in the way we couch our approach. “No country always wants to play the role of paternal caretaker any more than anyone wants to be the recipient of caretaking.” Hofmann noted, “That’s one thing that really impressed me in this work, how many people we work with who are very determined to be on their own; it’s what they want. Sometimes they just need the resources to get there.” Moreover, how the U.S. responds to this epidemic has other foreign policy implications. Hofmann thinks that “the global AIDS response has built a lot of great train tracks to deliver a lot of different kinds of health services into these nations. We don’t want to stop funding these programs before its time.”

By “ending AIDS,” Hofmann doesn’t mean eradicating the disease entirely from humanity. “It will always be there,” she says. There are two ways that one can be “cured” of HIV/AIDS. The first is a “functional” cure, which means that a person who has contracted the virus is no longer infectious and they no longer need medication. The alternative is a complete removal from a person’s system – a much harder medical objective.

While any type of cure is still some ways off, significant advances have been made in the last decade in HIV/AIDS treatment. When Hofmann first contracted HIV in 1997, her treatment involved 18 different pills a day, some of which had crippling side effects. Today, she pops two pills at bedtime.  Even when a cure or cures are found, they will be incredibly expensive. “If you think about the financial gap that exists in the world,” Hofmann explained, “One of the things to close it would be to have more people that need the pills have the money to pay for it, or have the insurance that can pay for it.” 

Despite these vast improvements in treatment, Hofmann argues that continued efforts to educate the public about HIV/AIDS is essential, both to prevent the spread of the virus as well as keep up the political pressure necessary to continue our country’s support of eradicating HIV/AIDS worldwide. That’s why knowing each and every approach that might treat AIDS, as well as inventive ways for people to pay for treatment is Hofmann’s business.

“Teen Wolf” is a tender and oft-harrowing take on lycanthropy



When I first heard of “Teen Wolf,” I was skeptical. To me it just sounded like most of the shows that are currently on MTV and I can say for the most part, not my cup of tea. But a friend told me that I might enjoy the show, so I decided to give it a shot and watched the first episode. Much to my surprise, I became intrigued with the concept of the show and two days later, I was all caught up on “Teen Wolf.” Although, might I add how terrible of an idea it was to become sleep-deprived on school nights rather than just waiting until the weekend to become fully acquainted with “Teen Wolf.”,

I can say that by the end of that marathon, I was hooked and could not wait until the continuation of the season three. To be quite honest, it was not so much the idea of wolves on the show that I found intriguing, but more so the interactions between the various characters. Like Stiles, who is quirky and brilliant and yet hopelessly in love with a girl who never gives him the time of day (Lydia), or even the main protagonist, Scott, who before he became a wolf did not really stand out. He was the not the best student and tried to be athletic through sports, namely lacrosse, but was not so good at that either. And then came the introduction of his first love, Allison Argent.

I have to admit it was cute the way Scott struggled with his burgeoning feelings for Allison while coming to terms with his new abilities as a wolf. Or even the fact that he did not stop his relationship with Allison when he found out that her father was a werewolf hunter or that she herself possessed the skills of one (despite the fact that she did not know that her family’s business was werewolf hunting). But one of the moments that really stood out for me was when Scott was being belittled by his teacher/coach and his heart rate started to accelerate, which in his case meant that he would be compelled to transform into a werewolf, but mysteriously his heart rate started to decrease and the camera panned to his hand, which was being held by Allison, whom he came to consider his “anchor.” Doesn’t that make young love seem so beautiful? It didn’t even stop there for the two young love birds managed to sustain their relationship through the blows of Allison finding out that her entire family on her father’s side were werewolf hunters and that her boyfriend Scott was a wolf, the thing that she was supposed to be hunting. Sadly, like what ends up happening in most shows, they broke up and it was sad. I still had hope that one day these crazy kids would find their way back to each other. That is until the conclusion of the third season, which heralded Alison’s death.

First of all, kudos to those who make “Teen Wolf.”  because season three, part two was mostly excellent. And for those of you who have not watched “Teen Wolf,” maybe for the same reservations that I originally had, I would say to give the second half of season three a try, if for nothing else but to learn a little Japanese folklore. I digress, back to the topic at hand, Allison Argent’s death. She finally figured out a crucial piece of the puzzle that her friends needed to destroy the enemy and even before she could truly revel in that victory, she was hit. But that was not enough for the writers because at that moment Scott ran up just in time to catch her as she fell and was the one to listen to her final words of how not only was he her first love, but also someone she would love always. I have to admit, I felt a tear or two drop, because with her death ends the possibility of the two reuniting. But then again, it’s T.V so she may end up coming back in some shape or manner.

The actress who plays Allison, Crystal Reed, had expressed a desire to leave the show, so it made sense to kill off her character. Unfortunately, that leaves her father alone with his only his psychotic father and sister as his remaining living relatives. What about her best friend Lydia, who will probably blame herself for not having done enough to prevent Allison’s death? And then, there’s Isaac, who had begun to fall in love with her and now with her death is alone once again. Like I said in the beginning, I was drawn to this show because of how the characters related to one another, so I guess that’s why Allison’s death was so sad. But then again, this is a reason why people should not invest so much of their time and lives in these shows, and, yes, I am talking to you, Scandal fans.


Students overwhelmingly oppose Greek coeducational mandate



Last week, the Student Government Association (SGA) held an online referendum on last year’s co-educational mandate over Greek organizations.  The co-educational mandate was the centerpiece of a broad array of new policies, both over the school as a whole and specifically the Greek system, aimed at improving campus climate.  Introduced through the Charter Committee Report, the new policies include minimum GPA requirements for Greek Organizations, the abolishment of the pledging process and the introduction of the new House system.  The mandate demanded that all Greek houses have an equal proportion of members of each gender, even those which were traditionally single-gender and required to remain so by the terms of their charter.

Much of the criticism of Charter Committee policies centered around the lack of student involvement in the process.  Kept secret until the finished product was unveiled, there were only three students placed on the committee, one of whom could not vote.  Although there was a series of open forums after the report was released but they weren’t intended to lead to a change in the policy.  Rather, they were focused on ensuring students of the policy’s continuation and providing a sounding board for their dissent.  No revision of the policy was made despite heavy student criticism.  In the words of former St. Anthony Hall President Tucker Callanan ’14, “[We] will cooperate fully with all of the new changes…although we wish more student input was solicited when making such a drastic change to social organizations.”

Jesse Hunt ’13, former president of Psi Upsilon and member of the Charter Committee outlined some of the problems that he saw as insider to the process. In his words: “Though I have a great deal of respect for the individuals that comprised the group, I did have difficulty understanding the logic of a great many of them. For one, the gender disparity on the Board of Trustees (and Charter Committee itself) was far from being gender neutral.”  Hunt went on to say that: “[He] thought it odd that the committee sought to ‘level the playing field’ with a gender parity mandate that would ultimately force the women’s organizations on campus to close their doors as, for example, Kappa Kappa Gamma cannot, by national charter, go co-ed. In effect, the school was creating an environment in which an individual’s constitutional right to freedom of association was rejected in favor of a gender-centric policy being ushered in by alterior motives. That was the biggest issue for me.”

Despite this widespread criticism, there hasn’t been any quantitative information on opposition to the social policy until now.  Spearheaded by Eamon Bousa ’16, SGA Senator and Pi Kappa Alpha President, the referendum aimed to show how many students were opposed to the co-educational mandate.  In a landslide result, 82-percent of the 1,263 students who participated voted: “Yes, the coeducational mandate imposed on Greek organizations should be repealed.”  This equates to a turnout of over half the student body; certainly a margin worth considering.  About the referendum, Bousa said: “The Charter committee set out to build a better community at the College and that goal is probably unachievable without the support of the student body….Listening to the students on this unpopular issue would let us build the better community everyone is working towards.”  The SGA as a whole also expressed that they were officially opposed to the co-education mandate.

More than ever, it is abundantly clear that students, not merely Greeks, are united in their opposition towards this new policy.  The problems are self-evident.  If the College aims to provide more options for their students, then restricting the nature of constitutive organizations in Greek life is counterproductive.  A more diverse system isn’t one in which every organization is coeducational but rather, one in which coeducational and single-gender organizations both exist so that students can have a pick of either.  Furthermore, the way in which these policies were secretly implemented sets a dangerous precedent for the future of College policies.  As students, we must clearly demonstrate that our voice must be instrumental to shaping our school’s future.

When asked to comment, Timothy Dunn, Associate Director of Student Services for Social Houses, was quick to praise student action saying, “First, I want to thank the students for being active participants in this process. As administrators, we are charged with making decisions that impact the entire student community and hearing from students is always helpful.”  He then continued, saying, “It is important for students to know that the administration is truly supportive of Greek Life. Frankly, if they wanted to close the Greek system, the College would not have hired me. I do not close Greek systems and I engage in student development practice that is ethical and transparent…I have been speaking with various colleagues, gathering information and resources to develop solutions that will satisfy the College’s requirements and keep the unique aspects of our Greek system healthily in place. I am confident that we will be able to develop a solution that works in everyone’s interest and positions Trinity to continue blazing trails and setting standards to which other institutions aspire.”

Responses such as these from administration gives some hope for the future.  With the arrival of President-Elect Joanne Berger-Sweeney and Chair-Elect of the Board of Trustees Cornie Thornburgh, the College is at a crossroads.  We can move forward in a direction of transparency and openness or we can relinquish our autonomy as adults and as members of Trinity College.  We can foster a community or we can feed divisiveness.  The referendum speaks clearly that the student body, not merely the Greeks, hope that we can come together to find collaborative solutions to our problems.  Let’s hope that the administration feels similarly.


Seniors express nostalgia as their Trinity careers come to a close



It’s hard to believe that graduation is around the corner. It’s only a little over thirty days away. All the questions have begun, all the discussions with our family and friends. What are we going to wear? What do we need for the tent? Nostalgia has set in. Everything that we have done in the last four years, the things that we have missed out on, the ups, the downs, the highs and the lows all come back to us. Saturday night conversations include an amusing anecdote. Stories of how we met each other. The fights we had, the friends we made and lost.

At the beginning of senior year, I heard so many people say that they could not wait to be done. Now, as the time is approaching, there is worry and anxiety about what will happen next. Some of us have a job. Some of us are going to graduate school. And some are like me, looking for something that inspires them. After four years of all nighters, endless assignments, quizzes, exams, and somehow still managing to fit a social life in there, I would say that is quite impressive. Last night, I was at a party and at around 1:00 a.m., I just wanted to leave. Whilst walking back to my dorm, I felt old. I used to be able to study all day, and even though I was sleep deprived I would still be out until 4:00 a.m. I would like to believe that the years have made me wiser, but I highly doubt that.

Just over four years ago, the most stressful decision was which college to pick. It was stressful because these were the next four years of our lives. I remember spending hours talking to my family and friends, trying to decide where to go. I’ve learned that, in a sense, we don’t pick which school we are going to, it’s all decided for us. Now we have to think about where we want to work, what our next step should be, etc. I know for a fact that the majority of us are still searching for our goals and our dreams. Some of us are working towards it, and, if you’re an international student like me, you just hope that you won’t have to leave the United States.

When we were kids, our biggest problem was whether we would be allowed to eat McDonalds next week. As we grew older and started to understand the world, it got harder. But, somehow we made it. Now, as we are about to graduate, so many of us are clueless and somehow seem to have less faith than we did when we were kids. Whilst I’m grateful for all the opportunities that I have been given at Trinity, I too am left with a sense of panic. I’m pretty sure that my parents are annoyed with the stream of phone calls that involve me stressing out about how I am now officially an adult. I am so blessed that they are so supportive, yet it’s time for me to finally enter adulthood.

Now that the time has come to fly the nest, so to speak, and while a lot of us are scared, and don’t feel like we’re ready, we need to have faith in ourselves. Life has brought us this far, and we need to have faith that it will carry us further. Do everything that you’ve wanted to do. Do you homework on the quad while you’re tanning. Spend time with people that you have not seen for months, people that you were close to freshman year. Mend the burnt bridges because we will never have this time back. We might not appreciate the Cave or the Bistro now, but next year, getting food so easily might not really be an option for us anymore. Mather was there for us when we had no money in our bank accounts and needed a big meal.

Take a moment and think about the four years, everything that made you happy and everything that made you sad, the mistakes you made, the people that supported you through thick and thin, professors who were encouraging, and the others who made our lives miserable. We learned so much through every experience, but really think about the lessons we have learnt, that have allowed us to grow as a person.

As I prepare myself to say goodbye to Trinity, I don’t think I will ever be ready enough for that moment when I leave my room, drive off with my parents, and say goodbye to all the people who shaped me into the person that I am today. We learned how to pull all nighters and still make it to class the next day, and perhaps the only time some of us were truly organized was when we knew Spring Weekend was coming and we needed to finish papers before the weekend so that we would not be stressed out the night before with a pounding headache. Trinity, there’s times that I have loved you, and times that I’ve needed to escape, but now all I feel is gratitude and sadness that I’m leaving. But thank you for always being there.

New Chartwells policies may lead to widespread employee layoffs



From the minute that a prospective student walks onto this campus for the first time, they are told that Trinity administrators care about not only the students but also the people who work here. All prospective students are told that Trinity is a school that strives to create an environment that encourages intellectual curiosity and compassion for one another. From what I have learned over the past few days, I am beginning to question this notion.

For me, walking into The Cave is standard procedure. I could order a buffalo chicken wrap with my eyes closed. Every day, I walk in and greet Mary and Toni at the registers. I head over to the grill and say “hi” to Al, Rose, Diane and whoever else is working at that time. After getting my entree, I pick up some fries or fruit and proceed to pay for my food. Some days, this takes place at 12:00 p.m. and some days, it happens at 11:59 p.m. If things go according to plan for the Trinity administration and Chartwells, The Cave will be shut down December 2014. But why does it really matter if The Cave goes away?

It matters to me because it will economically crush many of the workers that have been so welcoming and compassionate to me and everyone else I have seen them interact with. By closing The Cave, many of these workers (I hesitate to call them Chartwells employees because most of them predate Chartwells at Trinity) will have hours cut severely or will be laid off. While the administration has not come straight out and announced this, the trend of hour cuts looks to be heading towards forcing part-time status on most of the staff.

This would create a situation where they would lose benefits that full-time employees receive, such as health care. Chartwells has a history of reducing “production costs” by cutting benefits to workers. In 2010, a study by Dr. Roland Zullo found that the Ann Arbor school that hired Chartwells saw a decrease in these “production costs” while seeing increased fees, leading to no substantive economic savings for the schools. For Trinity, closing The Cave will cut these production costs, in the form of cutting hours by enough that many of the workers will not be making enough to survive. But, hey, it will certainly help Chartwells turn a larger profit!

Here at Trinity, Chartwells intends to cut costs by opening a smaller store with fewer employees. Chartwells intends to open up a store similar to the C-store, or Outtakes, as it is more commonly referred to, on Crescent Street. This store would have similar options to Outtakes with a variety of groceries, frozen food and a small food preparation center. The new Crescent Street store will employ six to ten workers per week. The Cave currently has six workers at all times and employs up to thirty people per week. There will not be the variety of food we can choose from in The Cave and there is no seating for students. When I am busy during Mather’s dining hours, I want to be able to go to a dining hall and be able to order a hot meal rather than pick up a microwavable boxed meal. I often lose track of time while working and I miss Mather’s hours.

I recruit my friends and we go to The Cave where I am able to order a warm meal, have a place to sit, and socialize with my peers. Some of the best experiences I have had at Trinity have been sitting down for a meal with friends and having great conversations. Not having a place where people can get late night food will be detrimental to the Trinity campus. Chartwells is saving money by cutting costs, but where is the money going? It certainly is not going to the hard-working Cave employees who need the money to live, and it is certainly not increasing student welfare.

Chartwells is a division of Compass Group USA, which is a division of Compass Group, a British conglomerate worth $24 billion dollars as of 2011. In 2008, The McGil Daily published, “Chartwells is one of North America’s biggest campus food providers, and from Louisiana State to Carleton to McGill, the concerns are the same: high prices, poor quality, employee mistreatment, opposition to employee unionization, and even the occasional food-safety scandal.” This promped my investigation into Chartwells’ continuous lack of regard for their employees. A quick search of Chartwells on brings up a whole list of people protesting actions taken by Chartwells and the Compass Group. From students trying to remove Chartwells from their school to trying to get a worker rehired after a ludicrous dismissal, Chartwells clearly has a history of looking out for the bottom line, not for the moral line. As students of Trinity College, it is our duty to stand up for the people that help make this school a home away from home; the workers at The Cave do just that. We cannot allow Chartwells to exploit them.

By closing The Cave, Chartwells will increase their profits, decrease student dining options and decrease living standards for their employees. As Ashish Adhikari ’13 stated, “As a fellow human being—and one with not only the resources, but also the opportunity to help people that have served our community not have to work multiple jobs to eek out a living—it should be moral obligation to do what you can.”

The biggest resource we all have is our collective voice. As individuals we are weak, but together we can help those who need us right now. Right now the people at The Cave, Toni, Al, Mary, Rose, Diane, Velma and everyone else, need our help. From my perspective, one of the most important actions in life is caring for the people that care for you, and it is clear that the Cave staff have cared for us. Let’s show them that we care for them.

Together, we can save The Cave.


Men’s Tennis continues success against NESCAC opponents

by JT Mehr, Sports Editor

Despite a slow start to the fall season, the Trinity Men’s Tennis team has turned it around so far in their spring season. The Bantams currently hold a 6-4 record for the spring, including a 2-2 record in NESCAC conference play.

The Bantams travelled to California for spring break where they began their 2014 campaign. Competing against Chapman University in the first match of the spring season, the Bantams had little difficulty defeating the Panthers 6-3. Musyoka Mbithi ’15 and Ford Traff ’16 led the way in second doubles, winning 8-3, while Traff won in fifth singles 6-2, 6-3.

First-year player Rutendo Matingo was successful as well, winning 6-2, 6-3 in the second singles spot and 8-3 in doubles play with Ilya Levin ’15. Just a day later on March 17, the Bantams were matched up against Sewanee University, which was played at Pepperdine University in Malibu. Trinity shut out Sewanee with a score of 9-0. David Myers ’15 posted a 6-2, 6-3 win playing sixth singles for the Bantams.

Starting the spring break trip with a 2-0 record, Trinity struggled against Denison University and NESCAC rival Bowdoin College on March 18 and 19. The Bantams fell just short against Denison and Bowdoin, losing 5-4 and 6-3. Despite the close back-to-back losses, the team recovered against Occidental College, culminating in a 9-0 victory for the Bantams and snapping their two match-losing streak. Sophomores Carlos Ferreyros, Aaron Segel and Ford Traff excelled in singles play, each winning 6-1, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, and 6-0, 6-0, respectively. On the last day of their trip, Trinity played against conference opponent Tufts University. The Bantams prevailed 6-3 against the Jumbo’s, playing at Pomona College. Ilya Levin ’15 played tremendously, taking home victories in both singles and doubles play. This capped off a 4-2 record for the teams California trip. In addition, because of his 10-1 record in California, Ilya Levin ’15 earned Men’s Athlete of the Week honors on March 25.

Returning back to Connecticut after spring break, the Bantams took on the Camels of Connecticut College on April 2. Trinity seemed to be clicking on all cylinders from the beginning of the match, which resulted in an 8-1 final victory for the Bantams. Dan Carpenter ’15 won a three set match playing first singles, 5-7, 6-4, 10-8, over Josh Suneby. Ned Mandel ’15 also won a close match in third singles, by a score of 6-3, 7-6. The Bantams swept the Camels in doubles play.

This past Thursday, April 10, the Bantams travelled to Middletown for a matchup against the Wesleyan Cardinals. This contest was a nail-biter from start to finish, ending in a 5-4 victory for the Bantams. Junior tri-captain Dan Carpenter ’15 won 7-6, 7-5 at first singles, and 8-4 at first doubles with partner David Myers ’15. Rutendo Matingo ’17 also had a key victory playing third singles, while Musyoka Mbithi ’15 closed the match out for the Bantams in singles winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

The Bantams are looking to avenge their losses against Brandeis University and Middlebury College from this past weekend, facing Amherst College on Friday and Williams College next Wednesday, April 23. These matches will be key in determining the seeding for the Bantams in the NESCAC tournament.

Students perform in spring main-stage show “Angels in America”



This past weekend, from Thursday to Saturday, the Pulitzer-Prize winning play, “Angles in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches” was preformed at the Austin Art Center. Directed by Trinity’s own Michael Preston, who is the associate professor of theater and dance on campus, the play drew an eager audience each night.

The play, originally written by Tony Kushner explores the challenges and tragedies of the AIDS epidemic in the context of 1980’s New York City. Even though the play is set almost 30 years in the past, Preston is quoted as saying that the issues that are brought up by the play are still relevant today and, “what makes it alive for me now, in 2014, at Trinity, in Hartford, is that we are still fighting the same battles both politically and privately.” The controversial topic of the play brought both negative and positive critiques. When the play first debuted brief male nudity and the context of homosexuality garnered a negative conservative response. However, in spite of this small sect of negative reception, the play won multiple awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Awards for Best Play.

The complexity of the plot sheds light not only the macro issue of AIDS and homosexuality, but the micro issues that accompany of it such as questions of loyalty, love, relationship tensions, internal religious reconciliation and sexuality


The plot centers around two couples, an openly gay couple Louis Ironson and Prior Walter, played by Malcom Moon ’15 and Dan Trainor ’17 respectively, and Harper and Joe Pitt played by Molly Belsky ’16 and Forrest Robinette ’16. At the beginning of the play, there is a scene between Louis and Prior in which Prior first tells him that has contracted AIDS. Prior eventually finds himself alone, as Louis is unable to cope with his partner’s disease. At the other end of the spectrum, the audience sees Joe getting offered a promotion by his boss Roy Cohn (Erik Bloomquist ’14). This is where Joe’s valium-addicted wife, Harper, makes her first appearance on stage, when he asks her about her willingness to move for his job. Harper and Joe get into a series of arguments over his promotion, eventually driving Joe away and into the arms of Louis. As Joe and Louis become closer, Joe begins to struggle with his religion and his own sexuality while Louis struggles with his abandonment of Prior.

As the plot unfolds, Joe begins to realize the Roy wants to use  him as a tool of corruption. Roy eventually discovers that he has contracted AIDS. Meanwhile Prior remains ill in the hospital. Belize (Oludare Bernard ’15), a nurse and former drag queen, develops a friendly relationship with Prior. Additionally, Prior begins to have hallucinations  in which he sees ghosts that are reincarnations of himself from presumbably past lives. These incarnations are often accompanied by visits from an angel, played by Shirin Schenkerymayr ’16. The angel relays a series of vauge messages.  

While these hallucinations are happening to Prior, Roy remains sick in his house. He is eventually visited by the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg  (Meredith Kassler ’14). Roy  was primarily reponsible for her murder because he used his influence as Assistant United States Attorney on the Rosenberg case to make sure that she was sentenced to an execution.

The play ends with Joe and Louis meeting in the park with the assumption that they are going back to Louis’ house together. The final scene takes place in Prior’s hospital room where a huge angel dramatically bursts into the room, leaving the audience in state of curiousity and awe at the spectacle.

The intensity and gravity of the play’s content was consistent throughout the preformance and encouraged the audience members to revaluate the issues and realities of their own lives. The  play brought certain issues to light, such as questions about how our society judges others, how the societal stereotypes function, and how certain members of our society become neglected through oppressive institutions.

Despite the heavy content and controversial topics, the actors did a wonderful job of executing their roles in a relatable and real manner. Assistant Director Gwen Beal ’16 stated that, “I really loved working on ‘Angels.’ The cast was so committed and excited and fun to work with. Our director, Michael, had a beautiful vision that he successfully brought to life. He constantly reminded actors to be honest with their roles, and in return a really moving play was produced.”

The thought-provoking and powerful concepts present in the play dealt with topics that are not only important nationwide but are relevant to life here at Trinity. The play helped to start a conversation about sensitive topics that many feel should be more exposed and openly discussed on campus.

Hopefully there will be more events like ‘Angels,’ events that help to promote discussion about difficult, but important, topics. A powerful, challenging play like “Angels in America” help to make the campus a place where we can engage these difficult issues of sexuality, identity, and much more

The play was huge success and it united faculty members, Trinity students and parents around a series of meaningful topics.

Women’s Lacrosse remains on top with win over Middlebury

The Trinity Women’s Lacrosse team scored three late minute goals to defeat Middlebury College on April 12 by a score of 10-9. The Bantams, currently ranked number 8 in the country, advanced to 10-2 overall while the number 5 ranked Middlebury fell to 9-3.

The Panthers got on the board first as Bridget Instrum recovered her original shot, which Trinity goalie Emily Mooney ’16 deflected, and scored an unassisted goal. The Bantams responded with three unanswered goals in a stretch of six minutes. Shea Kusiak ’14 kicked off the scoring with an unassisted goal with 23:08 to play. Molly Cox ’15 followed as she found the back of the net after receiving a pass from Caroline Hayes ’15. Hayes racked up another assist a minute later when she beat her defender on the left side and passed the ball to first-year player Nicole Stauffer for the third goal in six minutes.

Instrum answered with her second goal of the game as she picked up a loose ball at midfield and darted through the Bantam defense to score another unassisted. With a little over 12 minutes left in the half, Kusiak scored again as she looped around the back of the net to bounce a shot past Middlebury goalie Alyssa Palomba on the bottom right corner. With the score now at 4-2, Middlebury’s Megan Griffin received a pass from Chrissy Ritter and netted one in the top right corner of the Trinity goal. Trinity’s Karly Simpson ‘17 scored the next goal for the Bantams as she converted on a free-position shot, extending the lead to two. With less than three minutes to go in the half, Chrissy Ritter carried the ball up the right side of the field and scored on a low bounce shot. The teams exchanged goals once more before halftime. Clare Lyne ’17 scored off an assist from Kusiak with 1:47 to play. Middlebury’s Liza Herzog answered with the final goal of the half as she faked a low shot and scored high over Mooney’s right shoulder.

Early in the second half, Middlebury tied the score as Alli Sciarretta received a pass from Griffin and scored off a bounce shot. Less than a minute later, Palomba deflected Lindsay Mullaney’s ’15 free position shot, but Mullaney still managed to pick up the rebound and score, giving Trinity the 7-6 lead. On the ensuing face off, Laurel Pascal made a pass to Griffin, who then found Ritter cutting left to right through the crease, for the game-tying goal. The Panthers took the lead again as Herzog received a pass from Instrum in front of the net for another goal.

Trinity took the lead again as Kusiak and Cox both converted on free-position opportunities. Ritter tied the game at 9 as she scored from the top of the crease. With 10:33 to play, Kusiak found Cox in front of the net for a goal that gave the Bantams a one-goal lead. The last 10 minutes of play were scoreless, ensuing a win 10-9 for the Bantams. The victory over Middlebury marked a sixth consecutive win and second place in the NESCAC standings for the Bantams.

The Women’s Lacrosse team has two more regular season games to play. The first will be on April 19 at Hamilton College. The final game of the season will be at home against Amherst on April 23. The Bantams will be looking for consecutive wins against these conference opponents in hopes of securing the top seed in the NESCAC tournament.

Trinity’s a cappella “Triple Threat” performs at Arch Madness



This past Thursday, on an unseasonably chilly April night, hundreds of students gathered around Northam Arch—carefully avoiding the infamous plaque—for a March Madness-inspired a cappella concert.  Dressed in their favorite team’s jerseys, members of the Accidentals, Trinitones, and Dischords braved the cold weather to deliver an unforgettable “Arch Madness” concert.  “Arch Madness is one of our favorite concerts of the year,” said first-year Trinitone Eliza Maciag.  “It just has such great energy, and it’s the perfect way to start the spring!”

The concert opened with rousing applause and cheers from the audience as the Accidentals, Trinity’s only all-male a cappella group, entered the archway. 

The guys kicked off their section of the show with their rendition of “What a Good Boy” by the Barenaked Ladies.  The piece was lead by soloist Mac McCarthy ’14, who donned a Dallas Cowboys jersey.  After another round of applause, the Accidentals started their second piece, Chris Brown’s 2008 chart topper, “With You.”  Russel Pierson ’16 starred as the soloist and the audience joined in clapping along during the bridge.  “[We] were overall very pleased with the way the concert went, and by the large turnout that we were fortunate enough to have,” said one of the newer Accidental members, Hank Butler ’17.  “It was also really great that the people who showed up were willing to endure the cold! We were also really excited about the way that we were received.”

This Friday, April 18, the Accidentals will sing the National Anthem at the Hartford Wolfpack game.  Tickets will be sold at a discounted price of $15 a piece, and beer will be sold for only $2.00.  The group’s final concert will be held on May 4, although the guys hope to have another collaborative concert before then.

The Accidentals were followed by one of Trinity’s two all female groups, the Trinitones, affectionately known as the “the Tones.”  For the Tones, Thursday night was all about the sophomore singers as the group premiered their R&B inspired “sophomore songs.”  Soloist Maggie Munoz ’16 donned a Mighty Ducks jersey for the group’s performance of “I Feel a Sin Comin’ On” by Pistol Annies.  The Tones ended their first song to rousing applause and smoothly transitioned into their second song, “Mama Knows Best,” by Jessie J, lead by high-powered soloist, Caroline Mancusi ’16, who wore a Brookline Soccer jersey.  Resident beat-boxer, Tina Lipson ’14, donned an Exeter Basketball Jersey and acted as the glue holding the group together.

Students looking to hear more from the Trinitones should mark their calendars for the group’s joint concert with fellow female a cappella group, the Quirks, on Thursday, April 17.  The two groups will be premiering a new collaborative song.  Location is still to be determined. 

The Trinitones were followed by the only coed group of the night, the Dischords.  Thursday’s concert carried special significance for first year Dischord, Charlotte Thomas ’17, as Arch Madness marked her debut performance as an official member of the group.  Thomas said, “being a part of the Dischords has been a great experience because it has opened up a whole new community for me, not only in my immediate group, but also including other groups.”  She went on to say, “I love being able to sing and have fun with others and learn about music in a way that I was never able to in high school.”

The Dischords opened up the final act of the show with what was perhaps the crowd favorite of the night, Britney Spear’s “Toxic,” lead by senior soloists Alanna Lynch ’14 and Anisha Chakrabarti ’14.  The two women joined voices for a duet during the final verse and refrain, and donned Washington Nationals and Blue Chip Lacrosse jerseys respectively.  Following cheers and an enthusiastic round of applause, the group transitioned into the final song of the night, “Pumped Up Kicks,” lead by sophomore soloist Tara Kantor ’16.  For the second time that night, the audience truly became involved in the performance as they clapped along during the final refrain.  It was a truly fantastic way to finish out the show. 

Students looking to hear more from the Dischords should look out for more information regarding the group’s final concert in May.  The group is currently working on perfecting five fantastic senior songs that will be debuted then. 

Despite the frigid temperatures, Thursday’s Arch Madness concert proved to be a huge success.  Trinity students braved the cold to come out in support of their friends and fellow Trinity students, and enjoyed an outstanding concert that did not disappoint. All groups delivered fantastic performances.

The a cappella groups are enjoyable enough when they perform solo concerts, but they are an absolutely powerhouse when they team up with each other.


EROS’ annual drag show provides a night of fun and awareness



This past Saturday, April 12, Encouraging Respect of Sexualities (EROS) hosted its annual Drag Show. It is the group’s biggest event of the year and that was evident in the large attendance it attracted on Saturday. The show was held in Vernon Social Center and featured five eccentric and fabulous drag queens. They included Maria Bonita, Jennalee Diamondz, Bella Lucia, Essence Jade and Mercedes Valentino. During the event, they performed popular hits by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Pink while encouraging the audience to dance and sing along. Their performance hovered below a gigantic, handmade rainbow arch composed of more than 500 balloons. The bright and eye-catching décor added to the overall theme of the extravaganza, where “every seat was filled and people were forced to stand,” gushed Rey Llena Jr. ’15, the Drag Show Coordinator. The night of festivities included a fierce twerking contest. Lovelie Tejada ’14 won the title of the mightiest twerk on Trinity’s campus. “Thank you Eros for bringing the drag queens to campus!” Tejada raved. Tejada mentioned that there was no special technique in her moves but recommended that people listen to “’Express Yourself,’ by Diplo,” which inspired her to twerk like a pro.      

EROS, whose mission is to educate the Trinity community on social issues faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals, organized the event after months of preparation and coordination with the drag queens and the Office of Extracurricular Activities. With countless meetings and brainstorming sessions, EROS meticulously planned a night of unforgettable fun while raising awareness. Students were treated to ten-dollar vouchers to Goldberg’s while students of legal drinking age were offered two complementary drinks from the bar. During the recruitment process, Llena Jr. revealed that they have been using the same the drag queens for years as a result of their great energy and interaction with the audience. At one moment, one drag queen asked if they were able to use the “F word” on stage and Llena Jr. replied, “You’re allowed to say anything you feel comfortable with. This is our free space.” This created an environment where everyone was able to be themselves and being yourself was the main focus of the night. As the night progressed, Llena Jr. even encouraged people to come on stage and make the “YMCA” letters, which added to  the comfortable and fun environment.

The night did not end there. During EROS’s weekly Sunday brunch meetings, two drag queens arrived at the Queer Resource Center to share sumptuous, homemade pancakes and fresh fruit salads with its members. The drag queens came in casual clothing attire, which reminded everyone “they are regular people too with jobs and bills to pay,” informed Llena Jr. This instance shed light on the queens who are often seen in dazzling clothes, sky-high heels and bold-colored lipstick. While mingling with students, they were able to exchange “coming out” stories and talk about the most exciting part about their jobs.

This gave students the opportunity to talk to drag queens and see themselves as having a lot in common with them. Students also wrote questions down on index cards asking the panelists a variety of questions. In response, they spoke openly and candidly about their sexual experiences and interactions. The free forum and safe space encouraged both parties to converse about any lingering questions and any curiosities they had.  

The club has been dedicated to informing the public about LGBT culture through various forms of exposure and raising awareness of inequalities and political struggles through on and off-campus projects. In addition to the Annual Drag Show, EROS has given open panel discussions at cultural houses, at Greek organizations and during their weekly events. The larger Trinity community has become more receptive to the LGBT community as a result of their hard work educating the public and “more people are comfortable about their sexuality and confident in being themselves,” stated Llena Jr.

Their next event is the “Day of Silence,” on April 24, which is the national day of action to protest against bullying and harassment the LGBT students and their supporters face. Participants can wear stickers and inform their peers about the uphill challenges individuals’ endure who do not feel comfortable sharing their sexuality or “coming out” stories as a result of discrimination.

EROS’s vibrant and ingenious campaigns have been the catalyst for many students to discuss their struggles and journey to self-acceptance. Through these personal and compassionate stories, our community can collectively welcome individuals despite their sexual orientation and gender.    


Women’s Lacrosse remains on top with win over Middlebury

Women’s Lacrosse remains on top with win over Middlebury

Trinity Bantam Athlete of the Week: William DeLaMater ’15

by Brian Nance ’16, Staff Writer

He has played lacrosse in one of the most historic college stadiums in the nation.  He is the External Vice President of the fraternity Alpha Delta Phi.  He has played competitive tennis in Hong Kong and he’s never lost a match there. Is he the most interesting man in the world? He might be, but this young man also goes by the name Will DeLaMater.

 DeLaMater is a junior at Trinity and plays on the Lacrosse team as a long-stick midfielder.  He reigns from Irvington, New York and spent his high school days at The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. 

Growing up in Hong Kong, Will decided to play tennis year-round because lacrosse was not very popular in China. It was not until the fifth grade that Will took up lacrosse.  He and his family had just returned to the Unites States after living in Hong Kong when Will was first introduced to the sport.  DeLaMater immediately took up lacrosse as he started playing with his town’s travel team.  “It quickly became one of my favorites because of its fast pace and dynamic play,” said Will. “I also enjoyed the fact that I could compete with my teammates on the field.” 

In high school, Will played in one of the toughest lacrosse leagues in the nation, as Loomis Chafee is a member of the NEPSAC league. He speaks volumes about his high school experience, stating that he believes if he had not attended Loomis then he would most likely not be playing at the collegiate level today. 

 Will states, “The quality of players in Loomis’ league is vastly different to those on my hometown team. It was very helpful to get exposure to higher levels of play through my prep school team.”  During his tenure at Loomis, DeLaMater played against various teams that were ranked amongst the best in the country. 

DeLaMater’s various lacrosse experiences have helped shape the dominant midfielder that he is today.  DeLaMater is listed at 6’2” and weighs in at 175 pounds with a vast array of skills and moves at his disposal.  While watching him play, it is hard not to notice the speed and agility that DeLaMater possesses as he weaves between his opponents and provides a powerful defense for the Bants.  Just before the start of last year’s season, DeLaMater made the change from a short-stick midfielder to a long-stick midfielder.  Due to this change, he felt as though he needed to improve his defensive game in the offseason to be most beneficial to his team.  “I definitely worked the most on knowing our different defenses, slide packages, and rotations,” remarks DeLaMater.  “I think now I am much more comfortable in my position in comparison to last year.”

 This season has been a challenging one for DeLaMater and the lacrosse team.  Unfortunately the Bants have been on the losing end of numerous close games.  However, the season is certainly not over as key games against fellow NESCAC opponents are vital to the team’s future playing days.  Get out and support your fellow Bantams!

Food Dudes: Piolin restaurant has more to offer than savory rice



“You are what you eat.” This is not just an aphorism by vegetable-totting dinner spoilers to get people to eat in a more healthy way. What you eat says a lot about you as a person. Sure, eat five Big Macs and you are probably pretty big yourself. Don’t eat and you are probably close to nonexistent. But what you eat or where you eat can say a lot about who you are, including your class, race, and gender.

These signifiers of food never really occurred to me until a few weeks ago. After a class conversation and going to a few events these past few weeks, I came across a surprising realization about this campus – a lot of people do not know what Piolin is.

Not only is Piolin literally a five minute walk from campus, a variety of campus events offer free food from the restaurant. If it’s not pizza, it’s Piolin. Two weeks into school, I knew what Piolin was. I have survived on nothing but Piolin’s delicacies for an entire week straight. Piolin is everywhere on this campus!

Piolin is a Peruvian restaurant located almost literally across the street from Trinity at 417 New Britain Avenue. It has served the community since 1998 and continues to please its customers with their delicious and authentic food. The Piolin menu consists of a variety of options, including beef stew with cilantro sauce, shrimp soup with milk egg and rice, as well as broiled potatoes in a  yellow cheese cream sauce.

Like many Peruvian restaurants, Piolin specializes in “pollo a la brasa,” a blackened rotisserie-style chicken served with French fries and a salad.

Over the past few years, many “pollo a la brasa” Peruvian restaurants have popped up all over the United States and Peruvian cuisine has actually been ranked by many columnists and critics as an emerging cuisine in American food culture. While I am currently not as aware of New England food trends, in my home state of Virginia, particularly Northern Virginia, Peruvian restaurants have slowly – but surely – become a staple in the casual dining scene. I myself have sampled a variety of different pollos a la brasa from a number of different restaurants (and if you are ever in the area, I recommend El Pollo Rico in Arlington).

Perhaps it is the particularly high standards set by El Pollo Rico, but I actually did not enjoy Piolin chicken all that much.

The restaurant is good – don’t get me wrong. Nevertheless, there are other dishes on Piolin’s menu that really stand out beyond their chicken. The restaurant’s signature dish is their Chifa, or Chinese influenced  “Chaufa Piolin” – a rice dish made with seafood, strips of chicken and beef, all mixed together with fried rice, egg, scallions, and soy sauce, sautéed in a skillet.

An order of Chaufa Piolin costs about $15, but trust me, it is worth the money. Piolin’s serving sizes are monstrously huge and can easily feed three hungry people – or maybe just one very hungry college student. In all honesty, an order from Piolin can last a person at least two or three meals alone. But what really puts Piolin on the map is their one-of-a-kind and enticingly addictive green sauce. It’s so addicting, it’s actually been dubbed “crack sauce” on this campus.

Although the green sauce is specifically meant to be drizzled over rice, customers often eat it with everything. The sauce is slightly spicy with undertones of garlic and other Peruvian spices.

What exactly is in this famous green sauce? No one truly knows. The ingredients are surely as strictly guarded as the secrets of the Illuminati. Just go to Piolin and try it.

Piolin offers authentic food that is easily accessible to all Trinity students who are interested in venturing off campus to taste something new.

At Trinity and around the world: Josh Frank ’16 on the job



Did you know that you can be a full-time student at Trinity and not take a single class? Joshua Frank ’16 is not taking any classes this semester but he is undoubtedly one of the busiest and most involved students I know. 

Josh, donning a dress shirt and tie, rushes into our interview at Peter B’s, deeply apologetic that he is a bit late.  He explains that he was drawn into an unexpected meeting at the Capitol building. 

Josh is a sophomore here at Trinity and has opted to participate in the Legislative Internship program.  The program, headed by Professor Diana Evans, takes place during the spring semester and includes working 40 hours a week at the Legislature for four course credits. Josh spends every weekday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the office at the Capitol as an intern for the chair of the Education Committee. He spends much of his time at public hearings and listening to constituents.  He also writes a weekly analytics report documenting his experience.  But Josh reinforces the fact that he is constantly learning.

“The time we spend at the Capitol is geared toward our learning experience.  The internship teaches you that having a ‘9 to 5’ is different than being in a classroom. There are invaluable opportunities seeing things in person. You get to apply the textbook to the real world.” 

Josh is directly thrown into the world of politics but stresses that, “Working in government is not just about the politics.  A lot of people have a real passion and energy.  It’s inspiring.” 

