Berger-Sweeney reflects on her first semester at Trinity



I met with President Joanne Berger-Sweeney on the rainy Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving break. We met rather early—8:30 a.m.—but by that time President Berger-Sweeney had already walked her dog, attended a parent-teacher conference, and amassed over 5,000 steps on her pedometer. She offered me a piece of Lindt chocolate as a substitute for breakfast.

We met to discuss her thoughts on Trinity after her first official semester as President. I asked her about her academic hopes for the College, the US News and World Report rankings, Greek life, the student body, issues facing minority students, and even the book she is currently reading. She answered each question carefully, thoughtfully, and always with her mind on the future.

Benjamin Milton Chait: After your first semester as President, how have you found your time at Trinity so far? Is it living up to your expectations? What has surprised you, if anything?

President Joanne Berger-Sweeney: So far I just love it! I think I like it better than I had hoped. I hoped that I would like it, and it has really met my expectations. Both the people here, an institution is always the people, and the physical beauty still does not grow old no matter how long or how often I’ve seen it. The house is very comfortable and I love Hartford. I would just say that it’s exceeding my expectations.  I’ve had a very warm welcome.

BMC: Well speaking of that, I wanted to thank you for attending Barnyard’s Trintoberfest. You seem to be very active with student affairs at Trinity. Have you found the student body welcoming?

JBS: Yes! They have been extremely welcoming. I tried to start my relationship and rapport with students before I even started the job. So after my Presidency was announced, the first thing I did on the second day was what I called the “walk about.” I actually just went around to places on campus and met with students. I met with students in athletics and students in various buildings.

So people are now saying, “well I met you the first time” or “I met you there…” but if you want to build a rapport with people, you have to understand that it takes time. So I’ve tried to block off one day a week where I go down to Mather and have lunch with students. I just pick a table with whoever seems to not be walking away. I also try to go to a student activity once a week. I’d like to go to everything, but I can’t. So for now I am selecting events that sound interesting, or go when people remind me—like you knocked on my door for Trintoberfest, and I showed up!

BMC: What do you think is the most valuable quality that you bring to the position as the president of the college?

JBS: I would say it would be my skills as a scientist, particularly a neuroscientist. So as a scientist, I bring analytical abilities, the ability to understand data and numbers, and how to look for a rationale for particular responsibilities.  At the same time, I am a behavioral neuroscientist. So as a neuroscientist one of the things I am particularly focused on is behavior. I examine behavior in animals, particularly rodents, mostly mice, but to some degree, rats.

When you’re a behavioral scientist you actually become very observant about people’s behavior, and in particular, non-verbal behavior. So I think I bring the analytical strengths of a scientist as well as the sensitivity of someone who examines and studies behavior. Those two skills are particularly helpful in working at a job like this; working with people and looking at data.

BMC: I remember you sent out an email that addressed Trinity’s drop in some college rankings. In what ways would you like to see Trinity grow and improve in those rankings?

JBS: The first thing I’m going to say is that I’m not going to run a school based on rankings. We all know some of the flaws of rankings. At the same time when you see significant decreases in a short period of time you have to ask yourself if there is something underlying that I need to understand in order to move the college forward and make it a better institution. What I said in a letter to alumi/alumna is that one of the things I’ve seen among some of our constituents is a lack of engagement with the institution over the last couple of years. If what I’m seeing in the rankings is a sign of a lack of engagement, I particularly want to focus on that. How do we get faculty members engaged with the institution? They are engaged with the students—that is fundamentally not the problem.

The rapport and relationships between faculty members and students is at the heart—to me—of what is really going right at Trinity. But the faculty’s rapport with the administration and the trustees, and their desire to engage above and beyond the classroom experience are some things I have seen appear to be eroded over the past couple of years.

Students’ engagement with each other—they’re engaging with the faculty—but students engaging with each other and leadership are examples of things what we can do even better. I think we can also speak better of Trinity and the Trinity experience to everyone on the outside. These are the kind of things that help turn around an institution. I believe when the reputation turns around after we’ve addressed some of the social and climate issues on campus, then more students will want to come. I believe that those factors are absolutely critical for our reputation and it is my hope than the rankings will follow.

BMC: Besides what you hope to accomplish professionally as the President, what are the personal goals that you’ve set for yourself?

JBS: I would like to somehow retain and maintain contact with my scientific life. This is the first time I haven’t had a research laboratory. When I have a research laboratory I love doing science and I love being a scientist. I also love having students in the lab. That’s when you really get to know students. It doesn’t really happen when you’re standing up and giving a lecture.

I really get a rapport with my students when I have them in a laboratory day in and day out, and when we are working closely together. So I don’t know if you would consider that a personal or professional goal, but to maintain my contact with science, even though I’m a full time administrator, and to be able to maintain contact and rapport with people outside of those who directly report to me; and that means students, faculty, and staff. That to me is a personal goal because that’s the rapport I need to have to in order to have full satisfaction. I know I will be a better administrator if I’m a happier person. I also want to remain close with my family and friends outside of the institution. I do need a life beyond Trinity.

BMC: Do you have plans to teach neuroscience classes while at Trinity?

JBS: I will not be able to teach a standard course here at Trinity College because the students deserve their professor’s full and apt attention. Given my job and the things that happen everyday that I can’t even predict, I can’t take on that relationship with students full time and know that I’m delivering the full education they deserve for Trinity credit. Now that being said, I can imagine a couple of things I can do. The first is perhaps teaching something relating to leadership.

Something like a J-Term course is a possibility. I’ve also said that if we decided to accept an invitation to join edX which is an online technology and learning platform that offers massive online and open courses, that I would be willing to volunteer, if I were to be accepted through whatever process, to teach something that can show students what I care about. I will tell you that I haven’t taught full time in a classroom for more than a decade.

I’ve been a full time administrator for quite a while, and I tell people that, when I started in administration, I actually started teaching Sunday school because I love teaching so much. So somehow I will remain active as a teacher because teaching and learning are as much of a passion for me as my sciences. In order to be happy I will be doing some kind of teaching.

BMC: Hartford seems to mean a great deal to you. Mayor Segarra spoke at your inauguration, and your son is currently enrolled in school here. How do you plan on strengthening Trinity’s relationship with the community?

JBS: One thing I have been doing is going out, meeting people, spending time in the community, and really getting to know what Hartford is beyond the walls of Trinity.  You can’t build relationships without going out and meeting the people. So I’ve gone out—I’ve met our senator, our governor, our mayor, I’ve met with city council. I’ve also gone out and tried to meet people from the neighborhood. We have entities called neighborhood revitalization zones (NRZs), and those are the local groups that care about fixing streets and creating safer neighborhoods. I’ve gone to one of the NRZs to introduce myself and I’m going to another one before the end of the semester.

So again, I’m going out and meeting people in the neighborhood so I can better understand what their needs are. Just yesterday I met with the CEO of the Connecticut Girl Scouts so I can understand how they’re trying to strengthen the communities around them. I’m also inviting members from the community here to the activities that we’re having on campus. For example, lots of neighborhood groups were invited to the inauguration ceremony. It was big and it was open. I wanted it to be a community celebration.

I need to get to know people and they need to get to know me so we can understand how we can best partner. Partnership means both groups offering something and gaining something from the relationship. It’s not just what Trinity can pass out to Hartford or what can Hartford give to Trinity. It’s really about building a relationship.

Something more specifically I will say is that I’ve released a podcast where I mentioned the mentoring networks. A key component of the mentoring networks is to integrate our students better into the Hartford community. From what they have expressed to me, so many of our students actually chose Trinity because it is in Hartford and because it is in a city. We have to make sure that we are fostering and developing these relationships. Right now I have asked students to join design teams to think about what mentoring networks would be, what kind of programming should they have, and how they should be connected to Hartford. It’s not just what I’m doing to build the relationships, it’s what the entire campus is doing to be involved with the community of Hartford and vice versa.

BMC: You spoke of having an open inauguration. From the intimacy of the speeches, to the upbeat music from the samba band, your inauguration felt very personal. Did you have any say in the execution? Were you pleased? Were you nervous for the weekend?

JBS: I was just thrilled with inauguration. I thought it was so much fun and I really enjoyed it. I selected the speakers and the people who contributed the music, but the execution and organization was done by our special events officials, and in particular, Meghan Fitzsimmons. Mary Jo Keating and I had weekly meetings in regards to all of the people that needed to be involved. It was personal in that I selected the people and the participants, but some things were added that just made it wonderful. For example, the flag ceremony was wonderful, and I didn’t create that. I said that I like lively music, and I think it was Megan Fitzsimmons who came to me with the idea of having a Samba band, and I thought that was awesome.

Those aspects really just set the tome. I could not have asked the speakers to be better or the composers to be better. One thing I would like to say about the inauguration is that when people ask me about my vision for Trinity, I say it was really encapsulated in the singing of “America the Beautiful.” First, [“America the Beautiful”] is a wonderful and patriotic song. The lyrics were written by Kathy Lee Bates, who is a Wellesley alum, so it connected a bit with my past. However, our composer composed a brand new arrangement for me.

It was a combination of where I came from and my background from Wellesley, but with a new Trinity composition, and then there were about 150 students who came together from various singing groups on campus. Some had lots of formal training and some just get together because they love to sing. It was a variety of voices and groups, whom to the best of my knowledge, came together to sing this beautiful and patriotic hymn with an arrangement specifically for Trinity and the inauguration, but yet tying to my past. That really encapsulated my vision for what Trinity can be: an incredibly inclusive community with a strong past and a distinct present.

BMC: You were recently hosted by the Sisters of Kappa Kappa Gamma for a tour of their new house and for a discussion on female leadership. What are your plans for Greek Life at Trinity? What changes, if any, would you like to see be implemented?

JBS: Trinity is already on a path towards thinking about how to make the Greek experience more inclusive. There is no question that I am continuing on that general path. As a community, we also need to think about how to make the community—particularly, but not solely for students—more inclusive. We have to reconcile how we are going to have organizations that feel a bit more exclusive with trying to create an inclusive environment. I’m looking forward to continuing dialogues and understanding the Greek community and what they want to accomplish.

I also look forward to understanding the overall goals of the community. I want to make sure that students have options. At the same time, people need to understand that we are in a climate, nationally, that is not very kind towards fraternities and sororities. You cannot pick up a paper without reading an article about another fraternity or sorority being shut down. So people have to understand that fraternities and sororities are under an enormous amount of scrutiny. So I look forward to forging a plan together of where we need to go, but with the assurance that we are not going to be moving back into the past.

BMC: While serving as the Dean of The School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, you founded The Center for Race and Democracy.  In what ways do you see prejudice manifest itself at Trinity, and how would you like to tackle some of the issues facing minority students at Trinity?

JBS: I’m so proud of [The Center for Race and Democracy]! Now that is very complex question. I am going to answer that, at the moment, a bit generically, and say that race in America and inclusion in America are very complex issues. It’s not a problem to be solved, but it’s a complex issue that we all deal with.

With all complex issues, they cannot be addressed by any single thing or by any single person. I was having a conversation with someone yesterday and I’m not going to get the quote right, but we were describing how, when there are complex issues, there is no silver bullet. There isn’t one thing that I can come in and point at and say that symbolizes race issues on campus.

To address issues of race and inclusion, in America and beyond, it’s going to take looking at it from different perspectives and doing multiple things to create a more inclusive atmosphere. There is no one single thing I can do. But what was interesting about your question is that you asked me about The Center for Race and Democracy at Tufts. Well the The Center for Race and Democracy was one piece of a multifaceted strategy. So we created a major and minor in Africana studies.

We created an umbrella minor in race, colonialism and Diaspora. That addressed some of the curricular issues. The Center for Race and Democracy was created, at least my intent, was that so we continue to have dialogue and actually continue to create new and innovative research about race and democracy. So not just the curricular component, but the intellectual and innovative components as well.

At the same time, I was addressing increasing diversity amongst our faculty and staff. Any of those pieces alone would not have the effect of changing climate on campus or address some of the issues involving race, but, in a combination, they start to move the needle. So more generally here, we are going to have to talk again about a more multifaceted strategy. There is no one single thing I can sit back and tell you I am going to do to improve inclusiveness on campus. But I will tell you that I will be looking for opportunities in the curriculum, in centers, in student originations, and student groups, amongst faculty and staff.

Collectively, I believe that a number of those individual things will begin to move us forward. But, for any of those things to work, it comes back to a question you asked me earlier about US News and World Report. You have to start with engaged students. We have to be engaged about serious principal things. We need to have fun, but we need to be engaged in business, education, expanding opportunities, and inclusiveness. It’s not good enough to just bring a diverse group of people to campus. We need to look at how people interact and how people feel.

BMC: You’ve established and hosted academic symposiums at Trinity. How would you like to see the academic culture change here?

JBS: One thing that I’ve said is that I would like to see Trinity integrating technology appropriately in the classroom. Two weeks before the gubernatorial elections, I had an opportunity to meet with Governor Malloy and Tom Foley. The meeting was with presidents of independent colleges here in Connecticut.

We had thirty minutes with the candidates, I will never forget, Governor Malloy looked at each of us—he was actually pointing at me—and saying you know that students when they gradate with their terminal degree, be it a B.A. or a B.S. or a masters or maybe a PhD, after they start working, the majority of their time will be spent with technology. If you’re going to work in banking, for example, you will most likely need a skill set that will allow you to effectively work online.

He reminded me that most people, once they finished their formal degrees, will be doing something involving online education. Shouldn’t we be making sure we prepare our students in some way to have opportunities to learn online? Now when I say that it doesn’t mean that I don’t care very deeply about the liberal arts experience and the rapport the students and faculty members have here.

That is the core of what we do and what we do well. At the same time, we do need to think about preparing our students for life beyond Trinity and the likelihood that a lot of that will come online. We need to make sure that when we are thinking of education we are not just thinking about broadening the minds of students but also thinking about preparing them well for whatever they need to do afterwards. I believe, unfortunately, that industry is taking less of a role in preparing people for jobs than they did a generation or two ago. They have fewer onsite training programs.

They’re putting more of a burden on the undergraduate education system, including the liberal arts experience, to prepare students such that they are ready for jobs. As educators we have to accept that challenge and ensure our students are ready for what is to come next. I would love to see that as we are thinking about ways to provide our students with analytical skills, that we are also thinking a little bit about helping them understand how to translate a really fine English degree into a job where you will use the analytical skills and the wonderful writing skills that you develop.

I want to see students take what they have learned here and really turn it into satisfying life work. So I’d like to see that for sure.

I think that I would also like to see faculty members stop and think about the curriculum in general. We are all very good about thinking about the courses that we teach, but I also want to challenge the curriculum committee to think about not only if the individual courses are good, but if we are tying it together to create an excellent overall academic experience. I know that if we continue to ask ourselves these big questions about curricular issues, we will come up with new, innovate, and exciting answers.

BMC: You’ve spoken about how you love to read. What books are you currently reading?

JBS: I do love to both listen to books on tape and have the hard copy. Sometimes when I’m cooking or doing something in the house, I can listen, but I also like to hear my own voice. So I kind of like to splurge by getting both the audio book and have the hard copy sitting by my bed. At the moment I’m reading “Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follett.

It is the third in a trilogy about the twentieth century. It follows four or five families that are in the US, the UK, Germany, and Russia and details the events of the twentieth century from their perspectives. It’s multigenerational and about how these families interact and overlap. The thing that I love about Ken Follett books, now that I’ve read a couple, is that they are extremely accurate historical fiction.

So I can both learn about an interesting time in history, but it’s also woven with personal stories about people’s lives. I love historical fiction. At the moment “Edge of Eternity” is about the period post WWII from about the 1960s until about the 1980s. I am reading about the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King. Some of the events that just happened were the Cuban missile crisis, some of what John F. Kennedy was doing, and then how people were impacted by his assassination.

BMC: In your convocation speech you spoke about raising awareness about sexual assault and rape culture. You also helped students bear the weight of sexual assault by helping carry mattresses around the campus. How would you like to see the culture that encourages sexual assault in general and at Trinity change? Are you hoping to set a plan that can be modeled by other academic institutions?

JBS: I announced in my convocation speech and in a letter to the campus that I was forming a task force for the prevention of sexual misconduct. That task force met as a group for the first time yesterday, so I can’t tell you what the plan is yet for Trinity, but I can tell you that I consider the issue important enough to make it the subject of my first task force. I’m sure I will create many presidential task forces during my time here, but I really felt that the prevention of sexual assault was the topic to choose for my first.

We talked about what our overall charge was, what kind of subgroups we are going to have, and how we are going to accomplish the goals of understanding both what we’re doing now, what we’re doing well, what we are doing not so well, and how we are going to move forward. I would like to say to people that there is obviously a lot of federal and state pressure about sexual misconduct right now. It’s not just a legal or compliance issue.

This is a moral issue and we have to create safe spaces for everybody here. One thing I will also say, going back to the “Edge of Eternity,” is that I was reading a section in which there is a band that is growing in popularity and becoming famous. It’s not the Beatles, but clearly Follett is trying to parallel some of the lives of the Beatles.

One of the members of this band, remember this is 1963, has just come out to his fellow band members that he is gay. It’s a British band so they use the word queer, they even make note “in America where they are going on tour, they use the word gay.” So it’s dealing with those issues but also saying that in England they went to a bar that was frequented by gay men, and the police were coming and harassing them.

I was reading this section and thinking, at least it doesn’t happen to that degree anymore. We have indeed made progress, but not as much progress as we need to make on the issues. I was also reading about 1962, the boycotts in Selma, Alabama, and the way African-Americans were treated. I was thinking people are not being beat up for sitting at a lunch counter anymore. We have made progress in some of these issues, but both of these examples reminded me of how much more progress we need to make.

BMC: What is the best advice that you’ve ever been given and who gave it you?

JBS: Some of the best advice that I received was from Joe Coyle. Joe Coyle was my dissertation advisor at Johns Hopkins University, and he moved and became the chair of psychology at Harvard Medical School.  At the same time, I was moving up to have an assistant professor position as Wellesley College.

We remained in contact and he continues to serve as my mentor. I know he provided a recommendation on my behalf for Trinity. I have been out of his lab for about twenty-five years, and he is still supporting me and helping me move my career to the next level. So when I was considering leaving the classroom and going into administration, I spoke to him and said “should I do this?” He responded “Let me just remind you, if you move into administration, your satisfaction becomes how other people succeed.”

When you are in the classroom and teaching, it is about you. Even the laboratory, its about you; it is your laboratory. People in my lab do what I think they should do in a laboratory. When you’re in the classroom, it might not be every student, but most are really there to listen and learn about what you do. He reminded me that people don’t go around and say “my favorite administrator is…” You aren’t going to get your satisfaction that way. People will say “my favorite professor is…” His advice was that when you move into administration, you’re going to have to get your satisfaction form watching other people succeed because much less of the focus is going to be on you; that when you’re doing well it’s really other people succeeding.

It could be those that you encouraged, those that you supported, or those that you put in positions so that they can grow to the next step.

That was just a really great reminder. So when some people say they don’t like what I do, I have to stay true to what I think is right for the institution and realize that administration is not totally a popularity contest.


Hillel’s Pink Shabbat supports fight against breast cancer



On Friday, Nov. 21, Hillel’s 9th Annual Pink Shabbat took place to raise awareness about breast cancer.

