Campaign for Community seeks to strength campus ties



“Developing a vision of community for a complex academic organization is not an endpoint but rather an evolution and an ongoing process,” President Joanne Berger-Sweeney wrote last year in an open letter to the Trinity College community. In that letter, the President both praised the Trinity community for the many fruits of its collaboration and addressed some downsides of it, derived from statistical information taken that year. Downsides like these included “reports among the highest rates of white students witnessing and nonwhite students experiencing insensitivity, harassment, or discrimination,” “low satisfaction with the climate for LGBT students,” reports of “unwanted sexual contact during [students’] time on campus,” and reports from “more than half of self-identified Jewish students on 38 college campuses (including Trinity) that they have witnessed or been the target of anti-Semitism within the last six months.” In this, the first semester of Trinity’s 2015-2016 academic year, the student-administration collaborative Campaign for Community is trying to build a response to the President’s concern.

“The President brought to the attention of the Trinity community that she wanted to help create a more diverse and inclusive atmosphere at Trinity,” said Kate Deitrich-Manion, a Trinity Sophomore who plays the role of student representative to the Campaign’s administrative end. When a fellow representative of the SGA, where she is Student Life Chair, brought up the opportunity to work with the Campaign, Kate jumped at the chance “Not because it’s a huge problem,but because it’s just something you wanna strive for.”

The Campaign for Community as it stands is an organization of an administrative working group, a group of faculty mentors who work more directly with students, and students who break off into five separate working groups centered around individual issues. Groups of between eight to nine students explore and investigate the campus climate in respect to a variety of issues. Occurences of rape and sexual assault, school pride, social environment, creating an academic environment, and building global and local presence are all issues being discussed by the Campaign.

“We left it very much up to the students to determine what these issues are, how they can best be solved,” Dietrich-Manion said. “They conducted all the research, we just create a loose structure for them to do that in.”

“The issues addressed by the Student Working Groups are not new issues, and Trinity is certainly not unique in its need to address them,” Erin Valentino wrote in an email regarding her job as part of the Campaign’s administrative working group. “Campus climate is an issue that many colleges and universities grapple with. For Trinity, right here and right now, it is work that we can’t ever give up on. We must continue to strive for the Trinity College that we see in our hearts as well as in our minds.”

Students working in one of the Campaign’s five groups comprise nearly the entirety of the organization’s workforce at this moment, and while meetings typically take one hour out of every week, they do a substantial amount of work between meetings conducting interviews and researching ways to construct a more comprehensive sense of the college’s community that will inform future ideas.

At the end of this semester, the hard work of the student groups will culminate in a conference with administrators and faculty where they will present their data, conclusions, and ideas. Ms Deitrich-Manion sighed and called it “an intense process.”

“I continue to be impressed by student involvement in the Campaign, especially in terms of the extent to which they are willing to make a commitment to moving Trinity forward on issues that may be difficult for some people,” wrote Erin; “I have seen students bring a spirit of open engagement to this process, and I am really excited to see their visions of what community at Trinity can be like.”

Although the Campaign webpage on the school’s website still contains a link to an application, Dietrich-Manion told the Tripod, “Unfortunately, at this point, we’re not going to accept any new students who would be directly involved in the working groups themselves. It would be hard to add a student now because of the training.” Dietrich Manion urged students who feel like they have an important or unique perspective on the campus climate to reach out to students working for the Campaign, who are currently “out networking.”

This early in the collection of data, it is hard to say what the ultimate product of the Campaign’s hard work will be. President Joanne Berger-Sweeney’s letter of last year may guide their minds, however: “Through student organizing, faculty engagement, staff support, and administrative leadership, we can further enhance diversity, cultivate tolerance, and realize the full inclusion of all members of the Trinity community.  Our Campaign for Community at Trinity places these efforts at the forefront of our life together.”

Trinity College Rises in U.S. News and World Reports Rankings



As a result of minor improvements, Trinity College rose two spots in the 2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings that were released earlier this month.

The annual list, which was released on Sept. 9, 2015 ranks nearly 1,800 colleges and universities across the country, and ranked Trinity 43rd among over 300 other national liberal arts colleges.

Robert Morse, the Director of Data and Research at U.S. News, said that Trinity’s change in the rank-ings was due to small improvements among the factors that contribute to the report.

“Trinity rose slightly in the rankings, and had small improvements in certain areas” said Morse, who compiles the annual U.S. News & World Report list.

Morse said that Trinity did better in the academic reputation category, which is calculated by ratings and assessment from high school counselors and other peer institutions, as well as the financial and faculty resources categories, which are calculated by addressing the funding available per student and the characteristics of the institution’s faculty, respectively.

Trinity also improved in the student selectivity category, which is calculated from admissions test scores, high school class rank, and acceptance rate of the college. Trinity’s accepts approximately one-third of all applicants.

Morse also emphasized, however, that these improvements were not necessarily made by Trinity administrators, but that improvements are also addressed relative to changes made by other liberal arts colleges.

Trinity’s drop in the rankings in the 2015 list, from 36th to 45th, was not a drastic drop according to Morse, but was due to a change in high school counselor reputation and the alumni donation rate, among other factors.

“Trinity was once a school with one of the top alumni giving rates, however it has kept on deteriorating over time, and was one of the biggest reasons why it fell nine places,” he said.

Trinity currently shares its spot in the rankings with Occidental College, in Los Angeles. Among NESCAC schools, Trinity only surpasses Connecticut College, who is tied for 48th. Williams College was ranked first among liberal arts colleges, followed by Amherst College, with Bowdoin College and Middlebury College tied for fourth.

Dean of Students Christopher Card said in an email that rankings are seen differently by many people, and should not be an indicator of an institutions goals or values.

“It is clear that rankings will mean different things to those who review them,” he said. “I think our college has been working hard in past years to ensure that the education we deliver to our students is of the highest quality and it is worth nothing that we are, in many ways, doing better than other institutions that outpace us in resources.”

He also addressed the issues behind the metrics of these rankings, adding that they can change every year, and are often based on several years’ worth of data. The ranking indicators and the respecitve categorical weights used in the ranking methodology, released along with this year’s  list, were un-changed this year compared with the 2015 edition, according to the U.S. News website.

Special Assistant to President Berger-Sweeney, David Andres said that college ranking systems can often ignore unique factors that distinguish each school, and he advises future students to look beyond them.

“While [the rankings] may be one tool that prospective students and parents can use in the college search, it is more important for them to consider the best fit for an individual student,” Andres said in an email. “Our focus is on ensuring that we provide the best education and outcomes for our students. With those priorities in mind, we believe Trinity’s rank will improve over time.”

Hartford Police: homicide rates hit year-to-date highs



Trinity students, and especially their parents, often express fear about crime in Hartford. But exactly how reasonable are these fears?

Hatford has developed a reputation as a dangerous city in the last decade. This reputation owes to a variety of factors, chiefly the decline of a large number of manufacturing jobs after the closure of arms producing plants run by Colt and Remington. The dearth of jobs prompted the departure of many middle-class families and unemployment in Hartford rose correspondingly.

An interview with a Hartford police officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, revealed that very few of the crimes reported in Hartford are violent, and very small percentage of them make the news.

The majority of time, he said, police are called in because of noise complaints due to the citywide popularity of ATVs (All-Terrain Vehi-cles). Police also spend a good amount of time responding to motor-vehicle accidents. There are around 500 police officers in Hartford, and according to the anonymous officer, there is no typical day for a Hartford Police officer.  The officer asserted that instances of violet crime are very rare, and most times the constant assignments coming from dispatchers are typically just for small crimes.

Despite this assertion that violent crime is relatively rare in Hartford, the rate of homicide has hit a four-year high. The city is one of the most dangerous in New England and reported murder year-to-date statistics for 2014 recorded ten murders as compared to 26 so far in 2015 according to the City of Hartford’s website. In addition, cases of auto theft have risen 14.8 percent from last year to 636 cases reported as of Sept. 19.

As far as Trinity students are concerned, the campus is safe. Frog Hollow and Behind the Rocks may be two economically depressed area, but are not a real source of Hartford’s violent crime. However, there are occasional instances of the city’s crime and climate impacting campus (the recent incidents of young women being harassed by residents provides an unfortunate example of the risks of Trinity’s location in an urban area), but by and large there are not serious issues with Hartford’s crime on Trinity’s campus.

The Hartford Police force’s commitment to the Trinity College campus is showcased by their station on the corner of Broad St. and New Britian Ave. Weekly collaboration between campus safetey and the force, and the police are always ready to dispatch at a moments notice.

SGA launches initiatives with revamped constitution



The Student Government Association (SGA) is one of the most influential and important organizations on campus, representing student interests and affairs to the administration and faculty and presiding over a budget of nearly half a million dollars. It also interfaces with virtually every organization on campus, and is responsible for approving every student organization’s budget and status as official organizations. They fund and help to put on events on campus (in conjunction with a number of other organizations) and have student representatives sitting on a number of faculty and administration committees.

The SGA’s first two meetings have occurred in the last week, and the meetings are telling as to the direction of the organization, an organization whose actions can have a profound impact on the students of Trinity College.

The first SGA meeting occurred in the Reese Room of Smith House on Sunday, Sep. 27 at six in the evening. The meeting included newly elected representatives for the Class of 2019, as well as newcomers to various upperclassmen positions. The meeting was geared largely to begin discussion on plans for the year, as well as reports from the chairs of the various committees.

After a significant revision of the SGA’s constitution last year, there are now seven committees that will meet for the rest of this year. These committees include Academic Affairs, Student Life, Communications, Programing Broad (“Barnyard”), the Multicultural Affairs Council, the Inter-Organizational Council, and Budget Committee. The committees are lead by their own respective chairs, and consist of a varying number of student representatives from the Senate (and, in the cases of Barnyard and the Budget Committee, students elected independently from the SGA).

The revisions stipulated a variety of specific protocols for the various committees, including number of required meetings, overall responsibilities of the committees and their chairs, and their role in the larger SGA. The new constitution further lays out the structure of the SGA. The core of the SGA is the senate. Each class, in addition to a treasurer and class president, elects four senators. The senators must each serve on two committees, in addition to participating in class councils (open forums where members of each class can meet their year’s representatives to voice concerns) with their fellow senators and class presidents. The treasurers serve on the Budget Committee as well as participating in the regular duties of senators. The Class Presidents are in charge of coordinating their Class Councils, report on their class council meetings, and organize class-specific events. The Executive Board oversees the committees, and the president and vice-president oversee the overall functioning of the SGA, ensuring that all members and committees have the appropriate resources for their tasks.

The changes to the constitution were drafted by a subcommittee convened at the end of last year to rectify a number of procedural and committee issues that had arisen in years past.

The SGA, following the principles of its newly reminted constitution, was called to order at six in the evening on Sept. 27th.

The meeting opened with introductions of all of the senators, treasurers and e-board members. Each committee chair described their position, their committee’s responsibilities, and their plans and goals for the committee. Senators were informed that they would have to decide which committees were the most interesting to them.

At the urging of the SGA president, Max Le Merle, ’16, the Senate broke off into groups based on class year, in order to consider what solutions exist for the major issues on campus. This discussion was intended to give the representatives a general sense of what issues are important for the SGA, which in turn would lend perspective as to what action is needed by Trinity’s student representatives.

Each group came back with a very distinct perspective. The Class of 2019 felt that public smoking and littering were major issues. The Class of 2018, meanwhile, believed that the SGA’s visibility on campus needed work, as well as a sense of campus pride. Further, the Class of 2018 contended that the food and food service provided by Chartwell’s was a major issue, and that a tracking feature for Trinity’s shuttle service would be a boon to campus. The Class of 2017, meanwhile, saw parking and the housing lottery as being pressing problems, notwithstanding the blight of TrinAir, a common complaint among all four classes. Increased alumni connections seemed to weigh heavily on the Class of 2016, as well as a sense of political apathy and a lack of global citizenship on campus.

Though a far cry from any substantive policy or concrete plan, the discussion that the SGA engaged in for its first meeting was an important step in establishing the SGA’s presence for the year to come. A major focus for the SGA is on attention to its constituents; many of the changes of the new constitutions specifically mandated increased interaction with the student body, and a more effective system for registering and acting on student sentiments and opinions. The SGA hopes to function as an effective arbitrator for the will of the students, and their first meeting reflected the fact that SGA actions and policy will be strongly student centered for the 2015-2016 academic year.

CK Bradley ’99 evolves from basements to boutiques



Trinity boasts a number of things- a beautiful campus, engaging academics, and the success and strong relationship with their alumni. Take it from none other than Trinity’s own Camilla Bradley, Class of 1999, who has been running her accomplished fashion brand, CK Bradley, for sixteen years.

As a transfer student from Columbia University and a brother of St. Anthony’s Hall, Bradley says that she owes everything to Trinity, noting that the skills and inspiration she gained from Trinity essentially created her business. If you visit Bradley’s website, a brief biography reads, “From designing clothes in fabulous prints to throwing parties with a twist, Camilla offers a glimpse into an inspired world.”

This inspired world comes from none other than Trinity’s campus. Bradley, who has an inviting and encouraging tone, described the experience she had at Trinity which shaped her own career. While she prided herself on taking advantage of academic opportunities, including taking the time to get to know her professors, Bradley says the real education she received was in how to dress and appreciate fashion.

“I really got an education at Trinity…It’s an education in style. It’s not really an original style but you learn to put yourself together.” Despite Bradley attending Trinity a decade and a half ago, she recognized the same monotonous style seen on the Long Walk that still exists today, perhaps now in a more modern form. “It was double popped collars and really super bright colors while I was there…preppy came in 2000.” The uniform she describes “came from boarding schools that set the trend of Bean Boots, Barbours, and Vineyard Vines. And then everyone starts catching on- it’s hard not to follow it,” even referencing the ever popular staple sandal, Jack Rogers, as “prolific.”

Bored with being “one in a sea of monograms and popped collars,” Bradley started to add her own touches to pieces that everyone else was wearing. “I didn’t even realize I wanted to stand out until I was in a sea of people who were all the same.”

During a late night party at the Hall, Camilla found a sewing machine and started sewing pieces of fabric to her L.L. Bean Tote Bags and fashioning belts out of grosgrain ribbon. As she started to wear her custom accessories around campus, other students started to catch on- “people wanted to buy the clothes off my back. Literally. It was a no brainer.” When Trinity students wore her belts around various summer vacation spots, including Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, shop owners demanded to know where they got them from and soon, CK Bradley grew to be in over 400 boutiques. “The ribbon belts did it for me,” she recalls.

Today, CK Bradley is not so much about re-designing preppy style as it is adding a fun twist on classic silhouettes, “The brand is still about infusing inspiration and playfulness in any way shape or form.” “As soon as preppy became mainstream, it was no longer inspiring to me so original and fun was the way the brand evolved. I think the brand has evolved as I have evolved, but ultimately, it is not about a style, but a feeling and that feeling is contagious when I get it right…and the idea that clothes can make you DO things, and FEEL things is what gets me going, and always has. I may have wanted my clothes to make you skip or climb a tree in your ballgown or do the unexpected.” When talking about other independent preppy fashion designers, such as Kiel James Patrick, she says, “people that did not live this life know so much what they want that they can portray the dream.”

Bradley pulls inspiration from whatever her surroundings are, from the campus and students at Trinity to growing up in New York City to working in Newport, RI. Her biggest influence, however, is her mother. “My mom died when I was two, but left me an incredible wardrobe and pictures of how to wear it. My warehouse in Rhode Island pays homage to a lot of her stuff.” Architecture within these settings intrigues her- “I am more interested in shape and form than I am fashion.” When talking about her design process, Bradley says, “It is never about trend or fashion, but form, fun, and doing the unusual in an addictive way.”

As a successful designer and businesswoman, Bradley offers advice to fellow Bantams hoping to follow in her entrepreneurial footsteps. “There is NOTHING you can’t accomplish. I love the quote, ‘If you can CONCEIVE it and truly BELIEVE it, you can ACHIEVE it.’ Not sure who said it, but I live by it. If you are inspired, that is half the recipe for success. So do what inspires and the rest will come.’”

Bradley also understands that Trinity can often times be a bubble and encourages Trinity students to burst that bubble- “Go abroad! Getting a taste of other culture can breed the most incredible concepts, ideas and inspirations, and make you realize what is beyond the little cocoon we live in.”

Bradley’s signature design touch includes one very specific omission- “I don’t do black. To me, life is about color and reinventing the rules. I love the unexpected in life, the unexpected in clothing…linings of jackets being bold and unexpected, the backs of dresses – reeling in attention from behind…and hiding my initials in all the prints in design so that you can’t really tell that it is not part of the print.”

Bradley admits that her own personal style has a huge influence on her designs. Straying away from dresses and grosgrain ribbons, Bradley designed a line of Apres Skiwear specifically for women. “I wanted a super sexy 70’s Bond girl ski outfit that didn’t give me camel toe and smell like the 1970’s, so I started Apres by CK Bradley. I wanted pom pom hats that weren’t hand me downs from the cedar closet riddled with moth balls…so I made them with detachable pom-poms so you could go fur, or yarn pom – or just perform a trick at apres between shot skis and wings.”

The passion and enthusiasm Bradley has for design is evident when she talks about her own line, and as she encourages others to enter the fashion industry. “My life is my design…they are coming soon with fun things like Devils, Elephants drinking martinis, ski bunnies, antlers…and the list goes on,” she explained.

Food Dudes: Authentic cuisine from King and I Thai Kitchen



Tucked away in an unsuspecting corner of Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood, it is quite possible to mistake King and I Thai Kitchen for someone’s house as you drive by. The kitchen and dining room of the restaurant are on the first floor of a large white house, which speaks to the home-cooked quality of the food the owners serve. King and I Thai Kitchen serves some of the best Thai food in the greater Hartford area and it is a must try for take out or eat-in.

The dining room is quite small, and upon entering, the space looks as though you have walked into someone’s living room. Funny enough, at one point during my meal a man walked in thinking that he had mistaken the restaurant entrance for somebody’s home. He apologized and began to walk out before the wait staff reassured him that he was in fact in the restaurant.

The walls are decorated with ornate paintings and an eclectic wallpaper border, bringing an exotic vibe to an otherwise homey interior. The dining room seats about 30 people, with six four-person tables and a several two-tops. Do not be dissuaded by the cozy, casual atmosphere; the food is great and the family-run atmosphere really makes for a unique dining experience. I have been to this restaurant numerous times as I am a big fan of Thai food, and I have not once had a bad experience. Take out or dine in, I always leave satisfied.

The menu is quite expansive, with everything from any type of curry you can imagine to a variety of delicious noodle dishes. The appetizers are great as well with options ranging from famous Thai tom-yum soup to chicken satay. Chicken dumplings and egg rolls are two other favorites.

I would definitely recommend ordering one or two of the delicious appetizers, but caution you that portion sizes of the entrees are huge. Keep that in mind when you are ordering.

For appetizers I ordered the chicken satay and steamed chicken dumplings. The chicken satay came with four jumbo-sized skewers. The chicken was thick and tender, with a perfect light char on the outside. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the skewers. The satay peanut sauce was some of the best I have ever had – creamy with a hint of ginger and hot pepper. The dumplings were also good; they came sprinkled with dried roasted garlic but were served with a somewhat underwhelming soy sauce for dipping.

For the main course, I ordered the Pad Thai and green curry. I added shrimp to my Pad Thai and chicken in the curry. The curry was delicious and it came with steamed white rice. The green curry sauce was so tasty I could have eaten it by the spoonful. The flavor was sweet, creamy, and a bit spicy with notes of lemongrass. The Pad Thai was phenomenal as well. The shrimp were juicy and delicious. Served with a generous sprinkle of peanuts and a slice of lime, the dish was everything I was hoping for.

King and I Thai Kitchen is BYOB. The environment is definitely not the same as Trinity Restaurant, but a bottle of wine or some craft beer might go nicely with your meal.

Ordering take-out is always a good move if you are feeling lazy, but the restaurant does not deliver, so unfortunately you will have to go out to get it. However, the drive is only about five minutes away from campus, so if you have access to a car the trip is not too bad. Portions also seem to be substantially larger when you order take-out.

The staff is very friendly – all of the servers are extremely attentive and very genuine and pleasant. My water glass was never empty and the waitress brought us out additional rice shortly after noticing the bowl was empty. The staff also seems to appreciate their customers – on one occasion when my roommates and I ordered a large take-out order, they threw in a complimentary appetizer for us.

One of the best parts of King and I Thai is that the prices are relatively inexpensive. Entrees tend to be right around the ten-dollar range, which for the quality and size of the portions is a steal. Lunch portions are available for even more modest prices. If you are in the mood for classic and delicious Thai food in a comfortable, no-frills setting, then King and I Thai Kitchen is a must visit.

1901 Park St

Hartford, CT 06106

How do we redefine relationships for college students?


When I hear characterizations of our generation or read articles about “Millennials”, they usually make me cringe. The one that really gets my goat though, is the phrase “hook-up culture”. That is such a misnomer –– are we really anymore interested in sex than the 20 year olds of 50 years ago? I don’t think so, because humans, along with other animals, are sexual beings; not to mention, 50 years ago was the middle of the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

Anyway, the term ‘hook-up’ implies an interest in non-committal sex, and what we are really dealing with in our generation is an interest in non-committal relationships. We don’t date; we “hang out”. Really, when was the last time you, my fellow Millennials, asked anyone out on a date? Or when were you last asked to do anything other than “hang out”?

By and large we don’t date, not in the formal, four-letter, sense of the word. In college, I have been asked to ‘hang out’, ‘watch a movie’, and ‘Netflix and chill’ –– all of which are generally code for “ Please come to my dorm room and entertain the idea of amorous relations with me”. To my notion there are at least two contributing factors to the “hang-out” culture of our generation. One is our tendency to linger in adolescence; the other is our reliance communication by proxy.

Searching for ‘millennials’ on the Internet will bring up several titles that are something like “Why Can’t Millennials Grow Up?” While the implication there is semi-insulting, members of our generation do seem to mature at a slower rate than our predecessors. Often, we move back home after college, we stay on our parent’s insurance and cell phone plans for longer, we marry later, and in general are slow to become independent. This is not to say that these trends are negative, or that they are rules, but they do exist.

It is my thought that our lagging maturation and our proclivity towards “hanging out” are related. Members of our generation are under no pressure to form a long-lasting relationship at a young age. In fact, despite criticism of the “hook-up” culture, adults often give the contradictory advice to ‘get to know’ ourselves, explore all of our options, and not be too involved in a relationship during college. We are left with the sense that we have all the time in the world to find a partner, and assume that something that “adult” can be saved for later –– when we are maybe like 30. If we even choose to find a partner one at all, that is.

Maybe we don’t date because dating is a departure from our youthful independence. Is a date too much commitment? Is it too formal? Informality does tend to be key in the social mores of our generation, in our style, our language, and our social interactions. Through a variety of social media, we are able to communicate our every thought to whomever we choose. None of those platforms of communication, however, require face-to-face confrontation, which makes truly owning our emotions unnecessary. Someone might send me a nasty text, but he does not get the pleasure of watching me cry over it.

Apps like Tinder or Bumble, streamlines the partner-finding process, and while they do encourage casual, short-term relationships, they also serve as a buffer for rejection. Tinder only sends positive match notifications. Through these conduits, we can consolidate the ‘dating’ process: cut out the rejection and find like-minded individuals without having to hunt them down. Yet if a Tinder match doesn’t work out, or if a night of “Netflix and chill” and ends poorly, not much is lost. After all, even though the romantic intent might have been there, it was not a date. No obligations, no loss.

So maybe we shy away from the idea of a date because it requires us to express our explicit intentions and feelings. That’s a very vulnerable place to be, and social vulnerability is a sensation our generation tends to strategically avoid.

Trinity’s EROS club can change the campus culture


Everyone had better get ready to taste the rainbow because Encouraging Respect Of Sexualities (EROS) is here and ready to make an impact.
This club is like your high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance but about a thousand times better. It has its own house called the Queer Resource Center and hosts events like Ally Week, a film festival and, in the spring, the extremely popular Drag Show! The goal of this organization is to create a safe and welcoming environment within the Trinity community for people who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transgender.

EROS is all about acceptance. It is about bringing awareness to Trinity and making the whole campus a place where people can be who they are without fear of judgment or ridicule. Co-presidents Madeline Burns and Jennifer Idrovo are putting in all their effort to make EROS a voice that is heard.

“We feel we are the most welcoming group on campus, and we want people to not view it as an exclusive group it all. We want to be recognized on campus as a prominent community. We encourage allies to come as well. We want everyone to love Trinity, and for that to happen we don’t want high transfer rates because [students] are uncomfortable,” Burns and Idrovo said.

Currently, Trinity College is ranked 13th on the Princeton Review’s Most Homophobic, or “gay-unfriendly” as they call it, college list. According to the Review, this means that Trinity is basically one of the worst places for LGBT people to attend college, which EROS is trying to fix.

As of last year, Trinity held the number eight spot on the Most Homophobic list. In the past year there has been improvement, but not enough.

Some might blame the fact that the campus is small, so maybe there are not enough people who are a part of the LBGT community to make this whole campus a Safe Space. But that is just it, we are the small community of Trinity College where it is on every individual- gay, straight, black, white, green or blue for all it matters, to be a good person in our daily interactions.

Change in Trinity’s overall image will rely on the conversations we have and the impact we make, whether those will be positive or negative, is up to each person.

So keep this in mind: if someone is brave enough to be authentically themselves, regardless of whether in terms of sexual orientation, having a goofy personality or the like, then respect the courage that person has.

For the most part, being uniquely oneself is absolutely terrifying. Even though it may be difficult, it also gives others the opportunity to support the person you are. That is what being a part of EROS is, it’s supporting and being supported.

Now what? Everyone and anyone are invited to come hang out and meet at the Queer Resource Center, or QRC, at 114 Crescent Street Thursdays at 5pm. Even better, there’s fantastic Brunch every Sunday from 1pm-4pm. Everyone is welcome, and individuality is encouraged. EROS and the QRC are centers for acceptance and support, so join us!

Ferris Athletic Center desperately needs a face-lift



Trinity College continues to construct and remodel buildings all over campus. All of the improvements continue to enhance the on-campus living experience.
That being said, one facility that continues to be overlooked is Ferris Athletic Center. There are many people who go to the gym on a regular basis to stay in shape, reduce stress, and generally feel good. Unfortunately, our gym is extremely outdated. It lacks new and improved machines and equipment. And, much of what it does have is either in very poor condition or broken altogether. Observing all of the construction around campus, I cannot help but wonder why there is a lack of funding and lack of initiative towards improving Ferris.

The non-varsity gym is probably in the worst shape of all. The benches are ripped and torn from years of daily use. Some of the cables on the lateral pull-down machines in the back snapped over a year ago and are still yet to be repaired. Nearly half of the plates are rusted through. There never seem to be enough smaller dumbbells, either. The decline leg press has not worked for over two years, and lastly, the mats up the stairs, where most people work on their abs, are torn up and from my experience, rarely cleaned.

Other students are clearly upset about the subpar facilities as well. “The management really needs to step up their game however and pay attention to the students and improve the less then adequate gym that we currently have at Ferris Athletic Center,” Karan Khurana ’17 said of the buliding.

Sebastien Broustra ’17 agreed, saying, “because I eat a lot of tacos, I feel the need to workout every now and then, and Ferris is not my cup of tea.” People have been looking for changes, yet nothing seems to get done.

Even though the gym is outdated, a very large amount of the student body still uses it and can manage to get a decent workout in. Although the treadmills, bikes and ellipticals are old, most are still functioning so students can use them without too much grief.
Not all aspects of Ferris are bad however. “We do have some really nice facilities at Ferris, including world class squash courts and nice basketball courts,” said Khurana added. She makes use of these resources as a recreational squash player. Another one of Ferris’ few bright spots came from Mia Olsen ’17, an impressive starter on Trinity College’s field hockey team. “The athletic trainers are incredible. They are there to help you every step of the way and really care about the students,” Olsen said.

There are things that could be done in the short term to make going to Ferris a more enjoyable experience, especially those students who are not members of a varsity team, and therefore do not have access to the better resources available in the gym.

For example, it would be very easy to replace some of the old torn benches and mats and get new sets of plates and dumbbells.
In the longer term however, there need to be some major renovations done to keep up with the times. I do not think that it is too unreasonable to request a modern gym with decent equipment that actually works. The administration has swept Ferris under the rug for far too long.

Students are letting school get in the way of education



I’m sure you have all heard of the saying “The world is your classroom”. I didn’t fully understand this statement until I was out in the world, and not in a classroom. I took a year off of the system which I, like everyone else who was “lucky” enough, have been a part of for many years now. For years, I looked forward to summer breaks, I looked forward to the end of all obligations.

I was not a part of this world, I was in school, and when I wasn’t at school, I was on vacation.

The truth is that once you have no campus or classes to return to, life doesn’t feel like an extended summer break but becomes an enlarged classroom with unfamiliar faces and a teacher who just won’t show up. Every once in a while you’re faced with quizzes and exams, it doesn’t take too many fails to learn that you have to start teaching yourself the materials. And you can’t cheat. Believe me, I tried. The way I chose to deal with this challenge was traveling. I created a syllabus for myself consisting many countries, many roads and many people. I decided to be excited about the learning, to make my time on this world worthwhile. I decided to do more things and have less complaints.

This past year, I took a year of voluntary withdrawal from Trinity and got on a plane to San Francisco. In the course of four months, I volunteered at different jobs and gained experienced interning for a start-up company. I made connections in the field I’m interested in and stayed with other people who realized that college is not the only route to take. These people are interested in becoming artists, computer game designers, musicians. They are dedicated and inspired enough to work on these skills on their own and create their selves in the world instead of under certain regulations. After those four amazing months, I donated almost all of my stuff and took a backpack of clothes with me and got on a plane to Central America. There, I volunteered at hostels for free accommodation and dinner. I got to work and travel and expand my vision through the people I met.

Something about meeting people during your travels is that no matter who they are or where they are coming form, you have something in common: you all were at that part of the world, at that certain time. After returning back home to Turkey to reflect on all that I’ve learned and seen, I left for another backpacking trip around Europe before returning back to college. I did all of my travels on my own and although this scared most of the people who cared about my well being, the truth is I never felt alone. There were always other people, who I felt like I’ve known my entire life.

Over this year, I learned more about myself and the life around me that 14 years of school has failed to teach me. I encountered a new world on every corner I turned to. I felt like a kid who was seeing everything for the first time. I put my trust for the direction I was going on my inner feelings, since now my class schedule didn’t control my time, but I did. This decision threw me on my knees, onto the pavement, under the burning sun without a sip of water sometimes; this decision also helped me get right back up with an amazing story to continuously learn and be inspired by.

I think one thing we miss while in college is being exposed to the real people of the world. Traveling taught me to learn to look directly into the people’s eyes and see the extent to which one story they will choose to share with me can impact my life. Although college is meant to be a new environment to broaden your perspective, we are still constantly exposed to the same range of people. We all have at least a few things in common. But what about the rest of the world? What about that guy sleeping on a cardboard outside your favorite coffee shop? What about the guy who just made eye contact with you on the busy street? Seeing life through others’ eyes and stories – that has made the biggest difference in my life to help me figure out who and where I am.

We have spent our years becoming just a number in the system; a number that doesn’t have any importance in a world we are set to survive in. We can all agree that we need one, but does anyone really know why?

To sum up a year of living, I truly understood the statement “the world is your classroom” means nothing more or nothing less than “the world is your playground.” You can either play by the rules or create your own rules.

Where does the line of “political correctness” get drawn today?

In the news today, we are constantly hearing about “political correctness.” From Donald Trump to Nicole Arbour, almost every word that comes out of an individual’s mouth is documented, remembered, and most often criticized. The word that someone used or the way another person phrased an idea – it’s all politically incorrect. It almost feels as if people want to find something politically incorrect with everything that is publically said.

Is this constant question of political correctness limiting our freedom of speech? Most certainly. With the fear that everything that comes out of someone’s mouth will be critiqued, how can anyone speak freely and openly?

I can think of numerous times in a class last semester that I did not speak up in a discussion when I wanted to. As someone with a very strong personality, I rarely hesitate before speaking out. However, in this particular class which covered some touchy subjects, I was afraid of being ridiculed and possibly attacked for something I said that could have been taken as “politically incorrect.” Because of this, I felt like my education was limited. I had questions and wanted to make comments or connections that I very well could have been wrong about. But, I kept quiet because I was afraid of the responses that my fellow classmates might have. A classroom is supposed to be a safe place to learn, ask questions, and grow mentally. It is a place to say wrong things and learn from those.   But, political correctness is now begining to curtail that.

With the recent events at Wesleyan University, this issue of political correctness comes to mind again.

As the country’s oldest twice-weekly printed college newspaper, there is the threat of it being shut down over something that could easily fall into the category of political correctness.

One of the beauties of a newspaper, to me, is the editorials and all the different opinions, ideas, and feelings expressed. But, we are getting to a point in society where political correctness is even threatening freedom of the press. As a right that we have maintained for over two and a half centuries, are we really ready to start losing that privledge?

I know I’m not. It is time to start looking at this idea of political correctness and  the damage being done with the constant criticism of people’s thoughts and words.


Murphy’s Law and rescuing dogs

A week ago, four friends and I bought a pitbull puppy from a man on the street.  The puppy, which we eventually christened with the name “Murphy,” was shivering, scared, and under-groomed.  At just over a month old, he needed a home and the five of us very impulsively pooled our money and took him with us.

We made a quick stop at Wal-Mart for a leash, collar, crate, dog toys, and food before we brought the puppy home to our house on Vernon Street.  Murphy quickly adjusted to his new home.  He was loving and playful and despite being only a month old, went to the bathroom in the house only a few times.  He loved to play outside and we quickly realized that he would loyally follow us around campus, no leash required.

However, it soon came time for the five of us to discuss Murphy’s future.  We agreed, after serious debate, that a college house was no place to raise a puppy.  Despite our unconditional love for him, our ever-changing schedules and different commitments around campus would not leave us with enough time for Murphy.  After all, a young dog requires diligent training and a lot of exercise.  We decided that the best thing to do for Murphy was to find him a loving and more stable environment to grow up in.

On Saturday, we brought Murphy to the Glastonbury Animal Hospital for shots and a check-up.  It was there that we learned the shocking truth about dogs like him.

The vet explained, to our dismay, that many puppies, especially pitbulls, are commonly sold on the streets to be used as fighting dogs.  Puppies, the vet explained, are often killed by older dogs in a cruel practice known as baiting, intended to train the fighters.

This news gave us new persepctive on Murphy and so many dogs like him.  By random chance we crossed paths with Murphy, and because of this coincidence, his life very well may have been spared.

Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” and unfortunatly for so many dogs out there this is the case.  Too many dogs are abused, abandoned and killed.  It was only by sheer coincidence that our Murphy did not meet the same fate.

The vet who gave Murphy his shots offered to take him in and personally find him a new home.  Today, the same pup that we found being sold on a street corner, freezing and scared, is happy and safe.

When considering the decision to get a dog, it is easy to overlook the change you can make in his life.  Take Murphy for example.  The only thing that could go right for him, did.


Fall fashion incorporates trends from decades past



Let the ever-bipolar weather be a sign that fall is finally upon us. There are so many things to be excited for this fall. There’s the sheer beauty of our campus, pumpkin spiced lattes, and my personal favorite – fall fashion, just to name a few.

Fall fashion is always one of my favorite seasons to dress for, but this season brings to light some particularly great trends to be excited about. You can essentially look at the runway looks for this fall as channeling an amalgamation of so many iconic looks of the past.

For example, we are still seeing a lot of the 60’s, 70’s, and 90’s looks that were popular through this past summer. With that in mind, it would be a good idea to keep your mod silhouetted dresses, bohemian prints, and high-waisted pants easily accessible in your closet. Not to mention a personal favorite, the 90’s slip dress, which Celine and Rag & Bone have made really cute versions of. But what’s really fantastic is that we’re seeing 80’s styles now as well.

When we look at fashion today, and specifically this fall, you can really look at it as this great fusion of the styles of the past. It is really easy to get excited about the fact that you essentially have the ability – to a great extent – to wear such a large variety of styles and still be trendy for this fall.

Statement pieces like 70’s suede culottes are a big thing, but at the same time, you can wear a velvet 90’s style slip dress and channel your inner Kate Moss with a cute choker.

From the 60’s, we have flattering mod silhouetted dresses, often paired with boots. With that, plan to see lots of shift dresses; to make it edgier, and also perfect for fall weather, they can be paired with leather thigh high boots or maybe an androgynous penny loafer. It is the iconic style of Chanel tweed and Lilly shifts, elegant and classic. Celine capes and long Calvin Klein coats that you would imagine to be worn by a modern Jackie O. One of the biggest statement pieces for this fall is the classic white blouse, which can be paired with just about anything.

From the 70’s, we have strong bohemian and Eastern influences that can been seen on the runway by DVF, Alexander McQueen, Donna Karan, and Oscar de la Renta, just to name a few.

Between flared sleeves and bellbottomed pants, another big thing to keep an eye out for from 70’s fashion is suede. For the fall, one can expect to see suede all through department stores, by both very high end and more approachable designers alike. As if anyone needs another reason to go forth and channel their inner Penny Lane from Almost Famous. Suede has gone further than just being seen in jackets, as we can look at how edgier, newer designers, like VEDA have made all suede dresses in interesting, modern silhouettes.

From the 80’s, we can see strong statement pieces and a sense of bold color coming back into mainstream fashion sense. Bottegga Veneta, known for its bold leather pieces, is able to become so popular due to the fact that fashion is turning back to the glitz and glam of the 80’s though interpreting them in a modern sense by showing the fashion influences of the 80’s as statement pieces.

For example, many of the Dior pieces for this fall were made out a shiny material reminiscent of the 80’s. Not to mention, the leather pants of the 80’s definitely seem to be here to stay. Another interesting statement piece reminiscent of the 80’s that you can see in many runway looks is gloves, but especially in those of Prada. The E! Fashion Police may have been in an uproar over Amal Clooney’s choice to wear gloves with her evening gown to the Golden Globes last year, but that being said, the runway does not lie. Amal brought gloves back.

From the 90’s, we have fashion pieces like my favorite slip dresses, plaid and flannel, and the edgier looks of the “heroin chic” decade of fashion. Perfect for the fall in the sense that burgundy lipstick is always a given for the season. Plus, as a New England school, we really can’t get enough of our flannel and plaid. Not to mention, I am a firm believer that a leather jacket can top almost any look.

Considering the weather that can’t seem to make up its mind, the key to fall fashion any year is layers, and with the options that this fall’s fashion brings, the possibilities are endless. From Celine and Dolce & Gabbana capes to leather jackets, this season’s concept of layers is wonderfully widespread. But an interesting concept that this brings with it is a key component of fall fashion this year – textures.

This fall is all about playing with different textures in creating something interesting and new. We see this in the presence of mixed media looks, patchwork prints, the plethora of leather and suede being used in such a large variety of ways.