Josh says working at the state’s Capitol has most inspired him to explore the city of Hartford as both a learning opportunity and a social opportunity. He states he was also deeply inspired by new president-elect Joanne Berger-Sweeney who described Trinity as a campus with an “urban pulse.” 

In fact, Josh has a deeper knowledge of the new president-elect than most Trinity students. He applied to and received a position as one of two student representatives on the presidential search board.  While on the board, Josh says he learned to further conduct himself as a leader and learned a great deal about the administration of the College.  He hopes to see many more collaborative projects in Trinity’s future, as he says, “Really magical things happen when people just sit down together.” 

Josh is also very proud of the board’s decision. “Words cannot describe how happy I am that Joanne Berger-Sweeney was chosen.  She is ebullient.  She is a super woman in higher education and she is loved wherever she goes. She is the right fit for Trinity.” 

Josh himself is looking to further his leadership within the Trinity College community. As the current executive vice-president of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Trinity, Josh plans on running for SGA president this upcoming year.  He really wants to work toward boosting the social experience at Trinity College while also furthering the celebration of students as scholars.

As an intern at the Capitol, the vice president of SGA, a P.R.I.D.E leader, a Posse Scholar, and an Honor Council member, Joshua Frank reminds us that, “We are in command of our experience here at Trinity.”


Greg Convertito ’16 explains why he loves living in The Fred

Nestled at the far south of campus in a stone and glass building resembling an odd, modern reinterpretation of a grain silo melded with a farmhouse in the midst of the relatively conservative Summit Suites is the Fred Pfeil Community Project – colloquially known as “The Fred.” Named after late Professor of English Fred Pfeil, the building is, first and foremost, a place where a sense of community exists on a campus which often seems atomized and uninviting. Upon entering the building, it is rare if the first person you see does not greet you, no matter how hurried they are, or if they do not even know you. 

            Bach Nguyen ’14, who has lived in the Fred since his sophomore year, explains that, “The Fred is often called a community, and it is, but it is something more than that. It is an open place where people can come and find other people and be overexcited about an interest, something like a book, a movie, a video game, or something else. We’re best known for our Friday night events, which is how we attract people, but it is just a gateway to the people who both live there and already come to chill with the people regularly. Above anything else, the Fred is a place with people. And when you come down to the building there are an abundance of people who would be willing to accidentally lose hours just to talk, chill, help out, and get to know you.”

I think this quote sums up my experience with the Fred better than anything I could have put into words myself. Living in the Fred, it is common to get emails inviting anyone in the community over to watch T.V. shows or movies playing in someone’s room, about pizza being ordered, about leftover food or freshly baked sweets in the kitchen, and about events on campus people in the Fred are a part of and would like others to participate in. Frequently, someone will knock at my door and ask to borrow a cookie sheet, a saucepan, a few eggs, or any other miscellaneous item that may be needed. Most people’s doors are open at some point during the day, with the expectation that passersby will walk in and join whatever is going on. Quite frankly, the Fred reminds me of my small neighborhood at home; the other day I heard it described as “small-town Midwestern” in the midst of my native, sometimes impersonal New England.

In addition to fostering the sense of community, inclusion, and open-mindedness within the Fred, we do our best to extend these values outwards to the rest of campus. A mainstay of this mission is our Friday night events, for which we are, perhaps, better known. Every Friday, at 9:00 p.m., there is an event, open to all of campus, in the common room on the first floor of the building. Whether it is one of our staples such as Coffeehouse Open Mic Night, YouTube Film Festival, and Tie-Dye, or something new and original, everyone is welcome, and it’s always a great time.

As important to this mission as our Friday Night events are our Fred Groups, which meet weekly or bi-weekly on a variety of subjects and interests. While our Friday Night events are a way to nurture such interaction in a large, party-like setting, Groups are a way to get many different types of people who share a common interest to meet each other in a very different setting. According to David Field, the Groups Liaison this semester, “Fred groups are one of the little known treasures the building has to offer. This semester we’ve held a Board Games club, Thursday Crafternoons, and a Supernatural viewing group, among others. Groups in the past have included feminist discussion panels and organized meditation.

The events are not just for Fred members. In fact, we encourage everyone on campus to join a group. They’re a great, informal way to meet new people and share some quality time with others.” As a frequent attendee of Board Games group, I am proud of the diversity of people involved: students, both those who live in the Fred and those who do not, a graduate assistant, and a couple of math professors are often in attendance. This interaction between a diverse group of people is what the Fred strives for in all of its endeavors; as an organization which promotes tolerance and acceptance, fostering such interaction is central to our mission.

Inseparable from this mission of community and tolerance is the Fred’s commitment to democracy. The Fred is a stronghold of student self-governance.

Most business is attended to during our general meeting on Sundays, and decided upon by simple majority vote. We have no executive – the closest things we have are two elected Community Facilitators, who are essentially meeting moderators with a few extra responsibilities. All details of Friday Night events are worked out by members who volunteer for the committee that week. We are very much a community organization held together by the active participation of our members and a common commitment to our mission of promoting tolerance, acceptance, open-mindedness and community in the Fred, and on Trinity’s campus as a whole. Please stop by on a Friday and hang out, I doubt you’ll regret it.

Trinity students participate in “RoboWaiter” competition

Undocumented students host discussion on immigration law

Gabriel Maletta ’14 shares his memories from his time in Berlin



My sophomore spring I chose to swap the cold capital of Connecticut for the even colder capital of Germany, Berlin. For four months I studied and lived in Germany’s bustling capital and they proved to be some of the best months of my life. Since then I have been back to study, work and visit whenever I have been given the chance. While not a traditional destination for Trinity students to study abroad, Berlin gives back tenfold to those who stop and spend time exploring the vibrant city. Over the past quarter century, Berlin, Germany has undergone an incredible transformation, from the epicenter of the Cold War to the cultural capital of Germany, and some say Europe.  I had never been to a place quite like Berlin and frankly never think I will find anything to match it. The culture of Berlin is hard to pin down. It is at times classy and trashy, chic and punk, nostalgic and futuristic. Its eclectic culture and historical fame has led it to become one of those cities that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.

One of Berlin’s biggest draws, for me at least, was and is its unique infamy as a city that dominated the headlines over the past century. My favorite museum in city, The Deutsches Historiches Museum, offers a honest history of Berlin’s role in the events of the past century. A quick trip through the museum tracks the course of the city from the uprisings post-World War I up until a decade after the Wall fell. It’s outside, however, where the best history can be found. Berlin is surprisingly open about its dark past, erecting hundreds of memorials and monuments to the moments and people that have changed the city. One of my favorite monuments consists of a series of dark colored bricks that trace the path of the Berlin Wall. Lasting for almost forty years, the Berlin Wall, though no longer surviving, has left an indelible mark on the city’s residents. While much larger monuments to this symbol of the Cold War exist, I took an instant liking to these simple and low-key stones.  I followed these bricks on my bicycle one day, leading me through quiet neighborhoods and packed downtown streets. At some points the bricks would end abruptly in a newly constructed building or house, only to start up again on the other side, a constant reminder that Berlin is a city that is forever changing and adapting.

Berlin’s tumultuous history has allowed it to become one of the most integrated, welcoming and multi-cultural cities in Europe. As little less than twenty-five percent of Berlin’s 3.5 million residents are either foreign born or second generation. Berlin’s thousands of immigrants mean it is an immense melting pot of languages, peoples and cultures. One of the biggest benefits of Berlin’s multiculturalism is the varied selection of international cuisines that dot the city. Berlin’s large Turkish population led to the arrival of the Döner kebab and hundreds of these small stands litter the city. The Döner, pretty much a Gyro on steroids, was my go-to food for a fast lunch or a late night snack on the way home, filling and yet never breaking the bank. Berlin’s large Vietnamese population means that cheap and fast noodles and Pho—life giving on a Sunday morning—are just around the corner. For those interested in classier dining, Berlin has thousands of restaurants with everything a big city has to offer and then some. One of the odder dining experiences I had while in Berlin was with friends to a restaurant named Savauge, which served a strict Paleo-diet menu inspired by African cuisine, showing just how far the city’s chefs can stretch their culinary skills.

While Berlin’s food and attractions can be experienced year-round, few experiences can compare with a Berlin summer. The winters are long and grey in Northern Germany, so when the sun is out Berliners take advantage of every minute. Berlin is home to dozens of parks scattered throughout its neighborhoods, each with their own individual vibe. Every day, people flood to these green spaces to grill and relax with friends and family. One of my favorite parks in the city is the former Tempelhof airport, located near the heart of Berlin. The famous Cold War airport was converted into an open park in 2010, boasting over eight kilometers of running, biking and walking trails. I was fortunate in having my apartment a block away, allowing me to go for daily runs around the airport along with the hundreds of bikers, runners and walkers who visit each day. On windy days the park is filled with kite flyers and intrepid parasailing skateboarders who race down the former runways. When it comes to pure relaxation however, no parks can compete with the Tiergarten located in the heart of Berlin. Originally a hunting ground for the old Prussian kings the sprawling Tiergarten is now Berlins largest park at over 520 acres. The park is home to countless meadows, gardens and lakes allowing Berliners a massive green space to relax in. If you are desperately in need of beaches and sun, the lakes on the outskirts of the city offer a quick escape from the bustling city. The beaches are filled with activities for the many Berliners and tourists who flock to the shores during the summer time. Renting a paddleboat allows you to explore and find a secluded shore, unpopulated by other bathers. Beware, however,  as the popular Wannsee lake is infamous for its nudist sections that are easily stumbled upon if one is unwary.

While the history and cultural attractions are all well and good, addressing the other aspects of studying abroad are important when considering a city. When it comes to the party scene, Berlin is unrivaled in Germany and perhaps Europe. From the lowliest neighborhood bar to the top-tier dance clubs, Berlin is the undisputed king of nightlife. Every night of the week sleepy street side cafes turn into buzzing watering holes where the German beer flows steadily on the cheap. I was fortunate to live in a section of the city, Kreuzberg, renowned for its bar scene and I was absolutely spoiled by the number of choices available to me. Berlin’s love affair with the outdoors means many of these great little bars are nestled along the banks of the river Spree or under the spread of trees in the Tiergarten. Germany’s lax container laws allow you to carry your own party into the streets and parks, where its easy to meet countless like-minded people and strike up a conversation.

When the weekend rolls around, Berlin becomes a whole new beast.  The city is the undisputed capital of electronic music and, starting Thursday nights, the clubs open their doors and don’t stop until late Sunday evening. Infamous nightclubs host world-famous DJs and packed dance floors. Berliners have a knack for repurposing old and derelict buildings into booming clubs. One of my favorite clubs was a defunct power station turned into two clubs. It still contained the old catwalks and industrial fans but booming techno music and a surprise ice-cream bar (amazing at 5:00 a.m. on a hot summer night) showed off Berlin’s creative side. If electronic music isn’t your thing, Berlin has you covered. The city is famous for its music scene, whether you like punk rock, jazz or indie. Berlin has incredible pull for attracting international artists filling everyday with a wide variety of concerts. One of the best concerts occurs in late June, where bars and cafes throughout the city transform into concert venues. The eclectic range of artists means heavy metal clubs host a four man orchestra while small family-run cafes get rocked by punk bands.

If for some reason you feel the need to truly get out of the city, Berlin is an excellent stepping stone for a European adventure. Berlin is located in the heart of Europe allowing for easy access north, south, east and west. Using Germany’s famously efficient rail system I was able to make weekend trips to the Czech Republic and Poland to experience a more Eastern European vibe. My fellow classmates easily made trips down to other parts of Germany as well as into France, the Netherlands and Denmark. For longer trips, Berlin has marketed itself as a major air hub meaning cheap flights all around. Feel like checking out the scene in Istanbul? Berlin’s Turkish diaspora means cheap roundtrip flights to Istanbul. Want to go visit your Trinity friends in Spain? Easy Jet runs continuous flights to Barcelona and Ibiza. I took advantage of the low airfares by traveling down to Lebanon and Cyprus for my Spring Break, checking out the scenes in Beirut and relaxing on the beaches of Larnaka. I was also lucky that the program I went with my sophomore spring, IES Abroad, included week long trips to both Paris and St. Petersburg, two cities I never truly planned on visiting. With travel being one of the key draws of studying abroad, Berlin is the perfect city for planning a European experience.

For those looking at Berlin for their time abroad, I found the IES Berlin program to be the perfect mixture of language and cultural study. With a heavy focus on Urban Studies, the programs is run by an expert faculty and hosts students from throughout the United States and abroad. The program, running in both spring and fall, offers plenty of chances to travel throughout Europe and actively encourages its students to take advantage of their time in Berlin.

For those looking to study in Berlin through Trinity a summer program has just been launched in the past two years. Led by German professor Johannes Evelein, the program consists of an introductory language class and a class focusing on the history of Berlin. It is a great way to experience such a vibrant city as well as pick up two credits. Even if you choose not to study in Berlin, I hope you get a chance to one day visit this wonderful city and take advantage of all it has to offer.


Relay for Life supports fight against cancer




This Friday, April 11 will be the 9th Annual Trinity College Relay for Life.  Trinity’s own Relay comes once every spring.

Relay for Life is a longstanding fundraiser that targets cancer awareness and research.  Over 5,000 events are held across 20 different nations throughout the world each year.  All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society, devoted to the mission of fighting back against cancer.

This year, the Relay will be held in Koeppel Community Center and the track will be set up on the ice.  Participant will walk laps around the track as acts ranging from a cake decoration to acappella performances by the our very own Quirks, Pipes, Tones, Dents, and Discords.

Relay kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Survivor’s Lap in which all participants who have fought and survived cancer take the lead for an often emotion filled lap.  Relay is, by nature of its cause, emotional.  It is rare to encounter someone who is untouched by cancer.  Cancer is one disease that truly knows no bounds.  Cancer continues to cause loss and tear at families and individuals, both patients and supportive loved ones.  These survivors, through a mix of luck, will, and courage, have wrestled and come out on top.  They have been through some of the most grueling medical treatment and have endured debilitating conditions.  Another powerful event is the Ceremony of Hope.  This is both to remember all who have passed and honor those who are entangled in the battle now.           

There are already 278 participants signed up for this year and a fund of almost $15,000 raised.  Individuals and teams as large as 15 have gone above and beyond the $10 registration minimum but of course there is always room for more.  If not the desire to be a positive active member of our campus community, the lip sync competition might entice you boasting a prize of $500.  Or you may be won over by this years date auction MCed by Steph Taylor ‘15, Lindsay Hanig ’15, and Halley Cruice ’15.

Sign up with a team or just show up on Friday with a donation.   


Exploring Trinity: going beyond the gate and to Trinfo.Cafe



Despite being a small college in a city, Trinity offers a wide range of activities to its surrounding community. One way it has done this is through Trinfo.Café.  Located on 1300 Broad Street, Trinfo Café serves as an open Internet café for the Hartford locals.

    Having never been there myself, I decided to check it out and see what exactly Trinfo is all about. Not only does it have a friendly and welcoming staff, but also a warm and comfortable environment. There is one room lined up with computers all against the walls, and serves as the main unit for people to use computers. Next to the room, and also serving as the main space of the Café, there is a lounging area with couches, chairs, and a couple tables. Magazines lay around and a few computers are also out for people to use.

   Upon entering, Hartford residents are required to sign in or, if it is their first time they must present a state identification and sign up. Once they are in the system, they may come in during open hours and use the computers. Hours of availability depend on whether the user is an adult or a teen. Everyday between 3:00 – 5:00 is designated as “kids hours” and adults will not be allowed during that time. However, on most days adults will have access to the computers between 9:00 AM and 3:00 p.m., and then again between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays the Café is only open till 7:00 p.m.

     While Internet Cafés may seem like something of the past, especially when you look around and see everyone on their laptop, Trinfo provides a service that, as students, we often take for granted. Isabelle Elizalda ‘12, the Graduate Assistant of Trinfo, explains how many Hartford residents do not have Internet access or a computer at home. Living in a world where technology is at every corner, it is even more surprising that many people still cannot navigate the simple tasks of using a computer. Trinfo attempts to bridge this gap by offering a wide range of programming options that teach people how to use a computer, or help them build upon skills they already have.

    For Hartford Youth, Trinfo offers the following programs: Media Literacy for Youth, Multimedia Programs, and Computer Typing Programs. In the Media Literacy program, youth are taught about a theme through using a computer. Some of the themes include the environment, consumerism, and democracy. Multimedia programs serve as an after school program where youth can learn about making a video. In the Computer Typing Program, youth learn how to type through a self paced program. While these classes are specific to Hartford youth, Trinfo also offers programs to its adult learners. The following workshops are available to them: Personal Development and Professional Development. In Personal Development adults take a series of three hour courses, which are available in either English or Spanish, that teach basic introductory material. The subjects range from learning how to turn on a computer to simple Internet use. In Professional Development, adults learn how to use all Microsoft programs.

  Understanding the limited access Hartford locals have to computers, Trinfo also has a bi-yearly computer give away. It is a refurbished computer provided by Trinfo and aims to increase Ethe residents’ knowledge on technology and Internet use. Although Trinfo’s focus is on computer literacy and access, it also provides other services. People can make copies, print, buy blank CDs, and iPhone 5 chargers. As the name mentions, Trinfo also has coffee, tea, and various sweet treats such as cookies.

Although Trinfo has been around since 1999, not many people are aware of its services. Elizalda states that her personal goal is “to make Trinfo a bigger presence.” Students working at Trinfo also promote the services provided and encourage the community to take advantage of it. Mauricio Uyaguari ‘16 and Lovelie Tejeda ‘14 both express a feeling of satisfaction from working at Trinfo. Tejada, specifically states that she’s gained a new appreciation for teaching, especially something as important as computer literacy. While most Trinity students have access to computers or can use those in the library, Trinfo.Cafe is still a great place to check out. You will always be greeted by a friendly staff member and can savor a nice cup of coffee while you see everything Trinfo has to offer.

Trendy Trinity: Georgie Wynn ’16 shares her favorite things



Style varies from person to person, but Georgie Wynn ’16 gets it right. Her style is classic, very colorful, pretty, and breezy. Georgie knows what she likes. First and foremost: having a go-to pair of jeans or even a company that you know fits you perfectly is so important when looking your best. For Georgie, that brand is Seven For All Mankind. She admits that she tends to gravitate towards “jeggings” but knows that the Genevieve style is her favorite, without a doubt. And what is better than a perfect white t-shirt to go with those Genevieve jeans? Absolutely nothing. Georgie grabs a plain white Gap T-shirt to complete the crisp, clean, casual look. It works perfectly every time with her Michael Kors runway watch and her favorite bag: a vintage Fossil side purse.

Every girl loves her accessories and it’s important to know what works for you. For Georgie, it’s her long, gold-chained necklaces that she inherited from her great-grandmother. Aged jewelry paired with clean modern accessories gives Georgie’s look a little bit of an edge. She wears her gold Tiffany rings and Alex and Ani bracelets for her modern jewels.

A go-to brand and store is another important thing to have. It’s an assurance that if you don’t like any of once-worn clothes that are hanging in your closet, you can revert back to the one brand you love. Georgie loves Urban Outfitters and their clothes truly fit her style. She also really enjoys thrift shopping, especially at Second Time Around. What’s best about thrift shopping is when you can find something that is exactly what you’ve been looking for. It may be a dress or a shirt that you saw a few years ago but never bought. Or it might be a pair of vintage boots that already have the worn-in look you just have to have.

As spring approaches, girls all around shed their jackets, kick off their boots, and throw on dresses and flip-flops. Clothes seem lighter and more colorful, which makes just about everyone happy. When heading out during the day in warm weather across campus, Georigie’s favorite kind of dress to slip on is anything loose and with a flower print. It’s a classic choice when wanting to appear put together, as if you worked all morning to get ready, yet the look is truly effortless.

Malaysian airplane disappearance shows uncertainties of flight



A plane has been missing for a month and no one knows where it is. According to CNN, Flight 370 of the Malaysia Airlines went missing after  one of the pilots said “all right, good night” on March 8, 2014. This ambiguous statement has led everyone to believe that there is some foul play involved, especially since the transponder was supposedly “turned off.” It is possible and it has been speculated that the transponder stopped working. No one really knows what happened or what may be currently happening on Flight 370. But, what I want to know is this: how can a plane of that size go missing in today’s world and not be found yet?

As someone who used to be very scared of flying, hearing about flight 370 was disheartening. It was upsetting to know that a plane went missing and no one knows what happened. The only thing we can be sure of, as the Prime Minister of Malaysia has speculated, is that probably none of the people in the flight survived. And although I do not wish to believe that, the question that follows is how can they be? How can they remain alive? But furthermore, why can’t the whole world find a plane? Did it just vanish? Why did it take a month for there to be important evidence? Who did people not do their homework and what can we do to fix it so that this does not happen the next time?

There have been some who believe the government is not telling the truth about the Malaysian flight. One woman told the New York Times, “All governments are corrupt. The Malaysian government is hiding something.” Could it be that this is the case? Is the government trying to hide something? If they are, what is the reason for the big show that they are making of “trying” to find the flight?

The truth of all these questions is that no one has a concrete answer. We do not know what makes a plane go missing and what makes a plane undetectable. When I think of all the technology out there, from the ones that are downright useless to the ones that we have use for, it amazes me that all someone has to do is turn something off on a plane to prevent us from finding it. Are you serious? Honestly, in today’s world and with our technology, a back-up plan should have been thought of. There should have been a back-up plan, such as, what if this happens? What will prevent a plane from going missing, perhaps? And although the question seems simple, we won’t be put through this whole ordeal again.

We also have no idea about who is behind the disappearance. There is a strong chance that someone on the plane tampered with the flight. Many have speculated that it is the pilots who have done something to tamper with the plane. The possibility of that could be high. However, since nothing in the conversations of the pilots indicated that foul play could have been on anyone’s minds, that theory is shaky. Some people also believe that the plane flew autopilot. This is possible. But, in an opinion piece that he wrote for CNN, Robert Goyer makes the case, “when terrorists hijacked the airplanes that were flown into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, they flew the airplanes by hand and those hijackers had trained for months with that exact mission in mind. In the case of Flight 370, it would almost certainly have remained on autopilot, which would have dutifully followed the flight plan in the flight management system.” Therefore, autopilot to some, especially Goyer, is not possible at all.

But could the plane have malfunctioned? CNN writers had some theories of what they believed could have happened. According to one writer, “aviation consultant Kit Darby has said there might have been a power failure, and during the hour when he had backup power, the pilot was attempting to return to ‘the airports and a region he knows.’ There’s also the possibility that the tail or a wing tore from the fuselage. This particular Boeing had suffered a clipped wingtip in the past, but Boeing repaired it.” It is also possible “that a window or door failed, which would cause the temperature inside the plane to drop to 60 degrees below zero, creating a freezing fog and giving crew members only seconds to don oxygen masks before becoming disoriented and then incapacitated.” If this had happened, debris would have fallen and someone would have located it.

I found it shocking that this is not the first time that government officials have been unable to find a plane. According to CNN, in 2009, Air France Flight 447 crashed in the South Atlantic between Rio de Janeiro and Paris during turbulent weather conditions. It took four searches and almost two years before the bulk of the wreckage and majority of bodies were recovered. The voice and data recorders weren’t found on the ocean floor until May 2011. Therefore, for some who are searching for the flight, it is a case of déjà vu.

I wanted to do a piece on Flight 370 because I thought I might be able to find information on what is going on. All I found was that the United States, among other countries (such as China), has found debris that later turned out to be nothing.

The information that is currently circulating is that the Australian Nay Ship is now searching under water, and unfortunately they have until April 7 to do it because the devices in the plane that are powered by batteries stop emitting “pings” after 30 days.

April 7 marks 30 full days since the plane went missing.  According to CBS, on day 29, a Chinese ship heard a signal in the Southern Indian Ocean that is the same frequency as what would be put out by the plane’s data recorder. There has been white debris detected, but nothing has been confirmed.

This new finding has been like all of the findings and speculations. It leads us to nothing of certainty, and so far in the search, it seems that nothing will ever be certain.

Trinity hosts its Ninth Annual International Hip-Hop Festival



This past weekend, Trinity hosted its 9th annual International Hip Hop Festival.  The festival started kicked off on Thursday with seminars in Terrace Rooms B and C on “Hip Hop as a Social Movement” and “Media Representations of Global Hip Hop.”  That evening, many attended a screening of the film Say My Name: Women. Hip Hop. Life in the Washington Room. 


Day one of the festival concluded with a Spoken Word open-mic at the Mill, which brought out dozens of performers—Trinity students and Hartford residents alike.  Zaniyyah AshBoy ’16, performed two poems including a love poem and a poem about the struggles minorities face on a daily basis.  She was preceded by Briana Chang ’16, who performed her poem, “My Man,” in which she discussed the struggles black men face in a world that is stacked against them.  “Spoken Word, to me, is a platform to express myself and others when the world told us we were insignificant and small,” Briana said.  “When I can’t articulate issues in my life, I write a poem.”  The sense of community was palpable as the performers and audience members cheered each other on.  The closing performer was a high school aged Spoken Word first-timer who delivered her poem to resounding applause. 


Friday commenced with a discussion entitled  “How to Use Hip Hop for Empowerment,” followed by a presentation by Bocafloja in which he discussed his new book Prognosis: Decolonial Poetic Exhale.  Published in both Spanish and English, Prognosis: Decolonial Poetic Exhale is a collection of poems, narratives, and essays telling the stories of the economic and psychological impacts of colonialism on Mexico.  “We’re breaking down those barriers that mainstream culture is constantly refining,” Bocafloja says. 

“We want to tell the stories of Mexico in the most applicable ways possible”.

 Bocafloja also raps, in addition to his poetry, and several of his videos have appeared on MTV tr3s and MTV World.  He does much of his work with the help of his group, Quilombarte.  They currently have a documentary in production in which they hope to address issues regarding Latin American race relations.  In the future, Bocafloja says they “hope to bring cultural production to communities that are usually denied this kind of artistic expression.”  Bocafloja says his ultimate goal is to create public spaces in which marginalized peoples can coexist and interact. 

That afternoon, the Rittenberg Lounge housed a film screening and discussion which was led by the Hip Hop Re-Education Project (HHREP).  HHERP is an organization that targets young people, aged 18 to 24, through in-school integration of art, music, and academics, as well as resume “Do It Yourself” workshops, and its Bronx-Berlin exchange program.  HHREP encourages its participants to be open to different ideas and cultures while maintaining a strong sense of self and identity.  “Not only do you learn how to grow your craft, you learn how to grow your being,” one of the organization’s members said of his experience with the group.  HHERP aims to inspire young people to develop passions and life-paths in which they can become fully invested.  The group has already produced one album and is currently in the process of recruiting artists for its second album. 

Undoubtedly, Friday’s highlight was “Bboy/Bgirl Break-dancing Battle and Exhibition” where participants included Trinity students, Hartford Residents, and New Englanders alike.  Judges evaluated almost 50 contestants of all ages who competed in groups of four.  Each contestant was given a score and the top 16 moved on to the “Showcase Round.” 

During a ten-minute intermission, Hartford children took to the dance floor to give break-dancing a try, supervised and mentored by the more experienced competitors.  The break-dancing elders could be seen teaching young dancers new moves and providing tips on how they could improve. 

From the top 16 competitors, a winner was eventually crowned.  Again, the community came together, supporting each other and connecting through art. 

The final day of the festival began with a graffiti exhibition on the Gates Quad, which continued all day.  Students and community members passing by throughout the day could stop and examine the art displayed on the quad. The nearby Cave patio also served as a venue for local and regional talents.  Rappers, singers, and dancers alike took to the patio to share their art with their community and peers. 

The festival concluded Saturday night with the final hip-hop concert, which ran from 7:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.   Performers including Shokanti, Jaro Cossiga, and Black Noise hailed from around the world.   Seminar and workshop instructors from throughout the festival also returned to perform in the festival finale.  Talib Kweli headlined the event and delivered a fantastic performance to an enthusiastic crowd and booming applause.

Although it was encouraging to see greater interaction between Trinity students and the Hartford community, it seemed the turnout could have been better.  “I think that more Trinity students should attend the Hip-Hop Festival and see what it’s like,” said Briana Chang. “Just about every moment of this event is an experience that makes me feel like I’m doing more than existing, but truly living. I wish more of my peers would join me.”  When asked if she felt Trinity should host more similar events, Briana stated, “I think Trinity does have many wonderful events like this, and more are created.  People just need to go and explore, go and volunteer to make events like this the true and beautiful experiences that they are.”

The common theme throughout the festival seemed to be of community coming together in support of one another, particularly its youth.  Repeatedly, more experienced artists worked to help the youth better themselves and find a venue for expression and acceptance.  The festival was a reminder to all of the importance of community involvement as well as artistic expression and acceptance.  The festival brought people of all backgrounds together in a celebration of art.  Hopefully the event inspired greater Trinity-Hartford integration in the future. 



Trinity students fundraise for philanthropic work in Kenya



A year abroad had changed Gaurav. Being at Oxford has been an adventure. He definitely missed it and the friends he made there, but he was ready to go back to Trinity. During his year abroad, he travelled and explored the world. Each new country and each new experience helped him grow. He had no idea that this next experience would have such a large impact on his life.

The wind whipped through his hair. He took a deep breath and marveled at the landscape that surrounded him. He can still clearly remember that feeling of travelling to another country. It was exhilarating. Gaurav was in Kenya doing research for his senior thesis project. He was studying ethnic conflict. The research was going to start in Njoro where ethnic conflict was rampant.

Upon entering the village, he met Rupa Devi, the woman in charge of the orphanage in Njoro. She was and still continues to take care of seventy-two young orphan girls. After a long chat with Rupa Devi, Gaurav learnt that ethnic violence since 1992 had claimed the lives of 5,000 people. It had displaced over one million Kenyans. Those young girls were victims of the terrible circumstances that surrounded them and there was no clear way out. Due to the ethnic clashes, the girls lost their orphanage. It was burned to the ground.

The orphanage is entirely supported by donations. To this day, the girls do not have a proper structure that they can call home. The limited funds are directed towards basic necessities and education, as opposed to the structure itself.

Gaurav was in shock. The stories he heard baffled him. They saddened him. It was then and there that he decided what he needed to do. Without wasting a single minute, he did all the research and spoke to all the people necessary to make his plan a reality. He was determined to change the girls’ unfortunate circumstances. He wanted to create opportunities for them that would guarantee them a better future. Upon his arrival at Trinity, he contacted our friend Marissa, and the both of them got to work on a proposal. They would submit the proposal for the Davis Grant for Projects for Peace.

He wanted to seek sustainability in four ways at the orphanage. The first was a spacious kitchen equipped with baking units for the girls to bake professionally for income. The girls would learn professional skills and cater to clients as a source of income. Second, a conference room on the first floor, which would be equipped with a projector screen and the necessary furniture, which would act as a meeting room for organizations and events. Income generated from bookings of the conference room would help the mission’s sustainability. Third, to establish an ambitious program to connect each girl with a family in a nearby town. The girls would have access to a social network through these assigned families who will pledge to come and visit the girls at least once a month. The families would also contribute towards basic necessities for the girls, allowing the traditional source of donation to survive. Lastly, traditional donors would be encouraged to continue their assistance to the project.

When I read the proposal, I was so impressed. It was something so ambitious and I knew him and Marissa would pull it off. The more Gaurav talked about it, the more I wanted to go. It was such an incredible opportunity. I told him that if he received the grant, I was in.

The days leading up to the final decision were nerve-wracking. On a lazy morning whilst I was watching some television in Gaurav’s quad, Gaurav leapt out of his room screaming with joy. It could only mean one thing. He called Marissa, and then jumped around the quad some more. I could not believe it! We were going to Kenya!

Before I knew it, we had formed a group of six people, ready to embark on this journey together: Gaurav, Marissa, Juan, Paroma, Aurora, and myself. Our first meeting with all of us together was absolutely fantastic. We were laughing and joking around. We genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. It feels so wonderful to be a part of something with great people that will do so much good. We threw ideas around about how to fundraise and discussed flight tickets, and talked about the details of our trip to Kenya.

A few days after the meeting, our fundraising began. We are all so grateful to the Trinity College community for being so supportive and so encouraging. The response has truly been overwhelming. We give thanks to the Davis Grant and Trinity College for helping us to do something good for the world. We have the ability to help a community that has been struggling and needs support from not just us, but everyone around the world. We are still in the early stages of fundraising but it has already been so incredible. After four incredibly hectic years at Trinity, right after graduation we will leave for Njoro. We have this golden opportunity to help these young girls. We can provide them with the tools to access a better life, free from the hardships they have had to face at such a young age.

These opportunities really do not come by often. If you have a plan or a project in mind, do not hesitate to apply. Trinity will be a strong support system, ready to help you in any way that they possibly can. As we grow older, we become so involved in our own lives. It’s important to take a chance to give back when you can, because it could lead to something life changing. On May 20, the six of us will depart for Kenya, on a journey that we know will change our lives. We ask you to please help us help them. You can donate your meals at Mather on April 16 and 17. You can like our Facebook page and donate online. Any amount, small or big, will bring us one step closer to our goal. In the next couple of weeks,  keep an eye out for some of our other fundraising events, and please donate! Anything helps, and a little goes a long way! You can help make a difference.


Canning lawsuit highlights the fraility of familial relationships



Some say that the bond a child shares with its parents is the strongest form of attachment. Then comes the teenage years and that attachment is put to the test. The bond between parents and their children becomes tumultuous. There are the good days when everyone seems to get along just fine and  there are others when there is the continual screaming and recriminations. For the most part, these conflicts resolve themselves and in others they do not. In some cases, this tension that develops between parents and child takes a strange turn.

Rachel Canning, an 18-year-old high school cheerleader from New Jersey, made the decision to move away from her parents’ house in October because she did not agree with the rules that her parents had set forth for her, including the fact that they wanted her to break up with her boyfriend. In this instance, most children who cannot find a compromise seek independence and move on. Hopefully with time, both parties would be able to reconcile their relationship. Rachel, however, took it a step further and instead sued her parents for child support and tuition. In her lawyer’s view, since her parents made between $250,000 and $300,000 a year, she should receive at least $654 a week as child support. She also sued them for tuition fees for the high school she attended, which they had stopped paying for. Additionally, she requested that her parents cover her legal fees. When the case began, the parents of Rachel’s friend were the ones paying the legal fees as well as allowing Rachel to stay in their home. Rachel also stated that she should not be emancipated because she had not left home voluntarily, but rather that her parents were abusive and so her decision to leave was based on fear of safety.

When I heard of the case, I was mystified. Rachel is among many who do not agree with their parents’ house rules, but to sue your parents? For me, it felt a little extreme. If indeed she came from an abusive home, then I thought, why not just leave and dissociate herself from the people who were hurting her? It seemed the case would only result in bad memories.

But, the more I thought about it, why shouldn’t she be able to finish high school considering she would be graduating in only a few short months? So, in that regard, I felt that her parents should at least pay for the remainder of her high school fees. As for the child support, it still did not seem that she was entitled to it, especially since she moved out of her parents’ house two days before her eighteenth birthday and so by the time the case started she was already eighteen. Then the case became even more convoluted as the parents had their say. From their perspective, Rachel had been exhibiting bad behavior, such as drinking, and were she to move back home, they would pay for the remainder of her high school fees. Considering the fact that Child Protective Services went to their home and cleared them of being abusive, I came to believe that they were in the right and what the judge said about Rachel being spoiled started to ring true.

For me what stood out as I tried to learn more about the case were pictures that were taken during the proceedings. More importantly, those taken of Rachel and her parents. I keep going back to two, one of Rachel smiling and looking unfazed and the other was of her parents, both of them in tears, looking destroyed. At this point, I could not help but think, how she could put her parents through this just because she was unwilling to abide by their rules? What about her younger siblings and how this situation would affect them? And then comes the even bigger question, her friend’s parents who supported her and were paying the legal fees for the time being. Did they ever try to approach her parents to come to a compromise or rather just believe the story that Rachel gave them?

Unsurprisingly, Rachel dropped her suit on March 18 and made the decision to go back home with her parents, who allowed her to do so, which to me speaks well of their characters. I can imagine some parents, who after this debacle would tell their kids to grow up first before allowing them to come back home. At the end of the day, a family was reunited after many months apart, but I also hope that Rachel as well as others learn an important lesson from this. The decisions we make can have far reaching effects, especially as adults and the consequences of those decisions may never go away. So, yes, Rachel is back with her parents, but the damage done already may be irreparable.


Trivia on Vernon: An alternative and fun Thursday night option



Thursdays are special days on college campuses and Trinity is no different. For some students, they signal that the weekend is almost in full swing again. After four days spent in the depths of the Raether Library, this can be quite uplifting. Thursdays to most college kids are, in actuality, Thurs-nights: a time when many hard working students seek to take a break from their studies and unwind with their peers, many of whom are sailing in the same work-ridden boat.

Groups of eight filled the tables and chairs of Vernon Social Center as WhatTrivia host, Mark Bernacki, informed an eager crowd of students about the special occasion of the evening: two students would be randomly selected to win $25 gift certificates to Goldberg’s, in addition to the $50 set aside for the champions. The room was bright and welcoming.

“The rules are simple. Choose a team name. Don’t forget a rules sheet or answer pad. Put your team name, along with your answer and a wager. Don’t forget to wager and don’t repeat a wager. Oh, and NO CELL PHONES.” To get the most out of my experience, I felt it best to throw myself right in the thick of things, and join up with a group of contestants. Already it was unlike anything else I knew of that happened on Thursday nights.

The game, organized in a rather simplistic manner, is split into halves, with a final question to cap things off (worth up to as many points as a team is willing to wager). Throughout the first round, contestants were continuously asked other thought provoking questions, such as: “Which of the following words—bootylicious, bromance, selfie, jeggings, or yolo—was not in the Oxford Dictionary?,” “What does the modern technological term ‘wi-fi’ stand for?,” or “In the anatomy category, where are beauty features that are regarded in science as one’s ‘zygomatic arches’ located on the human figure?”

The answering process was an event to watch in itself. Some were just a matter of common knowledge and other questions left the door open for some creative persuasion. Equally as entertaining was the wordy debate between two slightly tipsy biology majors, about whether the zygoma was related to the bones beneath the lower eye or those in the cheeks. Their reactions were priceless when another teammate intervened only to say that they were both right, as Mark announced that all he was looking for was anything referencing ‘the face’.

At this point, the host took a quick pause to announce the first recipient of the two Goldberg gift cards. I took a pause myself, as I began to try to imagine a fraternity putting the party on hold to give away raffle prizes. It wasn’t long before I realized that there wasn’t much substance to the thought at all: a similar giveaway would be hard to do in an environment where names are not exactly a focal point. And, for those not immersed in friend circles including fraternity members, the initial act of getting into the frat is often an instance of randomly generated luck in itself, never mind getting a drink. I chuckled a bit on the inside as the thought of fraternities taking timeouts faded away and I refocused on the game at hand.

Once again, I was genuinely fascinated as people confidently scribbled down answers just as quickly as the questions themselves were asked. The second round came to a close as Mark revealed that Oprah Winfrey was the only African American billionaire according to Forbes.

As promised, a tally was taken at halftime to see if the previous week’s attendance record had been broken. With 13 teams and 60 players, it shattered the old one and set a new record. What was once only a handful of students answering a list of questions in an empty room had transformed into a competitive and engaging weekly test of knowledge that was well attended.

The second half started and it wasn’t long before the audience was tested again, this time in the form of numerical reasoning. Mark paused to give out the second Goldberg’s gift card then moved forth with the final round categories, a few of which he had to repeat. It seemed that the alcohol was beginning to become more of a factor. Each repetition appeared more tedious than the last, and I began to feel a sense of frustration, the same feeling that the host was doing a commendable job of holding back.

The final task was to name 9 of the 10 largest countries by total land area (including inland bodies of water). Designated messengers for each team scribbled their answers and ran up to turn them in, as they did time and time before. I grew curious to the point of asking if bonus points were awarded for quickness. I learned that they weren’t; people were just eager to share knowledge they proudly possessed. This was also interesting, as I began to notice another parallel between trivia and your typical night in parts elsewhere on Vernon; this was focused more around what you knew and less around whom you knew.

I am not implying that a sense of community cannot be derived from places like fraternity basements. Their ability to remain in existence through recent scrutiny is proof that a community is being active about their own presence. The feeling I get on campus is that fraternities have not easily surrendered to the new mandates being imposed, nor do I feel they should, as a formidable following has grown accustomed to the lifestyle revolving around Hartford’s best attempt to emulate the “frat rows” that can be found in larger scales at southern schools that enroll thousands more than Trinity does. I simply am trying to paint a picture of what the student body has continuously been promised. That is, not an entire abolishment of Greek Letter Organizations at Trinity, but rather activities that provide an alternative environment in which all cultures present at the college could be fostered without limitations, and for the first time I felt it had delivered.

Thursdays on Vernon Street may be notorious for their late night antics in which groups of kids run around campus drinking up until the buffer zone between thoughts and actions gets burned paper-thin by the alcohol, and rampant anarchy seems to be the byproduct. Although technically in the aforementioned circus of a place, WhatTrivia at Vernon Social Center was more much more civilized than any Thursday night on Vernon Street that I could remember, and invoked tests of intelligence and teamwork that aren’t quite able to shine through the darkness that often encapsulates the basements of Vernon Street.

WhatTrivia on Thursday nights are changing what was once the Vernon Street norm of keeping people out, to promoting a more inclusive and engaging environment and breaking attendance records by letting more and more people in. As the event came to a close, I immediately thought to myself, “What could be going on at this hour everywhere else on Vernon?” Being a student here long enough to know where that question could lead, I decided against entertaining the thought and instead relished the moment I had just been part of. Perhaps it was the true intention of a building with the term “social center” included in its name.