The event was held in Hamlin Hall, which was beautifully decorated in pink and white for the event. T-shirts were sold at the door, with all proceeds going to Sharshareet, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the unique concerns of Jewish women with breast cancer. The Quirks, Trinity’s all-women a capella group, opened the event by singing “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys and “Come Talk to Me.” Afterwards, the Shabbat service began.

In the Jewish faith, Shabbat is a day of rest and spiritual enchantment. It began with the candle lighting ritual and was followed by the blessings over the grape juice and challah. Pink challah was made by the Kappa Kappa Gamma sisters and Lisa Kassow, Director of Hillel, in honor of the event. Each person touched the challah or touched a person touching the challah to receive this blessing.

Ali Chalfin ’16, social chair of Hillel, led the Dvar Torah, or “words of the Torah.” She began by telling the biblical story of Jacob and Esau, who were the children of Isaac and Rebekah. They were twins who fought for dominance, even in the womb. Because their father favored Esau, Jacob felt jealous of him and tricked him into selling him his birthright.

Chaflin shared that she has a family friend who is a twin and was diagnosed with breast cancer. She wondered why one twin developed cancer but the other did not. The story of Jacob and Esau made her reflect on the unfair nature of life and the way that God gives us the strength to go on. After the Dvar Torah, Ethan Cantor, Hillel’s president, introduced keynote speaker Lisa Kassow. In his opinion, cancer is a war and its survivors are warriors.

Lisa herself conquered cancer five years ago. She was diagnosed days before the Pink Shabbat that took place that year. She felt afraid and overwhelmed but remained strong for others. She said that the experience taught her a lot about herself and that she is lucky to be cancer-free today.

Lisa also spoke about her friend Tammy, who recently passed away because of ovarian cancer. She described her as an energetic woman who made her mark on all who knew her. According to Lisa, drugs made to combat cancer typically take twenty years to create, two and a half billion dollars to fund and have a 99.5% failure rate, meaning that the odds are not great.

Lisa asked that those in attendance remember her and her friend Tammy when we are in positions of power. The message of her speech was that it’s on us to keep the fight against breast cancer going. Lisa hopes for a day in which no more families suffer because of breast cancer or ny other form of cancer. She ended her speech by asking that we use our potential to make a difference.

Before dinner was served, Pink Shabbat participants were asked to write the names of people they know who have been victims of breast cancer. These pink slips were made into a long chain, proving the pervasiveness of this disease. A Thanksgiving dinner was followed by dessert, which consisted of cupcakes topped with pink frosting.

As everyone breaks for Thanksgiving, let each person express gratitude for those in his or her life who have survived cancer, remember those who have lost the battle and remain hopeful that a cure may be found in the near future.

Trinity College hosts event on Ferguson



On the evening of Thursday,Nov. 23, a group of Trinity students, faculty, clergy, and others members of the community met at the Trinity College Chapel to stand in solidarity with St. Louis, Missouri. The event symbolized Trinity College’s stand with Ferguson, and its firm belief in peace and equality.

The night began with the reading of a number of prayers that have been recited in Ferguson since the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014. Assistant Chaplain John Selders and Chaplain Allison Read recited the prayers, and both offered the same message. They prayed for a final end to racism in the United States of America, and for a love between Americans. The prayers called for an end to unnecessary violence and death, and, most importantly, an end to fear. Moving forward into the event, speeches were given by various students and faculty members such as Professor Seth M. Markle.

Professor Markle commented on the ongoing injustice towards young African American males occurring in the United States, and on the increased militarization of United States police officers. Continuing his speech, Professor Markle recounted the recent killings of black youth such as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown as certain evidence of existing racism within the country. He concluded as the prayers did, with a call for peace and unity.

The speakers at the event all spoke primarily about their fear of interaction with authorities and of the injustice within the system. A few of the people present at the event even expressed experiences with authorities in which they feared for their lives and experienced differential treatment because of race. They all indicated a need for change in the system, and elimination of constant fear.

At the end of the night, the community present at the event was connected directly to St. Louis, Missouri through a Skype call with Reverend Osgyefu Uhuru Sekou. In the call, the Reverend proclaimed the need for freedom fighters. The Reverend called for an expansion of the message presented at the Trinity College Solidarity event and the need to do more. This expansion could simply mean spreading the message through the Hartford area and not necessarily traveling all the way to Missouri in order to become a freedom fighter: anything to get the message of the movement outside the walls of Trinity College and to everywhere possible.

When asked about his thoughts on the event, Chaplain John Selders said, “It is my belief that what is happening in Ferguson is a microcosm of what is happening, and what is beginning to happen, across the world, and we here at Trinity represent that world. It matters that our student body is gathering and protesting against injustice. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Ferguson in solidarity.”

Hillel hosts discussion on Ugandan Jewish community



This past week, the Trinity community had the opportunity to meet an individual whose life serves as a fascinating look at the intersections of history, education, and gender. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Trinity Hillel hosted this engrossing speaker, a young woman named Shoshanna Nambi. Hailing from Uganda, Nambi is a prominent member of the Abayudaya Jewish community and is one of the first young women from that community to receive a college education, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Her life and ancestry connect to a diverse variety of topics within Uganda, and her work today helps to propel Uganda’s Abayudaya community forward into the 21st century and highlights the increasing role and agency of women in this communal movement.

Nambi’s Jewish ancestry can trace its roots back to the first proliferation of Judaism in Uganda, led by Semei Kakungulu in the 1920s. Kakungulu, after his conversion to Judaism in 1919, founded the Abayudaya community in southeast Uganda in 1920. Among his earliest followers was Nambi’s grandfather, Sol, who is one of the community’s oldest members, still alive today at 94. Judaism is a minority religion in Uganda, and the burgeoning Jewish community faced many challenges over its history, notably the oppressive regime of Idi Amin from 1971 to 1979, where most religious affiliation was prohibited, and carried with it a death sentence.

The Abayudaya community survived with only 300 living members, maintaining their faith underground, holding fast to their heritage, hoping to pass it on to the next generation. Since then, the community has thrived, and their numbers have regrown to around 2,000. They are very devout, holding to the many tenants of Conservative Judaism, keeping their version of kashrut diet, and observing Shabbat weekly. There are five different synagogues in the region, and many foreign Rabbis and interested Jewish (and other) foreigners visit them each year. In fact, a number of members of Trinity’s Jewish community had visited the area in years prior, which is actually how Trinity became acquainted with Shoshanna Nambi in the first place.

Despite their numerical proliferation, the community faces many challenges today. Until fairly recently, the vast majority of the community members were subsistence farmers, and the community was fairly poor as a result. The synagogues and religious figures in the community have taken effective steps to remedy this problem, however. Several Jewish schools have opened in the past couple of decades, and this has enabled many young people (and even some of the older generation) to become more educated, and a number of community members have become very well-educated, and brought new opportunities back to their homeland.

Shoshanna Nambi is one such individual.

After graduating with high marks from one of the local Jewish schools, Nambi continued her education, and alongside several of her friends, was one of the first women of the Abayudaya community to graduate from university in Uganda’s capital city. Nambi’s education was no mean feat. Notwithstanding the relative poverty of the region, Ugandan women (like women the world over) have long been expected to stay at home for the most part, tending to more domestic affairs, at the expense of their education and empowerment. Nambi is aiming to change that.

After earning her degree, Nambi returned to the Abayudaya community where she has taken up leadership roles with aplomb. She has helped to coordinate a biannual women’s conference and works extensively to promote health and education in the Abayudaya community, in addition to promoting women’s issues. Underscoring her work on women and gender issues, she cited a number of women in the Abayudaya community who in the last decade or so have risen to prominence in the community, notably one woman who has served as the community treasurer for five years, one woman who is currently working for her Master’s Degree, and a couple of different women who have opened their own small businesses. Nambi points to these successful women as an example of the increasing empowerment of Ugandan women, particularly in the Jewish communities of Uganda.

Nambi’s works promoting women’s interests and public health have gained significant ground in recent years. The women’s conference that she was so active in is becoming a platform for women all across Uganda, and, with help from donations and microcredit loans, women are beginning to own their own businesses and participate more in local politics, giving the women involved greater agency and independence. The Jewish community has been very helpful in propping up this platform as well. Further, Nambi has worked extensively raising awareness and providing information about HIV and AIDS, an issue of great importance to women (and men) of the region. They have been working to educate the public about the prevalence and transmission of the disease, and their efforts have made many communities safer and more aware of the problem, which has led to marked improvement in public health. Coordination with local Muslim and Christian communities has contributed to the efficacy of these programs. Nambi has also participated in the founding of two new Jewish schools, and has helped to bring in volunteers from abroad to help teach. She related a poignant story about an 85-year-old woman from the United States who came over to help teach Hebrew.

Shoshanna Nambi’s talk concluded with a stirring performance of songs traditional to Jewish communities, among them Psalm 150, praising the devotion of God to the people of Israel.

The actual nation of Israel may be far from Nambi’s homeland, but the power and solace of the faith runs strong through her and her community, completely disregarding geographic isolation and political and social troubles. The Jewish faith has clearly had a profound effect on the people of the Abayudaya community, and they have carved a niche for themselves in their land and are making very successful strides to keep their community alive, despite the shifting landscape of the place and times we live in.

Trinity was truly fortunate to have had a look at such a unique and vibrant foreign community and to have seen a presentation delivered so eloquently by a such an engaging, successful, and articulate young woman.

Ferguson: violence does not bring about positive change



In the wake of the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, many individuals took to Facebook to share their thoughts and express their frustration. I saw post after post concerning Ferguson and many of the posts spawned heated debates in their comment sections. As one might expect, my feed contained the gamut of opinions on the issue. Some defended Officer Wilson’s actions while others condemned what they saw as the institutional racism of America.

Among the many sentiments expressed, some Facebook users said that they stood in solidarity with the rioters in Ferguson. These users affixed the hashtag “#NoJusticeNoPeace” to their statuses and openly endorsed the violence and destruction that was taking place. One such user wrote, “violence is the only way to stop oppression by the police.”

I condemn this viewpoint and I condemn any Facebook user who affixed the hashtag “#NoJusticeNoPeace” to their status to mean that they support the violence of the Ferguson riots.

I do not believe that the United States government is an autocratic one. We do not live in a police state in which the only avenue for social progress is rioting. Instead, we live in arguably the most free and open society in the world. In the United States, citizens have the ability to fight with words and peaceful protest.

In the United States, violence is not a necessary evil. There is nothing necessary about violence in a free and open society. For those who are dissatisfied with the Grand Jury decision, the overturning of police cars and the burning of local businesses will not reverse that decision. If injustice has been committed, the destructive actions of an angry mob will not restore justice.

Last week, a friend and I discussed our respective opinions on the Ferguson riots. After I said why I thought the violence was unjustified, my friend responded that our nation was founded in the midst of violence.

He went on to describe the years before the birth of the United States in which members of the thirteen colonies tried to use diplomatic measures to respond to abuses by the British government. For example, members of the Second Continental Congress drafted the Olive Branch Petition, which sought to avoid war with Great Britain. After peaceful efforts like the Olive Branch Petition failed, early Americans turned to violence to achieve their political goals. My friend said that the rioters are not so different from the heroes of the American Revolution that we celebrate and deify.

For me, there is a crucial difference between the rioters of Ferguson and unruly eighteenth-century Bostonians. Colonial England is a far cry from present-day America. The early Americans who took up arms against the British were laboring under an autocratic government. Our government may be called inefficient, but it cannot be called autocratic. Our society is one in which voices are heard and individual rights are cared for. Especially in more recent history, we can see that peaceful demonstration is a powerful force in America.

One example is “The Great March on Washington,” which took place in 1963. It was one of the greatest social protests in the history of the United States and it had a massive impact on the rights of African Americans. The shooting of Michael Brown and the reaction surrounding it is part of a larger issue of race relations across the nation. To address this complex and multifaceted issue, we need to exercise care, consideration, and levelheadedness. We do not need to turn to violence.

Tensions over religion rise and cause strife in Israel



Israel has been an unstable region since the 1890s. The presence of two religious groups in one county is the core reason to the social turmoil. Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting for territorial and regional dominance. Foreign presence worsened the Arab Israel conflict further because false promises were made to both the groups. The stark religious beliefs and years of bloodshed have caused Israel to become an unstable region.

Jerusalem has always been the middle ground of conflict for both the Israelis and Palestinians. So it is no surprise that on Nov. 10, an Israeli soldier and woman were killed. Usually the death of an individual is highlighted if they are famous, but in this case, the death due to religious identity is significant. These attacks occur frequently, which explains people’s fear regarding my visit to Israel in the summer. Instead of my parents, my friends voice their displeasure about my trip to Israel. I do not blame them because a week ago the police killed a Palestinian citizen. Moreover, even the leaders of Fatah described these attacks as “natural” or “normal.” Representatives of the government are not hesitating to be part of the knife intifada either. Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under severe pressure to resolve matters as soon as possible.

Being in a high government position is indeed the worst job ever. One is criticized more rather than appreciated. Mr. Netanyahu is put in a difficult spot because of the distinct opinions of the right and left. The left blame the Prime Minister for not initiating a peace process with the Palestinians while the right accuses him because they believe that his security policies are lenient. The abhorrence is so strong against the Prime Minister that a left-leaning member of his cabinet resigned in protest of his policy toward Palestinians. Despite all this criticism, Mr. Netanyahu made a statement saying that Israeli-Arab citizens “who demonstrate against Israel and in favor of a Palestinian state” can “move to the Palestinian Authority or Gaza.” Clearly, talks of territorial divides still continue.

The United States ambassador of Israel, Daniel Shapiro, reacted to the attacks on a Twitter post by stating, “There is no justification for terrorism, under no circumstances.” But what is the definition of terrorism? Will there ever be a solution to the ever-lasting Arab-Israeli conflict? Most of the attacks are aimed at all parts of the country because both communities want to get rid of each other. So restoring peace in Israel is tedious. Nonetheless, to resolve the problem the country’s internal security minister ordered a crackdown to arrest members of the Palestinian militant groups. This explains why the Israeli authorities attributed to the stabbing of Palestinian men. The Israeli police even arrested an 18-year-old man from a refugee camp on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus. A security guard from a nearby Jewish settlement shot the second suspect. He was a member of the Islamic Jihad and spent five years in an Israeli prison. These attacks will not stop because there is a deep-rooted hatred between the two religious groups.

Israel comprises of numerous religious groups that have different viewpoints. The leader of Hamas, Fathi Hamad, stated that, “Even he who owns nothing but his faith has a kitchen in his house in which he has a knife. He must grab his knife and confront the Zionist enemy.” Another Hamas official said, “Anyone who owns a knife, a baton, a weapon and a car” and does not attack Israelis “does not belong to Palestine.” Moreover, Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said Israeli “crimes led the youth to fight back and take revenge.” These strong statements reinforce the hate that has manifested between Israelis and Palestinians over the years.

The religious violence that exists in Israel is not unique to this region solely. The Hindu-Muslim hatred is another example of religious violence. Since the 1920s frequent riots have occurred between the Hindu and Muslims. The riots took place because of Hindu processions disrespecting Muslim prayers, which eventually led to communal killings. This hatred gave birth to the question of territorial division once the British decided to free their colony. Thus, Pakistan was created to create peace within a multifaceted nation. The Hindu and Muslims were given their own territory but riots continued to persist. This shows that the creation of two different nations for the Israelis and Palestinians may not be the solution either.

The Israel Prime Minister has a tedious task of establishing peace in Israel. Mr. Netanyahu will face opposition because people will blame him for the killings, but he needs to take action soon because this is not an isolated attack. The car and stabbing attacks are stimulants for an intifada. Action needs to be taken because unless a decision is made, this wave of violence will continue to swell.


Searching for truth among rumors about Ferguson



It’s been almost four months since the infamous shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The grand jury tasked with deciding the fate of the shooter, police officer Darren Wilson, is rumored to be on the precipice of releasing a verdict. In anticipation of this major event Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, has enlisted the aid of the National Guard to help hold down the fort should riots and protests take a turn for the violent and dangerous. Is this a way of foreshadowing what the verdict will be? Nixon claims he requested the presence of the 400 National Guard troops regardless of the outcome of the verdict. This simple comment has already caused much of the nation to be up in arms in an attempt to decipher the results of the decision before it is publicly released.

In the midst of these cryptic, hidden meanings and complicated choices being made by those in power, one must remember the only guaranteed fact in this case: no one knows what actually happened. One account of the story rests with Michael Brown, never to be told. One account rests with Officer Wilson, who voluntarily testified for four hours during his hearing. Of the multitude of residents who claim to have seen the shooting occur, no two people have told the same story. Some claim Brown rushed at Wilson prior to being shot, and some claim Wilson chased after him and shot him in the back. One individual reportedly saw Wilson curse at Brown before hitting the teen with his car door. Another completely contradicts this story, stating that Brown cursed at Wilson for asking him to move to the sidewalk before violently shoving an excited Wilson back into his vehicle. It is evident that no one truly remembers what he or she saw, and no two people saw the same thing. Missing even a half of a second of the events could result in the omission of crucial details that could swing the jury’s verdict one way or another. The jury itself is made up of many people, all of who most likely interpreted and understood the events of the trials in radically different ways.

The masses marching for Wilson’s conviction would disagree with me, but that is the beauty of it. Neither opinion is right, and neither is wrong. No one was there and no one knows what truly happened. Yet we are all bombarded with small, minute details and conspiracy theories veiled as factual information from innumerable sources, some credible and some not. In processing this information, we all have a right to form opinions. With that right comes the responsibility to honor the opinions of others. It is a form of mutual respect and in the midst of the tension and confusion surrounding this terrible event, many have forgotten about this critical part of coexisting in a diverse population.

Countless Americans are torn, unsure of how to feel and think about this incident. Given this complete and total lack of factual information and evidence either way, what is the proper course of action? Certainly not playing judge and jury. Not surprisingly, it appears as though the angriest and most inflammatory people are those commenting on articles and blog posts from hundreds or thousands of miles away from Ferguson, Missouri. These Internet jurists exude rage, malice, and even pure hatred towards the others commenting on these posts. It is impossible to see the situation objectively because so much of the media coverage has been skewed by political beliefs and racial discriminations. Even a single word could be dissected over and over for hidden meaning by thousands of people who will all arrive at a different conclusion each time they read it. Sadly, this is the reality in which we live and we must learn to cope with it. Otherwise, these issues will never be resolved.

As with any upsetting, confusing, and troublesome event, one must consciously try to take a step back and remember to take in all information with a grain of salt. The media coverage of the previous riots and protests has fanned the fire in the worst possible way. Headlines are polarizing. People are hypothesizing about who is guilty, promising a new juicy secret, or sharing a shred of a rumor. In this trying time, the nation must do its best to remember that opinions are just that: opinions. Regardless of what the verdict is, the only way to avoid further division and tension in Ferguson, and across the United States, is to remember this fact. Otherwise, hatred will continue to plague the United States, a nation known for its acceptance of all people and its promise to preserve their Constitutional rights and freedoms.