To build on the ideas of layers and texture, it is important to note another key component of fall fashion this year – fur. Fur accents are appearing pretty much everywhere. Even brands that normally don’t do a lot of work with fur, of example, Kate Spade, are making fur accessories. That being said, animal activists hang tight, Kate Spade is specifically only working with faux fur.

What is important to note as the difference between fur in seasons past is that whereas fur vests grew in popularity last year, this year, we are seeing fur everywhere from tastefully cuffed on jackets, all the way to a more blatant presence on the outside of shoes.

In these terms, one can see that the embrace of fur on anything and everything is not unlike the rest of fall 2015 fashion, in the sense that it is embracing many styles that are no longer understated, as we have seen in the past.

Designers are making bolder clothing. You can see this specifically in terms of jewelry, as there is a turn to more feminine and larger jewelry. For example, Prada and Balenciaga both have brooches for their fall collections. Another example is the turn to larger sunglasses.

With all the potential that fall fashion this year, I can understand that the choices can be overwhelming. With allowing for so many choices though, especially in terms of being bold, one has the ability to emulate so many different fashion icons. Considering the specific trends of this season, it seems like dressing like you belong in a Wes Anderson movie would immediately make you on point, whether that means the Grand Budapest Hotel, or channeling one of my favorite characters ever, Margot Tenenbaum, Gwyneth Palthrow in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Creating gentle surroundings in a freshman dorm



Katie Comfort is a freshman here at Trinity and lives in a quad in Jackson. Her common room is a popular spot for students throughout the hall to meet up and she’s constantly complimented for her spectacular dorm room décor. I met with her to ask her about her design inspiration and any words of advice for a top-notch room.

GC: You went to boarding school before and have previous room decoration experience, how does the décor this year compare to your previous room?

KC: It’s interesting because throughout my four years of high school, my room has completely changed every single year. My room décor has just improved and transformed as my personality and taste has changed from year to year. My senior year of high school, I had a lot of the same decorations that are in my dorm right now, I just added a lot more tapestries this year. My junior year of high school I had one tapestry and more pictures, so I think I’ve just grown to want the tapestries more and more.

GC: Coming from a seasoned dorm decorator, what are some essentials to bring?

KC: The most important things to me are those scotch adhesive hooks and hangers. They’re super versatile and easy to use and are such a huge help. Also, personally, tapestries are an essential. I love them because they’re just one piece of fabric that covers the entire blank wall so I don’t have to work hard to cover that blank space with tons of pictures. I also think Christmas lights are an essential. The fluorescent lights really aren’t attractive and the Christmas lights can really transform a room and give it really nice lighting.

GC: You have an incredible amount of tapestries, why the tapestries?

KC: Like I said before, I like how they’re so easy to immediately decorate a whole wall. I also love the color and the dimension they can bring to a room.

GC: Why these colors and patterns, are you trying to create a certain mood?

KC: In my sophomore dorm in high school, I started with just one red tapestry. I liked it because it was big and had elephants on it (which are my favorite animal). Later, I added a blue one because I just thought the red and blue looked good together. Then I added a yellow and pink one because I thought I needed at least another primary color. I’m not necessarily trying to create a certain mood, but I like incorporating my favorite colors in my room without it being too overwhelming and without letting them clash. For the common room I just picked a tapestry I liked and didn’t already own, and then found the other one in the common room because the colors melded really well with the other one in my common room. I just like incorporating the colors into the room through the tapestries.

GC: How do you make use of space in here, or make the most space that you can?

KC: In my actual room, I put my desk under my bed because I’m personally a library person, so I knew my desk would just take up space in my room that I could be using for something else. I still put things in my desk, but under my bed it’s out of the way and a good hidden storage space. I ultimately just wanted to move out anything that I knew wasn’t going to be used or it would just add to the clutter. In the common room, we wanted to make it a great living space that could fit a lot of people, so we decided to center everything around our table and TV. We worked with that space and added different seating around it and now there’s more than enough room to fit a bunch of people.

GC: Do you feel like you are you done decorating yet or is it an ongoing process for you?

KC: I’m never done. I think I’m constantly adding more stuff to my room. The base of the room is obviously done, but I’m constantly finding little things, especially online, that I think would work perfectly in the room, like cool pillows. I think from now on I’m just going to be adding small things, such as more pictures on the wall.

Heather Zusman ’16 features art exhibit



With only one semester left in her college career at Trinity, Heather Zusman ’16, wants to go out with a bang. She is graduating early in December and is finishing up an art installment for part of her portfolio. She will showcase her art at the Mill, a group on campus that she has been a part of for three years; she became a member her freshman year and gallery manager her sophomore year. Look out for “Sitting with Nuudles” on Friday, October 2nd from 7-9pm.

As an Art History major, along with a double minor in Architectural Studies and Studio Arts, Zusman is developing her senior thesis based on the Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier. As her final product, she fabricated chairs of various bright colors. She is focusing specifically on his interiors—the color palettes he used, the furniture he designed, and the overall energy he provided throughout his spaces.

The material that Zusman used in creating these chairs are called Magic Nuudles. Her inspiration behind using these Magic Nuudles came from the memories she made while doing community service over this past summer. She volunteered at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in California, where she worked with many patients with symptoms in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.
Arts and crafts was a regular part of the patients’ routines at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, as it helped build their cognitive skills. Zusman and patients worked on artistic projects; one of them was making animals or other structures using Magic Nuudles. Magic Nuudles are little pieces of brightly colored Styrofoam that stick together. Zusman wanted to incorporate these Magic Nuudles into her seven different chairs; she ordered 20,000 pieces and has used about 8,000 just on three chairs alone.

These life-size chairs will be exhibited at the Mill (79 Vernon Street) on Friday, October 2nd from 7-9pm. This solo exhibition will be open to the public, so please go and check it out!

Album Review: Beruit’s “No No No”



To give a little bit of context, Beirut’s newest album “No No No” was created directly following an exhausting period in the life of the band’s frontman Zach Condon. The phase was defined by a nasty divorce and a brief hospitalization following a long tour. This fifth studio album of Condon’s musical brainchild reflects this solemnity and almost seems to bask in it stylistically. Upon its early September release, it strays away from the persona that Beirut built for themselves in 2011’s heavily Euro influenced “The Rip Tide.”

In contrast with the New Mexico band’s previous albums “Gulag Orkestar”, “The Flying Club Cup”, “March of the Zapotec” and of course “The Rip Tide”, Beirut took a simpler musical path and settled for less carved cultural grooves. Of course, heavy piano, occasional horn refrains and some orchestral arrangements are present on this album but they are nowhere near as numerous as they were on previous projects. Most songs consist of repetitive punchy piano riffs and drum grooves which many listeners might see as merely the skeleton of a song. Such simplicity has the ability to bore many listeners who enjoyed to this band for their layered complexity but it will be tolerable to those with less musically captious opinions.

One would not go as far as saying this LP is bad per se, yet the teasing 30 minute running time seems a little bit feeble. Considering the incredible range of Zach Condon’s past projects and endeavors, this collection of songs could be deemed a tad underwhelming. The multi-instrumentalist has constantly reminded us of his musical and cultural bravado- he has the power to transport listeners to Southeastern Europe and even summon the cultural ideals and images of these settings to those without any knowledge of them. Often in “The March of the Zapotec”, songs like “The Shrew” come in with great“oom pa pa” confidence and shift into fierce, magnificent and raucous cymbals, piercing trumpet trills and dark underlying Ottoman modes reminiscent of what one would imagine an Albanian wedding to feel like. “No No No” simply does not offer this kind of complex music and although certain influences are still present, they do not create the same kind of intensity and flavor. Simplicity is not a bad thing but Beirut has undoubtedly taken a big step back, settling for less charm and seemingly unfinished composition. If one were to juxtapose a “No No No” tune such as the title track with another Beirut song such as “Santa Fe,” one would notice that the only real similarity that the two have is Zach Condon’s operatic vocals and the presence of a flugelhorn. When compared to a song off of the band’s debut album, a new song may even be confused for a different band. Beirut seems to be attempting to reinvent themselves from something that was close to perfect on The Rip Tide and one has to ponder: why?

On the other hand, despite their sudden move from layers of Baltic/Mexican/Sicilian indie-rock works of colossal proportion, Beirut still retains some musical character. (There is beauty in the jumpy guitar and piano centric pieces of the album where there does not need to be lots of complexity. Songs remain sparse and allow the listener to close their eyes and tap their toes.) The LP still manages to make us smile with its unique blend of heartwarming brass and smooth, seasoned vocals.  “Fener,” ”Gibraltar,” and “So Allowed” are key tracks on “No No No” that employ some stylistic and rhythmic variety vaguely reminiscent of what they used to write. This all leads us to the big question: is this the end of massive world/indie-rock pieces that channel a vast range of cultures? It’s tough to say but with the potential that they have shown, I have faith.

Cinestudio Preview: Love and Mercy



They say there are two sides to every story. Bill Pohlad’s latest music-driven biopic about The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, “Love & Mercy”, demonstrates just that—two sides to the man behind the group’s ubiquitous success in the 1960s. Paul Dano and John Cusack co-star respectively as those two sides: a younger and older version of Wilson, which are two extremely distinct roles. A juxtaposition of two critical eras in Wilson’s life, “Love & Mercy” braids together Wilson’s waning success in the 1960s following a panic attack (Dano), and the psychological downward spiral that followed in the 1980s (Cusack).

Young Brian Wilson struggles to piece together sounds that entertain both himself and his abusive father—a daunting and unachievable compromise that drives him to a traumatizing panic attack which temporarily ends his time on the road with the band. Despite a new devotion to creating the “greatest album ever,” Brian’s psychological state only deteriorates further as emerging symptoms of psychosis begin settling in to his brain. As the voices in his head become increasingly loud, the creative soul behind The Beach Boys is driven closer and closer to a complete mental breakdown.

Fast forward twenty years, and the story picks up at a Cadillac dealership, where a clearly mentally unstable Brian meets saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks). The two inspect a car together, and after sharing a few awkwardly intense moments in the front seats, Brian decides he wants to purchase that very car. Melinda is won over by Brian’s sensitive nature, and not long after, the two fall in love.

As Brian and Melinda’s relationship builds, Brian’s relationship with his domineering therapist Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti) becomes strained. Since Landy had supposedly “rescued” Brian after his psychological episode, Brian fails to recognize that his doctor has assumed the abusive role that Brian’s father once played. As a third party outwardly viewing this unhealthy dynamic, Melinda becomes determined to rescue Brian from the man who is supposed to be rescuing him.

“Love & Mercy”, with its title derived from the opening track of Brian Wilson’s debut solo album Brian Wilson, explores the true story behind The Beach Boys’ ringleader and the angels and demons driving his brilliant mind. Wilson’s story speaks to audiences beyond the breadth of those found at a Beach Boys concert in the 60s and depicts two sides to the common story of successes and failures—one of love and one of mercy.

“Love & Mercy” is playing at Cinestudio September 30th through October 3rd.

Bantam Artists of the Week: Inter-Arts Students



Trinity is finally getting back into the swing of things, now that the wave of students moving back to campus has settled. Among the bustling, wide-eyed incoming freshmen is a multitude of talents. Twenty eight of these passionate students took their first steps to becoming accomplished artists in the Inter-arts Seminar.

For their first creative assignment, the Inter-artists were all given four quotes to inspire an art project in their respective media. Over the summer, they devoted their time to create something creative and transformative; and every project truly accomplished that. There were a wide range of different art forms from theatre performances to paintings, and each deserves recognition. But, to highlight one of each of these art forms, I interviewed three different freshmen in the Inter-arts Seminar: Sophie Priddy, Hayden Mueller, and Isabel Exstein.

Sophie’s main focus is in visual art and painting. The quote she chose was one from Tristan Tzara, “I have a mad and starry desire to assassinate beauty.” Her painting was intentionally simple and depicted a woman whose features were similarly plain. It was important to her to paint someone that was realistic and not defined by conventionally attractive features. She chose to create a person with unique coloring due to a skin condition called Vitiligo. During her presentation of the painting, she explained that Vitiligo affects the body’s production of melanin and causes areas of a person’s skin to lack the individual’s natural pigmentation. She wanted to portray a woman who displayed confidence and was empowered by her body’s unique features, rather than ashamed by them. She avoided smoothing out irregularities and purposely structured an asymmetrical face to prevent creating a photo-shopped appearance. Sophie chose the quote that she did because it reminded her of Ruby Rose’s efforts to change the conventional way we view beauty. She told me about her dislike of traditional beauty standards in today’s world. She says, “[beauty standards] really bother me because people are all unique, and rigid standards don’t allow for acceptance of all versions of beauty”. For the finishing touch to her piece, Sophie tore up pictures from magazines and memorabilia to cover the background behind her figure as a literal “assassination of beauty.” Overall, the piece was a visual representation of unconventional beauty and nonconformity.

Sophie only recently started painting, but art has always been a significant part of her life. She is hoping to continue her artistic expression here through the Mill and studio art work either in a class or self-directed.

Hayden, at the other end of the artistic spectrum, has been involved in theatre since his freshman year of high school and has performed in various other music and arts groups since grade school. For his project, he worked all summer to write and perform a monologue. As an actor, human interaction plays a dramatic role in his art. As he explained to me, “human interaction is one of the most integral parts of a fulfilled life; contact, skin to skin, is vital to health.” This is why he chose the quote, “skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality; technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence,” from Nam June Paik. He wanted to completely reject the idea that “technology could replace humanity, [and] beyond that, express the potential danger of withdrawal from physicality.” To accomplish this, he transformed into a grieving son who was speaking at his mother’s funeral. From the moment he stepped on stage, the normally relaxed and lighthearted Hayden became a neurotic, grief stricken individual. Frazzled and unstable, he fully immersed himself in this character to convey the effect of the failure of the relationship between mother and child due to technology. His story was depressingly universal as he explained how his mother’s life truly ended years earlier with “the creation of her Facebook account.” Hayden’s performance was a raw and emotional portrayal of the inherent importance of human-to-human communication and his own “rejection of high-tech dependence.”

Hayden plans to continue his acting and artistic expression through the fall play, It’s Funny You Should Ask, and through other work as an actor on campus. He plans to help with senior theses that involve such positions and hopes to pursue his own degree in Theatre and Dance.

Finally Isabel, who is a blossoming musician, combined writing and music to create a performance piece with audio. She expressed her initial surprise at how her piece came to be. In her words, “it just kind of happened.” She broke down the quote from Marcel Duchamp, “destruction is also creation.” The idea that resonated with her most when she thought of this quote was creating a mashup of several songs. Isabel has been a part of several musical ensembles throughout high school and continues her music through Chapel Singers and Composition Class at Trinity.

Because of her extensive musical background, she was able to “destroy” 38 songs and piece them back together to create a song of her own. Her new composition conveyed a message that was meant to empower the “upset soul.” She thought about songs that made her happy, combining lyrics to create a whole new story. She told me it didn’t take long before she could string together “cause you’re so amazingif you’d just realize you artitanium”—words meant to provide her listeners with hope and encouragement.

Accompanying her musical composition was a spoken word poem that Isabel wrote to resemble the action of breaking down. She wanted to further allow the music to be symbolic of creation. She stood in a single spotlight at center stage and captured the attention of her audience with her emotion. Then with a bold “at least I am more whole now,” her head dropped and the lights went out. Immediately her composition rang through the venue. Isabel accomplished creating something powerful and full of emotion from destroying things that already existed. She is continuing her artistic expression through the Mill, Chapel singers, Iron Poets, and through self-directed writing and composing.

Overall, the work the Inter-arts Seminar completed over the summer represents the growing range of talents across our campus. Each artist approached the project as an opportunity to share a lesson with the rest of the group. Their messages were each eye-opening and invaluable. The interpretations and representations were all unique and absolutely stunning. After experiencing such amazing artwork and creativity, I can attest that the artistic community is alive and forever expanding here at Trinity.

Getting to know a friendly Trinity face: Timothy Dunn



In 2013, Trinity posted a job opening for an Associate Social Director to take charge of our campus’ theme and Greek houses.   The applicant pool filled with competitive list of professionals, and from the few we invited for interviews, we settled quickly on Timothy Dunn.

He had all the impressive qualities to expect of our administrators, including a Juris Doctorate and sound recommendations from colleagues at Union College.  Mr. Dunn fit the job description – but of a position we’d never previously had.  We anticipated his arrival, then, with varying apprehension and wondered what the new hire would actually bring.

Now after two years of our own interactions, those who know Dunn appreciate the man as an administrator and a tremendous asset to the college.  We could have predicted this reputation, though, from the testimonials of his former students, who’ve recently visited and described a man personally invested in the growth of his institution.  Specifically, they cite his exhaustive efforts in the Greek community and his acclaim as a professor of law.  Even outside and pre-dating his time in higher education, Dunn has worked with distinction in various areas of social justice.  After putting himself through law school as a first-generation student, he clerked for several capital punishment cases and has represented Greek interests legally to ensure total fairness in adjudication.  He explains his extensive history with social organizations as a product of his belief in their transformative power.

On our own campus, he holds a similar reputation.  Despite significant job requirements, he coaches mock trial and maintains a constant availability for students in crisis.  In fact, Dunn considers his office and his front porch places of respite, guided by a demand his grandmother made during his entrance into higher education: “treat those students as if they were your own.”

As an attorney, he’s honored her sentiment through his pursuit of due process and honest litigation.  In any judicial matters here, he exercises clinical objectivity to safeguard these interests.  But, Dunn reserves that detachment for disciplinary cases and otherwise enjoys warm relationships with his students.  Consequently, many students come to him for support, which he only sees as another aspect of his grandmother’s charge.  Owing to his own experiences as a gay man raised in the traditional South, he understands the depths of personal struggles and happily offers himself as a resource.

So when we inventory everything Dunn does for Trinity College, we realize that his official title doesn’t convey his true role.  He serves, of course, as our Greek Advisor but also as an important friend of the entire student body.

ACES club provides wonderful volunteer opportunities



As seen at the Annual Orientation Activities Fair, Trinity offers a variety of clubs, across all areas of interest.  For those interested in event planning and community service, the Annual Community Events Staff, more commonly known as ACES, is the perfect fit.  According to President Georgie Wynn ’16, ACES, “is one the largest community service groups on campus”.  She also adds that ACES will be organizing three events this semester for the entire community.

The first ACES event is Halloween on Vernon. The purpose of this event is to provide a safe and fun environment for kids in the Hartford area to come and celebrate Halloween, and has been a Trinity tradition for years. For this event, Vernon Street is closed and a variety of the fraternity houses and cultural houses are open for kids to come dressed up and trick-or-treat.

In addition, ACES also plans to have several different activities tables that include fun entertainment such as apple bobbing, bean bag tosses and face painting.

Abby Painchaud ’18 remembers her first Halloween on Vernon, stating, “It was great to see how many children actually come to Vernon Street and I was so surprised about the number of parents who came up to us and thanked us for having a safe event for their children.”

The event always has such a positive response, that the entire community gets involved.  Students who are looking to get involved with this annual event can sign up to bring children to the different houses and activities. This year, Halloween on Vernon will take place on Sunday, Oct. 25.

During the second half of the semester ACES will be hosting a Thanksgiving Drive as well as Sponsor-a-Snowman.  The Thanksgiving Drive is a chance for the Trinity community to provide goods or funds to provide families in Hartford a Thanksgiving meal. Last year, ACES put together over one hundred baskets for families in need.

In addition, ACES is planning on continuing the annual Sponsor-a-Snowman. The ACES President explains that the group goes, “to a local elementary school and find out what each student in one class wants for Christmas”.  Following the visit, members of the Annual Community Events Staff write the name of the student, along with his or her desired gift on a snowman to be displayed outside of Mather. “The Trinity community is welcome to take a listed item off of the snowman and purchase the item for a Hartford child. This event is rewarding because it involves all of Trinity, and students really enjoy participating and buying gifts.” Abby Painchaud ’18 adds.

If the Fall semester events sound something one would like to become involved with, or even hear more about, the meetings are held weekly on Mondays at 5:30 in the Community Service Lounge. The club’s president also says to email regarding any questions about how to be of assistance during the Fall events.

Bantam Network: giving first-years a nest to fly into



This year, Trinity introduced its brand new addition to the first-year experience: the Bantam Network. President Joanne Berger-Sweeney entered her presidency last fall on a mission to provide an updated mentoring network to incoming students. She presented selected groups of students with her hopes, and they worked hard throughout the year to draft ideas and achieve this goal. A dedicated team of students and faculty members then worked over the summer to perfect the new mentoring program from the winning idea. The Bantam Network is the final representation of Berger-Sweeney’s dream, and Dean of Campus Life and Vice President of Student Affairs Joe DiChristina says that the Network “has been an institutional effort that in the beginning has started well.”

The Bantam Network places each first-year seminar into one of ten “Nests” of about 60 students each, which aim to build community through trips, events, and a sense that each bantam belongs to a legacy at Trinity. Students of each Nest live in neighboring residence halls to foster an interactive and tight-knit community. Madison Ochs ’18, a member of the Nest design team, expects that, “[the Network] will do a better job of connecting people and at least get some of the initial intimidation out of the way.” First-year student Josh Corbo ’19 has supported this expectation by calling the Bantam Network, “a nice safety net to fall back on when it got overwhelming the first week.”

As part of the mentoring design, each Nest is provided with many guides to help its first-year students adjust. The mentors include a student life dean, a “Trinsition” fellow who has recently graduated, a faculty mentor, and several peer mentors. In addition to this core group of guidance, each Nest is connected with Career Development fellows, Wellness mentors, and Study-Away liaisons. Resident Assistants and PRIDE leaders are still incorporated into the first-year experience as well, and have all been assigned to Nests themselves.

Although the Bantam Network focuses on first-year students, it boasts that it will not exclude upper-year students who started at Trinity prior to the Network’s founding.

Each student should be able to affiliate with a Nest either by mentoring for a first-year seminar, working closely with a professor in a Nest, or simply choosing a Nest where they feel they belong. Many upper-year students still remain skeptical of this supposed inclusivity. Christy Chan ’18 says that upper-year students “do feel left out of it. [The freshmen] are all part of this community and we were just thrown in here to make friends the old-fashioned way.”

As part of the Bantam Network initiative, first-year dorms have received a much-desired update. Each dorm now has a fully-functioning kitchen and a completely renovated common room. This initiative was designed to provide a space for first-years to hang out and allow a place to cook food the way students would be able to at home.

First-years will also have access later in the academic year to a new communal Nest space in the lower floor of Mather. This area is intended to provide students with a larger space to lounge and cook with their Nests, and relax in a recreational section. This renovation is anticipated for the spring of 2016.

Many upper-year students foresee great things happening with this program. Michelle Read ’18 and Olivia Ouellet ’18, who lived together in Smith last year as first-year students, are both excited about the prospects of the Network. Read says that the Nests are “like Hogwarts houses,” while Ouellet adds, “but without the sorting hat!”

Although this is a simple comparison, it speaks to the fact that students are not sorted into Nests using any specific criteria. Due to this randomness, each Nest consists of an eclectic group of people who may not have had an opportunity to meet on campus if not for the Bantam Network.

The Network was carefully crafted with first-year students in mind, but it has not come without critique.

Two first-year students mentioned while waiting in line at the Bistro last week that the Nest events “feel like high school with all the required dinners,” and that it seems “forced and lame.” These feelings are understandable for first-year students to have after finally arriving at college, where they “expected to be completely left to [their] own devices.” However, in the long run these Nest events may lead to a smoother transition into the first academic year.

It is impossible to build a complicated structure that is perfect in its very first year in action. Madison Ochs ’18 says that although the Network may receive criticism right off the bat, “this first year will be a good learning process,” and that underdeveloped aspects of the Nests will be readdressed and improved for the class years ahead.

Trinity invited to Harvard conference



This October, Harvard Ventures, a student run club focused on entrepreneurialism and the start-up process is hosting its inaugural Harvard Illuminate Conference, to shed light on the process of innovation.  The Trinity College Entrepreneurs’ Association was one of the first groups invited, and will be attending on Oct. 3. According to the TCEA Club Secretary Kelsey Baradzi ’18, “the Entrepreneur’s Association is still accepting new members, and will work to accommodate all those interested in attending the event, regardless of current club membership.” The one-day conference will include discussions on social entrepreneurship, start-ups, consulting, advertising, branding, and marketing as well as innovation in finance.  The panels are comprised of entrepreneurs, CEO’s, venture capitalists and experts across all fields of the start-up industry. Founder and Chief Strategic Officer of Pandora, the Internet radio company, Tim Westergren, is one of the notable speakers in the lineup of the 25 plus leaders scheduled to share their experience and insight at the conference.  In addition to the keynote talks and discussions, there will be opportunities to network with the businesses, share resumes and most importantly, meet other driven students and future entrepreneurs from other colleges.  This is an unprecedented collection of students focused on entrepreneurship on the east coast and will most likely be a gateway for students to be selected for the Winter Xcelerate, Harvard Venture’s weeklong start-u incubator.

“It is a truly unique and exiting opportunity for Trinity students to get involved and interact with these incredible resources,” Baradzi said, “This is the first year of the conference, so we have the opportunity to make a great impression for Trinity with leaders in the start up field.”  Despite being only the first year of the conference, Harvard has managed to procure a top-notch lineup, and promises to deliver an even bigger set of names in years to come.  All interested students should contact Kelsey Baradzi at his Trinity email to get involved.

Berger- Sweeney on neuroscience



On Thursday, Sept. 17, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney gave a lecture beginning a yearlong celebration of neuroscience within the Trinity community. Overseeing the festivities was neuroscience department chair Prof. Sarah Raskin. Students, faculty, and the Hartford community packed the Washington room last Thursday to listen to the president discuss her years of research on Rett Syndrome, a form of autism exclusive to girls.

The President’s lecture was segmented in two parts: The first, a general overview of Rett Syndrome, and the second being an in-depth accounting of the known genetic causes and possible treatments. Much of her research has been focused on trying to establish possible treatments for the condition as well as to recreate and test the work of others to help assess the validity of their research.

Throughout her talk, the president shared many personal anecdotes and continuously stressed persistence. She realated her experience of trying to gain the attention of a famed neuroscience researcher, which took her many phone calls. The President also playfully recounted an experience where her lab rats were sent from a colleague’s lab in Boston to her lab at Wellesley College via taxicab. On a more serious note, her research has revealed several causes of Rett Syndrome and identified several treatments. In her research, Dr. Berger-Sweeny has tested the effectiveness of her colleague’s treatments, though in several regrettable cases she found them to be ineffective. Fortunately, her joint research with a fellow colleague has produced and patented a compound they hope might be a viable treatment.

President Berger-Sweeney concluded her talk with some advice to budding young scientists; persist, ask questions, and ensure you have a strong support group. The president thanked her family for their tireless support of her as well as thanking her many colleagues in the scientific community, as well as her many undergraduate research assistants. President Berger-Sweeney’s lecture set the stage for a year which will feature a diverse array of neuroscience related events, ranging from art and music, to scientific symposiums and guest lectures.

Rush start brings new life to Greek System



Greek Rush began last evening and will continue throughout the week.  Tonight marks the second and final night of the formal recruitment process in which all potential new members (PNM’s) make a visit to each house, tomorrow evening the PNM’s will be able to choose which houses they would like to visit based on invitations.  From any point Sept. 24 on, the Fraternities and Sororities can issue their bids, up until Sept. 28 , however Fraternities and Sororities cannot register the usual weekend social events until the bids are given as rush is an alcohol free process. The Associate Director of Student Services for Social Houses, and the Greek organizations, Timothy Dunn, has been hard at work over the past year. According to Dunn, there has been exceptional progress in many areas of the Trinity Greek System, “ GPA’s are up, there have been more faculty involved events, the Greek community has excelled at philanthropy as well as created more opportunities for non-traditional collaboration,” said Dunn.

Although he did note that there have been great improvements in behavioral compliance in the past year, he acknowledges that there is still room for improvement.  “We have  work to do, but, that being said, there is nothing extra going on in the Greek houses,” Dunn commented. “It is challenging when campus wide issues are solely attributed to the Greek community.”

As the new formal rush process begins all the Greek organizations are excited to focus on Chapter Development. With President Berger Sweeney’s recent announcement of her request that the Board of Trustees endorse the elimination of the Coed- Policy, the chapters can focus on meeting national requirements to maintain their charters. Other areas of focus include, exceeding the college GPA and involvement expectations as well as fostering a more inclusive community.  After final bids are due, the Greek organizations have ten days to initiate new members, just as they did last year. Initiation will be complete by Oct. 9, and will be followed up with a mandatory new member training on Oct. 13, where each new member will be re educated on hazing, alcohol and drug policies, behavior and academic expectations, as well as a Bystander Intervention Training.

New sexual assualt policy improves reporting process



On Sept. 17, 2015, Dean Joe DiChristina, SGA President Max Le Merle, and SGA Vice-President Josh Frank ’16 held a discussion on Trinity College’s Trinity College Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy. This was an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to learn about the recent changes made to the policy and voice their questions, comments, and concerns. Although very few members of the Trinity community attended, there were many important topics addressed and many questions answered.

One of the first major changes to policy is that it is now a universal policy. This means that the policy applies to every single person – employees, whether administrators or faculty, and students who are a part of the College.

Next, beginning on page three of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Trinity added definitions of all words related to sexual misconduct that may be unclear. This is in hopes that there will be no confusion as to what one thing or another could mean.

The reporting protocols and confidentiality beginning on Page 1 are another new addition to the policy. As stated, “This section describes the various reporting and disclosure options available and the associated confidentiality implications. Because of their role at Trinity College, some employees are able to maintain a higher degree of confidentiality, but most employees are required to report all relevant details of an alleged incident to other College officials who may be responsible for initiating, investigating, and adjudicating a complaint. The distinctions between these groups are explained below so that individuals can make informed choices about how and where they seek help and guidance.”

As stated on Page 15, Trinity has trained eight people on campus as investigators. They have been trained by an outside individual on how to handle the cases. These investigators are from a variety of offices on campus such as the Dean of Students office, HR department, and Campus Safety. Once an incident is brought to the attention of the administration, they are responsible for investigating it. Should there ever be a conflict of interest between the investigator and the incident, the College has ensured us that they will hire an outside source to continue the investigation instead.

The last major change to the policy is in regards to a hearing for a sexual misconduct case. Rather than having a hearing with a panel of students and faculty, it is now going to be strictly an administration pane that would make the decision.

As stated on page 21, “the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will convene and charge an Administrative Panel of three College employees, in a closed session, to determine whether the findings, as presented in the investigative report, violate College policy.”

The last and somewhat major point that Dean DiChristina wanted to make clear was that there is a person of contact at the Hartford Police Department who is assigned to work with Trinity on sexual misconduct cases.

Le Merle and Frank hope to hold more discussions similarly to these in order to give members of the Trinity community the opportunity to educate themselves and discuss such an important topic.

Student Success Program to take place on Trinity Days



As students at Trinity begin their next semester, some may feel apprehension about the years to come. If the transition from high school to college was not exhilarating enough, the transition from college to a life of career choices induces even more anxiety.

The Trinity Career Development Center holds a workshop every year to help sophomores (and now juniors) gain a better sense of what they should prepare for. The Bantam Student Success Program, formerly called the Bantam Sophomore Success Program, has been a workshop provided by the career development office since 2009.

The program will take place from Oct. 11-13, over Trinity Days. The first day is just a dinner, while the second day is the “nuts and bolts” of career development, as Assistant Director of the Career Development Center, Bret Boudreaux, described it. “Students will have resume and cover letter workshops, they will learn how to put together their narrative and will learn interview skills.”

On the final day, there will be 16 different panels with 45 Trinity alumnae, providing information about “everything from food and hospitality to financial consulting to research careers to the fine arts,” Boudreaux stated.

Sophomores and juniors have separate programs so that the event is not repetitive for those who participated in the previous year. For example, juniors get a LinkedIn workshop.

“[The Student Success Program] is for everyone; you don’t need to have done anything up to this point to attend, but if you have already started working on your career path, this program is a also great way to finalize your resumes and to explore all different careers,” Boudreaux explained.

There is no application to participate, but there is a cap on the number of students participating. It runs on a first come first serve basis. All sophomores and juniors are welcome to sign up.

Interested students can sign up on the Career Development Center’s website. The deadline for registration is Sept. 24. Punctuality is important as a fee wil be charged for no-show registrants.

Psi Upsilon networking event brings business insight



On Sept. 10, 2015 the brothers of Psi Upsilon and the Career Development Center jointly hosted a forum on networking with alumni Wayne Sellers ’00 and Chris Ayala ’00, two successful entrepreneurs.  A combination of drive, risk taking and networking let them to their current positions, Sellers as the co-founder and president of a restaurant group that owns 19 fast food outlets in Eastern Canada, and Ayala who is currently CEO of Vertisense a company that makes bio-sensors for mobile phones based out of NYC.

In a combination of monologue and question and answer formats, the two business leaders mapped out the core principles of networking success.

Sellers stressed the necessity to be curious and engaged when learning about new things or people. Ayala distilled it down to three core principles. He explained, in order to have “positive interaction you need intensity, sincerity and preparation.” Both agreed that universally, people love talking about themselves. “If you ask a question with genuine interest, most people would love to set the time aside to talk.”

Ayala also made a point to note that emails need to be short, especially if they come from someone new.  “Long emails are just bad communication,” he said. To keep his emails simple, Ayala suggests, “an introduction of who he is, what the potential link between them is, and what he needs.” As attention spans shrink and turn-around times in the work place fall to nothing, quick and polite is the best way to keep all networking communication. Lastly, it is it always important to network even when you have no immediate need. if you make a connection, “Don’t be the guy who only reaches out when he needs something.”

Co-ed mandate is eliminated for selective organizations



Controversial, and widely discussed, the Co-educational Mandate enforced at Trinity College has sparked large speculation over the school’s decision to finally drop it. First brought about in 2012 by Trinity’s previous President James F. Jones Jr., the mandate required all sororities and fraternities to go co-ed by 2016. Recently, however, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney sent out a letter to the Trinity community acknowledging that the concerns of the greek community have been heard, and she has decided to drop the co-ed mandate.

After thorough investigation of each sorority and fraternity on campus, the administration of Trinity College made their official decision to drop the mandate in an e-mail delivered to the Trinity community on Sept. 4, 2015. Berger-Sweeney stated in her letter to the community “I have asked the Board of Trustees to endorse the elimination of the co-ed mandate for all selective social organizations, including fraternities and sororities.

The mandate was originally enforced in the hopes to better the school’s gender equity. To some, this rule sounded good in theory. To others, however, it seemed as if the school had a different intention when attempting to force all sororities and fraternities to become co-educational. Hugh Grygiel ’17 said, “I think the mandate was an attempt to reduce the amount of Greek life on this campus as a whole. There would not be enough males and females to fill every Greek house and, as a result, only a few would survive. Though this school may feel it needs a more viable social alternative for students who choose not to join or just socialize at fraternities and/or sororities, it does not need to do that by destroying them for the students that do.”

This mandate has become relatively common throughout many college campuses, especially in the northern region. Wesleyan University is another college that has also enforced this mandate in the hopes to end gender inequality. The fraternities at Wesleyan fought back, only to receive a result of denied campus housing for next year. Part of the reason that Wesleyan had intended to enforce the mandate was that they hoped it would reduce sexual assault on campus.

Speculation spread throughout the Trinity community that President Jones’ original attempt to enforce the mandate was his attempt to abolish Greek life altogether. Jones, however, denied these claims throughout his presidential reign that sparked many alumni to threaten to pull their donations to the school if they enforce this mandate in full. A large portion of the school’s donations comes from the alumni of many Greek life organizations. When Jones insisted on the mandate, he met with multiple Greek organizations to discuss the issue they have with the co-ed enforcement, but continued to move forward with it. He believed that the mandate would better the Trinity community and create a more comfortable environment for students to rush the sororities and fraternities at Trinity College. Berger-Sweeney, however, has acknowledged the importance of tradition and has moved forward with the mandate by dropping it altogether. Her decision to drop the mandate was one she made by listening to multiple people regarding the new rule. In her letter to the community, she states that she has “spent the last 15 months doing a great deal of listening to students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and our neighbors about their concerns for the future of student social life on campus and the role of selective social organizations, including sororities and fraternities.” In doing so, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney was able to hear any and all voiced concerns of the co-ed mandate from a wide variety of people.

Students not a part of Greek life seem to be ecstatic for their friends who are a part of Greek life and who they themselves participate in Greek life activities. Briana Cammarata ’17 weighed in on the issue, “I think the decision to drop the coed mandate at Trinity College was a great move by President Joanne Berger-Sweeney. By dropping the mandate, she is ensuring that she is listening to the voice of students and is willing to make changes to the school that benefit not just the image of the school, but the students’ happiness. Dropping the coed mandate ensures that students who are part of Greek life are able to continue practicing their traditions of the Greek organization they chose, as well as continue to make bonds with people through the secrets and traditions of these organizations. By having a coed mandate, many people would not participate in Greek life and it would ruin the tradition that so many people have come to love and will remember for years to come.”

Many students who are a part of Greek Life have been rejoicing over the news. They are now able to express themselves through the traditions and secrets that these separate gender organizations have celebrated for years at Trinity College.

Library restructuring provides better service for students



Although this year’s first- years do not remember the library’s clunky entrance last year, to upperclassmen the removal of the turnstiles and the opening of the glass door to the central staircase is a welcome and freeing change on campus. According to Sue Aber, Vice President of Information Services & CIO the restructuring supports the library’s new mission statement: “maintaining an inviting facility that inspires creativity, flexibility and innovation.” She adds that the change comes in response to a feeling that, “the turnstile created an unwelcoming barrier… we wanted to restore a more natural flow to the entrance way, which is why the glass doors are now open as well. We want everyone to feel welcomed.”

Ms. Aber also said that, statistically, last year “only  four percent of the library traffic used the turnstile,” opting instead to go  in through the unlocked exit gate, rendering it merely a useless barrier to the sometimes high-traffic area, without actually providing any real safety measures. The restructuring makes the library no less safe than before. Ms. Aber commented that “campus safety is a great partner, they do come through the Library and Information Technology Center at different times during the day.”

Although the first change one notices upon entrance to the library this year is the freeing effect of the newly opened space, other changes have taken place as well. Ms. Aber informed me that “… six of our study rooms have been updated with vibrant accent walls and a gray wall with ‘idea paint’ to inspire creativity and collaboration, matching the work that was done in the first year dorms, kitchens and common spaces.” To clarify, painting the walls with “idea paint” allows dry-erase markers to be used on the walls, essentially giving the entire wall the function of a whiteboard. When I visited these rooms myself I noticed the much warmer, more human effect of the brightly colored walls, and expect that students will greatly appreciate the changes made this summer.

Taking a broader perspective, Ms Aber noted that much of the work done in the library was done in order to merge the technology branch with the more traditional library branch. While the effect of this will be to allow a more fluid form of interaction between the two, increasing opportunities for academic projects, Ms. Aber assured me that the printed, bound books aren’t going anywhere, in other words that the Trinity library embraces the advantages of technological modernity while maintaining the advantages of an old-fashioned library at the same time.