With all of the recent buzz surrounding the growing nature of weekly crowds, a third segment of WhatTrivia was proposed. his own. Mark clearly appreciates the turnouts, evident in the extra prizes that I later discovered were donated by the host himself.

WhatTrivia at Trinity College is held on Thursday nights at 7 p.m., and all are certainly welcome. I’ll see you there.


“Holy Motors:” a delightful and enigmatic Franco-German Film



Open on a crowded theatre of dark faces observing a silent film; next, a troubled dreamer awakes to the sounds of the sea. He paces his windowless room before locating the precise place in the wall—wallpapered to resemble a skeletal forest—where his metallic finger clicks into a concealed keyhole. Bursting through the wall, the man—who is in fact the film’s writer and director Leos Carax, who came to prominence with such features as “Boy Meets Girl” (1984), “Mauvais Sang” (1986), and “Lovers on a Bridge” (1991)—stumbles into the theatre and gazes out at the muted screen. So begins Carax’s most recent endeavor “Holy Motors.” Knowing that we are stepping into what looks like the subconscious of a filmmaker, it is difficult to say what exactly follows this rather cryptic opening sequence: is it a movie about dreams? Is it a dream about movies or a movie about movies? I am not sure if I, after only one viewing, have arrived at a conclusive answer yet. Nevertheless, let us commence with the most concrete plot synopsis possible.

The film tracks one. . . let’s call it, “average”. . . day in the life of Mr. Oscar (played by one of France’s most incomparable character actors, Denis Lavant, who has starred in almost every one of Carax’s films). He departs in the early morning from a magnificent, Le Corbousieresque mansion, his doting wife and gaggle of smiling children waving him goodbye. He proceeds to a white stretch limo, escorted by a heavy security detail. He is greeted at the car by his personal driver, Céline, played by  an elegantly gray Edith Scob (of “Eyes Without a Face,” Georges Franju’s 1959 cult classic, which Carax references heavily throughout the film). Handing him a stack of rather classified-looking manila folders, Céline informs Mr. Oscar that he is scheduled for nine different “appointments” that day. Mr. Oscar dons a gray wig and begins to apply a transformative amount of costume makeup. At this point, nothing about the impending events is clear.

The car winds its way into the bustling epicenter of Paris, stopping at the iconic Pont Alexandre III, where a gyspy woman is jingling a tin cup of petty change amidst the flâneurs. “Nobody loves me anywhere,” she croaks, “But I’m alive anyway.” She is ignored and reviled by the passersby. We can see, however, that she is no authentic vagabond, but the unmistakable Mr. Oscar incognito. She (or rather, he) hobbles back into the stretch limo and is off to the next destination. Apparently, “appointment” number one is complete.

The eight successive appointments vary from hysterically funny, to poignantly tearful, to utterly grotesque. It is truly the motliest array of scenes in any single film I have seen to date. As much as I don’t want to spoil any surprises for those of you who are legitimately interested in seeing the film, I simply can not resist naming a few of the episodes you have to look forward to, specifically: Eva Mendes wearing what can only be discribed as a silk chiffon burqa, video-game porn, a melodramatic musical number by none other than Kylie Minogue, and my personal favorite—a boisterous interlude of accordion-driven revelry inside a candlelit church. Each segment is wildly different from the one before and viewers, and I predict that even those who are unfamiliar with this type of filmmaking will be impressed and entertained by the sheer force of Carax’s imagination.

With all that said, there still remains certain questions: what is Mr. Oscar trying to accomplish? Who employs him to complete such bizarre and seemingly inane tasks? If you are the kind of viewer who will be demanding immediate and wholly gratifying answers, then be forewarned: comprehension (or rather, interpretation) of the film is contingent on your own vigilance and creativity. There are clues everywhere, including references galore to the titans of French filmmaking such as the aforementioned Franju classic, “Eyes Without a Face” and Jean-Luc Godard’s 1961 New Wave debut, “Breathless.” I am virtually illerate when it comes to this topic, so it is not without a bit of research that I write this review. However, I firmly believe that you can enjoy “Holy Motors” without knowing the slightest bit about French cinema; all that is required of you as a viewers is that you are able to meet the filmmaker halfway: do not ask whether or not the world in which “Holy Motors” takes place is realistic. It’s not, move on. This is a film that invites its viewers to enter a space populated by dreams or movies or dreams of movies, whatever you decide.

My advice is to simply take that invitation and delight in working through the ambiguity it presents.


Elemental Movement Dance Crew fuses various dance genres



In celebration of the International Hip-Hop Festival, many clubs are joining forces with the Temple of Hip-Hop to host an array of events for the Trinity community.  While the festival lasts for two days, the Elemental Movement Dance Crew is a permanent urban and versatile dance club on campus. Founded by Myles Bristow ’14 and Ella Wechsler-Matthaei ’14, the club blends together components of Hip-Hop, Modern Dance, West African and Dance Hall (just to name a few) into their choreography. Since the founding of the club in 2010, the club has experienced challenges and many successes. When Bristow and Wechsler-Matthaei entered Trinity as first-year students, they created the club based on their common love for dance. However, during their time abroad in the Trinity program  in Trinidad, the club’s leaders were not able to organize practices, design dances or compete with other schools. Fast-forward to their senior year, Elemental Movement has become synonymous with hip and fresh dances that invigorate our art community.            

Sitting in on a recent Friday practice at Trinity Commons, students from all backgrounds and abilities joined in to practice a dance by Nicole Kim ’16. Members followed and asked questions about how to emulate the moves of their nimble leader. Unlike other dance clubs on campus, there were no other dance groups that offered students a blend of all dance types while inviting students of all levels of dance experience. Elemental Movement was the solution; it is “energetic, inclusive and collective,” states Bristow. While originally starting as a Hip-Hop dance group, the club has evolved to incorporate multiple styles and elements to their dances in the same way that the genre of hip-hop dance has matured in recent years. When the public thinks of hip-hop, it is often associated with urban dance battles with breakdancing, b-boying, tutting and popping and locking. With Bristow and Wechsler-Matthaei’s knowledge of dance and experience abroad in the diverse islands of Trindiad and Tobago, their dance has become more global and infused with different cultural elements. Elemental Movement has captivated audiences with their fluid movements and catchy tunes. Some of their biggest performances include the Mocha Talent Show, “Take Back the Night,” and the Spring Dance Festival.

The element of love, passion and devotion is the fundamental building block of the dance group, “Coming to practice is never a task and always an exciting part of my day that I look forward to,” said Wechsler-Matthaei. What unites each of the members is their common goal to improve their ability to dance and compete. With both seniors departing in less than a month, the club has encouraged its members to design their own dance and share it with the group. The International Talent Show was the first time the group danced without their founding members, “I felt like a proud parent,” raved Wechsler-Matthaei as she watched from the audience. She referred to the club as her “pride and baby,” devoting much of her four years at Trinity overseeing events and practices.

Both founders have left an impressive mark on the art community. They have created a welcoming environment for dancers to explore all forms and experiment with a blend of genres, creating a vibrant and thriving art culture on campus. Since the birth of the club, membership has increased to include students from all social niches. They are hoping to hold dance workshops to include Hartford residents and build a stronger relationship with the community. Other future prospects include winning more competitions against nearby colleges and universities.

At the core of Elemental Movement is the “love that everyone shares” that connects each individual to his or her beloved dance group. With this passion, the club continues to expand and share their love with the rest of Trinity and Hartford.           


Talib Kweli headlines Trinity’s International Hip-Hop Festival



Spending a few minutes alone, Talib Kweli paced through the halls in the upstairs of Mather Hall before jogging onto the stage. In a black flat brim hat, black T-shirt, and thick gold chains, the legendary MC commanded the stage of the 9th Annual Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival, while promoting his new album, “Gravitas,” and conscious Hip-Hop.

“It’s a vehicle, it’s a tool. It’s a vehicle, it’s a tool. Like, you know how the cavemen had tools they used. And like you have technologies and tools. It’s a vehicle, it’s a tool, for us to create, express, get messages out, create resources,” Kweli says when asked about Hi-Hop. With repetition and rhythm, Talib Kweli speaks as though he is rapping.  The idea that Hip-Hop can be a tool to empower the oppressed is a message that the Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival promotes, and is one of the many reasons the festival organizers have been so excited to have him perform.

“The basis of the festival is to introduce people to conscious hip-hop, and remind them that the sub-culture of hip-hop is to empower people, and not go through that mainstream idea that Hip-hop is supposed to be misogynistic, and not care about the people who care about it. And we have to look at artists who uphold that,” says Neha Surender ’14, one of the four main student organizers. Conscious Hip-Hop is a tradition at the annual festival.

Talib Kweli is the most recent artist to headline the nearly decade old festival.  Other well-known performers such as Dead-Prez, KRS-One, K’naan, and Brother Ali have played in years past, all of whom have been categorized as “conscious rappers.” 

“Being known as a conscious rapper is great, it’s wonderful, it’s a great honor, but no one would care if I didn’t make it properly,” says Kweli. “When they understand that the reasons they like me is because they like what I do as an MC, the conscious thing is just the gravy on the mashed potatoes. Mashed Potatoes is the entertainment”

If mashed potatoes are the entertainment, then Saturday night’s performance was rich, buttery and sprinkled with spices. Kweli’s beats and lyrics charged the packed Washington room with energy.  Audience members and other performers alike came from across the globe, as well as from down the street, to listen, watch, and participate in the weekend’s entertainment. The show not only brought different groups from the Trinity community together, it also connected the school to the greater Hartford area, as well as the global hip-hop citizenry.

“It’s a three-fold thing for me. It’s like, Trinity College and expanding the minds of the people here, bringing in the Hartford Community to be more involved with Trinity and like it, and Vice-versa, and then we got the global community, and that’s what it’s all about,” says Brandon Serafino ’14, another student organizer.

Throughout the weekend-long festival, cypher groups sprung up spontaneously, B-boys and B-girls were breaking at every event, and graffiti artists sprayed their tags. Everyone, regardless of age, race, or gender dapped one another in hallways, and swayed their arms to the same rhythm.

Hundreds of hip-hop fans came out to listen and watch Talib Kweli perform, though he was not the only one. Black Noise,  Quilombo’Arte Collective, Vox Sambou Jaro Cossiga, The Hip Hop Re:Education Project, Anomaly Konglomerat, and Shokanti all gave strong performances and represented countries like Mexico, the Czech Republic, Haiti, Canada, Mozambique, and South Africa. Their shows were well attended, but did not garner the same popular gravitas as Kweli.

During Talib Kweli’s roughly hour-long performance, he commanded the audience—at times getting them to shout, sing, listen, and learn. “If you don’t like the current state of Hip-Hop, it’s on you,” Kweli said between songs. It was a quick message about empowerment, telling the audience that the consumer controls the direction of hip-hop. He was addressing the audience as a group of individuals, saying that collectively we decide how hip-hop progresses.

His message was the metaphorical gravy on top of the rich mashed potatoes and was well received by the diverse audience. Hipsters from Wesleyan, young kids with dreads, girls with patterned leggings, preppies with pastels and men with afro-hawks all bounced with the rhythm. There was no typical attendant—the crowd was far too diverse. Throughout the show it was conspicuously clear that Kweli is aware of his position in the hip-hop community, the audience he attracts, and his role as a conscious rapper.

“He started as an underground rapper; he still is an underground rapper. Even through he’s had his duos, we people who are a little more known, he’s still upheld those pillars of the hip-hop subculture, doing things to empower people, and doing things because we love it,” says Surender. His reputation precedes him, and because of that, landing him as the headliner to the 9th Annual Trinity International Hip-Hop festival was not easy.

Neha Surender, Brandon Serafino, Kyle Pack, and Myles Bristow are the four Trinity College seniors that organized the event and are known as the leaders of the Temple of Hip-Hop. A process that started nine months ago, they have been working tirelessly to put the event on. It was only in the last two weeks that Kweli confirmed that he would play at Trinity. Saturday night’s show was one stop on a long list of events in which Kweli is performing. Promoting his new album, “Gravitas,” Kweli returned from Europe, where he played shows in Munich, Paris, and London. Fuelled by vegetable lasagna from Trinity Restaurant, Talib Kweli played late into the night.


Women’s Tennis starts season strong, tops NESCAC standings

JT Mehr ’16


The Trinity Women’s Tennis team has been nothing short of impressive so far this spring. To date, the Lady Bantams are ranked number 14 nationally and hold a record of 7-2. They began their season at home on March 8 by defeating Skidmore College.

For Spring Break, the Women’s Tennis team travelled to California. On March 19, the Bantams faced NESCAC rival Bowdoin College, culminating in an 8-1 victory for the Polar Bears. Morgan Feldman ’16, playing second singles, won the lone match for the Bantams – a three set, 6-3, 4-6, 10-7 defeat over Kate Winingham. Despite a tough loss to begin their trip, the lady Bantams rebounded the next day in Orange, California by defeating Chapman University 6-3. Melita Ferjanic ’16, Elizabeth Gerber ’14 and Caroline Gagne ’14 all won singles matches in straight sets, playing in the first, fifth and sixth singles. Regan Cherna ’14 and Senzo Mauve-Maphisa ’14 were victorious in second doubles, winning 8-2.

Just a day later, Trinity faced La Verne University in a match held at Claremont McKenna University. For the second day in a row, the Bantams won 6-3 over La Verne. Melita Ferjanic ’16 and Morgan Feldman ’16 won the first and second singles matches. Seniors Caroline Gagne ’14 and Elizabeth Gerber ’14 were successful playing third doubles, securing an 8-1 victory for the Bantams.

For the last match of their California Spring Break trip, the Lady Bantams battled UC Santa Cruz. Without much difficulty, the Bantams cruised to a 7-2 win. Regan Cherna ’14 and Senzo Mauve-Maphisa ’14 won their respective singles matches 6-2, 7-6 and 6-1, 6-0. Cherna and Mauve-Maphisa also played second doubles for the Bantams, where they won 8-4 over Courtney Lymburner and Danielle Caro. The win over UC Santa Cruz capped off a cumulative 3-1 record for the spring break trip. Morgan Feldman ’16 earned Trinity Athlete of the Week honors for her amazing play in California.

On March 29, the Lady Bantams travelled to Brandeis University, just outside of Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts. Morgan Feldman ’16 and Elizabeth Gerber ’14 won in both the singles and doubles leading Trinity to a tight 5-4 win. This gave Trinity its fourth consecutive victory, providing significant momentum prior to the April 3 conference matchup against Wesleyan University. The Lady Bantams cruised to a 6-3 triumph over the Cardinals, improving their record to 6-1 and earning their first victory in NESCAC competition. 

This past Friday, Trinity competed as the number two seed in the opening round of the Nor’Easter Bowl. Despite trailing 3-0 after doubles play, the Lady Bantams won five of six singles matches, four of which were in three sets, to earn a 5-4 victory against Wellesley College. Advancing to the semi-finals yesterday, Trinity was faced against the seven seed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was a tough day for the Lady Bantams, as they lost 7-2. Morgan Feldman ’16 and Elizabeth Gerber ’14 won the only two matches for the Bantams, playing number two and number five singles.

This coming week, the Lady Bantams face Connecticut College, Middlebury and Williams. These three matches are important in determining the post-season fate and seeding in the NESCAC tournament for the Women’s tennis team.

Trinity Baseball finishes 1-2 in three game series against Colby

Drew Ragosta ’17


The last four Trinity baseball games, starting with a knockout win against MIT with a score of 5 to 2, have set the stage for a killer season for the Bantams this semester. On April 2, Trinity defeated the Engineers, breaking their impressive three-game winning streak and pushing them down to 7-10 while the Bantams advanced to 6-10. Pitcher Jed Robinson ’16 threw a great six and a third innings, fanning three hitters and letting up seven hits. Patrick Carbone ‘14 and David O’Brien ’14 both took the mound in the ninth inning to relieve Robinson. O’Brien earned two strikeouts over six batters and Carbone earned his third save of the season. Trinity got on the board early as they scored their first run in the first inning as Mackenze Genauer ’16 came home on a wild pitch. In the second inning, Genauer hit an RBI single to left field that brought home Nick DiBenedetto ’17 and Chris Leach ’17. The Bantams rounded out their scoring in the sixth inning as DiBenedetto hit an RBI ground out to third base and Leach scored his second run off a wild pitch.

On April 5th, the Bantams lost at home against Colby by a score of 5-3 falling to a 6-12 record. Trinity came out strong in the first inning with Evan Abraham ’15 scoring on a walk with a single by Daniel Pidgeon ‘16, and Scott Huely ’15 hitting a sacrifice fly, allowing Abraham ‘15 to score the run. The Bantam’s scored again with another walk by Abraham ’15 from an RBI by Scott Huley ’15. For awhile the Bantams led with a score of 3-2, but after six innings Colby scored another three runs to take the lead and the win.

The Bantams and Colby battled it out again against Colby on April 6th, with a close win of 5-4. Abraham came out to hit the first RBI, followed by Brain Wolfe ’17, Chris Leach ’17, and Ryan Ruether ’17 all cranking out RBI singles. To put the nail in the coffin, Richard Spencer nailed another RBI run to drive Pidgeon home. The ending score was 5-4, with Trinity adding another win to their record.

As of now Trinity’s current record is 7-12 and 2-4 in the NESCAC falling just one game behind the Bowdoin Polar Bears. The Bantams will be playing again on April 9th against MCLA at home, followed by a three game series in Medford, Massachusetts against the Tufts Jumbo’s. With conference rivals Bates, Middlebury and Wesleyan in the coming weeks, the Bantams are looking to capitalize in order to qualify for the NESCAC tournament in early May.

This season, the Bantams have putup impressive stats. The team has scored 76 runs in 19 games, including 24 doubles, 2 triples and a home run over 143 total hits. The squad has a team batting average of .260 and an on base percentage of .352. Brian Wolfe ’15 and Daniel Pidgeon ’15 lead the team offensivly with batting averages of .377 and.349 respectivly as well as 42 combined hits and 24 combined RBI’s.

Trinity Baseball wins one in doubleheader against Bowdoin

Peter Prendergast ’16


On March 29, the Trinity College Baseball team went 1-1 in a double header against the Bowdoin Polar Bears at home. The Bantams move to a season record of 5-10, going 1-2 against New England Small School Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams. Trinity has met Bowdoin three times this year on the diamond, and the Bantams are in third in the east division, behind only Tufts and Bowdoin.

In the first game of the double header, Bowdoin’s Harry Ridge ’16 shut down Trinity’s batters, as he allowed only two hits and no runs over six innings. Peter Burrows ’14 started on the mound for the Bantams, allowing three runs over five innings pitched. Chris Gallic ’17 relieved Burrows in the final three innings of play, allowing three runs. Aaron Rosen ’15 led offensively for Bowdoin, as he went 3-4 batting with three runs batted in. Adam Moossmann ’15 and Carson Kenney ’15 both contributed hits in the first game.

In the second game over the day, the Bantams opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning as Bryan Wolfe ’17 hit an RBI double to right field, bringing home Scott Huley ’14 for the first run of the game. In the sixth inning, with runners on first and second, Daniel Pidgeon laid down a sacrifice bunt to bring home another run. Wolfe continued the scoring streak with a RBI grounder to shortstop and finally Kenney finished with an RBI double to left center. The Polar Bears did not give up as they mounted a three run comeback in the eigth inning. Bowdoin’s Sean Mullaney hit an RBI single to shrink the deficit to three runs. Aaron Rosen and Chad Martin contributed two more RBI’s, making it just a one run game. In the top of the eighth, the game was called due to inclement weather, as Trinity had the bases loaded with two outs.

Ryan Carr ’14 pitched an impressive seven and two-thirds innings, giving up just two runs on five hits and recording five strikeouts. Patrick Carbone ’14 pitched the final out of the game, recording his second save of the season.

Trinity has put up impressive numbers thus far this season, as they have scored 59 runs thus far from 113 hits (19 doubles, 2 triples and 1 homerun.) Total, the team is batting .265 with a team on base percentage of .351. Daniel Pidgeon and Bryan Wolfe lead the offense this season batting .347 and .375 respectively. Ryan Carr and David O’Brien have both won two games on the mound for the Bantams.

This season, the Bantams have an overall record of 5-10. In the NESCAC, Williams leads with a 3-0 conference record, followed by Amherst with a 2-0 record, Bowdoin at 2-1, Tufts at 1-0 and Trinity at 1-2.

Looking ahead, the Bantams face MIT at home on April 2, followed by a three game series at Colby on April

Women’s Softball improves record with three game win streak

Elizabeth Caporale ’16


The Trinity Women’s Softball team improves to 4-9 overall after a three game winning streak involving victories over Coast Guard and Bates. After a shaky start in Florida, where the team came away with only one win, things finally seem to be looking up for the Bantams. After suffering a tough 3-2 loss from Coast Guard in the first game of their March 25th double header, Trinity soundly defeated them in the second game with a score of 4-1.

This past weekend Trinity earned back to back wins against Bates in their home opener series. The Bantams are not only undefeated at home, but are now also 2-0 in their division. A third game against Bates has been postponed until further notice due to rain. Currently, Trinity is ranked 1st in their division, NESCAC East, which consists of half of the NESCAC (Trinity, Bowdoin, Colby, Tufts, Bates).

In the first game against Bates, Trinity earned a 3-0 win with the help of sophomore pitcher Hannah King ’16, who threw a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts and scattered seven hits over five innings. King pitched a perfect three innings to start the opener and went without a walk in both games. Trinity’s offense struck early with sophomore third base Erica Correa ’16 and first base Miranda Riendeau-Card ’15 both driving in home runs on bases-loaded walks. The Bantams kept the Bobcats off the board with stellar pitching and defensive play, and added an insurance run in the fifth inning on a lead-off single by senior tri-captain short stop Abby Ostrom ’14 and a two-out RBI single by Riendeau-Card.

In terms of players to watch out for, one stands out- Bantam of the Week Lizzy McQuaid ’16. A sophomore short stop hailing from Lowell, Massachusetts, Mcquaid earned the honor on March 18th due to her outstanding play during the team’s annual spring break trip to Clearmont, Florida to participate in the Dot Richardson Spring games. During that week McQuaid went 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs, and a double in a 6-5 win against Manchester, and was 1-for-2 with a walk and a double in a rough 12-0 loss against Wittenberg.

Also, Hannah King was honored this past week as the NESCAC Pitcher of the Week. She allowed one earned run in her start during the first game of a double header against Coast Guard as well as pitching two innings of scoreless relief in Trinity’s 4-1 victory in the second game.

Elizabeth McQuaid and Erica Quinones ’16 lead the Bantams offense this season with 15 and 13 hits respectivly as well as batting averages of .395 and .333. Lily Jewell ’17, Hannah King and Meghan Logan ’17 have all started games this season for Trinity, recording 70 combined strikeouts, 4 wins and a combined ERA of 4.18.

Looking ahead, the team will play two games away against Eastern Connecticut State on March 1, as well as a three game series against Bowdoin, the weekend of

Trinity Men’s Lacrosse falls to Bowdoin in NESCAC matchup

JT Mehr ’16


The Bantams Men’s lacrosse team has faced many difficulties since the beginning of the 2014 season. Having one of the most competitive schedules in the country, dealing with terrible weather conditions, and losing three of the leading goal scorers from the 2013 season- Matt Cohen, Rob Nogueras and Nick Shaheen- the team has overcome a lot of adversity to date. Despite a slow start to the season, the Bantams have been turning it around.

During Spring Break on March 15th, the Bantams travelled to Lewiston, Maine for a game against conference rival Bates College. Ben Preston ’15 tallied the first goal of the contest early in the first quarter off an assist from Matt Hauck ’15, and a second, unassisted goal just before the end of the first quarter. Preston continued to play well; with a score tied 3-3 at the beginning of the third quarter, the junior attackman recorded another goal to give the Bantams a one goal lead. The Bantams closed the third quarter with momentum off a goal from Seth Bird ’16. With a 6-4 lead to begin the final quarter, Chase Growney ’14 added a key goal with only 2:27 left in regulation. From there, Trinity closed the game with a final score of 8-7 over the Bobcats. This matchup was nothing short of a nail biter from start to finish.

Just three days later, the Bantams had another away game- this time against Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Chase Growney ’14 led the Bantams with two goals and two assists, while Ryan Cholnoky ’16, Terence Olsen ’14 and Stefan Pappas ’17 each added one goal and one assist. Trinity didn’t trail once throughout the game, and Seth Bird ’16 recorded a crucial goal with only 59 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. This gave the Bantams an 8-7 lead with under a minute to play, but Chris Christian scored the tying goal for Haverford with just one second left in the game, leading to overtime. The momentum was definitely in favor of the Fords, but Chase Growney ’14 recorded the game-winning goal to give the Bantams a 9-8 overtime win.

On March 22nd, the #6 nationally ranked Tufts Jumbos came to Hartford. The Jumbos overpowered Trinity from the start of game, ending with a 22-8 Tufts victory. However, the Bantams were able to rebound well in their following game against Western Connecticut State. Chase Growney ‘14 and Matt Hauck ‘15 played lights out for the Bantams, registering five points and seven points, respectively. Growney and Hauck combined for nine goals, along with tallies from Michael Lofrese ’16 and Gus Ackley ’17. Midfielder Will Benjamin ’14 won 13 of 20 face-offs, while Dan Badalato ’16 and JR Mastro ’17 played strong defense. The well-rounded performance by the Bantams culminated in a 14-11 victory.

This past Saturday, the team again travelled to Maine to take on the Polar Bears of Bowdoin College. Trailing 8-2 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Bantams rallied back when Chase Growney ’14 and James O’Connell ’15 both scored to cut the deficit. Despite the late surge, it was too late for the Bantams as Bowdoin won the game by a score of 9-5. Goaltender Mickey Zaverucha ’15 recorded 16 saves against the Polar Bears high-powered offense.

The Bantams have conference games in the next two weeks against Connecticut College, Middlebury and Wesleyan, which will determine their fate for the NESCAC

Trinity’s new Housing System and the Fred

Forrest Robinette ’16

Managing Editor

On March 13, members of the Fred Pfeil Community Project met with several faculty member and administrators to discuss the new Trinity House System. During this meeting, students were able to ask questions about the details of the House System. Members of the Fred were able to talk with the faculty about how the new system would affect the Fred as a dorm and as a social organization. The meeting also served as time for faculty to get student feedback on the upcoming change.

Chaplain Allison Reed was one of the faculty members in attendance and she opened the meeting by briefly explaining the details of the House System. She said that the aim of the House System committee is to “create a sense of community” as well as “bridge the gap between the intellectual and social lives of students” at Trinity. Several faculty members then mentioned that they often hear from students who are dissatisfied with the lack of community on campus. The housing system is meant to be a means of addressing that issue.

Chaplain Reed explained that the Housing System would create five houses on campus, each consisting of two or more dorms. Upon entering the college, first-years would be assigned to one of these residential houses. In each house, there would be seven or eight seminars and the seminars would not be grouped according to subject or academic field. A faculty member explained, “For example, all of the science seminars would not be grouped together. Every house would have a mix of students with a variety of academic interests.” The faculty chose to structure the houses in this way as a means of fostering diversity. Each house should not be homogenous. Instead, it should be a collection of students who have a wide array of interests and backgrounds.

As Chaplain Reed continued her introduction, she noted that sophomores would remain in their assigned houses. However, a student is able to live wherever he or she pleases during his junior year. At this time, several students raised their hands to ask questions, in which Chaplain Reed opened the meeting up to free-ranging discussion.

Several students expressed concern about the inequality of the housing facilities on campus. One student said that it would be very disappointing to be assigned to a house with dorms that have poor facilities. Dean Alford, who was present at the meeting, said that the faculty is fully aware of this issue and is working to address it. Another faculty member then chimed in and said that the Administration’s goal is to raise funds to improve the infrastructure of each of the houses so that students would not have a negative view or preconceived notions of certain dorms. Chaplain Reed then said that the House System committee intends to use raised money to make improvements to the communal spaces of each of the dorms. For example, each dorm would have more comfortable lounge spaces and each house would have a kitchen space open to all members of the house. These would be fully communal areas where students can relax, study, cook and hang out.

The discussion then moved in the direction of how the House System will affect the Fred itself. Several students asked if the Fred will be absorbed into the House System or if it will be allowed to continue in its current form. The faculty members responded by saying that, at the moment, they do not intend to bring the Fred under the new house system. It will remain autonomous when the House System goes into effect.

However, the faculty did say that the House System might lead to a drastic decrease in available sophomores for the Fred. As of right now, the Fred is composed of sophomores, juniors, and seniors. In the new House System, sophomores would be required to remain in their houses and therefore they would not be able to apply to the Fred until junior year. Joe Barber, the Director of the Office of Community Service and faculty sponsor to the Fred, expressed his concern about the disappearance of sophomores from the Fred. He noted that, “one-third of Fred members are sophomores.” If sophomores are forced to stay in their houses, the Fred may not be able to recover from such a decreased application pool.

At this point in the meeting, the students began to ask more questions about the details of the system. One Fred member asked if students would be allowed to switch houses. The faculty responded that, in most circumstances, they would not be able to switch. Dean Alford said that, “We are striving for variety and vertical integration and that would be very difficult if students can switch houses as they please.” One student agreed with Alford’s comment and said that students shouldn’t be able to switch unless there were special circumstances. This student argued that, if students can switch freely between houses, the house system might become “clique-oriented.” She went on to say that each house would develop a reputation and, in that way, the system might backfire. Another student disagreed that students shouldn’t be able to switch and she expressed her concern about the lack of choice that students will suffer from. She said that young adults come to college wanting freedom and agency and “people will lose some of that agency if they can’t choose where they live during their sophomore year.” Several faculty members agreed that the lack of choice is less than ideal, but that the benefits of a stronger community could outweigh the decreased freedom for students in terms of housing.

The meeting then began to wrap up. One faculty member summed up her view on the House System saying that the shift will likely be difficult at first because this is “a change in the tide.” She said that she understands that any major change like this will have its issues and that “we will have to confront those issues as they arise.” She went on to say that, even though change can be frustrating, “we have to keep working to solve the issues of the college.”

Honor Council conduct cases highlight plagiarism and vandalism


Contributing Writer

All matriculated students of Trinity College are responsible for their personal conduct and must uphold the school’s standards. When a student violates the policies or regulations of the Student Handbook, a hearing with the Honor Council is held.

The Trinity College Honor Council is a group of elected and trained students who serve a one-year term. A hearing panel, or appellate board, is comprised of members from the Honor Council. Each member of the panel has a vote in determining respondent responsibility and in the recommendations of sanctions. The Dean or his designee are present during all hearings to advise the panel, but he does not have a vote.

Sarah Bates ’17 expressed the purpose of the Honor Council as a group making strides towards fairness at Trinity, stating that the Council serves as an example to students that the policies held by the school are being enforced. She explains, “The Honor Council is about creating a community that does not tolerate dishonesty, so that everyone is able to hold themselves accountable for their own actions.”

Every year the College informs the Trinity community of all major academic and non-academic conduct cases resolved by the Honor Council from the early fall to the present. This year, these cases involved student handbook violations committed by students in all grades, both off and on-campus.

In total there were 21 non-academic cases released. These cases have been reported by the Hartford Police Department, Trinity College Campus police, on-and-off campus vendors, fellow students, and by anonymous persons.

In one case, a resolution was reached on the grounds of Trinity’s zero-tolerance policy on physical assault, violence, and harassment. “The Honor Council determined that the accused student violated College regulations that prohibit physical assault and verbal harassment and imposed sanctions of a permanent college censure notation on the student’s transcript and a mandated evaluation and ongoing counseling for alcohol abuse.” In this case, the goal of the Honor Council is to not only enforce the school policies, but also provide the necessary help and counseling for students where it is needed.

Another case described a student who disrespected a Campus Security officer. “Campus Safety reported that a senior male climbed on top of a patrol car and was being egged on by a crowd. The Honor Council found the student responsible of behavior which endangers and issued an admonition as well as required an apology to and work service with Campus Safety.”

Cases heard by the Honor Council are not always against individuals, but sometimes against student organizations. This semester, two student organizations were heard in separate cases where they both were held accountable for their actions. “During a campus event at a fraternity, college officials became aware that an unknown number of wristbands had been illegally fabricated and distributed by members of the fraternity. Through an investigation and administrative resolution process, the fraternity was found responsible and banned from having open campus events for the spring and fall of 2014.”

The other case, which involved a campus-recognized group, began with an anonymous tip regarding sorority hazing. An honor council was convened to hear the case and determine responsibility and culpability of those involved. “The Honor Council found the sorority not responsible of hazing, but responsible for violating the Colleges’ social policies. As a result, the sorority was banned from initiating any new members this year and from sponsoring/participating in any social events with alcohol for the remainder of the academic year.”

In addition to the aforementioned cases are thirteen academic cases and resolutions from Honor Council hearings released to the Trinity community. Contrary to the non-academic cases, a clear trend was found in this set of incidents. Ten of the released cases involved extensive plagiarizing and submitting another’s work for one’s own. Students in all grades were accused of plagiarizing term papers, lab reports, and even menial homework assignments. The results of the punishments for plagiarism ranged from students being held on permanent censure to suspensions, respective to the degree of the cases reported.

The Honor Council will continue to see student cases throughout the year until the next election process takes place.

Trinity welcomes President elect Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Serena Elavia ’14

Senior Editor

 On Thursday March 27, the Presidential Search Committee announced that Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney would be the next and 22nd President of Trinity College. Berger-Sweeney is currently the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University in Medford, MA. The Board of Trustees unanimously elected Berger-Sweeney on Tuesday March 25 and she will take the reins of President on July 1, 2014 after current President James F. Jones, Jr. retires after 10 years at the College. Berger-Sweeney’s appointment marks a historic point in Trinity College’s 191 year history as she is not only the first female President, but also the first African-American President. Chair of the Presidential Search Committee and the chair elect of the Board of Trustees Cornelia Parsons Thornburgh ’80 will begin her tenure as chair when Dr. Berger- Sweeney becomes President.  

                  There were numerous events to welcome Dr. Berger-Sweeney to campus. The official announcement of Dr. Berger-Sweeney’s appointment from the Presidential Search Committee came in a campus wide email at 11 a.m. on Thursday March 27. At 1:30 p.m. that afternoon, Dr. Berger-Sweeney greeted hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni in the Washington Room. The audience heard speeches from Cornelia Parsons Thornburgh ’80, Dr. Berger-Sweeney and Pres James F. Jones, Jr. Dr. Berger-Sweeney’s husband Urs V. Berger, Ph.D, also a neuroscientist, and her children Clara, 17 and Tommy, 13 were in attendance for the day’s events. Clara is entering her senior year of high school in Natick, MA and will stay in Natick with her father until she graduates. She plans to spend the summer in Hartford and visit on the weekends during the school year. Tommy will move to Hartford with his mom and the family is exploring schools for him to enroll at. One option mentioned by Berger-Sweeney is the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) citing the school’s beautiful facilities and great teachers.

                  Berger-Sweeney received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from the all women’s college Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA in 1979. She then went on to pursue an M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and completed her postdoctoral training at the national Institute of Health (INSERM) in Paris, France. After completing her graduate education, Berger-Sweeney returned to her alma mater Wellesley College as the Allene Lummiss Russell Professor of Neuroscience and an associate dean. During her tenure as associate dean, she oversaw 20 academic departments, faculty recruitment, student retention rates and professional development. From 2004 to 2006, Berger-Sweeney created Wellesley’s Neurosciences Program and created an interdisciplinary major in Neuroscience.

After 19 years at Wellesley, Berger-Sweeney became the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University and was responsible for developing and directing the strategic vision of Tufts’ largest school composed of 5,000 students, a 385 member faculty and an annual budget of $311 million. She also oversaw undergraduate admissions, athletics, undergraduate and graduate students, the graduate school and communications. At Tufts, she worked closely with Greek Letter Organizations (GLOs) and will be able to draw on that experience when approaching Trinity’s current situation with GLOs. As dean, Berger-Sweeney helped found the Bridge to Liberal Arts Success (BLAST), which helps students who are the first in their family to attend a four year college.

A recipient of numerous awards, Berger-Sweeney has won the National Science Foundation and Young Investigator Award and in 2006 was awarded a Lifetime Mentoring Award from the Society for Neuroscience. In May 2010, the History Makers organization recognized her as one of the nation’s leading African-American scientists. She is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and chairs the professional development committee of the Society for Neuroscience. Her area of research focuses in the neurobiology of learning and memory and she has done extensive research in Alzheimer’s disease. Berger-Sweeney brings to Trinity a wealth of management experience and believes in the excellence of a liberal arts education.

The Tripod had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Berger-Sweeney and hear her thoughts on the issues most relevant to students.

As the first female and first president of color at Trinity, Berger-Sweeney describes the feeling as exciting and daunting. “There is excitement of forging into a new territory” she says. Many female and students of color are excited to welcome Berger-Sweeney to campus and she hopes that her presence will socially balance things at Trinity. Currently, the gender breakdown at Trinity stands at 52% male and 48% female and the College has only a 21% rate for students of color. From her record, Berger-Sweeney is passionate for and has devoted much of her time to issues of gender and diversity. When she was a Dean at Tufts, she helped found an Africana Studies program and the Center for Race and Democracy, an academic center that promotes research, scholarship and discussion on how race impacts the lives of global citizens. “Trinity College has made a statement by hiring me” she says about how the College hopes to forge a new path en route to its bicentennial in 2023.

What initially brought Berger-Sweeney to Trinity was the quality of the College. At the core of Trinity is strong faculty and intelligent students, the foundation of a great liberal arts education and one of the defining aspects that drew Berger-Sweeney to Trinity. She also cited Trinity’s unique location and said that she wanted to be in an urban area, not in a remote, bucolic setting. But once Berger-Sweeney takes over in July, she will have to hit the ground running. Just 9 years away from its 200th birthday, Trinity College is at a unique crossroads with the paths of Greek Life, academic engagement and social issues all intersecting simultaneously.

Berger-Sweeney’s greatest strength in leading Trinity will be the knowledge and experience she has to draw on from Wellesley and Tufts. As Tufts is a NESCAC school and some of Wellesley sports competes in the NESCAC league, Berger-Sweeney understands the NESCAC commitment to athletics. While at Tufts, she set goals and strategies for athletics, oversaw renewal of facilities and ensured that the athletic department was following all Title IX guidelines. Outside of athletics, Berger-Sweeney has worked with multiple departments and programs both at Wellesley and Tufts. She understands the importance of an undergraduate education and the teacher-scholar model as she has had undergrads working in her lab at Tufts.  While she may be the first female and first African American president, Berger-Sweeney is also the first scientist to lead Trinity. “I cannot take off my scientist hat” Berger-Sweeney says regarding what her approach to the job will be. Berger-Sweeney brings her scientific and analytical training to Trinity and is a major proponent of using data to support views and provide a rationale for particular decisions.

While Berger-Sweeney will develop specific programs and plans for Trinity, her overall goal is for students to remain strong and get stronger and for faculty to remain strong and get stronger. This academic mission is at the core of an institution and will not be forgotten. In 1990, a professor of education at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education published a widely discussed paper on the decline of the liberal arts education. Over 20 years later and after the 2008 Recession, the discussion on the value of a liberal arts education is still prominent and an issue that Trinity must grapple with. As liberal arts colleges begin to disappear nationwide and more students opt for vocational or schools with specialized job training, those who do enroll at a liberal arts college want to see the return on their investment, especially at Trinity College where one year of tuition, room and board and fees costs approximately $60,000, totaling almost $240,000 over four years. To combat naysayers of the liberal arts education, Berger-Sweeney says that Trinity has to balance parents’ current questions with the knowledge and temper complaints with real facts regarding multiple proven studies that liberal arts students are strong. She cites that liberal arts schools train and instill a love of learning in their students and that this type of training has the “best chance of giving a broad but deep knowledge in a particular subject that will empower one for an entire career” she says. “We don’t know half of the professions that will exist in 25 years” Berger-Sweeney cites as a reason for the continued support of a liberal arts education.

Regarding Greek Life on campus, Berger-Sweeney wants to approach this issue with open ears. This will clearly be one of her greatest challenges and projects at Trinity, and she says that the “most important thing for a new president to do is to come and listen.” Alumni will be included in the ongoing discussion of Greek life, as Berger-Sweeney has cited that observing issues from their perspective is important. But Berger-Sweeney does fundamentally support the recommendations put into effect by the Board of Trustees, the co-educational mandate, the GPA requirement and abolishing a pledging period. Despite supporting the new changes, Berger-Sweeney does not want any student or member of the Trinity community to expect that she will make drastic changes upon assuming the role of President and that her role will be to first listen and then develop “particular paths and particular projects” she says.

In order to diversify the social scene on campus, Berger-Sweeney’s strategy will be to create a positive, inclusive social environment for students and provide them with social options that they can be included in. She cites that the House System (to be implemented by fall 2015) aims to build a more inclusive community on campus. Increasing and diversifying social options will give students more venues for nightlife and socializing, thus making Greek Life less of the dominant culture on campus. During her tenure at Tufts, Berger-Sweeney saw a surge in fraternities and sororities as students cited that they wanted to be included in something. Tufts is home to over 14 fraternities and sororities including 9 male fraternities, 4 women’s sororities, 1 co-ed fraternity and many citywide and culturally based fraternities and sororities. Approximately 18% of Tufts undergraduate students are involved in Greek Life and the Tufts Student Affairs website cites that “membership enhances opportunities to meet new people, achieve academically, hone leadership skills and serve the broader community through philanthropic and service opportunities.” Berger-Sweeney worked extensively with GLOs at Tufts and hopes that she can bring Trinity’s fraternities and sororities closer to the overall social environment and promote a closer relationship with the Administration.