Personally, I believe Officer Darren Wilson is innocent. Michael Brown assaulted him, and assaulting a police officer is a crime.  Brown also ran away from Officer Wilson’s car in an attempt to resist arrest, which is also a crime. Therefore, Wilson was within his rights to use the force of a firearm in stopping Brown’s escape from the scene of his crime. I do not believe Officer Wilson would have acted differently were Michael Brown white and I do not believe he would have acted differently if he himself were black. I have read dozens of articles and updates on witness statements and autopsy releases and I believe that Officer Darren Wilson’s actions, though severe and ultimately upsetting, were completely necessary and legal. Did I mention that I was not present at the scene?


ISIS beheadings raise questions about U.S. foreign policy



On Nov. 16, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS released a video detailing the beheading of 26 year-old American captive, Peter Kassig. Peter is now the third American victim to be killed by ISIS after being taken captive. James Foley, who was 41 years old, and Steven Sotloff, who was 31, are the two other victims who were also beheaded by this terrorist organization. Sadly, the U.S. is not the only country to be under the attack of ISIS. In total, ISIS has taken 23 people, all from various countries, hostage. They have also released footage of the murders of two British hostages. I still remain unable to understand why this group would harm innocent people just to prove a point. I find it confounding that they made these gruesome acts public. But, does the fault of these deaths lie solely on ISIS or does the U.S. government share some of the blame in not reacting?

The U.S.’s current hostage policy refuses the option to pay ransom. The hope is that this policy will prevent hostage situations from becoming a regular occurrence, as it removes any sort of incentive for doing so. This makes sense because if the U.S. government were to pay a ransom each time a citizen was taken hostage, more kidnappings might happen because ransom would become an expected reward. Yet, this reasoning offers little comfort to the families who have lost a loved one due to being taken hostage. The fact that these deaths were publicized compounds to the pain these families feel. It makes it a lot more difficult to understand why the government would refuse to pay the ransom despite the fact that it would allow their loved one to still be alive. The argument that was offered in defense of this policy was that the any money given for ransom could be used to fund their terrorist activities. To be honest, I do not think there can be a solution to this problem without someone feeling it is unfair. It is important to remember that it is the victims who pay the ultimate price.

At this point it is important to consider the other options the U.S. can take in order to prevent these horrible instances from occurring again. There are multiple European countries that pay ransoms for their kidnapped citizens. This has resulted in the criticism of our government’s current policy. James Foley’s family has been particularly vocal about this point. After he was kidnapped, the family received an email asking for money. They then took this information to the FBI, only to be told that the government must refuse to give into to the ransom request. Sadly, even if the family had been able to come up with such an amount, they had also been told that it would be considered a crime to pay for it themselves. They waited eight months torturously long months which ended with James Foley’s murder.

In similar situations other governments would have paid the ransom. This then raises the question as to why the U.S. is not one of these countries that helps saves the lives of its citizens? I cannot say that I will ever understand what the Foley family, or the other families, is going through. What I can say is that I understand what the policy is trying to prevent. This policy helps to deter further kidnappings and simultaneously quells the fears of citizens traveling abroad who might be nervous about this. What if the ransom given to ISIS was used to fund an attack on the U.S. or another country? However, I do find it troubling that the U.S. government is being inconsistent with this policy. On May 31, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s life was traded for five Taliban prisoners who were at Guantanamo Bay. This is a dark contrast to the response the Foley family received when they were told that the government never negotiates for hostages. No wonder the family has been very critical of this policy, as it seems that there has been a double standard in place.

I think that the government should take one stance, stick with it and be consistent in handling all situations. Someone may always get hurt in the process regardless and there is never a definitive right decision regarding these complex matters. I hope that the government can find a way to neutralize ISIS and thereby prevent further deaths. Once the threat posed by ISIS is gone it will also ease the fears of those who are nervous of being taken hostage. This will hopefully result in fewer families having to suffer the trauma of watching their loved ones die.


Executive action needed for progress on immigration issues



As the president sets the stage to begin the process of implementing his executive orders designed to curtail the number of deportations for some three million undocumented people, the Republican Party is gearing up for a showdown. Their anger and series of warnings to the administration is, in many ways, an expression of outrage over the imperial presidency. The Mitch McConnell’s and John Boehner’s within the Beltway feel as though Congress needs to be the one to act on such pivotal matters as reforming what all can concede is a broken immigration system.

The truth of the matter is that Congress is not acting on immigration reform. It’s being held hostage of any chance of meaningful change by a band of opportunists intent on politicizing what could be one of the great accomplishments of this decade. And sadly, it is not the politicians who are suffering by preventing a vote on this defining issue of the day, but an estimated 11.7 million people in this country who, for all intents and purposes, are as American as you and me.

Would the status quo of political stalemate over immigration in Washington still be true if the great majority of these undocumented citizens were from Europe and not Mexico and parts of Central America? I really doubt it. There is a tinge of racism that unfortunately creeps along with this debate over who has the right to live in this country and who does not. However, America’s controversial history with immigration is not rooted in the context of today’s debate, but the migration of the Irish in the 1840s and, subsequently, the Italians at the turn of the century. These were the first ethnic groups who willingly traveled to this country and experienced the cruelness and inhumane treatment by those who felt they were more American simply because they had lived here longer.

Yet, the Brahmins and Yankee elites who castigated the Irish were themselves descendants of immigrants. However, as they rose to positions of power and success, they had lost touch with that sentiment, only to try to close the door on those who wanted to discover that same success for themselves and their families.

As someone who is a descendent of Irish Catholic immigrants, I have heard many stories from my own grandfather over the moral intrusion of treating immigrants as less than any other American. I hope that the leaflets that bared the acronym “NINA” in store windows in the latter part of the nineteenth century, which prevented my grandfather’s grandparents from obtaining well-paying jobs and marginalized them from the rest of society, does not become the backdrop to the new emotional norm over immigration in this country.

This brings us to today’s debate. It is clear the GOP and some on the fringes of the Democratic Party lack a certain perception on this matter and appear devoid of compassion for those trying to make it in this country, but cannot seem to find the proper mechanism to gain legitimate status. In its truest form, this is a debate over freedom and enslavement, and right and wrong. The Republican Party, which is the party of Lincoln, needs to see and ultimately harness the moral imperative for passing substantive immigration reform, as those who champion freedom in this country will ultimately with its passage.

As a country, we have an opportunity to get immigration right. We cannot afford to have fringe groups on both sides of the political spectrum ignite a xenophobic crusade against immigrants, which has long been the case when new people arrive in this county.

This should not be a matter of political calculation or grandstanding, but as a question of being on the right or wrong side of history. The GOP, although much different today and less attuned to the problems minorities face, was the party that led the fight against slavery and played a key role in desegregating the South during the civil rights era. Surely, this is a party that can see the moral necessity to correcting a failed system that lacks the inclusiveness and fairness that runs against the fibers of American values.

This is not to say that all people living here undocumented should have an automatic right to stay. Those with substantial criminal records and those with violent pasts should not be included in this argument. However, creating a system for those who have worked hard and have raised children in this country to learn English, pay their back-taxes, and be sent to the back of the line to gain citizenship is not only the right thing to do, but the best thing to do for this country.

In summary, we are ultimately a country of immigrants. We neither have the right nor the moral authority to tell anyone who wants to work hard and be a productive citizen that they cannot live in this country. More importantly, it is the wave of immigrants throughout this country’s history who have contributed to its economic, social, and military success and, in turn, fueled that beacon of light, which makes us a unique nation and the stalwart of democratic values. The question is will that beacon of light endure as this debate intensifies?


The Journey of “Word by Word” by Christopher Hager




Professor Christopher Hager, Associate Professor of English, was recently awarded the prestigious Frederick Douglass Prize for his book, “Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing (Harvard University Press, 2013).” Professor Hager has conducted research in slavery, emancipation, and Civil War-Era literature, which contributed to his interest in exploring these topics further for “Word by Word.” In doing research over the years, Hager found a substantial amount of letters and diaries written by African-American slaves, which defied the stereotype that all slaves were illiterate. Hager spent about five years researching and writing “Word by Word,” which clearly paid off, given the complimentary feedback and success of the book.

Hager says that the book is about “African American slaves and recently free slaves who could write were writing about and how they were writing.” He saw this as an “interesting and important conflict because [he] was always taught in school that slaves were illiterate.” Hager took it upon himself to analyze the documents, including a number of lengthy quotations, and included photographs for his readers to be able to see first-hand, noting that pictures of the handwritten manuscripts themselves have something interesting about them. Because he had access to documents that the average person may not come across, Hager says he “felt a great sense of challenge and a sense of responsibility for trying to develop some insight into these peoples’ lives. In many instances, I was trying to piece back together the thought processes of people who lived 150 years ago.”

One of Hager’s biggest challenges was attempting to make sense of the documents, which were written by people who had never been formally taught how to write. Hager said the complexity of the language and ideas written in these letters was “imperfect,” due to the slaves’ complete lack of education.“Therefore,” Hager says, “they couldn’t spell and sometimes had a hard time expressing their thoughts the way they wanted to.”

Hager spends a large portion of the book “trying to look closely at what’s going on underneath the surface.” These primary sources are something that Hager encourages English majors and writers in general to utilize in order to have a stronger interaction with history. “When I was an undergraduate, I never saw an original manuscript written by someone in the 19th century. If I wanted to understand historical context for literary work, I read about it in a book. Now you can go online and find thousands and thousands of pages of letters written by people hundreds of years ago.” More often that not, Hager will share primary sources with his students in class rather than having them using books. Hager believes that this resource can “heighten the sense of insight” one has when studying a particular historic period, or even more specifically, an individual’s experience during that period.

Besides the fact that “Word by Word” was presented the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, a prestigious honor recognizing an outstanding, nonfiction book in the subject of anti-slavery and emancipation movements, Hager says he is proud of the fact that “some people think [he] did a good job and a responsible job in trying to recover the thoughts and feelings [of some slaves].” In reconstructing and analyzing the materials, Hager felt he was able to allow readers to “gain access to their experience without projecting ourselves onto them or put words in their mouth.”

Furthermore, Hager had to analyze the documents in the way a historian typically would, rather than a literature scholar. Moving back and forth between both the disciplines, Hager had to think like a historian in finding the right materials to use while analyzing them in the way he has been trained to do as a literature scholar. “Historians work with those materials in a somewhat different way- they don’t try to analyze them in a way that students in a literary class analyze a poem. They look at them for evidence of some events that occurred and what happened.”

Hager’s research for this book led him to teach a brand new class called “Literacy and Literature” (cross-listed under American Studies and English), which presented a challenge within itself. Hager says that it was “very difficult to figure out how to take some of the material [he] was looking at and present it to his students.” Hager’s investment in these areas has allowed students and scholars alike to gain deeper knowledge about the lives of slaves and the era of emancipation. “Although it’s impossible to really know what the real experience of slavery, maybe we can get closer to an understanding of slavery than we think.”


Fall Dance Concert showcases powerful performances


Staff Writer

This past weekend the Department of Theater & Dance put on its Fall Dance production, which showcased works created and performed by Trinity faculty, guest artists, and students.The show, as curated by Theater & Dance faculty member Lesley Farlow, featured six works built around a theme of dance being “spun out” of its makers and performers. This kind of broad conceptual structure allowed the evening to span various styles and approaches, while allowing the audience members to discover and ponder its unifying themes.

The first performance was a piece by Jennifer Polins, a guest choreographer whose work featured prominently in the evening. The work was called “Personificationisms” and it featured three dancers carrying laptops, reacting in real time to the videos displayed upon them, moving independently and in tandem between circles of light. Upon its start, I must say I became worried that the piece would be guilty of milking the insta-relevance that some go after with technology-themed pieces, but this was something different, something far stronger. Polins used a unique process-influenced style to spin a piece that was not only visually compelling, but also one that raised fresh questions about individuality and the Internet. The piece interestingly drew on the motion of musical conductors, disrupting expectations of performance, control, and what constitutes conventional “dance” movement. The piece was one of the finest and most thoroughly conceived of the night, one that I expect will roll around in the heads of the audience for some time.

A short but powerful student work titled “Metastasis” followed, adopting a narrative structure about illness. The piece’s three performers danced in changing pairs, ultimately making a movingly nebulous statement about humanity as the one true antidote to sickness. The piece was superbly handled.

Another student-driven piece was performed by Glory Kim ’17, and was a very  narrative and emotionally charged piece “For Brian,” named after a now-deceased child  that Kim worked with over the summer in Zimbabwe. Kim’s work was most interesting both in its story-driven treatment of loss and in his repurposing of hip-hop movement into a more formal dance context. The piece proved as technically engaging as it was emotionally resonant.

A particular highlight was Trinity alumnus Jonathan Gonzalez’s ’12 stunning “Messages with the Moon.” Gonzalez has achieved success performing around the world, and here he returned to present perhaps the most singular and affecting piece of the night. It featured found sounds, a telephone, a short monologue, and it managed to deftly use these features to contort the viewers’ minds around the story it presented. Gonzalez, performing the piece himself, embodying a disarming physicality, repurposing atypical and convulsive motions into something beautiful and evocative. The work is paradoxically the hardest to describe but the easiest to visualize, as its masterful construction is hard to pick apart, but so totally memorable and moving in its genius. The final image of the piece proved its most arresting, as Gonzales spun around the space, arms out, a human helicopter threatening to take off at any moment, but remaining on the ground as the light faded into darkness. This was the sort of challenging, thrilling performance that we hope to see at these events, and Gonzalez more than delivered.

Jen Polins’ solo piece also proved very thought -provoking. Titled “The Sensible Thing” and partly set to German choral music (Polins lived and worked in Germany for many years), the work presented a conceptually rich physical narrative of restriction and performance. Polins called upon the physical language of the restrained, her movement often evoking handcuffs and often stopping short, shuttling between imaginary walls and oppressors. Just as heavy in her piece was a sense of performance, but one against the performer’s will, brought to its peak in the final image of the work, in which she flourished into a pained bow of sorts. Thinking about the work in conjunction with the title, I read it as a sort of dance treatise on the bondage of social performance, although its brilliance also lay in the broadness of its potential interpretation. In short, this piece yet again attested to the completeness and singularity of Polins’ vision.

The show finished with the Trinity College Dance Company’s collaborative piece with Farlow, “Undercurrents.” The two-part piece proved visually fascinating as it made use of the entire company at once, juxtaposing mechanical and fluid movement and drawing its energy in from its group dynamic. It proved a stunning finale and an opportunity for the company to show off an excellent piece of collaborative work.

Overall, the Fall Dance Concert this year was perfectly crafted, a unique celebration of talent across Trinity’s dance community on all levels of activity. This unique sense of vitality drove it to incredible heights, and, as good dance always does, it left the audience just a little lighter on their feet.


Cinestudio Review: David Fincher’s adaptation of “Gone Girl”


Staff Writer

“What are you thinking?” “How are you feeling?” “What have we done to each other?” Thoughts like these and others flit through Nick Dunne’s, portrayed by Ben Affleck, mind as he glares into the eyes of his wife, Amy Elliott Dunne. By the end of David Fincher’s newest thriller “Gone Girl,” playing at Cinestudio this month, you’ll want answers to the very same questions. There are, as usual, a few points you need to know before I get started here. If you don’t know what happens in “Gone Girl,” I’ll do my best to not spoil anything for you. It seems the twist that occurs around the one hour mark is sensational enough to be canonized as common knowledge, or soon will be.

Here’s what you should know right off the bat: Amy is gone. Where? Nobody knows, and all eyes in North Carthage, Missouri are on her half-slimy half-charming husband. Nick and Amy met just as their careers as New York City writers were beginning to take off. Naturally it was love at first sight and their early days are heartwarming,  full of quips and carefree repartee. What begins as a loving relationship only grows, until somewhere along the line it sours, curdles, and rots away into a seething cesspool of lies, intrigue, and hatred, bubbling with the hint of murder. Did Nick kill his wife? Or is there something else going on, something perhaps even more sinister? “Gone Girl” does not so much tell us a story as unfold one before our eyes. We learn about our characters first as they wish to be seen, and then, over time, they come into focus, and are laid bare, warts and all.

While it has been heralded as a success, there have been a few murmurings here and there about the feminist repercussions of a movie like “Gone Girl.” Again without giving too much away, I can only respond that, what may at first glance look like a description of all women in a negative light, is in truth a spectral, perceptive, even loving portrait of one remarkable, and darkly fascinating woman, Amy. She is the highlight of the movie, love her or hate her, and Rosamund Pike brings something razor sharp and hypnotic to her role: something that brings an already fascinating movie up a peg from “good” to “exceptional.” Pike stands at a poised 5’9, sports long hair that is less blonde than it is “haunted wheatfield” in color, and wields a Romanesque facial structure that could give paper cuts at the correct angle. In “Gone Girl,” she proves herself a first-class actress. There are few people alive today who can speak daggers the way Pike can, and her work here would smack of Gilded Age sultriness if it weren’t for the feeling of late January that wafts off of her every word. It’s quite a talent, and it seems Ms. Pike has a bright future.

On the other side of the story, Affleck was similarly well cast in his role as Nick. He brings his own brand of ignorance to the characters that, while irritating and chauvinistic, are balanced against all odds with his rugged handsomeness and quick wit. What we’re left with is the bull’s eye center of the male stereotype. It’s from Nick that we get the most anti-feminist sentiment, and though he is the center of our story, he himself fails to see what we can where it counts: the genius that comes with the evil. It’s a pleasure to watch the two interact on screen, before and after the twist is dropped, in flashbacks and in the present.

Supporting characters all seem perfectly in order: Neil Patrick Harris as a ludicrously wealthy stalker type, Carrie Coon as Nick’s deadpan voice of reason twin sister, and an unusually serious Tyler Perry as Nick’s celebrity lawyer. Each cast member deserves his and her own personal praise. Thanks to them, every piece falls into place here, as “Gone Girl” takes us into a world of its own making. A world that is teeming with the soft gunmetal grey light of Fincher’s greatest hits. A silken sea of tension is provided by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s synthesized score, Gillian Flynn’s near perfect screenplay, and the talented actors that drive it along. It is a story of the everyday suburban life that looks perfect from the outside, but as with all apparently beautiful things, what moves below the surface is a mystery.

“Gone Girl” will make you believe that you know next to nothing about your loved ones, but even after they shock you with the truth, even after you learn how wrong you were, love, like a spider’s web, is impossible to escape. That’s the most appropriate takeaway from this film, but it’s just as likely and perhaps appropriate that you’ll walk out of the theater thinking that “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

Bantam Artist of the Week: DJ Joey McGlinchey ’17


Staff Writer

On late Monday nights, you can find several students in the library working on assignments or studying for exams. Joey McGlinchey ’17, on the other hand, is carefully selecting music and broadcasting his segment on the Trinity Radio Station: “The Joe Show.” He makes the long trek from his dorm room in Summit South to the first floor of High Rise, which is where the campus radio station is located.

As a Psychology major and Cognitive Sciences minor, a member of the archery club and part of an intramural soccer team, McGlinchey is bombarded with lab assignments, meetings, and games. Despite this, he can always count on the radio show for allowing him to escape from the usual chaotic routine and kick back with music. McGlinchey began working at the radio station the beginning of his sophomore year. His inspiration first came from his parents who have always told him that he has a great musical taste that people enjoy. Publically broadcasting music sounded like a perfect fit for him, so he decided to join the radio show and influence others with his unique taste.