Assault on Planned Parenthood exposes larger issue for GOP

House and Senate republicans are calling for provisions in the new federal budget that would effectively defund Planned Parenthood.  The budget for the upcoming fiscal year is due by Sept. 30, and many GOP leaders have threatened to table negotiations if these provisions are not met, consequentially shutting down the federal government.

Calls to defund the non-profit family planning service have exploded in recent weeks.  This outburst is largely in response to a video that has gone viral, allegedly showing Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, discussing how the organization illegally sells the body parts of aborted fetuses.  In the most recent GOP primary debate, a number of presidential hopefuls referenced the video when defending their pro-life stances on abortion.

However, amid the looming possibility of a government shutdown, an event that would freeze a number of government operations and departments that are not deemed “essential,” Republican lawmakers have ignored two facts.  First, the video in question has been discredited by many sources, by virtue of having been unfairly edited.  Second, not a dime of federal money is used for abortion procedures done by Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood provides an array of services to men and women including STD screening, relationship counseling, sexual health information, contraceptive services and body image support.  These services are available often for people who cannot otherwise afford this kind of care and many of these services rely upon government funding to operate.  Abortion procedures however, are funded strictly through outside contributions.

Why are Republicans so vehemently ignoring facts, threatening their constituents with yet another disastrous government shutdown and waging war on a non-profit public health agency?  In a word: Votes.

In order to pander to ultra conservative religious voters, Republicans will not miss an opportunity to fight for traditional family values.  If it costs the country a suspension of government services, so be it.  If it costs people health services that they need, so be it.  If their fight is based on misinformation and manipulation, so be it.  Just as long as it leads to votes.

The Republican plan in a nutshell is to push legislation to defund the program through congress to the president Obama’s desk, leaving the final decision to shut down the government on him.

However, in the current political climate, this type of action will only further diminish the Republican brand.

Just two years ago, Republicans effectivly shut down the government for seventeen days over arguments against the Affordable Care Act. The party faced waves of criticism as a result.

While this action against Planned Parenthood is intended by many GOP leaders to secure their voter base, it will serve more as a catalyst to drive moderate, undecided voters towards the Democratic party.

In most election cycles, the  party that can appeal to moderate voters usually comes out on top.  However, if the GOP continues to promote government inaction and refuses to negotiate, they will do more harm than good, and subsequently lose the voters that they need, not the conservative voters that they have.


Despite great strides, Trinity still has far to go with sexual misconduct

Colleges and universities all over the country, including Trinity, are finally taking initiatives to assess and improve their policies, procedures, and training for preventing and responding to sexual misconduct. There are constantly stories on the news about victims being blamed, institution’s covering it up, and accusers not being punished for their crimes.

Although I am not sure what finally got the ball rolling on addressing the nationwide problem, perhaps it was the release of the compelling documentary The Hunting Ground or simply many victims could not handle being silenced anymore. Either way, it is much overdue and institutions needed to start taking this issue seriously.

Since President Berger-Sweeney’s arrival at Trinity, she has made this issue one of her main focuses. The Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct was formed and now Trinity’s Sexual Misconduct Policy is being updated. The policy is clear, detailed, and extensive so every member of the community knows where the College stands on the issue and what they can expect as an individual. However, there is one major change that also needs to take place – better communication.

I have friends that attend many different types of schools: NESCACs, state schools, Ivy League schools, etc. In conversation, they have mentioned how often sexual assault takes place on their campuses because they are always sent out an email. Sometimes it is as often as every week. However, many students at Trinity do not think that rape and sexual assault are issues on our campus because they never hear about it.

At Trinity, when it comes to the issue of sexual misconduct, there is almost no information being communicated between the administration and student body. Any time there is a robbery or an assault takes place, an email is immediately sent out. However, that is not the case when it comes to sexual misconduct. No names, location, or details are needed; just a simple email that read “there was an accusation of sexual assault last night” would be enough to get the point across. These quick messages would make everyone on this campus aware of how often it actually occurs.

I’m not sure what the reason is behind this lack of communication. The first thing that comes to mind is legality and confidentiality. The victim may not want their name or information to be public or if the police are involved it could somehow compromise the case. But, legality and confidentiality do not prevent emails from being sent frequently at other institutions. So why is Trinity different?

Perhaps Trinity does not want to put this kind of information into something as public as an email. Yes, they include the reports of sexual misconduct in the Annual Security Report that is sent out to members of the community every year. But, those numbers are just a blur among many, many more. Or maybe administration hopes that students will that sexual misconduct and rape are not a serious issue on this campus and push this issue under the rug.

Despite the reason, this lack of communication has a significant effect on our campus’ view of sexual misconduct and, in order to take action, our students need to be informed.


“The Draft” play reawakens Vietnam War memories



This Friday, Sept. 25th at 7:30, there will be a a one-night performance of The Draft, a new play about personal experiences in dealing with the Vietnam War draft at the Performance Lab at Trinity College. Written by award-winning Boston playwright Peter Snoad, The Draft is based on a book, “Called to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft” by Trinity College alumnus Tom Weiner, ’71. The play explores the real-life stories of 10 young people who responded to the draft in different ways. One of the individuals depicted was Trinity College alumna, Diane Clancy, ’71.

Those depicted fought in the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam; they resisted the draft and served jail time, chose self-exile in Canada, won conscientious objector status and organized for civil rights and against the war, beat the draft and counseled other draftees on their options, counseled traumatized vets, protested with thousands of others on college campuses; and treated the maimed and dying in a military field hospital. Tom Garnder, one of the individuals depicted in the play, wrote, “The play raises questions about individual responsibility and ethical choices. It raises questions about our government’s policies in Vietnam. And it raises awareness about ongoing issues that still haunt us from that war – ranging from PTSD in our vets, to the lasting effects of the dioxin herbicide Agent Orange on both our vets and the Vietnamese people today.”

Weiner, ’71, spent seven years writing his book. He interviewed 62 people about all of the different choices men,between the ages of 19-26 at the time, faced during the Vietnam War draft. When asked why he chose to write on such a topic, he explained, “I wanted to give the whole range to show what we faced, but I also was committed to giving the back story to show what influenced each of our decisions as well as the roles race, class, family military history and environment played in the decision-making process.” He continued, “My other huge purpose in writing the book was to promote incredibly long overdue healing of the war’s enormous wounds and by having all of the stories in one place.”

Weiner hopes that when watching the play, young adults “will be able to relate to the play on several levels – through the lens of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and knowledge they do or do not possess about the trauma caused by those wars on another generation of young people, through deepening their awareness of the turbulent times and life-affecting decisions their Trinity forbears faced when they were the same age as today’s students and through an appreciation of the tragedy that is war for all involved.” Snoad seconds this, writing, “I think that period of history has an amazing amount to teach all of us. For one thing, it was a time when millions — literally millions — of young people organized and protested against something they felt passionately was criminally wrong: the war. They had a huge influence on a profoundly moral issue. Trinity students and other young people today are faced with other moral questions that demand they take a stand, such as racial injustice and climate change. I believe they can draw both lessons and inspiration from the anti-war movement and the other social movements of the Vietnam era. They can act on their conscience and they can truly make a difference.” Clancy reflected on the play and her experiences, “Being in this book and play – and even more so that they both are about healing and forgiveness – is a continuation and vindication of my life at Trinity.  It being during the war and with intense organized and becoming empowered, for many of us this was our education at Trinity at this time.”

The play will take place at the Performance Lab, Trinity’s black box theater, located in Trinity Commons at 240 New Britain Avenue near Summit Street. For more information, call 860-297-2199. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Sound and Fury” Shakespeare club grows on campus



Trinity College has more than 140 student run organizations. But, what do you do if you find yourself unable to discover a club or organization that fits your specific interests? This is exactly the position that Raekwon Wheeler, a sophomore, found himself in during his freshman year. Attempting to expose himself to new projects and endeavors, Wheeler, who is considering a double major in Poly Sci and Theater and Dance, enrolled in multiple prominent organizations on campus, including ConnPIRG, and received an internship at the admissions office for the multicultural recruitment team. However, he felt a void in his life that was not being satisfied.

“I entered a constant battle within myself between my love for politics and my love for acting. People say its unrealistic to be an actor,” says Wheeler. Although there are multiple prominent acting organizations on campus, Wheeler could find no solace for his very particular love for Shakespearian theater and he could not curb the deep yearning he felt for acting. He began asking himself the famous question: “To be or not to be?”In other words, would it be better to delve headfirst into creating his own organization or to allow doubt to devour his dreams? It’s a dramatic question. Wheeler has been acting since elementary school, when he joined the John Casablancas talent company.

He even landed himself a role in a Kix commercial. But, it was not until Middle School, when he watched the girl he had a crush on perform in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, that he fell in love with- not the girl- but Shakespeare. In his following four high school years, Wheeler acted in a production of a Shakespeare play every fall. He played Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, a play centering on tragic love, violence, and family, and gained a deeper understanding for Shakespeare’s works. Wheeler came to realize that Shakespeare is an essential part of a timeless culture. William Shakespeare’s works, although written over 400 years ago, have instilled invaluable lessons in people for centuries. Shakespeare is even responsible for inventing over 1,700 English words and countless phrases that are so often used and so integrated into our collective vocabulary that they are considered modern day clichés. Shakespeare captured both human emotion and experience in his plays, which would forever render them not only timeless to read, but most importantly, to see.

“Shakespeare was never meant to be read. It is meant to be performed for an audience,” stressed Wheeler. “Sound and Fury” is also accessing the long popular and now everpresent trend in the production of Shakespeare: the Idea that the plays can be adapted and reimagined to fit more closely with our own modern mindset. For many theater enthusiasts like Wheeler , Shakespeare is a template on which a director can place new layers and angles: psychology, comedy, and political overlays. It can be just about anything the director wants it to be. Following his passion, Wheeler finally came to the decision that he would go through the laborious process of creating a new campus organization. He first had to ask himself: what would the club’s purpose be? How would it impact Trinity?

“I want to destigmatize Shakespeare. Something that’s fun and cool, not looked at as burdensome.” In the Spring of 2015, Wheeler embarked on the brave quest of starting a wholly original and new club on a campus already full of established organizations. Delving into Shakespeare’s Macbeth, he discovered the title for the club, “Sound and Fury: Trinity College’s Shakespeare Players.” In explaining the process of creating a club Wheeler said, “I had to draft a constitution from scratch, find a faculty advisor, and obtain signatures from the student body.” But after all the logistics finally came the fun. Wheeler was able to establish his goals for the club and plan upcoming events. His desires spread past Trinity itself to the greater Hartford community involving local schools and performing arts charities and even to other college campuses.

Perhaps most notably, and displaying his distinct creativity and talent, Wheeler crafted a recruitment video that can be found on the group’s Youtube channel “Sound and Fury Trinity College.” Wheeler used Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” melody to display the fun of Shakespeare and how it can swiftly (pun intended) be brought into the modern age. He hopes to make more Youtube videos chronicling popular Shakespeare plays. Wheeler is the latest in a long list of Trinity innovators. It is a special privelege to be able to create one’s own club , though it goes unused, by and large. But with no limit on the possibilities of future clubs and student-run organizations, It is always heartening to see growth and new arrivals in the college arts scene and club community.

With any luck, it’s people like Wheeler who will help the art and drama world at Trinity grow larger and more influential. Wheeler teaches Trinity and college students beyond a valuable lesson: that you do not have to give up the activities you enjoy once you begin college, because even when it appears that all hope is lost, you can create your own oasis. Wheeler reminds us all how improtant it is to “Do what you love- do what you’re passionate about.”

Cinestudio Preview: “Trainwreck”




As its title suggests, it can be difficult to take your eyes off of the new Amy Schumer written, Judd Apatow directed comedy “Trainwreck”. Schumer stars as a young New Yorker and magazine journalist who breezes through life without a drop of sentimentality. A kind of sexual adventurer, Amy Townsend moves from conquest to conquest, and never troubles herself with flaky things like manners or second thoughts. Her only rule: never stay the night. In other words, we are being presented with a young woman who refuses to allow herself to be tied down by the great normalizer, monogamy. And why should she? It’s after the end of a fling with an absent minded bodybuilder (John Cena) that Amy finally meets her match- Aaron (Bill Hader).

Aaron seems perfect. He is a wealthy doctor who works exclusively with celebrity athletes, and has a deep rooted sense of humility that keeps him stable and respectable. Amy assumes that her new doctor friend will be a new addition to her very long list of one-night stands, but when he calls asking for a second date, a phrase that does not exist in her vocabulary, something doesn’t compute. “Oh…This is Amy.” she blithely explains. “I think you butt-dialed me.”

It doesn’t make sense to Amy that a man should be interested in a real relationship with her. Thus far she has picked partners based on the idea that they would never in a million years be interested in following up with her, a guaranteed apathy that she plays to her own hand. But the world has changed: traditionally macho men are more open minded people who discuss Downton Abbey amongst themselves and make breakfast for their dates in the morning. The ground under Amy’s feet is shifting, and before she has time to stop herself, she is in love. It’s a familiar plotline, clearly.

Two young people fall in love, but “twist!” they’re opposites. One is a rascally boozer who can’t be pinned down, the other is a well balanced if a little spineless professional, and each one must learn from the other for the relationship to work at all. It almost feels ancient at this point, in fact I don’t doubt that a scholar out in the world has spent hours upon hours reading Sumerian texts or some such pieces of papyrus just to stumble upon the same clichéd story, written in dots and scratches thousands of years ago. This is not a bad thing: it’s a familiar method, but somehow it seems to work every time. Amy Schumer knows the formula, and loves it dearly, I’m sure.

But “Trainwreck” is not quite the same as most of the films that follow these guidelines. Schumer has carefully erased the dusty old gender variables of the “opposites attract” storyline and switched them, without too much subtlety but with a lot of success. There are a few great characters that would have been the other gender fifty years ago (look for an uproariously evil Tilda Swinton, leaving her niche), but it’s most refreshing to see a really unapologetic lead female role come to the forefront and do whatever raunchy thing she wants in order to make us laugh. Not just a rough and savvy businesswoman who takes what’s hers, or a fearless vixen who keeps her man on a short leash; these are merely the shallow stand-ins that live in movies that are too afraid to give these characters any real depth. Schumer is unrelentingly crass, and as fearless as the character she has created, much to our happy surprise. “Trainwreck” is a fun and flashy romcom that knows what it’s all about. Fueled by a steady stream of pop culture, swearwords and alcohol, it’s enough to make anyone feel a little more like Amy, and a little more likely start living in the moment.

A Glimpse of history at the Watkinson Library




As a student, what do you feel defines your time at Trinity? What combination of local and global issues will you remember as having shaped your overall college experience? After graduation, what tangible evidence will exist to present this history to future generations? The Watkinson Library and College Archive’s new exhibition, “Ten Decades of The Tripod, 1904 – 2004: A Century of Trinity from the Student Perspective”, is centered around the student history of Trinity as shown through the lens of The Tripod, All the way back to its establishment. The exhibition examines the interpretation of the past through the medium of the student publication, and provides a fascinating glance into the interpretation of history: how do those in the past record and discuss events which are contemporary to them? The exhibition provides insight into a variety of events.

The topics covered focus on Trinity’s campus throughout the college’s history, as well as large-scale national and global concerns. An issue from September 27th, 1904, for example, discusses Physics II, an emerging class which is focused on “electricity and light”, accompanied by laboratory work. Trinity traditions which are still central to the campus today are already shown to be firmly in place – for example, a 1915 songbook for “‘Neath the Elms” is on display. The song was already thirty-three years old, having been written by Augustus P. Burgwin in 1882. Trinity’s history as the second-oldest college in Connecticut is emphasized with Trinity’s Centennial celebration in 1923. However, The Tripod also deals with larger issues, such as World War I and II. The college’s transition to a co-educational model is also discussed throughout 1968, with the transition taking place in 1969.

The inevitability of new female students attending the college to search for husbands, a stereotype that is now considered somewhat antiquated, is bluntly discussed. Eventually, the Tripod begins to cover Tuition increases, which can be seen climbing up to $200, and eventually over $10000 and beyond. Unsurprisingly, The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 is covered extensively in the issues from 1983 and 1984. 1980 follows the introduction of computers on campus, and 1984 subsequently chronicles the introduction of a new major, Computer Science.

The introduction of computers, as well as the pros and cons of social media, are heavily debated. Although these developments are presented in a Trinity specific format, their cultural influence cannot be overstated. It is valuable to see their introduction through a primary source, and the articles displayed hint that the writers were aware and a little wary of the future significance of the developments they are covering. According to Dr. Richard Ring, head curator and librarian of the Watkinson, the decision to focus an exhibition on The Tripod was the result of two events. Over the past summer, Dr. Francis Egan, professor emeritus, presented a donation to the library of six boxes which contained issues of The Tripod ranging from the 1960s to present. The Watkinson matched this donation with an equal number of archived issues from the 1980s and 1990s.

Additionally, Peter Rawson was appointed Associate Curator of Archives and Manuscript Collections at the Watkinson this past August. As Dr. Ring explained, “We felt that an exhibition celebrating Trinity’s history with our archives holdings would be fitting.”The exhibition is currently on display in the Raether Library and Information Technology Center Atrium as well as the Watkinson Library. The formal opening in late September will be announced on Trinity Today. At this opening, as well as other events such as Family Weekend and Homecoming, students will have the chance to win older issues of The Tripod. “Ten Decades of The Tripod” is a unique exhibition worth visiting, as it gives current students the chance to view history through the perspective of Trinity students over the past century. It is important to understand how much has changed since the days of an older Trinity, and at the same time, how much has stayed the same. The exhibition runs from September 7th through November 27th.

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum: a beautiful renovation in Hartford




The Wadsworth Atheneum in Downtown Hartford has stood for one hundred years, and has definite plans to stand for at least one hundred more. The imposing castle that houses the art museum is only a little more than two miles away from Trinity, and it holds within its doors one of the most unique art collections in the United States. The Wadsworth is a small museum compared to the mammoths of Boston and New York, but it is a competitor nonetheless. It also boasts a unique advantage: the Wadsworth’s collection reaches across the centuries and collects priceless art from all of them, taking special cares to find and curate pieces that serve to represent their zeitgeist and time period. This is why Linda Roth, Senior Curator at the museum, believes that the Wadsworth is a different animal altogether.

“The Wadsworth is not the Met, it’s not the Boston Museum of Fine Arts,” Roth said. “But the story that we are able to tell here is a little quirker, a little more eccentric.” But while the museum’s history is illustrious, It hasn’t always been an easy road. In 2008, the Wadsworth was experiencing real difficulty in its infrastructure, and with the space needed for its exhibits. Many of the rooms in the labyrinthine building were being used for storage, and a great deal of priceless art had been squirreled away into vaults and safes for years.

“This was a museum that was essentially crumbling,” laments Susan L. Talbott, Director and CEO But in 2010, the winds of fortune changed for the Atheneum. Funds were mustered, doors long closed were reopened, and the old dark Wadsworth began, slowly, to shed dust anddreariness. Now, five years later, the time has finally come for the grand reopening of the museum, and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the reaction among the public will be one of awe and admiration. Where paintings were once hung sparsely in the Morgan Great Hall, the precious art now bunches together in its multitude and rises breathtakingly up the entire expanse of the wall in the style of an eighteenth century Italian salon. Walls have been repainted and ceilings repaired seamlessly, and there is an inexplicable sense of glory about the place that is difficult to pin down. The old storage rooms have now been converted back to what they were originally purposed for: they are new galleries. Twenty four, to be exact, and each with its own theme and feel. Take, for example, the newly christened “1789 Room”.

It is a gallery dedicated to a fascinating moment in history, the French Revolution. Here you will find china sets that belonged to Louis XVI, King of France alongside an enormous painting depicting the moments before his execution. The room is decidedly unbiased: it wants to show all sides of the turbulence of the Revolution. Of all of the rooms in the Wadsworth, the new galleries represent a 27% increase in exhibition space. Even an old electrical closet on the second floor is now a small gallery, lit with the refracting light of a wall of English silver plates and goblets. The new space means that the objects and pieces of art that were in storage for so long can now see the light of day in galleries that are designed with their story in mind exactly. Many of these objects are ancient and mysterious things whose years enshroud them and make them rise beyond value.

In the Alcoves of the Morgan Hall, an embittered looking stone head from the newly ravaged city of Palmyra in Syria, crafted sometime around 150 C.E., stares from its shelf with battered stone eyes. Not far away, two Egyptian cat Goddesses on exhibit, frozen in stone, stare directly into each other’s faces, as though locked in a kind of eternal feline standoff. Over a thousand new objects just appeared in the Wadsworth, and each one tells two stories. First, the story of the object itself. Where it came from, what it means, and why it was painted, sculpted, or made.

The second story is about the time from which the art comes: the state of the world at the moment the art was made, and what we can learn about our own world today. One can feel these things in the art, sometimes. Coiling words of poetry that twist just beneath the surface of a painting, or murmured political complaints that echo through the ages in a statue. It’s feelings like this that can make the viewing of art such a hallowed experience. But the Wadsworth wants to reach a new level of communication, one that many other museums and places of learning have reached for in the past few years. Roth is hopeful about moving forward technologically: “We’re really encouraging interaction.” She is speaking about a new exhibit function that employs touchscreens to connect with the art. One of the new exhibits focuses on shelves and cabinets of baroque art, popular in homes throughout that era in Europe.

While learning about the fantastical and incredibly intricate pieces of art in the actual shelves in front of them, visitors can use the screens to assemble a collection of art in a cabinet of their own, and learn about their place in history and society based on the choices they have made. Needless to say, the Wadsworth has entered a new era. Leading the way is the idea that if great art is meant to live forever, so too should a great museum.

 Courtesy of The Wadsworth Atheneum in Downtown Hartford as it appeared for the grand re-opening this past weekend.

Courtesy of
The Wadsworth Atheneum in Downtown Hartford as it appeared for the grand re-opening this past weekend.

Trinity College: the Whole Foods of higher ed



Trinity College has the most expensive tuition in the state of Connecticut, at $63,970 a year. In analyzing the value of that education, there are two approaches: the physical value of living here and the intangible value of an education from Trinity.

I would like to address the physical value first and say that the dispersal of school funds is difficult to see. Perhaps it can be seen in the new rehearsal space behind the Austin Arts Center, the new lounges in freshman dorms, or maybe it pays for the Nutella at Mather.

As I said, I am not sure, but I can tell you what tuition is not buying. It is not fixing the leaks in the Life Science Center, it is not installing much-needed air-conditioning in many of the dorms, it is not funding innovative, sustainable,  ‘green’ technology or progressive changes to campus infrastructure, and it is not buying a particularly high academic ranking among the nation’s other colleges, especially not among comparable, elite liberal arts colleges.

Nearly $64,000 a year does not buy two-ply toilet paper, elevators that have been inspected within the last year, or construction that ends on time.

That may sound critical, but after a few years of college, one develops an eye for these budgetary inconsistencies.

Trinity does have some wonderful teachers, who offer ample help and encouragement to students. For a small college, Trinity has a unique collection of fossils, impressive microscopy tools in its science departments, and an amazing collection of historical artifacts and rare books in the Watkinson Library. Overall, Trinity College is a beautiful school, though some parts are more spectacular than others.

The reputational value of a Trinity education is somewhat different, and I would like to introduce the Whole Foods principle to the discussion.

One does not shop at Whole Foods for the sales on ground beef and Koolaid. Whole Foods represents a life style of affluence and all that implies: health, progressive thought, or leisurely enjoyment of nature.

COURTESY OF and Chotiner ’17 compares the expensive chain Whole Foods to the very steep pricing of Trinity College

Chotiner ’17 compares the expensive chain Whole Foods to the very steep pricing of Trinity College

Likewise for many Trinity students, “affordability” is not a barrier to their attending the College ––only 40% of the student body receives financial aid.  For those who want a big obvious “bang for their buck”, University of Connecticut is calling.

Attending Trinity College allows students an early opportunity to swim in a pond with big fish. In the world of finance and economics, a Trinity College degree carries its own weight, and in coming to school here, students gain access to an extensive alumni network that will serve them well throughout their careers.

In recent years, though, the discrepancy between the physical and reputational value of Trinity College has grown, and is threatening to undermine the latter. Due in part to mismanagement of funds, and a willingness to ride the coattails of our more illustrious years without thought for the value of progressive change, Trinity has dropped in ranking and begun to truly rely on that 60% of full-pay students to maintain itself. Not to mention the fact that, according to popular belief, many of those full-paying students are legacy individuals. Whether or not this is true, it is dangerous to have this perception leaking into students’, and prospective families’, minds. All in all, this is a handicap that affects both the quality of students and facilities.

If such trends as these continue, the value of a Trinity College education may very well depreciate. The students who were once so willing to take those risky elevator rides in the hopes of a Wall Street career may not be willing to pay Whole Foods prices for Walmart quality goods.

Class of 2019 struggles to transition into college life



Many students here at Trinity college and on other campuses around the world are experiencing one of the greatest transitions of their lives. There are no longer parents to wake us up in the morning, no bell to tell us when our classes are over, no one to call us down when dinner is ready, and even something like class attendance is not as mandatory as it was in high school. We determine our entire schedules.

Some of the first-year students might find maintaining a productive schedule the most difficult part of getting through their first semester. Every weekend, students are bombarded with fun activities, and every week they attend various club meetings.  All of this must be considered when preparing a balanced schedule.

“[College] is not very structured, so you get to control your own schedule, which is nice but also difficult,” explained Alaine Coffey ‘19. “I try to work during the day so my evenings are free.”

Sometimes,however, the challenges are not as expected.

“A challenge that I felt unprepared for was having to pick out an outfit every day,” Taylor Kirchgessner ‘19, admitted. “I’ve worn a uniform to school every day since I was six.”

Students who came from public schools would not consider something as simple as picking an outfit to be difficult, but Kirchgessner came from a boarding school where students only wore the school uniform. The flexible atmosphere of college is an even more significant change from high school for students like Kirchgessner.

Some students are struggling to find ways to afford the ever-increasing cost of a college education. The challenge is less involved with the social atmosphere and more with the affordability.

Christopher Carter ‘19 experienced his most difficult challenge during his senior of high school. “I didn’t come across any challenges because I have been independent for a while. I started working last year to start saving for college,” Carter explained. “I overcame my challenges last year when I knew that I had to start saving for college.”

The social scene at Trinity can also be stressful for some first-year students. The partying atmosphere is slowly becoming a less primary aspect of the campus life, but the pressure to attend social gatherings on the weekends sometimes exceeds the pressure to complete academic assignments.

“I found that trying to be myself rather than doing what seemed cool, or what would help me fit in, was difficult,” Mike Zarra ‘19 said. “At home, you have a support system of people who love you unconditionally, and when living independently on campus, you’re challenged with being your own support system.”

The most important part of dealing with these new challenges is to find ways to solve the problems as soon as possible.

Kirchgessner made her situation less challenging by “picking out my outfits the night before so I’m not scrambling [the next morning].”

Zarra learned “that it’s okay to look in the mirror and say ‘good job.’ And I rose to the opportunity for improvement by making new supports and fostering the ones that still remained. Roommates are a great new resource for second opinions.”

Whenever an individual struggles with a new challenge, it is necessary to be proactive and to find ways to make new life on campus less daunting. And, if you cannot find the solution yourself, never be afraid to reach out for advice from a peer or mentor.

A final piece of motivational advice from Zarra: “No matter how scary leaving the comfort of home is, I hope everyone finds the courage within themselves to be who they truly are. A diverse world is much more interesting.”

Revocation of co-ed mandate devalues Trinity degree



What do you think of President Berger-Sweeney’s ultimate decision that led to the revocation of the co-educational mandate?  Take this simple quiz!

Let’s begin the semester with a little multiple choice quiz. The topic of said quiz is the future of Trinity College’s “Big Three” fraternities: St. Anthony Hall, Psi Upsilon, and Alpha Delta Phi.

Some similar questions could be, and have been, raised about other single sex social organizations, but these three are the paradigms of exclusivity and privilege on this campus.  These organizations all culminate on Friday and Saturday nights to shape the social scene and they appear to completely dominate the perceived social life of the College.

We will give you the three possible response options first, in the form of plans to be implemented and acted upon by Trinity College. See the below plans and evaluate them  as you please; it is a crucial decision and careful judgment is very necessary.

Plan A:  The “Big Three” carry on but without buildings.  Instead, their three houses become available to all students as theme houses.  Periodically, any interested group proposes a theme for one of the houses and a campus-wide referendum decides. Ogilby, a dorm currently owned by the College but exclusively controlled by a fraternity, becomes part of the campus housing stock (A+!).

Plan B:  The “Big Three” carry on in their houses, but membership and power is shared 50-50 between female and male members.  This has twice been mandated by the Trustees of the College, most recently by a unanimous vote in 2012.

Plan C:  The “Big Three” carry on in their buildings as they always have, two of them (as always) with membership, power, and privilege exclusively given to males.  As everyone knows, this was announced as the new plan on September 4, in explicit repudiation of Plan B. Plan C is not a subtle adjustment but big news.  (It was front page in the Courant and soon to be a story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Now for the questions.

1. Under which plan will women and men on this  campus feel safest and most protected from the threat of sexual assault?

2. Under which plan will women and students who happen not to be interested in joining a fraternity feel the most opportunity to shape the social and residential life of the College?

3. Which plan will improve housing options and opportunities for all students?

4. Which plan will most reduce the number of students transferring to other colleges, most of whom cite the constricted social life of  Trinity as their reason for transferring?

5. Which plan will suggest to applicants that Trinity truly welcomes applicants from a diversity of backgrounds and lifestyles?

6. Which plan will suggest to potential applicants (and their parents) that Trinity offers a safe social environment, an engaged intellectual community, and a good start on a happy, healthy life?

7. Which plan will signal to alumni who have been alienated by memories of social exclusion that their alma mater is changing for the better?

8. Which plan will most help to overcome the “party school” image that adheres like a bad smell to every Trinity resume and every transcript?

9. Which plan will most likely improve Trinity’s reputation in college guides and rankings?

10. Which plan is most supportive of the College mission “to foster critical thinking, free the mind of parochialism and prejudice, and prepare students to lead examined lives that are personally satisfying, civically responsible, and socially useful”?

Scoring: you can score yourself as you please, but the wider world of higher education in the United States, including everyone on campus and everyone who might someday apply, will certainly be keeping score; the bottom line is the value of a Trinity degree.

Food Dudes: Kansas City barbeque comes to Hartford



According to pitmaster and owner of Bear’s Smokehouse Jamie McDonald, as he explained in an interview with NBC Connecticut, “If you don’t smell smoke in a barbecue place then they aren’t cooking fresh.” Located in downtown Hartford, you cannot get within two blocks of Bear’s without smelling the wood smoke.

A larger than life bear mural marks the façade of the restaurant, located in an up-and coming area of downtown. The interior of the restaurant evokes an industrial style, with many wood and metal elements. The menu is written in chalk and the ordering process is cafeteria-style, with customers adding more and more food to their trays as they move down the line. Seating is casual, with seats and long tables, and outside there is a terrace for spillover when the weather is nice. Peak hours do get crowded, but turnover is relatively high and customers usually do not have to wait for an open table.

Jamie McDonald traces his roots back to Kansas City, and he brings the Kansas City ‘burnt ends’ specialty to his menu. Considered a delicacy by barbecue aficionados, the burnt ends are the flavorful point ends of the brisket. Not only does Jamie smoke his meats to perfection, but he can probably eat more than you.

Jamie earned the nickname “The Bear” during his career as a competitive eater. One of his capstone achievements was downing 287 chicken wings in just a half hour. In case you were wondering, that is one wing every six seconds. If that feat does not intimidate you, Jamie offers what he calls the Grizzly Challenge. If you and a friend can eat more meat than him in 10 minutes, you win $1,000.

Bear’s offers eight different kinds of meat: brisket, burnt ends, kielbasa, pulled pork, turkey, chicken Texas sausage, and ribs. Sides include mac and cheese, fries, smoked barbeque beans, a baked potato, cornbread, and coleslaw. There is also a variety of meal formats to try. Customers can order a one, two, or three-meat combo, each of which comes with a choice of two sides. Bear’s also has sandwiches with your choice of meat, which you can upgrade to “bear size” for a small upcharge. The “mac attack” features a hefty portion of mac and cheese topped with your choice of meat.

For starters, do not miss out on the smoked wings or moink balls- a smoked meatball wrapped in bacon. The moink balls sell out quick, so do not be disappointed if you have to come back for them. After you order your meat, the server working the cafeteria line will ask if you want sauce. The sauces are great and you can pick between sweet or spicy. If you choose to opt out, they have an even wider selection of sauces by the drink station after you pay. There is a good selection of craft beers and some interesting sodas as well.

I ordered the two-meat combo with pulled pork and brisket. Initially I tried to order the pork and burnt ends, but they were already sold out of burnt ends for the night at 6:45 p.m. The server explained to me that the burnt ends are one of their most popular items. For my sides I chose mac and cheese and smoked BBQ beans. I added a piece of cornbread as well.

The meats were out of control good. The pulled pork was juicy and flavorful. The brisket had a delicious, meaty, smoky flavor. The brisket was prepared perfectly; it was melt in your mouth tender, but still had a nice firm bite to it.

I asked for a little bit of the spicy sauce, which turned out to be sweet with a bit of a kick, but definitely not overwhelming, especially if you like hot foods. The smoked barbeque beans were delicious and I was pleasantly surprised to find chunks of pulled pork mixed in with them which add extra flavor. The cornbread was also a great addition to my meal. I used it to soak up all the amazing sauce at the end.

The portions are large so bring your appetite and you will not be disappointed. Bear’s is a definitely a gem – tucked into downtown Hartford, the restaurant is a must visit if you are craving some old-school comfort food.

As if the tasty barbecue wasn’t enough, owner Jamie is a Trinity Alumnus – he graduated IDP class of 2000 with a major in economics.

Bear’s Smokehouse Barbecue address is 89 Arch Street, Hartford, CT 06103 or contact them by calling at (860) 724-3100.

Lyman Orchards offers a quintessential New England day



Lyman Orchards is tucked away in the small town of Middlefield, Connecticut. The beautiful, rolling orchard is only a 30-minute drive away from Trinity and offers a great escape from the constant noise of Hartford. While the temperatures are still high, it’s a good time to take advantage of the summer and fall activities Lyman offers as we’re in this in between season.

In the fall, the “pick your own” section of Lyman is composed of hundreds of varieties of apples, peaches, pears, Asian pears, and pumpkins. Some of the summer fruits are still available too, such as strawberries and blueberries.

As you drive through the orchard, there are stands along the road in areas for picking where staff will provide you with bags and directions to your favorite fruits. After you spend about an hour wandering around and pretending you know the method for picking the best apple, pear, or peach, you head right back to the stand where you got your bags to weigh and pay.

While we waited for our fruit to be weighed, we were expecting it to be ridiculously expensive given the quality of the fruit and the farmers market atmosphere, but only ended up paying $16 for a dozen and a half big apples (Gala, McIntosh, and Honeycrisp), half a dozen peaches, and half a dozen pears.

For those who don’t have the time or desire to pick their own fruit, there’s the store, Apple Barrel. Inside the store, you can buy every type of fruit and vegetable grown on the estate as well as grab a yummy bite to eat. Their bakery boasts every type of apple pastry you can think of: apple pie, apple crumb cake, apple cider donuts, apple cupcakes, apple turnovers, apple pie pockets, apple croissants, and more. Then, for the ones without as much of a sweet tooth, there’s a vast assortment of sandwiches that showcase their fresh produce and support of local businesses.

In addition to all of their food related offerings, Lyman also takes advantage of their hundreds of acres in other ways. There are three golf courses on the property, two 18-hole and one 9-hole.Then for both younger kids and adults alike, they have a corn maze that’s open daily in the fall.

If you don’t have time to make it out to the orchard, but still want a taste of their famous pie, you can actually find them at local grocery markets such as Big Y and Weis. Before it becomes to cold, it’s best to take advantage of this old fall activity.

Mugatunes brings new, quality playlists to students



Walking around Trinity’s campus, you probably notice stickers printed in red and white with the words “No Sh***y Music” posted on walls, exit signs, street lamps, and laptops. With students blasting music from their Jarvis suites or during practice on the field, there is a high demand for quality playlists to jam out to with friends. A group of Trinity students decide to fulfill this need not only on Trinity’s campus, but at schools all across the country.

R.J. Ugolik, Rob Gau, Drew Meagher, Stefan Harnes, and Stephan Morse met during their freshman year at Trinity while living together in North Campus and bonded over each other’s unique musical tastes. Together, they came up with the idea for Mugatunes, an online intercollegiate community where users can find the best new music, handpicked by music lovers on their respective campuses.

In a Tripod exclusive interview with Ugolik, he explained, “The idea started out simply as a way for a bunch of roommates in Jarvis to keep up with the newest music as it came out. As many college students are, we were plugged in for a good portion of the day, and it was senseless not to be sharing the music we were listening to with one another.” Using the catchphrase, “No Sh***y Music,” Mugatunes “sift[s] through the sh*t and delivers the best sounds to those in search of them.”

The guys at Mugatunes owe their most recent success to Viewpoint Creative, a creative agency aimed at assisting startup companies with marketing strategies and publicity. Mugatunes was the 2015 winner of The Ad Club’s 2nd Annual Brandathon, which paired Viewpoint Creative and Mugatunes together.

“Their team took all of our previous work and channeled it into a brilliant branding campaign, so it can resonate more with our target demographic of college students. They spent 72 hours straight brainstorming clever taglines, brochures, posters, graphics, video – you name it,” Ugolik revealed. He recognizes how helpful their efforts with Viewpoint Creative have been, describing their collaboration as a “tremendous opportunity to work with the same people who are responsible for branding companies such as HBO and ESPN, and it taught us a lot about thinking outside the box when it comes to growing a brand. We’re now putting the finishing touches on them and sending the digital content/physical materials out to our participating schools.”

Given their inspiration from being in a college setting, Mugatunes has found a way to involve students all across the country. They try to keep in touch with collegiates, even engaging them down to the name of their company.

Ugolik explained, “The name “Mugatunes” is based off Will Ferrel’s character in Zoolander, and I think that appealed to a lot of our peers when we first started.”

Megatunes currently has a presence at thirty campuses including 8 of the 11 NESCACs, and bigger schools like Michigan State, Arizona State, Penn State, and San Diego State University.

Ugolik describes Mugatune’s long term goals, including “curat[ing] an assortment of campus-specific content, and hopefully have it on enough campuses so that it can keep growing on its own. He continued, “We tirelessly cultivated a culture based on the idea of #NoSh***y Music at Trinity, and now we’re starting to see it happen in real-time at other campuses which is pretty cool.”

Ugolik shared the impact the brand has had on his own college experience and what he hopes for others to gain from being involved.