While modifying the social system, Berger-Sweeney will aim to increase academic engagement on campus. She claims that the key to boosting academics is to allow for more contact between faculty and students outside of the classroom. One of the ways that this can happen is through the Housing system which aims to be a living and learning environment and a blended model of curricular and co-curricular activities. President Jones’ 2011 White Paper identified a few tactics to tame partying such as increasing the number of classes that meet on Fridays, mandating senior theses/capstone projects and designating Fridays as a test day. While Berger-Sweeney is familiar with the White Paper, she says she is not fully informed of these options to make any decisions on them and will play the role of listener when she becomes President.

Trinity’s relationship with the Hartford community has been strained over the years, but Berger-Sweeney is willing to invest the time and energy into building a better relationship. “It’s essential to get out and meet some of the key players in the community early in my tenure” she says. Berger-Sweeney says that the relationship with Hartford should be a back and forth one where her presence is strong.

President elect Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney spent her short visit to Trinity by eating with students in Mather Dining Hall, taking “selfies” with students at Ferris Athletic Center and learning what being a Bantam is all about. Students who want to send their wishes to Dr. Berger-Sweeney can email


Bantam artist of the week: drawer and painter Serena Seaman ’17



Hailing from Malibu, California, Serena Seaman ’17 is a visual artist planning to declare an International Studies major and a Studio Arts minor. Seaman has been drawing for as long as she can remember, mainly portraits and realistic designs. Although she considers painting to be her primary mode of artistic expression, she finds herself drawing more often while on Trinity’s campus, where she is currently enrolled in Drawing 101. Seaman explains, “[Drawing] is easier to do because I would kind of poison my roommates if I started using acrylics and oil paints in our tiny little dorm room.”

Growing up on the sunny beaches of California, Seaman knew she wanted an East Coast college experience. Following the advice of her college counselor, she began researching NESCAC schools. While spending a weekend scouring the Internet for information, Seaman’s interest in Trinity blossomed after watching the “Why We Love Trinity College” video on YouTube. “There’s no sound except for the music… it shows people walking around and they’re happy, and there’s shots of the campus,” Seaman explains. “I liked that [the video] was classic and so simple.

Coming to the East Coast has highlighted for Seaman the comparatively laid back attitudes of the West. She describes students there coming to school in “full-on costumes,” including an eighteenth century period dress. “I liked that about [my high school],” she says. “We were really encouraged to be artistic and do different things. And, coming here, it’s so different… I can’t imagine somebody walking down the Long Walk in an eighteenth century dress.”

It wasn’t just her high school experience that nurtured Seaman’s artistic nature. Seaman comes from a very artistic family—her father and older brother work on architectural and engineering design, and her sister draws and paints landscapes. Her paternal and maternal grandmothers’ art is mounted on the walls all around her house, providing Seaman with infinite sources of inspiration.

Moreover, many of Seaman’s neighbors and family friends share her interest in art. Seaman remembers walking over to her neighbors’ houses for informal art lessons in their studios. “I would come over with a bunch of canvases and stuff and show them what I’ve done and have them give me tips,” she explains. From these neighbors (one of whom used to be one of the head cartoonists for “The Simpsons”), Seaman learned to draw cartoons, to capture landscapes, to evoke greater emotion in her art, and how to work with different materials including pastels and acrylics.

In part, because of her informal training from family and neighbors, Seaman has never taken a formal art class before this semester. Even though she took mandatory art classes in elementary school and dabbled in ceramics in high school, this semester is the first time she has received formal instruction in drawing. “I was scared to get an actual grade and make it homework,” Seaman explains. “I’ve never had any formal criticism of my work. I love [art], but it’s just something I do for fun.” Despite her initial apprehensions, Seaman says her drawing class is going well and feels she has definitely improved. Her 101 class emphasizes the foundations of drawing, and although she initially found this approach frustrating, she soon realized that getting back to the basics was necessary for improvement.

Regardless of her enjoyment of her Drawing 101 class, Seaman hopes to see Trinity’s arts programs grow and expand. She feels that if Trinity’s Studio Art program were given greater emphasis and respect as a department and area of study, more students would take the classes and the department would improve. “I feel like we’re all so focused on time management, because we have so much going on academically,” Seaman explains, “I find myself feeling guilty putting hours and hours into a drawing when I could be using that time to study.” Seaman explains that in her high school it was okay to spend more time on perfecting a drawing than studying for a Spanish test. And, while she recognizes the rarity of this attitude, she hopes to see this approach to art brought to Trinity’s campus.

Seaman envisions a Studio Art department with a more studio space, and with students’ art mounted on the walls for all to see. She hopes to see Trinity’s student artists receive credit and accolades for their work, and desires greater opportunities to be inspired by the work of her fellow artists. “I want to see a little more involvement of the whole campus,” Seaman states, “even those who don’t necessarily see themselves as artistic.”

Even though Seaman loves art, she does not want it to be her main focus. She has several other interests and areas of study that she wants to explore. Moreover, the difficulties any artist faces in the pursuit of a career are a deterrent. “I don’t want to make it a job because then you put pressure on it and it’s not as fun,” Seaman states. Nevertheless, Seaman wants to make sure that art is always a part of her life and that she always has some motivation to continue with her drawing and painting. She envisions a future for herself with a career and a studio in which she can always retreat and express herself. All things considered, Seaman’s future, inside or outside the art world, certainly looks bright.

“American Hustle” suffers from unfocused plot and characters



Director David O. Russell has become a household name in recent years: his past two films “The Fighter” (2010) and “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) received critical acclaim across the board and elevated Russell and his canon of actors to the status of Academy favorites. Both Melissa Leo and Christian Bale took home Academy Awards for their supporting roles in “The Fighter,” and Jennifer Lawrence took home the award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the volatile Tiffany Maxwell in “Silver Linings Playbook,” making her one of the youngest actresses in Academy history to received this distinction at the age of 22. This past year, Russell returned with “American Hustle,” which was honored with the slew of accolades we’ve come to expect.

The film centers around Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Syndey Prosser (Amy Adams), a pair of con artists who meet and fall in love. They embark on a series of loan scams, using Syndey’s alias “Lady Edith Greensly” to attract and deceive potential victims. However, their operation is busted by FBI agent Richie Dimasio (Bradley Cooper), who decides not to turn them in, but to use their expertise for his own personal gain.

Richie threatens Irving and Syndey with blackmail unless they help him ensnare Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) into an illegal deal to accept money from a fictive “sheik” who is willing to fund the development of a casino in Atlantic City. Richie aims to bust Polito for dispensing bribe money to senators in exchange for their votes in favor of the construction of the casino. However, Irving sees that Polito is only doing what he believes is best for the local economy and decides to turn the tables on Richie.

Complicating matters is Irving’s wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), who aims to spite Irving for his infidelity with Sydney. She begins an affair with Pete Musane (Jack Huston), a mobster working for the mafioso Victor Tolleggio (played by Robert de Niro in a cameo appearance). She reveals to Pete that she believes that Irving and Richie are involved with the IRS, nearly compromising their operation. Little does she know that Irving, motivated by his friendship with Carmine, is already bent on sabotaging the con.

Like “Silver Linings Playbook” before it, “American Hustle” is a lot to take in. It seems that Russell’s critical eye has suffered somewhat in the past few years: his work has been primarily characterized by his inability to edit or to focus on the most essential plot points. Watching “American Hustle,” it becomes difficult to determine what or whom to focus on. So many unnecessary divergences and extraneous characterization occurs, that the core of the film becomes lost.

“American Hustle” also suffers from Russell’s dogmatic adherence to the same actors. Cooper and Lawrence reemerge as essentially the same characters they portrayed in last year’s Silver Linings Playbook. What’s worse, Russell has cast Amy Adams as the film’s vixen, a role to which the doe-eyed actress cannot support. What Russell fails to recognize is that his inability to write distinct and convincing characters could be masked by signing on fresh talent.

In addition, I found the aesthetics of the film infuriating. As if the turbid writing and uninspired acting weren’t enough, Russell throws in a series of distracting costumes and hairdos into the mix, further propelling the film into absurdity. Perhaps this worked for Russell in “The Fighter,” where only the truly seasoned actress Melissa Leo could pull off an absurd 80’s up-do without compromising the integrity of her character. Unfortunately, none of the actors in “American Hustle” were able to achieve the same. Even in Russell’s earlier, more unconventional “I Heart Huckabees,” he wisely selected actors who would manage the level of insanity he demanded: Naomi Watts, Lily Tomlin, Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Huppert. Russell’s insistence to work with the budding stars of Hollywood (i.e. Lawrence and Cooper) has inhibited his ability to execute the degree of wackiness he seems to be so desperately aiming for.

Overall, I found “American Hustle” tiresome. Like “Silver Linings”, it is not particularly strong as a comedy or a romance, nor does it make for a particularly solid gangster/grifter drama. The film tries too hard to be everything that it ends up falling short on all accounts. Nothing about the film comes across as effortless or inspired, and therefore I’m confused about the large amount of the hype that “American Hustle” garnered during award season.

I can only hope that in his next endeavor, Russell will let go of bad habits and break into new territory.

Latin Dance Club brings new and exciting cultural opportunities

Kristina Xie ’16

Arts Editor 

The Latin Dance Club is known for their spectacular performances which display an array of Latin dances from Spanish speaking countries. Three times a week, the club members meet for an hour to two hours to practice dances such as salsa, merengue and bachata. They also learn about the history behind each dance and the country where it originated from. Since the start of the fall semester, members have been enthusiastic and proactive about improving their dance skills. This was also the first year the club had an official elected E-Board cabinet, compared to the fall of 2013 when it was just a simple club started by a group of seniors.

This year, the club is administrated by Guadalupe Hernandez ’16, a dance enthusiast since middle school, who specialized in ballet and modern dance. She attended high school at one of New York City’s most respected public schools,  where she stopped dancing as a result of busy schedule and rigorous academic course load. It was in her first year at Trinity that Hernandez rediscovered her passion for dance. She began attending regular meetings then became more involved as part of the E-board and now as the current president. As a double major in international studies and language and cultural studies, Hernandez uses dance as the creative outlet for her academic pursuits. Although her weeks are busy with classes and the clubs activities, she is devoted to increasing the club’s membership and diversifying the types of dances. With the remaining weeks of the semester, the club is making an effort to organize more dances with pop influences to suit their audience. They recently performed at the iHouse’s Talent Show and are currently preparing choreography for the Spring Dance. During the spring semester, they participate in four showcases compared to only one, “Salaregnue,” in the fall. The second semester is much more demanding and requires commitment from all its members to execute the dance. With its comfortable and “second family” environment, Latin Dance Club invites dancers from all levels of experience. With frequent meetings, it is easy for members to improve their skills and learn about Hispanic culture.

Take Bachata, named after the Bachata guitar music and marengue which both originated in the Dominican Republic. There is also the popular salsa dance, composed of a mixture of Caribbean and African influences. These are a few of the types of dances the club practices in their weekly meetings. During performances, they perform in couples, exhibiting strong chemistry and sensual hip action between the two dancers. The beauty of Latin dance is the movement of the body to the beat of the music which entices the audience’s attention.

“It keeps my culture alive on this campus,” stated Keyla Inoa ’16, a member since her freshman year. The club aims to change the social and cultural climate on this campus by educating students about ethnic dances in a creative and fun atmosphere. While Trinity offers Hip Hop and Indian Dance as courses for students to fulfill their arts requirement, there is not a class that teaches traditional dances from Spanish speaking countries. Consequently, students are attracted to the club because it gives them the freedom to try something new and share their passion with each other. It is rewarding for students to dance to Spanish music, which is not regularly played on campus or at school organized parties.

Along with a common interest in music, the club also gives students the chance to reconnect with their cultural roots. “I joined Latin Dance because I was not too familiar with my Hispanic roots nor did I know how to dance, which is crucial part of my heritage,” revealed Chana Peele ’16. The club provided her with the knowledge and history of her people and allowed her to meet other people who wanted to learn more about their heritage. There is a large presence of Latin culture in Hartford with the majority of its residents emigrating from Puerto Rico. The celebration of Hispanic culture is imminent in Hartford, especially on Park Street, where local businesses blast traditional music and speak in Spanish. While that presence is not as prevalent on campus where most students prefer to listen to electric dance music (EDM), the Latin Dance Club has occupied a special niche on Trinity’s campus. Through upbeat and sensual tones, the club and its members continue to twirl and shake the art community on this campus. Welcoming students of all levels, the club makes it easy to have fun and learn something new. 

 Latin Dance Club is increasing in popularity as more students join and participate in traditional couple dances from all across Latin America

Two Planned Parenthood interns offer active bystander training



For the past several years, Trinity students have had the opportunity to work with the well-known women’s health organization, Planned Parenthood, through the Campus Action Internship. This semester, Georgia Wetmore and I have been fortunate to be able to participate. Through this experience, we have gained insight into many public health and social justice issues and learned strategies to bring these lessons onto Trinity’s campus.

My name is Mia Schulman and I’m a senior Sociology and Women, Gender and Sexuality double major from New York City. While I’ve always been interested in gender issues, I focused my interests on reproductive health and rights after taking Professor Theresa Morris’ class, Reproduction, Birth, and Power. Many women’s rights issues stem from reproductive health.  Through the reproductive justice framework, we can see that race, class, gender, and many other categories inextricably linked to health.

I’ve been lucky to have Georgia Wetmore as my internship partner. Georgia is a junior from New Haven, CT majoring in Public Policy and Law.  She draws much of her motivation, knowledge and inspiration to fight for reproductive justice from her mother, who has worked for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England for over 20 years. Georgia was a peer educator through Planned Parenthood in high school, and has now moved from an education to a policy focus.  She believes that influencing government and policy is how she can most effectively incite change and awareness for women’s reproductive rights.

The Campus Action Planned Parenthood internship is rooted in community organizing. What is unique about the Campus Action internship is that Trinity itself is our office. Our job is to educate and excite the student body about reproductive justice through community organizing. This entails defining goals that pertain to reproductive justice issues specifically at Trinity, increasing awareness, and collaborating with other groups and students on campus. Ultimately we want to work together with students and groups to build a community conscious of reproductive justice.

Now what is reproductive justice? We believe that reproductive justice will be realized when all people have the economic, social and political power, and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality and reproductive choices for themselves, their families, and their communities. Reproductive justice is not simply about the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion; it is equally about being able to choose to have a child when you so desire. There are many factors that affect people and communities’ ability to have reproductive justice, including gender, laws, race, sexuality, spirituality, education, immigration status, and age, just to name a few.

For Trinity students, it is easy to live in our own academic and social bubble. We are comfortable remaining in our daily routines and think primarily about our immediate lives: whether to eat dinner in the Cave or Mather, what classes to take next semester, and for some of us, what to do after graduation. However, it is unlikely that many students have considered how reproductive justice fits into their lives. A very current issue related to reproductive justice is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare. You may have seen Georgia and I (and Sarah Watson who was an intern last semester before she started her semester away) tabling last semester, raising awareness, answering questions, and collecting signatures in support of ACA.

This legislation affects Trinity students in several ways, including allowing us to stay on our families’ health insurance policies until we are twenty-six, and by making preventative care completely covered by insurance. This includes all birth control methods (although not all brands); a health care service that many Trinity students use.

This semester our focus is on sexual assault as an obstruction to reproductive justice. One in five college students is a victim of attempted or completed rape during their college career and Trinity is no exception. In the past few years, we have had an average of five reported sexual assault per semester. So far this year we have had twenty disclosures, including incidents of sexual harassment. This is not due to an increase in assaults, but rather an increase in reporting, partially through third-party and bystander reports. Active bystander behavior is one of the most important strategies in stopping sexual assaults and at a small, residential college like Trinity, ending sexual assault through bystander intervention is very possible. Our goal for this semester is to get as many Trinity community members trained in active bystander strategies as possible, through a training administered by WGRAC (the Women Gender Resource Action Center). This way Trinity students will have the confidence to recognize situations that could lead to sexual assaults and have the proper tools to step in. There is an open training Tuesday, April 1 in Gallows Common Room from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. If you are interested in having your group or team trained, send me an email. Trinity is our home and we need to watch out for each other.

Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a dreamy delight



Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” follows an eloquent hotel concierge, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), and his devoted lobby boy, Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori). The film begins through a few short, different, narratives until finally an older Zero (F. Murray Abraham) tells the story of M. Gustave directly to a young writer (Jude Law). Within this narrative, the film’s story takes place.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is enjoyable on even the most basic of levels. The characters Anderson writes are all so amazingly unique and individually comical that each new character provides a steady stream of entertainment for the audience. What makes the introduction of each character even more enjoyable is the recognizable actors who play them (particularly recognizable to those familiar with Anderson’s other films). The movie is loaded with big name stars, including Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson and Billy Murray, and many of them are cast against type or just play rather silly characters in general. One great example is Willem Dafoe, who plays a psychotic hitman who, given his actions and profession, should be a frightening character. Instead, to match the film’s mood, his costume and persona is so ridiculous that his character is more comical than anything else. The unbreakable determination of M. Gustave is equally amusing at times, and ultimately, the audience is easily entertained.

However, Wes Anderson succeeds not only in making an entertaining film, but also in creating a truly unique experience for the audience. While Anderson frequently wows the audience with beautiful shots of German mountains and giant castles he also provides a perfect mixture of wit and charm through his characters. Each character gives off their own unique persona to collectively give the film its own charm. Amongst the many impressive characters and the well recognized cast, Ralph Fiennes shines the brightest in the role of M. Gustave.

M. Gustave, the film’s hero, manages to perfectly represent the theme of good conquering evil just through his own character. In the film’s major conflict between a strangely evil family led by Dmitri (Adrien Brody) and a strangely inspiring bond between M. Gustave and Zero, the film thrives on a perfect contrast between good and evil. Anderson’s writing reiterates that the world is primarily filled with evil. However, M. Gustave shows that in the face of evil, one can maintain goodness. Gustave is never shaken and never breaks his character. His preciseness is constant, his charm never lacking. Regardless of whatever wacky situation (of which there are quite a few) Anderson puts him in, he maintains his uniquely pleasant aura. Gustave’s odd charm contrasts perfectly with the dark forces he faces and each unfortunate situation he makes. As he tells the story, Moustafa finally concludes that Gustave “retained the illusion with remarkable peace.” While Gustave lives in a world of evil, filled with murder, greed and a lack of morality, he faces it as if it were the opposite. M. Gustave treats the world like it is magical. By doing so, he creates magic in himself. His ability to show grace and beauty in any circumstance is quite admirable and makes his character intriguing.

What makes Gustave’s character even more enjoyable is the fact he is played by Ralph Fiennes. Over the years, it seems he is perhaps most notable for playing the villain with characters such as Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter and Amon Goeth from Schindler’s List, yet he stars as a comical and insightful character as M. Gustave. That Fiennes is cast against the villain-type he often plays perfectly mirrors M. Gustave’s role in the film. Fiennes is easily recognizable as the villain and in part can be a representation of evil. However, he succeeds greatly in playing the ever-positive M. Gustave. By casting Fiennes against his type, Anderson maintains the film’s theme directly within his star, Gustave.

Anderson’s film is both an entertaining and intriguing film because of the presence of humor contrasted with brutal violence and supplemented by beautiful cinematography. The film’s costumes are humorous enough (from Zero’s hand-drawn mustache to Willem Dafoe’s brass knuckles), but Anderson’s writing makes even mundane conversation comical. Each characters’ quips are perfectly timed, and each character possesses such amusing quirks that whenever characters interact they provide consistent humor. These interactions are made even more entertaining and delightful through the dream-like quality Anderson maintains within each of his shots. This dream-like quality has become characteristic of many of Anderson’s films and it keeps a positive light even in spite of darkness. The dream-like quality of his films also immerses the audience into a fully sensational experience and is the trademark that has made his films so successful.

While “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is very similar to many of Wes Anderson’s other films, you can certainly enjoy it even if you are not familiar with them. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” fits no genre, and any plot synopsis would fail to capture the significance of the film. I believe the best way to appreciate the film is to have little knowledge of what to expect.

Wes Anderson is a masterful director and he takes the audience on a delightful ride throughout the film. Any person can enjoy this movie, all that is required is to temper expectations and allow yourself to be swept away by Anderson’s brilliance.

People evaluate their peers on the basis of their clothing style



What you wear might be the riskiest decision you make today.

I recently found myself criticizing a random girl over her outfit in a picture on Instagram. My argument: it wasn’t “classy” enough. The picture was taken at another school’s sorority party themed “Angels and Devils”. Naturally, themed parties are the perfect excuse for college girls to wear as little clothing as possible, regardless of the fact that it may or may not have still been the middle of winter. When all was said and done, however, I was taken aback by my immediate attack on this girl’s choice of clothing for the night. First of all, I had never met her before and to be honest, I probably never would, so why did I feel the need to criticize her so harshly? I had jumped to the conclusion that someone who would wear an outfit like that out in public couldn’t possibly be someone who I’d want to be friends with. Who was I to judge this stranger for what she chose to wear or make assumptions about her moral character when I had never met her? After I had time to think about things however, I realized that while my judgments were uncalled for, they were part of a larger reality. What you wear really does affect how those around you will perceive you.

Not that I wasn’t aware of it before, but my harsh words impressed upon me further exactly how important how you dress really is. Now to be clear, during the winter my day-to-day outfits consist mostly of the traditional leggings, duck-boots, and, if I’m lucky, a cute shirt in place of the usual oversized sweatshirt. I throw scarves over outfits hoping to make them seem slightly more presentable and toss hats over my hair on its worst days. On days where I actually put some thought into my outfit and look on point, I can’t help but think, “wow I really have my life together” as ridiculous as that may sound. I don’t dress as if I’m in a fashion show, and I prefer to dress as comfortably as I can without bordering on sloppy. Whether someone chooses to go to class every day looking as if they rolled out of bed with five minutes to spare is their decision. It is completely within their rights to dress how they choose. However, I think the wearer needs to be aware of the certain kinds of assumptions that may be made purely based on their choice of wardrobe, no matter how unfair that sounds.

Likewise, if someone goes to a party in the middle of winter wearing something that could be considered questionable even during the warmer seasons, they are inviting unpleasant and sometimes false assumptions to be made about themselves. Even though a person should be free to wear whatever suits their fancy without facing the sometimes brutally honest judgment of others, that just isn’t the case sadly.

A large part of Trinity’s student population dresses exactly the same way. Representing companies like Lacoste, LL Bean, Brooks Brothers, Lilly, and Patagonia to the extreme; pastel colors and polo shirts litter campus during the fall and spring seasons. There are definitely some other styles that grace Trinity’s campus, adding diversity to a sea of perpetual embroidered whale and palm tree prints. However, these individual styles are often times classified as odd and are viewed as unwanted on our preppy campus. An outfit that typically wouldn’t turn heads on the streets of New York or Los Angeles is regarded as completely out of place on Trinity’s campus. There are certain outfits that will undeniably be labeled as tacky and unflattering, but Trinity’s campus is an environment where even the mildest deviation from the norm is criticized. I don’t think that a person’s divergent style or taste should be yet another motive for Trinity to have an exclusionary and selective environment.

Does the fact that I would choose yoga pants over designer pants any day of the week make me less “classy”? Even though I don’t particularly keep up with or strictly abide by the latest and hottest fashion trends, preferring to dress myself how I feel most comfortable, I did feel comfortable calling the previously mentioned stranger out on her outfit that, obviously, she too felt comfortable wearing. This makes me wonder how many times someone has looked at me and either said or thought something similar to what I had about this girl. Just because her outfit isn’t something I would have chosen to wear shouldn’t give me the grounds to make unfair assumptions. At the end of the day it is everyone’s own choice how they choose to dress themselves. That being said, the stigma someone can get from dressing inappropriately is definitely something to be avoided. I guess the lesson learned is that you should feel comfortable dressing to your preference, but watch how you dress.




CDC disrespects women by deeming their dress inappropriate



Last Thursday, I was excited to attend the Trinity Women’s Leadership Council’s Networking 101 Luncheon. As a graduating senior, I have exploited any opportunity to speak to professionals in my projected field and to circulate my resume. The night before the luncheon, we received an email from the Career Development Office explaining the dress code for the following day. The dress parameters were pretty vague but they did say explicitly not to wear leggings or extremely high or brightly colored heels. The email also told Trinity women not to display cleavage and to opt for pants over a short skirt. All of these parameters seemed like common sense to me. I have had four internships throughout my college years, all of which I have needed to interview for and look professional. When I picked out my outfit for the following day I chose to dress conservatively, choosing to wear black pants, a black shirt, a tan blazer and loafers.

After attending my morning class, I headed over to the luncheon with some of my friends who were all dressed conservatively as well. We signed into the event and got our nametags and our programs and headed towards the doors of the luncheon. All of a sudden, we were all pulled aside by a woman standing outside of the doors who was a member of the Career Development staff. She asked us if we got her email, which we all replied that we did. She then went on to tell us that we were not dressed “appropriately” to attend this event. She even told us that our outfits were “offensive” and lastly that our outfits would make the professional women at the luncheon uncomfortable. I looked around and was dumbfounded. Every single girl I was with was conservatively dressed and in no way were our outfits offensive. She acted as if we were dressed in mini skirts and had our breasts on display while we actually had on long pants, button-up shirts or crew neck sweaters. I was even wearing a blazer. I was completely confused and began to challenge this woman. Nowhere in her email did she say that we had to be dressed as if we were interviewing and after she continually told us that we were dressed unprofessionally, I decided to stop fighting. As I looked around at the group of girls that I was with, unprofessional was definitely not an adjective I would have used to describe these young women. Every single girl that I attended the event with was an intelligent and accomplished member of the senior class at Trinity College. These girls all have faculty honors, all at some point were heads of clubs or organizations, and one of the young women turned away from the event in my group is a senior presidential fellow. In no way are these young women “offensive” or “inappropriate.” Similarly, as I looked around, I saw many girls who were allowed into the event wearing short skirts and bare legs and not one of them were told that they were “inappropriate”. In fact, I even saw one girl wearing a cheetah print dress while we were detained in the hallway.

Immediately after this debacle, I returned to my room and sent a picture of my outfit to my mother asking whether or not she thought my outfit was “inappropriate” or “offensive.” My mother is the CEO of a major insurance company, has been in the professional world for 30 years, and interviews candidates for employment regularly. She told me that there was nothing inappropriate or offensive about my outfit and I was glad that I wasn’t going completely insane.  Honestly, I could have put on another outfit from my closet and returned back to the event but, out of respect for myself, I decided against it as did the other girls in my friend group. We actually discussed our desire to return back to that event naked and say, “here is inappropriate for you.”

I couldn’t believe that even though we were completely covered from head to toe we were considered inappropriate while girls in short dresses were deemed acceptable. Is this 1960? Since when is it acceptable for girls to be considered appropriately dressed only when they are wearing dresses and skirts? What kind of message is Career Development sending to the girls at Trinity College? It seems to me that many girls were turned away from this event for not conforming to expectations of femininity. At first, I honestly thought that this was just a theory of mine. As a Women, Gender, and Sexuality minor at Trinity College, I am always thinking about gender roles and the expectations for women to be feminine. But, my theory was proven further when I spoke to other girls who were also outraged for being deemed inappropriate for the event.

One conversation with fellow Tripod alumnae, Chloe Miller, who was also turned away from the event proved my point. She was dressed in the exact outfit that she intended to wear to work at the admissions office later that day. Her outfit was also deemed inappropriate even though she was wearing black corduroys, a silk button up shirt, a cardigan and black flats. Just as I had done, Chloe followed the instructions given to us in the email—no leggings or jeans or brightly colored heels—yet she was still deemed “unprofessional.” It wasn’t until she went home and put on a skirt that she was allowed back into the event. I also talked to two other young women who were turned down upon entry and were only allowed back in when they put on dresses or skirts. Throughout the day, I kept hearing about girls who were denied entry into the networking event. Apparently, many girls who attended the event wore short skirts and bare legs and one female student was even wearing a leather skirt—yet they were not seen as unprofessional.

Out of curiosity, I also asked my peers about the types of outfits worn by the Trinity alumni at the event. All said that the women were dressed professionally and conservatively but in varying degrees. Some of the professional women in attendance were wearing pantsuits while some of them wore jeans. Reportedly, one woman even wore a cheetah print blazer. I highly doubt that they would have been personally offended by any of the girls turned away from the event.

Because of the sheer number of young women denied access to this luncheon, there was definitely a failure on the part of the Career Development Office to articulate dress parameters expected in a clear and effective manner. If we were explicitly told that we were supposed to wear dresses, pant suits, or other business attire, we would have. Nowhere in the email did it say dress as if you were interviewing for a job. Simply telling a group of girls to not wear leggings, shorts skirts, or heels obviously does not suffice.  I also think that Career Development failed in its job to connect young capable females with Trinity alumni. If anything, this event should have been a casual one where students could comfortably interact with fellow Trinity students and alumni. I think that Career Development needs to understand that students who attended this event did so voluntarily.

They wanted to connect with alumni and discuss future career options. Instead of being supported by the Career Development Office (as they should have been) they were berated, disrespected, and denied the opportunity to network with successful Trinity alumni.

Food Dudes: because wasting food should never be an option



I hate wasting food. Throwing away perfectly good food should be a cardinal sin, or maybe a commandment? “Thou shalt not throw away food, you inconsiderate swine.” Besides the proverbial “there are starving children all over the world” spiel, perhaps it is also out of sheer empathy for those who struggle to get at least one decent meal a day that I find throwing away food so despicable. I am by no means well-off, not recently. In fact, sometimes it was a struggle for my family to have a decent home-cooked meal because we just did not have time to spare or, on the worst occasions, money. And that’s how I came to value food. That’s how I came to value creativity when it comes to food. In the words of my culinary idol Anthony Bourdain, “I feel very strongly about poor-people food. That’s where all our techniques that we value so much – that’s where they come from.”

Where am I going with this? Well, I find that cooking in college is like cooking poor. You don’t have a lot of time; you don’t always have a lot of resources. The only way to cook something that is just out-of-the-ballpark delicious is to be creative and resourceful. This is how I ended up making pretzel chip-crusted chicken breasts for my friends last weekend.

For the past two semesters, I have been negligent about going to Mather to eat. Still on the traditional meal plan, this leaves me with more than a handful of meals at the end of every week. For a while, I was putting the meals to good use with me obsession with the pretzel chips; a lot of my unused meals went to buying 2-3-6 bags of them a week. Naturally, like any minor addiction, these snacks were just not cutting it for me after a while and my appetite for them went away. Last weekend, as I was doing a little tidying up, I noticed a big grocery bag filled with these pretzel chips, and me being me, I refused to throw them out. Instead, I figured the best way to get rid of them was to repurpose them to make something entirely different. Luckily, we had some chicken breasts frozen in our fridge, so I decided to use the pretzels to make my own bread crumbs and cook pretzel-crusted chicken breasts.

The recipe is incredibly simple. Here are the ingredients that you would need:

2 bags of pretzel chips (Tucson Three Cheese and/or Supreme); 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Cooking oil; For the wet batter: 1 egg, 4 tablespoons of flour, 2 cups of water (or milk), salt and pepper to taste, Sriracha or hot sauce to taste

Preparation: Heat a pan with oil at medium heat. Wash the chicken breasts under lukewarm water. Work on your batter:

First, finely crush the pretzels in their bags then mix them together in a shallow bowl or tupperware.  For the wet batter, whisk all the ingredients together in a shallow bowl or tupperware. (The consistency should be a little thinner than that of pancake batter).  Dip the chicken breasts into the wet batter; make sure they are coated evenly. Transfer the batter dipped chicken breasts on the platter with crushed pretzels and coat with pretzels evenly on both sides.

Cooking: Slowly drop the pretzel-coated chicken breast to the hot oil. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side until both sides are evenly browned. Pat or shake off any excess oil and serve!

Incredibly easy and incredibly satisfying. It’s a new and simple twist to a classic dinner. And, you can easily get some of the ingredients right here on campus with your unused meals. There are tons of other ways to use your extra snacks from those Thursday night hoardings. Maybe potato chip-crusted chicken or fish? Perhaps upgrade your ramen with some extra ingredients like eggs and vegetables? With a little creativity, you can have endless possibilities. You don’t have to be wealthy to eat well.

The Underground Coffeehouse: it has more than just the coffee



When visiting colleges, one of the very first things I look for is their coffeehouse options. It goes beyond being a stereotypical college caffeine junkie. Making any drink, whether it is a latte or smoothie, takes an intricate process that only baristas can master. True drink lovers, understand the amount of patience and art it takes to create any drink and this only adds to its exquisite flavor. Of equal importance, the ambiance of the coffeehouse is something that cannot be dismissed. Will it be a place that I can relax and indulge in my favorite beverage or will it be a place where I’m expected to have a serious conversation with an executive?

Luckily, when it comes to Trinity I don’t have to decide between either because the Underground Coffeehouse (UG) is a great place for both. Located right beneath Hamlin Hall, the UG is a completely student-run coffeehouse. If yo have a meeting, if you want to get some homework done, or you just want to take a nap, the couches provide a comfortable and welcoming environment.

However, if you are not in the mood to lounge on the couches, there are also tables available. Unlike other coffeehouse, the UG has a completely handwritten and hand drawn chalkboard menu. Talking up the entire upper part of a wall, the menu is visually appealing and considered more than a menu, but also a form of art. On the opposite wall of the menu, there is a large, beautifully painted picture that serves as a banner/symbol for the UG. It depicts the roots of a tree, which symbolizes the location of the coffeehouse.

Another great aspect of the UG is the lighting. There is just enough light to make reading comfortable but it is dim enough to set an intimate mood. Will Schreiber-Stainthrop ’15 comments, “[The Underground is] very dim and I like places that are dim. It’s too hot but I’m willing to be here if it’s dim.” Although he’s never bought a drink at the UG, Schreiber-Stainthrop still loves the atmosphere.

Aside from being a great place to hang out and get a coffee, it also prides itself in having barista originals. These include: Underground Hot Chocolate, Sweet Dreams, “Poor Man’s” Mocha, Chaider, Hot n’ Frosty, Berry Sunrise, and The Nutella. The UG Hot Chocolate is regular chocolate with a shot of white chocolate syrup, an ultimate favorite of many students. Sweet Dreams consists of chai, coffee, and vanilla, which can be taken either hot or cold. When low on coffee money the baristas recommend a “Poor Man’s” Mocha, which is half hot chocolate and half regular coffee, with the same price as coffee.  Another half and half favorite is the Chaider, which is half chai and half cider. This is perfect for a rainy day and great to try while it’s in stock because it is a seasonal drink. When the snow gets to rough on your day baristas will recommend a Hot n’ Frosty, which consists of peppermint, espresso, and eggnog. One of my personal favorites is the Berry Sunrise. It’s the perfect drink on a sunny day and it is made of lemon flavored San Pellegrino soda and a shot of raspberry flavor. Lastly, one of the most popular UG originals is The Nutella, which is a chocolate and hazelnut blend of deliciousness. While all of these UG originals may sound mouth watering, it takes a very skilled and determined barista to get their creations on the menu. First, the barista must experiment with different flavors and ingredients. Once s/he thinks they have made something worth tasting, they’ll offer it to their co-baristas. If they like it, they’ll bring it up to the manager, also a Trinity student, who will then give the okay for samples. If the free samples of the drink get positive feedback, then the drink will be proudly be displayed on the menu.

Saving the best for last, the UG would not be anything without its amazing baristas. Going in there on a Friday afternoon I found three UG favorites, Sean Dunn’16, Rey Llena ’15, and John Kim ’14. Each of them brings something new to the drink and they were more than happy to share some facts about their job. Dunn, who began working last semester, feels he has mastered the latte and states that his favorite thing about the UG is that he can “walk through [there] and always see people, [hear] good music, [enjoy the] ambiance, and see my friends.” Another latte master, Llena states, “  [I like] knowing I can walk through here at any point of the day and feel welcomed. [Also] depending on the barista it differs in vibe through the music and people.” Having worked at the UG for 2 years now, he aspires to get a drink on the menu before he graduates. Kim, who will be graduating this spring, started working at the UG last year and names the cappuccino as his specialty. In regards to what he enjoys most about the coffeehouse he states, “A lot of people feel more comfortable here. More people come here to hang out. [You] don’t have to be here for homework only.”

As a person that loves drinks, I can say that the Underground Coffeehouse is a place to definitely visit while at Trinity. It serves great drinks and provides a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. My favorite part of this cozy place is the staff. Each time I go in I can count on a friendly face, a meaningful conversation, and flavors like no other. So, if you have the chance, make some small talk with the baristas, find out their specialty, and indulge in some savory goodness.

At Trinity and around the world: from a streaker to a surgeon




Think Trinity circa 1992.  A young Trin guy announces to his roommate, Brendan Campbell, that he is done with drinking and he refuses to drink for the rest of the semester.  Campbell, who knows his roommate is notorious for drinking, cannot believe this and bets his roommate that he cannot go two months without drinking alcohol.  The bet?  Whoever loses has to run across Trinity’s campus naked.  When the two months are up, Campbell’s roommate has not had so much as a sip of beer.  So, on a cold Monday night, during the halftime of a Trinity football game, Brendan Campbell streaks from Vernon Street to Clemens, completely naked, with hundreds of students cheering him on. 

 Now, switch scenes.        

 It is 2012 and 2:00 am at Hartford Hospital and Dr. Brendan Campbell is watching a man’s life slip away right before his eyes.  The man has been stabbed in the chest and his heart is constricting, blocking his blood from pumping.  Dr. Campbell has no choice but to crack open the man’s chest and sew up the hole in his heart right there in the emergency room.  Five days later Doctor Campbell goes to visit the man only to find him sitting up in his hospital bed, looking very healthy, with no recollection of the traumatic night.

 “This is an example of one of the few times where you can make a difference.  Many times there are injuries you just can’t fix,” says Campbell.

Dr. Campbell, with his wide smile and endlessly compassionate nature, has been a doctor for seventeen years. Born and raised in Connecticut, Campbell did not always know he wanted to be a doctor.  In fact, no one in Campbell’s family had any interest in science or medicine.  The captain of his Cheshire high school football team and a lacrosse player, Campbell said he was more focused on partying and girls in high school then his academics.  However, once Campbell went off to college his interest in biology lead to a realization that his academics could lead to great possibilities.  

Dr. Campbell received his Bachelors of Science degree from Trinity College in 1992, his MD degree from University Connecticut School of Medicine in 1997, and his MPH from University of Michigan in 2004.  Dr. Campbell specializes in pediatric and general thoracic surgery at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and once a month covers the adult trauma unit at Hartford Hospital, which is notorious for traumatic incidents that range from bar fights, to car wrecks, to shootings. 

“You have to know how to persevere when you have a difficult case.  You can’t just say ‘I can’t do this, I wanna stop,’ you have to figure out a way to get through.”  

Dr. Campbell’s interests lie in pediatric medicine. 

“You’re not supposed to have bad things happen to you as a kid.  But kids are very resilient.  They’re typically healthier and they heal more quickly.”  

Campbell says he enjoys his job because of how much fun kids can be, but he also faces the difficulty of helping parents understand their children’s illnesses.  He encounters the challenge of helping people realize that many conditions have no cure and that death is a part of life.  Campbell stresses the need “to go into everything with an open mind,” a skill he says was enhanced by his Trinity education. 

As a doctor in training, Campbell did spend many nights studying for organic chemistry and biology finals, but he also took history and econ classes.  He learned to think critically and write well.  He thrived in Trinity’s small class environment and loved the close bonds he was able to form with faculty members. 

 Campbell reminds us as Trinity students that no matter what major we have declared, we must value our liberal arts education.  And, as a man who saves and improves people’s lives every single day, but who went streaking across the Trin campus in 1992, Dr. Campbell epitomizes the fact that as college students we must study hard but can have just a little bit of fun as well. 


Hillel visits extermination camps in Poland over spring break



For Spring Break, eleven other students and I embarked on a Jewish trip to Poland sponsored by Trinity College Hillel and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw. Joining us were Professor Samuel Kassow, and his wife, Lisa, the Trinity Hillel director. When I told people that I was going to Poland for spring break, I received all sorts of responses: “Why are you going there? Isn’t it just concentration camps?, “Wouldn’t you rather be on a beach?,” and:  “I would never go to Poland after what they did to the Jews.”

To be honest, before I left it was hard to articulate quite why I was going; I was hesitant to forego a beach trip with my best friends. Yet after hearing about the Holocaust for so many years, I wanted to be able to connect with the atrocities at a deeper level, and it was hard to pass up a trip with Professor Kassow who among other great distinctions is a walking encyclopedia of the Holocaust and Jewish studies. So like many other matters in my life, I just went with what felt right.

I didn’t know quite what to expect, rather, I went in with an open mindset, so I could fully experience every moment. And there were so many moments to experience. In just seven days, we packed in fifteen visits to different sites, museums and institutions in Warsaw and Krakow, all incorporating Jewish history and memory.

Although I learned many new concepts on this trip, the one that recurred the most was the idea of a “renewal” and “celebration” of Jewish life in Poland. In the past decade, Poland has been working at length to restore their Jewish communities, which were lost and never regained after the Holocaust. One of the most exciting projects, which we were fortunate to witness in the making, is the Museum of the History of Polish Jews located on the site where the Warsaw Ghetto used to stand. The museum has been over ten years in the making, and it is a testament to the Jews that thrived in Poland for 1,000 years leading up to the Holocaust. The official opening is in October, so we were lucky to be able to have a “sneak preview.” Professor Kassow has worked on a portion of the museum; thus, it was truly incredible to accompany him, while he saw the beginning of his exhibit for the first time. The exterior is made of glass, which symbolizes seeing through to future generation of Jews, yet another demonstration of the celebration of Jewish life. On a smaller scale, the restoration of Polish Jewish life is emerging through Jewish Community Centers, youth groups, and a Jewish day school, all places we were able to visit during our trip.