Initially, McGlinchey asked around to see if there was any way he could have his own show. Then, one day while he was walking down Vernon Street, after his soccer game was cancelled, he was randomly approached by one of the head disc jockeys on campus. The member of the radio station asked him if he would like to finally have a show, as they had an open time slot. Of course, McGlinchey accepted and immediately went to the meeting to begin his thriving music career. He had to learn about all of the rules of the FCC and how to use the equipment. He explains how he got the hang of it immediately, “I’m technically called a Disc Jockey now for the station, WRTC. I make up playlists on the spot, involve my listeners, and speak my stream of consciousness. I don’t like sticking to the script, as my best creativity is on the spot. I like to see where the show takes me while on air, which I think is most intriguing to my audience.” The show is an hour and a half long, but he spends a vast amount of time choosing the music and planning out the segments.

Before the radio station at Trinity, McGlinchey has pursued his interest in music several times. He has always had a passion for it and has played numerous instruments throughout middle and high school. In high school, he tried to start up a club for podcasting, but it did not last very long, as he and the other members were pre-occupied with applying to colleges and finishing up their senior year on a good academic note. When he started college, he realized that he enjoyed listening to music rather than playing it, which is why the radio show is excellent for him.

McGlinchey’s favorite show that he hosted was on Nov. 17. This show included a political discussion and also provided people with a wonderful selection of music and shout-outs to those who requested them. He says, “When I have guest hosts, it’s so much more entertaining. I absolutely love collaborating with friends and having people to talk to. They bring energy and cheerfulness to my show.” McGlinchey has two more shows after Thanksgiving break, and he certainly plans to host more friends and a variety of new music.

Along with the last shows of this semester that McGlinchey is excited for, he also looks forward to starting up the show next semester. Furthermore, he is eagerly waiting for summer, when he plans to get an internship with a radio station around New York City, where many of his favorite stations are located. His ideal internship would definitely be with “Sirius XM.”

McGlinchey added, “The best thing about being a part of WRTC is that I can just sit and listen to my own music and relax. Especially on Mondays—at the start of the week—when I have so many projects to worry about and complete, the radio show is a great way to chill out while I introduce my music taste to others. I try to influence others with my musical preferences and hope that they love it almost as much as I do. It’s awesome to be a part of something on campus too—it helps me feel like I’m more engaged in the community. It’s not even just the population of Trinity who is able to listen. The radio show extends to the city of Hartford, and anyone who wants to listen online. There are a lot of people that I’m not really great friends with that listen to my show every week, which is an honor to me. I really appreciate all of my listeners.” Tune into “The Joe Show” Monday nights at 9 p.m.!


Theatre & Dance Theses promise to engage audiences


A & E Editor

On Dec. 4, and 5, some of the seniors majoring in Theatre and Dance will be showcasing their thesis performances at the Trinity Commons Performance Lab. The Theatre and Dance Department requires its seniors to work on individual theses in which they explore a particular theme or subject, and develop a project or performance that combines their research and skills that they have acquired over their past semesters at Trinity. Later this week, Chanel Erasmus ’15, Yanique Anderson ’15, and Malcom Moon ’15, will be presenting their works that explore diverse themes and styles, and ultimately truly reflect their individual experiences and ideas. Watching the thesis performances not only promises to be an inspiring and engaging experience, but also presents the opportunity to support and encourage these seniors who have worked hard individually as well as with their cast and crew members to create something meaningful.

Erasmus is an international student who grew up in Cape Town South Africa, and is a very prominent member of our student body, having recently delivered an excellent performance on stage in the recent production of “‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore.” Her thesis explores a subject that she describes to be “very close to her heart.”  She will be presenting her adaptation of a play called “Master Harold and the Boys” that is written by the “master of South African theater himself,” and one of her biggest inspirations, Athol Fugard.

The play traces the life of a young white boy and two older black male servants who work in his mother’s coffee shop. As Erasmus explains, “we are taken on a wild ride of emotions as we enter the lives of these three characters and explore what it is that stands between them.” The play reflects and responds to the brutal truths that concern the apartheid in South Africa, disclosing what it was like to be judged for the color of your skin, and unveiling the “complicated relationship between the blacks and whites.” Erasmus who was raised during the aftermath of the apartheid grew up hearing stories and experiences from her own family and loved ones during a not so distant past. Recognizing this very personal connection that she has to the subject play, it is most likely that her passion and unique understanding of the play should translate into an excellently directed performance that “promises to be extremely entertaining as well as brutally honest.” Erasmus expressed, “I hope I can show audience members what it was like growing up in South Africa and the truth behind apartheid. I also want to show how art can serve as a tool of reconciliation, similar to the way Truth and Reconciliation Commissions set up after apartheid brought a degree of closure to those that lost loved ones and those wishing to speak out about the truth.” Erasmus spent her last summer in South Africa researching a wide range of books on apartheid and Athol Fugard plays allowing her to draw more distinct connections that should enable her to “do justice to such a wonderful piece of text.” The title of Erasmus’ senior thesis production is a “World Without Collisions.” Her directorial skills combined with her promising cast and crew members: Malcom Moon ’15, Forrest Robinette ’16, Dan Trainor ’17, Assistant Director, Molly Belsky’16 and Stage Manager Savahna Reuben ’15 should result in a thought provoking and enjoyable performance on Dec. 4 at 7: 30 p.m. in the performance lab.

Andersons’ thesis performance titled “My Caged Bird Don’t Sing…” is a movement piece inspired by her voluntary experience in the Janet S. York Correctional Facility in Niantic Connecticut. For the past two years, Anderson has been involved in the Bridging Boundaries Arts Intervention Programs at York, which uses art and social work to provide outreach to the women at York. “The program fosters self-expression through song, dance and autobiographical narratives.” And during her time in the program, Anderson expressed that she was “moved by the women’s personal stories, and has come to appreciate the work that the women have done.” Her thesis is primarily informed by the “stories of the women housed at this facility, as well as [her] research on the experiences of other people who are or were at some point incarcerated.”

Her piece effectively seeks to give voice to the experiences of those who are incarcerated, “by exploring the emotional landscape of what it means to be trapped, physically, mentally, and emotionally.” The performance shall combine movement and text that has been written by inmates, “to shed light on life behind the razor wire, and to reveal the thoughts and emotions of a population often stigmatized and ostracized.” “My Caged Bird Don’t Sing…” is performed by Camryn Clarke ’17, Jordan Cram ’17 and Victoria Smith-Ellison ’15, and it will be shown at The Performance Lab at Trinity Commons on Friday, Dec 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Moon’s senior thesis “Spectacles” is unique in that it is both written and directed by him.  In his thesis he explores subjects that interested him following his involvement in a production of “Angels in America” last spring. His own role in the play as Louis a neurotic Jewish man who struggles with the dilemma of leaving his boyfriend who has just contracted AIDS in the 1980s, as a well as his interest in an African American character in the play named Belize, led him to begin researching the subject of race and homosexuality in America.

Through his research he explained that he became “fascinated by Langston Hughes, his poetry and alleged homosexuality, as well as the Harlem Renaissance.” He was especially interested in exploring the codes of society that were particular to “black homosexuals in the 20s, and by putting these codes in dialogue with the codes in contemporary America, [his] thesis was born.” His play thus parallels two time periods to raise questions pertaining to the extent to which societal norms and codes have evolved in relation to race and homosexuality. Moon’s thesis that is bound to display not only his dexterity, as not only a playwright but also a director, will also be performed on Friday Dec. 5 at 8:30 p.m. His talented cast consists of Allen Rios ’17, Oludare Bernard ’15, Khari-Elijah Jarrett ’16, Heath Harckham ’15, and Juan Vasquez ’15.

Given the intriguing themes and styles that the theses reflect, each of the performances is likely to prove worth a watch.


Three works of poetry by Karlyn Simpson ’17




Santa Ana, you are a disruptive force, tearing through everything without restraint, without manners or any courtesy for pre-existing life. You are warm. You sway things, you sway me. As I lay in this hammock, you rock me incredibly still. You make me daydream into a slumber under your pervasive reign. But suddenly everything about me is in danger. You foreshadow unfavorable things, unfavorable weather. A storm. A battle. (a metaphor for something that has a beginning, a middle, and an end). Oh Santa Ana, you rock the limbs of sturdy oaks. Because of you, the stems of those roses my lover bought me are bent, their heads tossed back. And worst of all, Santa Ana, you are just like him. He, who is like you, is not my lover who bought me those roses. He, who is like you, could never bring me roses because “love is cursed by monogamy.” And you Santa Ana, like he, sweep through, without any intention, spreading wildfire across areas that have gone months without rain, picking up dust and dirt. In the Great Basin, you, just like him, are that high-pressure system that grows between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. And you keep growing. You are the ardent wind that blows on my lover’s tired fire, snuffing the embers to death. Maybe I am at fault for carrying with me all of this debris. But you are so cruel to stir it up. How can you make me calm, so calm? When in your wake you leave only wreckage? An end. The end of a beginning and a middle. Yes, more than anything, you are a reminder of him and the warm danger he conducts when he brushes by me. Yes, you are a reminder of him. He who was a love I hardly scratched the surface of years ago. A new beginning. But a love I cannot have, until there is a definitive end. Oh Santa Ana, whisk away my lover so I can finally be as free as you are.






The pressure of your hand

On the arch of my back.

The weightlessness I feel

As you toss me to the bed.

And your smile.


That prized grip on my waist, as if I am a slippery fish

You plan to never throw back.

That silver necklace of yours, dangling in my face

When you are over me.


It’s music;

A chime in a hurricane.

The way it lies flat on your chest

As you lay next to me when we’re done.


When you point to your cheek before I leave,

As if I should have known.

But I don’t know

Hardly anything.


And I think I like that too, despite

Hating it as well.

Still the fact that I am no more special than any of the other fish,

Offers me hope that I can be.


So I stay liking you, even if there are only 10 things

I like about thee.























Like )










l a n d.




Trinity’s J-Term offers exciting courses for half credits




Looking to pick up an extra class credit? Are you a “Downton Abbey” fanatic? Do you really just need to get out of your house to recover from the stress of the holidays? If any of these things ring true, then January Term may be the program for you. J-Term, now in its second year, is a chance for students to take a half-credit course over winter break. In just two weeks, from Jan. 5 to Jan. 16, participants will have the ability to enrich their academic experience through interesting courses taught by dedicated professors. And with course titles like “Bible Zombies” and “Music in the 1960s”, there is a guarantee these are not what you would find during the regular semester.

This year a dozen classes are being offered, in a variety of disciplines. Classes are kept small—no more than 15 people—to encourage greater discussion between students and faculty, as well as more freedom in the way the class is structured.

The small size also allows for more time for students to venture off campus on field trips. One course, Professor Raskin’s “Health Care Access and Inequalities in the Americas” (COLL 301), will even be traveling to Nicaragua as part if their exploration of issues in health care access. While there, the class will be meeting key members of the government and health care community, policy makers, providers and stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the obstacles at hand. After looking at the two disparate settings—Hartford and Nicaragua—students will prepare a report on their experiences along with their suggestions for change.

If Central America doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t worry because there are a wide range of inventive courses that don’t require a passport. In the biology department, Professor Draper will be offering class titled “Nutrition: Food and Fads” (BIOL 119) with discussion focused on the science of health and nutrition. Students will be challenged to design their own diet plan and even be able to cook selected recipes. Those New Year’s resolutions will be much easier to attain once a clear, science-backed plan is established.

For all the struggling writers out there, Professor Papoulis will be offering a class on “Writing and Mindfulness” (RHET 227). This course will experiment with meditation exercises and practices with the specific goal of creating better, more contemplative writers.

By spending two weeks focusing on their writing, students will be able to improve their academic status. Beyond the classroom, though, the mindfulness techniques taught in this class are useful in all aspects of one’s life.

By far one of the most distinctive classes being offered this January is Professor Regan-Lefebvre’s “Downton Abbey” in Historical Context (HIST 225). This course will look to the acclaimed television series, examining the British class system and the construction and role of the “big house.” Further discussion will look at the changing role of women during the early 20th century, the British involvement in World War I and the war’s impact on society. This class is a must for anyone who loves the show, or just has an interest in history.

This is just a sampling of the classes being offered this winter. J-Term is an opportunity unlike any other to learn about something you probably would never get a chance to study in a traditional classroom setting. The professors teaching these classes are really passionate about the subjects, making the experience far more enjoyable. On top of that, they only have a fraction of the amount of work a normal class would have. J Term is also a wonderful opportunity to try to get ahead with credits or make use of the final weeks of winter break. It’s a great idea to talk to your friends and maybe plan on taking a course together.

If participating in January Term sounds like something you would be interested in, act now. Registration for the term opens on Nov. 10 and closes Nov. 25, and space is limited. Talk to your advisor to discuss the possibilities and secure your spot now.


Rebecca Smith on studying abroad ‘down under’




It is a surreal feeling to arrive in a city on the other side of the globe and see, for the first time, the Sydney Opera House. We have all seen it in pictures and movies but witnessing these iconic venues in real life is a memorable experience to say the least. The Opera House is probably the first image that comes to mind when people think of the Australian city, but Sydney has more things to do and see than you can imagine.

Living within the city, we are never far from multiple beaches that you can easily get to whether it be by walking, bus, or ferry ride. Throughout the semester on days when we didn’t frequent the beach, we went to all kinds of street markets around the city, the largest IMAX theater in the world, a show at the Opera House, walked around the Royal Botanical gardens, or rode some rides at Luna Park. Studying in a major metropolitan city really does have the perk of always having something to do when you aren’t attending class.

I am currently studying here at the University of Sydney with three other Trinity students, Annabel Wilmerding ’16, Meredith Bear ’16, and Juan Vargas ’16. It’s quite a bit of a change from Trinity, going to 300 person lectures here instead of the usual 15 person classes. But experiencing a massive university is a great experience. I had the good fortune to be able to take any four classes I wanted since I have basically finished my major at Trinity. Something to note about coming abroad to a program like this is that the grades here do not count towards your GPA, basically they are all pass/fail. So while I do still work hard to do well, it does feel great to not have to worry about my grades as much as I would at Trinity. Since school hasn’t been a major pressure on me this semester I have been able to really focus on experiencing Australia and traveling all over the country.

This semester I spent a weekend in the Blue Mountains, a weekend in the Outback, and a week traveling up the Northern coast. The Blue Mountains and the outback were hiking weekends where I saw some of the most beautiful views Australia has to offer. The outback of Australia isn’t a boring desert. There are a few places with massive rock formations you can hike and climb and when you reach the top you see the never-ending red desert that is the Outback. It was an amazing place and totally worth the visit despite the heat. For our spring break trip in September we traveled up the Northeast coast from Brisbane to Cairns. This is where some of Australia’s famous beaches are and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. Scuba diving the reef was, no exaggeration, the single greatest day of my life. The water is the most gorgeous blue and the reef itself is full of unbelievably vibrant neon greens, blues, oranges, yellows, and purples. And the fish are everywhere, exactly like in “Finding Nemo,” except they aren’t cartoons. I saw clownfish in a sea anemone, a reef shark, and countless other schools of bright fish. The 30% of the reef that is still alive is the most beautiful sight I have ever been privileged enough to see and it is a must for anyone traveling to Australia.

Another awesome thing about going abroad down under is how close to a few other countries it is. Next week I am flying to New Zealand to road trip the south island and, among other things, see where they filmed the Lord of the Rings. Then a few weeks later after the semester ends Meredith and I are taking a two-week trip through multiple countries in Southeast Asia. Something I’m going to guess no one studying abroad in Europe could pull off.

There are only a handful of students that choose Australia as their study abroad destination each semester while, the majority of the junior class ends up in various countries around Europe. If you are reading this and thinking of going abroad, think about Australia. You won’t regret it. I chose Australia over anywhere in Europe for multiple reasons. Australia is somewhere I have always been a little curious about from seeing it in so many movies (yes I’m talking about “Finding Nemo”) and hearing stories about it from my parents who visited the country in the 80s. Europe is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but Australia is the land of eternal summer where I went to the beach in the middle of their winter.

Inge-Marie Eigsti speaks about autism awareness



Inge-Marie Eigsti, an associate professor at University College gave a lecture about the connection between language and autism called, “Language in Body and Mind in Autism Spectrum Disorders,” on Thursday, Nov. 13.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that is defined through repetitive behavior patterns, social impairment, and difficulty in communicating. Eigsti said that, years before, ASD was diagnosed through three criteria: social relatedness, language and communication and repetitive formulas, activities and interests. She said that children with autism experience deficits in these three areas. However, the DSMS: a type of diagnostic test for diagnosing autism, later changed the diagnostic criteria and diagnosed autism based only upon social relatedness and repetitive activities.

Eigsti said that the removal of language from the diagnostic test was because social behaviors are important. She said that social and communicative deficits could be revealed in different areas such as language; therefore, in order to understand language, one needs to understand social influence. However, Eigsti does not agree with the removal of language from the criteria for autism. She said that language is influenced by motivation, gesture, and cognitive control and it is not just a social basis of autism. She argued during her lecture that choosing to overlook language is a problem. Therefore, she directed the audience’s attention to Tom Insel’s proposal for diagnosing autism.

According to Eigsti, Insel proposed the Research Domain Criteria, an experimental approach to the way that mental disorders such as autism are classified.  In a post on March 6, 2012 on the National Institute of Mental Health website, Insel writes, “[RDoC] is not simply about finding links between the social deficits of people with autism and people with social anxiety. RDoC uses genetics, imaging, and cognitive science for understanding deficits in social behavior.” Eigsti said that RDoC wants to make a link between brain and behavior. This does not only focus on social behaviors but on language as well.

Eigsti continued her lecture by talking about language in ASD. In her presentation, she notes that 10 to 15 percent of people with autism diagnosis are non-verbal in terms of communication. She said that there is a significant delay in acquisition for those who do speak. The kids who are born with this normally take two years before they are able to speak their first words. This also means that those who have autism also have delays in acquisition in terms of syntax and morphology. There is also a struggle because of impaired pragmatics. This means that those with ASD are unable to use eye contact in determining who will speak next when they are in a conversation. Those with autism also struggle with non-literal language as well as non-verbal gestures.

According to Eigsti, there are patients who have an optimal outcomes for recovery from ASD. She said that these patients were diagnosis before the age of five by an expert. They experience no current ASD symptoms, their IQ skills are in normal range and they are in regular education class. In other words, these people who are the optimal outcomes look fine socially and many people would not consider them to be autistic. She then went on to present the experiments that were done between the children who were considered optimal outcomes and those who were autistic.

Eigsti said that one of the areas that was tested was the perpetual tuning to speech contrast. She said that early in development many children are able to perceive contrast in speech. However, by the time babies reach 12 months, they are only able to hear the contrast that is present in their own native language. She said that many infants would have discovered by that time what dimensions are important to their language. Based on the experiment, it was discovered that pitch perception is stronger in people with ASD. She said that more language delay equals better pitch discrimination.

She spoke of a young boy who came to her office. The boy asked her if he could use the bathroom. When he finished using the bathroom, he told her that her bathroom is really interesting. Her response was an internal panic because she was not sure whether something strange had in fact happened to her toilet or not. Therefore, she asked cautiously expecting the worst as to why her toilet was interesting. The small boy told her that his toilet at home flushes in F sharp, while her toilet flushes in B minor.