“For starters, Mugatunes has been one of the most enlightening and educational elements of my collegiate experience. In addition to being a great way for students to develop their resume and online presence, joining the team allows for an introduction to new-age journalism, public relations, social media and marketing that cannot be found elsewhere. Ideal candidates of Mugatunes become Editors in Chief on their campus, who then build a team of contributing authors with diverse interests and tastes. Authors post music they discover (often via SoundCloud) on their campus’ page, publish articles about what’s going on in music, art and culture, as well as create themed playlists celebrating their unique campus life and aestheticism. As a result of establishing a campus presence that spans the country, those involved gain access to a vast network of opportunities in an industry that is currently experiencing exponential growth.”

With a school full of aspiring business owners and creative thinkers, Ugolik urges Trinity students to “stop sitting on [an idea] and act.” “Don’t wait. Humans have figured out how to make more of just about everything in this world except time… As we found out, there’s a market for pretty much anything if you’re willing to do the work necessary to build it. I hate to sound so cliche but as the saying goes, if you build it…”

The machines are coming and they’re taking away jobs




In the early 1800s, a group of Luddites stormed Nottingham factories at night and destroyed the machines in them, taking out their anger on the products of the industrial revolution that had taken away jobs and displaced their communities from the workplace. In 2015, the New York Times published an article titled “The Machines Are Coming,” making the case that the increased availability and capabilities of machines are taking away the leverage of workers in employment negotiations. The trend of seeing machines as a danger to the worker and seeking to limit their impact seems to have never ended. People love new technology universally in our phones, in our homes, and in our cars. Why not in the workplace? It would be difficult to say that technology has ever created something ‘new;’ instead, it expands the functions that are already available to us. My iPhone and Facebook let me have conversations with my friends on the other side of the country, or the world, but both of these are essentially a face-to-face conversation, or a carrier pigeon, refitted and expanded. This expansion of human capabilities has allowed people to do things like apply for internships around the world, manage enormous multinational corporations, and build newer, better, iPhones. Technology expands our capabilities almost to an infinite degree. Now, read ‘human worker’ for ‘carrier pigeon,’ and ‘machine’ for ‘Facebook.’ The opposition of workers to the rise of machines in a competitive market becomes clear. Machines don’t get sick or pregnant, don’t take breaks, don’t make mistakes unless they were designed incorrectly, and can work around the clock at a productivity exponentially higher than humans, at least for most manufacturing jobs. It’s not just ‘unskilled’ manual labor jobs that are affected either; machines are being built and used to replace lab technicians, headhunters, advertisers, etc. Recently in Europe, a man was arrested for using a stock-trading algorithm so efficient and fast that it crashed global markets. In my own research on mining in Native American reservations, I’ve found that Rio Tinto, a large British-Australian mining company, is working on completing the Mine of the Future TM. An entirely mechanized mine that can be operated, or left on manual, from a remote office. There is a clear danger in mechanization for operations that become economically threatening when carried out rapidly on a grand scale, like stock trading and mining. The danger in mechanizing jobs like advertising, iPhone construction, and medical diagnoses is less obvious. Replacing workers with machines does not simply lead to new jobs. People are specialized in their labor, or lack the skills, training or education necessary to move on to another job. A welder, for example, who has been doing the same job for years and lacks the transferrable skills that, perhaps, a liberal arts education offers, is likely to have a hard time finding a new source of employment if his or her job is taken by a machine. In a capitalist structure, employment is necessary for survival. Socialist structures, like welfare, can sometimes make the difference between life and death, but are unable to provide someone the autonomy they need to live a satisfying life. The UN 1994 Development Report, which set the foundation for the study of ‘human security,’ lays out high unemployment explicitly as a barrier that keeps people from achieving satisfying lives and interacting fully with their communities. Without money to buy and experience food, transportation, child services, birth control, poetry and movie tickets, it’s difficult to engage with others. The danger in high levels of mechanization isn’t improved efficiency, or the displacement of workers from their jobs, it’s the fact that this is occurring in the political and economic structure of capitalism where unemployment means death or debilitation. The counterargument is ubiquitous, and fair: people should educate themselves and gain new skills, or get a new job. In America, there are about three unemployed people for every open job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, so that doesn’t hold much weight. In addition, there’s the issue of non-transferrable skills and education, as mentioned earlier. One could also say that manufacturing machines create more jobs for workers that are tasked with collecting raw materials. However, besides these jobs being more prone to wage depression, since there are more people competing for low-skill positions, the rise of machines doing ‘emotional’ or ‘intellectual’ labor means that even those small economic openings won’t be happening. Even the process of industry mechanization itself contradicts the capitalist philosophy of individualism, the mechanism of the ‘bootstraps.’ If the premise of people needing to work, to ‘create wealth’ in order to achieve sustenance is true, private ownership of machines and their products makes no sense. The only difference is the capital input. I own the products that the workers within it create, because the factory could not have been possible without my initial capital. First on this, there are historical, political, and demographic-based reasons why peoples’ capability to buy factories. Families today can trace their wealth back to the free land, previously owned by Indigenous people, given away by the U.S. government in the Homestead Acts to white families only. Other families with deeper roots can trace their wealth back to slavery, and regardless of whether the following generations have been morally aligned with or active participants in this system, they continue to reap the benefits of that unpaid labor. The end result is that, in a mechanized world, it’s far easier to fall into the lower class. Why are people opposed to the rise of efficient technology in the workplace? Because the background of post-industrial capitalism these occur in, where ownership is paradoxically treated as a way to rise to the top of a meritocracy, while the working class is less and less able to hold leverage over their employers. Hopefully the modern communities of displaced workers, growing every day in a world where 80 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the population combined, will identify the enemy as private ownership and global, inescapable, capitalism.

Alumnus writes open letter to President Berger-Sweeney




Dear President Berger-Sweeney:

As a member of the Class of 1980, I have been receiving calls, e-mails, and letters about my upcoming 35th Reunion. Instead of looking forward to what should be a joyful occasion, however, I am filled with angst. For the past two years, my relationship with my alma mater has been clouded by the College’s ill-conceived ban on single-sex organizations, which threatens the existence of my fraternity. I am a proud member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity (Pike). Lest someone my age be stereotyped as some “Animal House” frat boy, please know that I graduated Salutatorian Optimus, and among other things, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, was a Teaching assistant in history and psychology, was a four-year member of the SGA, wrote for the Tripod, wrestled and played lacrosse. I was not unique in accomplishing so many things. The year after I graduated, a Pike brother was Valedictorian, while also a classics major and a member of the fencing team.

It is beyond dispute that some people thrive in single-sex groups. As a liberal arts institution, Trinity should offer choice and the opportunity to be in single-sex organizations. When I was at Trinity, students were free to join single sex organizations, co-ed ones, or none at all, and that is the way it should be. Being in a fraternity was one of the highlights of my Trinity experience and it served as a bedrock, which enabled me to achieve the success that I did. When I think about Trinity, my fraternity is one of the first things to flash in my mind, counterbalancing the horrible winters and bad neighborhood to give me a good feeling about the College.

Suffering collateral damage in the backlash against fraternities are the young women who belong to single sex sororities. There were no sororities at Trinity during my time. My first experience with them occurred after I met my soon to be wife. She had been a member of Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Virginia. After she moved to New York City, where we met, she became advisor to the chapter forming at Columbia, which had recently become co-ed. Through her I saw the benefits to women of being in single-sex organizations, as they shared interests in an environment that was free of male influence. This is not something which is limited to the college years. My wife still enjoys being in two all-women book clubs and a women’s networking group.

I have heard the argument that the fraternities dominate the social life at Trinity. The College claims that they would step in to the void if they were gone with College-promoted functions, but everyone agrees that College-run parties are not as much fun. I can confirm the sentiment was the same in the 1970s. As a member of the SGA, I helped to organize the parties, and I clearly remember being asked by the roadies of the band Pure Prairie League to help carry a piano up the Mather stairs to the Washington room. The reason that Greek run functions are better and will always be better is because they are each run by committed people who are putting their energy, passion, and own money into making the party a success. This comes with being a member of a brotherhood or sisterhood and can never be duplicated by the SGA. The beneficiaries of this spirit, passion, and effort are the other Trinity students who do not belong to that Greek organization.

While much has been said about the fraternities promoting binge drinking on campus, we all know that the fraternities alone cannot be blamed for this. When I was at Trinity, the drinking age was 18 and we had beer on tap in Pike 24/7. Yet, there were no horrors that have been assumed. I agree that underage drinking should be policed and that things should be done in moderation, but banning single-sex organizations is not the way to achieve that.

When I left Trinity, it was a top 25 college vying with Amherst and Williams. Since then, its national rankings and reputation have plummeted. Trinity will only continue to decline if it cannot attract the best students and it will not get the best students if they are arbitrarily precluded from participating in single-sex organizations. When I visit high schools as an Alumni Support Representative, I am universally asked “I hear Trinity is going to close all the fraternities.” I currently have two sons in college and they chose not to attend Trinity because, much to my dismay, I had to tell them that I could not guarantee that they would have the same fantastic experience that I had. My high school sophomore daughter is similarly concerned. To improve Trinity, we need a rational approach that will gain the unified support of alumni, current students, and faculty. We should all be focusing on developing that approach rather than having fraternities and sororities dreading when the other shoe will drop, scaring off applicants, having alumni close their pocketbooks, and gearing up for litigation. To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, President Berger-Sweeney, tear up that policy!

Lilly Pulitzer is fashion, despite recent criticism




Lilly Pulitzer, a brand that emulates love for pink, parties, and prints, is suddenly experiencing backlash after two controversial events came ashore last week. First, was the release of a collaboration between discount retailer Target and Lilly Pulitzer. Target is known for teaming up with high-end designers to offer affordable versions of highly coveted items. However, this collection between the bull’s-eye brand and the ‘Queen of Prep’ drew more attention and debate than ever before. While some fans of the brand were looking forward to adding — or starting — their collection of Lilly, others were not so pleased. One overly emotional tween girl tweeted, “Lilly Pulitzer is turning over her grave right now that her legacy is being sold at TARGET.”

Then, there was the issue of the Washington Post article titled, “Lilly Pulitzer may be good for retail, but it’s terrible fashion.” Robin Givhan, author of the post, shared her belief that “Lilly Pulitzer is not fashion. It is clothes.” I, among many others, were outraged over this claim. I think it is fair to say that Lilly Pulitzer never has been, nor is trying to be, a haute couture brand. However, that does not mean it is not fashion. Lilly Pulitzer has been loved by women and men for decades. It is timeless, undeniably preppy, American apparel. It may not be fashion in the sense that there is a highly anticipated runway show twice a year, and that it may not grace the backs of Vogue cover models, but it is also not a symbol of where one summers or attended boarding school. It is a symbol of happiness, a bright spirit, and an acceptance of femininity.

Perhaps the deals at Target were not as large of a difference as a mark down of “a Rodarte dress normally [costing] a customer anywhere from $3,000 on up. But mostly everything in the Target collection was less than $100.” One of the goals of the Target collection is to offer designer pieces for loyal lovers of the given brand at an affordable price. There are girls all over the country lusting over a Lilly dress the same way they are a Missoni scarf. Perhaps at their original prices, Lilly Pulitzer is less expensive than Missoni, but at the end of the day, those who have hoped to own a Lilly dress finally can. Some Lilly owners didn’t like the Target collection because it was giving others a chance to wear something that they believed they were somehow entitled to. The rage and anger all over social media is surely not what Ms. Pulitzer herself would have wanted. Lisa Birnbach, author of the preppy bible “The Official Preppy Handbook,” shared her thoughts, stating, “Down to earth and earthy, she decorated her house with good stuff and with papier-mâché gewgaws…Pulitzer, despite her last name, was no snob.”

Robin Givhan claims that “Anyone can work hard and save up enough cash to go out and purchase a Chanel suit or a Gucci handbag…But Lilly Pulitzer suggests an advantage of birth.” Who is Givhan to say that merely the 1 percent are the only wearers of Lilly? Or that those who choose to wear Lily are somehow pretentious? I, for one, look forward to the bi-annual Lilly Pulitzer sale in which dresses are marked down from $188 to $59, and scarves normally retailed at $118 are sold for approximately $29. During Lilly’s After-Cheer sale at the beginning of January, I woke up at 6:45 a.m. on my winter break to shop pages and pages of seaside-inspired clothing. Though I was able to purchase a few pieces before they sold out, I later went on the site only to find that I was approximately 43,582 in line to visit the website. For some, this sale is just an opportunity to pick up a few things at a discounted price, while for others, it’s the chance to finally afford the shift dress they’ve been looking at since its April release at a reasonable price.

Lilly possesses a unique quality that every girl can identify with in a way that one can’t with a higher end brand such as Chanel or Gucci. Whether or not one chooses to wear pink flamingo printed dresses at age 25 is up to them, but most girls have at some point had a love for pink, bows, lace, tassels, etc. You don’t have to live on Worth Avenue to identify with the brand.

Michaela English, senior web editor of Town & Country, also wrote an article defending her love for Lilly Pulitzer, stating that “I embrace Lilly Pulitzer—and have for decades. In fact, I feel empowered walking the streets of New York City, where the majority of people wear head-to-toe black, in my bright green and pink jungle print shift dresses. I confidently walk into soirées like The Frick Collection’s Summer Garden Party decked out in a Lilly Pulitzer print maxi gown.” Lilly Pulitzer, recognizing this dedication among its consumers, started a campaign known as, “I remember my first Lilly.” Customers could share photos and stories of their first Lilly product ever received and what it means to them. While all individuals have a treasured accessory in their closet, Lilly Pulitzer wants all of their customers to be able to embrace the importance of every piece of their apparel.

Lilly created something that girls have loved and identified with for years. “Lilly Pulitzer is classic. It is always hanging on a rack somewhere, everywhere, in all of its pineapple-print, feel-good, preppy psychedelia.” Givhan sees this as a negative. However, I prefer to invest in a piece that I know I will be able to pass down to my daughters and their daughters. Lilly is timeless. English would agree, also sharing the memories threaded into her shift dresses stating that, “Lilly is a brand that has spanned all different times of my life, from attending school dances in middle school to my seat as senior web editor here at Town & Country.”

I can’t say Givhen’s opinion that “the clothes are, upon close inspection, not so terribly attractive,” is wrong as everyone has their own personal tastes. However, this does not advance her argument in anyway. I, among many other women and men, personally do not find a wardrobe of black, leather, and lace attractive. It may be fashionable and trendy, but it is not something I personally would wear. Nevertheless, I admire individuals who have clearly taken the time to invest in quality products and made sure their outfit looks good. Sure, students at schools which embody more of a ‘hipster’ vibe, like Sarah Lawrence or Bard, compared to the prepiness seen at Trinity, may not be walking around strutting highly coveted “You Gotta Regatta” printed shorts. That sense of fashion may have a higher appreciation for a plaid shirt and ripped jeans found at a thrift store. In that sense, there is no denying that Lilly does attract a specific customer.

A Lilly dress or pair of pants is just as much a work of art as any couture brand. The company uses a different, clearly identifiable trait in their clothing that distinguished the brand in the first place, the prints. Lilly employees hand paint each bold print and then executives carefully select the best ones to create a line of shirts, shifts, and skorts from. It is not computer generated or purchased from a shelf in a fabric warehouse. The artists are trained to paint in the Lilly way and look at inspiring images of architecture, travel destinations, and vintage photos to create every signature print.

Consumers of Lilly Pulitzer aren’t investing in a dress or a bowtie. They are investing in a lifestyle and mindset that they identify with. At the end of the day, a girl walking around in a cobalt blue skirt with starfish printed over it loves what she is wearing and feels happy. My roommate tells me that I look happier when I am wearing my Lilly dresses and I know I am! As a Lilly girl, I’m going to remain positive and say that since everyone is entitiled to their opinion, I am entitled to love my Lilly. Life is a party and we should want as many people as possible to join in the festivities.

Tripod Athlete of the Week : Martha Griffin ’16



The Trinity College Women’s Lacrosse Team has devastated the NESCAC throughout their season and is prepared to take out Tufts in their highly anticipated playoff run. One of the highlights of this already astounding team is midfielder Martha Griffin ’16, who has left a huge impact on the team during her stay at Trinity. In her sophomore year alone Griffin led in team goals at 42, which contributed to making her the 9th highest scorer in the NESCAC at 62 goals. Griffin was also nominated for the IWLCA Division III All-Berkshire Region First Team and she has only improved. This year, Griffin was nominated for the 2015 Tewaaraton Award, which recognizes the best male and female lacrosse player in the nation. Considering that she’s the only non-Division I nominee for the award, Griffin’s play has made a huge impression on the college lacrosse community.

A driving factor behind Griffin’s love of sports has always been her father. “He is without a doubt my number one fan and throughout my whole life has always supported me in any athletic endeavor I jumped into. He may not understand all the rules of women’s lacrosse, but when I look up into the stands I can see the joy that comes from him watching me play the sport I love. I know that he is so proud of the athlete I have become and I must say that I owe it all to him.” While Griffin’s father guided her through athletics, her decision to pursue lacrosse was a late one. “I did not start playing lacrosse until my freshman year of high school, so in the beginning my experience with the sport was very carefree! It wasn’t until my junior year that I decided that lacrosse may be a sport that I wanted to pursue in college, so I joined Revolution Lacrosse (REV) – a club team out of Massachusetts. REV was intense! I had never dedicated more time to one sport in my life, but it was definitely worth it and got me here!”

This intense program certainly helped to develop Griffin and her team. The team has an almost perfect record of 15-1, with one of the season’s highlights being a 16-7 win against rival Middlebury. “Every year our Middlebury game is intense. Not only are they some of the best competition in the NESCAC, but the two teams have a long historic rivalry. With that said, this year came with a bit of extra baggage because it was our senior day! I was so happy when we pulled out with a big win. It was a great moment for the seniors and the team as a whole.” Overall, Griffin is looking forward to the rest of the playoffs. “Coming off last weekend’s win, I can only see things going up from here. Our coach expects us to come out to every game and every practice seeking to improve from the one before – and I believe that we have done just that since the start of our season.   Not only is one of our best players and senior captain, Caroline Hayes, rejoining us from an injury, but this team has so much potential and such a desire to get back to that national championship game. I believe we will and I can only hope we take it home this time around.”

Men’s Lacrosse ends season with nail-biter against Amherst



This past Wednesday the Men’s Lacrosse squad marched out to Jessee Miller Field for their last match of the 2014-15 season, and the last time eleven seniors would put on their Bantam uniforms. Needless to say, emotions were running high, and the boys came out firing at the start of the game, taking a quick 3-0 lead in just over four and half minutes of play. On the opposing bench stood Amherst College, and despite sporting their hideous school color scheme, and having arguably the worst mascot on the East Coast (The Lord Jefferies), the team has had a strong season and came into the match with only one loss to Middlebury back in March.  However, the game is not played on paper, and it was clear from the opening faceoff, that the team was ready to compete.

The Bantams got on the board first with an unassisted goal from midfielder Michael McQuiston ’16 who blasted it by Amherst’s corn-fed keeper out of Kentucky, Cody Tranbarger. McQuiston would go on to have a career day, and continued to give Tranbarger trouble throughout the game.  The Bantams scored two more quick goals to give them a 3-0 lead at the start of the game.  But Amherst battled back, and had a four goal run later in the quarter to end the first leg of the game at five goals apiece.  This quarter would foreshadow a long, back-and-forth offensive showcase for the remainder of the game that would have six ties and seven lead changes.

In the second quarter, both teams went on a set of consecutive goals, that resulted in a 9-7 lead for the Lord Jeffs heading into halftime. Amherst goalie Tranbarger and backup goalie out of Memphis, Tennessee, Rob Dickinson, headed out of the locker room early for warm-ups while fondly exchanging stories from their youth. Tranbarger was overheard reminiscing his first time cow tipping, and Dickinson was quick to counter with a riveting tale of his first kiss on the local hay bale ride. The two’s combined 47 cousins all made an appearance, and made up over half of the Amherst fan section.

Trinity came out of the halftime with a fast break and dominated the third quarter, outscoring Amherst 5-1. Michael McQuiston put an exclamation point on the quarter by putting his sixth goal of the day past Farmer Tranbarger. This time it was Trinity who went into the break with a two goal lead, 12-10.  The stage was set for an exciting final quarter filled with a lot of goal scoring.

After starting the fourth quarter with three unanswered goals, Amherst took a 13-12 lead with just over five minutes left in the contest.  Trinity knotted it up again just a minute later, and it appeared that the game would be headed to overtime until Amherst middie Connor Sheehan ‘18 scored off an assist from Quinn Maroney ‘16.  Maroney had six assists in the game, however his performance was overshadowed by Trinity’s McQuiston’s six goals.  Mutual friends of Maroney report his girlfriend changed her Facebook status to “it’s complicated” after receiving a copy of the stats sheet.  The Bantams were left with a bad taste in the their mouth, capping the season off with a loss on Senior Day. The Lord Jeffs left with the taste of hush puppies in their mouths, courtesy of Tranbarger and Dickinson.

On a serious note, it’s a disappointing loss, and not the way any team wants to end their season.  Despite a 4-11 record on paper, Trinity battled all season and had several close games against formidable opponents that don’t show up on the score sheet. The team combated injuries all season long, and while the team graduates eleven seniors, there is a ton of talent amongst the younger players, and a lot of potential for the coming seasons.

Difficult finish for both Men and Women’s Tennis




On April 25 the Trinity College Women’s Tennis Team dropped a 6-3 decision against the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds. Trinity dropped to 6-8, closing the regular season with two losses, while Skidmore improved to 11-8. Bantam co-captain Melita Ferjanic ’16 won in singles and doubles for the Bantams, teaming with classmate Morgan Feldman ’16 for a 9-7 triumph at No. 1 doubles and posting a hard-fought win at the top of the singles ladder, 2-6, 7-7 (7-3), 10-5. Rookie Vanja Babunski ’18 from Serbia won, 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3 singles to record the third and final Trinity point.

At Wesleyan on April 22, the Women’s team had suffered a similar loss 7-2. Trinity’s two points came from singles play where Feldman both secured straight set victories at the number two and number three slots respectively.

The visiting Trinity College Bantams dominated doubles play and the top-half of the singles ladder in a 6-3 victory over the Colby College Mules on April 19. Trinity outscored Colby by a combined tally of 24 -3 in doubles and won 6-0, 6-1, at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, and 6-1, 6-1 at third singles.

The Trinity College Men’s Tennis Team ended the regular season with a 5-1 loss at No. 14 Williams on Wednesday afternoon in NESCAC action. The Bantams will enter the post-season with a 10-4 overall record and 5-3 mark in league play, while the Ephs stand at 9-8 on the year and 3-3 in conference tilts heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

Trinity’s lone point on that afternoon came via an 8-6 victory at No. 3 doubles by the tandem of Ilya Levin ’15 and Rutendo Matingo ’17. The match at No. 1 was tightly contested as the Bantam duo of Ford Traff III ’16 and quad-captain Musyoka Mbithi ’15 dropped an 8-6 decision.

The contest was played to completion as Williams took singles matches at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 to seal the victory.

On April 19, the Men’s team had a decisive win over the Colby Mules with a final score of 7-2. At the number one doubles slot Traff and Mbithi narrowly edged out the Colby oppostion 9-8.

Other wins came with a little more ease, Dan Carpenter ’15 and David Myers ’15 took the number two doubles slot 8-3, while the number three doubles match was won  by Colby 8-4.

The singles matches were won at every level except the number two slot where Mbithi fell, 4-6, 3-6. Carpenter won at first singles while Matingo locked in the third singles position. Traff, Levin and Ned Mandel ’15 all won is straight sets as well only allowing a combined eight games to be scored by the fourth, fifth and sixth Colby singles  players.

For both the Men an the Women the conference tournament is scheduled to begin on May 1 and the teams are still awaiting the final bracket information to be released later this week. Both teams are predicted to be in the middle of the bracket.

Behind the scenes of this year’s Spring Weekend



After a wonderful Spring Weekend, I met with Griffin Hunt ’17, a member of Trinity College Barnyard Entertainment (TCBE) committee. This year, Hunt was the Chair of Design, and for Spring Weekend, he served as the Director of Artist Hospitality.

We met briefly to discuss TCBE’s hard work that went into the enjoyable weekend, their successes over the 2014-2015 academic year, and what the committee hopes to see in the future.

Margaret Anne Elias (MAE): How do you go about choosing an artist for Spring Weekend?

Griffin Hunt (GH): We start thinking about Spring Weekend and the artists in November and try to sign the artist through a third party booking agent shortly after Winter Break. We send out a survey to the student body to determine which genre people prefer, and we try our best to adhere to that. This year, the survey results told us people wanted EDM and Rap/Hip–Hop, and we were able to meet both requests by bringing both Kygo and Fashawn.

MAE: What is involved in the planning process of spring weekend?

GH: All of Barnyard’s subcommittees and several administrators (particularly Laura Whittemore, our faculty advisor) help to plan Spring Weekend — designing shirts, organizing security, booking vendors for the carnival, fabricating backstage passes, ensuring we meet contractual obligations, and dozens of other significant duties. While tons of planning goes into the months, weeks, and days before the concert, it all comes together in the hours leading up to Saturday’s concerts. Barnyard meets our production company at 8 a.m. on Saturday to hoist 500 pound cases of gear onto stage and assemble

production equipment and we set up the artists’ hospitality rooms, each with custom provisions as specified on their respective riders. Barnyard has a ton on its shoulders the day–of and its absolutely a labor of love; it’s a massive amount of work, but it unquestionably pays off when we see thousands of students on the LSC quad enjoying the music and making the most of the end of spring semester.

MAE: How can a student get involved in Barnyard? What are the different areas available?

GH: Students are invited to interview for a position at the beginning of both semesters through emailed invitations to the student body and a post on our official Facebook page (Trinity College Barnyard Entertainment). The President is the student–elected Programming Chair of SGA, while our two VPs are nominated and voted upon by Barnyard members. The rest of the committee is divided into four categories — design, outreach, decorations, and promotion — and each subcommittee appoints a chair.

MAE: What has been the most successful thing that Barnyard has done this year?

GH: It’s really hard to gauge what our most successful event has been, as our events range from simple sponsorships of athletic events (like Men’s Squash Nationals), to the hosting of the holiday dance in Vernon Social, to the organization of the enormous two–day campus festival that is Spring Weekend. Our budgets for these events vary widely, as does the number of attendees. That being said, this year’s Spring Weekend was absolutely unreal — we had hundreds of guests attend in addition to the thousand–plus Trinity students. Maybe I’m just a Kygo nerd, but I enjoyed Spring Weekend the most this year.

MAE: What was the biggest difficulty that the group came across?

GH: As with any sort of committee, delegating tasks and holding people accountable are the two primary difficulties we come across. That said, I’m so lucky to work with people who are passionate about the events we produce and who genuinely care about maintaining a positive campus climate.

MAE: What is the group atmosphere like? How do you guys all work together? Are you all close?

GH: Barnyard students come from different backgrounds and class years, and we all bring with us different experiences and ideas. On top of that, mostly everyone in Barnyard is involved with some other extracurricular, whether it be playing varsity tennis or working in the Writing Center. Because of this, we’re often able to collaborate with other campus organizations. Barnyard brainstorming sessions are this awesome melting pot of hilarious, absurd suggestions for events and we have to dial it back until we come up with something that’s realistic.

MAE: How do you hope to improve in the future?

GH: Internally, we hope to become more synchronized between the subcommittees and maintain open channels of dialogue about event ideas. In terms of events, we hope to continue building upon what has become a strong tradition of annual events with smaller, more accessible events sprinkled in between.

Krass and Co. offers a bright and bold take on athletic wear



College students lead extremely busy lives, often without the opportunity to rest during the day. Finding casual yet attractive apparel can be difficult, especially when one may need to transition from the gym to class to the library without any time to change outfits. In an exclusive interview with the Tripod, Pierson Krass, Lehigh University Class of 2013, discussed how he recognized the difficulty of being able to “look good but still be comfortable in class.” Using his background in marketing and entrepreneurship, Krass founded Krass and Co, a high end athletic wear company, during his freshman year at Lehigh.

Offering an overwhelming number of both printed and embroidered shorts for men and women in a variety of preppy patterns, Krass and Co. has brightened up stereotypical college clothing. Wearing a daily uniform of athletic shorts and a polo or button down shirt everyday to class, Krass “started to wonder why there weren’t any “classy” athletic shorts. That way [he] could look good but still be comfortable in class.” A former lacrosse player, Krass said that “when we first started, we made men’s athletic shorts and targeted lacrosse players, so we were essentially making preppy lacrosse shorts. As we grew, we realized that there were a lot of kids that didn’t play lacrosse that liked our shorts.” Krass realized the potential business in the women’s market, so he started designing shorts for female customers, “we went from a men’s lacrosse company to 80 percent of our sales coming from our women’s line.”

Krass is very aware of what high school and college students are looking for in their apparel. The current designs on shorts often feature summer inspired graphics like seahorses, anchors, palm trees, flamingos, and sailboats. Krass’ personal favorite is “the original Classic Lobster Shorts in navy because they started it at all.” Krass and Co. draws their customers in not only by attractive apparel, but also by their catchy captions. For example, the description of the Women’s Sailor Delight shorts – which I own and are undeniably comfortable – reads “Picture the perfect preppy day. Chances are it involves basking in the rays and sipping on your favorite drink while the boys are raising the sails. While we can’t put you back on the boat, we can help you exude the good times with a pair of our best-selling shorts.” This type of imagery truly defines both the Krass and Co. brand, and their customer.

Aside from vibrant hues and preppy patterns, Krass and Co. also features both college and greek lines, including Trinity’s own Pi Kappa Alpha and Kappa Kappa Gamma. Furthermore, he recognizes that many students take inspiration from fashion bloggers and style icons, so Krass and Co. has also teamed up with a number of preppy style icons including The College Prepster and Mackenzie Horan. These collaborations have been extremely successful in broadening Krass and Co’s customer base, as well as in promoting new designs.

Since Krass and Co. found its roots at college and effectively targets a student audience predominantly, they feature an extensive Brand Representative program, in which high school and college students can work alongside Krass to promote the brand across campuses. Besides receiving generous discounts on products, Brand Reps are able to gain experience in marketing, sales, and design. Most recently, Krass and Co. offered Brand Reps an opportunity to create and vote on a custom pair of shorts exclusively for Reps. The company also engages with its entire customer base through social media, such as by starting a campaign called “Best in Krass” in which buyers can take photos modeling their shorts and share the images using the hashtag #bestinkrass. This allows shoppers to see what the shorts look like on another individual while maintaining the sunny spirit of the brand.

When asked what advice Krass would give to aspiring entrepreneurs, he says “Just go for it! A lot of people get hung up on meticulously planning things and writing business plans. If you have an idea, the best way to see if it’s going to work is just go out and try it. You can’t be scared to fail or overthink things or you’ll never get anywhere.” Krass said that reflecting back, there are many aspects of starting his business that he would have changed, however, “you fail at things, learn from your mistakes, and then correct them.”

Over the next year, Krass and Co. plans to expand their line –  Krass said that customers can expect to see “pants (sweats and yoga), more top options, outerwear, accessories, and more. We really want to transition from being a “shorts company” to a full lifestyle brand.” Furthermore, they are planning to expand their distribution to over 500 locations. Krass and Co. has created products that will fit nearly any setting, ranging from the beach or to campus. The vibrant hues, classic and cheerful designs, and luxuriously comfortable fabrics are coveted across campuses nationwide. Visit for a full listing of styles and more information on the Brand Rep program.

Lilly Pulitzer is fashion, despite recent criticism



Lilly Pulitzer, a brand that emulates love for pink, parties, and prints, is suddenly experiencing backlash after two controversial events came ashore last week. First, was the release of a collaboration between discount retailer Target and Lilly Pulitzer. Target is known for teaming up with high-end designers to offer affordable versions of highly coveted items. However, this collection between the bull’s-eye brand and the ‘Queen of Prep’ drew more attention and debate than ever before. While some fans of the brand were looking forward to adding — or starting — their collection of Lilly, others were not so pleased. One overly emotional tween girl tweeted, “Lilly Pulitzer is turning over her grave right now that her legacy is being sold at TARGET.”

Then, there was the issue of the Washington Post article titled, “Lilly Pulitzer may be good for retail, but it’s terrible fashion.” Robin Givhan, author of the post, shared her belief that “Lilly Pulitzer is not fashion. It is clothes.” I, among many others, were outraged over this claim. I think it is fair to say that Lilly Pulitzer never has been, nor is trying to be, a haute couture brand. However, that does not mean it is not fashion. Lilly Pulitzer has been loved by women and men for decades. It is timeless, undeniably preppy, American apparel. It may not be fashion in the sense that there is a highly anticipated runway show twice a year, and that it may not grace the backs of Vogue cover models, but it is also not a symbol of where one summers or attended boarding school. It is a symbol of happiness, a bright spirit, and an acceptance of femininity.

Perhaps the deals at Target were not as large of a difference as a mark down of “a Rodarte dress normally [costing] a customer anywhere from $3,000 on up. But mostly everything in the Target collection was less than $100.” One of the goals of the Target collection is to offer designer pieces for loyal lovers of the given brand at an affordable price. There are girls all over the country lusting over a Lilly dress the same way they are a Missoni scarf. Perhaps at their original prices, Lilly Pulitzer is less expensive than Missoni, but at the end of the day, those who have hoped to own a Lilly dress finally can. Some Lilly owners didn’t like the Target collection because it was giving others a chance to wear something that they believed they were somehow entitled to. The rage and anger all over social media is surely not what Ms. Pulitzer herself would have wanted. Lisa Birnbach, author of the preppy bible “The Official Preppy Handbook,” shared her thoughts, stating, “Down to earth and earthy, she decorated her house with good stuff and with papier-mâché gewgaws…Pulitzer, despite her last name, was no snob.”

Robin Givhan claims that “Anyone can work hard and save up enough cash to go out and purchase a Chanel suit or a Gucci handbag…But Lilly Pulitzer suggests an advantage of birth.” Who is Givhan to say that merely the 1 percent are the only wearers of Lilly? Or that those who choose to wear Lily are somehow pretentious? I, for one, look forward to the bi-annual Lilly Pulitzer sale in which dresses are marked down from $188 to $59, and scarves normally retailed at $118 are sold for approximately $29. During Lilly’s After-Cheer sale at the beginning of January, I woke up at 6:45 a.m. on my winter break to shop pages and pages of seaside-inspired clothing. Though I was able to purchase a few pieces before they sold out, I later went on the site only to find that I was approximately 43,582 in line to visit the website. For some, this sale is just an opportunity to pick up a few things at a discounted price, while for others, it’s the chance to finally afford the shift dress they’ve been looking at since its April release at a reasonable price.

Lilly possesses a unique quality that every girl can identify with in a way that one can’t with a higher end brand such as Chanel or Gucci. Whether or not one chooses to wear pink flamingo printed dresses at age 25 is up to them, but most girls have at some point had a love for pink, bows, lace, tassels, etc. You don’t have to live on Worth Avenue to identify with the brand.

Michaela English, senior web editor of Town & Country, also wrote an article defending her love for Lilly Pulitzer, stating that “I embrace Lilly Pulitzer—and have for decades. In fact, I feel empowered walking the streets of New York City, where the majority of people wear head-to-toe black, in my bright green and pink jungle print shift dresses. I confidently walk into soirées like The Frick Collection’s Summer Garden Party decked out in a Lilly Pulitzer print maxi gown.” Lilly Pulitzer, recognizing this dedication among its consumers, started a campaign known as, “I remember my first Lilly.” Customers could share photos and stories of their first Lilly product ever received and what it means to them. While all individuals have a treasured accessory in their closet, Lilly Pulitzer wants all of their customers to be able to embrace the importance of every piece of their apparel.

Lilly created something that girls have loved and identified with for years. “Lilly Pulitzer is classic. It is always hanging on a rack somewhere, everywhere, in all of its pineapple-print, feel-good, preppy psychedelia.” Givhan sees this as a negative. However, I prefer to invest in a piece that I know I will be able to pass down to my daughters and their daughters. Lilly is timeless. English would agree, also sharing the memories threaded into her shift dresses stating that, “Lilly is a brand that has spanned all different times of my life, from attending school dances in middle school to my seat as senior web editor here at Town & Country.”

I can’t say Givhen’s opinion that “the clothes are, upon close inspection, not so terribly attractive,” is wrong as everyone has their own personal tastes. However, this does not advance her argument in anyway. I, among many other women and men, personally do not find a wardrobe of black, leather, and lace attractive. It may be fashionable and trendy, but it is not something I personally would wear. Nevertheless, I admire individuals who have clearly taken the time to invest in quality products and made sure their outfit looks good. Sure, students at schools which embody more of a ‘hipster’ vibe, like Sarah Lawrence or Bard, compared to the prepiness seen at Trinity, may not be walking around strutting highly coveted “You Gotta Regatta” printed shorts. That sense of fashion may have a higher appreciation for a plaid shirt and ripped jeans found at a thrift store. In that sense, there is no denying that Lilly does attract a specific customer.

A Lilly dress or pair of pants is just as much a work of art as any couture brand. The company uses a different, clearly identifiable trait in their clothing that distinguished the brand in the first place, the prints. Lilly employees hand paint each bold print and then executives carefully select the best ones to create a line of shirts, shifts, and skorts from. It is not computer generated or purchased from a shelf in a fabric warehouse. The artists are trained to paint in the Lilly way and look at inspiring images of architecture, travel destinations, and vintage photos to create every signature print.

Consumers of Lilly Pulitzer aren’t investing in a dress or a bowtie. They are investing in a lifestyle and mindset that they identify with. At the end of the day, a girl walking around in a cobalt blue skirt with starfish printed over it loves what she is wearing and feels happy. My roommate tells me that I look happier when I am wearing my Lilly dresses and I know I am! As a Lilly girl, I’m going to remain positive and say that since everyone is entitiled to their opinion, I am entitled to love my Lilly. Life is a party and we should want as many people as possible to join in the festivities.

Cinestudio review: Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”



A death in the family is a terrible thing, but more than that, it is deceptive. We imagine these moments of sorrow as poetic, or dramatic, or full of some kind of Shakespearean energy. But the truth is that when bad news hits home, the world doesn’t stop moving: a sunny day doesn’t just turn into a rainy one to match your pain. Real heartbreak lives in the everyday – a living room, a restaurant, or a random phone call at three in the morning after what might have been a nice evening. Somehow, random chance is not without a sense of irony.

The story of “Still Alice” is not technically about a death in the family, but the same rule applies. When successful New York City phonetics professor Alice (Julianne Moore) begins to forget a few little things in her daily life, like a word here and there, or the name of a friend of a friend, she passes it off as just another simple symptom of aging. But soon, it seems that there is something more going on. She visits a neurologist, and the news is not good. Alice gathers her adult children together in one of those everyday living rooms, and tells them her situation – she is a victim of the extremely rare illness known as early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

This means that within a few years, with a quickly diminishing ability to retain her memories, Alice will become more distant: her memory loss will quickly leave her without a personality, a stranger in her own life. Her family will support her – her three children (keep your eyes peeled for a predictably messy looking Kristen Stewart in one of her best roles) and her husband (Alec Baldwin) are all blindsided by the news, but do not fully understand what is coming. For all her poise and seeming preparedness, neither does Alice, and neither do we.