After the Holocaust up until not too long ago, Jewish and Hebrew Studies were not taught in Polish schools or universities. Yet, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of these teachings, which has been joined by the rebirth of Jewish communities. Throughout the trip, it was astonishing to learn about the involvement of Poles who devote their own lives to honoring Jews. Many of these people were our guides at the different museums and institutions. Additionally, it is amazing to see Jews creating a new life in Poland. After the War, most Polish Jews were killed and the ones who didn’t, fled. For good reason, Jewish people did not want to live in a place where they had been exterminated and harmed. Even for me, it wasn’t easy spending a week walking on top of streets where thousands of dead bodies of my own people are buried. Yet in doing so, I was able to understand the Holocaust at a deeper level, and connect with Judaism in ways I could never have imagined.

This feeling came to me most poignantly when I was walking on the dirt road at Auschwitz, the same path that innocent Jews marched to their death over 70 years before. After saying the Mourner’s Kaddish and listening to poetic words behind the gas chambers and barracks of Birkenau, I felt a wave of tears hit me. The wet sobs were a build up of five days of emotions, coming to a halt right there on the very soil where my people perished. 

 For a few moments, I stood in front of the barbed wire staring at the rubble that once was a gas chamber, just letting the tears saturate my eyes and my cheeks. And like that, a few minutes later they stopped; I was walking the path once again back to the bus. Yet in contrast to the walk into the camp, this time I had a new feeling—one of hope.  In those steps, I realized my fortune; my Jewish predecessors didn’t have the opportunity to walk back. I also realized something else: the sun was out.

Every other day of our trip had been rainy, cold and damp, but that day, it was sunny and warm, the first signs of spring.  To me, the sun came out on that Thursday to instill hope, and to physically illustrate that with all of the death the Jewish people had to endure, there is renewal. Life exists again, even in Poland, where the largest exterminations took place.

President-elect Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney offers hope for the Trinity community

Elaina Rollins ’16


Trinity Confidential, a private Facebook group that posts comments sent in by anonymous members of the College community, recently shared a variety of submissions about Trinity’s new president-elect Joanne Berger-Sweeney that expressed both overt skepticism and underlying racial tensions regarding her appointment. One anonymous contributor wrote that while he or she feels the diversity Trinity’s new president will bring to the College is “interesting…I’d feel uncomfortable if traits given to her at birth decided our next president and elevated her above the experience of other candidates.” Another anonymous student addressed the female students and students of color on campus, claiming that Berger-Sweeney “was judged by the color of her skin and her gender rather than her qualifications, [and] that is called a decision based on race or racism.”

Two main themes appear throughout the critical posts about Berger-Sweeney on Trinity Confidential: one being an unfounded assumption that she is under qualified to serve as President and the other being the belief that students’ excitement over a step towards equal gender and racial representation at this College is a form of racism.

In terms of Berger-Sweeney’s qualifications, she was selected by Trinity College faculty and staff members, students, alumni, members of the Board of Trustees, and a firm that collectively has over 90 years of experience in the executive-search industry.Berger-Sweeney has both administrative and teaching experience at Tufts University and Wellesley College, as well as a Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from Johns Hopkins. So while Trinity students who did not participate in the search are welcome to have their own opinions, those who claim the new president elect is under qualified are simply off the mark. We do not have information about the other candidates that were considered, nor did we intensively participate in the nine month search process that was led by extremely qualified and dedicated individuals.

However, what concerns me most about these criticisms of Berger-Sweeney is that anonymous posters nearly always related her lack of experience with the fact that she is a woman of color. These students fail to recognize that equal representation in positions of power matters.

The College has been co-ed for 45 years and 49% of Trinity students are female, yet Berger-Sweeney is the first female president. Students of color make up 21% of students on campus, but Berger-Sweeney is the first president that is not white. For 191 years Trinity presidents have been white males, and while I am confident that all of those men were qualified for their job, the overwhelming presence of their race and gender in positions of power inadvertently sends a message that white males are the norm, and anyone else is an “other.”

The new president elect is a huge step forward for Trinity because when young women and students of color see people like them in positions which they may aspire to attain, it proves that we break through walls and fill positions far greater and more powerful than just those society tells us we can. Berger-Sweeney’s qualifications along with her election gives minorities, women, scientists, and every member of the Trinity community hope, which is the best quality in a president-elect.

World-Renowned DJ ‘Dirty South’ to Headline at Spring Weekend Concert

Sean Fleisher ’17 and Hugh Grygiel ’17

Contributing Writers

It has been confirmed that a Grammy nominated DJ and producer will be performing at this year’s Spring Weekend concert. Dragan Roganovic, better known as Dirty South, is a Serbian-Australian musician who has earned much fame in the global electronic dance music scene.

After being signed by Vicious Vinyl Records in 2005, Dirty South’s tracks swept Australia and earned him several awards including a Grammy nomination, two ARIA nominations, a winning vote for “Most Popular Producer Nationally” in the 2007 InTheMix 50 DJ Poll, and an Essential New Tune award by the legendary Pete Tong. Following the success of his own releases, Dirty South has collaborated with numerous world-class producers including David Guetta, Sebastian Ingrosso, Thomas Gold, and Axwell. He’s also remixed tracks for artists such as Snoop Dogg, The Pussycat Dolls, Kaskade, Skylar Grey, and U2.

In 2012, Dirty South shared the studio with Alesso, who played at last year’s Spring Weekend concert, in creating their global smash hit “City of Dreams” featuring Ruben Haze. In support of this track, Dragan announced his largest North American tour to date, the City of Dreams Tour, which stopped at venues such as New York’s Roseland Ballroom and Los Angeles’ Palladium. In addition, Dirty South’s 2013 debut full length album, Speed of Life, has garnered much attention and positive reviews as a carefully crafted LP that pushed the limits of its genre.

There’s no slowing down as 2014 is slated to be an even bigger year for Dirty South. He’s already begun work on his second album (TBA), announced a residency at LIGHT nightclub in Las Vegas, and continues to push out releases on his own label, Phazing Records.

Trinity College Barnyard Entertainment can’t be more excited for Dirty South to play at Spring Weekend, and we hope you all are too. Don’t miss his performance on April 26th at 3:00pm on the LSC Quad!

Pints and Quarts with the Pipes and Quirks

Campbell North ’17 

Arts Editor

On the drizzly night of March 12th, the Pipes and Quirks treated fellow students and parents to a taste of spring with their fresh and vivacious melodies. The chapel was filled by spectators sitting in multiple rows of chairs facing the front and crowded by students sitting in pews, some even going as far as to find a perch on steps in hope of a better view.  The audience buzzed excitedly in anticipation for the little lyrical preview for St. Patrick’s Day that the groups had promised.

The Quirks, one of Trinity’s all-female a capella groups, were the first preform. As they walked to the center of the stage the previous murmurs and whispers coming from the audience transformed into an eruption of cheering and applause. Decked out in all green in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, each of the members walked out single file, taking their appropriate place in their line up for the first song.
The song started off to the tempo similar to that of an old Irish jig and continued to the tune of “hi dee dee dee do.” This original melody was paired with original lyrics, which jokingly referred to drinking in the spirit of the concerts theme. Each class had their own verse to sing, starting with the freshman who were deemed as the “baby quirks” by the rest of the group. The song continued through the groups of sophomores and juniors who each shared their own clever lyrics and finally ended with the group of seniors who proudly held up an Irish flag. 
After a roaring round of applause for the jovial jingle, the chapel suddenly fell into a hushed silence as the groups slowly started a heartfelt rendition of Rihana’s “Stay.”  As Meredith Munro ’14 continued to memorize the crowd with her wistful and mesmerizing melodies, the rest of the group joined in with a round to the verse “round and around and around and around we go, oh now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now you know.” As the song came to an end, the audience remained in a trance before finally bursting out in cheers and praise.
Next on the set list was the country classic “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. Various members of the Quirks started the rhythm for the song off by snapping their fingers to an upbeat tune. The cheerful mood of the song contrasted nicely with the previous song. The group looked almost like a church choir, standing in the middle of the Chapel’s atrium and belting out the sweet, folky lyrics.
Finally Georgia McAadams moved to the center of the group for her senior solo, “Addicted to You” by Avicii. Within the first verse of the song, McAdams had hypnotized the audience with the haunting melody in her voice. The song reached the chorus of “What can I do? I’m addicted to you,” in a fast-tempo and stirring crescendo. When the song ended, cheers and applause exploded from all corners of the chapel in the hopes of encouraging an encore.
As the Quirks finished taking their finally bows, they quickly hurried off the stage to make room for the Pipes, on of Trinity’s co-ed a capella groups. Also decked out in sea of varying shades of green, the Pipes announced that this concert would be the debut of not only two new members but also two new senior solos. With the excitement of the announcement still hanging in the air, the group started their first number on their set list.
Starting off with another signature country song, the group belted out the first few verse of Gloriana’s “Wild at Heart.” The song turned into sweet and charming duet. The group did an excellent job of conveying the uplifting and carefree spirit of the song through their blissful harmonies. When the song reached the final chorus, the group ended with a bang by stopping their feet and clapping along with the beat. The song left the audience beaming in high spirits and was a perfect Segway for segue for the next song.
Catherine Guariglia made her way to the center of the group for her senior solo, “Ok, It’s Alright With Me” by Eric Hutchinson. Her unique and powerful voice reverberated through the entire chapel, captivating the audience. The final refrain of the song, “It never comes easily, and when it does I’m already gone” echoed throughout the room until the crowd finally broke the silence in an uproar of applause and requests for more.
The Pipes responded to the audience’s enthusiasm with another senior solo from Billy Siems. His poignant rendition of “Learning to Live Without You” by Ken Mellons moved the crowd and rang out in every corner of the room. Siems soulful voice reflected that of the powerful message of forgiveness in the song.
After another round of applause from the audience, the Pipes moved onto their final song “Shark in the Water” by VV Brown. The rich and resonant voices of the group were paired with a peppy beat and crisp beatboxing harmonies, quickly making the song a crowd favorite. As the Pipes bowed and walked out of the atrium, the left room to a chorus of cheers and bravos from spectators.
The concert left the audience feeling optimistic and excited. The performances were invigorating and gave a little precursor taste of spring in the chilly March evening.

“Love Your Body” week encourages a positive campus climate



Every year Promoting Healthy Awareness of the Body (PHAB) hosts an entire week of events that encourage students to have a positive body image. The weeklong event, known as “Love Your Body Week”, which began on Friday, Feb. 21, was co-sponsored this year by the Health Center, Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC), Active Minds, the Psychology Department, Psychology Club, EROS, House of Peace, and IHouse.

Co-coordinator of PHAB Mia Schulman ’14 stated the importance of this event: “People deal with negative body image issues everywhere and Trinity is no exception. I have dealt, and still deal with negative self-messaging and many of my close friends have as well. In discussion around campus it is clear that this a problem run rampant and in PHAB we aim to address this among other issues.” Wanting to make an impact and aiming to give students the tools necessary to have a healthy body, PHAB planned a week of activities and discussion.

The week kicked off with an intense Zumba workout in the Ferris Unit D room. Upon arriving, students were handed water bottles from SHAC, which listed ways to love your body. Although only ten students attended, the instructor got everyone to move and enjoy themselves.

After a vitalizing workout, students headed over to Hamlin Hall for Paint Night. Melissa Richards, one of the organizers of the event says, “[We] really wanted to do something light, fun, interactive, and have students have something to take away.” With this in mind, Richards worked closely with Geralyn Gherard from the Health Center to put together an event that focused on relaxation.

Natalie Goff, the guest leader at the event, began the night by having students partake in some silly dancing. Students wiggled around, ran in circles, and let their bodies get loose. Afterwards, Goff began an exercise in mindful eating, which involved eating strawberries. Before biting the strawberry, Goff told students to “look at the strawberry closely. Feel it in your hand and smell it.” As students began to bite the strawberry she said, “Focus on the texture inside your mouth. Let it sit in your mouth and feel the taste.” The mindful eating, although different, helped get students in touch with their senses, which was important for the main exercise of the night.

As the name suggests, the highlight of Paint Night was engaging in expressive art. Hamlin Hall was full of tables with blank canvases waiting to be filled with color. The art tools were not limited to paint brushes. It included knives, sticks, and various rollers. With some soothing background music, students all got to work on their own art pieces. As Goff stated, it was important for students to “not think about what [they’re] painting but focus on the colors and the movements.” Each student expressed a different emotion on their canvas and happily took it home to display.

The week continued with Mirror Friendly Monday, a day that involved students putting up nice messages on various mirrors across campus. Richards states, “It was [an event] meant to change the relationship many people have with mirror and self image. Many times we may criticize our body, whether it’s us thinking we have a bad hair day, bags under our eyes…” This being said, students put messages that greeted others with phrases like “You’re amazing,” “Hey, good looking,” and “You are perfect just the way you are.” These positive body-image messages could really help to change someone’s day and get people to see themselves differently, even if for just those few moments. Along with this, a Love Your Body pictures table was displayed in Mather. Students who walked in were encouraged to write down how they loved their body and then be photographed with their statement. About 50 students participated and their statements included comments like: “I get 8 hours of sleep every night,” “I eat lots of fruits,” and “I have safe consensual sex.” The pictures of these students can be found on the WGRAC Facebook page.

As the topic of body image became clearer, an Eating Disorders panel at the Smith House followed on Tuesday. The panel included Health Center Director Martha O’Brien, Psychology Professor Laura Holt, Anthropology Professor Rebecca Beebe, Director of the Counseling Center Dr. Randolph Lee, and Athletic Trainer Justin LeDuc. The discussion began with a clip from the Dove evolution campaign that showed how models’ natural beauty comes misconstrued with makeup and computer programs. The various departments answered questions that ranged from “where is the line between being concerned about your health and obsessing?” to “how can I help a friend that seems to be having body image or eating issues?” The panel proved a great success, with about 20 students attending, and a very engaging discussion. This same day, PHAB also showcased a falsified ad exhibit in Mather Lobby, which aimed to show that Photoshop is real and we are exposed to it everyday. Images from Ralph Lauren, Redbrook, and Anne Taylor were included in the exhibit. In additions to these, a few satire pieces were included to demonstrate that unrealistic standards are created by manipulation of pictures.

The week was wrapped up with a Yoga event on Wednesday. Richards states, “We thought it would be nice to end with something calming.”

Love Your Body Week was a highly successful event that brought to light many issues that are important to Trinity students. The organizers of the event wanted to bring education on body image issues to students and they did so through their various events. As Schulman states, “We hope that [the week] encouraged more self-love and kindness to ourselves and other students, creating a more positive campus climate. We wanted to encourage students on campus to embrace themselves, flaws and all, and realize they are more than a sum of their parts but also that their parts, from their head to their toes are wonderful and do so much for them.” We look forward to future PHAB events!

Business and art trek allowed students to explore career options



During Trinity Days, the Career and Service Development Center organized a trip to New York City for two groups of students interested in the business and art world. During this overnight trip, students got the opportunity to understand the culture of the different workplaces and network with alumni. Severn Sandt, the Assistant Director of the Career Service Development Center, developed the program working closely with the Alumni Affairs Office. Through this network, she contacted alumni and parents of current students, all who expressed a willingness to share their career stories and daily responsibilities. “No one said no to helping a fellow Bantam!” she stated. This was great news for students who had a jammed packed day visiting businesses and art institutions in the city.

Students on the business trek arrived in Blackrock’s corporate office and were greeted by Matt Mara ’95. He advised students that the first couple of years in finance was hard and meant dedicating long hours to the job. Bill Ryckman ’91 painted a tougher picture of what it takes to become an investment banker. Students also got the chance to sit in on a morning teleconference with staff at offices in San Francisco, London, and New York. The next stop was a visit from J.P. Morgan’s Private Banking team, which consisted of Miguel Hennessey P’15, David Rooney ’03, and Nicole Lustig ’12. They stressed the importance of contacting Trinity alumni working in fields of interest. Alumni “have a soft spot for fellow Bants” stated Lustig.

Students were excited to meet Josh Gruss ’96, founder and CEO of Round Hill Music and a Trustee of the College. After leaving his job at a hedge fund, he pioneered a business combining his passion in music and finance background. This became the birth of Round Hill Music, a music publishing and licensing company, who owns the rights to contemporary songs like “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors and classic Beatles songs.  The last stop was a meeting with John Simons ’83 of Corporate Fuel Partners, a business-consulting firm. Students were in for a treat as Simons generously ordered must-have cookies and coffee from a legendary city bakery. Simons, who has an undergraduate degree in philosophy, spoke passionately about his love for learning about new industries and finding the best solutions for companies.  

“Each firm gave extremely useful information necessary to achieve career goals,” exclaimed Brian Nixon Jr. ’15. They all encouraged students to utilize the Trinity alumni network to search for internships and jobs. Current students should make appointments with the Career and Service Development Center to update resumes and connect with alumni in fields of interests. Along with connections, alumni also stated the importance of having passion as the driving force behind your career.

The second group of students explored careers in the art industry. The art trek featured organizations such as La MaMa, an alternative performance space on the Lower East Side, and Christie’s, the renowned art auction house. At La MaMa, students met with Michael Burke ’00, a performance artist and director of the Trinity La MaMa Performing Arts Semester, Peter Sciscioli, a choreographer and arts administrator, and Tamara Greenfield, executive director of Fourth Arts Block, a Lower East Side cultural and community organization. Later in the afternoon, Jennifer Hall ’91, a vice president for client development at Christie’s, discussed how to get your foot in the door of the art world. She advised students to take any jobs available, and then begin building a strong network. Recent graduates must show their bosses their strong work ethnic and willingness to learn about the art industry.

Michael Countryman ‘80, a working actor who is currently starring in an off-Broadway play, also made an insightful comment. He noted that careers in the arts were dependent on the level of passion and your artistic creativity and motivation to consistently refine your talent. Along with passion, Peter Hay Halpert ’80, a private art dealer specializing in contemporary photography, noted the importance of solidifying meaningful relationships while other speakers explained how personal connections opened the doors to new job opportunities in their field.

Both the art and business trek provided students with vital knowledge about their desired profession. Student were able to witness first-handedly what their future career may look like and what kinds of steps they can take now to ensure that they have the job of their dreams after graduation. The Career and Service Development Center organizes exploratory career trips at least two to three times a semester. They plan on expanding the kinds of treks offered to include journalism, entertainment and the medical field. Through the Trinity Days Externships Program, students shadow Trinity alumni and parents at their jobs. This gives students another opportunity to experience a “day in the life” in a diverse array of occupations. These numerous opportunities ensure that students are getting an early start to career planning and life after Trinity.

Coach Assaiante addresses the fear of failure in new generations

Greek co-education mandate strongly opposed at SGA forum

A critique faculty, staff, and administration have long attributed to Trinity students is their complacency on school-wide issues. When it comes to the provisions and plans set forth under the College’s Social Policy – especially regarding Greek life – complacent is everything Trinity students haven’t been.

            On Sunday March 9th at 6:30pm, the Student Government Association hosted a forum on the co-education mandate. Open to all, its goal was to let the voices of the opinionated student body be heard concerning the Greek coeducational mandate. The mandate, one of the many aspects of the Social Policy, would require all Greek organizations to reach gender parity by 2016, inevitably conflicting with many of their charters. The panel, led by Eamon Bousa, an SGA Senator, took place just days before the student wide vote which will happen online this Thursday, March 13th. The vote will require a yes or no answer on the following question: “Should the coeducational mandate imposed on Greek Letter Organizations be repealed?”

            Eamon Bousa, the SGA Senator who facilitated the forum, began by vocalizing the history of Greek life at Trinity and referencing the “Referendum Pros and Cons” sheet which circulated throughout the student body in the week prior. To begin, Bousa made note that Trinity College went coed in 1968. Surprisingly, the campaign to repeal school’s Greek organizations is not a novelty; It first took place in 1992 and continued to be brought up again a number of times in the following years as well. Currently, the push to enforce gender parity by 2016 was a decision enacted via the Charter Committee, a committee comprised of faculty and students responsible for discussing the issue. Bousa expressed that the purpose for the forum was mainly to allow students to make comments as they so choose pre-voting on Thursday.

            The discussion began with two Kappa Kappa Gamma sisters who questioned the purpose and significance of the vote. Bousa answered by mentioning the lack of student involvement on the Charter Committee. Thus, the vote was to officially communicate the student body opinion which had been substantially missing in the committee meetings. As for the significance, Bousa was uncertain. He noted that the administration had the power to apply the mandate regardless of students’ dislike for it, but that the vote would clarify student opinion and could hold some weight. Another Kappa Kappa Gamma sister noted the importance of this vote for Trinity’s future president, who may view its results as a way to approach his future role at Trinity.

            In order to incite responses on the details of the mandate, Bousa read off a number of pros and cons listed on the referendum sheet. Some of the arguments listed for repealing the co-education mandate include the following:

“Students should be afforded the right to freedom of association and the co-ed mandate, as advanced in the charter committee, violates this right.”


“Allowing single sex organizations to exist affords students more diverse options in terms of different types of social organizations to choose from.”

            Conversely, some of the arguments for maintaining the co-education mandate are included below:

“Having single sex organizations with access to facilities that are significant parts of student social life limit the power and influence of the sex that these institutions exclude.”


“Evidence from our Admissions Office suggests there is a link between Trinity which is represented in the social media as having a party school reputation, and the decline in the

quality of our applicants and corresponding yield especially among women applicants.

Not surprisingly, Trinity’s student body has a lower proportion of females than

comparison schools. The highest-rated students who do come to Trinity are more likely to transfer out than other students. The most frequently mentioned reasons for doing so are the lack of academic seriousness among other students and an fun inspired social scene. (From Charter Committee Report)”


Upon hearing the pros and cons listed from the Charter Committee Report, Sonjay Singh, a junior and the President of Pi Kappa Alpha, best known as Pike, uttered his disagreement with the coeducation mandate for characterizing all fraternities and sororities as “oppressive” toward the student body. Similarly, Ian Robinson, a sophomore Kappa Sigma brother, claimed that the notion that fraternities and sororities promote exclusion of the sexes was a “ridiculous assumption”. He stated that the large number of fraternities on campus is not the fault of a fraternity itself, but is simply part of the climate and history of Trinity originating as an all-male institution.

Robinson and Singh weren’t the only Greek members who felt they were being wrongfully accused. One Kappa Kappa Gamma sister said she was “exhausted” of the attacks on Greek life: “If I wanted to be a part of a coed frat, I’d be a part of The Hall…Being a part of a women’s organization is empowering….being in a single sex organization is not a crime”.

Others referred to the referendum’s claims that Greek life on campus is widely associated with Trinity’s party school reputation, which may attribute to its decrease in quality students and the liberal arts rankings predominantly within the last few years. They expressed that blaming fraternities and sororities for Trinity’s party school reputation is unfair. Since Greek life is such a strong element of Trinity’s social life, the blame for school incidents is often placed on the backs of these organizations – there simply are few other options.

Still, others felt that the need to promote gender parity to save Trinity’s reputation was flawed logic. Oliver Lykken, a sophomore Kappa Sigma brother stated “going coed isn’t going to change the way we do things.” Alex Loy, a junior and the President of Kappa Sigma, questioned the position women would have in a fraternity. He expressed the fact that the administration has already determined that male and female Greek members would not be allowed to live in the same house, which would split up members of the E-Board and ultimately create a more divisive, rather than unified, organization. Likewise, a Kappa Kappa Gamma sister mentioned that men will not want women to join their organizations and vice versa; this will lead to changed traditions and a ruined climate.

Curious to hear the opinions of non-Greek students, a member of the SGA spoke out to defend the Greek organizations and voice his opinion of the administration’s treatment of Greek life: “Shutting down organizations doesn’t change things”, he stated, believing that the administration has great ideas but isn’t pursuing their goals in the best way. He used the renovation of Vernon Social as an example – an expensive “flop” which hasn’t entirely changed the social life. He also mentioned that Trinity should “re-imagine” their vision because even with the coeducation mandate, “there’s still gonna be drinking…and homophobic incidences”, a compelling and stark truth.

Another issue that was widely discussed was the absence of faculty appearance at the meeting and their general nonappearance and interest in the Greek life issue. Sonjay Singh argued that their lack of attendance is due to the faculty’s inability to provide strong arguments against Greek life. Oliver Lykken announced that the disinterest of the faculty shows a complete lack of respect for the issue of Greek life, one that clearly many students are invested in. Lykken stated that Tim Dunn, the Associate Director of Student Services for Social Houses at Trinity, expressed interest in the forum and the margin Thursday’s vote would provide. Evidence exists that the ’92 referendum expressed that 82.5% of the student organization was against the coeducation mandate. Thursday’s statistics will certainly be compared with such past data.

The forum topic then switched to the options that could exist to increase the social life at Trinity whilst maintaining Greek life. Ben Millard, a Kappa Sigma brother, brought up this point. Kyle Pak, a Pike brother, shared his knowledge regarding Trinity expanding social life opportunities. He claimed that the members from the Board of Trustees he communicated with used the lack of campus space and funding as reasons for their inability to increase social life opportunities while maintaining the Greek system alive. This conversation took place shortly before Vernon Social and Crescent Street were renovated. “They’ve scapegoated us”, Pak asserted, emphasizing as well the debt Trinity already was in prior to the new constructions and the lack of funding Greek organizations are given to begin with.

Still, the future of Trinity’s Greek life remains unclear. Members have offered suggestions to clarify the steps the administration should take: pool students on what they are looking for in their Trinity experience, stated Alex Loy, or have the SGA run another meeting involving faculty and students, specified one non-Greek student. Many are unable to see how the administration will foster enough power to uphold the mandate if the student body’s answer is a clear and defiant “no”. Ian Robinson, spoke out on the issue of resistance in order to preserve Greek life on campus: “What real power would they have if we exercise our right to associate…aside from expelling good kids?” Robinson believes the administration lacks the ability to control the actions of Greek members and organizations as a whole and thus, enforcing the mandate despite their large opposition would be entirely unjust. However, forcing resistance will have real consequences. The administration’s plan is to prohibit membership to fraternities and sororities beginning in 2016. If an organization continues to do so or attempts to hold school-wide events, they will expel students.

Ultimately, those who feel the co-education mandate should be repealed recognize the importance that these single-sex organizations have offered for many students and are unable to see the problem of Trinity’s social life as a direct effect of having active fraternities and sororities on campus. Many argued that imposing the coeducation mandate would inevitably shut down most fraternities and sororities, only enforcing exclusivity in the process because few options will be available.

Whatever your opinion is on Greek life at Trinity, the box you check in this Thursday’s online vote will say something to the student body and administration as a whole. As Plato once said, “One of the penalties for not participating in politics is that you will be governed by your inferiors”, so get on your computer and be sure to let your opinion be included. In the end, I think I speak for everyone when I say we all genuinely want to see Trinity rise again in the rankings, increase its retention rate, foster strong relationships in organizations – whatever those organizations may be – and overall, improve its social life for the advancement of the current student body, proud alumni, and the future face of Trinity. It is what we decide to do with Trinity’s social life that will dictate the kind of students who apply, become admitted, and change for better or for worse a school we all have the right to call our own.

‘Accidentally in love with Quirks’ a capella performance

On the brisk winter night of March 6, two of Trinity’s impressive a capella groups, the Accidentals and the Quirks, united within the historical walls of the Chapel for a night of songs and introductions. For both groups, this was the first concert since the spring semester auditions, which took place at the beginning of the semester. Since then, the groups have inducted a number of new members who made their debuts throughout the night.

 The Chapel pews were filled with students eagerly waiting in anticipation for the night to start. In good-ole ‘cac spirit, the pews were full with friends of the performers and many other a capella-loving students. Prior to college, many people hear stories about the popularity of a capella concerts, especially at small schools like Trinity, but never think that they would attract such a diverse audience as they tend to do. What many love most about these kinds of concerts is the way they interest all sorts of students – from musicians, to athletes, past singers, and those who know nothing about the art at all. These a capella groups find many unique ways to draw in students that can make just about anyone subconsciously tap their shoes to the beat or hum a rendition of a song after a performance. It really brings out a school’s strength when so many students are able to unite for one common event, and for Trinity, that event has often been in the name of a capella.

 The Accidentals, Trinity’s only all-male group, kicked off the night with their classic rendition of “Good Ol’ A Capella.” The jazzy crowd pleaser, “Good Ol’ A Capella” was used to introduce the names of the Dents’ newest members: Adam Keefe ’17, Chris White ’16, Connor Kennedy ’16, Hank Butler ’17, and Malcom Moon ’15. All individually took part in a solo during one of the songs. The second song the Dents performed was “Swallowed in the Sea” by Coldplay. This shiver-inducing performance immediately silenced the crowd as the group’s harmonies and melodies bounced off the walls of the Chapel. Their final song was in honor of throwback Thursday, so they ‘tbt’d’ to a song that had been a part of their repertoire three or four years back – “With You” by Chris Brown. Leaving the crowd in awe, they gave a warm welcome to the second group performing, the Quirks.

The Quirks, one of Trinity’s all-female a capella groups, came out dressed in white, ready to impress the crowd with their angelic voices. They began their performance with one of their classics, “With or Without You” by U2, a song, soloed by Georgia McAdams ’14. “With or Without You” truly highlights their talents as a group – delicate harmonies and strong voices. Their second song, “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys, was soloed by their newest members, Jacqueline Busa ’17 and Lizzy Foley ’17, and is the traditional song sung by the new members. The Quirk’s last song was a combination of Jay-Z’s “Holy Grail” and Rihanna’s “Stay”. This was Meredith Munro’s ’14 senior song choice. It was a mash-up that brought together the musical and lyrical elements of both popular songs. When I asked Meredith about her approach for picking the songs, she said “I wanted to pick songs I normally probably wouldn’t get a chance to sing. The two sounded like they might work together, so I asked Nicole [the Quirk’s music director].”After the Quirks concluded their performance, they welcomed the Accidentals back out to perform a joint song in true a capella spirit. They sang “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. Having only had a short amount of time to prepare the song, the Quirks and the Dents were absolutely amazing. Their soloists, the Quirk’s Nicole Muto-Graves ’15 and one of the Dent’s newest members, Chris White, nailed the performance. It would surely have given Kings of Leon a run for their money. After the show, I did some talking with the talented members of the two groups to get their feedback on the night. One of Dents’ newest members, Malcom Moon, expressed what his first time performing with the Dents was like, “I think the soloists were outstanding! All the guys are so welcoming and supportive and I felt like we are one cohesive unit. We all worked very hard to make an enjoyable performance and I think we did that!” Similarly, Meredith responded the same way about performing with the Dents and sung praises about their collaboration saying, “it was amazing, as always! I love when we combine our sounds because together we have such a great range. Plus they’re all just wonderful people.” Once again, the Quirks and the Dents managed to evoke a love for a capella in all of us, providing many students with a great way to start the weekend.

Trinity College Bantams Athlete of the Week: Kyle McGuire

Brian Nance ’16



“To be totally honest, I thought I was shooting for the stars when I made my goals but now I’m feeling confident and I think I belong on the podium in Iowa.”

Last week on March 2nd, Junior Kyle McGuire ’15 wrestled his way to the top of the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Championship as he earned the heavyweight title. McGuire was truly underestimated, despite his great success all season, as he entered the tournament unranked. The Bantam took down four wrestlers at the Wesleyan field house, including the number one ranked Lance Moore from the State University of New York at Cortland. McGuire, along with his teammate Petros Hologitas ’14, are headed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent Trinity in the 2014 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championship.

The Mansfield, Massachusetts native has been wrestling since the fifth grade. The heavyweight wrestler, and nose guard on the football team, has always been a big guy as in his youth he decided to stray away from certain sports and take on a sport he sought to be more suitable. “Basketball wasn’t really my thing, so when my parents saw a flyer for youth wrestling they brought me to a practice and I was pretty good early on,” recalls McGuire. “I stuck with it on and off until 8th grade when I started wrestling more competitively and practicing five days a week.”

Kyle’s decision paid off as he continued to wrestle throughout his high school career and ultimately won the state championship title. Last season brought great success for McGuire, as he led his team in both wins and winning percentage, while having the third highest number of pins for the Bantams. As all athletes do, McGuire planned on improving an aspect of his game during this past offseason. It just so happened that his offseason football training coincided with his goals of getting bigger and stronger which has aided him in being successful this season.

Coming into this season, Kyle set his sights on winning the regional championship and becoming an All American. He accomplished his first goal in dramatic fashion last week. Heading into the final match against Lance Moore, McGuire said he felt very relaxed which differed from his usual nervous feelings. “I realized I could hang with him and my thoughts went from ‘wrestle tough’ to ‘you better win this.’ After the match I was ecstatic,” says Kyle. “It sort of hit me that it was the biggest win of my career and that I had just wrestled the best tournament of my life.”

The championship will be held at the US Cellular Center on March 14 – 15 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where Cornell (Iowa) will be the host. A live stream will be available to watch our fellow Bantams take on the top Division III wrestlers in the country. Be sure to watch and cheer on McGuire as he attempts to keep his momentum rolling and stand on top of another championship podium while establishing his name as an All American.

“Dallas Buyers Club” provides a touching portrayal of AIDS



“Dallas Buyers Club” is a film that strikes at the heart of what it truly means to ‘transform.’ Both within and outside of the film, the characters and the actors experience transformative events. We see health transformed into irrevocable sickness, a rom-com star transformed into a serious and committed actor, and a biopic about a lost man who transforms his life’s purpose. Both the cast and crew set out with a daunting mission, and they passionately deliver one of the best films of 2014.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is no light movie, and the fate of the film seemed to rest solely on the emaciated shoulders of its leading actor, Matthew McConaughey. The rom-com pretty boy turned serious actor stands, delivers, and snatches his first Oscar for his portrayal of real-life Texan cowboy, Ron Woodroof. He carries the burden of the subject matter with grace, determination, and a passionate understanding of his position to shine a light on those who suffered with HIV and AIDS during an era of grave misunderstanding.

The story begins in Dallas, Texas, where we are introduced to Woodroof and his self-indulgent, reckless rodeo lifestyle. After an incident that leads Woodroof to end up in a hospital, subsequent blood-work reveals that he tests positive for HIV. In a fit of deep denial, the homophobic Woodroof rejects the possibility that he could have contracted a “gay disease” and proceeds with his usual debauchery. However, the virus has him in its clutches and it isn’t long before he is forced to come to terms with the gravity of the situation at hand.

In a cruel twist of fate as soon as the reality of death dawns on Woodroof, he is denied access to any possible medicine and is simply given an address to a support group. In ‘true gritty’ cowboy fashion, he presses on in search of any alternative to death and finds himself in Mexico: a paradise for the suffering in comparison to the US. In Mexico Woodroof gains access to life-saving medicine, and realizes the corrupt and “useless” measures that the FDA administers on testing drugs. In an attempt to save his life and make good money on the side, he smuggles over 3000 pills across the border, and sets up what comes to be known as the “Dallas Buyers Club”; a monthly membership card providing access to all the necessary proteins, drugs, and vitamins that an HIV patient would want.

However, none of this becomes possible without the help of Rayon (Jared Leto), a transsexual woman that Woodroof meets in the hospital who later becomes his business partner. The two form a friendship that begins with their shared disease, but reveals to be founded on much more than two failing immune systems.

With the theme of transformations in mind, Jared Leto delves deep into Rayon’s past, present, and uncertain future. Leto embodies Rayon, and he becomes the fictionalized replacement for an entire class of people who, at one point in time, Woodruoof abhorred. As their friendship grows so does their understanding and appreciation for one another.

One of the most notable transformations in the film has to be McConaughey’s dramatic weight loss. Much of the initial attention that the film received was directed at his ‘manorexic’ appearance and concerns for what dropping 40-50lbs meant for his health. The last time we saw McConaughey, his previously buff-bod was on full display in “Magic Mike” (a film in which he coincidentally played a male stripper named ‘Dallas’). There is no doubt that his transformation is astounding, but the weight-loss is only a small fraction of what McConaughey brings to the table in his portrayal of Ron. Even through his lowest and sickest moments, there’s a certain fire that’s continually burning behind his eyes—a fire that belongs to both actor and character.

With two of the film’s actors snagging Oscars, “Dallas Buyers Club” is certainly receiving the recognition that it deserves. Both actors deliver the best performances of their careers and provide audiences with a memorable reminder that though the battle against HIV/AIDS may have improved, it is nowhere near over.

Trinity falls 5-4 in a close battle with Bowdoin College

Ryan Murphy ’17



The top-seeded Trinity Bantams struggled all afternoon to keep up with the Bowdoin Polar Bears. Going into the NESCAC semifinals, the Bantams were ranked 3rd in the nation, and heavily favored in matchup against Bowdoin.

Bowdoin’s John McGinnis got the scoring started early in the first period when he trickled a wrist shot past Bantams goalie Ben Coulthard ’14. The packed Koeppel Community Sports Center surprisingly erupted with the cheers of Bowdoin fans after the goal.

The Bantams responded with 3:30 left in the first period as forward Sean Orlando ’17 beat a Bowdoin defenseman one-on-one and lofted the puck over the Bowdoin goalie to tie the game.  It wasn’t long before the Polar Bears retook the lead on the power play goal by Harry Matheson. The first period ended with Bowdoin carrying a 2-1 lead.

The momentum didn’t cease in the second period as the Polar Bears stormed to a 4-1 lead over the Bantams, following goals by John McGinnis and Chris Fenwick.  With just over three minutes remaining in the second period, and a three-goal deficit, the Bantams found life off a goal from Joe Horak ’16.

With the Bantams surging, Bowdoin goalie Kyle Fenkell, who had a game-high 34 saves, was able to make multiple stops in the final minutes of the second period. However, the unlikeliest of goals brought the Bantams to within one of the Polar Bears going in to the second intermission.  With just 1.9 seconds left in the second period, Elie Vered ’16 slapped a face-off to Jim Burt ’16 who shot the puck across the line just before the buzzer sounded. The Bantams carried all the momentum into the locker room despite trailing 4-3 at the end of the second period.

Trinity came out strong in the third period with multiple shots on-goal, but Kyle Fenkell kept up his impressive performance. Just under seven minutes in to the period, Connor Quinn of Bowdoin scored on a one-timer to return the margin to two.

With Bowdoin seemingly recapturing control of the game, Ben Coulthard ‘14 made an impressive save to stop a Polar Bear shot from point-blank range. Paul Burns ’15 also made a great defensive play to save a shot by Bowdoin’s Colin Downey, which would have extinguished any hopes the Bantams may have still had.

The final minutes of the game were agonizing, as the Bantams couldn’t break through the strong Bowdoin defense, even during a power play. Trinity pulled goalie Ben Coulthard ‘14 with under a minute left. Up one man, forward Ryan Cole ’17 drilled a goal from the right wing, giving Trinity a chance with just 42.8 seconds left.  The game ended with players from both sides scrambling for the puck up against the boards, but the Bantams were unable to get another shot on the Polar Bear’s net.

Bowdoin held NESCAC player of the year, Jackson Brewer ’15, and first team all-NESCAC forwards, Ryan Cole and Michael Hawkrigg ’16, in check for most of the game, helping them defeat the top seeded Trinity. Unfortunately, the Bantam’s season has come to a close, as they were not selected to compete in the NCAA Division III National tournament. However, the 2013-2014 season was one of the most memorable seasons the Bantams have had in the past decade.


Bantam artist of the week: Singer and actor Mac McCarthy ’14


William (Mac) McCarthy ’14 is a paragon of someone who can weave art into various aspects of their life, regardless of what they might be. Even as a double major in Russian and Chemistry, McCarthy has still managed to find time for his creative pursuits.

Ever since a young age, music has always been playing in the proverbial background of McCarthy’s life. His father owned a large record collection, which included a variety of artists and genres from the 1960s and 1970s. McCarthy cites the repetitive listening and singing along with the records as “what taught him to sing.” “My two favorite albums were “Deliver” by the Mamas and the Papas and a Bonnie Raitt album,” McCarthy recalled. Both of his two older sisters and he continue to indulge in playing these albums and they “still connect with them.”

In addition to pre-recorded music, McCarthy was also exposed to live music on a daily basis. Starting with the recorder in first grade, he has played everything from the violin to the saxophone to the piano. McCarthy’s knack for musical instruments granted him a position in his school’s jazz band. In addition to this, McCarthy sang in choirs throughout his middle and high school years. However, his interest in a capella started at a much younger age. Both of his older sisters were in a capella groups, encouraging him to join one as well.

This passion followed McCarthy to Trinity where he auditioned for the Accidentals during his freshman year. Throughout his four years in the group, he has moved from not only a singer but currently has the job of arranging the music the group chooses to sing. After they decide which song to preform to, McCarthy arranges it on the computer and then he prints it out for the rest of the Accidentals to learn. McCarthy’s talent for arranging music comes from his experience with reading various pieces of sheet music whenever he plays an instrument. However, it is not only this important position in the group or his love for signing that makes being a part of the Accidental’s so enjoyable. The group, which consists of “guys from all sides of campus; athletes, greeks, science majors, music majors,” McCarthy stated, “is like a brotherhood, everyone is really good friends.” McCarthy elaborated further on what makes their practie time so much fun, explaining that “it is really awesome to be able to have that hour where you can just get away from the stress of everything else and do your own thing.”