Eigsti continues that in terms of gestures, those with ASD have always been thought to not use gestures even though gestures are normally used as a means of communication. She disputes this by saying that the data is much more complicated than that.

Data shows that there is there is no coordination between gesture and speech. She gives the example of Nikita Khrushchev, a cold war Russian leader, who had yelled the words, “WE WILL BURY YOU,” while banging the table with one of his shoes that he had removed, at the United Nations. Eigsti said that Nikita Khrushchev was able to coordinate his angry gesture with what he was saying. However, for an autistic child, the angry words will not fit the gestures. They would not be able to coordinate their gestures to fit their words.

The purpose of Eigsti’s lecture is to prove that language is a very important criterion when diagnosing autism. Also, many of the preconceived ideas about autistic children are disproved by data. Eigsti is affiliated with the University of Connecticut NSF Training Grant on Language Plasticity. She became interested in the topic of autism because she feels that it is a fascinating disorder with a lot of homogeneity. She also said that that with autism, it is possible to make genuine practical advances that can help children.

Model UN experiences successful weekend at UPenn



At 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, committee chairs banged their gavels and brought to fruition the start of UPenn Model United Nations Conference XLVIII. Delegates from colleges and universities across the country sat in conference rooms at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Philadelphia, dressed to the nines and prepared to address some of the world’s most pressing issues nearly non-stop until Sunday afternoon.

Committees such as DISEC, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Legal Committee, and the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee were called to order with the end goal of collectively passing resolutions that would provide solutions to major international crises. In such committees, students advocated for the positions of their assigned countries on a plethora of controversial subjects like foreign military intervention, capital punishment, international economic stability, aid to developing nations, cyber security, women’s rights, world hunger, and an assortment of environmental issues.

To effectively participate, delegates are required to showcase persuasive public speaking skills, dexterous collaborative tendencies, and a voluminous knowledge base regarding not only their issues of their country, but also those of their allies and enemies, in an equally wide chronological array. With the aforementioned topics in mind, delegates employed their skills to help build what are considered the crown jewels of conference culture, namely, resolutions that provide comprehensive policy propositions that seek to solve each committee’s matter at hand.

Among the hundreds of capable students who attended from schools such as Harvard, Yale, West Point, and Mount Holyoke, were eleven young Bantam delegates, many of whom were attending their first ever Model United Nations conference, and none of whom were even in their third year. Despite this relative lack of experience, the students representing Trinity College performed admirably in employing their skills and preparation and contributing to many final resolutions, which were voted into legitimacy by their peers.

Enjoying the pageantry of a Model United Nations conference is not a given, however. In order to fully take advantage, there must be a high level of preparation. For delegates to function at the high level that is the measuring stick for success, they must have a good, if not elite grasp of all the tools mentioned above, along with a comfortable relationship with all procedural rules, of which there are quite a few. For the delegation from Trinity College, the task of honing these skills and learning new ones presented quite a challenge considering they would be thrown into the mix with some students from other delegations that were seven or eight year veterans of the program.

To prepare, delegates put work into their public speaking skills in mock situational speeches that allowed for a decreasing amount of preparation, as well as learned to write position papers, the backbones of preparation. Individually, they kept up on world news relating to their committee, keeping a close eye on the relationship their country had with others.

The result was an incredible experience at a prestigious conference with exemplary performances from all the Trinity College delegates. First time delegate, Henry Chavez ’18, reflected, “It was a unique experience getting to work with other students from all parts of the world to come up with solutions to problems that plague the international community.”

He seemed to speak for the group as every delegate gave a fairly commensurate response. President, Daniella Salazar ’17, commenting on her two years of college-level Model UN experience, was no exception saying, “Model UN has allowed me to grow, develop, and learn in ways that I could not have imagined. It forced me to go out of my comfort zone and apply all the knowledge I acquired in class and in life to conferences.” She went on to express her vehement belief in the value of Model United Nations, stating, “I think it is very important for us to try to create as many opportunities like this on campus, and possibly at the NESCAC level.”

With this, Salazar announced an ambitious new project that has been taken on by the club’s leaders to start a Model United Nations conference hosted by Trinity, appropriately named “TrinMUN.” Within the next three years, this group hopes to make Trinity the epicenter of a NESCAC-wide conference with national potential. When asked why these aspiring underclassmen envision a conference at Trinity, they respond, unanimously, that despite the demands it brings with it, Model United Nations rewards participants with an organic sense of fulfillment, which is entirely unique.

SGA hosts forum to discuss sexual assault on campus



On Friday, Nov. 14, the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a forum to discuss sexual assault on campus, asking students to think about this weighty issue, as well as to sign the “It’s On Us” pledge, a part of the larger “It’s On Us” campaign, a White House initiative to lower the staggering rate of sexual assault and other sexual violence on college campuses nationwide. The meeting, hosted in CineStudio, had sparse attendance but included an engaging and thought provoking discussion.

Campus sexual assault statistics have been highly publicized in recent years, and have become a major talking point not only in higher education but in modern political discourse as well. Legislations, such as Title IX, make into law the idea that all people have a right to participate in education, without regard to gender. Yet, no legislation can completely eliminate some of the thornier aspects of modern gender relations, sexual assault being one of the more prominent ones. Rape and sexual violence can be made illegal, but in a place where many adolescents and young adults are all living together with virtually unlimited access to drugs and alcohol, unfortunate and all too often illegal things are, to a point, going to occur. The “It’s On Us” campaign aims to raise awareness of the staggering rates of campus sexual assault and to have people commit to be more active in the fight against such terrible crimes as rape, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual violence.

The issue of sexual assault has created its own nomenclature. Phrases such as “active bystander,” “victim blaming,” and “if you see something, say something” have taken on new meaning within the lexicon of modern language and have become prominent features of the ongoing modern discussion of sexual assault. With all of the different buzzwords surrounding the topic, it becomes easy to lose sight of the heavy issues and tough situations that the campaign aims to mitigate.

Too often, issues are ignored or swept under the rug, as lines become blurred, and an attitude of “that doesn’t happen here” can pervade college campuses, making the environment right for such incident to occur with greater frequency, not less.

With this in mind, Trinity has been creating and expanding initiatives to address these issues. President Berger-Sweeney has founded a task force to work on such issues, the Women and Gender Resource Action Center, which has been operating since 1972, and most recently the SGA’s “It’s On Us” forum.

The forum itself was modestly successful, with a panel consisting of members from the SGA, WGRAC, and Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS). The discussion lasted a little over an hour, covering a range of concerns about sexual assault on Trinity’s campus. The general feeling seems to be that while it is undoubtedly a facet of Trinity life, sexual assault is not quite as endemic here as it is on a national level. An unfortunately interesting statistic revealed at the forum was that Trinity had a total of thirty-seven reported incidents of sexual assault last year, somewhere between one and two percent of the population. This number is fairly low, but the upside to it is that a decent number of incidents are being reported. On a campus as small as Trinity’s, it is not terribly surprising that the rate might be somewhat lower than the national average. When most people know one another, it is harder for problems like sexual assault to go on unnoticed and unchecked. When the faculty–student relationships are close, and there are many administrators and faculty, there is more oversight and a lesser chance of issues falling through the cracks–it might be fair to say that the cracks themselves are not even as large, given these traits of a small campus.

The issue of sexual assault is still very grave, and is more than likely present on Trinity’s campus. The purpose of the forum was largely to begin a conversation, to open the issue for future discussion. The effectiveness of the conversation was hampered somewhat by the sparse attendance. Something in the neighborhood of 30 students were in attendance, and while any attendance is of course a boon to the discussion, SGA was disappointed that more students did not attend, simply to have a greater variety of opinions and perspectives and to get the message out to as large and broad an audience as possible. The modest attendance did, however, create a more personable setting, and a great discussion was had nonetheless. The small attendance could have been the result of many things, ranging from ineffective advertising to apathy towards the issue on campus.

The SGA’s “It’s On Us” forum was an opportunity for members of Trinity’s community to talk and think about an issue that may well come to define this generation. The conversation may have been small, but it is an eloquent testament to the concern that members of the Trinity community have about sexual assault. Now that the conversation has been opened, it only remains to be seen the innovation and passion that the community will bring to dealing with this timely and tragic issue.

Berger-Sweeney announces plans for new mentoring network



On Tuesday, Nov. 11, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney announced the creation of an entirely new program designed to support first-year students throughout their first year at Trinity: The Mentoring Network Program. This program, although technically starting this year, still has many structural aspects and details to sort out. However, the focus of the program has been clearly defined, and the basic structure formed.

The program will consist of teams of individuals assigned to support first-year students. The team will include a dean, faculty mentors, a liberal arts graduate, development mentors such as alumni, and upperclassmen serving as peer mentors. The program will also dedicate space on campus for mentor networks to meet and participate in a variety of activities together. These activities will be virtually limitless and will include eating together, communicating about college transition issues and concerns, and even organized recreational sports. Yet the organization of the activities will fall primarily on the shoulders of the students. This goal, if met, will allow students to find and explore activities that their fellow peers will enjoy and foster the sense of self-leadership in the program. Moving forward, the entire process will be open to new ideas, recommendations, and revision through various meetings that will be held by President Berger-Sweeny.

In hearing about the creation of the Mentoring Network Program, many members of the community are still confused about the foundation of a new mentor program when the one Trinity has in place currently, is seemingly working well.  The best way to answer these questions is to explore the differences in structure and focus of the two different programs and understand why the new mentor organization could fulfill many of the voids of the current one.

The primary focus of the new Mentoring Network is to engage students in a more holistic and inclusive manner: to get students more involved and connected with those who share the same interests and follow their interests outside of the classroom. Whether it is casual discussion over lunch in one of the quads, planned trips to museums in downtown Hartford, or even intermural activities such as ultimate frisbee, students will have a greater variety of events to choose from and participate in. Simply, the Mentoring Network will create a far more interesting and diverse experience at Trinity. The belief is that if a greater range of activities and events will be held on campus, larger groups of students will attend and have a good time at them.  The Mentoring Program will serve as a uniting factor between the student body and faculty, and expose individuals to many new interests and ideas than before.

Secondly, the new program aims to break down the fear and stigma surrounding the Hartford area. For first-year students, the transition to living in Hartford can often be overwhelming and create a sense of isolation. Students tend to remain on campus exclusively, and become distant from the surrounding community. Yet, through the group activities provided by the mentoring networks, students will be able to explore more of the amenities of the downtown area. In breaking down this critical barrier, students will have more ways to get off campus throughout the semester and escape from the college for a bit. Sometimes students simply have to get away and new ways need to be envisioned for them to do so. Therefore, the Mentoring Network will help first-years transcend the fear of leaving campus and remedy the common feeling of isolation.

The new Mentoring Program has the potential to bring a lot of excitement, opportunity, and fresh culture to Trinity college, yet key criticisms still remain on how truly successful it will be. Perhaps the greatest worry about the program and its effectiveness is that it will be so heavily dependent on students who desire to organize activities. While many students attend campus events and find happiness in integrating within every facet of the community, others in college prefer to be more individual and do their own thing. In order to facilitate unity, the students themselves must want it. Administrators and Mentor Networks alone cannot force the student body to attend events or connect with faculty. Students may not want to spend their Saturday at a museum with a mentor group or give away free time to meet up for lunch in the midst of a busy academic schedule. They might rather want to relax alone with a close group of friends or stray away from school organization in their off time. Thus, the entire program may find a need to incorporate great flexibility within the organization of events in the future, and continual difficulty in inspiring all students to attend the events that will be held.

New ideas about how to improve the student experience at Trinity College should always be explored and considered. Whether they are the foundation of new events, programs, or even clubs, there are always ways to revise and improve campus life.

While the Mentoring Network may encounter many obstacles in the future prompting change within the program, it could also serve as a major change for Trinity College lower culture. It could make all students feel more comfortable and included within the community, and provide resources for individuals to pursue new ideas and activities. The Mentoring Network could be a refreshing change in the community, and enliven the entire college experience.

Connecticut case highlights need for immigration reform



As of this year, there are over 11.3 million undocumented immigrants who reside in this country. Various states have sought ways to bring down this number, among them is the contentious Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act that was passed in Arizona in 2010.  Based on this law, it is a misdemeanor crime for an immigrant to live in Arizona without the proper documents and the act also gives police officers the authority to stop someone in what is called a “lawful stop, detention, or arrest” when they suspect that the individual is an illegal immigrant. This bill, however, brought issues of racial profiling to the forefront because the question arose of how the officers would know who to suspect of being an illegal immigrant.

In 2006, before this law was enacted in Arizona, a case of racial profiling occurred in Danbury, Conn. In this instance, an agent posed as a contractor looking for laborers, but instead of giving them work as they had expected, the agent took them to more ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents to be detained. These laborers, eleven Ecuadorian men, have been in deportation proceedings since that fateful day. In their defense, they state that they were targeted by ICE because they looked Latino. This past August, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the appeal of these eleven laborers in a 2 to 1 vote. For the judge who had the dissenting vote, he agreed with the men in that the Fourth Amendment was violated due to the fact that they were picked up by the agent based on the fact that they were laborers who happened to look Hispanic. These men are currently seeking an appeal.

Immigration is not an easy topic to handle; it is one fraught with many issues. On the one hand, many of the people who immigrate here illegally do so because they are simply trying to find a better life for themselves and for their families. On the other hand, by doing so, they are breaking the law. And yet, what is the solution? Clearly not Arizona’s law, which causes discrimination based on skin color, which I think is a good argument for those eleven men who were misled in Danbury. It is one thing if the men were arrested because they could not provide documentation, but another to seek out people to arrest based solely on the fact that they were looking for work and happened to look Latino. The part that I find the worst is that there is a misconception about Latinos being the only ones who immigrate here illegally. The truth is people immigrate here from all over the world, it just so happens that crossing the border is publicized more. This leads to illegal immigration being tied to people who are of Latino descent. What about the people who are here legally and happen to be Latino? What about their rights? I find it a crime that their rights get curtailed because of this. So what happens now?

Personally, I find fault with the Congress. I think that they should just make a decision. Whether they decide to give amnesty or not, the time has come for them to pass a bill to handle this issue of immigration instead of leaving states to take matters into their own hands and come up with laws such as Arizona did. I find it disappointing that when one section of Congress takes action, the other decides against it. No one should live in this country scared that they will be stopped because of their skin color. I would find it degrading if a police officer were to stop me and ask me if I had the proper immigration documents based on how I looked. The last massive immigration bill was passed decades ago in 1986. And what I think is worse is how some people are angry with President Obama for making executive decisions. Instead of anger and words being thrown around, where are the actions to back up these words?

The U.S is the land of the free, but that is not the case when people have to live in fear. With the current shift of power in Congress, I am unsure what will happen, but there needs to be some kind of resolution. Do I think that everybody who does not have the proper documentation should be told to leave, no questions asked? No, but some middle ground has to be reached and it needs to be reached soon. I sincerely hope that this coming year is one of change, that it is one of progress. I hope that the day comes when someone does not assume that one is an illegal immigrant based on their looks. I hope that a solution to the immigration issue is found.


Trinity students explore the issue of gun violence




According to the journal Pediatrics, every year in America 7,000 children are brought into the ER with injuries from firearms, and an additional 3,000 die before they even make it to the hospital. These devastating incidents occur as a result of anything from suicides and accidental shootings to domestic altercations and full-blown massacres. The single common factor amongst each of these tragedies is the presence of firearms. Over the last century, there has been a growing interest in the United States surrounding the future of American youth, yet the lack of firearm control does not encourage the idea that children will ever achieve these futures. Since 1990, there have been over 200 shootings in schools alone. We may live in a free, first world country, but gun violence is not foreign to our generation.  As young adults, it is our time to propose a change to protect our cohorts and ourselves.

Programs like No Child Left Behind and Lets Move! have provided children with the opportunities for an adequate education and healthy lifestyles, but can do nothing for the thousands of children and young adults who have been personally affected by gun violence. While the issue of school shootings and accidental deaths from firearms has been exceedingly prevalent in the news over the years, it seems as though these incidents have started to become common occurrences rather than infrequent tragedies. With that said, it is clear that this issue is in need of greater attention from the current generation of young adults who are being affected as they come of age to contribute to a society that is failing to protect their futures.

In order to raise awareness about the abundance of gun violence tragedies, we presented information about the issue outside of Mather Hall last week. Through an informative poster board, a pamphlet, and a map of school shootings that have occurred over the last two decades, we were able to grasp the attention and spark intellectual conversations about the issue with our peers. Although some students initially thought we were advocating for the removal of guns from society altogether, we explained that our position towards gun control was purely about safety, not about infringing upon our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. We do believe that legislation regarding registration, training, and mandatory background checks are necessary regulations that need to be implemented by the federal government, but we also recognize that this has become a heated political topic. Therefore, our intention was to step away from the argument regarding one’s right to own and use firearms and focus on the fact that, regardless of political beliefs, children’s safety is the most important aspect of this issue.

While tabling outside Mather, we had a memorable conversation with a student who was initially defensive about his personal use of firearms as he thought we were standing as anti-gun activists. After discussing our position, however, he realized that safety and gun rights can, in fact, be two separate issues and that any regulations we supported would have no effect on the ways he currently uses his firearms. Through this conversation, we realized that people are unfamiliar with addressing this issue from a safety perspective and, more than anything, need to be informed about how pervasive the effects of gun violence have become while we have been caught up in the debate over our Second Amendment rights.

So what was our intention in talking with our peers about this issue? If there are so many regulations that need to be implemented to take control of this problem, why wouldn’t we try to contribute to the policy-making process?

A popular belief is that young voters do not take advantage of their right to vote because they simply don’t care; however, we believe the shortage of young voters is instead due to the lack of information about current issues as well as the feeling that our voices will not make a difference. With that said, the first step towards encouraging young voters to play a role in the decision-making process of this country is to inform them of issues that are both relevant and harmful to their generation. By creating this awareness of important issues, we will come one step closer to enforcing necessary regulations at a federal level.

Just three weeks ago, four high school students were fatally shot and three were injured at Marysville Pilchuck High School when a fellow student ambushed the victims as they ate lunch in the school cafeteria. Not only was this a tragic day for the Marysville community, but it was only one of the 88 school shootings that have occurred since the Newtown massacre in December of 2012. There are many speculations as to why these tragedies have occurred, such as the lack of mental health interventions for adolescents or unregulated access to firearms, yet the level of outrage dwindles as these events become more and more frequent. Shouldn’t we, both as a nation and the targeted generation, be more concerned? These tragedies have affected students of all ages, from suburbs to cities, all across the United States. If it can happen “out there”, it can happen here. It can happen to your siblings, to your friends, to your friends’ siblings, and if we don’t start feeling personally affected by each and every one of these preventable tragedies, it could happen to our children someday, too. Instead of feeling a sense of temporary sympathy for these victims and then moving on with our lives, we need to start demanding that the safety of our generation become a national priority. The Bill of Rights was created by determined, passionate people who wanted to see a change in their society, and the youth of our country, as victims of these terrible events, need to have the passion to do the same. The only way we can expect to see a change in this appalling trend of innocent deaths and allow our nation’s youth to achieve the bright futures that are awaiting them, is to become better informed, speak up, and make our voices heard.