Julianne Moore won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Alice, and she deserved it. What she accomplishes in this performance is at once sharp and intensely precise, and somehow also warm and reassuring. While Alice is a special movie – almost a call to arms in the supposedly lacking field of Alzheimer’s care, the only thing you will remember is Julianne Moore and her gift for emotional involvement in her character. It’s no understatement to say that the entire film revolves around her – the main dynamic of “Still Alice” exists between Moore’s Alice and the fading world around her. The other characters are poignant enough, but serve first and foremost to support and backdrop the radiant redhead for whom the part of Alice was certainly written.

I mentioned deaths in the family earlier because these are what the film is designed to mirror – Alice knows that her disease will soon destroy her, no matter what happens. As she makes preparations for the future, and says goodbye to her family in every way that doesn’t actually include saying those words, the solid grounding of reality begins to fade, and gives way to a rain washed slur of an existence, like a name written on a wall that begins to seep away over time. We feel her going: It was probably tempting to show us Alice’s Journey as an episodic one, hopping from scene to scene and from one memory-loss gaff to another, but thankfully it is not so simple. Alice is not a child, and she tries her hardest to face up to her grim future. The film’s best and most devastating device is a certain video file that Alice leaves for herself – for when all hope is lost.

As her mind fades, she begins to exist more and more in the memories of those around her, easing from the present to the past tense. But because nothing is ever really lost, Alice is simply walking down the path from her full and vivid life into a place of existence only within the memories of her loved ones: her own have failed her.

“Still Alice” is as saddening as it is cathartic. It seems tailor made as a vehicle to the Best Actress Oscar, and so every scene is structured carefully to bring out the best in Julianne Moore. That does not mean it doesn’t have heart, though. In fact, while our heroine is still fighting against her illness, just as long as she keeps trying to win her battle, we’re right there with her, helping her along to whatever end. In other words, the viewer never gives up on her: We do not expect a recovery, but we wish to help her to her find some kind of peace.

And so, “Still Alice” is to be commended not simply for being a tearjerker, (trust me, it is) but more importantly for finding something beautiful and simple in one of the most dark and miserable places imaginable. After all, it is sometimes only by losing something that we can really understand it.

Trinity Chapel Singers to give final performance of the year



As the academic year winds down, it is time for the Chapel Singers’ annual spring concert, held on April 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel. As the oldest student organization on campus, the Chapel Singers have truly endured the test of time, and provided generations of Trinity students, graduates and their families with beautiful music. Gracing parishioners throughout the service, the Chapel Singers’ voices have a way of gently floating throughout the chapel, creating a magnificent, even   mystical, effect. What particularly strikes a listener about this group of 25 students is how different they all are as individuals, yet when they blend their voices and personal feelings for the lyrics, the music becomes inspired. Listening to them reminds one of a portion of a Maya Angelou quote, “in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

Devoted to their craft, members of the choir spend hours every week in practice to ensure every note, be it a thundering low or a lofty high, is perfect. This week’s concert is certainly another fine example of these high standards. Under the direction of John Rose, the Chapel Singers, as a group, has truly flourished. During his near 40-year career with the chapel as Director of Chapel Music, and College organist, John Rose and the Chapel Singers have traveled both the country and the world bringing their melodic talents with them, be it at local churches or St. Paul’s Cathedral, in London, England. The chapel is extremely fortunate to have such a talented group regularly gracing Sunday service. Those not regularly in attendance may find themselves really enjoying the upcoming concert as it is  a great way to expose oneself to a rich musical culture and a true Trinity tradition.

This week’s concert is the last for graduating seniors, and it encompasses a large body of material in the English choral tradition, which they have rehearsed and performed throughout their time at Trinity. Pieces selected will include works by S. S. Wesley, and C. H. H. Parry, and a magnificent cantata by Benjamin Britten, “Rejoice in the Lamb.”

This year, the Chapel Singers will be accompanied by world-renowned organist, Trinity graduate, artist-in-residence, Christopher Houlihan ’09 and current organ student Benjamin Gessner ’18. This performance is not to be missed as it is a final chance for many to make the Chapel Singers a part of their Trinity tradition, like so many others before them.

Trinity Bantam Artist of the week: Zoe Cennammi ’17



Zoe Cennami, ’17, is an integral part of Trinity College’s artistic community.  She is in Trinity’s musical house, The Mill, and also interns at Tai Soo Kim Partners for 10 hours a week.  At Tai Soo Kim Partners, she builds wooden models of various buildings, such as schools. She is an art history major with an architectural studies minor and she looks to famous architect Le Corbusier for inspiration on a daily basis. “I would love to be an architect after college,” said Cennami. “I want to go into work everyday and love what I do.”

Her ideal architectural styles are gothic and Islamic.  She specifically wants to design new sustainable buildings and help current buildings become more environmentally friendly.  Not only is she an artist, but also a philanthropist. Cennami said, “I would love to travel and help the underprivileged build better homes for their families—homes that have working water and sanitary living conditions.”

Cennami, passionate about her internship and clubs on campus, joined the Mill in September of 2014 and is currently on the e-board as the art director.  She manages the studio arts in the house, which involves choosing paintings and photographs to be displayed.  Her efforts have led to a new photo studio and a place for students to paint and draw. The Mill hosted two art gallery events this year. The first was called “Alternative beauty.” The gallery expressed a love for different types of beauty by portraying black and white photos of dying flowers and unconventional tattoos. The second gallery event that Cennammi helped put together was held this past Sunday, April 19 at the Mill  It was titled “Optimisinimalist Art.” Cennami told the Tripod, “I joined the Mill because I wanted to meet people who were artsy and different…a crowd outside of track, friends, classes, and the rest of Trinity.” She had always been interested in art, and the Mill provided the perfect opportunity to expand her artistic ability and meet new friends.

In addition to being part of the Mill, Cennami is a member of the Trinity College Track team, part of the Outdoors club, and Habitat for Humanity.  In her spare time, she likes to draw still lives and people. She prefers to work in pencil and chalk. She is looking forward to continuing her artistic career by taking an oil painting class next semester. In high school, Cennami was a master of acrylic painting, as she drew landscapes and fruit.  She finds art to be an escape. “Sometimes when I am in a bad mood, I’ll find a quiet place and just draw. Art is an expression of your emotions and perception of life. Everyone sees things in a different way, and I feel like art allows you to not only understand someone in a different light, but also allows people to converse and spread their ideas.”


TEDxTrincoll on the science of rethinking



After months of hard work, Trinity College was able to host its first ever thought-provoking TEDxTrinColl event this past April 18. TED is a nonprofit dedicated to spreading ideas, ranging from business and global issues to history and everything in between. These ideas are delivered through short 18 minute, well prepared talks, demonstrations, and performances that spark creativity to change attitudes, lives, and ultimately, the world. This year, under the leadership of Bhumika Choudhary ’18, Trinity embarked on the journey of independently coordinating a local gathering where live TED-like talks would be given around the theme “Rethink.” From this, TEDxTrinColl was born.

The event’s theme was meant to address certain misconceptions in different academic fields. This entailed answering questions people often are embarrassed to ask such as “who is General Tso and why are we eating his chicken?”  Hence, the speakers discussed rethinking music, biology, sex, psychology, and a variety of other topics, beginning with similar, common questions like the General Tso’s Chicken example. Beginning with Nell Gibbon, a fellow ’98 Bantam, the audience was quickly captivated by the power of storytelling. From the perspective of a Psychotherapist, Gibbon explained some of the ways we can train our brains to embrace discomfort. She applied principles from several academic fields, and gave funny and moving examples from her own life as she struggled to do just what she was asking of her patients. However, rethinking the power of intimacy and embracing happiness through discomfort was just the beginning of it all.  A day filled with brilliant speakers, thought-provoking videos and mind-blowing conversation unfolded as several other distinguished community members took the stage.

Assistant Connecticut Public Defender, Joshua Michtom, who specializes in complex child protection and juvenile delinquency trials and appeals, provided a different perspective of rethinking. He shed light on how the neighborhood Trinity sits in the middle of, Frog Hollow, could be studied outside of its fiscal status. Assumptions about race, class, and economic comfort were all touched upon. Other speakers such as distinguished Harvard Professors Aaron Pascal Mauck and Timothy Patrick McCarthy discussed, how history can transform how we treat disease and how humanity progresses, respectively.

These talks collectively helped initiate a dialogue that could help the college community engage the world about involving Trinity students’ viewpoints. Independently run TED environments are innovative projects that big universities have recently taken on and for Trinity College to be able to host its own exemplified the bold character of the small liberal arts institution. Furthermore, Trinity was among the first of the NESCAC schools to take on the opportunity as well -another key feature that distinguished the College from the rest.

However, the task was no easy work.  The vision began with one person, who truly believed in the importance of learning and passing knowledge. The individual grew up listening to TED talks and noticed that Trinity College did not have any club of this nature where ideas could be presented to the Trinity College community. From this moment Bhumika Choudary acquired a TEDxTrinColl organizer license, gained approvals from the administration , formulated a team and solidified her presidency of the campuses’ new organization. Bhumika says that she began watching TED Talks because the ideas and issues addressed went beyond books and media. “It allowed me to see the world around me with a critical pair of lens.”

Moreover, she made it clear that this is only the beginning. The TEDxTrinColl team says they will make sure that these kinds of captivating and revolutionary events will happen yearly on campus. Each event that is yet to come will be build around three ideals; conversation, connection and community. This is the beginning of something new that will continuously broaden Trinity’s horizons.  The team is excited to integrate student speakers to make the event more interactive and to use TEDx as a platform to foster intellects by creating a network of sharing ideas within and outside the community. Ultimately, this is a new tool Trinity will be able to teach and learn from.


Examining differing views on the Boston Tea Party



How truly capitalist is the United States of America? Most people associate the early 1900s – Wall Street’s heyday – with the rise of entrepreneurial capitalism in the United States that  we still recognize today. Yet, it can be argued that capitalism did not ‘rise’ in the States but actually formed it. A fact that is frequently brushed over is that almost all of the Sons of Liberty and the founding fathers had vested monetary interests in seeing the colonies break away from the British Crown. Moreover, these monetary interests, to some degree, relied on the illegal act of smuggling in order to produce fortunes for the colonies’ elite. Though this is not to discredit the various exploits and views of the founding fathers, it is interesting how facts have been replaced by a silver-lined version of history that many, such as the conservative Tea Party, have used to support their endeavors.

Britain’s Prime Minister at the time, George Grenville, was the one who made the massive mistake of trying to crack down on the smuggling trade on which the colonies survived. At the time, New England had one of the highest gross domestic products in the world, with a large part of that based on the thriving merchant, smuggler trade. It is known that John Hancock and Samuel Adams were very much invested in the lucrative smuggling trade, and would go on to organize the famous Boston Tea Party because of this. From a British standpoint, the government was doing its best to stop illegal trading in order to repay war debts. From an American perspective, the government was using its ships to harangue hardworking colonial merchants.

Although some of the other Intolerable Acts (such as the Stamp Act) truly did live up to their colonial nickname, the Tea Act did not – at least, it shouldn’t have, if the Sons of Liberty hadn’t engaged in illegal activity in the first place. With the Tea Act in place, the demand for untaxed tea, i.e. the tea supplied by Hancock’s band of smugglers, skyrocketed. This Act, then, was something the colonies could deal with, and they did, until the East India Company ruined the fun. The East India Company, a Crown-granted monopoly, had been struggling for some time and thus petitioned the British Crown to allow them to ship to the Americas tax free. They were able to win their concession by presenting it as a means to undercut the smuggling trade and bring taxable income profits back to the British Isles. If you ask me, this is a smart business plan. But, before long, it would backfire and the cunning plan would result in the legendary Boston Tea Party.

If you haven’t realized it already, then allow me to elaborate – the Sons of Liberty and other participants of the Boston Tea Party were not protesting taxes the same way that they had been versus the Stamp Act, but were actually demanding that the tax on the East India Company be reinstated. Put into the larger context of the Intolerable Acts and their reception by the colonists, it is easy to have the history of the Boston Tea Party muddled and shaped to fit this image of fighting off tyranny. Does this take away from the brave steps the founding fathers took to form one of the strongest democracies today? Not necessarily, but it should discredit those who ignorantly align themselves with an event that they believe is part of their cause, when it clearly isn’t.

The conservative Tea Party political movement seems to have this idea that they are perpetuating the core beliefs of the Sons of Liberty that would lead them to stage their Boston Tea Party of 1773. As previously shown, the Boston Tea Party was an event where people engaged in an illegal activity, and threw legal trade goods overboard to preserve their economic prowess in the local market. Though the Tea Party movement has been labelled an astroturf one, meaning it is meant to seem like a grassroots organization but rose up due to corporate funding that could have questionable sources, it would be wrong to generalize members as ‘people engaged in illegal activity’ such as smuggling.

The Tea Party conservatives say they represent the people and want to continue the Boston Tea Party’s legacy of ‘We The People’ ruling the United States, not big government. Their intentions and goals seem noble enough, regardles of how polarizing the group members may be in their actions. Though you may have your own opinion as to how well they stick to this, the problem is that this is attributed to the Boston Tea Party of 1773. People who want to continue the Boston Tea Party’s aims should be in favor of an increase in the people’s voice in government, but not taxes in general. The Boston Tea Party was about market dominance, not ‘We The People.’ A more careful eye would have caught this crucial detail. If the conservatives need a proper example of people rising against tyranny, it is not the capitalist market warfare that erupted on the Boston docks in 1773.

Questioning capital punishment for Tsarnaev



This year marks the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings that took place in 2013. At 2:49p.m. on April 15 this year, the chapel bells rang to commemorate the time that the first bomb exploded in 2013. It is still hard to believe that 260 people were injured and four people lost their lives, including an 8–year–old boy who was the youngest victim, as a result of those bombings. Hundreds of blue and yellow balloons were released into the sky in memory of those who lost their lives, as well as in remembrance for a day that changed the lives of many in Boston.

Various church services were held and as bagpipes played in the background, banners were raised in honor of those who were killed. One of them was for Krystle Campbell, who was a 29–year–old restaurant manager. She was standing close to the place where the first bomb was planted. The second one was for Martin Richards, the innocent boy who had been standing in front of the bomber. Most of his family sustained injuries as well – his younger sister lost a leg, his mother lost sight in one eye, and his father received burns and shrapnel wounds to his legs. The third was for Lingzi Lu, who was a 23–year–old graduate student at Boston University. The fourth was for Officer Sean Collier, an MIT officer who was killed during the manhunt for the two bombers.

One of the culprits, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shoot–out with the police days after the bombing. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was eventually captured. A few days ago, Tsarnaev was convicted by a jury for 30 counts of federal charges, which included those for the bombings as well as for the manhunt that followed.

The decision that has to be made now is whether he should recieve the death penalty. In a poll taken regarding this case, only 30 percent of respondents thought that Tsarnev should be sentenced to life in prison rather than recieve the death penalty. In some ways it is easy to understand why so many people would be in favor of the death penalty. This is because thousands of people were negatively affected by Tsarnaev and his brother’s horrific actions. In addition to the four who passed, we should remember the numerous other victims who lost their sight or who lost a limb or faced serious burns. The bombings will forever have an impact on the victims. So, why wouldn’t we want Tsarnaev to pay for his irrevocable actions? Why would others who have seen the damage that these brothers caused not want them punished?

What is surprising, however, is that the family of Martin Richards has stated that they do not want the death penalty for Tsarnaev. If one considers all of the details behind the family’s rationale, their decision makes sense. If Tsarnaev is given the death penalty, then he can keep appealing it and the case could continue for a long time. This family has already lost so much, so why would they want a continual reminder of the day that triggered their pain and the loss? If Tsarnaev is given a life sentence with no chance of parole, then the family may be able to find some comfort in the fact that he will have to live each day behind bars with the knowledge of the horrible thing that he did. The families that lost a loved one can find a way to move forward.

What Tsarnaev and his brother did was unforgivable and whether Tsarnaev is given the death penalty or not, it will not bring those victims back or change the lives of those who still struggle with the injuries from that day. I agree with the parents of Martin Richards. They should not have that sustained reminder of what they lost and can never get back. Whatever the decision is, I hope that it means the end of this case because while that day will never be forgotten, the families affected deserve the chance to look to the future now without the specter of Tsarnaev hanging over their heads.

Campaign obstacles to be overcome by Hillary Clinton



In a world where people see the West Wing as a concoction of “Scandal” and “House of Cards,” the presidency is a more hotly debated topic than ever. With that being said, the most boring, expected news of 2015 was Hillary Clinton’s official announcement of her intent to run for President of the United States on Sunday, April 12.

Without much speculation, this is something that could have been assumed since the year 2008, or even 2000. What really makes this story uneventful is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be anyone that poses a challenge to her democratic nomination. Name recognition alone sets her far apart from any of her peers.

There is a certain irony to this name recognition however. It has become a duality that has both boosted and slowed the career of the former First Lady. Widely considered one of the more productive, successful presidents, Bill Clinton’s Underwood-ian reputation is often assigned to his wife as well.

In recent years, the Clintons have been taken as a unit. A vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill, and vice versa. There is a lot of truth to this, and it is actually a good thing in many ways. Bill’s effectiveness is subconsciously transferred to his wife in the minds of many voters. This is reinforced by their work in establishing the Clinton Foundation as well. However, detractors have found the relationship to be some of the most accessible fodder for their attack on the candidate. By framing Mrs. Clinton as one side of a two-headed monster, the failings of the former president have been weighed down on her as well. The case in point is how many have stated that maintaining her marriage with Bill after the Monica Lewinsky scandal was a “political move,” meant to portray her as a self-serving woman who values assets instead of family.

This particular scandal remains incredibly telling as it served to divide the nation on the issue of morality versus effectiveness. What saved Bill Clinton at the time of his infractions was his exemplary record as an effective executive. Unfortunately, it can be argued that Hillary does not have the same luxury.

In light of recent scandals and political conundrums, Mrs. Clinton will more than likely be buried by her opponents. They will have the ammunition to fire back on both fronts. Even more damning is the fact that the criticisms will not have to be slander in the least. What opponents will criticize her for is the fact that under her oversight, compromising scenarios have been fairly commonplace. She will be forced to answer for the Benghazi incident many more times, and allegations regarding the debatable actions of the Clinton Foundation’s top donor, Victor Pinchuk. If someone is being honest, she has been involved with some of the most publicized, scathing scandals of the past twenty years, which ironically, also separates her from her peers. None of the declared Republican hopefuls have nearly as much to answer for, and this will hurt her.

It would seem that the Clinton name is attributed to politics and scandal in equal parts, and while all publicity is good publicity in a way, this woman, who is nothing short of exceptional, may be doomed by it. It is entirely possible that a good Republican campaign strategy would place Mrs. Clinton permanently on the defensive, forcing her to use valuable time and resources to simply explain her past. If successful, this highly qualified stateswoman could easily be buried in campaign tactics. There is legitimacy in having to explain her past actions, however, and this is her greatest weakness.

Despite the many obstacles that await Hillary, recent polls indicate that Democrats are welcoming her with open arms. A whopping 69 percent of Democrat and Democratic-leaning voters support her. On the other hand, the other Democratic presidential candidates, Joe Biden, Bernie Saunders, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chaffee, and Martin O’Malley, all received 11 percent or less in recent polls. Additionally, Hillary is the second choice for most Democratic voters who do not choose her initially. So, overall Hillary Clinton is the first or second choice of 83 percent of the potential Democratic voting population.

While Hillary Clinton will more than likely receive my vote in 2016, she is still a highly controversial figure in the eyes of many potential voters, and even “Clinton-lovers” like myself have legitimate reason to want answers about some of the allegations made against her in order to vote in good conscience.

Capitalism is responsible for its own crisis



Capitalism accumulates a vast amount of dirty laundry that is impossible to dry out in the moist air of its inescapable crisis. The stench prevails. Under capitalism, an appropriation between production and consumption takes place through the manufacture and exchange of commodities. This appropriation is based on a cleavage between “profit seekers and wage owners,” that is, “between capital and labor.” Beneath the mask of freedom in a capitalist society, lies an obsession to increase the rate of capital accumulation. It is this drive that leads to an organic crisis defined by over-accumulation where the ‘capital’ acquired by overproduction and/or under-consumption, loses its legitimacy to act as a quantity of assets whose quality has changed. The result is a redundant surplus, created by means and implementations that test and question economic and social stability.

From a Keynesian perspective, the crisis can be mapped within Schumpeter’s financial cycle, where periods of recession (crisis) are temporary but inevitable. The crises effectively are balanced out over time. Marx, however, locates the crises within a broader, historical framework, reiterating the fallacies of a capitalist society. This perspective demands an examination of finance, modes of production, and labor theory that contribute (amongst other factors) towards over-accumulation and subsequent crises in capitalist societies.

When a gap between the production and the consumption of a commodity arises, it is often bridged by credit debt or other forms of fictitious capital, in the absence of ‘money capital.’ While the use of such forms of capital could temporarily accelerate the material production and purchase of commodities, they also increase the likelihood of crises, as the financial sector remains unable to address socio-economic concerns raised by the subsequent over-accumulation. The value of fictitious or credit capital that is largely determined by speculation, and is manipulated by market values, is also likely to fall in the event of an economic crisis.

As capitalists attempt to challenge the conventional labor-time for producing commodities, they invest more in technology or machinery, leading to a higher capital consumption. Marx pointed that laborers have no independent access to the means of production and therefore must sell their ability to work for specified periods of time. The value that they produce is greater than the value of the labor power that the capitalist purchases from them, and thus the worker produces surplus value. Effectively, as labor, the source of surplus value, is squeezed out, the rate of profit for the capitalist class falls.

The falling rate of profit shows how accumulation creates a surplus in capital, with a consequent dearth in opportunities to employ it profitably. The surplus is thus devalued, and despite a capitalist instinct to produce more to avoid risks, the devaluation will only compound the issue of stagnancy raised by over-accumulation rather than resolving it. Ultimately, it appears that the use of machinery (fixed capital) as a means to increase productivity, may actually lead to a devaluation of the produced surplus. The simultaneous exploitation of labor (variable capital) based on longer hours, and lower wages that do not correspond to their inputs, only furthers the futile over-accumulation. It is thus, in light of this falling rate of profit that is put in dialogue with mechanical production and labor that we can fathom the intensity of the crisis, which only worsens with time. This theory also clearly exhibits that the very premise of capitalism (of production and accumulation) seems to contradict itself, as the challenges capitalists faces are a product of their very instincts.

In linking production to consumption, the consideration of labor and machinery is only a portion of the range of factors that cause or affect over-accumulation in a capitalist society. Yet they clearly exhibit the overarching issues of commoditization and class struggles (between laborers and the dominant, hegemonic group) that tend to pervade capitalist societies.  In response to crises, it seems that any solution would benefit the rich, who would become richer, while the poor would get poorer. The over-accumulated dirty laundry in a capitalist society thus reeks of labor exploitation and inequality, highlighting the distinction between private accumulation and social production. While the Marxist perspective does not offer a solution to the problem of over-accumulation, it certainly offers a way to interpret this phenomenon. Despite its many justifications, capitalism remains a paradoxical conception that contradicts its own self, especially in light of the crisis. Capitalism is responsible for its own crisis.


Forrest Robinette ’16 on his semester at St. Andrews



When I visited Scotland three years ago on a family trip to Europe, I was taken by the kindness of its people, the timeworn buildings, and the beautiful landscape that seemed eternally green. So when the time came to start thinking about where I might study abroad, Scotland came to mind. After my adviser suggested that I check out the University of St. Andrews, I began researching the school. The more I learned, the more I loved it, and, in a short time, I was sending off my application.

Now in my third month at St. Andrews, I couldn’t be happier with my choice. First of all, the academics are top-notch. The University is more than six hundred years old and is frequently ranked as the third best college in the United Kingdom, after Oxford and Cambridge. Both my professors and my fellow students make me feel like an intellectual dwarf. My professor for a class on T.S. Eliot wrote one of the definitive Eliot biographies and my Poetic Theory professor has published seven collections of poetry in the past decade alone. The students, meanwhile, seem to have read every book ever written. They will casually reference the likes of Joyce, Tolstoy, and Schopenhauer to illustrate their points while I sit in bemused silence. The good news is that my professors and peers motivate me to get on their level, and I feel that I’ve learned a ton just by working to keep up.

The University is located in the middle of the town of St. Andrews, which is an enchanting place. With its stately Georgian buildings and quaint cobblestone streets, I never get tired of walking around. St. Andrews sits atop a series of cliffs overlooking the North Sea so you get great views of the ocean throughout town. The English department buildings are located right along the coast, which makes for a lovely walk to class.

The town has two beaches, the East and West Sands. The latter is a five-minute walk from my dorm, and, on sunny days, my friends and I will go there to lounge in the sun, play Frisbee, or watch one of the polo matches that are often taking place.

Scotland has a reputation for terrible weather: clouds and rain all the time. However, this stereotype applies more to the Scottish highlands and the west coast than it does to the east coast where St. Andrews is located. Strong winds from the sea mean that bad weather blows through quickly and it never gets too cold. The temperature rarely dipped below forty in February. That mild weather was revitalizing for someone like me who feels that Connecticut winters have done permanent damage to my soul. Since the beginning of April, we’ve been enjoying nearly constant sun and temperatures in the low sixties. Now that my class work is dying down, I’ve enjoyed many afternoons reading non-academic books in the various parks around town.

St. Andrews is calm and quiet by day, but at night you become very aware that it is indeed a college town. The University nightlife is a dream come true for any college student who is tired of partying in dorm rooms and fraternity basements. Because every student is of a legal drinking age, all the partying happens in pubs, clubs, and bars around town. St. Andrews has more pubs per capita than any other place in the United Kingdom so you have a tremendous amount of options when going out. The general trend is to start with the tamer establishments and then move to locales of increasing rowdiness as the night goes on. One might begin their Saturday evening at the St. Andrews Brewing Company to enjoy a craft beer and a chat with friends before heading to the Vic or Ma Bells for lower lighting and a chance to hit the dance floor. The final destination of a truly rowdy night is a place called The Lizard, a tiny, sweaty discotheque. I’ve only been once and it was terrifying. Still, it’s there for people who want it.

Studying abroad in the United Kingdom is particularly wonderful because Europe is at your feet. Hop on a flight, and, in a short time, you can find yourself in France, Denmark, Spain, or Italy. Spring Break at St. Andrews lasts for a luxurious two weeks and is therefore a perfect opportunity to make the most of being in Europe. I went to South East England for the first week and to the French Riviera for the second. I know that other people studying at St. Andrews traveled to Prague, Budapest, Barcelona, Milan, and Munich among other places. You can travel within Europe on a relatively small budget because flights are often quite cheap. For example, I got my round-trip ticket from London to Nice for eighty-two pounds.

Thankfully, Spring Break isn’t your only chance to travel. The rail system in the U.K. is fast and cheap, meaning that you can travel anywhere in Scotland with relative ease. During the term, my friends and I spent most weekends taking trips to nearby cities and towns by train. So far we’ve been to Glasgow, Inverness, the Argyll Forest, Edinburgh, and the Isle of Skye.

I now have less than a month left here, and, although I expect to miss Scotland terribly when I leave, there are many things that I’m eager to get back to in the States. I think that the most meaningful aspect of going abroad is the appreciation that you gain for everything back home. I miss big things like being closer to my family and spending time with my friends at Trinity. I also miss small things like American food and having a functioning cell phone. It’s easy to become numb to the things at home that bring you joy. Right now, I feel that I will return from my time abroad with a renewed respect for the pleasures, both large and small, of my normal life.


Trinity’s Dworin performs “Lighthouse” at Aetna theatre



April 18 saw the presentation of the Judy Dworin performance project “Lighthouse” at the Wadsworth’s Aetna theater in downtown Hartford. Trinity professor Judy Dworin developed the piece in 1986 following the death of her father. Combining dance and poetry, the piece is grounded by the metaphor of a lighthouse, lyrically exploring the ways people serve as lights in the darkness, and asking what happens when those lights go out, or when the darkness becomes impenetrable. The piece, staged with a local cast and directed by Dworin and Kathy Borteck Gertsen, heavily featured the use of props as a means to bind, connect, and divide the performers in space. A giant white net is passed between performers as they wrap it around each other and pull at its extremities. A set of rope appears lain laterally across the stage late in the show, mimicking the sea. Its gentle movements become menacing, and it foregrounds the performers as they move in unison, carried in the throes of a storm. Ladders also form an important component of the show, as performers stack them and use them to support each other in turn, in a rocking motion that was one shows most affecting visuals. Dancers, dressed casually, moved freely up and down the aisles, falling in and out of synchronization, focused very much on the discovery of the world set up by the props and implied by the text. The work ended up feeling very much like a world, the completeness of Dworin’s vision felt in every loved, sea-worn detail.
The music, performed live by a three-piece band of cello, dulcimer, and vocalist, incorporated the sounds of the sea and a fair amount of whistling, seeped through and around the peace much like the water it sonically described. Composed by Robert Een, the music managed to swell with all the pathos of a storm and still scale back to only a breeze, perfectly accompanying the tenderness of the piece’s concluding moments.
The poetry accompanying the piece came courtesy of Marjorie Agasin, a poet, human rights activist, and Wellsley professor. The text consisted mostly of languorous questions, short interjections regarding the sea, and, briefly, a mermaid. The text served to deepen the narrative and provide a loose narrative framework for the piece. It, nevertheless, remained pleasingly open-ended, inviting interpretation and meditation.
The piece was presented as part of the Dworin’s eponymous Performance Project, which seeks to make use of the arts as a catalyst for social change. It celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, having staged 18 shows with performances across the east coast. The project works to incorporate performance into education, doing work in schools and prisons to inspire new voices to engage with and benefit from the world and practice of performance. Dworin herself is no stranger to Trinity, the first woman to graduate from the college, currently teaches in the Department of Theater and Dance, which she founded in 1983.
“Lighthouse” is a strong example not only of Trinity faculty work, but of its genre of inter-medium, textually grounded performance, exploring psychic space as fluidly as it does physical space. Moving and thoroughly enjoyable, it forces its audience to relate to and perceive its performers in new and affecting ways, ultimately stunningly achieving the goals of expansion of heart and mind the Performance Project set out 25 years ago.

Cinestudio review: Ava DuVernay’s MLK biopic “Selma”



There’s no lesson like the past, and “Selma” delivers its lesson with more feeling than the best of history books. Telling the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s journey to Selma, Alabama in 1965, Ava DuVernay’s film moves fast but speaks softly along its message in this carefully structured, and ultimately very spiritual Oscar Nominee for Best Picture.
With the Civil Rights movement well under way, we enter the sun-drenched world of the 60’s in the South like a bird flying in through an open window. With no introduction, and not much background, we need some time to figure out our situation as it stands. The next great battlefield for the fate of the African American community in the United States is Selma: a swirling maelstrom of ignorance that the famous Dr. King wants to use as a focal point for his mission. By attracting media attention to his passive resistance tactics, and of course to the violent racism of the Alabama government (whose leadership characters are so flat here that they might save time by simply etching the word “racist” on their business cards) King hopes he can set up a kind of stage upon which he will play out his movement.
The cause grows every day, from protest to protest, march to march. As the Selma Police lurk around corners, pawing at their truncheons, more and more enlightened people of all races and religions pour in from around the world for the great battle to come, but as hope for the movement heightens, so too do the stakes. There can be no missteps this time- not a single person can be allowed to fight back against their oppressors with violence, or the entire plan will dissolve into a storm of tear gas and bullets. Instead, each protester must hold fast to their cause- putting every ounce of their faith in King.
David Oyelowo plays the Reverend as a bit of a tortured soul, soft spoken and often privately hesitant, but dedicated to his cause. “Selma” is a tonic for humanization, in regard to this very sacred history as well as for the man at its heart. Part of its charm as a biography is that it wants desperately to pluck King down from his pedestal as a perfect human being. If “Selma” had chosen to create for us a flawless MLK, chiseled from marble and glowing with complete confidence, there would be no second level to our empathy– no cause for deeper thought. We would watch these events play out like we knew they would, no questions asked.
Instead, Oyelowo’s King is having trouble with his marriage, his responsibility, and his place in history. He is afraid, in short, and he knows in his heart that his mission might be the death of him. DuVernay’s MLK is painted in the same reluctant hues (if more than a little watered down) as Scorsese’s Jesus in “The Last Temptation of Christ”. Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo) fears the same things as her husband, and though they are sometimes at odds, she serves as an advisor and confidant. Ejogo holds her head high throughout the film, a foil to her husband’s quiet genius and a lioness who does not content herself with the sidelines.
By the time of the final march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, “Selma” has run its course in much the same way as a game of chess. The game is less about force than it is about perception, and both DuVernay and her King have played to win. “Selma’s” great conceit is its almost behind the scenes look at history- regardless of any minor inaccuracy, it is  an insightful opportunity. But that same “come and see” attitude goes astray now and then: “Selma’s” death scenes are all heavy-handed, shot in a soupy slow motion and scored by distant drums and tear-soaked violin. A little of this goes a long way- we feel more emotion from reading the “what-happened-after” biography captions at the end of the movie. In other words, sometimes it’s what we don’t see that’s more powerful.
“Selma” misses the mark a few times, yes, but its singular message of equality is more than just a coat-hanger for the movie to drape itself upon. The lesson reaches through the decades and taps us on the shoulder, if simply to remind us that all of this happened only a blink of an eye ago, on the great clock of the cosmos. Lives were lost, stories were told, and peace was earned the hardest but most honorable way possible. For any faults it might have, the best scenes in “Selma” echo like a church. In the same way, it’s a great place for a little bit of quiet reflection.

Organist Michael Hay to perform in Trinity chapel



When you think of organ concerts, do you think of slow and solemn “church music?” If that is your impression, we invite you to attend what promises to be a lively and engaging performance by world-renowned organist, Michael Hay, this Friday, April 24 at 8 p.m. in the Chapel.
We equate organ music with “church music” for a reason. The origins of the organ are in fact rooted in European church history. When the world was introduced to the “modern” organ in the 14th century, it was regarded as being one of the most spectacular engineering feats of its time. The only competition for this great mechanical achievement was said to be the clock. Though somewhat common in the ancient world in a varied form, the precursor to the 14th century “modern” organ did not take hold as a popular instrument until its introduction into the liturgical world in the 7th Century, reportedly by Pope Vitalian. These initial organs were of much smaller size, and would be dwarfed by many of the chamber and church organs today.  Mozart regarded the organ to be the “king of instruments,” so it seems only appropriate that it should be used to worship the ‘King of Kings’ on any given Sunday.
The organ at Trinity has a long and rather tangled history. The original organ, which was installed in the chapel in 1932, was crafted by the renowned Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston and housed above the main chapel in the organ loft. The organ was designed by G. Donald Harrison, who is still considered to be the best organ architect and tonal designer of his time. It was said to be a particularly sweet instrument, capable of beautifully melodic sounds, which seemed to float throughout the highest recesses of the chapel’s 65-foot ceilings. Unfortunately, the instrument deteriorated at a rather rapid rate and was eventually removed. Its replacement was made by Hartford based Austin Organs, an equally respected organ manufacturer. The current organ has been through several iterations of both appearance and sound; relocation and expansion of the manuals took place, and a new casing was brought in to surround the instrument, along with more pipes added. Estimates put the number of pipes at over 6,000, making it it one of the largest organs ever made. Trinity’s talented and dedicated organist, John Rose, provides lessons for academic credit to any Trinity student who wants them.
Many have pursued the organ as an academic endeavor. They spend countless days and nights perfecting the minute details, because they love what they do. This Friday’s performer, Michael Hay, is one of those dedicated and gifted artists. He received his formal training from an intensive and rigorous five-year program at The Juilliard School. He has been dazzling audiences across the country with his “flashy” and “exciting” performances. Hay has received numerous honors and distinctions and some rather incredible reviews from The New York Times.
While Hay is the assistant director of music and organist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, he still has found time to bring his talents on the road and perform across the country. Most recently in March 2015, Hay played works by J.S. Bach with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s for the inaugural season of Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Last year he had the distinct honor of being the featured solo organist for the New York City Ballet’s recently commissioned work, Acheron. It is fair to say that since his 2010 New York City debut with the Juilliard Orchestra, Hay has been captivating audiences with his incredible touch and deep connection to the works he chooses to play.
His program this Friday, April 24 will include pieces by Claude Debussy, Bach, Shostakovich and more. Hay’s vast array of works will undoubtedly leave you wanting more. Since several of the pieces are arranged by Hay himself, one can assume they are going to have the flare, for which he is best known. The concert starts at 8 p.m., is free of charge, and is open to the public.
Hay’s visit to Trinity is part of a long-standing organ recital program, which will wrap-up later this year. Thus far, the performances have featured young performers who are new to the recital circuit, as well as previous favorites. The programs have been as varied as the performers’ personalities, but overall they have carried the same fun, jovial tone that has been greatly enjoyed by recital-goers. Performances in the Chapel, be it by an a capella group, chamber choir, pianist, or even our very own Chapel Singers, have been an integral part of student life at Trinity since the completion of the building in the 1930s.

Trinity Women’s Lacrosse continues historic streak



After starting the season with an 11-10 loss at Colby, the Trinity Women’s lacrosse team has not looked back, capturing wins in their last thirteen matches. The Lady Bantams have shown a stellar performance on both ends of the game, but have been especially dynamic on offense led by the midfielder out of New Hampshire, Martha Griffin ’16.  Trinity has dominated nearly every opponent they have faced with the exception of Washington College, who the ladies bested 7-6 back in March.  Besides that contest, the closest game Trinity has had came against Bowdoin and Wesleyan College whom they defeated 11-6, and 12-7 respectively.   Throughout the rest of the season the team has absolutely decimated their opponents, and are in the process have been rewriting the record books.

The Bantams hosted the visiting Middlebury Panthers on a beautiful, busy Saturday afternoon on Sheppard Field.  It was one of the hottest days of spring so far, so fatigue and endurance were factors right off the bat. Off the first draw it looked like it would be another game in which the Bantams would take control, as they jumped to an early 2-0 lead.  Griffin fed Clare Lyne ’17 for the first goal, then Griffin went ahead and did it again herself three minutes later with an unassisted goal to put the Bants up two. However, Middlebury battled back to knot the game at two apiece.  It was then that three unassisted goals were scored by three different Trinity players to put them in the lead  by three, and from there it was no looking back.  The girls went into halftime having secured a solid 7-4 lead.  Trinity hit the ground running out of the break and tacked on four more goals just six minutes into the second half.  Both teams got several scoring opportunities off of free position shots, of which the Trinity squad netted four.

Trinity had control in every facet of the game, most notably on the draw.  The Bantams won 64 percent  of the draws, which helped them take total control of possession throughout the game.  The tight goaltending was also a huge asset for the Bantams.  Junior goalie Emily Mooney had five big saves, with the help from a strong defensive performance that limited the Middlebury offense to just 16 shots on goal.  Mooney has played well all season long, averaging 7.23 goals against per game.