While McCarthy always knew that singing would continue to be a part of his life, he did not originally plan on having theater play a role in his Trinity experience. Since the fourth grade, McCarthy acted in his town plays every year until his freshman year at Trinity. In his sophomore year, some of his friends in the Accidentals encouraged him to try out for the play “Spring Awakening.” After getting cast in the lead role McCarthy began to realize how large the scale of the production was. “It was a more serious production because at college with ‘big-budget’ lights and sounds,” McCarthy continued saying that, “[The] environment made it seem really important and made me want to take theater more seriously.” Since “Spring Awakening” McCarthy has acted in five other on-campus productions, most recently as the lead in “Parade.”

McCarthy played the main role of Leo Frank. “His character,” McCarthy explained, “was very serious and the play was based off a true story.” To get into character, he analyzed his lines to get a better understanding of how the writer of the play portrayed Frank and then made acting decisions based off that. “I love trying to feel what the character would be feeling, that’s the fun part of acting,” McCarthy declared. While he does love serious roles, one of McCarthy’s favorite characters he has played was Cinderella’s prince in “Into the Woods.” “It was really fun to be just not myself” McCarthy elaborated, “and be ridiculous, and selfish, and pompous for the role.”

This same quality in theater of discovering how you can make a character you are playing your own and unique also explains why he continues to be passionate about singing. “Your voice is unlike any other instrument, you’re not physically pressing buttons or keys to make a sound,” explained McCarthy. “How you sing an A note, for example, is all relative, so you get to do a lot of cool things with your voice and invent new ways to make it sound interesting.”

McCarthy has no specific plans for pursuing a musical career in the future but knows it will continue to be a big part of his life. “Music is something you can bring with you anywhere for the rest of your life” expressed McCarthy. So if you are interested in seeing one of his performance’s live, be sure not to miss out on the next Accidentals concert.

Trinity Women’s Lacrosse begins season with consecutive wins

Film series celebrates life and work of photographer Jack Delano



This past Wednesday night, the Latin American and Iberian Film Festival presented Autógrafo: Jack Delano and Los Peloteros (1951). The Department of Fine Arts at Trinity College along with attendees celebrated the 100th anniversary of Jack Delano’s birth. The first film is an autographic sketch of the renowned photographer while the second film highlighted his directorial and cinematography skills. Delano began his career as a member of a group of photographers employed by the U.S. government’s Farm Security Administration (FSA) during the New Deal period, under the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He worked on several projects capturing images of the working class people. These two films captures his legacy, Puerto Rican identity and how he “helped define” the island through the arts.

Born in the Ukraine in 1914, Delano emigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1923. It was not until his trip to Puerto Rico in 1941 that he became enchanted by the island and its people. He immersed himself in the language and culture of the people. To many of his peers, he was considered “Puerto Rican in spirit.” Many of the noises of the island such as the insects crawling at night or the wind blowing the luscious trees were used in his original music composition and featured in his film. After receiving the Guggenheim Fellowship, he traveled to the island and produced a book of photographs about his experience. In Puerto Rico, he and his wife, the graphic artist Irene Delano, worked in a range of creative fields, including filmmaking, educational television, book illustration and music composition.

Through the film, Autógrafo: Jack Delano, the viewers learned about his passion for photography and the vital impact his images had on the world. In fact, Delano’s book of photographs of Puerto Rico was the first book to be published in both English and Spanish. In the second film, audiences witnessed his masterful cinematography skills and the visuals that narrated the plot. Although there were no English subtitles, the visuals enhanced the story about a group of teenage boys who want to start their own baseball team. They decide to fundraise and appoint the coach’s wife to be in charge of the money. However, a problem arises when she steals the money to buy her husband new clothes and furniture for their home. Some of these images are also on display in Jack Delano: Photographer (1914 – 1997): A Centennial Celebration Exhibition,” running from Feb. 6 to Mar. 14, 2014, at Widener Gallery in Trinity College’s Austin Arts Center. Produced in 1952, the film director recruited a cast of amateur actors and actresses from the island. The construction of the baseball team serves as an allegory to show that when a community works together, they can achieve any goal. Consequently, if one member becomes too greedy, then they cannot as a collective group reach that goal.

The film was recorded during a time of economic hardship for Puerto Rico. Government agencies experienced a range of social problems and many young children did not receive an education. This film inspired the island to overcome these issues by uniting to create a brighter future for the younger generation. The movie opens with an elderly man dreaming about a neighborhood school. The younger boy proposes that they construct a school for all the neighborhood children. The story provides an optimistic approach to how a unified group can fix problems and a build a trusted community. Carolyn Kimmick ’14, a Hispanic Studies major, described the flim as “very interesting and portrayed the Puerto Rican society very well through the artistic camera angles and the economic situation through the plot line.” It had a lasting impression on Kimmick who thought about the ways in which sugar was “one of the first international forms of capitalism.”

The beauty of these images and his stylistic technique is a direct example of Delano’s signature photography and cinematography. His portrayal of working class people rebuilding their city showcases the underlying story he narrates through photographs and original music compositions that make his allure universal. His love affair with both the natural beauty of the island and the level of poverty are reflected in his works and the subjects he captures. “He photographed literally every city and town in Puerto Rico,” stated his son and Trinity professor, Pablo Delano. This juxtaposition shines a voice on the much-ignored issues that concerned the territory during the Post-War Era. Nevertheless, Delano’s fascination with Puerto Rican culture reverberates through these images and is shared with the audiences who either watch the movie or view his photographs.

High rates of concussion raise questions about contact sports



This past week, I was sitting in class and a discussion came up about contact sports and the amount of concussions people get from playing contact sports. I honestly did not know that people get as many concussions as they did from playing a sport until I came to Trinity, and this person and that person got concussions. Part of the reason is because I am not “sporty.” Other than the cheerleading team in high school, I did not play sports. Don’t get me wrong. I admire those who have a love for the game, and there are many benefits of being part of a sport, but having sat through an hour-long  class on the effects of concussions, and those who had later psychological problems due to having concussion while playing in a sport, I began to wonder if the love of any sport was worth it in the end? Another question which was posed by my classmates is, will I allow my kids to play in a contact sport?

In order to answer the second, I must answer the first. According to the University of Pittsburg, “Estimates regarding the likelihood of an athlete in a contact sport experiencing a concussion may be as high as 19 percent per season.” This may not seem high. And someone else may take a look at this statistic and say, “oh, that is not so bad.” But if you really consider what the statistic is saying, or at least what I believe it is saying, every season there is a 19 percent chance of someone who is playing in a contact sport getting hit in the head and being diagnosed with a concussion. This means that if you play in a contact sport, which is an all-year sport, your chances may be higher. This does not really disturb me as much as the effects of concussion in the life of an individual later in their adulthood. In September of 2012, former NFL players, over 3,000 decided to sue the NFL because, according to the Los Angeles Times, “The players say the blows to the head have contributed to depression, memory loss and other neurological disorders.”  I take that to mean the players are now experiencing the side effects of having had concussions while they were on the field. In the Los Angeles Times article, there was research done which found that those who formally played contact sports may have died because of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE. Therefore, when people get hit in the brain many times on the field as they play a sport, the brain sometimes does not automatically heal by itself. Sometimes, the brain tells you later down the road, or it may begin to show signals that there is something wrong. I was astounded in the class when there were mentions of former NFL players who had concussions killing themselves. I also learned in the class about players who become violent later in life as a result of a concussion. I am not sure if I could allow myself to keep getting hurt because of a sport. As the class discussion went on, I thought to myself, “Guess my kids are not going to play sports,” but then, as if reading my thoughts, the teacher asked the class, “would you actually let your kids play sports, contact or no contact?”

As I mentioned earlier, I was a cheerleader. There was a time, my mom told me I could no longer cheerlead, and as this was not the girly cheerleading TV portrays (it was competitive cheerleading), and I felt my heart break into a thousand pieces. I cried, fought, and thankfully she lifted her rule. I cheerlead even when the amount of money my coach was asking for was not something I had. In this way, I understand what it means to love a sport. If my children decide they love a sport, am I willing to tell them, “No, honey, you are not going to play the sport because I am afraid you will get a concussion?” Honestly, part of me says yes, and part of me says no. Life is unpredictable. Some people get concussions from hitting their head on the roof of a car, and one can get hurt in anything you do. However, the possibility of a person getting something as serious (and yes it is pretty serious for those who do not know) as a concussion is higher when you are playing a sport than when you are walking down the street. Arguments people like to make, especially in the case of football is this: “If they just make better helmets…” However, when you think about it, who’s to say the helmet does not do more harm than good? You really do not know what will happen in a sport, and what getting a concussion today will lead to tomorrow. Like I said, as of right now, I’m undecided if my kids will play sports or not, but what I do hope is like all things yet unsolved in this world, God will improve the technology. That way, if the question does come up, my fears will not keep my kids from doing what they love. I also feel like each person decides if a sport is worth the physical damage. For me, absolutely not, for my kids, I do not think so, but they may think so, and that is where the real conflict lies.

Women’s Appreciation Month is a time to examine female leads



It is Women’s Appreciation Month and I wanted to take the time to pay homage to women who play a leading character in TV shows. Because some people say that movies or shows have the power to move or change us, I find it highly exciting that at this time there are multiple shows on TV that include women who are presented as strong and independent. Also, these women can help show young girls that they can aspire to be anything they want to be. I will not deny the fact that some of these shows may have additional factors that may make it not as appropriate for young women. But, at the end of the day, I think the message comes across that women can be leaders and they can “change the world.” So, I would like to take the time now to talk about some shows in which women are the ones in charge that have aired in the past or are on the air right now.

The first show that comes to mind is “Charmed,” which aired from 1998 to 2006. What can be better than a show that features three women in a leading role? I remember watching this show back when it started and being invigorated by the fact these women had the ability to save the world from evil forces and the fact that even though they lost loved ones along the way, including one of their sisters, that did not stop them from using their powers to do good. Another show that comes to mind in relation to a strong female saving the world from evil is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which started around the same time as “Charmed.” To this day, I still remember the episode where Buffy killed Angel in order to make sure that he never harmed anyone else. Despite the fact that he reverted to his good side just before she performed the act, she still did it because of the evil acts that he was capable of doing. That example showed her strength more than the number of vampires she executed during the show’s run. Changing genres, who can forget “Gilmore Girls?” There were definitely plenty of laughs to be had before the show went off-air in 2007. Is it bad of me to admit that my favorite character on the show was Lorelai’s mother? The theme song of “Golden Girls” will forever be imprinted on the hearts of many women.

Who can also forget Sydney Bristow and her missions on “Alias,” Talk about womanpower! I can safely admit that I am still a little bit jealous about how good she was at her job. Here was another character that faced personal losses, but did not quit. Rather, she kept working her hardest to help protect the world. And yet, there were some who were focused on one specific area. Brenda Johnson from “The Closer” was definitely memorable as the woman who could get almost anyone to confess. I sometimes found myself so caught up in the show that I wanted to confess, to what I don’t know. But, I have major respect for Brenda and her strange addiction to chocolate.

Since I am discussing shows with females in a leading role, I would not be doing it enough justice without making a shout-out to some shows on “the women’s network,” Lifetime. I will start with “Army Wives” because that is one that is most likely known. Some of the women were soldiers and others were the wives of soldiers. They were connected by their strength as they faced the fear of loss together while also doing their best to stay strong for their children. And then there’s “Drop Dead Diva,” which is hilarious. A lot can be said about a model and actress whose spirit inhabits the body of a no-nonsense lawyer. The result is a great lawyer who always goes the extra mile to win a case for her clients. Lastly, I will mention “Reba.” While it did not originally start on Lifetime, it currently does re-runs of this show. Yes, Reba’s husband left her for a younger woman, but that did not slow her down even one bit. She was truly a classy lady.

I would like to finish by talking about the very popular shows on air right now. I will start with “Scandal.” What can I really say to capture who Olivia Pope is?

First, her impeccable clothing and then her commanding presence, which in times of crisis, makes people turn to her. I will not deny the fact that Olivia does have her flaws (the president). But, pushing that aside, let us focus on how good she is at her job and the fact that she is based on a real-life person just makes that cake all that sweeter. Woman power all the way. There is also “Grey’s Anatomy,” which is still plugging on in its tenth season. I mean there is Bailey, who during her residency basically ran the hospital, Cristina who had a constant passion to be a cardiothoracic surgeon and a willingness to give up other aspects of her life so she could be the best surgeon, and Meredith who not only wants to be a good surgeon, but also balance being a good mother as well.

To be honest, I could keep talking for a long time about such female characters and there are definitely many other shows that I could have mentioned, but I could never be able to get to all of them. So, who comes to mind when you think about strong, independent women on TV?

Recognizable themes in “The Monuments Men” make it a hit



George Clooney’s newest film, “The Monuments Men,” accomplishes something that is often missing in other World War II films. While both film critics and average moviegoers have received the film poorly, it sheds a completely new light on a conflict that has inspired many great films. “The Monuments Men” differs from the typical World War II film because of its relatable and average characters. Many films that depict the war attempt to show the extreme horror of the Holocaust or the intense moments of battle. While “The Monuments Men” does have its sobering moments that reflect the seriousness of the war, it does not alienate the viewer at any time.

The film opens as Frank Stokes, played by George Clooney, explains that the purpose of his mission is to save art that has been stolen and could be destroyed by the Nazis. Stokes assembles a team of fellow art scholars to enlist in the military and enter Europe in search of the stolen art. Eventually, Stokes’s team includes James Granger (Matt Damon), Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Walter Garfield (John Goodman), Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville) and Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban).

When the team arrives on the beaches of Normandy, the fighting has already stopped. As the characters landed on the shore, it was clear that they were isolated from the other soldiers there. This distance from the war keeps the characters relatable. The average viewer in 2014 can’t relate to the war’s soldiers or Holocaust victims. These characters, however, stay relatable because they are just as out of place in the war as the viewer is.

As the group, nicknamed “The Monuments Men,” makes its way through Europe, the question constantly addressed is whether their lives are worth risking for the sake of art. Throughout the film, the characters affirm that the art is worth their lives because of its significance to our culture. The film suggests that the war is not only a war to defend Europe from the Nazis, but also to defend all of Western culture. By recapturing their art, the Allies were able to maintain their cultural heritage and preserve their way of life.

While the film generally follows this central theme, the performances of John Goodman and Bill Murray keep the mood consistently light hearted and comical. One of the film’s most powerful scenes involves a young German soldier who stumbles upon Campbell and Garfield late at night. As the three find themselves in a standoff, with no way to communicate, Murray’s character breaks the tension and calmly concedes that they all had better sit down together and smoke cigarettes. After a few moments together, the German soldier, with a big grin on his face, says “John Wayne”. Even when the characters shared no common language, it is a common appreciation in our culture that allows them to reach an understanding. “The Monuments Men” makes it clear that our culture is what defines us and preserving it is an undeniably important task.

Another beautifully delivered role comes from the recent Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett. Blanchett plays Claire Simone, a French museum curator, who lost all of her artwork to the Nazis. While most of “The Monuments Men” are touring Europe in search of the stolen art, James Granger remains in Paris to convince Simone to identify where her art was taken. Blanchett gives a very cold performance and makes Simone into a pessimistic and distrusting, yet very strong woman. Granger spends his time in the film doing all that he can to obtain her guidance, but she is continuously reluctant to help. When she finally does come around, Simone’s character displays extreme emotional vulnerability. While the film’s entire cast works together perfectly, Blanchett’s performance stands alone. She portrays a character with incredible depth and a great range of emotion.

One of the main critiques for Clooney’s film is its lack of seriousness and its subject matter. World War II is one of the most intense time periods in modern history, and the film is primarily light hearted. However, the film’s light heartedness is what keeps the audience interested. Even in the face of tragedy, the characters do not lose their personality and always maintain a good sense of humor.

“The Monuments Men” ultimately succeeds because it does not attempt to accomplish too much. It does not try to bring the audience closer to the suffering and pain caused by the war because those feelings cannot be replicated. Instead, this film makes World War II more relatable to an average audience. While we cannot understand the horror that the war caused, we can understand the importance of our culture. The film features recognizable and significant pieces of art in several circumstances because these works are sure to naturally illicit powerful responses from the viewers. Even those who are not very familiar with historical Western art will still recognize and value the pieces this film features. By depicting the war in terms of something so easy to understand, “The Monuments Men” is relatable throughout.


Various factors suggest that minimum wage should not be raised



In his State of the Union address a little over a year ago, President Obama unexpectedly called on a recalcitrant Congress to raise the $7.35 federal minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. Liberals praised the new priority as a tangible means of promoting economic welfare for the ‘millions of Americans who work for minimum wage’ each year. Conservatives scoffed at the idea as a problem with potentially dire economic consequences founded in the desperation of an administration that has seen many of its legislative goals stalled by Republican legislators.

However, over the last year, a majority of Americans have consistently backed the proposal to which the President has devoted very little air time until quite recently. Indeed, the botched rollout of the and the IRS and NSA scandals have heretofore (and some would say, permanently) rendered both the Democratic agenda legislatively unfeasible. It has also rendered our President, as its principal advocate, a lame duck. The President’s choice to reaffirm his hopes for minimum-wage reform seems to validate this sentiment, as he blamed Republicans in his radio address to the nation this past Saturday for not “want[ing] to vote on minimum wage at all.” Citing both popular support and economic necessity, he once again called for a federal wage raise—yet, this time, to $10.10 per hour. As many have blamed the current administration for its repeated divisiveness and inability to compromise, one would question why the President would call on Republicans, who are staunchly apposed to reform, to approve a wage that is $1.10 higher than the $9 he called for last year. From a purely political standpoint, the President’s choice will most likely undermine the very cause to which he argues our legislators should devote their energies—what better way to alienate Conservatives than increasing the controversiality of a proposal on which they have refused to act for over a year? Regardless, raising the minimum wage in this volatile economy could have devastating consequences for small businesses nationwide, as no state’s current minimum wage is even close to the President’s new benchmark—Washington’s, by far the nations’ highest, is $9.32, a full 8% lower.

Indeed, conventional economic wisdom tells us that raising the minimum wage generally causes the creation of a surplus of labor, a phenomenon commonly referred to as an increase in unemployment. While some economists cite few counterexamples to this hypothesis, its rationale nevertheless is typically the prime point of concern for wage-raise skeptics. Moreover, although February’s jobs report, published this past Friday, indicated a reassuring addition of 175,000 jobs, the unemployment rate increased to 6.7%, well above what is deemed economically optimal.

Furthermore, as many Americans have not yet found—and others have ceased their search for—employment, most economists will concede that the de facto rate is much higher. While liberals will argue that raising the minimum wage will help poorer Americans—largely recent immigrants and the underemployed who have settled for minimum wage jobs—in reality, only 1.1% of Americans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, actually work for base pay. While the Democratic economic agenda has largely centered on closing the tax loopholes often used by the top one percent, its current focus is on a policy that will potentially better the lives of the same marginal number of Americans. Indeed, the liberal lion Ted Kennedy was a principal advocate of a wage raise a decade ago, famously yelling at Senate Republicans, asking “when does the greed stop?” Yet, as usual, the foundations of the liberal ideology that portrays the Republican agenda as one beholden to helping the wealthy at the expense of the poor is, quite characteristically, built upon some shaky economic and intellectual foundations.

Over the last two decades, according to NPR, wage-raise advocates have repeatedly cited a 1992 study conducted by economists David Card and Alan Krueger comparing fast-food restaurants in both New Jersey–which chose to increase its wage 18 percent from $4.25 to $5.05 per hour and Pennsylvania—where the wage was fixed at $4.75. As Card and Krueger found that jobs were, rather counterintuitively, added in New Jersey—resulting in a decrease in unemployment—many believed that the report finally dispelled the conventional theory outlined above. Yet, quick research on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website tells us that, in addition to the fact that both states possessed two different wages and differing economies to begin with, the federal minimum in 1991 was, in fact, $3.80 per hour (the exact wage New Jersey began with), and $4.25 in 1992 (the wage the state adopted). In other words, New Jersey was forced by Congress to increase its minimum wage by 18 percent along with the federal minimum wage to meet the base standard; yet, the new $10.10 would require many less affluent states to raise theirs by over 39 percent. While I am not a trained economist, simple math tells us that the President’s current proposal is far more extreme than most would assume, and Card and Krueger’s findings, far more pedestrian. Undoubtedly, Conservative apprehension is well-founded, particularly in a volatile economy where small businesses are presently struggling to meet their state’s minimum wage requirement and still earn a profit.

Overall, while the President and his part seek to gain support for a last resort attempt at affecting the “Change” in which millions of Americans believed almost six years ago, we must recognize the consequences of appeasing a purely political objective. With the 2014 midterm elections approaching, Congressional Democrats are trying to placate millions of voters who blame the lethargic economic recovery on the current administration. While we need to create jobs and promote economic growth, we must understand that we are debating over a measure of reform at too high of a risk.

Lastly, while Republicans have been chastised for their legislative stagnation in the past two Congresses, their economic objectives are more productive and valid than those on the left would like us to believe. Will Americans confirm this sentiment come November? Only time will tell.

Carolyn Zimmer ’15 shares why she loves living on the Long Walk



After having lived in Anadama last year, the slums of Trinity College housing, living in Jarvis is a truly amazing experience. Everyone always says that one of the most important things to consider when choosing where to live is location. You can’t get much better location than living right on the Long Walk. My room is directly in the middle of the upper Long Walk in the most central part of campus. Most of my classes happen to be in Seabury, making it an easy commute when I wake up five minutes before class. There are also great amenities that come along with living in one of the nicest dorms on campus. I live in a six-person suite. There are four single rooms and one double room. I happen to live in the double, which has more than enough space for both me and my roommate’s belongings. It is the perfect size room for two people to live comfortably. It is always a treat to wake up, sit up in bed, and see the sun rising over the quad in the morning before my early tennis practice.

Additionally, each side of the suite has its own bathroom with very nice fixtures and tiles. I share the bathroom on my side with two other girls, with plenty space for all of us to get ready in the morning. There is a long hallway that leads from one side of the suite to the other. An enormous common room sits in the middle of the suite. We were provided with a lot of furniture, which we weren’t quite sure what to do with. There are 4 wooden chairs, which we decided to use to our advantage. We placed two of them securely on top of three of our desks, which we removed from our rooms and placed along the main wall in the common room. We put the two remaining chairs directly in front of those as to make it have some kind of a theater seating formation. It was a pleasant surprise that sitting in the top two chairs was not only a little fun, but was also very comfortable. It also allows for all of us to be able to comfortably view the TV we have in front of our fireplace, another fun aspect of Jarvis. Not only does the common room have a fireplace, but my bedroom does as well. We had an extra bed from my other roommates who decided to bring their own larger sized beds from home. To make this a useful part of our room, we made it a kind of makeshift couch, facing the TV, very nice for a Sunday after a long weekend.

Decorating was certainly the most fun part. I placed small clear hooks around the entire ceiling of the room, and hung white lights. One of my roommates, Lily Baker ’15, printed out enlarged pictures of all of our friends and roommates to decorate either side of the fireplace. We have stockings hung above the fireplace, which we just can’t seem to bring ourselves to take down. We’ve hung various posters of both Lana Del Ray and The Grateful Dead to add some fun color and entertainment to our room. A large Trinity College banner hangs on the wall in the hallway connecting the two sides of the suite. We’ve made our room very homey and comfortable, which is perfect because living with my best friends, Madison Hebb ’15, Mackenzie Jones ’15, Polly Maroni ’15, and Lily Baker’15 is like living with family. All of our friends would rather spend more time in our room than in their own. I love living in Jarvis, and I would recommend it to anyone.

At Trinity and around the world: The story behind Goldberg’s



Every morning, Chad Kirby rises at 4:00 am to prepare for another day at Trinity’s Goldberg’s On Campus location. Seven days a week, Chad is hard at work keeping inventory, talking to students, placing orders and managing his staff. Recently he’s been churning out tubs of delectable peanut butter that fly off the shelves—just ask the student who ate an entire container in one sitting, according to the Goldberg’s On Campus Facebook page. Not surprisingly, the addition of Goldberg’s to Trinity has been a phenomenal success, which can be attested to the long lines of hungry students for all meals of the day. 60 to 70 percent of Goldberg’s daily business comes from the morning shift, while on Thursdays through Saturdays, 90 percent of business on those days comes from the late night dining menu, according to Chad. To paint a more concrete picture, Goldberg’s has to do four orders a week at the Trinity location to keep up with the demand of hungry students. “We really listen to the customers and find out what they want” says Chad. Constantly innovating and staying ahead of the game, Chad and the Goldberg’s team’s latest culinary creations have included cinnamon sugar bagel bites, cheddar everything and apple cranberry bagels, and red velvet treats on Valentine’s Day. For students who want more options than breakfast sandwiches, Chad is currently working on a separate pizza menu. Running Goldberg’s On Campus is a tremendous amount of work, but Chad is no stranger to long days and hard work.

Originally from Montana, Chad aspired to be an Olympic boxer and left home at the mere age of 15 to train at the Olympic Training Center in Marquette, Michigan. The program allows aspiring Olympic athletes to train and receive a high school, college and master’s degree at Northern Michigan University (NMU) on Lake Superior. In Marquette, Chad met his soon to be wife, Lisa, who also helps run the Trinity location. During their first semester at NMU, the couple was met with a surprise pregnancy, which was when Chad decided to join the military. Stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas and Fort Bragg in North Carolina from 1994 to 1996, Chad was a Black Hawk Crew Chief, the soldier in command of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter used to transport soldiers. He trained with world class athletes while in the military, never giving up his Olympic dreams. But while participating in a training camp for the trials for the 1996 Atlanta games, Chad suffered an injury that ended a lifelong dream. He worked for AT&T for a few years before joining his brother-in-law (now his business partner) in the Hartford area which is where the Goldberg’s story begins.

 Goldberg’s was a small bagel franchise in New York and New Jersey before it was sold to Chad and his brother-in-law. The original plan was to open a kosher bagel store in West Hartford, but finding locations initially was difficult and the two settled for a spot on Main Street in Newington. After three months in Newington, sales started to break even and then they opened the West Hartford store on New Britain Ave, which saw immediate success. Two years ago they sold the Newington location and focused on the West Hartford store before being approached by Trinity to make a new home in the Vernon Social Center.

When Trinity approached Goldberg’s, Chad had no hesitations in jumping on board with the project. Already familiar with the campus, Goldberg’s had previously worked with Trinity regarding catering orders for Dream Camp during the summer. There were other franchises on the table, but all ultimately backed out because of the smaller market Trinity offers and inconvenient school vacations. Working with the College, Chad worked with the architect on the whole build out process of the space and selected all kitchen equipment himself. “The faculty and administrators have all welcomed us and the students have been great” says Chad about the Trinity atmosphere. One of the most important aspects in the planning process was talking to students about what they wanted, which was breakfast sandwiches.

Given the success of the On Campus menu, Chad is now altering the West Hartford menu to include more scrambles and other items unique to Trinity. Now, the Trinity location is in full swing and is busy as ever. Chad plans to do more catering for various departments and campus activities. If he can get permission, Goldberg’s may start doing campus wide deliveries. Until then, pop on over to Goldberg’s and check out Chad’s new creations which are posted on the shop’s Facebook and Instagram pages.


Food Dudes: Tom Stelle ’14 shares his passion for restaurants

Bettina Gonzalez ’16

Staff Writer 

I have said it once and I will say it again, and again, and again: food brings people together. The basic drive of hunger and the desire to eat are common to every human being. No matter the difference in age, sex, race, class, etc., food is, and always will be, a binding thread for everyone. Everyone feels hunger, everyone eats, and everyone enjoys a good meal.

This week, I sat down with fellow foodie Tom Stelle ’14 to talk about our shared love of food and his culinary dreams and hopes about the future. Stelle, a senior majoring in creative writing, is from the small town of Sag Harbor in Long Island, NY. Although he is an avid food Instagrammer, Tom’s interests in the culinary world extend far beyond the typical breed of social media-addicted twenty-somethings wanting to appear cultured.  Tom is an aspiring restauranter. When I asked him what inspired him to have such a great vision so early on, he commented that, “Food has always been a big part of my life.” In his words, “Since my mom is from Switzerland, we did a lot of traveling in Europe and during those trips my love for different types of food only grew.” Through this culinary life journey, Tom came to understand the value of food and the power it has to make people happy. “I am a people person, and I want to be involved in a job where I can make other people happy, while bringing happiness to myself as well.”

Of course, while some students’ dreams can just be all talk, Tom’s dream of opening a restaurant is real and potentially already on the way. In 2008, Tom had his first experience working in the food industry as a bus boy and then as a waiter at a French bistro in his hometown of Sag Harbor. Recently, he has also taken on summer internships with Rushmeyer’s, an upscale restaurant and bar in a hotel of its namesake located in Montauk, NY, and in the industrial-themed gastropub of Boulton & Watt in East Village, NYC. “Both summers I worked along with the owners, managers, and back-of-house staff in order to see the larger picture of how a restaurant successfully is run and managed. Once I graduate, I will be moving to NYC and continuing to move towards my goal of opening and managing my own places.” Part of Tom’s dream also includes “other aspects of the restaurant industry, such as television and food writing.”

Talking more about food itself, Tom commented that the most inspiring and amazing aspects of the culinary arts is its ability to “bring everyone happiness in our world. Whether one is in the streets of New York City, the plains of Africa, or the frontier of Alaska, everyone can agree on the pleasure food brings to people.” When I asked him what he thought was the most essential part of a meal, his response was “hospitality.” “You can have Michelin star quality food on your tables, but if a person does not feel happy and at home in your place, their experience is lacking. Hospitality is much more complex than just serving someone efficiently and courteously, it is about the complete experience. For me, quality of food is important, but the way I feel during and after I walk out of a meal is key.” In Hartford, a place that meets Tom’s taste for great food and equally great hospitality is LaRosa’s Marketplace, a rustic Italian deli located on Brown Street. For Tom, what makes this place so special is its authenticity. “The freshness of all of their food, which comes directly from Italy, makes it standout overall to me. The experience of going to LaRosa, eating the food, and being greeted by the Old Italian man, is exactly what I remember Italy to be like.”

Up until now, Tom and I had never made each other’s acquaintance. However, after speaking with him about his dream to own a restaurant, I see now that we share a fascination with all things food. This is exactly the power that food has: It brings people together. Not just around a dinner table, food can bring family together in the kitchen, bonding and passing down family traditions; it can bring strangers together at a grocery store, sharing advice about how and what to cook for dinner; or students, scavenging  for free food. And certainly, a food writer and an aspiring restaurateur, no matter how different the two may seem to be.

Duke adult film actress deserves the right to work but misses bigger picture


Word spread quickly across the Internet after a Duke University freshman revealed to a fellow classmate that she works as a part-time adult film actress to offset her expensive tuition costs. Once the story got out at a campus fraternity event on Jan. 10, “Belle Knox,” as she is currently known to the public, quickly saw her anonymity disappear. The Duke Chronicle reported that within hours Knox received more than 230 new friend requests on Facebook. National news organizations including TIME and CNN have also sought out Knox for articles and interviews to publicize her story.

Knox has been surprisingly calm and composed since the leak. The general public, on the other hand, cannot quite figure out how to react. While many scorn Knox for her involvement in the adult film industry, claiming it is fundamentally immoral and degrading, others have offered strong support for her confidence and commitment to her work.

In a live interview with Piers Morgan, Knox explained that she finds her sexual autonomy “incredibly freeing.” She believes that, “We are in a society where we are so repressed, every single day. We’re told that sex is bad. We’re told not to have sex. We’re told not to show our bodies, and that’s really true for women.”

Knox’s take on female porn stars and the adult film industry is nothing new. Many before her have championed the rights of sex workers and demanded dignity and respect for their work. However, Knox’s sudden rise to infamy has granted her an unusually powerful platform. As a freshman student at an elite university, news outlets and social media users have paid extra attention to her story, deeming Knox as either a degrading scandal or feminist sensation.

I support Knox’s right to participate in the porn industry, as I believe it is every person’s individual choice how to use their own body. Knox is right when she claims that there is nothing inherently degrading about porn. She stated in an interview that, “The prevailing societal brainwashing dictates that sexuality and sex ‘reduce’ women, whereas men are merely innocent actors on the receiving end.” Knox’s sexual habits do not dictate her level of intellect or kindness, and she should be able to be both a Duke University student and adult film actress if that is what she chooses.

My concern is this: although porn is not inherently degrading, by and large, the porn industry does degrade women by casting them as submissive objects meant solely for male pleasure. Porn is made mainly by men and for men. Knox’s work may feel sexually freeing to her, but her active participation is still an affirmation of the deeply flawed and misogynistic sex industry.

Knox has an opportunity to refute the male-dominated porn industry that she claims silences the voices of its female sex workers. Her work is an example of how sexual choices can empower women who refuse to accept the antiquated belief that virginity or abstinence determines whether we as women are good or bad people. However, in order to change the aspects of the porn industry that she criticizes, such as the stigma placed on female sex workers or the lack of female directors, Knox should start thinking about how her work would change if it was designed to be marketed towards women, rather than the hundreds of thousands of men who already have enough available video content to last them a lifetime.

NESCAC community mourns the recent loss of Bates student

Elaina Rollins ’16
Forrest Robinette ’16

The tragic death of Bates student John Durkin has shaken the entire NESCAC college community. Durkin, a junior economics major and football player at Bates, was studying abroad in Rome through the Trinity College program when he suddenly went missing. Durkin was shortly after found dead in a train tunnel between St. Peter’s and Trastevere stations. Over 11,000 people have now liked the Facebook page that was initially created to spread the word of Durkin’s absence in Rome.

Durkin was one of 55 students studying in Trinity’s Rome program, along with five other Bates students. Upon the announcement of Durkin’s passing, Bates College President Clayton Spencer released a public statement: “This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John. We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family.” Trinity College President Jones addressed the Trinity campus in an email sent out on Saturday, Feb. 22. Jones expressed his sympathies to the College community and the family and friends of Durkin. He wrote that, “By all accounts, [Durkin] was an exemplary young man and a student-athlete in the trust sense of the word. I also want to extend my sincerest condolences to Bates College, my gratitude to the Trinity administrators at our Rome campus, as well as the Trinity staff in Hartford.”

Bates hosted a gathering on Monday, Feb. 24 for students to share condolences, reflections, and memories about their beloved classmate.

Food Dudes: Umi offers a unique twist to a traditional dinner


After a long hectic week of classes, work, and other of life’s relentless madness, it’s nice to do something fun and spontaneous and just a little bit guilty. That’s how I would describe how a friend and I first decided to check out Umi Sushi + Tapas in Blue Back Square; we had had a long week and just needed to get away from campus. Without our own means of transportation, of course, this was a little problematic. So despite having strolled through all the customary spots in Westfarms and Blue Back numerous times, we decided to just take the off-campus shuttle and head over there with the usual herd. Following the crowd has never been my thing. It’s more like a guilty pleasure. In any normal circumstance, I would not be writing about a typical food joint that maybe half of this campus has been to. But then, I stopped and considered the other half – those of you who maybe have not gone, those of you who have not taken the time to take the off-campus shuttle on Saturdays and visited Blue Back, those of you too stubborn or afraid to partake in a little guilty pleasure. I say: suck it up because you are missing out on a pretty damn good thing.

Getting off the shuttle, we walked over to Umi and, as expected, ran into a few other Trinners. The waiting area was full as always, so we had to wait maybe 15 or so minutes before getting seated. As my friend and I waited, we looked around the busy little gastropub trying to figure out how it worked. Umi Sushi + Tapas is a kaiten style restaurant and bar. Kaiten refers to the conveyor belt way of getting sushi and other delicious food around to the diners. I had only been to one once before and quite frankly, I didn’t even know that conveyor belt sushi was actually a thing everywhere. Luckily, when we were seated, our server was there to explain all the kinks to dining in their restaurant. On the conveyor belt are plates with different colored rings; the colors represent the prices of each dish and you can find those prices listed all over the restaurant walls and menu. Because Umi can get busy and crowded, each table has a set of buttons that you can push asking for different kinds of services – refills, busing, and check.

Besides the sushi, Umi also has a full menu to order from. Not surprisingly, I was hungry and so was my friend, so we ordered from the menu in addition to having the conveyor belt sushi. Service was a little slow (though I think they did that on purpose) and we ended up picking up a few plates of sushi and rolls from the belt. There was one instance when we were eating a simple tuna roll and this beautiful decadent plate of spicy lobster roll passed by. We stared at it baffled as it made its way across from us. Quick! Grab it! Too late. That particular plate was on the pricier end so we decided to skimp on the sushi and just wait for it to come back. We waited and waited and waited. Tuna rolls passed by, Philadelphia rolls, a plate of chocolate mousse cake, some shrimp tempura rolls, buffalo chicken rolls, more tuna rolls – at that point, my friend and I thought it was over. We missed our chance. But as soon as we almost gave our hopes up, there it was. Quickly scampering, we grabbed our prize. All I can say is that it was well worth the wait. One piece was a mouthful itself, the mixture of flavors and texture was on point, and if I hadn’t been on a budget I would have happily spent the night eating nothing but several plates of it.

But we were on a budget and still hungry. When our server finally returned, both of us ordered the Umi Ramen, a soup made with spicy miso soup, fried chicken, poached egg, corn, scallions, and toasted seaweed. As typical college students, I don’t know why in Sam Hill we needed more ramen in our life; but to be honest, this was actually the first time we had real ramen (as real as it could get). It tasted flavorful, like it actually had some semblance of nutritional value! All in all, the best part of that meal, I think, was watching my friend struggle as she tried to eat with chopsticks. Next time the Saturday off-campus shuttle is running, consider going to Umi. Right in the center of Blue Back Square, this little gem is a great guilty pleasure spot for a college student on a budget.

At Trinity and around the world: Winter break spent in Ghana


Winter Vacation. A time when most people are glad the stress of the fall season is over. While many Trinity students spend time with their family and friends throughout the break, Miriam Atuya ’16 decided to something else– pump water. Atuya is a member of the African Development Coalition (ADC) at Trinity. During one of the ADC’s meetings, she met Kate Clopeck who came to speak with the group about her organization called Community Water Solutions.

Kate Clopeck and Vanessa Green, both engineers, began water solutions when they became aware that Ghana’s water problems are not due to lack of technology but from inability to meet basic needs. They created Community Water Solutions in 2008 with the goal of “empower[ing] women to launch sustainable water businesses.” This program also benefits society and is structured to give women empowerment in their patriarchal societies. This project opens up employment opportunities for women who need a job, or a second source of income. Using their Massachusetts Institute of Technology education to launch the program, Clopeck and Green have seen nothing but success in their project.

After hearing about Community Water Solutions, Atuya knew that it was something she wanted to get involved in. She states, “I am interested in [the] social innovations in Africa and their roles toward development, both economically and environmentally.” Atuya was also drawn by the program’s effort to provide employment for the women in Ghana. Having done an internship in Aerobe for safe affordable healthcare, working with Community Water Solutions aligned right along with her interests.

However, due to the costs of the program she needed to fundraise. She planned to ask for small donations from people and slowly gather the required amount. However, having heard about the program only a month before it began, fundraising proved to be a challenge. She says, “In addition to just putting up an online site and asking people to donate, I also reached out to departments in Trinity that shared a similar mission…it helped quite a lot in fundraising.”

Prior to going to Ghana, Atuya had some expectations. “Having done… community development work prior to Trinity and even after coming to Trinity… I thought it [would] be challenging but it turned out pretty well.” After arriving in Ghana, she was given the opportunity to man a project where they would be testing the dirty water in the dug-out and cleaning it. This was all part of a process to ensure that residents had clean water to use. To do this, the participants of the program also trained two women, who had been selected by the community, on how to maintain the water clean.

From this experience, Atuya believes that, “The most important thing is stepping into the shoes of the women and seeing what they’re doing. You’re able to achieve a greater cause if you actually step into someone’s shoes as opposed to viewing them from an outside angle.” While in Ghana, Atuya had the opportunity to fetch water and try to place it on her head, which seemed easy, but she quickly found it was not.

Experiencing the struggle that women in Ghana face of fetching water walking a mile or two away from their homes and having with it, proved to be a powerful moment for Atuya.
When the program came to an end, Atuya felt happy but sad. The project had been a success and the women she had worked had taken a special place within her life. She also came to highly admire the intelligence of the women who she had trained to keep the water clean. Having only been in Ghana for three weeks, Atuya was surprised at all the special connections she had managed to create in the short time period. However, knowing Atuya, being back at school will not keep her from fulfilling her goals and plans, instead she will do whatever she can to make sure others are obtaining the resources they need.

Lara Abiona ’16 shares her experience as a minority at Trinity


I have recently discovered that when you deviate from the normative culture in terms of race, gender, class, sexual orientation and so forth, you are more likely to feel the constraints of the said culture. As an African-American woman, I do not have the privilege of naturally blending into Trinity’s dominant demographic of preppy, affluent, Caucasian students. I am likely to be ostracized if I do not conform to a Eurocentric standard of beauty. I am twice as likely to be invisible, so I must innovate a way to make myself heard without perpetuating stereotypes of being the “angry Black woman” when standing up for myself or speaking passionately in a classroom discussion. However, I see my marginalization not as a hindrance but as a challenge to reclaim my right to simply be. Being a Black woman on campus is certainly a challenge for many reasons; however, I see it as a healthy challenge that motivates me to transcend my environment in order to find my peace and to hopefully liberate others who suffer in silence.