Note: The authors of this article have prepared a brief survey to assess their effectiveness in educating the Trinity student body about gun violence. If you are Trinity student, please go to this link and answer the authors’ survey questions. The link is as follows:

Other factors need consideration when examining gun control



I wasn’t sure what to think last week when I sat down to breakfast with the latest issue of the Tripod. I was reading an article that sought to call attention to gun control policies through a recent school shooting in Marysville-Pilchuck high school in Washington state. Fifteen year-old Jaylen Fryberg, of the Tulalip tribe, carried a gun into school and shot five of his classmates before taking his own life. As I neared the end of the piece I still hadn’t seen any mention of gun control. I sat confused as I picked at my eggs.

The author chose to juxtapose the recent shootings with an episode from the old teenage drama “One Tree Hill.” In the episode mentioned, a bullied student held his classmates hostage before killing himself. In the investigation the author explored relevant thoughts and feelings on the issue, discussing what could have caused this Native American teenager to want to take the lives of others. Questions were posed like, “what drove Jaylen Fryberg to go to school Oct. 24 with a gun…what made him turn on his friends that fateful Friday afternoon?“.

Was it that he was upset about getting rejected by a girl he liked? Or like the episode of “One Tree Hill,” was it a case of bullying that drove this young person to homicide?

There were a lot of valid questions about Jaylen’s personal motives, and it made me wonder if perhaps mental health support systems and surrounding social factors would be mentioned as well as gun control. Unfortunately for me and other Tripod readers, these questions were dismissed as unanswerable.

Finally in the second to last paragraph, gun control is mentioned. A short assault was made on any supporter of the 2nd amendment and then it was over.

At that point I had stopped eating. Throughout the article the author alluded to the motives and mental state of Jaylen. Many important questions were raised and towards the end of the article it seemed that gun control was thrown in as an answer. While this is a valid reason, I believe it should be examined with a little more thoughtfulness.

The brief mention of this constitutional amendment made me wonder at the level of knowledge, or lack thereof, that the majority of college-aged individuals have about the reality of certain situations where they are mentioned. It is rarely mentioned in the media that gun homicide rates have actually steadily declined by almost 40% from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2010. These rates are not a result of a decreasing amount of firearms. Last December, the FBI reported a record high, 2.78 million background checks for purchased firearms. Although shootings, like this one, are especially tragic, the ownership of firearms for self-defense is an exercise of an important personal right. For many people like those of the Tulalip tribe, hunting is an important part of a rich heritage. Emotional blanket statements about firearms seem justified when considering the welfare of the nation’s youth, but are they even addressing the real issue?

Alarmingly the suicide rate of Native Americans is three times that of the national average. For those living on reservations it is 10 times that number. A slew of social indicators such as higher rates of alcoholism, domestic violence, and poverty begin to paint a picture of causation. The state office announced that one in every six students in Washington has at least one emotional, behavioral, or developmental condition. Additionally, almost half of American children ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness, regardless of ethnicity, have not received any mental health services in the previous year.

Often it seems that gun control is used as a mask which thinly veils the more complex issues about the importance of social and mental health services. This issue of social and mental health services is far more pervasive than most care to acknowledge. The day that Jaylen attacked his classmates, Becky Berg the Superintendent of Marrysville-Pilchuck high school was two hours away in the capital. It is a cruel irony that she was there discussing the details of a 10 million dollar grant from project AWARE (Advancing Wellness And Resilience in Education) to improve mental health resources in her school as well as others in the district.

It is not known whether Jaylen had a mental health history before this devastating event, but perhaps if project AWARE was implemented sooner he could have received some sort of guidance. This grant marks a step in the right direction to getting much needed help to at -risk adolescents.

As I stood up to clear my plate I had a sense of hope that maybe in the future we would be able to spend more time discussing ways to address the underlying social causes of shootings like this one. I hope in the future that more time will be taken to research and more fullly understand the multiple compounding factors behind complex issues such as gun control, rather than getting caught up in the emotional motifs often portrayed by the media.


Veterans Day should be seen as more than just a day off



Does Nov. 11 seem like a significant date to you? Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day, has been celebrated in the United States on November 11th for decades. Yet there’s more history to the day than most Americans realize. The commemoration of the holiday dates back to the 20th century during the First World War. In the thicket of the “Great War,” an international declaration of armistice, or a cease-fire, was declared on Nov. 11, 1918 in the eleventh hour of the day. History buffs may realize this cessation of combat actually came before the official end of the war (which was formally declared in June of 1919 with the Treaty of Versailles) making such a day significant not just for Americans, but also in world history.

Nov. 11 was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate only the cease-fire between Germany and the Allies in World War I. For decades, businesses across the United States stopped what they were doing at 11 a.m. to observe local parades, ceremonies, and other commemorations honoring that point in history.

In 1954, however, Americans decided the celebration must be expanded to include and commemorate all who served, not just those involved in World War I. Congress struck the word “Armistice” and replaced it with “Veterans.”

Now, starting at 11 a.m., Arlington Cemetery hosts a color guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The ceremony honors all the men and women who served the United States. During times of both conflict and peace, abroad and on our own land, Veterans Day intends to celebrate every individual in uniform.

Which brings us to the next question: What’s the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day (besides the fact that one holiday gets us out of school and one doesn’t)? Dating back to the Civil War, Memorial Day is intended to commemorate only those who have died serving the United States. Veterans Day, conversely, honors all those who have served in uniform. This should be a big deal, considering the U.S. Census estimates there are currently 21 million veterans living in the United States at present.

Contrary to popular belief, however, public institutions are not legally obliged to close on Veterans Day. Public schools remain in session and most businesses stay open.

Why? As the family member of not one but several veterans, this is bothersome. During my high school years, I was expected to attend an assembly every Veterans Day where both soldiers and veterans told students their firsthand accounts of serving the country.

Such assemblies were fascinating, yet gripped us for only an hour and then we were expected to resume classes and everyday civilian life. Shouldn’t we do more to inform this country’s children about what it means to serve? Isn’t an education partially about becoming aware of one’s place in the world? An hour long assembly is certainly better than nothing, yet I wholeheartedly believe that if school is in session during Veterans Day, we should be doing more to raise awareness about service and defending the freedom that most certainly is not free in this country.

I have a friend who is currently enlisted in the Marine Corps. A sophomore in college and a soldier, he juggles a full-time class schedule and rigorous extracurricular engagement with the military. During his weekends, he travels to drill and hone his abilities as a soldier should he be called to duty. In his free time during the week he exercises to stay in shape, a prerequisite for all current service members. This schedule he keeps, along with being a fulltime student, is obviously grueling. He tries not to allow it but the program takes a physical and mental toll on him, especially as tensions rise in the Middle East. As a civilian student with a civilian schedule, I shudder when I read the latest stories about increasing military engagement in the Middle East as the situation becomes only more complex and dangerous. I can only imagine what my classmate in uniform thinks.

Talking with my friend last week, I asked him what his plans were for Veterans Day. He tried to hide it, yet he seemed slightly upset that he had to come to class on Veteran’s Day. He had every right to be, too. As a soldier and a student, he barely finds a moment to himself between his many commitments. Wouldn’t a day off be nice?

It seems odd to me that the country tends to make a bigger deal out of Memorial Day than it does Veterans Day. Indeed, giving one’s life for the country is among the most honorable sacrifices one can make in my opinion. But what about those who continue to serve our country and juggle a full-time job?

Doesn’t a soldier deserve at least a 24-hour break to catch up with their family and friends, especially when they spend most of their weekends away from home drilling? Don’t the older veterans deserve a day to catch up with their old friends in the same unit to reminisce about their old war stories? This country is on the right track devoting a day to veterans. Let’s give them a day that they can truly appreciate. No, wars won’t always miraculously cease like the Great War did in 1918.  But the least we can do to thank our soldiers, both past and present, is give them a one-day vacation to catch their breath.


Michael Borders presents “Connecticut Industry Mural” at the Widener Gallery


A & E Editor

Last Monday, Nov. 10, the Widener Gallery at Austin Arts Center hosted an opening for an intriguing display of the “Connecticut Industry Mural” by artist Michael Borders. The event also featured an insightful talk with Borders who discussed the process and conception of his fascinating artwork that layers the complex industrial history of Connecticut.

The exhibition of the “Connecticut Industry Mural” features eight individual panels, and each represents one of the eight counties of Connecticut, including Fairfield County, Hartford County, Litchfield County, Middlesex County, New Haven County, New London County, Tolland County, and Windham County. The eight canvasses are each ten feet tall, and five feet wide. Within these frames, Borders graphically depicts 350 years of the state’s manufacturing history, as well as the narrative of the people who shaped this history.

Borders’s unique style of depicting a long and complicated history within a sequence of a few frames is characterized by his very calculated technique of layering geographic, human, and technological aspects of the state in a chronological order. The background of every panel features a topographic depiction of each county’s hills, valleys, and bodies of water, which form the building blocks of industrial development within the building blocks of industrial development within the state. This background is then layered with elements that symbolize early enterprises that were directly dependent on these natural resources. Superimposed upon this layer is the next development of industry that portrays elements of the later products. Finally, the major figures that were responsible for the developments that are depicted (such as gun manufacturer Samuel Colt, inventor of the cotton gin, Eli Whitney, or inventor of a hat making process, Mary Dixon Kies) occupy the foreground of the panels, in a chronological fashion. The layers evident within the works allow viewers to spend a few moments interacting with every panel to recognize the historical tale it tells, as well as to appreciate its aesthetic elements of representation.

The panels collectively reveal not just individual narratives of every county but also display the interconnected nature of the industrial development of the state as a whole.  On the day of the exhibition’s opening, Borders addressed an audience of Trinity students and faculty members, explaining the research and exploration that went into the creation of the murals.

The overall process of developing this work took him 25 years, during which he conducted historical research, as well as gathered the various visual elements that would represent the ambitious narrative that he aimed to weave together. He conducted his research by visiting various libraries, historical societies, derelict mills, and other major historical sites throughout the state. For his visual research, he even flew over the state in an airplane to gather images of the topography of the various counties of Connecticut. Realizing the investigation and studies that went into developing this work, one could view the “Connecticut Industry Mural” as not just an artwork narrating a history but as a visual historic document.

Amongst the panels of the “Connecticut Industry Mural,” the exhibition at the Widener gallery also displays documents and sketches that feature Borders’ research, studies and sketches that are telling of his intellectual and artistic process. This allows viewers to get a sense of the fascinating ideas and development that led to the final version of his works. Amongst these sketches and documents, there is also a short video wherein Borders speaks to the audience of the creation of his works, and a catalogue that details the process for every county individually. It is very insightful to get a sense of the artistic intent and process through these, as it allows viewers to get a more in depth understanding of the murals on display.

Borders is an acclaimed  muralist, illustrator and a portrait painter who has grown up in Connecticut and his works on display also reveal his own connection to the state. Having his exhibition on display at Trinity presents an opportunity to not only examine his works at a close proximity but also allows us to participate in a discussion of this unique historical perspective towards the state that we have a meaningful connection to.  It is also fascinating to witness this unique collaboration between the fields of visual art and historical narratives.


Trinity students perform in John Ford’s “‘Tis’ Pity She’s A Whore”


A & E Editor

This past Thursday, the Austin Arts Center welcomed the opening of this year’s fall main-stage theater production, “‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore.” The performance was directed by Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance Barbara Karger, and featured talented student actors. The cast included Madison Hummer ’18, Dan Trainor ’17, Dominic Yao ’15, Will Kurach ’18, Corey Peterson ’18, Milosz Kowal ’18, Aadyaa Pandey ’17, Eun Sol Lee ’18, Allen Rios ’17, Chanel Erasmus ’15, Kira Mason ’18 and Diana Chandler ’18. The show ran for three consecutive nights. Overall, the production was very well attended, and definitely succeeded in engaging and entertaining the audiences that consisted of students, faculty members, Hartford locals, and parents.

“‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore” is a  tragedy written by John Ford that was originally published in the 17th century, telling the story of a forbidden love between two central characters, Giovanni and Annabella. With a cast made up of mostly new talent, in that many of the actors were underclassmen, the production captivated the audience as it explored what could be viewed as a twist on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Rather than having an ancient family feud come between the two lovers, Ford’s play captures the incestuous love felt between brother and sister.

For many audience members, who knew little to nothing about the play’s outcome or story, the two-hour journey was one of surprise, shock, and confusion. The curtains opened with Giovanni, portrayed by Trainor, confessing his troubled feelings to a friar, portrayed by an extremely promising actor, Kurach. In this manner the audience was immediately introduced to the beginnings of a plot driven by intense passions that evidently crossed boundaries set by social and also religious conventions.

The audience expressed audible gasps when Giovanni and Annabella (portrayed by Hummer), confessed their mutual love for one another very quickly into the play, kissed, and also consummated their incestuous relationship with a scene portraying them in bed together. While the scene was directed in an appropriate manner for its diverse audience, Annabella is found in a white dress undergarment laying on top of a shirtless Giovanni. Not expecting a minor kissing session to escalate so quickly, the audience responded with surprise, some nervous laughter, and a definite judgment of the actions. Prepared for the audience’s reaction, however, Trainor and Hummer excellently kept their characters and followed through with one of the more revealing scenes of the play.

Despite having multiple suitors at her feet, Annabella puts aside moral inhibitions or hesitations, and plunges into an incestuous relationship with her brother, making the audience realize that she is the ‘whore’ that the title of the play refers to. It is worth mentioning that following a sequence of conniving schemes, plots, and tragic mishaps demonstrated by other characters in the play, the audience is left to sympathize with her more innocent mistake. As the various tragic events within the very fast-paced play began to unravel, the audience was definitely amazed at the incredible way in which the play was directed. Despite the intensity and the morbid nature of several aspects of the play, the directorial choices allowed for the audience to see a lot of humor embedded within the performance, which made the various plot twists both shocking and comical.

While Trainor and Hummer portrayed their characters beautifully on stage, the laughs that evening came from the characters portrayed by Rios and Kurach. Kurach opened the play as a friar, advising Giovanni to rid himself of the incestuous feelings he had for his sister. However, moments later the audience saw him dressed as Annabella’s loyal maid. While there was humor in the gender difference, Kurach played his character very strongly and brought forth much-needed comic relief throughout the play. His character’s end was not so tragic, at least compared to everyone else’s, but the audience was still heavily saddened when the maid  was tortured and had her eyes gouged out.

Rios’ role as Bergetto, one of Anabella’s suitors, came across as another amusing character throughout the play. His foolery in attempting to court Annabella had the audience laughing and smiling. Although Bergetto’s life came to a very surprising end early on in the play, Rios was also cast as a cardinal in the play. The audience could not help but chuckle during Rios’ comical portrayals of the two characters.

Another very well portrayed character was that of Hippolita, a past lover of one of Annabella’s suitors, Soranzo. Many audience members were blown away by Erasmus’ beautiful execution of this character. Hippolita, a love-stricken and incredibly jealous woman, unsuccessfully attempted to murder Soranzo. Following the words of the cliché line, “If I can’t have him, then no one can,” Hippolita seduces Vazquez, Soranzo’s guard, and plans to poison Soranzo. Ultimately Vazquez’s loyalty trumps Hippolita’s  seduction, resulting in her unpredictable death, but throughout the play Erasmus captivated the audience with her stunning performance.

As if the incestuous plot and untimely deaths within the play were not enough to cause surprise, Annabella’s death came across as the most shocking event in the plot. Soranzo, who married Annabella, unaware that she was pregnant with Giovanni’s child, is infuriated to find out the truth and plans to kill Giovanni. Through his plotting, Soranzo has Annabella locked in her chamber, struggling to come to terms with the heavy news of her secret. Upon knowing about Soranzo’s intentions, Annabella warns Giovanni through a letter. Rather than run, Giovanni visits Annabella and kills her by stabbing her in the heart.

The audience, unaware that Giovanni had cut out Annabella’s heart, was in utter disbelief when Trainor came on stage, covered in blood and holding a sword with a heart through it.

This grotesque visual on stage was very powerful. Giovanni’s actions led to the death of his father, Soranzo, and ultimately himself. Under other circumstances the audience may have sympathized with Giovanni’s forbidden feelings, however the element of incest left everyone confused. Was it okay to feel sorry for a person who wanted a relationship that is socially and morally unacceptable? Not many audience members could satisfactorily answer, and so it remains one of the biggest critiques of Ford’s play.

Despite the challenges of the play, the Trinity cast delivered an exceptional performance that reflected a lot of hard work and skill. The set, costumes, lighting, and sound also greatly contributed to the creation of the world of a 17th century play.

It was remarkable how a play as tragic and serious as “Tis Pity She’s a Whore” could be portrayed in a manner that was also so comical. It was clear that Karger did a wonderful job at highlighting the comical elements of the play. At the end of the show, the audience was left to contemplate the various issues brought up in the play and everyone left the theatre extremely satisfied with the talent that had been showcased.


Bantam Artist of the Week: Dancer Glory Kim ’17


Contributing Writer

If you attended the M.O.C.A talent show two weeks ago you were fortunate enough to see Glory Kim ’17 steal the show, as he took to the stage on three separate occasions. The first time, to completely shock the emcees, he spontaneously busted a few dance moves while dressed in a suit. The second time, he performed one of his own compositions on the piano, and lastly, he performed as a member of the Elemental Dance Crew. Kim is a Biology and Theater and Dance double major, and although he is relatively new to dancing, it is something that he is extremely passionate about.

Kim is self taught and practices at least an hour and a half every day. He began dancing about three years ago, albeit, not quite seriously initially. He shares, “It was my dad who told me…there’s something that you’ll never be able to do, it’s because your mom and I can’t do this and it’s dancing. So I was going to try and see if I can do it then, just to prove them wrong. So it kind of started as a joke, but then it got more serious after that.”

His preferred style is hip-hop, because he thinks that it is the most applicable to his interests and goals. He wants to use dance to reach out to underprivileged children and spread positive messages to them. In an interview,  he expressed, “I think [hip-hop] is most relatable with what I like to do, which is work with children that are in unfortunate circumstances, and I found that a lot of them can relate the most to hip-hop…because it’s so expressive…So I try to put a lot more attention towards using that kind of dance…as a way to improve the lives of children…by taking something that they’re familiar with and linking that to education.”

And that is exactly what Kim did this past summer. He volunteered in a dual program in Gweru, Zimbabwe, that allowed him to work with lions in a conservational effort and also with orphanages and street children. His goal was to see if he could overcome the language barrier and communicate with the children using the universal language of dance. “I was working with street children to get them off the streets, trying to convince them to be in orphanages…It really does take something like dancing, I think, …to get them to trust you more and …that’s where I wanted to help.”

Kim’s experience with one particular teenager, Brian, had such a profound and lasting effect on him that he has choreographed a duet entitled “For Brian”, which he is about to perform with Brooke Moschetto ’15 in the upcoming Fall Dance Concert. Unfortunately, Brian passed away during Kim’s stay in Gweru, so the dance is a dedication and a metaphor for Kim’s experience with Brian. He stated, “essentially we are portraying a love story on the outside, and it’s about a guy and a girl. It’s almost stereotypical; they fall in love in the beginning, and then the guy has to go to war. So during war, he actually passes away. …That’s the first layer; I didn’t want to make it too abstract so the audience couldn’t relate to it, so I think everyone will…understand the emotions that I felt after a kid that I was supposed to be teaching dance to passed away…The guilt and sadness will be conveyed with this outer dance. But there’s a second level to it, and that’s when I dance, I represent Brian, and I’m like the soldier. So after I dance with Brooke, I go through war and I die, which represents how Brian had to go through so many hardships in his life…Eventually he had to succumb to his disease and he dies as well. And when Brooke comes to the soldier that’s dead, she dances after that, it’s almost like a dance of sadness…Brooke represents me, and I’m taking the death and making it into something that’s useful and that can benefit more people in the future.”