With only one regular season game remaining, the girls will look to bring their season full circle and extend their nation leading 13 game winning streak against Amherst this Wednesday April 22 at 7:00 p.m.  The girls are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation and will need to prepare for post-season playing going into May.

Last season they were in a similar position in the NESCAC when they made their national title run. Now, this year, thay are seeded much higher nationally than the eighth ranked position they began the tournament with last year.  The Bantams are a heavy favorite for the title and will be sure to put on a impressive performance this tournament season.

Track and Field gains traction moving towards nationals



Trinity College’s Track and Field season kicked off at the Wesleyan Invitational meet in mid-march in Middletown, Connecticut. It was an overall well-run meet by Trinity’s Track and Field team with second place wins by James Gustafson ’17 and Daniel Hughes ’18 in the 400 meter and 100 meter dash, respectively. Hughes was a mere .01 seconds away from snatching first place with a respectable time of 11.71 seconds. Gustafson’s time of 52.96 put him a second behind the first place runner. Mid-distance runner Matt Reichhelt ’17, grabbed a few points for the team with a fourth place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:05.25.

Following the first meet, the team adapted to running outdoors after a challenging indoor season and put up a fourth place overall finish at the Amherst College Spring Fling Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Invitational on April 4. This meet had beautiful conditions for sprinting with a strong tailwind. The team managed to collect a total of 43 points. Hughes once again performed exceptionally well in his 100-meter dash in which he set a new personal best with an amazing time of 11.13 seconds as well as claiming first place. With this new time he is just .13 seconds away from his seasonal goal of 11 seconds flat. Aman Stuppard ’17, a top long jumper, made a presence in the 100-meter dash as well by placing second with a time of 11.26 seconds. In the hurtling events, captain Geoff Bocobo ’16 took first in the 110- meter hurdles with a time of 15.45 seconds. He then followed this performance, with a third place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a respectable time of 57.50 seconds.

The Trinity throwing division put up some points with Carty Campbell ’18 throwing Javelin 152’10” finishing in first place. Thrower James Kuritzkes ’15, known by his teammates as ‘CrazyK’, discuss tossed 120’01” to get him a second place finish. Overall the meet went exceptionally well across all divisions and this wave of winning continued on into the next meet.

On April 11 the Trinity Track and Field team traveled to the Silfen Invitational at Connecticut College. The sunny weather and good conditions led many athletes to perform  well such as Bocobo, who again won the 110 meter hurdles with a season personal best of 15.35 seconds. Stuppard then won first place in the triple jump at a distance of 44’0.125”. The 4×400 meter relay team of Bocobo, Gustafson, and rookies Kelsey Baradzi ’18 and Caleb Wright ’18, posted a second-place time of 3.27.31. In short sprints, rookie Hughes managed to get fourth place with a time of 11.34 in the 100-meter dash followed by Baradzi clocking in at 22.87 to get third place in a .02 second spread from the second finisher. In throwing, Kuritzkes took fourth place with a shot put throw of 42’03. 25”. Trinity Men’s Track Team placed fifth overall scoring 72 points, almost doubling the score they boasted at the previous meet.  The team looks to keep up the exceptional underclassmen perfromances this year and trasntion the momentum into next year as well.

Tripod Athlete of the Week : Musyoka Mbithi ’15




The Trinity College Men’s Tennis Team is nearing the end of its extremely successful regular season, and they look to finish strong against Williams as they head into the playoffs. One of the strongest components of this stellar season so far has been the play of co-captain Musyoka Mbithi ’15.

Mbithi has made a good name for himself over his Trinity career through his strong play, both in singles play and with multiple teammates in doubles matches. His accomplishments in his junior year include having the third most singles wins  (including seven in dual-match action), leading his team with 13 season doubles wins with two rotating partners, and becoming second on team in doubles wins overall at 10-5 and doubles winning percentage at .667 percent with the same partner. This doubles skill is incredible not just for Mbithi’s junior year but for the College itself; Mbithi is tied for the most doubles wins with the same partner in Trinity College’s history, winning 11 times with fellow player Ford Traff III ’16.

Hailing from Roxbury, NJ, Musyoka had proven himself to be quite the tennis player even before Trinity. During his tenure at Blair Academy, Mbithi was a captain and three time MVP, which culminated in a National Championship win his junior year. After this successful high school career, Mbithi made a large impact as soon as he came to Trinity.

During his freshman year, Mbithi led Trinity in singles winning percentage at and astounding .833 percent and started his dominance in doubles by becoming second on the team in doubles wins with the same partner  (which he accomplished with Charles McConnell ’14 at a 5-5 record). Most impressive of all was Mbithi’s first- year victory in achieving the “C” flight singles title at the 2011 Middlebury Invitationall. Overall, Mbithi has a record of 31-29 in singles and 24-30 in doubles.

Mbithi has being doing well for himself during his final year. During his most recent sets against Hamilton, Mbithi won both his singles game and his doubles game at 8-3 along with Traff. Mbithi also scored an 8-6 win against Wesleyan and an 8-1 victory against Brandeis in doubles, also with Traff Mbithi and won his singles matches agains t the smae schools as well. Among these games and many others this season, Mbithi has helped the Men’s Tennis Team to achieve a 10-3 record overall. This includes a perfect 6-0 home record and a current four game winning streak. Mbithi plans to keep his play strong in order to help his team reach the championship.

Another strong player on the tennis team is Illya Levin ’15, who remains undefeated in conference play at Trinity’s number one singles slot, and has a strong overall 8-2 record. Also, Traff has flourished in his second year of singles play to an overall record this season of 10-4. Many other players have been able to make contributions during the season. Under the leadership of Mbithi and the other co-captains the team has risen above the individuality of tennis to come together for an   excellent team performance. Be sure to watch Mbithi and the men play against Williams on April 22.

Recognizing the value of the ‘arts’ to a Liberal Arts education



The academic culture at Trinity is undeniably dominated by a breadth of Economics, Political Science, or Public Policy majors. As just another one of such students, I agree that selecting a specific area of study is particular to individual interests. So should you happen to be extremely passionate or enthusiastic about such fields- I am in no position to question or doubt your choices. But it is problematic when people choose to major or enroll in certain disciplines simply because they seem to allude to the prospect of a financially successful future. Sadly, a vast number of students at Trinity do have a tendency to let this factor become the driving reason for their academic choices. While this already contradicts the premise of a liberal arts education, such a culture has adverse effects on the treatment of the arts.

The ‘arts,’ comprising of disciplines including the visual and studio arts, theatre and dance, music, and film studies, seem to be sidelined within the broader framework of education, simply because many believe that they cannot promise the most ‘stable’ future in the financial sense. I have met several people on this campus that consider it a waste to spend their money on an education in the arts. Not only does this attitude deny students the opportunity to truly receive an immersive and enriching experience that the arts can provide, but it also has repercussions on the general campus atmosphere. Many students remain ignorant, uninterested, and occasionally even disrespectful towards events, discussions, and courses within the arts.

In my experience as a double major, in Political Science, and Media and Performance, I have to admit that it has been the arts classes and experiences that have truly made my experience at Trinity more meaningful. Not only do the arts allow for collaboration, inter-disciplinary thinking, and the development of a range of conceptual and technical skills, but they also allow one to find their unique perspective towards life by engaging in the practise of physically manifesting their inner voice.

The unfortunate reality at Trinity is that many students will enroll in an arts course, to fulfill a general distribution requirement, or for that “easy A grade.” This very pursuit renders one’s experience of an art class futile. The arts do transcend material, and tangible constructs (like grades and financial figures) and I really wish more people would value them for these reasons over others. It is also especially disheartening to hear of people not pursuing their true passion in the arts because the field isn’t  “practical or reliable enough.”

It seems crude to belittle a person’s passion and interests simply because of the prospective future within that particular field. The quantification of such an ineffable quality, which ultimately is what the disparity between majors  on our campus stems from, may be a comment on what we as a society prioritize in our lives.

It would be hypocritical to devalue the importance of economics, political science, and public policy, but that is not what I am asking for. Rather, I ask the campus to be more open-minded, and embracing towards the arts, and the experiences they have to offer. The foundation of change lies within the power of thought, and altering the way that we view the role of the arts within the liberal arts education, or even more broadly, within our lives, will aid in the reallocation of something that is more than just, as some people may say, “a joke.”


Supreme Court lifetime appointments are beneficial



As soon as they are appointed to the bench, Supreme Court Justices are granted lifetime appointments. However, as advances in healthcare and medical technology continue to increase at a rapid rate, the idea of a lifetime is not what it used to be. To put this in perspective and contextualize how times have changed it is important to note that the average retirement age among the country’s first Supreme Court Justices was 60 years old whereas the average retirement ages for the ten Supreme Court Justices who most recently left was 76 years old.

So should there be a limit on the age of Supreme Court Justices before they are required to retire? In a CBS news poll, about 60 percent of people surveyed, out of a 1,000, were opposed to lifetime appointments. Those who argue that there should be a limit to appointments contend that having justices on the bench for such a long time leaves room for them to continue to perpetuate their view, no matter how outdated or modernized, on the court. They argue that this would contradict the fundamental purpose of aspects of the law, namely to limit the influence of certain individuals. Some even go so far as to say that the increasing elderliness of many justices may lead to shrinking productivity and intellectual dullness.

However, I would argue for the importance of lifetime appointments, which ensure that justices can express their honest and sincere opinions to the court without having to worry about re-elections or forced retirement. I believe that lifetime appointments also foster a greater sense of stability in the court system and consistency about how the Constitution is interpreted. As for arguments about age potentially inhibiting productivity and intellectual capacity, I would cite the oldest Supreme Court Justice currently on the bench, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, who is not only as sharp as the day she was appointed, but who has also become somewhat of a cultural icon.

Nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton, the 82 year-old justice has no plans to retire soon despite incessant public nagging to step down. The most recent incident where the public grew concerned about her age happened when she dozed off a State of the Union address. When asked about the incident, Justice Ginsburg explained that it was not a result of age but rather a result of not being “100 percent sober” after not being able to resist the “very fine California wine” that Justice Kennedy brought to the dinner beforehand. In addition, she said she had been up quite late the previous night writing, stating that her “pen was hot.”

I think that this candor is a testament to Justice Ginsburg’s forthright nature, which is a quality to be a valued in any court system. This is also is a testament to her relatability to the general public. It is important that the public feel that that the Supreme Court is not comprised of just a bunch of nameless faces but rather a group of individuals who represent the public interest at large and who have human attributes.

In addition, Justice Ginsburg is known for her powerfully written and unwavering dissents against conservative decisions. Being only the second woman to be appointed to the court, Justice Ginsburg became an influential figure in the revolution that transformed women’s legal rights, as well as their role in the public world. When asked why the women’s right revolution happened so quickly, she answered, “Well, the tide was in our favor. We were riding with the winners.”

Even Justice Scalia, with whom Justice Ginsburg often disagrees, has become an improbably good friend on the bench due to the Ginsburg’s charismatic nature. He even went so far as to comment on her physical fierceness, recalling a summer when they both taught on the French Riviera and she decided to go parasailing.

So to those who disagree with lifetime appointments I would say that even despite her age, it seems that Justice Ginsburg is not only as intellectually capable as ever, but time has also allowed her to add a certain flare to the occupation. Justice Ginsburg is one of the great 21st century role models for women and men alike, even becoming somewhat of a celebrity by being lovingly referred to as the Notorious R.B.G.


“Bloodline” brings new tense family drama to Netflix



On Mar. 9, Netflix released 13 episodes for the first season of its new original series, “Bloodline,” made by the creators of “Damages”: Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman. “Bloodline” is a family drama that relies on rich character development to make the viewer invest heavily in an otherwise lackluster plot. In this, it succeeds, as each of the show’s characters demand a range of emotional connections from the viewer.

“Bloodline” follows the chaotic events that surround the Rayburn family, when the oldest son, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), returns home to the Florida Keys. He joins his siblings to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the well-known Rayburn Resort, started by their father, Robert (Sam Shepard). But Danny is the outcast of the family. He resists ostracism and consequently creates the show’s central conflict, which examines the relations of a family of six individuals who all fight demons. The plot alone creates a mildly entertaining thriller, but the show’s greater success is as a character piece, with each one as easy to empathize with as the next.

While the show follows a linear plotline, it’s framed between short clips, which gradually reveal more and more of two significant scenes in the Rayburn family drama. The first is a scene from the past; an event that left the family scarred and changed their relationships from that point forward. The second is a scene from the future, the show’s climactic moment. From both of these scenes, starting with the first episode, the viewer learns that a great conflict has and will erupt between Danny and his brother, John (Kyle Chandler). This conflict gives the show drive, and raises a question of morality between right and wrong.

Ben Mendelsohn delivers a brilliant performance as Danny, the misfit who suddenly wants to return home. He earns sympathy from his righteous comments against the way his family treats him. Danny is as slick as he is mischievous. He believes he doesn’t deserve to be abused and undesired like he is, at times his anguish is convincing. The scene from his childhood ultimately portrayed a family that had a deep, and at times a seemingly unfair, distrust and hatred for him. Danny switches between two faces. One side is a charismatic, lighthearted son and the other side is a slimy low–life who corroborates with his small time criminal friend, Eric O’Bannon (Jamie McShane). His character forces the viewer to question whether he is truly evil by nature, or a good person at heart who was merely turned evil in response to unjust abuse and exile thrust upon him.

On the opposite side of Danny stands John. John stayed in the Keys with the rest of the Rayburns and became a detective at the local sheriff’s office. Reprising his mood conveyed as Coach Eric Taylor on “Friday Night Lights,” Kyle Chandler delivers another character that is responsible, unflappable, and strong. Unlike Danny, the Rayburn family loves John. Each of John’s siblings look up to him – sometimes, ironically, even Danny. He acts as a born leader, for his coworkers, his family, and his town. But John is not flawless either. When tensions rise, he acts decisively, but not necessarily morally. This moral conflict delivers the most compelling piece of the show.

While John and Danny are the closest the show has in ways of a protagonist and antagonist, that line is often blurred. Their relationship is strikingly complex because they are rival characters, but John feels a stronger connection with Danny than any of his siblings. For a while even John believes that Danny doesn’t deserve the treatment he receives, and John loves him. One of the greatest scenes between John and Danny is not one of them fighting, but one in which they have a friendly night out at a local bar. Danny suspiciously challenges John to drink heavily with him—something that John is too adult to be accustomed to and renders him vulnerable. As the scene unfolds, it seems that Danny may be aiming for trouble, but all that becomes of it is a genuine moment of bonding and lost brotherly love. This scene causes the viewer to see Danny with distrust in the same way the Rayburns do. Upon reflection, that distrust is unwarranted, which causes the viewer to further examine whether Danny deserves the same distrust he earns from his family.

By the time the show reaches its climax, it seems that it does not matter whether Danny deserves the abuse his family gives him, because it is too late. Whether he was evil to begin with or his family made him evil is unimportant because, whatever the cause, he has become too evil to love. The viewer is left with no choice but to side against Danny and to side with John and the Rayburn family. Even so, Danny remains his darkly comical, independent self until the end. Even as he becomes undeniably evil, his unwavering character draws attention to the flaws that remain in every member of the Rayburn family, including John. Danny becomes a scapegoat and is made to suffer on behalf of his whole family’s transgressions.

While the strongest relationship comes between the two oldest sons, it is well supported by the two youngest Rayburn children, Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) and Meg (Linda Cardellini). Kevin plays a loyal, simple, genuine, but conflicted man who struggles with both alcohol and his marriage. At all times, Kevin wants what is best for him and his family—even if that means cutting out Danny. Despite his problems, Kevin is easy to relate to and depicts a nostalgic, Florida Keys style character. Contrasting him is Meg, who is a sophisticated lawyer yet unable to control her romantic life. Meg’s flaw is adultery, and when her engagement falls apart, her transgressions seem as bad as any of the Rayburn’s.

The most complex character aside from Danny is the understated Sally Rayburn (Sissy Spacek). Sally is the sweet, caring mother, often left out of decisions and vital family information. She loves all her children dearly and wishes only for the best of each of them. But even she is flawed, and is as condemnable as any of the Rayburns. The beautiful way in which she unconditionally loves Danny becomes overshadowed by the way she has denied him relief from blame since the traumatic event from their past. She bears as much responsibility as any of the Rayburns, and thus even her soft character is not without its problems.

“Bloodline” delivers a suspenseful drama that drives at the questions between right and wrong, and good and evil, as it relates to a deeply troubled family. The characters are masterfully created, making this series a must watch. Netflix has confirmed it will renew the series for a second season to premiere in 2016. While this is among the best seasons of Netflix Originals, I have tempered expectations for season two. Given the end to season one, it is impossible for the show to continue with its same family dynamics and rising intensity. I fear that in the next season the weak plot and redundant material may make “Bloodline” fall flat and fail to reproduce the drama from its first thirteen episodes. However, the show has been so well written so far that I reserve hope that it can be redesigned to achieve the same level of greatness with newly crafted conflicts.

Spacesuites and Afros make for energetic Mill concert



For those who are unaware, the direction of popular music has re–entered the realm of disco. Astronaughty and “RIPE’s” performances at the Mill on Saturday night testify to this fact. While the crowd was thin at times, those who were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the stylings of both bands who channeled their inner funkiness.

The night began with Astronaughty who, true to their name, took the stage decked out in space suites. The dance floor began to fill as the duo played disco and dance tunes on their authentic vinyl turntable. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Astronaughty inventively infused their space theme with the underrated and newly popular disco trend built upon the work of luminaries such as Todd Terie and 2 Bears.  The music varied throughout the set, but mainly channeled the essence of disco and house music in the style that has become increasingly popular in the dance genre. One concert goer compared the duo to Daft Punk, bringing a similar energy to the mill performance space. Astronaughty had the crowd jumping before the main act ever took the stage.

The evening’s headliner, Ripe, also based out of Brooklyn, NY, featured and was led by the notable talents of Robbie Wulflsohn on vocals—whose wild afro hair lent to the band’s funky styling.  Wulflsohn, led the charge on the dance floor during Astronaughty’s set, blew the crowd away with his singing, accompanied by a wickedly talented ensemble of guitars, drums and horns.

Ripe provided a truly unique performance that fluidly complimented Astronaughty’s opening songs.  With a blend of college rock-band sound and old school Motown soul, Ripe rocked the crowd and as is the case with most jam–bands, there were a plethora of guitar solos and truly funky horn riffs.  The performance was aesthetically pleasing and Ripe delivered a thouroughly entertaining and fun show for all in attendance. Moreover, the band appeared to enjoy themselves on stage, which translated to the energy of the crowd.

Following Ripe’s act, Astronaughty’s Charles Pinel spun an impromptu DJ set reminiscent of Blaise Belville’s famous Boiler Room series for the lingerers at The Mill, a near perfect end for an energetic and overall fun show. You did not have to be a music lover to appreciate the energy and good vibes that both performances brought to yet another successful night of music at the Mill.

Cinestudio review: “Blue is the Warmest Color”



Is there such a thing as love at first sight? “Blue is the Warmest Color,” playing on one night only this Wednesday, April 15 at Cinestudio wants to prove that there is. Adele, a 15 year-old girl, is literally stopped in her tracks as she crosses the street one day. The cause of her sudden jolt: a blue-haired, 22 year old artist named Emma.

Adele is a little more than a child. She has often felt adrift in the world, with few friends or interests. With wild brown hair and a tendency to slack in her social life, it’s a part of her most basic and intrinsic nature that she is out of phase with the things that are happening around her.

But on this day, without so much as a warning, she has fallen in love in the same way that a person might walk into a sliding glass door. Is Adele a lesbian? If she is, it’s news to her. All that she knows for sure is that the longer she is forced to go without seeing this woman, the more pain she will have to endure. Young Adele twitches and coughs –  it’s as though her feelings are poisoning her more and more every day. But before long, she spots her blue-haired muse again, and a relationship begins.

Emma is an eccentric – she sees in Adele a very adultlike loneliness. The 15 year–old is a stranger in a strange land that she cannot hope to understand on her own. Their feelings toward each other intensify and become physical, and Emma and Adele navigate each other’s feelings using a filter of European art and philosophy. They see themselves in terms of Sartre and Klimt, and at the same time, we see in them, a cosmic inevitability. Their souls have entwined themselves, and cannot be unwound.

The months flutter by in a hail of warm French sunlight mingled with electric blue, and the couple continues to live in the new Belle Epoch that they have built around themselves. The opinions of friends and family members matter less and less the older our heroines become, and soon, years have passed. A new element seeps into their dream–life: the two women are growing apart. The old passion of the past is gone, and the very grim reality sets in: when Adele and Emma found themselves, they realized they had little in common with each other. Adele must reconcile her doubt, and keep moving forward past these new challenges, or take the risk of being on the outside again, out of sync and completely alone. She had nothing before Emma, and she would have nothing without her.

Director Abdellatif Kechiche makes us question the validity of romantic love in all its forms. Is falling in it and having your heart broken the only surefire way to understanding your true self? And vice versa: does one need to understand one’s own feelings to be happy and in love? The result is a gorgeous and emotionally costly piece of film that moved and saddened me. Kechiche must be a bold man to make a movie like this. Its’ emotionally wrenching, visually glorious, and graphically fearless: the romance scenes here are not for the squeamish. They work though, because of their complete honesty, and because of that same filter of French sensibility and art– culture that permeates the film. One probably wouldn’t blush looking at an impressionist nude painting – the hopeful theory is that you will see these scenes in the same light.

“Blue Is the Warmest Color” is bold in that way, but ingeniously subtle in others – by the end of the film, we have watched Adele grow from a naive girl into a very independent woman without even noticing how quickly the time was passing. Filmmaking like that is tough to pull off successfully, especially side by side with themes like sexuality, adulthood, rejection and fate. Rather than chaptering his story with road signs and milestones, Kechiche makes it known that this is a coming–of–age story told in a haze of emotional blindness so carefully procured that in time, glances and smiles mean more than words and monologues. It’s no coincidence that the film won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival when it was shown there.

“Blue Is the Warmest Color” is an excellent film, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. But the thing is, it hurts to watch. Some of the best movies are like this: I’m happy that I saw it – you would be too – but the whole truth is that I don’t want to see it again for a long time.

New cases shed light on double–standard of gay rights



Ever since Indiana passed their religious freedom bill, there has been incessant media coverage of states and groups speaking out against the new law. Proponents of the bill hold that the purpose is to protect one’s right to exercise religion from government intrusion. Indiana state representative Tom Washburne attempted to further explain the reasoning behind the law by stating, “it’s important that we allow our citizens to hold religious beliefs, maybe even those we might be appalled by, and to be able to express those.” Others interpret the bill to be a clear license to discriminate against gays and lesbians. So, there seems to be a need for balance. Is there any way to protect one’s right to exercise religion while preventing discrimination?

In light of recent disputes over Indiana’s law, many cases have been brought to the forefront as examples. Two cases in Colorado recently examined in The New York Times are known as the “Cake Wars.” In the first case, a gay couple was turned away by a bakery in Denver that refused to make their cake due to the Christian faith of the baker. The couple went on to file a complaint against the baker, and the court ruled in their favor. In the court’s decision, the judge wrote “it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses,” but that would fail to “take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.” In this case I agree with the judge’s reasoning, but once the roles are turned, matters become difficult.

The other case nicknamed “Cake Wars” demonstrates what has been the common occurrence when cases are created on the opposite side. Customer Bill Jack visited multiple bakeries this past summer seeking out a baker that would make a strongly biblical cake for him. Jack requested a cake shaped like a bible with several religious messages on it, which included “homosexuality is a detestable sin.” Subsequently, Jack was refused at three different shops. He claimed he was discriminated against based on his religion and filed a complaint, just like the gay couple in the previous case did. However, Jack’s complaint was denied by the state of Colorado because investigators established that he was denied because the owners of the shops considered his message to be hateful and offensive, not because of his faith. Doesn’t this create a double standard? Couldn’t the owner that refused the gay couple feel that gay marriage was offensive to his religion?

Following Colorado’s rejection of Jack’s complaint, Jack issued a statement concerning what many feel is hypocrisy by the government. Jack stated, “it is offensive that the state of Colorado prosecuted Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop for bringing his Christian faith to bear in his decision not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, yet business owners who decide to refuse service to a Christian wanting Bible verses on cakes are exonerated by the state.” Republican Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, a state lawmaker who supports Bill Jack’s opinion, believed the court’s decision was unfair and said “I’m very disappointed in the hypocrisy that the Colorado government only punishes Christian bakers.” Klingenschmitt also asserted that the First Amendment protects all bakers and that Jack’s case only demonstrates bias by the government.

An interesting counterpoint to all the proclamations of the First Amendment freedom of exercise is the First Amendment freedom of speech. While it is commonly assumed that the two must work simultaneously, they can also counter each other. Can the government force someone to publish what one considers to be hateful speech, whether or not it is religiously affiliated? And if the government does in fact require a religious individual or organization to accept work that is against their values on the basis of antidiscrimination, does that count as a restriction on freedom of speech?

When questioned about freedom of speech versus anti–discrimination, Colorado cites its anti-discrimination law, which aims at protecting people from bias in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Additionally, their anti–discrimination law specifically includes gays and lesbians. Colorado’s anti–discrimination law is not the first to be tested. A florist in Washington was sued for not providing flowers to a gay wedding. A photographer in New Mexico was found guilty of violating the state’s anti–discrimination law when they would not take pictures for a gay couple’s commitment ceremony in 2006.

As numerous state governments go back and forth on whether or not to support law similar to Indiana’s religious freedom bill, it will be noteworthy to see where the federal government decides to stand. Will the rights of gays and anti–discrimination take precedence over freedom of religion? Is there any way for both rights to coexist?


U.S. current drinking age is hazardous to health



Countless stories have circulated in recent months regarding alcohol–related deaths on college campuses. Horror stories flash across newspapers and television sets baring the details of parties that got out of hand, initiation rituals that went horribly wrong, or just cases of an individual being alone and incapable of taking care of themselves. The common theme is an excess of alcohol, and the problem is a solvable one.

The solution, however, is not to ban parties, segregate housing by gender, or wipe Greek life from the campuses at which Greeks hold influence. In fact, these elements are critical for a college experience that is well–rounded, rewarding, and truly educational. The majority of learning occurs outside the classroom, and sterilizing social interactions will not save students from poor decisions or dangerous mistakes. What happens when these students graduate and go to a bar for the first time? What happens when these students go to a party and have no concept of how to self–manage and pay attention to the pace at which they are drinking?

Taking a variety of classes across a broad array of disciplines is crucial to a person’s development and growth as a worldly, knowledgeable, and adaptable adult. This is the founding principle behind liberal arts colleges, and it must extend to the social aspects of these environments as well.

If people learn by experience, how can students and young people in general be expected to understand their personal limits when it comes to alcohol? It is crucial that they be afforded the opportunity to learn and, quite frankly, make mistakes.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, the drinking age actually poses a threat to the health and safety of young people in the United States. It is no secret that college students are able to access alcohol regardless of whether they are of legal age to buy it, so the law does no good to prevent them from actually drinking. What it does prevent, however, is consumption of alcohol in reasonable, moderate quantities. Students drink heavily on weekends hidden away from the judging eyes of the administration and any other adults that may slap them with a disciplinary measure.

The vast majority of college students have witnessed a gravely ill, heavily intoxicated peer stubling across a path or slumping into an involuntary nap in the corner. A large number of college students will have these experiences themselves, many more than once.

The reason for this is not open kegs at parties, or the influence of Greek life on American college campuses. The problem is that these students have never been exposed to the college party environment. No matter how many times a high school senior has missed curfew or snuck out the back door of the liquor store, they have never truly had time to adapt to the culture of a typical college. Not only do they need to adjust to the academic rigor, living away from home, and starting a new chapter in their lives, but they have to do so while acclimating to a newly accessible substance that, unless one is careful, can quite literally be lethal.

Changing the legal drinking age from twenty–one to eighteen years of age would be the first step towards allowing students the opportuinty to experience adulthood without feeling the need to binge and hide from sight. It is a major responsiblity, and one that can only be mastered through practice. Experience is the best teacher. I am certain it would be very easy to find a Trinity College student who had a particularly rough night and vowed to pay more attention the next time they went out.

There is nothing wrong with discouraging the excessive consumption of alcohol in any environment. There is, however, something wrong with making young people avoid medical attention or care when they need it for fear of disciplinary consequences. One’s transcript should never get in the way of health. Trinity can take strides in solving this problem  by implementing an immunity policy for first–time offenders, or by encouraging the prioritization of health over discretion. College students will drink no matter what, and the best decision would be to help them do so in a way that encourages them to safely have their fun. Lowering the drinking age would almost certainly allow young people the chance to adjust to the new responsibility before being inundated with alcohol as soon as they arrive ona  college campus.

Ted Cruz nomination poses threat to Republican Party



I’m a Republican. I sympathize unquestioningly with the parenthesized “R,” and despite an imagined sense of individuality, I vote almost entirely along party lines.  Maybe then, this sudden departure from my typical loyalty reflects the gravity of the issue that now threatens the demise of my ideological faction.

The recent and ongoing candidacy announcements have shown us the extremism that still plagues the party, cloaked in misguided Christian morality and led by the our most dangerous demagogue, Ted Cruz.

His Princeton education and distinguished clerkship mislead us to a sense of assurance. This feeling is consistently undermined by his zealous commitment to the archaic convictions of generations past. In fact, he champions the last few ridiculous beliefs that shackle to GOP a bygone era of social oppression and an arbitrary notion of uniformity – opposition to women’s rights, environmental protection, and gay marriage. Cruz entrenches himself in unreasonable positions on these social issues, appealing only to a base of voters that would never turn away from the party and simultaneously scaring away every undecided American with moderate intelligence and access to a voting booth.

He fancies himself a political archetype, in the likeness of Reagan or H.W., but makes his name in cheap, public stunts, like filibustering his own bill, rather than a commitment to innovative policy construction. Though they unilaterally dismiss Obama’s administration as ineffectual, Republicans can at least realize the bold legislative steps that the President has taken in accordance with his political vision. Cruz’s political career, however, has focused on antagonism and vocal criticism of Democratic policy without bringing anything significant to the floor himself.

But I suppose I fear most that he’ll secure the nomination. If he does, he will spread the message that the elephants have killed themselves with obsolete conventionalism during a time of progression. When we insist on lecturing the educated masses on the perils of homosexuality and the ethical quandaries of abortion, we alienate independent voters and undermine our platform as a whole. How, really, can a candidate defend a respectable stance on foreign or economic policy minutes after unabashedly denouncing a woman’s right to her own body? The answer rests on a fundamental tenet of his campaign philosophy. Cruz has correctly realized that logical and consistent rhetoric delivered with decorum typically goes unnoticed, whereas rabble–rousing attracts the most immediate attention. By removing the nuance and complexity from controversial issues, he reduces them to straw-men that he can knock down in an act of political extremism that discourages compromise. In essence, he commits himself to simplified ideals that can be easily endorsed but are unrealistic and no longer in vogue.

So he stands in front of the cameras and outlines his platform as a series of ultimatums, demanding unwavering support for Israel, abolishing gay marriage, and bombing enemy combatants “back into the stone age.” The attention this receives, however, has proven mostly negative. Of course, small voting pockets appreciate his defense of Christianity and hard–lined approach to military intervention, but many more dismiss him as sophomoric. They are questioning his views. They are reflecting on the reality he has ignored. Considering him in the context of the subtlety of international relations, the intricacy of environmental sustainability, and even the voters accepting his idealized version of reality at face value. Many find it difficult to agree with his views upon close inspection. In fact, I’d wager that polling will indicate a greater apprehension among Independents towards Republicans as his campaigning progresses.

I obviously hope, then, that Cruz falls short of the nomination and cannot pose the tremendous risk of actually winning the presidency. More importantly, though, I believe that leaving him off the ticket might signal very clearly to the reluctant Independents that the GOP has finally left behind our last vestiges of anachronism and gone along with the social progression that our generation demands.


Harrison’s comment recieves wrong attention



Last Saturday brought a couple of losses for the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball program. Not only did they squander their perfect 38–0 record in a Final Four rematch from the prior year against the Wisconsin Badgers, but sophomore point guard Andrew Harrison was caught mumbling a racial slur under his breath in the post–game press conference.

When fellow teammate Karl–Anthony Towns was asked about National Player of the Year, Frank Kaminsky, who scored 20 points and 11 rebounds, the microphone picked up Harrison mumbling “F*** that n*****.” The comment quickly stirred up controversy, casting a negative light over a player who had been considered a humble leader.

Despite the fact that Harrison is black and Kaminsky is white, many found the comment inappropriate. However, I believe it was taken out of context by many. Many have grown to consider the use of the term to be acceptable when used by members of the black community, and unacceptable by any other party.

A black man calling someone a “n*****,” whether the person is black or white, is in no way comparable to a white person saying the same. As much as that seems unfair, and as much as I personally disagree with the use of the word entirely in any context, it is simply a construct.

Without trying to generalize, many black people, especially in the younger demographic, use the term very loosely, referring to each other and others using the word, even using clarifiers such as “white” or “Spanish” before the term itself. For many, it is a term equivalent to the likes of “bro” or “man” and is not derogatory in certain contexts.

Although the word may be conversational in nature in certain contexts, if a white person was to refer to anyone using the term, a majority of people would be highly offended, and rightfully so. The term is undoubtedly derogatory and has no place in the vocabulary of white people in modern society.

I believe the word’s position in modern culture only serves to create a separation between black and white people. The term is divisive in nature, and casual use by white or black individuals perpetuates division of the races. If a white person were to use the word casually, with no derogatory undertone, it would not be acceptable. So the word’s standing as acceptable, only when used by black people, is innately conflicting.

A black Trinity student, Archimede Jerome ’17, said the word is fraternizing: “It’s a term of endearment.” However, he continued that the word’s place in history, as a derogatory way for white people to refer to slaves, makes it inappropriate for white men to use the word in any context, because it is essentially reverting back to the word’s discriminatory roots.

I absolutely do not disagree with the notion that the word is one of endearment with comradely qualities in certain contexts. Having said that, I still disagree with the word’s presence in society. Although I acknowledge the word’s historical roots, which obviously differentiates it from the likes of “bro” or “man,” I think its current role would be the equivalent of one group of people not allowing another to use any term like “bro” to refer to each other because it would be taken offensively.

That doesn’t mean I think the term should be socially acceptable for any and all races to use; in fact, I think the opposite. Like I said, I can’t dispute the term’s fraternal quality. It is evident in film, music, and the media. It’s seen even here on campus. However, the use of the word in reference to other non-black people has gotten away from its post-slavery fraternal roots, and for that reason I think the word shouldn’t be used.

After the incident a  black ESPN anchor, Michael Wilbon, openly stated that he uses the word casually and as a term of endearment in certain contexts, but says it’s understandable that people want it abolished from the workplace. He has said it is a difficult and complicated issue, and it is acceptable based entirely on who uses it and whom they address.

Andrew Harrison’s use of the word was not discriminatory; it was not racially charged in any way. However, it is an example of how the word has transformed from a term of endearment among black peers to a substitute for the word guy, and that is extremely controversial, and the cause for frustration.

Many black people have the word indoctrinated in their vocabularies as a result of the society in which they grow up. It is not only a construct of the inner city, either. Black men of all ages and socioeconomic statuses are members of the unique group of individuals who can use the term without immediately introducing racially charged themes.

There are no racial or discriminatory undertones when black people use it casually. The issue lies in the use of the word conversationally in the presence of white people and the transformation of the word into the reference of any person. Equality cannot extend to use of this word because if it did, the term would again become venemous.

International relations profs. talk Cuba at Smith House



Last Thursday, students gathered at the Smith house for an engaging conversation organized by Trinity’s Amnesty International Chapter on the future of Cuba and United States relations, which ended with a lively exchange of ideas. Professor Eire from Yale University and Trinity’s own Professor Figueroa led the conversation. Both with relatively opposed points of view, managed to answer all the questions raised by the students.

Professor Eire provided some context, relating that on Dec. 17 two speeches were delivered, one from Obama in Washington, and one from Raul Castro in Habana, Cuba.  While Obama’s speech discussed the negotiations that the two nations had been having, indicating that Cuba was moving towards positive change in ideology, Castro made it clear that Cuba’s ideals were static and unyielding. Eire argued that the speeches and purported changes are merely cosmetic, and that in fact, the U.S. has never ceased relations with Cuba.  Indeed, they have staff and an equivalent to an ambassador in Habana. Furthermore, Eire surprised the audience by claiming that there is no embargo at all. What is more, the U.S. is Cuba’s fifth largest trade partner, and supplies it mostly with food and cloth.  Lifting the embargo, Eire argues, is simply granting Cuba credit, as currently they are allowed to trade only if they pay with cash in advance. Figueroa added to this point, saying that it is highly unlikely that Cuba will change its behaviors and its system, especially because the government still has an important percentage of supporters.

After explaining the many fallacies of Obama’s speech and opening the eyes of the audience to the actual reality of Cuban-American relations, Eire mentioned that the U.S. is looking to remove Cuba from a list of terror-sponsor states, in order to justify “lifting the embargo.” This, according to Eire, would be a terrible mistake, as Cuba has links with Hamas, Iran, and North Korea, among other countries and groups, and provides weapons to many of them.  In fact, Russia has reopened a Soviet-era spying station in Habana.  Re-engaging in relations with Cuba would imply the United States’ agreement with and support for the acts of terror that they are involved in.  Moreover, opening relations with Cuba and removing it from “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list would cast the United States in a hypocritical light. The US is known to intervene in other nations to prevent terrorism, and to pursue warmer relations with a state known associations terrorist organizations would be a betrayal not only of US values, but of the United States international interests.

To expound on his argument against opening relations with Cuba, Eire emphatically argued that the Cuban government endorses a system of modern slavery. Slavery occurs in many regions of the country and sectors of its economy. It is most prevalent in the tourism industry. Foreign investors, mainly from Europe and Canada, own many of the hotels and resorts in Cuba and under Cuban law they are forced to pay their workers European or Canadian wages. That would not present a problem, however, were it not for one key detail: the government receives workers’ paychecks and keeps 92 percent of them. Thus, the Cuban workers only receive 8 percent of their wages. Additionally, Cubans are only allowed into the resorts if they are employed there. This system bears a resemblance to the Apartheid system in South Africa.  By opening relations with Cuba and allowing American tourism, the U.S. would be fattening the wallets of Cuban generals who keep their countrymen’s paychecks, while contributing to a system of slavery.

Professor Figueroa contended Eire’s point and asked the audience; “Why do we have to treat Cuba differently than China or Vietnam, if Cuba is following the Maoist system of communism?” To this question, Eire responded in a raised voice, that we simply should not. He said that he wishes to never return to Cuba, and that he does not feel sorry for what he left behind because his entire family is dead, at least partially as a result of Cuba’s policies. He claims that he does not care about that, and that all he cares about are human rights. He strongly said that the U.S. is minimizing, ignoring, and to an extent hiding all of the human rights violations committed by these countries in exchange for economic benefits.

Overall, the conversation left Trinity students with a lot to reflect on. Eire tore apart a wall of half-truths and word games that the United States’ government has put forward regarding relations with Cuba. Attendees may well think twice before going to Cuba for vacation, knowing that they would be complicit in the oppression and effective slavery of many Cubans.