Having two identities in which I am not in a position of systematic privilege-—Black as opposed to White, and female as opposed to male—compels me to be extremely aware of myself as both an African-American and a female. I think of race and gender unilaterally as well as intersectionally. In terms of race, I have always been an underrepresented demographic. In elementary school, I was the only African-American in my entire graduating class. However, growing up in an environment in which my identity was not well represented led me to form my identity in a very individualistic sense. As I grew up, I noticed some boundaries, such as overcoming the stereotype threat of being the only African-American in AP courses with mostly Asian and Jewish students, and speaking with confidence in male-dominated classrooms. These boundaries were accompanied by my desire to break free from these attempts to marginalize me, so as to access my full potential. Although it felt triumphant, it was a very lonely battle. At Trinity College, the boundaries are more blatant and are accompanied by sheer bigotry and parochialism. Racial discrimination on this campus ranges from racial profiling by Campus Safety officers to denying admittance into fraternity parties that have apparently “reached capacity” while a group of White girls are immediately let in. On one occasion, I was out with a friend on my way to the Umoja House on Vernon Street when a large group of people were on their way back from Crow, and one White male, who I believe was very intoxicated, looked directly at us and started chanting “White People! White People!” The tone in his voice emphasized his feelings of superiority and a deep passion to ostracize me simply because of my skin color.

Gender discrimination at Trinity also creates barriers. The patriarchal design of the social climate sometimes makes me feel as though I must shrink in order to be accepted. There are classes in which I was one of the dominant speakers in classroom discussion and I felt that some of my classmates, both male and female, disapproved of me taking up so much space. As a feminist, it is especially hard to overcome this boundary without being seen as too radical. It requires a level of comfort that I aspire to reach yet have not quite grasped at this point of my life.

Each identity on its own presents obstacles, but the combination gives me even more of a challenge. There are many people at this school with multiple identities that deviate from the normative “Trin” culture who are also on the journey to find their peace. It is these members of the community that give me the strength to continue the fight to be myself. I know that I am not alone.

Trendy Trinity: Callan Vessels ’15 shares her secrets to great style


For some Trinity College students fashion doesn’t come easy. For some, fashion isn’t even a thought, and that’s okay, but for others like myself and Callan Vessels ’15, fashion is what makes the world go round. I got a chance to catch up with Callan and ask her a few questions that help guide her choices in fashion.

When I look around the campus I immediately see what people are wearing. For me, clothes are what come easily. I know how to throw together an outfit last minute whether it’s for a friend or me. Callan Vessels feels the same. I started with something simple, “What do you think of when you get dressed?” “Looking cute and stylish. I always like to look put together,” Vessels said.

I think people need to take Callan’s lead when getting dressed for classes. I know that we all sit in classrooms, take notes, and don’t really look at what drapes over one another’s body, but dressing with style can make each day more exciting.
For Vessels, it’s all about planning ahead and having a “go to look.” “I usually plan my outfits before I go to bed, but when I am in a rush I just throw on something simple like jeans and a cute top,” says Vessels.

She makes it sound so effortless, and it is once you get the hang of it. I know that for some, fashion isn’t important and that image isn’t everything, but the time it takes to push a comb through your hair and put on something that shows your body exists takes less than five minutes. Set the alarm a little early and try it out! Even for class, Vessels says, “A cozy sweater, jeans, and flats is a go to when I don’t plan. It’s always freezing in classrooms so it always works out.”

For those who love clothes, closets serve as their proof of dedication. I personally have my favorites: AG black jeans, Tory Burch short black boots, my grey leather jacket, and an assortment of LNA v-neck t-shirts. Vessels has her favorite items too. “I couldn’t live without my J Brand jeans, camo sweater, ASHA long pendant necklace, fur jacket, Stuart Weitzman knee high boots, my Dolce Vita black booties (for the winter), and then in warm weather, a cute sundress and either wedges or gladiator sandals.” Vessels has it covered from season to season and knows how to put her outfits together for any occasion.
When going out at night, Callan chooses her signature piece, her crop-tops. She feels confident at night in a cute flowing top, blue or black jeans, and boots.” She makes sure she always has a least five bracelets on one wrist at a time and doesn’t leave the house without a tube of lip-gloss in hand.

Although dressing for everyday is fun for Vessels, it is fancy events that really get her excited to shop; “My favorite articles of clothing are my dresses, so I love shopping for formals and nice events. I try to find dresses that no one has seen yet. Depending on the event, I like to get a little sassy with my outfit! I tend to go for dresses that are fitted and festive.” Everyone has a style that they lean towards and want to see more of. Callan hopes this spring will be full of bright and vibrant colors and “definitely more midriff exposure”

With seasons changing and trends coming and going, it’s important to have something that you can always rely on. For Vessels, she thinks a little black dress is a must have and I couldn’t agree more. You never know when something will come up like a formal, a dinner, a family event. With an ever-changing social calendar, a little black dress is always great to own. If you don’t have one yourself, at least know someone in your dorm who does! Ladies on this campus must be prepared and always ready to get a little fun and sassy.
The advice Vessels gives to other students at Trinity College is simple, “try and sass it up, and try not to be as preppy.” Breaking the fashion trends can be tough but that’s what true fashionistas are for! Have fun with it!

The amazing power and comfort of food in our everyday lives


The cool evening air swept through my hair. It was a welcomed relief. I took a deep breath and sat on the swing on the balcony. The leaves were rustling. I could hear distant chatter from the street near our apartment. Men and women were selling vegetables and fruits on the street. Children were playing with footballs, sticks, cricket balls and stones. All the noise was like music to my ears. This balcony was the only place in the house that was peaceful. All day long, I had heard all sorts of women telling my family and I about how sorry they were for our loss. No matter how many people told us that, they would never fill the hole in our hearts.

My grandfather had passed away a few days ago. At 70, he was the healthiest man I had known. His heart attack was a shock to all of us. Our only consolation was that he had died doing what he loved, playing tennis. He was the light of our family, our hero. He had left us without warning. There was nothing that could be done to fill that. Since his death, our home was filled with people and with food.
My grandmother and her friends would wake up when the morning sunlight was peeking through the clouds. They had the biggest pots and pans I had ever seen. She would throw in some chili powder, garlic paste, turmeric powder, and other spices I had never even heard of before. The strong aroma would wake me up every morning. In the chaos that I felt and was surrounded by, the smells provided me with a sense of comfort, and a schedule. I would wake up, shower, and put on clean clothes. I would then sit with the rest of my family and we would conduct mourning rituals. This took place for thirteen days.

Ironically enough, we never ate the food whilst it was fresh. We were busy meeting people who had come to offer their condolences. We were busy serving them. We were busy pretending like we were fine. It was exhausting pretending to be fine. In all the mess, there was only one time of the day we felt as if we were together, not scrambled everywhere. At 10 o’clock every night, when everyone had left, the only sound that could be heard in the house was the microwave. It was the same meal every night, lentils and rice. We all sat around the table, worn out. It was a hypnotic sadness. No matter what we did, we found it hard to pull ourselves out of it. Yet, while we hungrily attacked the bland food, it somehow brought us closer together. It was the one time of day where we were uninterrupted and through the grieving process we found solidarity.

It really made me think about the power of food. Of course, it soothes hunger. But, there is so much more that it does for us. It is the highlight of any important festival, or occasion. During Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, which is equivalent to our Christmas, my family plans the menu for almost a month. They edit it, finalize it, and then edit it again. The Diwali party at our house involved meticulous planning. The end result is a lavish feast, which results in a sort of food coma. It makes the food coma that much more uncomfortable because of the fancy Indian clothes.
My first Thanksgiving in the United States left me baffled. Everyone bought their turkey several days in advance. Every one of my friends who celebrated Thanksgiving spoke of the food as if they were enchanted. The turkey, the stuffing, the pie. They appeared to be more excited than Christmas. I remember watching a friend of mine cook the turkey. I was too baffled to talk to her. I managed to make a few of the sides, but the turkey really was something else.

Each time that I reach my hometown of Dubai, I have the appetite of a lion. The shawarmas, the hummus, the falafels, the butter chicken, and naan leave me on my bed, unable to move for several hours. More than eating the food, I truly appreciate the time I spend with my family. We make up for four months of being apart. My only job is to sit at the dining table and eat. Simply eating a falafel sandwich in the United States transports me back to Dubai. I can smell the familiar smell of my house. I can almost hear my mother sitting next to me. The power of food is tremendous, because it activates all of our senses without us even realizing it. The power of food truly is wonderful.

Ukraine set upon road to recovery with recent impeachment


As people tune in to watch the Winter Olympics and cheer on their respective countries, there is a country close to Russia that is not. Instead, the past couple of weeks have been wrought by violence and destruction and the question that remains is when it will end. The problems in Ukraine began towards the end of November when Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovytch, refused Ukraine’s integration with the European Union. For many Ukrainians who waited years for the trade agreement that was supposed to be formed between Ukraine and the European Union, they were dealt a harsh blow. This bitter pill became even more difficult to swallow when in December, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin stated that he would give Ukraine a 15.9 billion loan and 33% off Russia’s natural gas. Many viewed this as a sign that President Yanukovytch was going to form a deal with Russia. Due to the fact that Ukraine used to be under Russia’s rule, it is understandable why many people would become upset at the idea of an alliance between Russia and Ukraine.
It turns out that this is not even the first time that Ukraine has had problems with President Yanukovytch. In 2004, during what is referred to as the “Orange Revolution,” there were protests against Yanukovytch being elected as president as he was considered to be a supporter of Russia. After the Supreme Court ruled for a new vote count, Viktor Yushchenko (not a supporter of Russia) was chosen as the winner. In the end, he managed to be elected to the presidency again in 2010 and did what people had feared in 2004 by electing to side with Russia over the European Union. Once again, the people’s displeasure became evident in the form of protests, ironically taking place in Independence Square, which is in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital. Sadly, on Jan. 22, matters took a turn for the worse as the protests turned violent due to the prohibitions that the government had placed on people such as deeming the protests unlawful and censuring of the media. About five people were killed and hundreds were injured and this was only the beginning of what has been escalating to people throwing Molotov cocktails and the police using live ammunition against the protestors. The mayor of Kiev, Volodymyr Makeyenko, resigned from the President’s Regions Party in protest of the violence.

In February, the protests grew even worse as the death and injury count continued to rise. On Feb. 18, 28 people died (including protesters, policemen, and a bystander) and 335 people were injured. Only two days later, 70 people were killed and more than 2,000 people were injured in what may have been the most violent day since the protests began. It is also the most violence since Ukraine got its independence from Russia. To think that these are only two days in one month is frightening and also jarring. All of this is taking place against the backdrop of the Winter Olympics, which in a way represent nationality and the unity that comes from cheering on one’s fellow countrymen; a unity that at this time, Ukraine does not have. After the violence of Feb. 20, other countries decided to take action with the European Union placing sanctions such as travel bans and “freeze of assets” on those officials responsible for turning what had begun as peaceful protests into violent ones. The U.S. seems to be also following a similar route.

Now it seems that Ukraine’s unrest may be coming to an end. On February 22, the members of the Ukraine Parliament, with a vote of 328 out of 447 members, made the decision to impeach President Yanukovytch and stated that they would hold a special eletion on May 25 for a new president. This also came in the wake of protestors taking over Yanukovytch’s office and residence. This also led to the release of Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovytch’s opponent in the 2010 elections. She was imprisoned in 2011 on charges of abuse of office, which many thought was suspicious. At this time, Yanukovytch claims that he will not resign and has left Kiev for the time being. Also, the new Interior Minister has stated that the police will no longer fight against the protesters, which hopefully means that peace will be restored.

Something that I read that I thought to be so true was the fact that even though it was the people who had elected Yanukovytch to become their president, it was with the expectation that he would do what was best for the citizens of Ukraine. Even though the stimulus from Russia may have helped the economy, it also meant that Ukraine would be tied even tighter to Russia, a country that Ukrainians had achieved independence from in 1991. I get it, the lull of power can be an intoxicating thing, but this is not a dictatorship and Yanukovytch should respect the people’s choice because it has become apparent that what Yanukovytch wants and what his citizens’ desire are completely different.

I find myself thinking about the picture that I saw of a Ukrainian priest standing between protesters and the police and how sad it is that things escalated to such a point. Maybe now with these new changes, Ukraine can find balance again as they mourn the lives lost these past three months.

Fashion tips for Trinity College (or why I hate Patagonia vests)


Warning: Prepare for some serious generalizations. Pointing to individuals as a way of challenging my interpretation of the culture at Trinity as a whole is the equivalent of pointing to a row of intact houses in New Orleans circa late 2005 and saying “What hurricane?” Note to Self: think of a less offensive metaphor.

I once saw a group of seven girls standing together at a Trinity football game, faces buried in their iPhones, wearing the same thing. I mean that literally. They were literally wearing the exact same thing from head to toe (boots, leggings, Patagonia vests, sunglasses, and Trinity caps). Seeing this inspired an avalanche of thoughts. I understand that Trinity has its fair share of students who attended East Coast prep schools and have certain understandings of what to wear. But, as I thought more about these girls, and our campus climate, I couldn’t help but ask myself this: Why, at Trinity, do we all tend to dress so similarly? These girls perfectly encapsulated the distinct sense of style that dominates all others on this campus. To help you choose an outfit that says, “I clearly go to Trinity,” I have compiled a handy-dandy list of Trinity Fashion Tips.

First, a little known fact is that Patagonia is the only company that makes warm clothing. Unless your fleece says Patagonia on it, it will unfortunately not keep you warm.

Second, wearing officially licensed Trinity apparel that your mom bought at the bookstore is a good way to show that you are a unique, independent individual.

Third, nothing says “I am down with the working class locals on Martha’s Vineyard” like wearing Vineyard Vines.

Fourth, if you buy your nice clothing at a thrift store, make sure to tell everyone it is from a thrift store for maximum irony points.

Fifth, wear boat shoes, because you never know when you might have to suddenly captain a boat. Yes, you may be miles from the nearest ocean, but boat shoes are a practical, casual way to say “I have a summer house on Nantucket.”

Joking aside, I want to make it clear that I am not someone who enjoys judging others based on what they wear. Judging others is usually nothing more than a way for people to mask their own insecurities. I like to think that just because someone dresses like a stereotype doesn’t mean they aren’t a free-thinking individual. But let’s be real: there is a point where one can’t help but judge. And for me, these seven identical girls at the football game are it.

Everyone comes to Trinity with a certain idea of what it will be like. No one arrives here innocent. Everyone has Ralph Lauren-scented blood on their hands. From my understanding, the students who don’t really know what to expect from Trinity immediately get swallowed up by the dominant narrative before they have a fighting chance. Instead of standing out, they try to fit in. This includes how they dress, but how we dress is only a symptom of the problem. The root of the problem is that there are certain archetypes that Trinity students are expected to embody. While guys are expected to be womanizing frat-stars, girls are supposed to be Netflix-watching, iPhone-having, too-many-shots-of-vodka-taking girls who differentiate themselves exclusively through their favorite bachelor contestant. For me, the paradox is that no sane person would admit that these traits actually describe them. So why does it feel like it’s what everyone secretly aspires to be?

As a result of people trying to embody these stereotypes, Trinity can sometimes feel less like a liberal arts college and more like a boarding school. Nearly every pocket of culture on campus has an agreed-upon identity that accompanies it, and many of us simply fill out the checklist of what we are supposed to say, and how we are supposed to act (and dress). This is by no means a problem exclusive to Trinity. But that doesn’t mean we can’t recognize it and begin to fix it.

The part of you that exists beyond your personality is a precious thing. I’ve found in my few years at Trinity that it is important to recognize the part of yourself that makes you who you are and protect it. Recognizing it is hard, and protecting it is even harder. This part of you can be ridiculed and delegitimized and slowly crushed every day if you let it, but you have to be aware of this process and fight back.

How? Stay creative. Don’t worry about being labeled. Nurture the part of yourself that makes you different, or it will be lost in a sea of Patagonias, salmon shorts, and mid-calves. Write, draw, make music, rap, dance, play with action figures, start a slap boxing league, I don’t know. Just do something weird and insane because the last thing this school (and this world, for that matter) needs is something it’s seen before. But for the love of God, don’t let it involve Patagonia vests.

New season of “House of Cards” surpasses audience expectations


“He’s in the darkness now, and I’m the only beacon of light,” says Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey). “Now we gently guide him toward the rocks.” In the second season of the popular Netflix original series, “House of Cards,” Spacey delivers another chilling performance of the manipulative politician, Frank Underwood.
This past week on Feb. 14, the Golden Globe-nominated drama series “House of Cards” had its second season released on Netflix. Procera Networks estimates that 2% of Netflix subscribers, or around 668,000 people, finished the entire season in the first weekend. Considering its beautiful character development and suspense, it is easy to understand why “House of Cards” has quickly become one of the most popular shows currently airing.

While season one seems to lose its tension by the end, season two maintains its suspenseful drama throughout. Season two brings much more of a focus on a larger political sphere, as the show now closely follows a member of the executive branch, Underwood as Vice President, as well as Jaclyn Sharp (Molly Parker), a member of Congress. While the first season split its time almost evenly between investigative journalism and political dealings, this season is much more focused on the politics and closely tied billionaires. While Frank’s crimes continue to be investigated through this season, they hold much less importance to the season and instead seem to serve more as a build up for the third season.
The new season also sees a very interesting relationship develop between Underwood and President Walker (Michael Gill) whose character finally takes off. The second season shows Walker to be one of the few likeable and honest characters. However, in the true nature of the show, Walker’s honesty makes him weak and vulnerable. The political and financial world in “House of Cards” has no room for sympathy, and only those that remain cold and ruthless thrive.

Vice President Frank Underwood exemplifies this premise, as he never breaks from his pragmatic, yet shady, politics. Always sure to leave no weaknesses exposed, Frank’s schemes are brilliantly intricate and are slowly revealed throughout the course of the show. Frank’s character is, however, entirely predictable. Frank rarely reveals any empathy and is willing to use any leverage he can to gain more power. The desire for power drives all of “House of Cards”’ characters, but Frank is the only one who loses his humanity to it. On his rise to power he regrets none of the decisions he made which hurt his colleagues, and it is this relentless cold-blooded calculation which makes it possible for him to continuously succeed.
While Spacey’s performance as Frank Underwood serves as the catalyst for the series’ dark world, it is the real depth of troubled characters that makes the show so effective. One of this season’s newest characters, Jaclyn Sharp, begins the season with Frank, discussing the primary candidates to replace his old position as majority whip in the House. Jaclyn proves her own ruthlessness, capitalizing on every opportunity she has to gain that position and maintain as much power as she can. Where she differs from Frank, however, is the empathy her character delivers in multiple occasions. As she defames and destroys a close friend’s career, she displays great remorse, yet follows through anyways. This conflict follows Jaclyn throughout the season, as she eventually becomes close with a powerful man of opposing interests, the clash between her career and her personal life is one that constantly troubles her.

Jaclyn’s character is a refreshing change of pace from Frank, as despite the self-serving and cut-throat political maneuvers she makes, she clearly shows deep emotional distress and a troubled character.
Similarly, Frank’s wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), is a character that is described as “loyal to no one,” and backs this up by betraying anyone who stands between her and power. This part of her character was well developed and perhaps best demonstrated as she fires the entire staff, including one woman she had grown close to, of her non-profit organization so she could expand the company. Claire continues her path of betrayal throughout season two, until finally her emotions catch up to her. In perhaps the most powerful moment of the season, Claire breaks down in hysterics and it appears her manipulation has finally left her isolated and empty.

Other characters from the first season, including Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali), Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) and Rachel Posner (Rachel Brosnahan), are far more dynamic in this new season. Lobbyist Remy Danton, who has always diligently worked for the highest bidder, finally reaches a point where emotion challenges his business interests.

Meanwhile, Rachel remains trapped by her actions from season one, while Doug, the recovering alcoholic finds himself infatuated with her. Behind the consistent and predictable dealings of Frank, the show’s many supporting characters demonstrate a deeply troubled inner conflict between their lust for power and their morals. In many circumstances, power is the stronger desire.

The only new character of season two who fails to greatly enrich the show is Seth Grayson (Derek Cecil). Seth enters the show as the press manager for the Underwoods and his character remains mysterious from the moment he enters the series. Even the characters within the show often question his integrity, yet the audience never learns the true essence of his character. Judging by the way the series ends, it seems that perhaps his character will have a much larger role and be of greater significance in the third season, yet in this season his character felt uncomfortably distant and ominous.

The second season of “House of Cards” did not disappoint, as it took an already fascinating group of characters and developed them ever further. While the first season was a success, this season far surpasses it in drama and character development.

“House of Cards” plays on a somewhat sadistic desire from its audience, as the viewer finds himself rooting for Frank Underwood to succeed and get away with his crimes, despite how despicable and unlikable of a person he truly is. This accomplishment—to make the audience appreciate a character with few redeeming qualities—is proof in itself of the show’s brilliance.

Women’s Squash beats Harvard to win­ national championship

Peter Prendergast ’16, SPORTS EDITOR

On Sunday, Feb. 23, the Trinity College Women’s Squash team became national champions as they beat out the Harvard Crimson in a 5-4 victory. Eight schools, including Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Pennsylvania, Cornell and Stanford, gathered at Princeton’s Jadwin Courts for a weekend tournament spanning from Feb. 21-Feb. 23, all looking for a chance to win the Howe Cup. The Bantams, who finished the regular season with a 14-1 record, were awarded the no.2 seed in the tournament, while the undefeated Harvard was awarded the first seed.

In the quarterfinal round on Feb. 21, Trinity completely swept the Stanford Cardinals as not one Bantam allowed their opponent to win even a single game. Kanzy El Defrawy ’16 was especially impressive in her match, as she allowed only two points in her three games. Following the win against Stanford, Trinity advanced to the semi-final round, to face University of Pennsylvania. Like Stanford, the Quakers proved that they were no match for the dominant Bantams. Trinity took the match with a score of 6-3 as they won in the top five positions as well as in the no.7 spot. Head Coach Wendy Bartlett stated “Penn’s lineup was different than the first time and that may have thrown us off at first. Ashley Tildman’s win really changed the momentum for us.” Tildman ’15 broke the 3-3 match tie as she beat her opponent, Michelle Wong, 3-2.

By beating Penn, Trinity advanced to the finals where they met the very team that tarnished the Bantams’ perfect season only a few weeks earlier: the Harvard Crimson. No.1 seed Harvard had swept Dartmouth College in the quarter-finals and defeated Yale 6-3 in the semi-finals to reach the championship round against Trinity. The two teams me­­t on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1:00 p.m. to compete for the title. Harvard showed up looking to maintain their perfect season while the Bantams were looking to avenge their regular season loss to the Crimson.

Harvard took a 2-0 lead after the first two matches as Katie Tutrone beat Trinity’s Wee Nee Low ’14 in the no.3 spot and Megan Murray beat Sachika Balvani ’16 in the no.9 spot. Trinity finally got on the board in their third match as Natalie Babjukova ’15 beat Harvard’s Julianne Chu in five games to take the no.6 spot victory.
Co-captain Catalina Palaez ’14 followed Babjukova’s victory with a 3-1 victory over Haley Mendez in the no.2 spot. Palaez’s victory rounded out her perfect season as she finished her 2013-2014 campaign with a 14-0 record. In the next match, Jennifer Pelletier ’14 found herself down 2-1 against Harvard’s no.8, Isabelle Dowling, but she managed to take the last two games, including an 11-6 victory in the deciding fifth game. Tidman followed by coming back from a two game deficit against Michelle Gemmell, winning her fifth and decisive game 11-4.

Tidman followed by coming back from a two game deficit against Michelle Gemmell, winning her fifth and decisive game 11-4.
With the match tied at 4-4, Trinity’s Anna Kimberly ’17 squared off against Harvard’s Saumya Karki for the deciding round in the no.4 spot. Kimberly lost her first game 11-7 but came back to tie it with an 11-9 win in her second game. She took a 2-1 lead by winning her third game 11-5. In her fourth and final game, she outscored her opponent 11-9, winning her match, as well as the championship for Trinity College. Following the victory, Bantam teammates and fans stormed the court to celebrate with Kimberly. Following the match, she stated “I knew she [Karki] was going to be tough to beat. She really stepped up today. This is just the best feeling, such an amazing feeling.”

This championship marks the third title for the Trinity College Women’s Squash team, the first since their 2003 win eleven years prior. By beating Harvard, Trinity snapped their nine match losing streak against the Crimson, stemming all the way back to 2008. This was Harvard’s first loss since they fell 5-4 against Princeton on Jan. 13, 2013.

Trinity Bantam Athlete of the Week: Mackenzie Griffin ’16

Brian Nance ’16, STAFF WRITER

Remember the first women’s NESCAC basketball game of the season where the Lady Bantams took down Williams College by 16 points? Well, Mackenzie Griffin ’16 certainly remembers, as the sophomore center pulled down eight key rebounds, tallied five points, in addition to providing stifling defense with a steal and a block for the Bantams as they held the Ephs under 50 points. Williams was ranked fourth in the country at the time and the win gave Trinity confidence as they played with passion, while pursuing goals of securing a home seed for the playoffs.

Mackenzie was involved in numerous sports as an adolescent including soccer, volleyball and basketball. The Stamford, Conn. native started playing soccer as a second grader and remained solely with the sport until junior high school, where she began travel and AAU basketball. Mackenzie describes playing AAU basketball as being one of the best decisions she’s ever made. “The friendships and coaches I met through the process were awesome,” Mackenzie recalls. “My AAU teams were always pretty good. With AAU, you play against competition from all over the country and that definitely helped to prepare my game for college,” Mackenzie said.

Mackenzie’s passion for the game of basketball grew tremendously as a teenager. She eventually became a stand out and her love for the game increased, as she enjoys the running and the action that the sport entails. Mackenzie also states that the sport was an easy way for her to relieve stress and clear her mind. Her enthusiasm for the sport continued to grow as Mackenzie’s mother mentored her and aided Mackenzie in developing her basketball skills. Growing up, Mia Hamm was one of Mackenzie’s favorite athletes as she admired the humility, confidence and the dedication that the Olympic soccer player possessed. “She had such a passion for the game; she was a team player and she was classy both on and off the field,” says Mackenzie regarding Mia Hamm. Griffin has always strived to emulate all of these various characteristics into her game, which she has successfully done so for the Trinity Woman’s basketball team.
The Lady Bantams played host to one of the NESCAC Women’s Basketball Championship Quarterfinals games this past Saturday while simultaneously accomplishing one of their key goals for the season. Trinity pulled off the win in dramatic fashion as they won by a tight score of 79 to 76 over Connecticut College. Griffin scored 12 points and tallied six rebounds in the exhilarating win over the Camels. The Bantams seemed to be playing with great inspiration and passion at just the right time in their season; they hold a record of 16-8 (ranked 4th in the NESCAC, 7-3 in conference play) and have won six consecutive games.

Trinity is preparing to face Tufts in the NESCAC Semifinals this coming Saturday, in Medford, Mass. Be sure to wish Mackenzie Griffin ‘16 and the whole basketball team luck as they attempt to go deeper into the playoffs with another big win against the Tufts Jumbos!

Trinity Men’s Swimming and Diving Concludes Season with Nine School Records at NESCAC Championships

Elizabeth Caporale ’16, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Trinity Men’s Swimming and Diving team made the trek up to Brunswick, Maine this past weekend to compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference 2014 Swimming and Diving Championships hosted by Bowdoin College. The Bantams finished in 11th place out of 11 teams, concluding with a score of 352 points, only a mere 25.5 points behind Wesleyan. Williams College was crowned victor of the meet for the 13th consecutive time, finishing with a team score of 1,849 points. Amherst College followed closely behind the powerhouse Ephs, taking second, while Connecticut College narrowly edged out Tufts to claim third place.

The championships kicked off on Friday, with sophomore Nick Celestin (Woodbridge, Conn.) notching fourth place in the 50-yard backstroke with a college-record breaking time of 23.48. The accolades didn’t stop there for Celestin, as later that day he powered through the 100-yard backstroke in his leg of the 400-yard medley relay, posting another college-record breaking time of 50.98. This contributed to a team record time of 3:29.77 for the 400-yard medley relay, which was swum by Celestin, senior Max Ma (Nanjing, China), and first-year members’ Evan Long (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Daming Xing (Beijing, China). Celestin remarkably ended up swimming personal bests in each of his top individual backstroke performances, including a 10th place finish in the 100-yard backstroke finals. He broke the college records previously held in those events at Trinity, which were held by Celestin himself. In addition, Daming Xing ‘17 set two college records on Friday, clocking in at 23.61 in the 50-yard butterfly and 1:56.44 for his 200-yard individual medley later that afternoon.
The second day of the championships brought success for senior Lucas Knight ’14 (Forest Hills, N.Y.), who broke his own college record in the 400-yard individual medley with an impressive time of 4:12.07. Saturday also saw Celestin, Long, Ma and Xing team up for a second time to break another Trinity relay record, this instance in the 200-yard medley. The four swimmers finished in 7th place with a time of 1:35.63.

The meet came to an end Sunday, February 23rd. Max Ma ‘14 set a new Trinity record in the 200-yard breaststroke, with an 11th place finish and time of 2:08.58. Sunday saw another relay squad produce for Trinity, this time consisting of seniors Max Ma, Brendan Kelley, and freshman Long and Xing. The foursome broke the college’s 400-yard freestyle relay record, clocking in at 3:11.09.
The conclusion of the NESCAC Championships and the 2013-14 season marks the end of an era for the six members of the team. Co-captains Brendan Kelley and Max Ma, along with the rest of the senior class, Sean Greer, Will McCarthy, Mark Yanagisawa and Alexandre Zhang, said their final goodbyes to a sport all of them have spent over a decade participating in. We wish them good luck in whatever may come their way, and we wish the returners all the best for the 2014-15 season.

Trinsitions helps incoming first years find their niche at Trinity



It’s no secret that the transition between high school and college is a difficult and confusing time in most people’s lives. Academic, extracurricular, and personal expectations are all heightened from the moment students begin their college careers. Even Trinity, with its comfortable size, close-knit campus, and overall welcoming atmosphere, can feel overwhelming for freshmen who are trying to find their place in the somewhat unfamiliar setting. Classes bring about new challenges, meeting people and finding friends can be awkward and stressful, and creating the stereotypical home away from home is not always that simple.

Thankfully, this year here at Trinity, a group of sophomores started a freshmen outreach program called Trinsitions. The program is essentially an outlet for new freshmen at Trinity to discover places here on campus and become more comfortable with the ups and downs of college life through fun bonding experiences with their fellow classmates, as well as mentorship from older Trinity students. Trinsitions focuses on many typical first year struggles, such as figuring out what extracurricular activities to join, venting about stressful and demanding schoolwork, or just branching out and meeting new people.

According to Molly Mann ’16 and Gwen Beal ’16, two of the sophomore leaders of the program, “Trinsitions is a student organization of peer advisors intended to assist first years at Trinity College with both the adjustment to a college lifestyle as well as acclimating them to the campus and greater Hartford community. The idea of the program is for first years to be able to find their niche at Trinity.”

In other words, Mann and Beal, along with a group of other student leaders who are part of Trinsitions, took it as their responsibility to create a program that reaches out to any and all Trinity first years in order to make their adjustments as smooth as possible.

“Gwen felt strongly about creating this organization because she realizes that the transition from high school to college is a big one. She hopes to make this process easier and more enjoyable for first years,” says Mann. Perhaps this is what is so comforting and welcoming about Trinsitions: the students who recognized that such a program needed to exist at Trinity all experienced similar obstacles during their first year at Trinity.

“Some of us had a tough transition our first year. We sometimes felt isolated and bored. Others of us did not have as difficult a transition, but still recognize this as an important opportunity for first years to feel more at home,” explains Beal. The founders of Trinsitions have dedicated their time to making sure first year students are not alone throughout the challenging process. Furthermore, Beal shares that the team of leaders who make up Trinsitions “are involved in different extracurricular activities and are pursuing different majors, making us a unique and dynamic group that all students can relate to.” The fact that the leaders of Trinsitions make up an eclectic and diverse group of students only adds to the sense of friendliness that makes the organization so successful.

Rather than the formality that is often associated with mentor relationships between students and faculty members, Trinsitions prides itself on a much more comfortable and relatable advisory model. Given the fact that Trinsitions is a program in which older Trinity students advise Trinity first years, the organization is first and foremost a means for new students to meet other students who are possibly experiencing similar difficulties during their transition processes. In terms of some of the activities that members of Trinsitions are free to take part in, Mann and Beal explain, “We hold weekly events, some nights on campus and some off. Some events include Trivia Night at the Vernon Social Center, dinners off campus, XL Center events, ice-skating at Bushnell Park, etc.” Trinsitions takes mentoring one step further through incorporating social events that are meant to function as icebreakers and initiate friendships within the members of the program.

Looking forward, Mann explains that, “Trinsitions only began this school year, so it is still in the process of being developed. Our hope is that students are able to meet different people in their cass, get off campus, and experience more of what Trinity has to offer.” The leaders of the organization plan on expanding the activities and opportunities within Trinsitions’ realm of possibilities, and, “we are also open to students who have concerns that they want expressed and addressed, as we are liaisons between students and faculty,” Mann added. The leaders of Trinsitions would like to add that if first years want to be a part of the organization, it is not to late to join and to please contact them at

Panel discussion reveals the ineffectiveness of terrorist groups



This past Friday, Feb. 21 Trinity College hosted a Political Science Terrorism Panel Discussion. Assistant Professor of Political Science Reo Matsuzaki introduced the discussion’s two speakers, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College Peter Krause and Assistant Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University Max Abrahms.

Abrahms began his presentation by talking about his recent trip to the West Bank where he heard two different voices of concern from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He explained how a strategic model that he studied claimed that “groups turn to terrorism for the strategic utility most effective for achieving their political demands.” Abrahms then connected this model with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abrahms explained that terrorism is very much correlated with political failure, which shows that this tactic is actually counterproductive. He said that, “Governments are less likely to grant concession to a group that uses terrorism.” This is a fact that has been apparent to various governments throughout history. Even attacking military or government targets, such as guerrilla attacks, are more effective than attacking civilian targets.

In fact, terrorists pay a much greater price when they attack civilian targets. For example, Jihad Syrians have suffered much more criticism and lost much more support since they blew up civilians, which he says was the same for Al Queda. These civilian attacks become much more counterproductive to the cause of their attack, and they end up losing more support rather than gaining it.

Abrahms’ research today revolves around the puzzle of terrorism in regards to the costliness. He is looking to see why terrorism is used if involves such a high cost and risk. His organizational theory is based off the fact that these militant groups are lacking a true leader, and this leadership deficit causes groups to turn to terrorism. In these situations, Abrahms explained that lower members then start to have a higher incentive because “incentives for terrorism are inversely related to membership position.” Thus, the foot agents start to follow these four patterns: they have less exposure to asymmetric conflict, have fewer organizational resources, outbid higher members to ascend and are more likely to have lost loved ones in conflict, causing more “emotional investment.”

Peter Krause then presented his ideas on the effectiveness of terrorism. Krause began the presentation by explaining some of the current terror events happening today, such as the controversies between Fatas and Hamas, as well as Assad in Syria. He questioned these groups’ tactics to achieving unity and wondered whether a united or a fragmented government was better, to which he answered: neither.

Krause argues that these groups are unsuccessful because they both lack a distribution of power. He believes that, “the power structure of a movement system drives its success, and the hierarchy of a movement drives the actions of its group.” These arguments can be found in the central idea that, “Where you stand is where you sit.” The standing position is based on strategic success and the use of violence, and the sitting position is based on the movement in the hierarchy.

Terrorism is a controversial and sensitive topic, especially in our advanced technological era. Abrahm and Krause’s theories have many similarities, but also very intricate differences. For one thing, the definition of terrorism differs between the two: Abrahms believes that terrorism is civilian targeting, while Krause believes that terrorism is political violence. Also, the two differ in which category the political effectiveness lies: Abrahms believes terrorism is strategic, while Krause finds it strategic as well as organizational. The two studied different groups: Abrahms analyzed single groups, while Krause studied groups within movements. Those small details of analyzing terrorism affect the larger ones, such as the explanatory variable for effectiveness—Abrahm’s target selection versus Krause’s distribution of power, and the explanatory variable for violence—the social solidarity and leadership decapitation suggested by Abrahm, and the organizational strength and group position suggested by Krause.

The intention of the panel, as explained by Professor Matsuzaki, was to encourage a debate between Krause and Abrahms, rather than two separate presentations followed by student questions. However, based on the specifics of their research, it seemed like a debate would have been much harder to develop, because both panelists agreed on so many of the causes and effects of terrorism.

The event brought to life some very interesting points that helped the audience decide whether or not terrorism is effective.
Both Professor Abrahms and Professor Krause have done an enormous amount of research studying the causes and the effects of terrorism.

Ferris women’s locker room renovations to be completed in May



Here at Trinity, athletics seem to play a large and important role, with over half of the student body participating in a sport. A member of the NCAA Division III, the New England Small College Athletic Conference, the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the New England Wrestling Association, and the College Squash Association, Trinity College has had a rich history of athletic success beginning in the mid-1850s. Trinity’s Men’s Squash team has consecutively won 11 intercollegiate titles and thus has the longest winning streak with over 200 victories in a row.

Trinity’s Ferris Athletic Center, a popular hub for students, is a crucial and central part of the athletic programs at Trinity, including the George A. Kelner Squash Center, the Ray Oosting Gymnasium, the Natatorium, Friends of Trinity Rowing Boathouse, and the popular Anne G. and Richard J. Hazelton Fitness Center.

Recently, Trinity College has stated that major renovations will be occurring. According to the update, the locker rooms in the Ferris Athletic Center will be soon undergoing a “multi-phased renovation.” Both mens’ and womens’ locker rooms, along with laundry facilities, will be refurbished and modernized with a crucial emphasis on increased sustainability.
“From the start of the project we felt a responsibility, not only to the College, but also as good environmental citizens, to try to reduce our energy footprint,” stated Director of Athletics Mike Renwick. “We chose more environmental-friendly fixtures where time and budget allowed.”

In February of 2010, Trinity College hired Mike Renwick to lead the athletics program as the fourth director of athletics in the past 75 years. Renwick joined Trinity from John Hopkins University, where he worked as the senior associate director of athletics from 2005 to 2010. Prior to working at Johns Hopkins University, Renwick served in a variety of roles at Ferrum College in Virginia and Rhodes College in Tennessee.

President James F. Jones, Jr. said, “Our search committee was impressed with Mike’s administrative experience at Johns Hopkins. Even more compelling, we saw how well he embraced our dual emphasis on academic and athletic excellence. His leadership, his energy, and his character will be very strong influences on the mission and vision of our entire athletic program, and we will look to him with confidence to continue the great tradition of Trinity athletics. We are quite thrilled to welcome Mike to Trinity.”

“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to work with a team of bright, talented, and committed coaches, administrators, students, and alumni to further Trinity’s success and storied tradition,” Renwick said.

Renwick will also be involved with the Ferris renovations. The project team looked at amenities such as shower, laundry, energy-consuming lighting, and long hours of operation to find ways to be more efficient in energy consumption. Along with a new HVAC system, these are the facilities that face immediate impact in the renovations.

“We’ve reduced our water and energy usage and chemical consumption and the clothes are just as clean if not cleaner,” said Environmental Health and Safety and Sustainability Assistant for Aramark Management Services Kira Sargent. Supervising Trinity’s facilities operation, Sargent believes that this is the optimal way to maintain the quality of life at Trinity while also reducing water and energy consumption and expensive operational costs. “It’s a smart long-term investment allowing us to continue investing in such initiatives,” she said.

As of now, renovations are planned to be completed in May. The women’s locker room will be equipped with a water bottle filling station, which will hopefully eliminate the high usage of plastic bottles. Both locker rooms will have new faucets and showerheads in efforts to reduce water consumption “by approximately 20 percent,” according to Trinity College. Renovations will also include upgraded team rooms for in-season athletes and climate-controlled spaces.

“Thus far we have been able to meet all of our project goals and stay relatively on schedule,” Renwick said. “We are planning to open a new, more energy-efficient part of Ferris to the entire community next academic year and are hopeful the upgraded spaces will attract many more students, faculty and staff to Ferris.”

Professor Scott Gac addresses the origins of violence in America



How does violence permeate the forming of the American state? The problem inherent in this question is that within the American past, violence has been ubiquitous.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, Associate Professor of History Scott Gac previewed aspects of his forthcoming book, Born in Blood: A Cultural and Political History of Violence in America. With elements of violence in the United States a subject of the media daily, one wonders just when its culture began to establish itself in the American discourse.

In Wako, Texas in 1993, there was a brutal shootout after a long standoff between federal law enforcement and a heavily armed radical Christian sect. “The world that day bore witness to an America engulfed by violence,” according to Gac. Though the media portrayed the event as something abnormal, the radicalization of religion, Gac remembered that this is a familiar excuse in the historical discourse. Violence, like teachings of freedom and democracy, seemed to be a part of modern America. Gac recalled that the question of violence then was framed as a “political dominion out of touch with its foundational beliefs. The United States, the land of liberty, freedom and democracy—violence only resulted when Americans failed to embrace those ideals. This confusion over American violence traces back to the nation’s beginnings.”

In 1776, Thomas Paine preposed that violence “was the result of aristocratic regal ways. Where there are no distinctions, there can be no superiority. Perfect equality affords no temptation.” From then on, American leaders and political theorists “took the bait,” in Professor Gac’s words. Men like John Adams and Abraham Lincoln cite the Constitution as proof that something other than fighting would resolve disputes. It is this belief, traced throughout American history, which Professor Gac seeks to challenge.

Gac focused on state sanctioned violence in five moments—the 1781 mutiny of the Continental Army, the decision to declare war in 1861, slave emancipation in 1863, the Railroad Strike of 1877, and the call for Federal troops to enter schools in 1957. Professor Gac posited that, “Violence belongs alongside the worthies within the American pantheon.” Liberty, democracy, freedom, capitalism, and equality in 1781, 1861, 1863, 1877, and 1957, respectively, could not have been achieved without some degree of violence. Professor Gac’s work does not attempt to assign blame or place a moral value on events, but to situate violence within the familiar American narrative and understand not only its origins, but the chief actors in the story of violence within American history.