Plans for 200 Constitution Plaza discussed in open forum



On Thursday, April 9, an engaging open forum about Trinity’s newly purchased property at 200 Constitution Plaza was held for students.  The discussion was led by Trinity’s three consultants in this planning process:  Rachel G. Bratt, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, emerita, from Tufts University, and Catherine Donaher, an accomplished consultant in real estate development and master planning, and Stefanie Chambers, associate professor of political science. Though Trinity’s announcement of the property’s purchase at the beginning of this semester had much thought and discussion put into it, the planning process for the space is still in its early stages.

Two hundred Constitution Plaza is a five-story 135,000 square-foot office building located in historic downtown Hartford. Situated in the heart of Constitution Plaza in Hartford’s Business District, the building is just feet away from other long-standing institutions such as the Hartford Stage, XL Center, Brazilian Consulate, Connecticut Science Center, Spotlight Theatres and various other attractions. As Trinity gets closer to these establishments, more and more room grows for possible partnerships and collaborations between local leaders and students.

Although Trinity’s administration had some specific ideas as to how to use the space, there was a clear message that feedback and participation from the Trinity community was and would be continuously sought. Enthusiasm was quickly cultivated as soon as students posited their ideas and suggestions of what to incorporate into the building. Some ideas for the new facility included opening art galleries, centers for immigration, career and urban research, squash courts, labs, crash course lecture rooms, performance stages, dining, and incubator space amongst countless other suggestions. The possibilities seem just about endless. As of now, part of the design process, student input will be continuously sought. Enthusiasm was quickly cultivated as soon as students posited their ideas and suggestions of what to incorporate into the building. Some ideas for the new facility included opening art galleries, centers for immigration, career and urban research, squash courts, labs, crash course lecture rooms, performance stages, dining, and incubator space amongst countless other suggestions. The possibilities seem just about endless. As of now, part of the building contains classrooms and meeting spaces, lounge and breakfast areas, all with open floor plans, as well as atrium lobbies and a 200-seat capacity amphitheater. The upper two floors consist of high-quality office space that would be temporarily leased to build some sort of revenue as Trinity gradually grows into the new acquisition.

As President Joanne Berger-Sweeney shared in a February 19 letter to the campus community, the acquisition of 200 Constitution Plaza provides an opportunity to “enhance the overall educational experience at Trinity by expanding our programming opportunities and providing an additional focal point for further integration with the Hartford community.” The President’s priorities revolve around a synergistic connection being built between the different functions of the building and the different interests, talents, and needs of Trinity students, faculty, and the Hartford community. In order for the integration of the building into Trinity life to be successful, everyone will need to participate in some way, shape, or form. The building provides another outlet for Trinity and Hartford to engage with one another. This cooperation will ultimately be an opportunity for everyone to reflect on their values, goals, and aspirations for the institution collectively.

As more schools such as UConn and Capitol College make a presence in the downtown area, Trinity will have the opportunity to engage in the city as a small liberal arts college, lending its own perspective. However, as the open forum went on, it became apparent that a lot of students seemed to worry about how Trinity’s ambiance could be altered if part of the school were to move about three miles out into the city. Several students expressed that although they were excited about what the new building could bring to the Trinity and Hartford community, they wanted to ensure that school worked consciously to keep the college united as one entity. Conversation also indicated that daily and easily accessible transportation to and from Constitution Plaza would be needed in order to have constant movement of students, faculty and the community in the Hartford area. The administration would very much like to avoid having Trinity split into two “islands,” as it were.

The recently purchased building presents many opportunities and challenges that the administration wants the whole community to be aware of. However, the message is clear. President Berger Sweeney is prepared to be bold and engaging with Trinity’s new endeavor. Two hundred Constitution Plaza presents room for Trinity to gradually expand its presence in Hartford and into the greater community. This new element of campus infrastructure will be both historically significant and reflective of Trinity’s innovative leadership in a liberal arts education.


“Take Back the Night” considers sexual assault on campus



Trinity’s 14th annual event, “Take Back the Night”, helped to reinforce the message to survivors of sexual assault that they are not alone. This event is a national campaign to prevent and raise awareness about sexual and relationship violence. On Friday, April 11, Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS) and the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRAC) hosted the event, which proved successful despite the last-minute location change to Hallden Hall. The event was also spearheaded by Trinity groups like Trinity Hillel, Trinity Film Festival, and other teams, clubs, and organizations. SECS Coordinators, Mercedes Ward ’15 and Nicole Lukac ’15, opened the floor to performances with a reminder to attendees that the acts that would follow were included in order to help end rape on campus. They further included that some of the testimonies that would be shared might be too difficult for the audience to hear, and that there were people to talk to from Trinity’s Sexual Assault Response Team who could provide further assistance if necessary.

Other important reminders included that those who need to speak to someone in full confidence can go to the Reverand Allison Read and Chaplains John Selders and Shine at the Trinity College Chapel. One can also go to the Counseling Center to speak with Director Dr. Randy Lee, Assistant Director Dr. Kristine Kennan, Dr. Kate Marinchak, and Bonnie Scranton located at 135 Allen Place. To talk to someone in semi confidence—which means that the names will not be reported to the Title IX coordinator unless it is known that the offender is a repeat offender—and can speak to Laura Lockwood, the director of the Women and Gender Resource Action Center located on the second floor of Mather Hall. Additionally, those who need to consult someone can go to The Health Center in Wheaton Hall to speak with Director Martha Burke O’Brien and any staff members.

President Berger-Sweeney spoke after this introduction, stressing the importance of raising awareness of sexual assault. She added that one of the first tasks she dealt with as President of Trinity College involved organizing a task force to help prevent sexual misconduct. She stated that one of her top priorities here at Trinity is to battle the rampant sexual harassment, sexual assault, abusive relationships, stalking, gender identity violence and gender discrimination that pervades college campuses.

Trinity’s Title IX Coordinator, Dean Spurlock-Evans spoke after this, explaining the Sexual Assault Response Team’s goal of providing “support, assistance, explanation of reporting options, medical help, counseling, and referrals” to victims and survivors of sexual assault, rape, partner violence, and stalking. Spurlock-Evans explained that when reporting sexual assault, students have five options: 1. disclose anonymously online, 2. talk to the chaplains, counseling center, or rape/domestic violence hotlines in complete confidence, 3. ask the college to investigate, 4. ask the police to investigate, 5. talk to a SART member for help and support.

The President and Spurlock-Evans were followed by comic relief, provided by the Trinity College Moveable Joints. The group sought to show the audience, with a bit of humor, how to easily prevent sexual assault from occurring at a college party, because this is often where sexual misconduct occurs. When it seems like such a case is unraveling, such as the example provided by the Joints where a guy is taking a girl home who has had too much to drink in the hope of having sex,  there are several methods to help inhibit assault: one includes distraction, where friends of both the girl and the guy distract either party by inviting them to dance or, in the example, “go play some beer pong.” Additionally, friends of either party can try to talk to them to instill reason about either being too drunk to go home with the guy, as in the case of the girl in the example, or convincing the guy that it is not acceptable to hook up with a girl who is too intoxicated, as in the example provided. The presentation stressed that those who are too drunk, passed out, asleep, or otherwise incapacitated cannot give consent for any sexual act, whether it be kissing, touching, or penetration of any kind. The theme of “if you see something, do something” came from these simple steps that any student on campus should be able to exercise in order to help out a friend or stranger.

Ward then shared a moving story of a long-since graduated Trinity student, who was drugged and raped during her freshman year at Trinity. The student repressed the memories of her rape for three years before finally admitting to herself and others what had happened. Sexual assault can cause long-lasting trauma and survivors can be affected in many ways, such as depression, slipping grades, and other problems. Luckily, the student was grateful for many resources on campus who helped her come through not as a victim, but a survivor.

Trinity College Dischords member, Aysha Salam ’18, noted that “it was nice to see so many people at the event supporting the cause, and it was great to be able to perform for the event to help to spread awareness of sexual assault.” She, like many other performers in attendance like Elemental Movement, The Quirks, The Pipes, and The Trinitones, roused the crowd with powerful performances to support the effort to prevent sexual and relationship violence.

The message was heard loud and clear, and attendees learned valuable skills to help prevent sexual assault in the future. The event was a success, as it was both inspirational and informative, and it plays a key role in helping to change the campus environment on such an important issue.

Visting philosophy lecturer discusses ethics of reading



College students worldwide do a lot of reading. Be they humanities, sciences, or arts majors, it is safe to say that the vast majority of college students have spent a fair few evenings reading what might seem like an insurmountable volume of text. This past Thursday, April 12, a Common Hour lecture addressed a side of reading that few people, particularly college students, really consider: the ethics of reading. Over the course of an interesting lecture, Professor Dennis Schmidt from Boston College considered the implications of reading and the written word, using a philosophical text of Plato’s to illustrate his theory: that reading, if done quickly or improperly, is in fact an ethical wrong, and that proper reading is necessary for a thorough understanding of the world.

Schmidt opened with a discussion of literacy; he argued that the process of learning how to read fundamentally changes a person and their ability to live life. Plato argued that when one reads, they are filled with the words of another person – their mind belongs to the thoughts of someone who is absent. Further, since many texts were (and are) written by those who are now dead, Plato thought that it was foolish to spend one’s days absorbed in the words of those who were dead and gone, those who did not understand living anymore. Schmidt added to this point by explaining two observations that he had concerning Plato’s views. The first was that as children learn how to read, they are in fact learning something that is intrinsically human. Words are simply images translated into writing and voice, and by learning how to read, children gain access to a method of communication and an ability to express themselves, which is undoubtedly valuable. Schmidt’s second observation was that Plato’s negative attitude towards readings and literacy likely had their origin in the Greek culture of the day; illiteracy was widespread, and slaves were often the ones who were literate so that they could read to their masters – since their masters would not bother polluting their minds with the thoughts of other (generally dead) people. Slave masters, believing that reading would create space in the mind that did not exist before in a manner similar to love, did not want to be changed permanently by literacy.

The discussion expounded on one of Plato’s texts, “Phaedrus,” which Professor Schmidt saw as a catalyst to his theory about reading and literacy. “Phaedrus” describes the story of an orator (the titular “Phaedrus”) and Socrates having a conversation that touched on many of Professor Schmidt’s points. In the text, Socrates asks Phaedrus to dictate a text that he had memorized, which Phaedrus does with ease. Plato’s argument is that good writing should not be able to be easily memorized; good writing should be able to sustain itself and have a life of its own. The dynamism of good writing is reflected through its fluidity and its engaging quality – the reader should read a text and think about things outside of the writing, to be enthralled by what the author has to say, to make the author’s voice timeless. Poor writing, by contrast, is “like an epitaph” in that it is dead, static, and two-dimensional. Good writing is writing that allows the dead to speak, and to tell a modern audience of their times, to share their perspective, their truth and their reality. A literate person can see history as it happened to those who lived it, giving them undeniable wisdom – unfortunately, not all writing is of this caliber.

Plato’s story of Phaedrus continued by comparing knowledge to a garden. Professor Schmidt explained that Plato was referencing the “Garden of Adonis,” a famous myth from Plato’s time. The “Garden of Adonis” was planted to honor the death of Adonis, a hero of the Greek myths, known as the lover of Aphrodite, goddess of love. The Garden was planted quickly and given special nourishment to grow more quickly than usual – the result was a garden with plenty of plants but no roots, all aesthetic and no substance (tellingly like the man it was created for). Plato makes the argument that a life devoted to reading books is like the Garden of Adonis, without roots in reality and not true or substantive. Good writing is writing that allows the dead to speak, and to tell

It is on this final point that Professor Schmidt makes a critical distinction, a distinction that underpins his philosophical argument; it is not reading that can create a “Garden of Adonis” in people, it is not reading properly. Professor Schmidt argued that if one reads something too quickly, if one reads something and does not fully understand it, does not consider it from many angles, does not think critically about what it is that they have read, or does not read the text in its original, whole form, then their knowledge is incomplete. Like the “Garden of Adonis,” it is untethered, lacking substance. This distinction demonstrates the difference between being able to read and knowing how to read; to cultivate a healthy garden, one needs to allow it to grow at its own pace. With this logic in mind, rushing reading is the same as rushing plants – thus, proper reading is reading done slowly, thoughtfully, and methodically. With this in mind, Professor Schmidt confessed his fear that the modern age, particularly with the proliferation of technology and the constant demands on people’s time, will be the death of proper reading and the cultivation of true knowledge – a sobering notion.

Professor Schmidt ended the discussion with a question and answer session, which allowed the attendees to absorb and consider what he had said. The questions reflected his concern for the state of reading in the modern world, and spurred an interesting conversation about Professor Schmidt’s ideas.

With all of the stresses and distractions in the lives of students, students charged with reading and contemplating a vast number of texts, it is hardly a stretch to see the validity of Professor Schmidt’s concerns. Nonetheless it is important to believe that literacy can still help the past to interact with the present, and to make sure that despite all of the pressure, students can still absorb some amount of their coursework, that they can derive some meaning from what they are told to read, so that the voices of the past do not go silent. College professors not just at Trinity but nationwide might also do well to consider the implications of Professor Schmidt’s  talk. While the ethics or reading certainly occupy the minds of certain professors, this concern is not reflected in the syllabi handed out to college classes. Professors may want to conisder the time contraints that are placed on their students, so that they can truly learn and engage meaningfully with the material, to cultivate healthy gardens, to coin a phrase. A balance must be struck between quality and quantity, to ascertain how much reading can be assigned and reasonably read. Unfortunately, the style of most professors is to just assign everything and hope that the students can fit it all in. This is not necesarily the most ethical system, at least according to Professor Schmidt

But, says the popular refrain, that’s just college.


Sedona Georgescu ’17 recreates memories in her room



A dorm room is the perfect opportunity for someone to express themselves in any way they want. For the amount of time spent in a dorm room, it is also important to make it as warm, welcoming, and cozy as possible.

Sedona Georgescu ’17 was able to make her room in The Fred her ideal living space. The Fred, which may not be well known to most students, is located within the Summit Suites on the south end of campus. It is a dormitory committed to putting on events every Friday night, creating engaging groups based on students’ interests that are open to all, and providing a common free-space area for the entire college community.

Georgescu has the best of both worlds, sharing a quad with three other roommates while still having her own individual space. As someone who loves decorating and interior design, Georgescu was responsible for not only her room, but the common room as well. The common room is decorated with a floral tapestry, a Trinity flag, and a light up “Hello” sign. It is also filled with personal furniture rather than the average dorm furniture.

As one enters Georgescu’s room, eyes are automatically drawn to the fluffy, bright green and blue paisley duvet and her favorite matching throw blanket. It immediately adds some warmth and relaxation to the room. Her walls are covered in memories, with photos, collages, and other homemade decor scattered all over them. Many of the pictures are of family, friends from home, and Trinity buds too. One of her closest friends made her a one of a kind piece – a calendar made from paint samples. It’s a special touch that reminds Georgescu of home.

Georgescu also added more personal touches by getting rid of some of the classic tacky Trinity dorm furniture. She replaced her desk chair with a comfortable white and blue lounge chair. In addition, Georgescu purchased a cream loveseat for some extra sitting or sleeping space when she has visitors. The rugs and curtains in her room are also trendy additions to the typical boring Trinity room. One piece is a fuzzy shag rug and the other is a beautiful flower design. The curtains match the rugs with their teal shade.

The lamb, perched on the back on the loveseat, is a piece from Georgescu’s childhood. In the midst of a move, her grandmother came across the stuffed animal and insisted that Georgescu keep it in her room as a memento. In addition, the throw pillow was a gift from a close friend, who shared a similar interior decorating interest with Georgescu.

One unique piece in Georgescu’s room is the cardboard deer head that is mounted on her wall, named Bucky. Bucky’s twin, Rudolph, is at home with Georgescu’s sister and serves as a constant reminder of her sisterly bond. The deer head was made by Georgescu and her sister and is covered with a garland of hearts, which is also homemade.

Another important part of her room is the bookshelf above her desk. Overflowing with all of her many course books and favorite stories and novels, it is put to good use every single day. There are also many picture frames and souvenirs scattered throughout the shelf.

Georgescu always thoroughly enjoys decorating her room for holidays. She has plenty of decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and even a pink, sparkly tree for Christmas. Except for the tree, the majority of her holiday decorations are homemade.

When asked about her room design, Georgescu wrote, “the hardest part was finding a balance between form and function. My room is only so big and I needed space for storage but I wanted to maintain the ambience of order. I want people to step into my room and forget they are in a college dorm. Why should we be limited by a few cinder block walls and a sad wooden chair? I encourage all students to take the pledge to go forth and decorate with pride!”

Demystifying the sonorous Trinity College Chapel bells



Have you ever been jolted from your bed at 12:30 in the afternoon or rudely interrupted while studying in the Econ library by a cacophony of bells ringing? Has your most recent Snapchat story included you dancing around on the quad to the bells? Trinity is home to one of the finest carillons in the country. A carillon is the largest outdoor instrument, and regarded by many, as being the loudest instrument ever conceived. Trinity’s 49-bell carillon was cast by the famed John Taylor & Sons bell foundry in England and is housed in the belfry, nearly 150 feet above campus. Until the construction of skyscrapers in downtown Hartford, the chapel was the tallest building in the city. Since the bell tower is situated atop the highest hill in the Hartford, it still remains the highest point in the city.

If a musician plays for a “voluntary” audience, a carillonneur plays for a captive one. Bystanders do not have much of a choice if they want to listen or not, and any tour guide can attest to the difficultly of trying to speak to a group when the carillon is blaring in the background. Trinity’s carillon is classified as a municipal instrument and as such, provides music to tens-of-thousands of people in the greater Hartford area. Keeping in mind that everyone might not appreciate the music selections, we mostly stick to the classics like Handel and Mozart. We try to select non-intrusive pieces providing a melodic theme, without being overwhelming. Taylor & Sons is known for their low, sonorous base notes. If you are a Jarvis resident and have found yourself being jolted from your bed on a Saturday morning at 12:30, you can thank these large bells. The lowest note is the bourdon bell, tuned to B flat, weighing a staggering 5,600 pounds, while the highest note, tuned to a high C, weighs about 28 pounds.

People always ask how I initially got involved in playing the carillon and to be honest, it was purely by happenstance–  I was working in the chapel one day and our college carillonneur, Ellen Dickinson, came in to make some photocopies, and the rest, as they say, is history. Trinity is very fortunate to have such a highly regarded carillonneur playing weekly recitals and serving as the official carillonneur for school events. Should you be interested in learning to play the carillon for fun or academic credit, please let us know. We would love to have you join our guild.

The carillon is a unique instrument in that it requires a bit of physical involvement on the part of the player. First, you have to climb the 150 steps to the player’s chamber. Once there, the player must hit batons, which resemble levels by making a closed fist and hitting the batons with considerable force. The batons connect to wires, which run to the belfry. In the belfry, the wires pull tension rods, which then pull a clapper to strike the bell. Whenever I give tours people are never sure what to expect. Unlike some chime systems in Europe, our bells remain stationary while playing; the only thing that moves is the clapper.

Tours of the tower are frequently given throughout the academic year and we highly encourage that you go on one. Every tour includes a comprehensive rundown of chapel history and carillon technique. If you are around during the summer, the college hosts world-renowned carillonneurs during our summer concert series. Hundreds of concertgoers bring picnic dinners and relax on the quad during a beautiful summer evening.

The last thing that needs some explaining is this paradox of the carillon player. Seldom does a carillonneur play with an audience in the tower. Yet, the carillon has the largest audience of any instrument. Our carillon has been a part of the lives of Hartford residents within a five-mile radius of the tower for generations and we frequently receive words of thanks for our work from the community. The carillonneur remains mostly anonymous, and most people think that it is controlled by a computer – it’s not. A real person is up there playing whenever you hear it.

While Yik-Yak remains my sharpest critic, I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy the background sounds from the belfry when you are relaxing on the quad and come visit for a tour!

1930s at Trinity was not so different than today



Most Trinity students would agree that some of their favorite aspects of the school include the beautiful architecture, closeness among friend groups and students, and the history and traditions that lie ‘neath the elms. Looking back at old copies of The Ivy, Trinity’s yearbook, I got the sense that the student body was more vivacious than previous decades. The photos printed throughout showed students having class on the quad, surrounding the construction site of the Chapel, and tossing a football during their free time.

The photos from the yearbook show a much more classic style. The tennis team, for example, truly embodied the definition of “tennis whites,” wearing white slacks, white button downs or polos, and Trinity knit letter sweaters. Furthermore, rather than depicting stress, pledging activities, or confusion, there were now both academic and social superlatives and images representing the various class years. Superlatives included “Most Likely to Marry First,” “Best Natured,” “Handsomest,” and “Best Student.” Other reflections included “Favorite Cigarettes,” “Favorite Automobile,” “Best vs. Worst Lecturer,” and “Favorite Women’s Club.”

Tradition still shone through; in earlier editions of The Ivy, the illustrations introducing each class year were of knights – most likely students – on horses attempting to conquer their time at Trinity. Additionally, the senior class was represented by a cap and gown, rose, pipe, book and diploma, the same images that signify commencement at any school during any time period.

Despite the fact that the 1930s were a time of economic depression, Trinity worked to build up the spirit of the school by building the Chapel. The construction of the Chapel, Trinity’s most iconic work of architecture, as well as the city of Hartford’s, is the highlight of this decade in our school’s history. Today, the Chapel remains both a spiritual and historical part of Trinity and is often featured in student’s Instagram feeds. The 1931 edition of The Ivy contained an essay titled, “The New Trinity College Chapel,” with a notable quote representing the emotional meaning of this iconic building:

“We have watched from the time the ground was first broken. We have seen the steam shovels pick up the first bits of green campus, and we have seen the cement–mixers, other symbols of our great machine age, coming with their vast loads of fluid solidity to mould foundations which will outlast the weathers of many ages to come. We feel that we have a real connection with the new chapel, for its beginnings and its completion will have been ours to watch. For us it is one of the many ties that bind us to Trinity, a symbol for us to live up to in the years to come and something vital which we shall connect with our college life forever.”

The 1930s at Trinity was both deeply significant to the college’s history and truly iconic of the decade in general. We should not only remember, but also continue to embrace and appreciate the beautiful and outstanding history of Trinity College. To this day, students crowd the quad during nice weather and wear graphic clothing showing off Trinity’s name and logo.

Whether or not we show this appreciation by examining historical documents at the Watkinson Library, getting involved in organizations on campus that truly empower the student body, or simply Instagraming a photo of friends enjoying their time on the quad, the past, present, and future Bantams all share a close bond as Trinity students.

Men’s Hockey skates to national title over Wisconsin



It was an exciting Saturday night to be a Bantam, a sentiment that resonated across campus when the Men’s Hockey Team won their first ever National Championship. Trinity College Athletic Director Michael Renwick echoed the excitement after the game saying that, “the historic accomplishment this past weekend could not embody more fully what it means to be a Bantam.” After finishing the season as the leader of the NESCAC, they gained an at-large bid in the NCAA Men’s Hockey Division III Tournament and were able to advance to their first ever championship game. After missing a bid in the 2014 Tournament, the Bantams were fired up and ready to play aggressively throughout the tournament to claim the win. The Championship game was held at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Bantams played the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point team,  who finished the season with a record of 23-7-1.

The entire game was aggressive throughout, with both teams holding onto the desire to win. The first goal of the game came on a power play and was by Bantam Sean Orlando ’17 who notched his 15th goal of the season at 3:38. Later on, in the first period, Trinity became a little too excited and were penalized for having too many men on the ice, resulting in a power play for Stevens-Point. This in turn, allowed Stevens-Point to gain some momentum and score their first goal of the game by Kyle Brodie which brought a 1-1 tie going into the first intermission of the game.

The excitement continued throughout the second period when the Bantams were able to gain back some momentum and Michael Hawkrigg ’16 was able to score his 16th goal of the season, resulting in a 2-1 socreline and Trinity lead at 1:52. The rest of the second period was back and forth, with many shots by both teams, but none of them resulted in any goals. The third period started with equal momentum, but at 9:10 Nick D’Avolio from Stevens-Point was able to score, tying the game at 2-2. This was a great goal by Stevens-Point who struggled throught the entire game to convert their shots to actual goals. Trinity was fired up by the goal by Stevens-Point and came back aggressively with the desire to win. It was at 6:08 in the third period when Ethan Holdaway ’17 fired the puck from within the right circle, a goal which became the eventual game winner, breaking the tie. At the end of the third period Stevens-Point made a few shots on net, but the NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and Trinity goalie, Nathaniel Heilbron ’16, was able to save them. This caused Stevens-Point to pull their goalie in order to create some excitement for the last few minutes of the game. This did not give them the momentum that they wanted and caused Bantams Conor Coveney ’15 and Greg Rooney ’15 to score empty net goals to seal the win even further and reach their first ever National Championship win. Orlando, Hawkrigg  and Captain Mike Flynn ’15 were also honored for their play in the tournament.

The win was earned from the hard work and perseverance. Athletic Director, Michael Renwick, said while describing the team, that the Bantams were, “a great group of young men set out to accomplish a goal together and worked selflessly to do just that. This was a championship for the ages for which the young men on this team will never forget, and nor will the great Trinity community.” The championship concluded a fantastic season by the Men’s Hockey team who finished with a record of 25-3-1, which is a new school record. Although many fans were not able to travel to Minnesota, the Trinity College community was with them in spirit. This is certainly a victory that Trinity will always remember.Congratulations to the Trinity College Men’s Hockey Team on a great win as well as an amazing season.

Bantam Athlete of the Week : Michael Flynn ’15



Congratulations to the Trinity College Men’s Ice Hockey Team for winning its first national NCAA Division III Championship. In order to properly celebrate, it would only be right to look back at one of the contributing players who was a part of it. This incredible season can be attributed to, in part, senior tri-Captain Michael Flynn. As a defensive player, Flynn has contributed tremendously to the team’s outstanding defense. Thanks to Flynn and his defense, the team entered the final game with an amazing record of 24-3-1, with their win in the final moving them to a record of 25-3-1. Flynn himself has some impressive accomplishments, which include making the AHCA/CCM Division II/III All-American East 2nd Team, New England Hockey Writers Association Division II/III New England All-Star Team, and All-NESCAC 1st Team his junior year. Despite being a defensive player, Flynn is known for his ability to assist and score. In his junior year Flynn was 4th on team in assists and the top scoring defenseman.

When Flynn was young he found inspiration in the New York Yankees. “My favorite athlete growing up had to be Derek Jeter. Being a die-hard Yankees fan, I always looked up to him as a leader and unbelievable baseball player. He always did the right thing and carried a swagger like no other athlete I have ever watched.” This mentality helped Flynn through his high school career in preparation for college. “My high school competition definitely prepared me well for hockey at the collegiate level. I attended Avon Old Farms and was constantly going up against the top prep school players in New England, which made the transition to college much easier.” This was certainly beneficial, as Flynn proved in the team’s semi-final against Adrlan. After a somewhat static first half, Flynn’s assist to junior Elie Vered helped to create a spark that would lead the Bantams to a 5-3 victory. This victory would eventually lead the Bantams into their 5-2 victory against Wisconsin Stevens-Point. Despite this tremendous win, Flynn remembers another win that stands as his favorite moment at Trinity. “My most exciting sports moment at Trinity had to have been the win over Plattsburgh State in this year’s NCAA quarterfinals. We punched our ticket to the Frozen Four in front of a packed house and against a national powerhouse at the D-III level”.

Overall, Flynn and the Bantams have had a rollercoaster of a season. After making the NCAA tournament following their loss in the NEASCAC, the team has gone against all expectations and demolished their opponents (while also doing so with a four win streak). In his previous interview before the final, Flynn was unsurprisingly confident in his team. “This season has been an unbelievable ride. Our loss in the NESCAC certainly came unexpectedly but we were lucky enough to receive a bid for the NCAA tournament and we are making the most of it. I’m confident in what our team brings to the table day in and day out and know we have what it takes to make a legitimate run at the National Championship title,” and what a run they had. Flynn and the rest of the team have had a terrific season and they have made Trinity extremely proud to have a second national title this year.

Experience wins out in the race to the Final Four




No Cinderella Stories this year. The Final Four will feature four of the biggest and most storied franchises in college basketball – Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Duke. For the first time since 2008, at least three of those teams are number 1- seeds.

Four of the most legendary coaches in the game find themselves in the Final Four again. Coach Krzyzewski (Duke) has reached the Final Four 12 times, Coach Izzo (Michigan State) 7 times, Coach Calipari (Kentucky) 6 times, and Coach Ryan (Wisconsin), who has won four D-III National Championships, twice.

Everyone expected Kentucky to make it, although they narrowly escaped ACC Champion Notre Dame in the Elite 8. Duke and Wisconsin, both number one seeds, were also favored to reach the national semis, overcoming number 2- seeds, Gonzaga and Arizona, respectively, in the quarterfinals.

The one team that is a bit  unexpected  is Michigan State, the number 7-seed in the East Region. Seeing as they are coached by former champion ,Tom Izzo, though, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Spartans ousted number 2-seed Virginia in the Round of 32, following that with victories over 3-seed Oklahoma and an overtime victory over Rick Pitino and 4-seed Louisville.

The Spartans success has hinged largely on the play of seniors Travis Trice, averaging 19.75 points and 4 assists per game, and Branden Dawson, averaging 11 points and 9.25 rebound per game, in their first 4 games of the tournament. Junior guard Denzel Valentine has also carried a lot of the weight, averaging over 13 points and just under six rebounds in the tournament.

They will face off with Duke, led by freshmen phenoms Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow. Okafor, the ACC Freshman and Player of the Year, stands 6’11” and is regarded as one of the best post players in the country and most likely the number one pick in this summer’s NBA draft, should he forgo his eligibility.

Both of these teams each boast three or four players averaging double figures in points throughout the season, but relatively weak benches as well. In Duke’s Elite 8 matchup with Gonzaga, all 66 of their points were scored by starters. For Michigan State to win this game, Travis Trice is going to have to continue his stellar production, a tall task against Duke senior captain Quinn Cook, who will likely guard him all game.

Branden Dawson will also have to hold his own in the post going up against the best center in the country. I think if Duke can hold Trice to under 20 points, State just won’t have enough fire power to win. If they can get some sort of offensive production from the likes of Bryn Forbes and Gavin Schilling, they may be able to pull the upset, but I think Duke will find itself in the final on April 6.

On the other side of the bracket, the rematch of the two super powers of college basketball over the last couple years will take place. First team All-Americans Willie-Cauley Stein and Frank Kaminsky will lead Kentucky and Wisonsin into the rematch of last year’s Final Four bout, in which Kentucky came out victorious.

Kentucky, led by an astounding nine McDonald’s All-Americans, has been ranked number one in every poll in the country since day one of the season, and have backed it with style, going an unprecedented 38-0. They are the first team in men’s college basketball history to win 38 games, and will reach a prestigious 40 victories if they are able to win their last two games.

The Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, are two of the most dynamic playmakers in the league, and passed up an opportunity to be first-round NBA draft picks, to come back to school and avenge their 2014 Championship loss to UConn. Freshmen Tyler Ulis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles have all played very significant minutes and have been essential in helping the team overcome the loss of junior Alex Poythress to an ACL tear mid-season.

On the other side, Wisconsin’s two-headed monster of Kaminsky and Sam Dekker will try to do what no one has been able to thus far. Dekker has been on an absolute tear in the last two games, notching career-highs in points in back-to-back games, with 23 points against UNC and 27 points against Arizona.

Dekker is lethal from three-point range and Kaminsky has a great mid-range and post game. The two will be likely first round picks in the upcoming NBA draft and will likely be the most star-power that Kentucky faces all season. Sophomore Nigel Hayes and senior Traevon Jackson will also be crucial for the Badgers in trying to down the Bobcats.

As hot as Wisconsin has been, I don’t think anyone has what it takes to down Kentucky. I feel like their fire power is simply too much for any team to match up with and their size will end up making all the difference. I anticipate a Kentucky-Duke Championship bout, rekindling some past March Madness memories, but where Duke has often come up victorious in the past, I think this year’s title belongs to the Wildcats. It will certainly be a fantastic Final Four, and we will be treated to some great basketball this Saturday and Monday.

2014-15 Men’s Basketball: A season to remember




The Trinity College Men’s Basketball team enjoyed by far its most successful season in recent memory this year, finishing 23-7 overall, winning the NESCAC regular season title, and ending up a few seconds shy of advancing to the Division-III Final Four. The Bantams were led by a strong group of six seniors; tri-captain center George Papadeas, tri-captain guard Hart Gliedman, tri-captain forward Steve Spirou, forward Alex Conaway, forward Austin Pidoriano, and guard Josh Peter. These seniors constituted the first recruiting class of fifth-year head coach James Cosgrove. They were joined by Jaquann Starks ’16, Shay Ajayi ’16, Andy Hurd ’16, and Rick Naylor ’16; and underclassmen Ed Ogundeko ’17, Chris Turnbull ’17, Chris Filpo ’17, and Brian Horn ’17; and Eric Gendron ’18, James McCullagh ’18, and Cord Stafford ’18.

Papadeas, the starting center for much of the season, provided an efficient interior scoring presence with 8.1 points per game on 57 percent shooting. Gliedman solidified himself as the best perimeter defender in the conference, consistently shutting down the opposing team’s best player and sacrificing his own offensive gains on the other end of the floor. Spirou was the quintessential “glue guy” for the team, facilitating others with screens on offense and taking the most charges on the team, defensively. Conaway emerged as a great two way player for the Bantams, capable of big games offensively but also able to defend the opposition’s best forward when necessary. Starks led the team on offense with 14.1 points per game, shooting 41 percent from the field and 44 percentfrom three, capturing First Team All-NESCAC honors for his efforts through the regular season. Ajayi was second on the team with 10.5 points per game, and contributed in other areas as well, averaging 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Hurd, a transfer from Division I Central Connecticut State, played a crucial role as backup point guard, playing his way into a bigger role as the season progressed, and ended up leading the team in assists with 3.2 per game. Naylor served as Gliedman’s backup as a perimeter defender, and also ended up being the second-best three point shooter on the team, shooting 36 percent from distance on the year. Ogundeko finished third on the team with 9.3 points per game, and led the squad with 7.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Turnbull played important minutes all season off the bench, playing a crucial role in big wins with timely three point shooting and pesky defense.

The season did not start out as planned, as the Bantams went 2-2 through the first two weekends with a pair of bad losses to Salem State and Cortland State. After that, however, the team rattled off 10 straight victories, highlighted by a pair of 30 point victories against Rivier and Norwich and a double-overtime win on the road against Williams. After a skid in which the Bantams lost 3 out of 4, including their only regular season conference loss to Tufts, the team had a 7 game win streak, which included a 16 point road win against Amherst, an overtime victory against Bowdoin, and a big win on senior night versus Colby. After finishing the conference schedule 9-1, the Bantams earned home-court throughout the NESCAC tournament, and used that to their  advantage in the quarterfinals with another win against Colby. The team ran into a red-hot Wesleyan team in the semifinals, though, and fell on their home floor 55-52. This led some to question whether or not Trinity deserved a spot in the NCAA tournament, but those fears were more than put to bed when the selection committee gave the Bantams the honor of hosting the first two rounds. In round one, Colby-Sawyer jumped out to a 24-8 lead, but over the balance of the game Trinity outscored the Chargers by 21 points to pull out a 60-55 victory. The following night against Salisbury, the Bantams stifled the Seagulls from the very start of the game and cruised to a 60-47 win. In the Sweet Sixteen, Trinity met up with conference foe Bates in a game with would decide who would be the last NESCAC team left standing in the tournament. The Bantams responded to that challenge with one of their best games of the season, blowing out the Bobcats 79-62. The next night, in the Elite Eight, Trinity had the number 4 ranked Babson Beavers on the ropes all night, leading almost the entire way and holding a 6 point advantage with 2:30 left on the clock. Babson was able to claw back to force overtime and ended Trinity’s season in a 76-69 decision. This constituted the second best finish in Trinity Basketball history, only behind the 1994 Final Four team, and resulted in the Bantams being ranked #17 in the final Division III basketball poll. A truly great season for the Bantams.

Womens Lacrosse marks the middle of the season at 10-1



The Trinity College Women’s Lacrosse team had a fantastic week as they beat both Connecticut College and Hamilton by a large offensive and defensive margin. With these two wins, the women have extended their winning streak to ten games, leading to an almost perfect 10-1 record within the NEASCAC.

The women’s match at Connecticut College on Wednesday was both an offensive and defensive show, with the total score coming out to 15-4 in favor of the Bantams. Midfielder Martha Griffin ’16 played a large part in the victory as she scored three goals and assisted on two others. While the game started at 3-1, the Bantams scored an astounding five goals within the final 10 minutes of the first half, leading them to a commanding 8-2 lead that wouldn’t be surpassed by the Camels. Clare Lynn ’17 and Allie Barret ’17 each scored three goals for the Bantams during the game, contributing even further to the offensive’s dominating performance. On the defensive side the Bantams held the Camels to a paltry 4 goals and 9 shots. This defense dominated thanks in part to goalie Zoe Ferguson ’18, who contributed to five saves. Players Ashley Stewart ’16 and Lara Guida ’17, along with the rest of the defense, also created many scoring opportunities for the Bantams by forcing 14 turnovers. While Camel player Tina Balzotti helped to contribute to the Camel’s four goals, they were no match for the Bantams.

The Bantam’s game against the Hamilton was more of the same greatness as they beat the Continentals 15-7. Eight of these goals were scored by Griffin  and rookie attacker Abby McInerney ’18, who each had four goals during the game. The Bantams dominated for the entire game and never let up on the Continentals. Barret received an assist by attacker Lynn early on in the game to bring the Bantams up 2-1. This goal would give the Bantams a lead that the Continentals wouldn’t be able to break for the rest of the game. Attacker Molly Cox ’15 also had a terrific game with two goals and one assist. While Caroline McCarthy of the Continentals scored twice in order to close the gap early on, the Bantams responded with three more goals, leaving no doubt as to who would win the game. Other scorers include tri-captain attacker and midfielder Renee Olsen ’15 with 2 goals and midfielder Nicole Stauffer ’17 with one goal and one assist. On the defensive side, goalies Emily Mooney ’16 and Ferguson had five saves, while the rest of the defense limited Hamilton to only 14 shots over a half hour period. Defender Hannah Whithiam ’17 caused three turnovers during the game, further helping the Bantams.

With these two wins, the Bantams have certainly made a name for themselves as they continue to be the number one ranked team within the NEASCAC. Among their statistics is an impressive 149 goals, with 13.55 goals per game, and an undefeated record when playing at home in Hartford.

Bantam Athlete of the Week : Lily Talesnick ’15




Lily Talesnick ’15 made NESCAC sports headlines when she took home three first place finishes at a recent outdoor track meet on April 4 at Amherst College in a spread of six teams.  The “Amherst Spring Fling” meet featured Tufts, Amherst, Brandeis, the Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College and Trinity.  Despite Tufts taking first in the women’s competition, captain Talesnick led the women’s throwing team to an impressive showing.