Within the newly militarized American colonies, especially Massachusetts, the ideology was to develop a force which could be called up and disbanded whenever needed (an attempt to counter their fears of a standing army). This would not last. The resolutions of the Massachusetts legislature, laying out provisions for the arming of the colony as well as urging towns to contribute resources and manpower, not only demonstrate the democratization of violence, but also competing concepts of consent. In these early years, the Massachusetts force had no rigid hierarchical structure like the British military except for the directive that soldiers would elect their own officers. This would prove disastrous, and though the notion of consent in military matters is present from the earliest moments of the American state it would not last in this context. Military historian Paul Lockhart described the American solder in 1775 as “an armed tourist, who did as they pleased and went where they pleased.” Out of the solutions grew the formally structured Continental Army, of which George Washington would command.
Fascinatingly, when the Continental Congress created its formal army, they were concerned with temporality and authority; it was not long before this act that they themselves were laying out their grievances with a standing army. To combat this, violence began to be characterized as a “defensive right.” As Abigail Adams said, “Hence it becomes necessary for the humble and quiet, the meek and inoffensive, to turn their attention to the art of war; And while they breath the pacific spirit of the gospel, furnish themselves with the instrument of slaughter. This is requisite in order to preserving themselves in property from the hands of violence…The principles of self preservation prove it lawful, the voice of reason claims it expedient, and the law of God demands it as a duty.”

Others adopted a more naturalistic, or less moral and legalistic, explanation for the advent of violence, inspired by John Locke and Thomas Hobbs. They proposed that the collapse of the relationship between the colonies and the British state was a step towards the disassociation found in the natural world, where the default relationship was violence.
George Washington was the man around which competing theories of the role of violence crystalized. Being from Virginia, Washington represented a unifying force when placed at the head of the largely Massachusetts-based Continental Army.
Giving examples of military leadership and discipline throughout his life, Professor Gac stated that Washington “is somebody who is operating within the strictures of violence…within the time, but he is always on the radically violent end of the spectrum.” Though Washington embraced the democratic ideal (albeit one kept in check), he also believed violence was the best way to produce results in the military context among large numbers of people. He ran a spy ring which he kept secret from Congress, and financed many undertakings independently while out on campaign. He also brought a new discipline to the Continental forces, imposing more traditional. and more functional, standing orders. Yet, Washington’s public persona was stellar, always portrayed with a sword, sometimes a cannon, and often in uniform. There is much more to George Washington’s persona, public image, and at times ruthless action, and he came to embody the revolutionary struggle, justified in doctrine and tempered in violence.

The lens through which the lecture continued to examine origins of violence in the modern narrative can be the 1781 mutiny of the Continental Army. It represents a turning point in the American discourse. The irony of the American Revolution, of course, is that the colonists created their own violent state in order to oppose what they perceived had become the British violent state. When does this become acceptable and how is it understood?

Once the colonists began to see the occupying British force as an invading and unwelcome army, their opposition to violence dissolved, as things like a violent state and a standing army were soon seen as the tools of revolution. After the 1781 mutiny, with 1,300 troops who had not been paid, sufficiently clothed, or fed, Washington brokered a deal between them and Congress. This trend of punishment would continue throughout the Revolution.

What emerged from the 1781 mutiny was the aforementioned move from consent to obedience by organized forces, and serves as a marker which continues to frame the Revolutionary era and ultimately the Constitution itself. The American Revolution is often cited as the birth of certain themes and proclivities in American culture, but it is important to remember that often many violent tendencies emerged from an original desire to preserve democratic ideals.

Professor Gac is the American Studies Director and Associate Professor in the History Department, and teaches courses in nearly every aspect of the 19th century United States, including slavery, violence, music, Civil War, and race relations.

Students and local talent perform at Love Jones poetry slam


This past Saturday night, Feb. 22 Trinity Students witnessed and participated in Love Jones: Poetry Slam & Talent Showcase. Love Jones is one of the staple events for Trinity College’s Black Student Union, Imani. Even though the event was held after Valentine’s Day, the love did not stop being the theme of Imani’s poetry slam and showcase.
The event featured singing, music, dancing, and poetry performed by on-campus talent. Love Jones also featured local talent and invited a keynote poet, L. NuNu Smith, to come and perform.
Imani transformed the Terrace rooms in Mather Hall from a room fit for a seminar into a warm and homey space with dimmed lighting, candles, and rose petals. “The ambiance of the room was romantic, from the lights, to the music that set the mood. The space was transformed and it was really nice to see,” said Spencer Hugo Vidal ’17
The majority of the performance came from Trinity students. The event was enjoyable for both the audience as well as the performers. Devan Suggs ’17 elaborated on this experience, stating that, “As a performer it was a great experience, I don’t usually perform poetry, but I glad I tried it out. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate in more things like this. It was also pretty impressive to see how much on campus talent there is in the student body.”
Other student performers felt similarly. “I loved it. My favorite parts of the event were the mood that was set and the keynote poet. It was a very nice touch to have strawberries with the sparkling cider, and the keynote poet, L. NuNu Smith stole my heart. I was kind of even a little inspired to write a little poetry even though it is not really my thing,” said Khari-Elijah Jarrett ‘16.
Students that did not perform and were simply there to observe also had similar remarks. Victoria Ellison ’15, explained that, “The event was amazing, the space was positive as well as inspiring. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate in something like Love Jones someday.”
Off campus visitors even enjoyed the event, and were amazed by the array of talent that can be found on Trinity’s campus. A source says that the event “was a great showcase of different styles and talents among the Trintity student body. I really enjoyed the vibe and the sense of love and support in the room.”
Executive board members of Imani, Trinity College Black Student Union, were overjoyed by the success of the event. “This is my second experience with producing Love Jones,” stated the group’s community service chair Bria Lewis ’16. “It has improved so much just over the last year. My favorite part was seeing different kinds of people with various different cultures and backgrounds all enjoying something positive together”
The event even had a very large influences on Imani’s President, Shanese Caton ’14. She stated that “the great turn out for Love Jones makes [her] really excited about our next event, Blackout, Imani’s annual gala. Blackout and Love Jones both have focuses on love and encouragement of community and culture on Trinity’s campus that extends out to all of the student body.”

Photography Club provides creative outlet for students


There are numerous clubs on campus promoting student engagement inside and outside the classroom. From community orientated volunteer opportunities to calligraphy club, there is something for everyone on campus. For students who can’t find a club that speaks to their interests, they have chance to start one. That is exactly what William Morrison ’14 and Trenton Jackson ’15 did. This semester they started the Trinity College Photography Club (TCPC) based on their common hobby: taking pictures. The duo originally met during June Days, before their official arrival as freshmen on campus, and instantly became friends. They still remain close friends and were roommates during their time at Trinity, and decided on a whim to start the club.
“We figured, why not,” stated Morrison, whose photographs are used by the Tripod in various issues. Gaurav Toor ’14, who serves on the social chair position, encouraged the formation of the club. All three members have been close friends thoughout their time at Trinity. The Photography Club, which will meet on Sundays in Gallows Hill at 5:30 p.m., aims to teach students how to take pictures and edit with Photoshop. The club plans to take trips to Boston and New York City to visit galleries and also to give members the opportunity to take pictures in new surroundings. The club has already generated a lot of interest on campus. As Morrison and Jackson sat at tables outside of Mather during dinner, many students came to inquire about the photographs displayed on the table. From black and white pictures to abstract images, the unique style of photography was intriguing. This display was just a taste of what members will experience and learn from attending their weekly meetings.
Since Morrison and Jackson understand that students are at varying degrees in their photography skills, the club is open to everyone, regardless of experience level. They can ask questions and exchange knowledge about the how-to’s of photography and learn several new techniques. Morrison and Jackson will also provide equipment, but any camera can be used.
“The best camera is the one you carry with you at all times,” revealed Jackson. For many students, this means our smartphones. You do not need a sophisticated and expensive camera to call yourself a photographer. In today’s world, a smartphone is all you need to capture priceless moments. With social media and picture posts, everyone can appreciate the importance of brushing up on their photography skills.
The club has three main objectives and functions as an extracurricular activity on campus. First, they want to use the club as a space for Trinity students to learn about photography. Second, the club will act as an agency. If any other organization needs photos of their events the TCPC will provide photographers for this service. This symbiotic relationship gives members the opportunity to practice their skills and give clubs the candid shots they need. Lastly, photographers will be able to exhibit their work at the end of each semester. This will happen at a gallery showing where members can showcase and share their photos and the progress they have made throughout the semester with their friends and professors.
“This club will become the center of photos on campus,” stated Morrison. Each session, the two photographers will have planned teaching workshops to teach members the tricks of the trade. However, if members have a specific idea of what they want to focus on, Morrison and Jackson are more than willing to assist them by teaching them the necesarry techniques. While they are not professional photographers, they both have had photography experience that began in high school. Jackson, a studio arts major and a Hartford native, became fascinated with cinematography during his sophomore year in high school. Similarly to his former roommate, Morrison developed this hobby during his junior year of high school after he bought his first camera. Since then, they have continued to develop their skill set and versatility as photographers.
During the club’s meeting, new members were given their first homework assignment: take as many pictures as your can using the 3×3 grid system, smartphones included. Jackson pulled up his extensive portfolio, showing examples of how the grid system makes the picture more interesting to the eye. Experienced and amateur photographers are urged to explore this technique using the campus surroundings and people as their subjects. Photographs will be accumulated and shared in the club’s next meeting.
“Join photography club! You won’t regret it, I promise,” exclaimed Morrison. With Trinity’s expanding and vibrant art scene, this club will enhance the artistic climate on campus. So join the club and tell the community what your photos say about you!

The Mill hosts a variety of bands at Saturday’s KickDrums event


Do you want to find a way to get involved with your artistic side? Do you enjoy music, poetry, dance, painting, or drawing? The Mill is a club on campus that embraces many students’ talents and supports their passion for the arts. It allows them to explore their interest in activities such as music programming, studio recording, and dancing. Each week, The Mill hosts an array of events such as student art exhibitions, open mic nights, and concerts to unite the campus through our shared interest in the world of arts. Students can also celebrate their peer’s artisitc achievements. The Mill is well known for their concerts that introduce student bands from on and off campus, ranging in different genres of music. In the past, bands such as The Cool Kids, Big Digits, French Horn Rebellion, and Freelance Whales, have played on our campus.
This past Saturday night, The Mill was packed for the opening of their Kickdrum event. Students eagerly waited in anticipation for performances by three bands: the Kickdrums, BFA, and the Woolly Mammoths. Each of the bands offered a different and unique style, which drew in more and more people with different tastes and preferences in music.
The Woolly Mammoths, an instrumental acoustic band from New Hampshire, started the night as the opening act. They set the melody for the night, getting everyone excited about thier music as they played upbeat songs that had the entire crowd dancing in front of the stage. At one point during their performance, all the students in the crowd had their hands up in the air and were swaying back and forth, matching to the beat of the songs. The crowd seemed to be very pleased with the band’s performance, “I loved when they played the song, “I bet you look good on the dance floor,” stated an audience member to a friend. “I was impressed at how they drew in the crowd right from the beginning, usually takes a few songs for the crowd to get involved,” said one attendee. “I think they have a lot of potential! I hope they come back to perform at the Mill!” was a comment made by many in attendance.
The second performace was by BFA, Bachelor’s of Fine Art. They are a power-pop band from New York City. Their style of music gives off a 1970’s and 1980’s post-punk vibe. Their performance consisted of all original songs. They are best known for their song “Skytanic,” which was released in April 2013. One anonymous student stated that the group’s “energy engaged the crowd and had the entire room singing along. I like that their music was all originals. I hadn’t heard of this band until tonight but now I’m going to check out more of this music.” Another student raved, “I liked that their music was completely different from the other two bands playing tonight. It gives me the opportunity to appreciate a few different playing styles all in the same night!” BFA has their own website,, with a list of their songs as well as their upcoming concert schedule.
Last, but certainly not least, the KickDrums got on stage to preform. They are an indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York. Alex Fitts, head of the KickDrums, joined forces with his friend Matt Pentilla to explore the art behind electronic music. Their band is well known for cross-genre songs that combine elements of current genres as well a new genre of music that will gain more popularity as electronic music becomes more mainstream. They also had an original set list and many students loved their performance of the song “Colors.” Trinity students were eager for their performance saying, “I’ve heard a few of their songs online and I really like their style. I’ve never listened to a lot of cross-genre music before, but concerts like these at The Mill continue to expand my perspective on the various music styles out there.” Another concert goer remarked that, “Their performance was great, upbeat, and definitely worth coming to watch.” When asked what they thought of the KickDrums, after their final performance of the night, the entire crowd erupted into applause. The Kickdrum’s music and schedule of upcoming events can be found on the website,
The event was quite a success judging by the packed house and delighted students. There will be more upcoming events like this at The Mill in the weeks to come. Thanks to all The Mill members for putting this event together and exposing the Trinity to campus to all the amazing bands that preformed. If students are interested in exploring an interest in the arts they should consider joining, and even performing, at The Mill!

Team USA advances to quarterfinals, Oshie steps up in shootout

Peter Prendergast ’16, SPORTS EDITOR

Held in Sochi, Russia, the 2014 winter Olympic games have thus far proved to be a welcome break from the slow and somewhat dull world of professional sports that usually follows the culmination of the NFL season. This is not to say that the NBA, NHL and NCAA do not deliver competitive and enjoyable games, but most of us are thrilled to watch each country’s best compete on a global stage (before March Madness begins, at least). Thousands of the world’s top athletes have joined in Sochi to compete in winter sports such as as bobsleigh, curling, figure skating, speed skating, alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, cross-country skiing and ski jumping. Currently, in these games the United States has won 16 total medals, including gold medals in snowboarding and freestyle skiing. However, as exciting as these games are, they pale in comparison to the exhilarating and spirited tournament that is Olympic hockey.

The United States national team is comprised of the NHL’s best players, including goalie Jonathan Quick from the Los Angeles Kings, Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks and John Carlson from the Washington Capitals to name a few. The Americans have won all three of their preliminary contests, the first being a 7-1 blowout victory over Slovakia. The real story however, came from the team’s 3-2 overtime win against Russia on Feb. 15 thanks to forward T.J. Oshie’s astounding efforts through eight rounds of overtime shootouts.

The game was scoreless through the first period as Quick was able to save all thirteen of Russia’s shots on net, even during Russia’s power play due to Blake Wheeler’s tripping penalty. The first goal of the game came nine minutes into the second period as Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk received a long pass from Andrei Markov and snuck a shot past Quick on the inside post. The U.S. answered later in the period during a power play as a pass from forward James van Riemsdyk deflected off of defenseman Cam Fowler’s skate and into the net.
The Americans took the lead on a third period powerplay when Patrick Kane delivered a perfect pass to Joe Pavelski for a one-timer, beating goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to give the U.S. a one goal advantage. Russia answered back minutes later as Datsyuk ripped one past Quick during another man up situation. The contest went into overtime with the game tied at two.

In the overtime period, neither team managed to score, despite Patrick Kane’s breakaway against Bobrovsky in the final minutes. Oshie opened up the first round of shootouts with a goal. Four skaters later, Ilya Kovalchuk answered with a goal of his own. Datsyuk also scored on his next attempt, giving Russia a one goal advantage. Oshie kept the U.S in the game with his second goal, followed by another score for Kovalchuck. Oshie answered with a third goal to tie it up. In the eighth and final round, Quick made a crucial save against Kovalchuk, setting Oshie up for his fourth and game-winning goal.

The following day, Feb. 16, the U.S secured a first round bye in the Olympic tournament by defeating Slovania’s national team by a score of 5-1. Forward Phil Kessel, of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was the hero in this game as he secured three of the team’s five goals. Ryan McDonagh and David Backes contributed goals four and five. Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres started in net and recorded 17 saves on 18 shots.

Following their successful preliminary streak, team U.S.A has advanced to the quarterfinals, where they wait to play the winner of the Czech Republic and Slovakia qualification game.

“The Vagina Monologues” empowers men and women


February 14th has historically been associated with heart shaped candies, boxes of chocolates, and restaurants overflowing with happy couples in love. While the rest of the world is celebrating the 14th of February as Valentine’s Day, students at Trinity College, other universities, and activists across the country are celebrating a different kind of V-Day, that is “v” for vagina. The V-Day movement is a global activist effort to speak out against violence against women and girls. The non-profit organization, V-Day, was created in 2001 with the purpose of using theater productions like The Vagina Monologues, campaigns, and events to spread awareness about violence – rape, incest, battery, and genital mutilation – against women and girls. Overtime the organization has expanded externally. In 2012, 5,400 events took place in over 1,200 locations worldwide. V-Day raised over $80 million through their events and campaigns, educating millions on violence against women and girls. The Vagina Monologues is one of the organization’s most popular events. Each year, a group of Trinity College students, with the help of WGRAC (the Women and Gender Resource Action Center) spend their weeks preparing to put on the Vagina Monologues, a play written by Eve Ensler, and was directed by Nicole Lim ’16 this year. The performance was held on Friday, February 14th at 7PM in the Washington Room of Mather Hall. The event not only spoke out against female violence, but also, raised money for the Interval House, Hartford’s battered women shelter.

The Vagina Monologues is divided into a segment of monologues, each preformed by a different individual. This year the cast of Vagina Monologues included Maya Mineoi ’14, Sara Bess ’14, Brianna Scalesse ’16, Nancy Fleming, Jocelyn Redding ’16, Neha Surrender ’14, Ana Medina ’16, Xonana Scrubb ’14, Candace Baker ’14, Diana Ryan ’14, Melissa Sital ’14, Hamdi Abdi ’17, Lara Abiona ’17, Paloma Irizarry ’14, and Nicole Dabin Lim ’16. The topics varied from discussing the stigma that comes with talking about vaginas, the word “vagina” itself, sex, female genital mutilation in third world countries, refugee women, assault, and violence. Every monologue incorporated real stories from women all around the globe, and their content was both thoughtful and moving. In addition to the play, a number of booths were set up in the Washington Room with information on assault and violence.

Science Departments professor, Nancy Fleming narrated the play and introduced the monologues by announcing that some acts “will make you laugh, and some will make you cry.” Overall each act reinforced the idea that the vagina is an instrument of female empowerment that needs to be celebrated for its individual significance to every woman. It has for so long been ignored, muted, and associated with negative connotations. These concepts were reoccurring themes throughout the series of monologues that began when Maya Mineoi ’14 performed, “One Billion Will Rise for Justice,” a monologue that both opens and closes the play. In the monologue, Maya stated that injustices to women will continue to occur across the world “until the law is a breathing thing,” until we all, men and women together, unite for justice.

A highlight of the show appeared in the middle of the play. After several acts, the video, “Why Are Vaginas Important to You?” showcased Trinity men giving their personal feedback on why vaginas are significant in their lives. The inspiration behind the video came from a similar production that students at Connecticut College produced to promote their performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” It may sound like an odd thing, but the results were surprisingly powerful. The men that took part in the video talked about how vaginas were vital to the existence of their family, friends, and their own lives. Many discussed how important the roles of the women in their lives were, referring to the way their mothers, sisters, or girlfriends were special leaders in their lives. Bettina Gonzalez ’16, a member of both SECS, Students Encouraging Consensual Sex, and WGRAC filmed the video and made the decision to incorporate it into the Vagina Monologues, an unique, but most fitting addition. Bettina stated, “I wanted the Trinity video to actually be part of the play and give men a voice in the play. I believe that for gender equality to be possible, both women and men have to equally work towards it. Otherwise, the whole premise of “equality” is a farce.” This was one of the most inspiring parts of the play by illustrating the thoughts and sentiments of men on our campus. It also highlights how both sexes must work together to improve the conditions of life for men and women. Without both parties’ support , there will continue to be violence towards women.

Ultimately, the Vagina Monologues left the audience with a greater sense of the importance of loving and appreciating yourself. It also made spectators realize how often women feel insecure about themselves and their bodies because of the way society depicts females. Similarly, it accurately depicted the reality of violence towards women and girls that far too often only further damages women not only physically, but also mentally. Everyday we witness women who put themselves down, both by degradation from themselves and others. This prevents them from realizing their true potenial and hinders their confidence from radiating. The Vagina Monologues attempt to break this vicious cycle and show women and girls that they have a lot to be proud of. It empowers women with the strength not to settle for anything less than what they deserve. Maybe this, the root where these gender-based issues arise, is where the fight against gender inequality should start. However, it cannot be done alone. Women and girls continue to be assaulted, raped, and killed. In fact, “The Vagina Monologues” pamphlet states, “one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.” In order to combat these injustices, everyone must stand together, men and women, and use another powerful “v” word to make a change – our voice.

Women’s Swimming and Diving compete at NESCAC championship

Elizabeth Caporale 16′, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Women’s Swimming and Diving team plunged into the Samuelson-Muir Pool this past weekend, competing in the 2014 NESCAC Championships hosted by Williams College. The championships were structured so that preliminary races and dives took place in the morning, followed by the finals which occurred in the evening. While the team, headed by senior captains Emily Johnson ’14 (Reading, Mass) and Joanna Wycech ’14 (Stare Babice, Poland) may have not been as successful as they hoped, finishing in eleventh place out of eleven teams with 396 points. The powerhouse ephs won the meet, racking up an impressive 2,007 points. Despite the team’s sub-par end result, many notable accomplishments occurred for several swimmers this weekend though. A multitude of school records were broken this weekend by several team members, including first-year standout Eliza Macaig ’17 (West Hartford, Conn.).

Day one of the meet kicked off Friday morning with Macaig claiming two new school records in both the 50 and 100 back, recording times of 27.49 and 59.84, respectively. Along with these individual records, Friday saw Megan Chiu ’14 (Monterey Park, Calif.), Katie Adams ’14 (Needham, Mass), Lexi Moroney ’15 (Manchester, Mass) and Macaig ’17 take another school record in the 200 freestyle relay, clocking in at 1:39.64. Johnson placed seventh overall in the one-meter diving, and junior Audrey Butler (Manchester, Conn.) contributed with a ninth-place swim in the 50-yard breaststroke finals.

Day two saw two previous school records come and go, one being claimed again by Macaig, the other by the first-year and Istanbul, Turkey native, Ilkin Telli ’17. Macaig broke her own previous record of 59.37 set at in Prelims this morning with a new time of 59.17. Telli replaced senior Chloe Miller’s ’14 record of 10:58.96 in the 1000 free, coming in a few hundredths of a second faster, at 10:58.89.
The Bantams wrapped up the tournament with another three school records, a plethora of personal best times and even a NCCA “B” qualifying time. Moroney swam her way to a personal best in the 100 free with a time of 53.87, which also happens to be the second top time in Trinity history for this event. Another notable personal accomplishment goes to Chiu, who swam a college career best in the 200 butterfly in just 2:14.67. Her time is also now the second top time in Trinity history for that event.

Macaig finished off her stellar weekend by breaking the school and first year record in the 200 back, finishing with a time of 2:06.35. Audrey Butler ’15 earned the honor of being the only bantam on the team qualifying for the NCAA “B” mark, clocking in just under the cut off time of 1:06.08 in the 100 breast stroke with an impressive time of 1:05.94. This time is a personal best for Butler, and she broke her own school record in this event. Butler wasn’t finished though she ended up breaking yet another one of her own school records in the 200 breast, with a time of 2:26.04.

This concludes the ladies’ 2013-2014 season and for seniors Katie Adams ’14, Megan Chiu, Chloe Miller, Emily Johnson, and Joanna Wycech, their career as collegiate swimmers. You can see these swimmers and divers back in action next winter, for the start of their 2014-15 season.

Trinity Track & Field performs well at Tufts’ Cupid Invitational

Peter Prendergast ’16, SPORTS EDITOR

This past weekend on Feb. 15, both Trinity’s Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track teams travelled to Tufts for their Cupid Challenge invitational meet. This meet marked the invitational of the regular season before the New England Division III championships that will take place during the weekend of Feb. 21.

Tufts welcomed 25 of the region’s top schools including the NESCAC’s Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Middlebury, Wesleyan and Williams. Central College even travelled from Pella, Iowa for the meet, which was named “Meet of the Week” by the U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The Bantams competed in the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 600-meter run, 800-meter run, 1000-meter run, one mile run, 60-meter hurdles, 4×400-meter relay, long jump, shotput and the 4×800 meter relay. Trinity’s Brendan Gauthier ’16 recorded the ninth best time out of twenty-seven competitors in the 1000-meter run, with a time of 2:40.23. Patrick Hoagland ’16 came in fourth out of 35 in the one mile run, as he set a time of 4:24.96. In the 60-meter hurdles, Geoffrey Bocobo ’16 advanced to the finals as he came in fifth place with a time of 8.65. In the 4×400 meter relay, Trinity came in second place, just behind Colby, with a time of 3:32.33.

Aman Stuppard ’17 finished second in the triple jump as he broke a Trinity College record with a distance of 46’10.25. Stuppard broke his previous personal record of 46’02.75, which he set a week prior at Boston University.

The women’s team also had a very successful showing, as they placed within the top ten in six events. Kathareeya Tonyai ’17 placed tenth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.23. In the 800-meter run, Sarah Ballinger ’14 recorded a time of 2:24.68, earning her

eighth place. Megan Darnley ’15 came in fourth in the pole vault as she set a new Trinity College record height of 11’05.75, almost a five inch improvement of her previous best 11’01.00. Jenna Wilborne 15’ recorded the Bantams’ only first place finish of the day as she reached 11.24 meters in the long jump, beating the second place finisher by over 0.20 meters. Lily Talesnick ’16 placed seventh in the shotput with a distance of 11.48 meters.

In further consideration for the track team, Olivia Reny ’16 was named Trinity’s Bantam athlete of the week for her performance at Boston University’s David Henry Valentine Invitational. She set a Trinity College record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.05, beating the previos record by 1.29 seconds. Reny came in 49th place overall with her record breaking performance.

Next week over the weekend of Feb. 21 both teams will compete in the New England Division III Championships. The men will compete against the regions best at MIT and the women’s team will participate at Springfield College.

We should remain abstinent until we have the means to provide


Around 6:10 a.m. on Friday morning, I saw yet another article about how the United States needs a higher minimum wage. Prior to clicking on the article, I could see people holding signs about why they needed a higher wage. One man’s sign said he worries about whether he’ll be able to support his family in the future and this got me thinking. While I am all for raising the minimum wage—as I do have two minimum wage jobs here on campus—that sign upset me.

I realize that as much as I am starting to hate the criticism of our generation, it’s no secret that this generation is hypersexual, and while I don’t personally plan on having sex before marriage, many of my peers will or have already. This isn’t an article calling for people to remain abstinent, because that’s a personal choice. All I would like is for people to realize where babies come from, what they mean, and why, quite frankly, people need to stop having them.

The first question is simple. Where do babies come from? Sex. If you don’t know what sex is, and I feel that you might if you’re a part of our generation, ask your parents or go back to public school. I had a pretty good idea of it around fourth grade or so, rendering my mother’s extremely late talk virtually useless. I mean, she had also tried to include the whole good-touch bad-touch thing in there, but I went to Catholic school. We all know the heat they got and sometimes still do get about molestation, so I had seen “Just Yell Fire” in sixth grade. On a side note, for those of you who don’t know, the just yell fire is a method for women to employ against violence. If a woman is being attacked she should yell fire because as nosy and as cowardly as people are nowadays, yelling fire will be much more productive than yelling for help.

The second question isn’t as obvious. I’m going to do my best on this one and since I don’t actually have kids, don’t quote me on this one. Babies mean you had sex. In a perfect world it means that there was this girl or guy you really cared about, so you courted, got married, and expressed your love in a way meant never to expressed with anyone other than your husband or wife again. While that still happens occasionally, a more realistic explanation is that you got all hot and bothered and decided to act on your primal urges, or you thought you loved someone only to find out they were just acting on their primal urges. However, babies also mean that there is now this living, breathing thing that poops and cries, and never actually sleeps when you want to sleep. They get hurt and some of them actually do the hurting. They depend on you for the next 18 years, and realistically, more than that. Yes, at 18 they can go to college and smoke cigarettes, but if family is longer than 18 years, so is parenthood.

The last question, why people need to stop having babies, is why that man’s sign upset me. I’m going to start this off with I still watch “Teen Mom.” It’s not a particularly good show anymore, but it started off with the noblest of intentions and I’m a pretty loyal person. Nowadays, I watch it, much to the dismay of my mother, for the same reason I still watch “The Real World:” it’s entertaining and quite funny. Again, I’m not having sex. While I may be missing the positive aspects of sex (“Girl Code” taught me that sex feels like pizza tastes), I am also missing the negative aspects (teen pregnancy). This poses the question of why does teen pregnancy get so much criticism? That is for another article and I’m sure that topic has been done to death. My question is why does teen pregnancy get so much criticism as compared to pregnancy and/or procreation in general?

When speaking out against teen pregnancy many people often speak of how teenagers aren’t mentally, physically, emotionally, or financially ready. I think adults, really non-teens, need to think more about the financial component of that explanation. Whether you’re married or not married, in love or not it love, young or old, you still need money to have babies. As much as some people may love the Beatles, when they said love is all you need, I don’t think they were talking in terms of parenthood. Yes, I’m abstinent because I’m Christian. But, also because I don’t think you should be having sex if you aren’t ready to have a baby. Yes, there is birth control and I’m not about to take a stand against it, as I am pro-choice. But, as the saying goes, stuff happens. Stuff happening should not be a baby being born. Once that baby fights his or way out from the darkness and into the light that is the operating room, the providing needs to happen. You cannot provide for a baby on minimum wage. Even if that guy were married, and loved his wife, with the position he’s in, he should not have children.

I’m not trying to say you should have a minimum amount of $10,000 in your bank account before you can do the good “in out in out,” but this is something that people, especially people engaging in sexual activity from a young age, should think about. Yes, college students still counts as being a young age, because even though I’m no longer a minor in the eyes of the law and I’m in college hoping to become a doctor, I still am living on two minimum wage jobs.

I hope that after these words I don’t sound like a horrible person when I say I don’t feel all that badly for the man holding up the sign that started this article (although I do feel badly for the kids). Minimum wage does need to go up, but based on everything I just said, supporting your kids isn’t all that good of a reason to. You should be able to support them before you even have sex. I’ll leave with this though.. Had the sign said something like “I had a great paying job until I lost it when (insert tragedy here) and all I could find was a job (insert job here),” I would be much more sympathetic.

Drug addictions: a rising issue leading to disastrous endings


I was looking at a video recently and one of the quotes that came I across was that life was a series of steps. I agree that life is a series of steps and for each individual, those steps diverge and we have to make certain choices that ultimately decide how our lives end up. But, what happens when you make a choice that takes you down a path that you had never expected? Maybe it is a choice you made when you felt that you had no control over your own life, or one that is made because you were young and you were being adventurous, exploring new avenues. What if the choice was made because your friends had made the same choice? Some of who may already know where I am going with this, others may be confused with my blathering. But what I would like to highlight is not an easy topic and for many people, it has led to a disastrous end and that is drug addiction.

I wanted to see how much of a problem this issue is in the U.S. and it turns out that over the past couple of years, death as a result of drug overdose has been growing as one of the leading causes of “injury death” in the United States. Also, while only about 105 people per year die from drug overdoses, over 6,748 people end up in the emergency department because of drugs. In addition, nine out of ten deaths via poisoning are due to drugs. There may not be as many deaths from something such as car accidents, but those are still lives being lost each year, which does not need to happen. An example is the amount of celebrities who end up dying as a result of drug overdose, some such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Corey Monteith, Anna Nicole Smith, Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday, and Elvis Presley. For the most part, these people were young and could have gone further in their respective careers, but a choice they made to partake in drug use cost them their lives.

Some argue that these people had exposed themselves to such a lifestyle and that they died as a consequence of such a lifestyle, but that seems hollow especially considering the people that were left behind. What about Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s kids? Or Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter? How are they supposed to understand why they lost their parent so soon? At the end of the day, drug addiction is something that not only affects the person going through the addiction, but also all the people who are close to that person. So, it makes me think how does one even begin? I understand wanting to experiment, but at the same time, what about the other people that will become affected if it develops into a problem? Don’t their feelings matter? Maybe we would like to think that we are invincible, but the sad truth is that we are not. One day we will all meet our end, but we have choices to make in the time that we do have. I just have trouble seeing what could someone to follow such a path. And then I think to myself, what about the other substances that exist, that could lead to the same end as drugs?

What about alcohol and cigarettes? They could prove deadly as well, whether it is immediate or long-term, which is probably the case with cigarettes. Do these people not have the same culpability as those who become addicted to drugs? It is not like these people start using drugs to get addicted. Even when people know what the consequence will ultimately be, people still choose to use these substances. The sad thing is that most of these people are probably nice people who happen to have this big problem. So where can the line be drawn? Can one be drawn? And the thing that scares is that I don’t know. It’s easy enough to tell someone not to use drugs, not to drink, or not to smoke, but when you look at the numbers, people do not seem to be stopping.

So once again, it comes down to life as a series of steps and the steps that happen are a result of the actions that we take. All we have is the knowledge of the consequences that our actions can have. While not definitive or exhaustive, we know what can happen. And that is the beauty of free will and whether we choose to hang ourselves with the rope that we have been handed is up to us. Death from drug overdose is sad, but if the choice to start such a path was made freely, what more can we say. And that is the conundrum that is a part of being human. No matter how many times it is stated that something is bad, people still end up doing it. All that is left to wonder is if this cycle will ever end.

“Parade” shines light on anti-Semitism of post Civil War South


The lights dimmed and the audience fell silent as a large banner of the state of Georgia was lowered onto the stage. On the flag were a number of towns within the state, including the state’s capital of Atlanta. The impressive banner was lifted and the audience was introduced to a Civil War veteran, who sang a beautiful number called “The Old Red Hills of Home,” which professed his love for his home state. Although the Confederates lost the Civil War, their love for the South cannot be contended. It is in this opening scene where the audience first witnesses Leo Frank, a Jewish, Brooklyn-bred, Cornell-educated, and recently married manager of a pencil factory, played by Mac McCarthy ’14. He does not seem to be too satisfied with his new life in Atlanta, working as a manager of the factory. He longs for his home in Brooklyn and uses New York lingo that his wife, Lucille Frank, has trouble understanding. Mrs. Frank, a Jewish Southerner, captivates the audience with her unique sense of humor and devotion to her conviction of her husband’s innocence. Mr. Frank is portrayed as a hard-working and honest man, who consistently pays his bills on time and treats his factory employees with dignity. McCarthy captured the essence of Mr. Frank’s character with his dynamic personality and talent for theatricality.

“Parade” was first produced on Broadway in December 1998. It won the Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score in 2000. The Trinity production included an undergraduate cast of 25 students and a professional chamber orchestra under the direction of Gerald Moshell, a professor of music and director of the Musical-Theater Program who was hired to make the storyline come to life. The choreography was composed by Julia Strong ’94, and Micah Greene.

The plot was centered around the murder of 13 year-old Mary Phagan, played by Jamie Brandel ’14, who was one of the employees in the pencil factory managed by Mr. Frank. Little Mary Phagan was portrayed as a sweet innocent girl that was on her way to the Memorial Day Parade celebrated in Georgia at that time in honor of the fallen heroes of the War of Northern Aggression, which we know as the Civil War. She stops by the factory to collect her pay from Mr. Frank, who allegedly killed her in cold blood. It was here that we enter the center of the play’s plot, which involved the false accusations that the townspeople made against Mr. Frank because of his anti-semitism. The play provides a glimpse into the turmoil and unjust treatment of Jews in the early twentieth century in the South. The combination of cults of Southern chivalry, the “flower of white womanhood,” memories of the Confederacy’s defeat in the Civil War 50 years earlier, anti-Semitism, and a declining agrarian society underlies the Southern resentment of Northern industrialists are is the historical undercurrent in the context of the plot. The real murderer was a factory sweeper, Jim Conley, played by Malcom Moon’15. He saw Ms. Phagan in his office, hidden under the table just before her death. Moon, a native of Georgia, had to thicken his Southern accent in preparation for the play. He always dreamt of playing the villain and “had to have secrets, be manipulative, and cunning” in order to play the part of Conley. Moon also reveals that he “stepped up [his] game and focused [his] energy on who Jim really was.”

At his trial, a number of people testified against him and painted a false picture of Mr. Frank’s character. The first people to do this were the “Factory Girls,” a group of young girls who flirted with other young male employees, played by Marisa Tornello’15, Rachel Rossetti’16 and Jamie Ballan’16. The Franks’ servant, Minnie McKnight, played by Ann Satine ’16, also accused Frank of pushing his wife on the floor. She claims he is an unrighteous and selfish husband. It was later revealed that the witnesses had been instructed to lie by District Attorney Hugh Dorsey, played by Erik Bloomquist’14, who was the trial’s prosecutor. His malicious intent was to indict Leo Frank, an innocent northern Jewish man, of the murder. Some historians believe that this trial had the first all-white jury to convict a white man on the basis of a black man’s testimony. The governor changed Frank’s death sentence to life in prison, but vigilantes unhappy with this decision abducted the prisoner and lynched him. Frank’s Southern wife, Lucille Frank, played by Kristan Bertschmann’15, finds the strength and love to become his greatest supporter throughout his trial.
Bertschmann veritably executed her role as Lucille Frank, the only devoted companion in proving Frank’s innocence. Throughout the play, she brings her husband home-cooked meals, fresh clothes and law books. Despite Leo Frank, who under the stress and devestation of his trial pushes his wife away, Lucille goes to all measures to make sure he gets treated fairly. Bertschmann stated that, “it was a very emotional role so [she] wanted to make sure that that came across on the stage.”

The play ends with the lynching of Mr. Frank. Before he is hung, he takes off his wedding ring and requests that it be given to his wife. It was difficult not to feel sympathetic towards Mr. Frank, who did nothing wrong except love his wife and respect his employees.

The closing of the show on Saturday night received a standing ovation. Mac McCarthy reveals that his favorite part of production was his relationship with the cast members, “I’ve been acting with some of them for three years” he reflects, “so it was sad to do my last show with them!” It was easy to see the group’s unique chemistry on stage and their passion for acting, singing and getting into the role of their characters. Their combined efforts and talents proved to make for a successful and a spectacular production for their two shows.

Young entrepreneurs show how perseverance can lead to success


5,126 failed prototypes in 15 years! That is the number of vacuum prototypes that Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson Company, spent time, money, energy, and his heart before he was finally able to find the correct sample. I have never heard of someone spending that much time in trying to develop something they believed in. I can imagine the long nights that Dyson spent looking at one of his failed work. He probably examined every failed copy to determine where he went wrong. Imagine the jests that his family and friends may have made against him. Imagine the disappointment that he faced within himself, as years and years went by and he had yet to make a prototype worth anyone’s time and money.

Having your factory bombed time and time again is enough to make anyone quit what they love. Being the ridicule of your friends because you have spent your entire life on a design that you believe is truly worth attention must have been frustrating. And even though you think that your car engines are worth Toyota’s investment does not mean Toyota believes the same thing. All of these obstacles and more can make a man throw away his tools and give up on making engines. Not Sochiro Honda. He sold his wife’s shop as capital to build up his business. He wrote to 18,000 bicycle shop owners asking them to help him “revitalize Japan” with his bicycle engine business. He was flexible enough to make engines for motorcycles when there was a need for it, and to switch it up when the need was no longer for motorcycles but for small automobiles. He later went on to become a founder of Honda Corporation.

Most people do not know about the struggle entrepreneurs’ face. Young entrepreneurs are filled with hope. But for some, their first failure is the end of their careers. Their first failure is the judgment they place on all other future endeavors. Apart from Dyson and Honda, there are many more entrepreneurs whose first trial at success did not land them at a beautiful mansion with many cars. The idea of Facebook came from a 19- year-old, and since then, Mark Zuckerberg’s life has been full of one lawsuit after another. Did he give up the largest social media website ever known in history? No!

If these three ordinary people did not give up their ideas and they believed in their own work so much as to spend money and years developing and making it something that will survive in the world, there is no reason for you to give up on your ideas as well. Being an entrepreneur does not make you any less human than anybody else. As humans, we make mistakes. For the most part, the mistakes are ways for us to learn and grow making sure we go a different route the next time. As an entrepreneur, you have your failures as learning ground and foundation for your success.

In an interview with “Entrepreneur” blog, Dyson said, “failure helps you learn what works and what doesn’t work.” If you do not hit rock bottom in your idea, how would you know what to do if it ever happened when your product is successful? If your prototype is not so big, how do you know that you need to make it smaller? I always think it is better to try and fix something while you are still developing it, than to face a lawsuit later because of glitches in what you made. Don’t worry about what others will say, and how your family will react. If you believe, as an entrepreneur, that this is truly the next big idea, then you must be willing to spend time and energy making it a product, an idea that everyone will love. Like Dyson said, “life is a mountain of solvable problems.” The question is do you have the patience and perseverance it takes to be a problem solver?

Many say our generation does not have the patience to become problem solvers. But our generation is equipped with so many ways for us to solve problems. We are equipped with so many technologies, and contrary to popular belief, there is a drive within us to become the world’s next problem solvers. I believe there are people like Dyson and Honda in our generation. We may be still learning or growing, but all it takes is for one to become passionate about one aspect of life. A few examples of the young people who had a passion for business in today’s world are Catherine Cook, David Wilkinson, Josh Buckley and many others. These young entrepreneurs are making it big at an age even younger than me. This means although our previous generation had some people who solved all our problems, the world still has more complications that need solving.