Talesnick’s athletic career at Trinity began as a Volleyball recruit, but after her freshman season she had to retire from the team due to health reasons.  However, she is a fierce competitor and refused to let her cardiac limitations prevent her from competing for the Bantams. When her sophomore year rolled around, she joined the Track and Field team, and has been throwing ever since.

It was not an easy start on the throwing squad, but Talesnick has learned a lot.  When she began, she did not know what a hammer, shot or discus was, but now she spends everyday thinking about how to improve and trains hard to be the best.

In true Trinity spirit Talesnick’s favorite athletes are not professionals or Olympic contenders. Instead she looks up to her fellow track captain Jenna Wilborne ’15 who has made three appearances at the DIII Nationals.  As she reflected on her favorite athletes she talked of Jaquan Starks ’16, Martha Griffins ’16  “and so many more that roam our campus every day who ultimately put Trinity across their chest and show their hearts on the court, ring, field, track, and classroom that I truly look up to.”

Beyond the track team, Talesnick is an integral part of the Trinity community. She is active in the Hillel groups on campus, as well as a manager for the Campus laundry service, in addition to taking roles around Ferris. Each summer she has taken time to be a leader in the QUEST orientation program, and helps first-years acclimate to a new college dynamic.

Even though she is fiercely competitive, Talesnick hold her family’s love at the core of her being. She is the youngest of four children,  and has had five amazing role-models in her parents and siblings. Her family has helped to mold her, “to be the type of person to do everything at 100 percent.”

Talesnick’s performance at the “Amherst Spring Fling” affirmed her determination, and left her with three medals to remind her that her hard work and 100 percent effort paid off. When Talesnick spoke of her team’s performance on April 4, she said, “I was so proud and happy of all of my teammates that performed well, which energized me to compete the way I did.  Track and Field is definitely a sport based on individual performance, which is something I have struggled with mentally.  This weekend, however, I felt very much a part of a force.”

There is still a good stretch of season left to go, but there is no telling how far Talesnick will go this year in NESCAC and in the DIII competition.  If Saturday’s performance is any indication of what Talesnick is capable of, Trinity will surely be adding a few more Track and Field golds to its historic trophy collection.

Trinity Baseball finishes series 1-2 versus Colby Mules




This past weekend, the Trinity Men’s Baseball Team travelled to local Hyland Park in Hartford to take on the Colby Mules in a two-day, triple-header showcase, that had both conference and division implications.

The first match got off to a quick start, with both teams scoring one run apiece in the first inning.  The Bantams continued to put the pressure on Colby starter Scott Goldberg, and loaded the bases later in the first inning with two outs.  Unfortunately, Trinity left the runners stranded, as Goldberg was able to eventually retire the side.

The strong pitching continued as Trinity’s left-handed starter, Jed Robinson ’16, held the Mules to six scoreless innings, and one earned run in seven innings pitched overall.  The middle stretch of the game was relatively quiet and there were no runs scored again by either team. The Bantams finally broke the stalemate in the fifth inning, until a leadoff single from outfielder Evan Abraham ’15 gave Trinity some momentum and eventually led to another score.

Heading into the seventh inning stretch, Trinity had a 2-1 edge, but it was in the final few stanzas of the game that the scoring really ramped up. In the eighth inning, Colby got two men on base and capitalized with an inside-the-park homerun from Daniel Csaplar.  The Bantams were shutout in the eighth inning and went into the final frame of the game trailing 4-2.

In the bottom of the ninth a walk, and a line drive single from Trinity set up third baseman Daniel Pidgeon ’16 with two runners on the bags with one out. Pidgeon battled the Colby relief pitcher until he knocked a three-run shot over the right field wall, in what sealed the game for Trinity as a walk off win.  It was Pidgeon’s first home run of the season, and it was a crucial one.

The Bantams had virtually no turnaround time, and were back out on the diamond at noon the next day to rematch Colby in a doubleheader.  Trinity was shutout 7-0 in the first fixture, but made the second game a lot more competitive, with some outstanding individual performances.  Outfielder Scott Huley ’15 went 1 for 4, which accounted for two RBIs and a solo homerun in the second inning. Brendan Pierce ’18 went 3 for 4, along with a stolen base and two runs.  Pierce had three of the teams six total hits that day.

However, in the end, Colby’s Daniel Csaplar and Tim Corey combined for two extra base hits, and a total of five RBIs on Saturday, and the Bantams fell for the second time 5-3.

Trinity has games this coming weekend with another conference and division matchup, and will be looking to bounce back from this past weekend’s performance as they take on Tufts at home. The team will start off the weekend at 3:00 p.m. on Friday April 10 for the first game, and then start their double header at noon on Saturday, April 11.




If you were in the audience for the Spring Dance show at the Austin Arts Center on Mar. 27, you would have had the opportunity to see the dance team, Elemental Movement, in action. One of their many talented members, Miguel Adamson ’17, is this week’s Bantam Artist of the Week.  Although he  joined the group in January of this year, he has quickly risen through the ranks to become an elite artistic performer.

In a recent interview he told the Tripod, “I joined [Elemental Movement] because I enjoy dancing a lot and meeting people.  Making new friends at Trinity isn’t always the easiest thing to do, so I wanted to expand my network while doing something that I liked. I never expected to join a dance group, but at the beginning of the semester, I told myself I had nothing to lose, so I tried out and the rest is history.”

In order to be a part of Elemental Movement, Adamson had to audition by learning a choreographed piece and then performing a free-style dance in front of the team, which he said was the most nerve-wracking part of all.

Elemental Movement practices in Trinity Commons, which is not too far from Summit South, Adamson’s dorm.  He is a part of several organizations on campus, including La Voz Latina where he is the community service chair, an intern for multicultural recruitment in the admissions office, and the social chair for Model United Nations. He has friends all across campus due to his involvement in so many extra curricular activities, and is distinguished by his famous catch phrases, such as “Your face,” “Excuse me,” and “Rude.” As an International Studies major, Adamson spends a lot of his time in classes and lectures, trying to become the world’s next great diplomatic leader.

Adamson does not really know when his passion for dancing began, but he is known for boasting his moves on Friday and Saturday nights at various houses on Vernon Street. His hobbies outside of academics and dancing include reading, playing music, and relaxing with friends.

Although he never danced in high school, Adamson engaged in art as a member of Washington D.C.’s Maret School Orchestra. They traveled all across the country, from New York to New Orleans, Nashville, and Los Angeles. He has also participated in many of the school’s musicals and plays.

“I’ve made tons of new meaningful friendships in the Elemental Movements – something I truly value because it’s a judge-free environment,” says Adamson. His favorite event has been the recent Spring Dance Concert, as it gave him and the rest of the group an opportunity to perform in front of a large audience, a thrilling and rewarding experience.  Unfortunately he had to miss out on a major performance because of a class trip to Canada.  As Adamson continues with his dance career, he looks to grow even closer with his group and to learn as much as he can about the art.


“Caustic Love”: the best album you have not heard



Over spring break I was lucky enough to spend time in London, where I perused quasi-hipster record stores, searching for what I knew was an impossible goal – finding a good, new English band. I did not succeed in this effort, but in the process I uncovered Paolo Nutini’s “Caustic Love,” the blue-eyed soul equivalent to the Arctic Monkey’s iconic, 2006 album, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.” The Arctic Monkeys hit the scene, mesmerizing American audiences with tracks like “Fluorescent Adolescent” and “A Certain Romance.” Nutini’s album is similarly characteristic; it embodies new age Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker, UK rock-soul.

If someone asked me what the three best songs on “Caustic Love” are, I would reply, without hesitation, 3) “One Day” 2) “Numpty” 1) “Better Man.” These three songs are the best representation of the album that harnesses blues forces and compounds them with the artist’s distinct and powerful voice to create its UK-infused soul sound. “One Day” serves to fill Nutini’s quota of heavy blues tracks on “Caustic Love.” Nutini introduces his uniquely Scottish style to the traditional love ballad’s somber message of love’s loss. “Numpty,” on the other hand offers an energetic complement to “One Day” with its characteristic opening guitar riff, fun piano accompaniment, and background horn section that ties it all together into the chorus.

“Better Man”  in my opinion, is the best track on the album and is also one of its simplest tracks. The song’s lyrical quality is evidenced by the subdued and minimalist instrumental accompaniment featuring an electric guitar, drum kit, bass and keyboard. Building from the start, the story centers on a man who, on the road to love’s discovery, comes to realize that his love for a woman makes him a “Better Man,” as the title suggests. “One Day,” “Numpty,” and “Better Man” all read like vignettes in the compendium of short stories that is the spectrum of love’s experience. The feelings elicited in Nutini’s album range from great loss and playful happiness to resignation and acceptance of love’s hold. These stories derive value from the universality of their messages, enhanced by Nutini’s unique sound and musical perspective. These are precisely the reasons why critics have declared Nutini “arguably Scotland’s biggest musician right now,” (BBC News) and why “Caustic Love” was considered one of the best UK albums of 2014.

“Caustic Love” is an album that deserves to be heard in its entirety, not scrapped for parts, as is the case with many records sold on iTunes and other music services. From its first track “Scream (Funk My Life Up)” to the popular single “Iron Sky,” the track list is carefully devised, with instrumental and spoken-word interludes that help the listener to comprehend “Caustic Love” as a complete project. This album is not simply a collection of great songs recorded by Nutini, but a work of his artistic elegance, calling upon the forces of love to a place where the listener can indulge in its “caustic” nature. It is for this reason that I believe “Caustic Love” is one of the best albums I have listened to in a long time. Harking upon the spirit of 1970s UK R&B/Soul style, Nutini captures the essence of something unique to his country, yet universal in life.

Wolfpit members connect with Trinity through music



Last week, I met with Trinity college’s very own Wolfpit, a newly created, student-run band on campus. Three of four members of the band came to talk to me about the creation, current status and future of Wolfpit. As they each walked in, it was clear the boys had recently seen each other, as they caught up since their last encounters the day before. I was introduced to senior Alex Rusbarsky (percussion player), senior John Moran (vocals and guitar) and freshman Nate Choukas (vocals and guitar). These three, and senior Billy Burchill (bass player) are the four members of Wolfpit.

Wolfpit was initially formed last semester, when Nate, John and Billy were asked to play some covers for a show at a basement party. After that, the boys decided to play at Trinity College’s first annual Trintober festival. On that day, a drummer was missing, so they called Rusbarsky as a last minute substitute, and the members simply clicked. There were a couple of unofficial auditions here and there, the band said, but the four members seemed to unanimously come together by chance. The show (and the party), were a complete success, and the boys “just knew [they] needed to make this a real band.” The name had been already chosen and was apparently nonnegotiable-and thus Wolfpit was born.

Wolfpit rehearses in the Mill, where they have easy access to equipment, and utilize the large stage space, “unless there’s some weird event going on, and we have to play on pots and pans in Billy’s house,” Rusbarksy joked. The band rehearses every day, which definitely seems like a large time commitment for a student-run band. “It’s like being on a sports team”, says Choukas. For their first year of being a band, it is extremely impressive that the boys have dedicated enough time to rehearsing, and planning so many successful shows.

Though it is clear that the members are fans of all music genres, the band mostly performs classic rock and reggae. Some of their most covered bands and artists include the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Slightly Stoopid, Bob Marley, and Dispatch. Several of their performances have included original songs, but a majority of performances consist of covers. The band describes their most played genre as “crowd pleasers,” because as a band adapting to a very particular time and setting, they feel that confirming to a ‘party band’ seems to attain more success, and is definitely more fun.

Many of their gigs have been at the Mill, but most are at The Tap Café, where it is a simple and realistic process of moving equipment to and from locations. Wolfpit would love to move to different locations, and play throughout the Hartford area, but for now, moving equipment around is unrealistic and unnecessary. The band says that there have been only a few shows where they have struggled with attaining enough crowd members, in the beginning of their careers. They said these shows tend to be the most fun for them, as people who are there, really seem to engage with the music.

The band discussed their plans for next year, when only two of the four Wolfpit members will be at Trinity. I asked whether or not the band was planning on continuing the legacy, and replacing the two graduating seniors. Moran responded that “it could never be the Wolfpit,” clearly demonstrating the bond, friendship and originality of the band. The boys say that they have reached the point where even if they can not practice for a couple of days, they can still play a gig together because they know one another’s tendencies so well.

There are plenty of bands on campus, but what makes Wolfpit so successful and recognized at Trinity is their lighthearted approach and willingness to have fun. Not only are the concerts themselves pleasurable and entertaining, but the members of the group themselves are all relaxed, upbeat, and willing to have a good time. It helps that the groups openness and social personalities have attracted students of different demographics to come support fellow classmates. Their presence on social media is also vibrant and clever, only contributing more to their popularity.

Trinity students are looking forward to seeing what Wolfpit will bring to campus in their last couple weeks as the original band. I highly recommend going out to Wolfpit’s next show to support not only an extremely musically gifted band, but a hardworking, passionate and successful group of students. Schedules are posted on their Facebook page (Wolfpit) or Instagram account (wolfpit_trinity). If you can’t wait until the next show, be sure to follow the band on Soundcloud as well!


Alex Coggin ’16 reflects on his time in the City of Lights



It is hard to pinpoint exactly when I decided I wanted to study abroad in Paris, but somewhere in between four years of high school French, a Hemingway novel, and a passion for food, I found myself becoming a regular Francophile. Paris may top the list for the most cliché study abroad cities, but it shouldn’t be dismissed as unoriginal or overdone. In my eyes, Paris is the perfect city to study abroad.

Aesthetically, the city is a perfect mix of old and new, its historical architecture blending perfectly with modern age art and style. Situated in the center of western Europe, Paris is also the perfect hub for weekend travel – Barcelona, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome, and London are all just a quick plane or train ride away. The Trinity Program’s space is beautiful and located in one of the best neighborhoods in the city. With some of the greatest museums in the world, amazing food, and plenty of nightlife, it’s no wonder people say “Paris is always a good idea.”

Although culturally Parisians are often stereotyped as highbrow and rude, in my experience this could not be more false. Yes, there are waiters who are standoffish and will give you a hard time for not speaking French perfectly, but really how is that any different from how the United States treats tourists in our cities? The key to understanding Paris is to acknowledge that, culturally, it is not the same as the United States, and to be open to the differences. All it takes is for Parisians to know that you are trying to respect their culture, and they will respect you. Everyone on my program all grew to love the “crepe man” who ran a stand outside the school. He laughed at our accents at first but in no time began serving us our Nutella crepes with a contagious smile and friendly nod. It was the little day-to-day interactions like this that made it easy to call Paris home for a semester.

The best part about studying in Paris is having the chance to construct your own Paris. Like any great city, you cannot capture Paris in a postcard or photo. Everyone has seen the postcard pictures of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero or the Arc de Triomphe. The real Paris is not one that you can simply take a picture of and post to Instagram, it is the one that you have to experience for yourself.

My favorite memories of Paris are from when I got off the beaten path and tried to see the city from the perspective of an insider. Stumbling across hidden parks, an amazing hole in the wall Asian restaurant, or the canal St. Martin are all things that I would not have seen without doing a little adventuring. Even when things don’t work out as planned, it still makes for a great memory. Whether it was almost getting mugged by a gang of 12 year olds, accidentally going to a gay bar because we could not read the sign, or getting impossibly lost trying to use the Metro the first day, I would not change a thing about my Paris experience.

Another one of my favorite memories was seeing Kygo perform at Showcase, a club situated under one of Paris’ most famous bridges, Pont Alexandre III. Emerging from the club after the show, to be on the banks of the Seine with the city of lights all around is still one of the most vivid memories from the entire trip.

Another abroad highlight was Oktoberfest in Munich, which is of course an absolute must if you study anywhere in the Eurozone during the fall semester. Hofbrauhaus tent is known as the best, and that is where most of the students go. We got there at 7:30 a.m. to get a spot in line. The inside of the tent was massive, with thousands of other study abroad students packed into a space about the size of a football field. We even ended up befriending some of the students at the table next to us and met up with them again in Barcelona. Outside the tents there are food stands and several thrill rides for the strong-stomached. With authentic German beers the size of your head and endless pretzels it is easy to understand why so many make the pilgrimage to Munich in October.

The classes the Trinity Program offers are great as well; each one of the professors carefully integrates the city into the coursework so that you get the full experience of studying abroad. My favorite class was called “Exotic Fares,” a course about the history of French gastronomy and culinary arts. The course was taught by an award winning chef and author and featured a lab component consisting of restaurant visits and a wine tasting.

Courses aside, the experience of living in a foreign city is an irreplaceable learning experience. I chose to live in an apartment, and the independence and adaptability involved with living in a new city is perhaps the greatest lesson of all. There really is no better way to teach yourself about independence than to study abroad.


ISIS’s destruction of antiquities poses more than a security issue



We as a culture are a product of our past. While contemporary issues, developments and technologies continue to shape who we are and the way we function, it is impossible to deny how much of our identities and associations we owe to our heritage. A heritage that we from time to time, like to confront through encounters with  monuments, artifacts, and other edifices that remind us of the time gone by. Of our ancestors.

Thus, historic structures, objects, and pieces of art bear more than just an aesthetic function- they are a physical manifestation of a bygone era, of the passage of time. This is why our society puts so much care into the preservation of such items. But what happens when these indicators of time and history are destroyed? When we can only helplessly witness the plunder of the most revered monuments of our society, thankful that it is not our lives confronting the same fate, in that moment? This is a reality faced by innocent citizens of Iraq and Syria who are victimized by The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

ISIS is well into its execution of a campaign to smash, burn, and demolish or loot a majority of ancient relics and archaeological sites under their control in Syria and Iraq. This destruction raises worries that shouldn’t remain specific to those of Iraqi or Syrian heritage, or to historians and archeologists- it should be a matter of concern to the world.

Even in light of the bloodshed, and the threat to lives that the civil wars ignited by the ISIS pose, the damage to irreplaceable pieces of history is a parallel issue that demands addressal. The regions of Syria and Iraq trace back an extremely rich history, that dates to ancient human civilization, stretches through the biblical period, and also cradles the history of Islam. Consequently, the artifacts and structures here take us back to a variety of eras that are reminiscent of the birth of religions, cultures, and of human life itself.

The statues at Nimrud, for instance, were constructed almost 3,000 years ago by one of the most ancient civilizations to inhabit the planet: the Mesopotamian civilization. The statues were recently announced to have been bulldozed to the ground by ISIS’s militants. These winged statues are symbolic of Iraq’s rich history, and by virtue of their conception in  the cradle of civilization, are relics of the history of mankind. An image of the statues that has been featured on Iraq’s currency since the 1950s is now gone forever. This is only one example of the damage that the ISIS has already caused, and threatens to continue causing.

While a majority of objects and relics may not always be destroyed, they are constantly being stolen and sold into the black market, and effectively are lost forever. Their existence is thus also rendered insignificant. The destruction or loot of historic sights or objects, arguably aims to wipe out a collective memory, destroying notions of identity particularly when citizens realize they have no history or culture to look back to, and no material sense of their past. While a majority of us may not be as conscious of our connections to Mesopotamian, or relatively recent Islamic heritage, the loss is most felt by citizens of the region that must endure a sense of a part of themselves being taken away from them.

Although the destruction of objects and buildings seems trivial in light of the relative monstrosity of bloodshed and rising death tolls, their impact will be faced by generations, even after the wars end. The ISIS is destroying more than lives, it is dismantling and destroying a culture.

Response to plane crash may further stigma of mental illness



In the wake of the cataclysmic plane crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, new information has recently been uncovered that may be able to shed some light on the tragedy.

New findings indicate that the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight, which was carrying 150 passengers from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany, deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps on Tuesday, March 24. The flight departed from Barcelona at approximately 10 p.m. A half hour later the captain asked the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, to take over the controls while he left the cockpit, presumably to go to the bathroom. It was at this point that the plane began to make a steady descent. For the next ten minutes, the captain was heard demanding entrance into the cockpit with no reply from Mr. Lubitz. At 10:41 p.m., with the captain still begging to get back into the cockpit, the planes last known location was recorded at 6,800 feet before crashing into the mountains at 6,000 feet. The plane had been descending at a rapid pace of 3,400 feet per minute (the average descent is 1,500 feet per minute).

Reports from the crash and the evidence from the voice recorder inside the cockpit indicate that, before air traffic control lost contact with the plane, Mr. Lubitz had been breathing steadily and calmly in the final moments of the flight. Brice Robin, Marseille public prosecutor, also said that the voice recorder showed evidence of courteous conversation between the two pilots for the first half hour of the flight, however Mr. Lubitz responses were terse. Data from the planes transponder also suggested that Mr. Lubitz had manually set the autopilot to take the plane to lowest possible descent setting, 96 feet. These discoveries all led officials to believe that the crash was premeditated and intentional. Further investigation revealed the shocking truth that Mr. Lubitz suffered from severe depression.

He was first hired by Lufthansa airlines, the parent of Germanwings, two years earlier. Prosecutors said that Mr. Lubitz has no obvious reason to commit mass murder nor was there an indication that this had been a terrorist attack. Lufthansa did reveal, after a search of its records, that Mr. Lubitz had sent the company an email informing them of his depressive condition. This was the first acknowledgement by the company that it was aware of Mr. Lubitz’s health issue before the crash, raising further questions as to why the airline would allow him to continue to fly passenger jets without further investigation. Prosecutors in Germany have released a statement saying that Mr. Lubitz had been previously treated for suicidal tendencies. After a search of his apartment, police officers also found doctor’s notes saying the Mr Lubitz was too sick to work, including on the day of the crash. Some of the notes had been torn up and thrown away, leading officials to conclude that Mr. Lubitz was attempting to hide his medical problems. Many continue to question why the airline didn’t go further into investigating Mr. Lubitz indications that he was somewhat mentally unstable. However, he did end up passing the company’s medical and psychological tests.

No one will ever be able to be wholly sure about what prompted an individual to act in such a destructive manner. Questions about Mr. Lubitz mental health have provoked debate about making stricter regulations regarding the qualifications required by pilots. While I cannot agree more that this may be a necessary step forward and while I am saddened by this horrific tragedy, I wonder about the repercussions of this incident, specifically in regards to mental health stigmas.

The intense focus being placed on Mr. Lubitz mental health may raise a double-sided concern. On the one hand it raises the risk of unfairly stigmatizing millions of people with mental disorders and subsequently making it less likely for them to come forward for fear of being persecuted or facing unemployment as a consequence. This could then lead to making it harder for professions to detect employees who may be at high risk. Companies dealing with these questions are now faced with the challenge of striking a balance between decreasing the stigma enough to encourage employs to come forward and also drawing a firm line in  protecting the publics safety.


Jarvis Towers boasts impressive view and decor in suite



When five guys and one girl live together in a suite, it’s hard to imagine a room that isn’t filled with solo cups, pizza boxes, and clothes carelessly tossed across the furniture. However, the roommates of Jarvis Towers have gone above and beyond in decorating their space with unique, hard-to-believe-it touches that truly redefine dorm decor.

The residents, Max Le Merle ’16, James Whelan ’16, Camden Howe ’16, Scott Caradonna ’16, Gianna Tondini ’16, and Brendan Dempsey ’15 all have welcoming personalities that can be seen both in their smiles and in the personal decor scattered throughout the room. When you walk through the door, you immediately enter a large common room with two black couches, a high definition TV placed on the mantle of the fireplace, and foam tiles covering the area of the floor that look exactly like wood flooring.

Another highlight within the space is a  customized wooden table with Jarvis T400 and the Trinity logo engraved into it, which is placed alongside a windowsill adorned with pillows. The windows overlook by far the most remarkable view of the Chapel and quad that I have seen in any dorm room. All of the roommates agree that the view is by far their favorite part of living in the Towers; Le Merle even admits that he has seen multiple people Instagram the Chapel from the common room.

For roommates Le Merle and Whelan, they “agreed on a sort of maritime theme and wanted [their] dorm to feel more like an apartment than like college housing.” They also pulled inspiration from their hometowns. Whelan, who originally hails from Hyannis Port, and Le Merle who is from California, attached a wooden oar to their wall, nautical statues, and framed seaside paintings throughout the room. Tondini, who is a photographer, spent this past summer in Denmark and framed six breathtaking images of Copenhagen that look like postcards.

Le Merle’s believes that interesting books and framed posters of art are essential when decorating and that one should “steer away from posters if you want it to look like you’ve put serious effort into your room.” Their tasteful yet bold design choices make this already unique room to Trinity even more outstanding.


Brianna Allen ’16 brings sun and sand to Vernon Place



Dorm rooms are essentially a home away from home for most college students. Therefore, naturally one will want to incorporate as many aspects of their home life as possible. Brianna Allen ’16 exemplifies that.

Hailing from Florida, Allen’s room in Vernon Place is a nautical, spa-like sanctuary, with soothing lighting, romantic bedding in shades of ivory and blue, and silver furnishings. Subtle hints of the sunshine state shine through in her choice of coral and aqua printed pillows, a brown wicker coffee table, and a bold flamingo print on the wall next to her bed. A blue and white printed curtain draped in front of her window and the light breeze that entered from the window elevated the refreshing ambiance.

Her room feels effortless, which is what makes it the perfect space to come and relax after a hectic day of classes and extra-curricular activities. A large, incredibly comfortable looking bed is pushed against the back wall with white scalloped sheets and layers of blue and white pillows, with the front pillow embroidered with the phrase, “Sweet Dreams.” Next to her vanity hangs a large vintage champagne print in gold and black reading, “L’Instant Taittinger,” raising a toast to Grace Kelly. The print is simple yet elegant, much like the rest of Allen’s room.

A turquoise and blue printed tray which was a lucky find at Home Goods holds Allen’s makeup brushes, lotions, and perfumes. What makes this special is that Allen is not thrown all of her makeup into one cosmetic bag, but rather, thoughtfully placed individual items out for display. A dorm room, especially a single, should be a space where one can escape from the chaos of campus and relax. Take a note from Allen in order to create a polished and peaceful environment.

Kelly Vaughan ’17 adds pop of personality to Cook



Somewhere between shopping in the Kate Spade flagship store and devoutly reading fashion and design blogs, I developed a vision for what I wanted my dream dorm room to look like. With the fear of having  linoleum floors and stereotypical dorm furniture, it was hard to imagine that I could make my pink and navy dreams come to life. However, with hours spent on Pinterest, many trips to and from the craft store, and a naturally unique room, I was able to create a setting that was bright, comfortable, and very much true to my own personal style.

I am lucky enough to live in Cook, which automatically means a classic room, with a large fireplace and gorgeous view overlooking the quad. I knew I wanted the fireplace to be one of the main focal points of my room, so I filled it with battery operated candles and changed the mantle decor based on the season. I also created a large gallery wall following the pink, navy, and white color scheme and included everything a girl could wish for – whimsical quotes, Lilly Pulitzer prints, and several other paintings and DIY projects.

Given my love for arts and crafts, I knew the fun couldn’t stop there. I sewed many of the pillows on my bed and chairs using a variety of patterns and trims, all of which coordinated with my navy and white polka dot bedding.

The best feeling is when my friends come into my room into my room and say “oh my gosh, this is so you!” In order to keep your room a reflection of your personality, steer away from white christmas lights, tapestries, and movie posters. Instead, define your style through coordinating colors, personal photographs, and decor to receive that same reaction.

Blurred lines: defining stories of sexual assault



I was a freshman in October 2012 when Angie Epifano, a former Amherst College student, wrote a harrowing account of her rape for the Amherst Student. Her story captured the interest of numerous major media outlets such as The New York Times, Bloomberg and The Huffington Post, which immediately transformed the bucolic liberal arts college into a national battleground teeming with animosity towards educational institution’s treatment of sexual assault survivors. Anger was directed towards the administration at Amherst, but Epifano’s story was so inherently powerful that she turned the college’s mistakes into an Everyman’s mistake. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network reports that one in four women will face rape or attempted rape by the time they reach graduation. This statistic also fails to account for those outside college gates as well as males’ experiences, most specifically the LGBTQ community who traditionally contains a disproportionate quantity of such assault. Additionally, only 46 per cent of survivors report their rapes to the police, and only three percent of those reports lead to any jail time for the perpetrators.  So, what elements of Epifano’s story distinguished her from the abundance of other individuals who faced the same adversity she did?

This question is more rhetorical as it is almost too immense to answer. Epifano’s story resonated with me because I could picture myself in her place. At the time, I attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, just a mere mile from Amherst’s campus. I have friends at the college and I have many memories of socializing in Crossett, the suite-style dorm Epifano reported being raped in. I remember dancing at a party in one of the common rooms and immediately coming to a halt when an acquaintance mentioned that he thought that we were standing in the crime scene.

Yet what I found most intriguing about Epifano’s story were the polarized responses she garnered post-publication. Epifano was a runner on the college’s cross country and track teams, and one of her teammates, and acquaintance of mine, disclosed to me that there was a general feeling that she was a bit off before her story was brought into the spotlight. Epifano’s friend emphasized that she came from a broken household and somewhat isolated herself from the team dynamic despite being a core runner and scorer of points at meets. It didn’t surprise him that Epifano was institutionalized against her will after she spoke to a college employee about her case, and was pressured into taking time off from her education. To him, Epifano needed attention for the sake of her sanity and to move forward. To him, she had already been disregarded far too many times in her life, so she embellished a story to compensate for the dearth of compassion shown towards her.

On the other end of the spectrum, Epifano incited a flame of brethren between survivors and students across the nation to speak up against the injustices. One of the most disturbing sections of her account is when Epifano says, “Amherst has almost 1,800 students; last year alone there were a minimum of 10 sexual assaults on campus. In the past 15 years there have been multiple serial rapists, men who raped more than five girls, according to the sexual assault counselor. Rapists are given less punishment than students caught stealing. Survivors are often forced to take time off, while rapists are allowed to stay on campus. If a rapist is about to graduate, their punishment is often that they receive their diploma two years late. I eventually reported my rapist. He graduated with honors. I will not graduate from Amherst.” As a result of Epifano’s accusations, and because schools are under a microscope to adhere to Title IX and accurately report statistics in their Clery Acts, there is a more visible media platform for students to come forth with their own stories of assault on campus.

One student who used this platform was Jackie, a pseudonym used in a Rolling Stone article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, about exposing the story of University of Virginia student who was allegedly “gang banged” at a fraternity party two years ago. Recently, Rolling Stone’s managing editor, Will Dana, announced that publication found discrepancies in Erdely’s account of Jackie’s story. Dana writes, “in the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.”

While these stories depict authentic suffering, they can be easily manipulated and embellished by the greater public, the media, and sometimes the schools themselves. The media attacks women with messages about how they need to look, act, feel, and relate to one another.  These expectations discredit self-esteem and create hyper-censorious association between one’s self and its manifestation. Women are under constant scrutiny as sexual objects or toys. They patrol each others’ attractiveness and behavior to the same degree that men evaluate females based on their looks. Thus, every pair of eyes is always directed towards women.

You may argue that the same can be said about males. The media indeed bombards men with messages about how they ought to look, act, feel, and relate, but it does so in a different fashion than how it directs its attention towards females. Look at any advertisement directed at males in their twenties and there is a near perfect chance that the poster boy is attractive, muscular, confident, and most importantly, masculine. Women evaluate men based on their attractiveness and males arguably police each other’s looks and behavior, just in a less direct manner than females. Thus, girls have become a focus in the media and will remain the focus in discourse of responses to sexual assault and the greater issue of on gender equality.

However, girls becoming the focus of this issue shouldn’t push males into a corner. The voices of the fraternity brothers in question were silenced when Erdely failed to reach out to them to comment on their experiences. Rape accusations are not something that should be trivialized or exploited for the sake of selling a magazine. The pervasive linkage between such stories is a habit of the mishandling or disregard of sexual assault claims. The controversy surrounding Rolling Stone impacts our campus because our school is subjugated to the same federal laws that UVA and Amherst are both under scrutiny for violating.

It is truly disheartening for victims still holding their stories inside to see the backlash about the article and Jackie’s claim. False reports of rape and sexual assault occur with the same frequency as false reports of any other crime, from theft to murder. There is a deafening silence from the student body at many colleges and universities in the United States when it comes to support for reporting incidents on college campuses. The phrase “cry rape” is used regularly even in reference to actual incidents that are proven to have occured. Unfortunately, it has become so engrained in our culture that even those who speak about sexual assault in this manner do not realize that they are subliminally perpetuating the concepts of victim shaming and victim doubting. It is sentiments like these that scare victims into bottling their feelings, thoughts, and stories. As we all know, traumatic events like these can have disastrous effects on a person. Often, victims withdraw from school, isolate themselves from their friends, and their health rapidly deteriorates from a lack of support from any source.

I cannot speak for other students, but thus far I have been impressed with Trinity’s response to sexual assault on campus. I am aware that campus safety officers are known to assist victims by clearly presenting all the options they could take against their perpetrator, and also direct them to resources that could help them emotionally. They are even known to follow up with victims to ensure that they are in a sound state and care for the student’s wellbeing long after an incident has occurred.

Rolling Stone’s contentious story shouldn’t nullify every other victim’s experience, such as Angie Epifano’s sexual assault narratives are still pertinent.  If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, I encourage you to reach out to either Know Your IX or WGRAC, both viable options to combat the after effects of sexual violence. Friends of survivors and supporters of the cause, it’s time to stand in solidarity.  Please take the time to attend this week’s Take Back the Night event, and surround yourself with people who also want to show support for those who need it most. Survivors need to be encouraged to bring light to their experiences so society can properly combat this monstrous issue.

Realizing the human condition in social situations



Rapper, Childish Gambino, used his comedy special, “Weirdo”, to hilariously argue that “there is something about racism that’s funny, when it’s tiny.” While you may have your qualms with this statement as it stands, the multi-talented New York University alumnus makes a point that one would be hard-pressed to rebut. What he attempts to convey is that racism, prejudice, or any other derogatory commentary directed at a group, does not have such an impact when it is separated from the devices that give it force.

I would contend that nearly everyone, at one point or another, has told a joke founded in race, religion, or some sort of similar identifier. I would also contend that a similar percentage of the population has laughed at such a joke, and thrown its hurtful barbs by the wayside in the wake of its comedic value. Let me be clear, I cannot and will not claim to be of those who are so enviably progressive that a slip of the tongue is not an option. What I will claim is that there is an ideal that all people should strive for.

The natural impulse of the human brain is to generalize, group, and label everything it has the opportunity to analyze. In fact, the brains that do this the best are regarded as the most intelligent, the most competent, and the most useful. However, like everything humans regard as an achievement, ascertaining a higher, better version of oneself requires training. The existing infrastructure of the body, mind, or both must be actively molded to handle more nuance in a way that deviates from or directly conflicts with the manner in which the untrained self might handle similar scenarios. With whatever level of proficiency a person may have in this regard, he or she will invariably, as people do, apply his or her ability of analysis to the phenomena he or she sees in the world around them. The manifestations of what has been described are the actions and thoughts a person engages oneself in, which consequently are an undeniable assertion of values derived from worldly perception. In the chronology of human existence, the most revered figures, the pillars of human potential, have been those who have trained their minds to appreciate, account for, and act on the nuance of the world around them.

That is why it is so upsetting, when students, those who are supposed to have the highest potential for such intellectual capacity, hold onto knee-jerk sentiments about social issues.

Let us be honest about the state of the social scene at Trinity College. Despite the tremendous diversity of the student body and faculty, it is often overshadowed by the numerical dominance of the “WASP.” This is not entirely a bad thing, as being surrounded by similar types of people affords people comfort, a key component of success in academic and other arenas. However, for those who do not come from such a background, whether it be ethnically, economically, or in some other way, the same enclave that supports one group can be alienating for another. Upon their arrival in New York after fleeing the potato famine, Irish immigrants were met with jeers from the decedents of Protestant immigrants that had come before them. The repetition of this process led to the division of the city, and to defensive mentalities that often led to violence.

The fact of the matter is that people do not like to venture out of their comfort zone. It is a symptom of basic human thought that has nearly defined sociology since the dawn of man. The other fact is that at Trinity, those who are of the most numerous party have no social impetus to venture outside of this comfort zone. This is not to say that the dominant party is the only group on trial, as comfort zones exist for all types of people. As history has shown so many times before, the discomfort in associating with different types of people often brings about separation. It also brings about fear-induced stereotyping, which goes by many names, but is most widely accepted as prejudice.

Let me once again be very clear. Extreme, socially unacceptable prejudice exists at Trinity College. It takes many forms and covers a variety of topics, and recently, it has shown itself as overt racism. The proposition of a Latino-based, not Latino-exclusive, LAU, fraternity on Trinity’s campus induced a lashing out of these defensive feelings.

Let me be very clear one final time. This article does not mean to take on the issue of Greek life on the campus of Trinity College, and while it may be a related issue, the discussion of this article does not apply, in full, to the subject. Please excuse this digression.

Behind the veil of anonymity, students took to Yik Yak to fly the flag of hatred and ignorance in a myriad of ways. The most distressing of these outbursts were those that came in the form of jokes. One post read “All the locals bout to try to get a bid at LAU,” while another stated “Can’t wait to hear call a hermano por favor!!!” Still another read, “A new fraternity will be named Kappa Kappa Kappa.” The most legitimate concern of the student population was what one post called “reverse racism,” a topic that deserves discussion in the public forum. With that being said, whether it be disparaging commentary directed at people based on their socio-economic status, a put-down of the language and culture, or a joke based on an infamous hate group, the common theme was inappropriate racism based on ethnic and cultural boundaries.

What is particularly troubling is that these types of posts were met with positive responses. One of the quoted posts received more than 30 ups. What this means is that a majority of those who saw them either agreed with the sentiment, or felt its comedic value trumped the offensive message. Regardless, it represents a problem. Those who are equipped with the greatest ability and opportunity to enhance their brain function and appreciate the merits of nuance in society have succumb to their basic, animalistic, unbecoming nature to group broadly, and fear differences.

In what is considered one of the greatest speeches of all time, Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his dream that all people would “not be judged by the color of the skin, but by the content of their character.” Fifty-two years later, I would like to express the same dream. I implore the students of this campus, regardless of ethnic or socio-economic background, to reach inside themselves and pull out the hostility-inducing instinct to judge individuals based on grouping, or to judge groups based on their associated stereotypes. I beg of you to use the gifts you have been afforded to attain a greater version of yourself. Allow your mind to develop and grow not just in the classroom, but also outside of it, and learn to analyze people the same way you analyze a text, with a large set of parameters, and on a case-by-case basis.

Finally, I hope that all people can realize that comfort comes in similarity, and that comfort with similar people often blossoms when faced with a common enemy. With this realization, let us repurpose the human instinct to defend against the enemy, and point it toward that which threatens all of us. What if we did not take socio-economic standing as similarity, and instead united against the common enemy that is the ravages of time or the oppression of spirit? What if all people saw death, of the body and the soul, as the greatest enemy? Might it highlight that we are all the same in the way that matters most? Could it further establish the truth that to be human is to demand a certain dignity? The answer is yes, because to fear the unknown and to love the similar is a human condition. Let us be human together.