This piece is one of Kim’s first forays into the world of choreography, but he finds that it comes quite easily to him when he is trying to communicate something that is very important to him. “When I listen to music, I can see it. It’s hard to describe, and I hold that thought and then in the studios, I’ll try to translate it into something a little bit more tangible…That’s what I try to make my pieces like; it’s as if the movements are making the sounds instead of the sounds motivating the movements.”

Kim hopes to become a dentist in the future, but he also has desires for his dance career that are an extension of everything that he has already been doing. He explains, “Ideally I would want to create some kind of organization that uses dance as a way to connect with kids in underprivileged areas, somehow link that to scholarships, or just spreading positive messages through dance.” Kim truly believes that dance is one of the few ways of overcoming social barriers to relate with children who come from unfortunate backgrounds, and encourage them and steer them towards a brighter future.

Kim has also established the Midlands Children Hope Project Medical Fund for the children in Gweru, Zimbabwe who greatly suffer due to the inability to afford medical care. To learn more, please visit:


Cinestudio Review: Rossellini’s “Rome, Open City”


Staff Writer

We live in an age of easy cinema, the great movies of the twenty-teens are beautiful, intelligent, technically advanced and comparatively fast paced. However, there was once a time, not so long ago, when a good amount of patience, historical understanding, and lack of cynicism was needed to sit through a film. This month, that bygone age of black and white returns to the screen at Cinestudio, in the 1945 war drama, “Rome, Open City.”

First, I feel I should acknowledge the fantastically strange choice that the four-night screening of this almost forgotten gem represents. In my mind, the only logical place one might find a screening of this movie is in an empty theater on a rainy night, far away from the commotion and vibrancy of the twenty first century. It’s an anomaly that it is here, and it makes me very happy to see it resurface.

“Rome, Open City” is the story of the Roman resistance movement during the occupation of the city by the Nazis in 1944. The Gestapo are around every corner, and the black shroud of Fascism hangs in every window. A Catholic priest and his friends are swept into the covert resistance network that operates amongst a handful of hopefuls, but there is little real expectation of victory. As the priest becomes more involved in the activities of these men and women, their community is tested and they must pay the price for their dream of freedom.

It is simple in the respect that it chronicles a struggle between very vivid lines of good and evil, but complicated in that it works hard to show us the grittiest portrait of war that it can muster. The obvious hurdles being the exhausted appetite of the Italian people, the nearly impossible feat of raising the group morale needed to make a movie of any subject, and, most difficult of all, finding a group of actors willing to put themselves at great risk from the very evil depicted in the movie.

The most notable part of this film is its context filmed almost in real time with the depicted events of World War II, the director Roberto Rossellini believed that by releasing the movie in Italy, he could hold a mirror up to the horrors of war, while emerging from the rubble of pre-war European cinema with the new concept of neorealism in hand. The Italian people of 1945, who wanted nothing more than escapism in their films, disliked the film, but overseas and at the Cannes Film Festival in France, where it won the coveted Palme D’Or in 1946, it was lauded for its unflinching depiction of the evil of fascism.

Speaking technically, the film is a little bit lacking, but understandably so. The quality of footage is poor, even for the time, because it was filmed on the grubby and tarnished scraps of film that the director could scrounge from the streets of the war torn city. It plays like a newsreel, which, though a bit distracting, highlights the urgency of each character’s motions and somehow works overtime to capture the melodrama at work. Rossellini was clearly a masterful director, as shown by his power to recycle literal garbage into a movie like this.

It is a work of art in more ways than one. Strange cinematic shadows play around the heads of Nazi lieutenants as they bark orders to their prey and simper to their greasy superior officers. The scene where young Pina (Anna Magnani) hurls herself into the street, and to her death, in pursuit of her would-be husband as he is taken away by a truck, is heartbreaking and flawless. The film’s artistry is surpassed only by its deadpan bleakness; this is not the kind of movie that deals in cheerfulness of any kind – it’s just not in the cards. The viewer is expected to know that while these characters do not deserve to end up where they do, it is the nature of war that gets them there.

In closing, “Rome, Open City” is a true masterpiece It is the first of its kind, and is mind bogglingly important to the history of movies. That said, it can really only be watched in today’s world from a place of scholarship and study as it cannot translate into entertainment as we see it in the modern world. But, if you’re like me, and you like movies enough to test your limits with them, and have your faith in humanity tested along the way, then “Rome, Open City” has been waiting for you all these years.


The man and the history behind Peter B’s Espresso



If you’re a student at Trinity, you have most likely stopped by Peter B’s Espresso, located in Funston Cafe in Raether Library. The coffee shop is run entirely by students and managed by Rene Dion—who also happens to bake the assortment of decadent brownies, cookies, and of course, pumpkin bread served. First & Last, a well-known bakery just a few blocks from Trinity’s campus, also sells their rich and buttery pastries, as well as breakfast wraps and lunch sandwiches, which usually sell-out within the first several hours of the cafe being open. Whether or not the baristas know your order before you step up to the counter, many wonder, is Peter B. a real person? The answer in short: yes.

Not only is the man behind the logo on your coffee sleeve a real person, but he also happens to be a Trinity alumnus. Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, Peter Brainard, class of 1989, started selling specialty espresso drinks before even the first Starbucks opened in Connecticut. The winter before he graduated from Trinity, Brainard traveled to Seattle to visit his uncle, who was a “pretty big coffee freak.” At this time, “espresso-type businesses were getting really big in Seattle and San Francisco, but nothing other than Italian/Ethnic-type cafes existed on the East Coast,” according to Brainard. “People might’ve heard of espresso or cappuccinos but the majority of coffee shops on the East Coast consisted of McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, both of which sold only hot coffee for less than $1.”

Though Brainard had no particular affinity for coffee, he was “looking for something that was new and that [he] could start without a big capital investment.” While in Seattle, Brainard found a few groups of people who ran self-contained espresso cafes from custom made carts on wheels. “Maybe I can do that in Hartford,” he thought. Simply by watching them, he learned the ins and outs of an espresso machine, in hopes of replicating that perfect product back on the East Coast. Brainard learned both the benefits of high quality coffee beans, as well as the many ways to mess it up—“any little thing that isn’t correct along the way—you don’t put enough coffee in the filter, the cup isn’t hot enough, there’s too much milk or not enough milk- anything can mess up the quality.”

Just a few months after graduating from Trinity, Brainard opened the first “Peter B’s Espresso.” Operating out of an office/shopping complex in Downtown Hartford called State House Square, Brainard utilized the high volume outlet to attract the tens of thousands of people that walked by and worked there everyday. Brainard also gained the attention of multiple media outlets- for example, CBS News was right down the street, so oftentimes the on-air reporters would stop by for coffee. Though business grew fairly quickly, the biggest challenges that Brainard faced was selling his “mysterious coffee products” (i.e. lattes, mochas, cappuccinos) that were nearly triple the price of all other products being sold at any chain. However, “people were curious. Those who were working could afford $2 and figured [his] coffee must be amazingly good, unique, and wanted to know what made it more expensive, so people would come and try it out.”

Brainard knew that only a small percentage of his customers would come by everyday, but that every customer was extremely valuable. “I could see them walking from 100 miles away and their coffee would be ready by the time they got there.” Over time, Brainard would print up coupons in downtown Hartford and, later in West Hartford center, valid for either a discounted latte, in hopes of attracting customers and introducing them to his espresso drinks. Brainard would also play classical music and set up little tables and chairs in order to create a European ambiance. His hope was that if someone visited from Italy, France, or Europe, they would say ‘this is exactly how it tastes at home.’

Within a few years, Brainard moved to West Hartford Center, creating a full service cafe and offering more varieties of food. Business continued to grow, as specialty coffee shops stopped being a total novelty. When Peter B’s started in 1988, almost no one knew what a latte was. Popular culture like the T.V. Show “Friends,” which was based in a coffee bar, made a huge difference in terms of the demand for espresso drinks. No longer was there mystery about what a macchiato or a hazelnut latte was. Brainard also attests his business’ growth to Starbucks coming into the picture.  “It really, really helped when it moved to West Hartford Center—everything became more legitimate, prices were comparable, but Starbucks still had a very distinct, Pacific-Northwestern flavor.”

Eventually, Brainard moved to his third location—the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Gallow’s Hill. Brainard’s choice to move from West Hartford to Trinity’s campus in the early 1990s was simple: “a college campus was a prime location—people want coffee, they want to be awake, and also have something that tastes really good.” It was at this time when Brainard traveled to Italy, where he met the individuals who made the espresso machines and roasted the very coffee beans Peter B’s used. He did this to find the absolute best products to bring back to business in America.

His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Make sure that your business is special, that it has something that will make it stand apart from its competitors.” Whether it be price, style, service, location, or nice ambiance, Brainard believes that there needs to be a compelling factor “that completely distinguishes you from someone else.”

Whether you start your morning off with a piece of the ever popular Pumpkin Bread—which typically gets its own shout out on admissions tours—or you’re a dedicated Sumatra drinker, or a fan of the various seasonal lattes, Brainard values quality and a personal touch above all else—“I wanted to make people so happy to get an incredible tasting latte or mocha.” As for Peter’s favorite drink? “Double short latte, no sugar.”


Nicole Schwartz ’15 on her time studying away in Paris



Growing up on classic films like “Funny Face” and “Gigi,” I fantasized about going to Paris from a young age. I plastered my walls with pictures of the Eiffel Tower and maps of the Metro, dreaming of one day living in the City of Lights. Being among the art and culture was something I was beyond excited about, so making the choice to study abroad in Paris my junior year was a no-brainer.

Academically, the Trinity in Paris program was a perfect fit. I appreciated how much support I got from my teachers, which made the foreign transition much easier. This was especially helpful because I did not speak French coming into the semester, which is not required for the program. Everyone did have to take a French course, which corresponded to his or her level of experience. I got a hang of the language pretty quickly—despite the fact that my accent was a dead giveaway that I was an American. Most of the time I would use some combination of French, English, and gesturing wildly to communicate with Parisians, which usually managed to get my point across.

Trinity provides us with furnished apartments, all in different neighborhoods around the city. These are usually small flats, but I hit the jackpot getting to room with one of my best friends in a spacious apartment overlooking the Eiffel Tower. My friends and I spent many nights in our living room with a bottle of wine watching the Tower sparkling, which are some of my best memories from my whole time in Europe. We even threw a Christmas party for all of the students in our apartment at the end of the semester.

Classes were small and structured similar to those at Trinity, with exams and mandatory attendance. Of the four of my classes I took, three counted towards my double major. Trinity owns a small campus in the heart of the sixth arrondissement, in the historic Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. Learning was not restricted to the classroom, however, and professors took advantage of all that the city has to offer. Half of my Art History classes took place inside the city’s many museums and galleries, and I must say seeing the Renoirs up close was by far more exciting that viewing them on a projector. I also took an interesting Urban Sociology class that required us to explore a Parisian neighborhood that we would not normally visit. With a partner, I was sent out to the business district of La Défense to conduct research and visit a part of Paris I would not have normally seen. This professor also took us to different immigrant neighborhoods and showed us just how much there is to seen in Paris beyond the Champs-Élysées.

Along with the many excursions within Paris, Trinity also took us on trips outside of the city. On one outing, we visited the Château at La Roche-Guyon and Monet’s Garden at Giverny. Getting up close and personal with the water lilies that inspired so many masterpieces was a magical experience. On another weekend we were taken to Normandy, where we visited the otherworldly Mont Saint-Michel and the beaches where the D-Day landings took place. Outside of the planned class trips, many utilized the weekends to travel. I got the chance to go to Barcelona and Amsterdam, two cities I had always wanted to see. All of the students also got a full week off for Toussaint vacation, so I traveled with six friends on an eight-day train trip through Central Europe. We began our adventure in Prague, taking an overnight train to Budapest, then Vienna, and eventually ended in Munich. It was the trip of a lifetime, but by the end, both my body and wallet were exhausted and I vowed to spend the rest of the semester within Paris.

This for me was the best time spent. Being in the city there was always something to do; I could spend a lifetime within the city’s limits and never get bored. I went to concerts, plays, and some of the world’s best restaurants on a whim.


Long Walk Societies host panel for alumni in real estate



It seemed like an ordinary evening in Grand Central at 6 p.m. as business men and women in tan trench coats with both black and brown briefcases, matching their black or brown leather shoes, crisscrossed the 1913 concourse, passing by the fantastic timepiece by which many of us have been instructed by friends, family, and significant others, to “meet under the clock.”

Though the golden era of American rail travel has long passed, still nearly 750,000 people with just as many perspectives and purposes, pass through the terminus on a daily basis. It seemed like business as usual, as I looked out from the Lexington Avenue stairs, noting the impressively large American flag and the ubiquitous tourists posing for pictures under the sweeping turquoise cosmos.

This evening however was special as a short distance up the escalators on the 21st floor of the MetLife building, Trinity College’s Long Walk Societies presented The Industry Series Panel Discussion on real estate, hosted and moderated by Mark Ravesloot ’79, P’11,’15, and a vice chairman in CBRE’s Manhattan Office.

200 Park Ave—the MetLife Building—had all the trappings of a New York office building including a modern sleek interior with layouts perhaps meant to keep visitors on their toes—maybe a power play on the part of the architects!

In addition to Mr. Ravesloot, the panel featured Jon Estreich ’75, of Estreich & Company, Peter Duncan ’81, P’13,’14, of George Comfort & Sons, Inc., and Lisa Cadette Detwiler ’87, of Corcoran Group Real Estate. Each alumnus and alumna of Trinity has a unique background of experiences from their time at the College to their present positions, and thus they maintain nuanced perspectives on the commercial and residential real estate climates in New York City. They offered their thoughts as well as responded tactfully to a question and answer session between audience and panel towards the end of the evening.

Each panelist represented a different field in real estate, including sales, finance, management, and—in Mr. Estreich’s case—successfully placing more than $30 billion in debt and equity encompassing retail, residential, industrial, and hotel properties since the founding of his firm in 1986. Each  alumni had a similar success story, and none would call it such; they were each modest in their own right, but eager to point out the successes of their peers. Interestingly, Jon Estreich majored in History, Lisa Cadette Detwiler in Biology with a concentration in genetics, and Peter Duncan in American Studies, while Mark Ravesloot majored in International Relations. None of these majors would suggest ‘real estate’; however, their diversity of majors reflects the creativity of the individual in that they were not bound to a track based off of what they studied.

Their backgrounds before real estate include construction, the State Department, and pharmaceutical companies. They have all succeeded in a highly competitive field in an extremely intense location with a liberal arts degree.

Each alumni offered insight into real estate and New York in general. In Peter Duncan’s words: “New York City is a gateway city…[and] viewed as a great place to invest.” Jon Estreich in recounting past ventures of his firm stated that the “real estate business is defined by fighters with passion and creativity.” Lisa Cadette Detwiler, who has a background in marketing and sales for pharmaceutical firms, as well as years of experience in Brooklyn residential real estate, believes “the Manhattan market is a global market.” Implied in each statement is an understanding that the real estate world is fluid and constantly changing based off of the given proclivities of the market climate, and each Trinity alumni who took part in the panel discussion clearly understands this.

The event was exceedingly well attended with Trinity alumni and Long Walk Societies’ members from many different class years and career backgrounds, ranging from photography to business management consulting, but united in their interest in learning more about the complex field of urban real estate.

The Long Walk Societies is an organization comprised of members of the Trinity Community who are dedicated to supporting the College, interested in forging connections among its passionate alumni, and interested in engaging in a discourse of the future of the institution. Students interested in joining, or details regarding future events, should contact Fiona Brennan ’15, Peter Ragosta ’15, or Benjamin Chait ’16, all of whom work for the Long Walk Societies.


Trinity alumna Rachel Platten performs at The Mill



Last Tuesday evening, talented pop singer-songwriter and Trinity alumna, Rachel Platten ’03, returned to campus for an exclusive performance at The Mill. Despite currently being on a house tour, she took the time to visit her alma mater and share stories about the experiences she’s had during her time working in the music industry. Her well-attended and well-delivered performance made for an excellent and inspiring study break.

Wearing a red and white flannel over a black screen-printed t-shirt, Platten strode into the Mill’s concert room and flashed a broad smile at the eagerly awaiting audience. Although Platten graduated from Trinity over ten years ago, she seemed right at home as she mingled with the current members of the Trinitones. Platten was a member of the Trinitones during her time at Trinity. While she chose to earn a degree in International Relations during her time at Trinity, her decision to pursue a singing career is a reflection of her liberal arts education.

Despite her radiant and youthful aesthetic, as soon as she perched herself at her keyboard, Platten’s maturity as a musician began to shine through. The Mill’s newly renovated floors reflected the stage lights and emanated a warm glow around her that contrasted with the crisp autumnal nightfall outside.Unlike other performers, Platten avoided the venue’s usual platform stage and instead sat within arms reach of the students in the first row. This allowed for a more intimate performance.  “I’m going to play some of my new songs for you, if you all don’t mind.  But you probably didn’t know my old stuff, so it doesn’t even matter,” she joked.

Having recently wrapped up the production of her sophomore studio album, which has yet to be released, members of the Trinity community that attended the performance were among the first to hear her new tracks.  Accompanied by Craig Campbell, her longtime friend and drummer, Platten ran through a new set list, which chronicled the themes of first love, heartbreak, and triumph over personal tribulations. Throughout her performance she took time to interact with the audience between songs. Through this dialogue, the audience definitely got a sense of Platten’s dedication to her art.

Later in the show, Platten confidently performed her single “1,000 Ships,” an airy, pleasurable song that reached No. 30 on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart list at the time of its release. The song contains undertones of Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson and is reflective of some of Platten’s musical influences. Another single that she performed was one that ABC Family’s popular teen drama “Pretty Little Liars” recently featured during a scene in its episode, “Begin Again”.

At times, it was difficult to distinguish Platten’s work from the likes of more prominent ‘soft-indie rocker chicks,’ but her promise became more evident when she belted  “Fight Song,” which has played on NBC’s “Biggest Loser.” Platten informed the audience that she would also be playing this song for one of her biggest fans who is a young boy fighting for his life at a cancer treatment center. “I’m asking you guys to pray for him so he can make it,” she said.  When she launched into the song, she maintained a very subtle balance between power and restraint in her vocal range as she crooned its powerful lyrics, “I might only have one match but I can make an explosion.”

The audience was moved by her emotional performance. When she finished her set, the audience thanked with thunderous applause. The students that attended her performance are likely to have left as new fans of this brilliant, young singer.


“‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore” opens this week at Austin Arts



​This year’s fall main-stage theater production, “‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore,” opens this week at Austin Arts. The play, written by John Ford, is a tragedy of love, lust, violence, and revenge. Ford, a Jacobean era playwright, wrote “‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore” in 1633 and it has since become known as one of the most controversial works of English literature. The play openly confronts the issue of incest through its depiction of the romantic relationship between two siblings. Barbara Karger, director of the production and Associate Professor of Theater and Dance, said that the play contains clear parallels to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” She noted the greatest difference between the two plays: “In “‘Tis Pity,” the lovers are not Montague and Capulet. They are brother and sister. Therefore, the conflict of the play arises not from the lovers’ distance, but from their closeness.”

Although the play is most famous for its discussion of incest, Karger believes that incest is not the most central theme of the play. “It’s all about false morality,” she said, “the characters who commit incest are the most moral characters in the show. Everyone else is lying, bribing, and scheming.” In this way, Ford asks the audience to decide which characters are really at fault in the world of the play. Society condemns incest, but, in “‘Tis Pity,” the motivation behind the incest is genuine love between the two siblings. And, although the other characters of the play do not engage in incestuous relationships, they are driven by greed, jealousy, and hate.

Karger noted that the play also contains a profound discussion of gender roles. She said, “the ‘Whore’ in the play’s title is a woman, not a man, even though the men of the play do plenty of whoring. ” Throughout the play, Ford explores and exposes the double standards imposed on women. In “‘Tis Pity,” as we often see in real life, women are held to much stricter moral structures than men are. Allen Rios ’17, who plays Bergetto and the Cardinal, said that the play “uses misogynist language in an ironic way that forces us contemplate how we speak about women.” Rios went on to say that Ford’s message remains relevant in today’s society. There have been monumental strides in gender equality since the seventeenth century, but women are still fighting for fair treatment in certain walks of life.

When asked why she chose “‘Tis Pity” for this semester’s main-stage production, Karger said that she wanted to give her actors an opportunity to work with heightened language. “‘Tis Pity” was written almost 400 years ago, and, as such, the language of the play differs significantly from the English we know and use today. Karger said that when she chooses a play, she tries “to think about what will be best for the students… what will help them learn and improve as actors.” She went on to say that, for actors, it can be a wonderful challenge to work with language that isn’t immediately familiar to you. Chanel Erasmus ’15, who plays Hippolita, confirmed that she has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with the heightened language of “‘Tis Pity.” She explained, “in this play, I never assume I know the meaning of a line as I might do when performing in a play with contemporary language. I really have to do my homework. I have to know what I’m saying in every line and every word. And that’s a wonderful experience as an actor.” Dan Trainor ’17, who plays Giovanni, also discussed how much he enjoyed the acting challenge of the play’s language. He said, “you have to find your own connection with 17th century language. When the actor finds the connection, the audience will too.” Karger said that, in her experience, when actors undertake this kind of research and text work, their performances are much more powerful as a result.

Many of the actors discussed how much they enjoy the content of the play. Erasmus said that the show is “action-packed…. you’ll never be bored.” She also went on to elaborate that the show’s pace is very fast: “We took the air out between lines and entrances and exits are done with so much energy.” There are no set changes in the show because Karger chose a unit set for the production. She said she didn’t want any of the play’s momentum to be lost during scene changes. This production of “‘Tis Pity” is only ninety minutes long and the cast said that they have been working to make it move like a freight train so that the audience will be consistently engaged.

The actors of the show expressed their excitement about presenting their work to an audience after more than two months of rehearsal. Trainor said that he always loves to see how an audience reacts to a play because theater is such a powerful artistic medium. “It’s different from movies or TV,” he said, “in theater, you feel a stronger connection to the story because the people are there, right in front you. You’re not seeing them through a computer screen.” Erasmus said that she is excited to see how audiences will react to the show’s controversial themes and the social issues that it raises. “You can discuss and confront things in theatre you can’t confront in everyday situations,” she said, “in that way, theater is a unique and powerful space.”

“‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore” will be performed this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Nov. 13-15, at the Goodwin Theater in Austin Arts. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. each day and admission is free.


Bantam Artist of the Week: Leandra Vargas ’18



Leandra Vargas ’18, a first year Human Rights major, was recently given the first place award at the M.O.C.A. Talent Show. She has been involved in the arts almost all of her life, and has certainly taken advantage of the musical opportunities that Trinity has offered. Vargas often writes her own raps, which led her to become interested in performing on campus. She is thinking about a Theater and Dance double major, so that there is always something artistic in her academics to look forward to.

The M.O.C.A. talent show had three categories: dance, music, and spoken word/rap. Vargas performed in the dance and spoken word/rap categories. As part of the Elemental Dance crew, Vargas and the team won first place for the dance category. Her personal rap performance also placed her in first for the written word/rap cateogry. Vargas did not go into this talent show simply to win, but her passion and talent on stage won her first place in the two categories. Her performance for the written word category consisted of two raps, both written by her. Each one was a collaboration with her friend, Sarah Watson ’15. Watson stomped and made the beat in one song, and sang while Vargas rapped in the other song.

Before attending Trinity, Vargas was involved in many theater and dance programs. She first became inspired to pursue the arts when she entertained her family during gatherings. As she grew up, she decided that theater was very important to her, and began to look into programs that would teach her more about it. In her freshman year of high school, she joined the Theater Magnet Program in Florida. The play that they performed, “I am an Emotional Creature,” by Eve Ensler, is what Vargas says, “started getting [her] involved in theater in the first place.” Through this play, she learned so much more about theater and the arts. Vargas learned about stage management and even got to build some of the sets. After her freshman year, she moved back to Brooklyn, New York, where she continued acting and auditioned for the MCC Theater Youth Company. Once Vargas was accepted, she met twice a week with the group and performed about ten shows. MCC offered her several wonderful opportunities, including master classes where she worked alongside professional actors and playwrights. In her senior year of high school, she participated in a playwright lab where professional actors were actually cast in the plays that she wrote. “It was an incredible experience,” said Vargas, “because I could see my own stories come to life. I learned so much about my own writing and theater in general.”

The most impressive part of her high school theater experience was that her raps were used to close each of the shows during her junior and senior year. She felt honored because every character in the shows participated in performing her songs. There were people dancing, singing, and even chanting the raps that she wrote. Since then, Vargas has maintained an impressive portfolio of plays and raps, with the goal of someday being on television. A great addition to her already impressive accomplishments, Vargas also interned for Alvin Ailey—a modern dance company based in New York City—in the Arts in Education and Community Program this past summer. Although it was a lot of office work, at one point she created a video that is now displayed on their webpage. This was her first job experience, which taught her what it is like to be behind the scenes of a dance company, rather than what she is used to when she is performing.

Vargas expresses her passion for the arts through the many clubs that she is a part of on campus, such as the Quirks, the Mill, and Elemental Dance. One of the most memorable art events that she experienced at Trinity was held in the Cave at the beginning of the year, where people in the Hartford community came to perform raps, dances, and even drumming. This event led her to be excited for upcoming performances Trinity will offer. Vargas was also a part of the Iron Poet, where she performed and heard a lot of different people’s works. There were workshops for people to perform their piece and then receive compliments or questions. Vargas looks forward to more events like that on campus. She is also excited about using the recording studio at the Mill. She has already taken advantage of it and plans to use it many more times. Vargas is also ready to write more plays and songs, which is how she raises awareness for social issues that are important to her.

What Vargas enjoys the most about being involved in the arts is that she has learned how to empathize more with people. “It’s sometimes hard for me to articulate myself,” she explains, “but with the arts, I can.” When she started MCC, she watched several plays which gave her an insight into how different people are, but also how similar we are as humans. “People have different stories, but share similar feelings,” Vargas concludes.

Cinestudio Review: Craig Johnson’s “The Skeleton Twins”



What would the film industry be without the high school drama genre? Where would we go for our teen angst, our loners and our jocks? Ninth to twelfth grade is a cinematic petri dish for fear, romance, and latent individuality – it is the place where people start being people. “The Skeleton Twins” tells us that while high school is often wonderful and inspiring, the real drama sometimes arrives about fifteen years after the credits roll.

Milo and Maggie are siblings who spent their childhoods joined at the hip, only becoming closer after their father’s suicide. They told each other their secrets, fears and ambitions, even getting matching tattoos to solidify their bond. As the two grew older, all of this fell apart, and they went ten years without seeing one another. Both fell into hopelessness over time, Maggie in a marriage full of lies, and Milo a failed actor, languishing in self doubt after a breakup with his boyfriend. When they each attempt suicide on the same day, at different ends of the country, they grudgingly reunite and begin down a path of self-salvaging and renewal in rural New York. Each one comes to realize that it is only through each other that they can work toward happiness.

“The Skeleton Twins” is a sweet and simple movie that dares to be both hilariously funny and heartbreakingly sad, sometimes in the same moment. It weighs the pros and cons of being an outcast, all with a powerful sense of heart and understanding. Kristen Wiig, who plays Maggie, and Bill Hader, who portrays Milo, are the real highlight, however. Both alumni of Saturday Night Live, their casting is so central to the movie that it could never have been made with anyone else in the lead roles.

In their lightest scenes, Wiig and Hader bring biting wit and ethereal happiness to the table. Whether they are dancing together to Starship’s sticky-sweet 80’s pop anthem, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” or pretending to be nerdy paper boys while under the influence of dentist office nitrous, there is a sense that we are actually watching two old friends behaving exactly as they would in real life. On the other side of the coin, the two are powerfully gifted dramatic actors. When they fight, they make us nervous for them: a skill that is hard to come by.This makes for a bit of a problem, though. Milo and Maggie are so central to the movie that they start to infringe on other aspects. Secondary characters like Luke Wilson’s role as Maggie’s oblivious but loving husband and Joanna Gleason’s as the thoughtless and bohemian mother feel a little too airy to be effective.

The same can be said for the plot – It is charming and powerful, but there is an attitude to the finer points that says, “If it’s not explained, it’s not important.” The truth is that the filmmakers know that what we want to see is our heroes, Wiig and Hader, and that the rest of the movie should take a back seat. I would have liked a little more refinement on these fronts, but “The Skeleton Twins” leaves you in a forgiving mood.There’s a real poetry to this movie that I have not seen much, particularly when it comes to sentimentality. Milo and Maggie need to face the mistakes of their past, even those choices that made them who they are.

In one of the best scenes, the two siblings are discussing a bully from high school. Milo says that when he was young, he always told himself that those jocks, those elite people who look down on their peers, had peaked in high school, and would never find happiness in the real world. The truth, he continues, was that this bully had gone on to become an electrician and now had a beautiful family. Milo says that he now believes he himself was the one who peaked in high school.With this scene “The Skeleton Twins” asks viewers whether a person sometimes needs to sacrifice their pride to be happy. It is a special kind of movie that asks this question in the first place, but the thing that makes “The Skeleton Twins” a truly good movie is that it chooses to answer with “Yes.”


Adrienne Fulco speaks on WNPR about U.S. politics



On Wednesday, Nov. 5, Trinity’s own Adrienne Fulco, Associate Professor of Legal and Policy Studies and Director of the Public Policy and Law Program, appeared as a guest on WNPR’s program “Where We Live” with host John Dankosky.

Fulco joined a panel of guests that included Colin McEnroe, host of The Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR, Mark Pazniokas, the Capitol bureau chief for The Connecticut Mirror, Tom Foley, Republican candidate for governor, and Denise Merrill, Connecticut Secretary of the State. The topics that were touched ranged from Foley’s campaign for government to the issues with the United States Electoral system.

Fulco first entered the conversation when Dankosky asked her to discuss what he called the “red tide rolling across the Senate.”

Fulco responded that she thought the Republicans ran very good campaigns. “I think they were disciplined. I think they kept on message. I think they made sure that some of the people who could have ended up on the ballot didn’t. This was particularly important in red states because the democrats were fighting in a number of elections where they didn’t have a natural advantage,” Fulco said.

Dankosky then asked Fulco to elaborate on the specific circumstances that allowed the Republican party to make such sweeping gains. He posed the question, were the gains the result of Republican ideas taking hold in a number of states or were they just the result of better campaign tactics and the low approval ratings of President Obama.

Fulco responded, “I think this was a campaign entirely about the failure of Barack Obama. He could hardly campaign anywhere in the country.” She said that democrats were to blame overall “for not managing government well… I think that when you add in things like Ebola, ISIS, and the roll-out of healthcare, you can understand why people are skeptical about the competency of the government.”

Fulco expanded on her idea that the Republican victories were the result of discontent with the democratic party by saying that, in many states that went Republican, voters came out in support of a higher minimum wage.

Fulco explained that a higher minimum wage is not something we would expect a Republican to vote for. This shows that the beliefs of many voters’ have not changed; however, it does show the extent to which the American people are frustrated with the way in which democratic candidates have been running the government.

The panel then changed subjects slightly and spoke about an Op-Ed piece that recently appeared in the “New York Times.” The article proposed the elimination of mid-term elections, claiming that they only increase polarization among parties.

Fulco said that she planned to present this Op-Ed to her students because she thought it was such a thought-provoking piece.

Fulco then discussed the polarization we’re seeing in today’s politics. She said, “what you will find when we look at all the exit polls is that polarization has increased. It has not decreased in this election. We don’t have a loyal opposition. We just have an opposition. How are we going to govern this country given that the Republicans are going to be pushed by politicians like Ted Cruz to go further to the right?”

Throughout the rest of the program, the panel continued to discuss the ways in which the results of these mid-term elections will influence U.S. politics in the future.

To listen to the full broadcast and hear the remainder of Fulco’s comments and analysis, visit


Jake Villarreal ’17 founds Trinity Debate Team



Debate is the most important activity for education and the spread of knowledge, allowing for individuals to hear and understand the view of other people and build critical skills necessary for communication. Debate is critical for fostering discussion beyond the classroom, and in creating an intellectual environment for students to discuss controversial issues of our time. For these reasons, Jake Villarreal ’17 found the Trinity College debate team at the beginning of this year, and opened an entirely new door of possibility for Trinity and its students.

Jake Villarreal in using knowledge gained from his debate experience at Bates College during his freshman year, had to bring a debate team to Trinity College to continue his love for the activity. In interview, he stated, “ I wanted to teach other people debate, and it’s going really well.” Furthermore, Jake elaborated on the importance of the team in creating political conversation and active participation within the student body saying, “ this activity is great for activists to learn how to speak publicly, make convincing arguments, and meet other people who are interested in politics.” He also explained that in each debate tournament any member of a team can argue for any issue or point they desire, and attempt to support it as best as possible among their peers. This flexibility of discussion allows for a wide range of important topics such as feminism, wealth divide, and even U.S. relations with Hamas to be covered in such debates. Issues from every part of the world are brought to the forefront of academic discussion.

The Trinity Debate team attends tournaments every weekend at various colleges and universities such as Harvard, Wesleyan, and Brandeis, and has the opportunity to compete out west in West Coast tournaments. The tournaments are either American Parliamentary or British Parliamentary style, and each has their own specific regulations and structure. In American Parliamentary Debates, teams of two compete against each other on any issue, and a team of judges scores their speakers. One of the teams brings any argument it desires forward and supports it, and the other team attacks the argument. At the end of the round the combined scores of each team’s speakers decide the winner of the round. Five rounds occur, and than the winning teams move onto the finals.

British Parliamentary Tournaments are completely different: four teams debate at once, and a team of expert debaters preselects the issues that will be argued. Each team receives fifteen minutes to prepare their speeches beforehand, and a team of judges scores the speeches. Again preliminary rounds occur, and the winning teams move onto the final rounds. The Trinity College Debate Team competes mostly in the American Parliamentary tournaments, yet has the opportunity to participate in both kinds of tournaments providing both experiences for students. What’s more interesting is that international teams from universities and colleges such as Oxford occasionally travel over seas to compete in U.S. competitions, and students from different nations are represented at the tournaments. The great diversity of students competing allows for the presentation of many different views and opinions on significant issues, and more complex debate.

The Debate Team is a great way for anyone to learn about different current events and issues across the globe, and recognize the effects of bias on the presentation of them. The tournaments allow students to work together and create the strongest argument possible, and learn from each other in the process. Education and understanding are the goals of the program, and debate is the means by which to reach these goals.

Professor Doerre discusses German playwright’s works



Curiosity has been the genesis of many interesting developments, ranging from human flight to the longer-lasting light bulb. Spontaneous interest is often the progenitor of many hobbies, subfields, and the occasional breakthrough, sometimes in the more obscure and less travelled avenues of human experience. Professor Jason Doerre gave a common hour talk on Thursday that educated members of the Trinity community about one such fascinatingly esoteric branch of study, about the life and work of Hermann Sudermann, an Industrial-era German playwright. Professor Doerre is a graduate fellow in German Studies here at Trinity, teaching classes in German cinema and literature while working on a dissertation entitled “Pessimism in Progress: Hermann Sudermann and German Liberalism”.  Professor Doerre’s presentation was far-reaching, encompassing not only Sudermann and his importance to Doerre’s area of research, but also the larger artistic context of the late 19th century, in addition to the socio-political climate of post-reunifiation Germany, as well as the state of culture in the decades leading up to the First World War.

Sudermann’s name is not very widely known in the United States, and his work, though known to specialists in German art, has similarly fallen by the wayside of the mass conciousness. An overview of his life and achievements, however, takes one down a fascinating path through the artistic, political, and cultural history of Germany and Europe, as the Industrial Age began to wind down and the stage was being set for the tumult of the 20th century. Born in 1857 in what is now Lithuania, Sudermann was raised alongside his family in a small town where his family owned a brewery. A man of modest means, Sudermann worked a variety of jobs to put himself through school, eventually attending Konigsberg University, later completing his education in Berlin. He eventually became a journalist, working as an editor in the 1880s, while writing serial novels and other short stories in his spare time. The novels and short stories failed to garner him any significant recognition in the artistic answer. In 1889, he had his first major artistic breakthrough, a play entitled “Die Ehre” (“Honour” in German), turning him into an overnight sensation. He followed “Die Ehre” up with the controversial “Sodom’s End” in 1891 and “Heimat” in 1893 (later translated as “Magda” in English in 1896), further securing his reknown. His plays began to gain popularity overseas, notable in Japan, where more than 30 films were produced based on his dramatic works. He attained such a degree of fame that his distinctive beard became a fashion trend in 1890s Berlin.

“Sodom’s End” became something of a controversy in Berlin in that its content was deemed against a sense of public decency or morality, and resulted in Berlin police action in 1891. This revealed the ridiculous censorship that was prevalent in Germany at the time, and the theme of public opinion and law as it relates to art became a recurring theme in Sudermann’s work. Sudermann’s work from the beginning had an individualist theme, condemning the “rule of the masses” in the art world. He believed that the rise of mass culture, everyone watching or experiencing the same thing, particularly in an artistic sense, was deeply damaging to art and the human experience. He felt a similar way about politics. His play, “The Mad Professor” told the story of a university professor whose unconventional brilliance and lack of political interests set him at odds with the “mainstream”, very political faculty, and set him intellectually against the changing times.

This last theme, that of the individual thinking and feeling against the common grain became something of a theme of Sudermann’s later life. After World War I and the rise of the decadent “Roaring 20s” culture, Sudermann became increasingly disillusioned with what he saw as the rise of cheap, mass culture, designed for the lowest common denominator, particularly movies, an up-and-coming industry at the time. He bought an estate in rural Germany, outside of Berlin, and decorated it with ancient Greek –themed statuary, celebrating the aesthetic ideals of a time he saw as passed. He became a very sharp-tongued theater and film critic in his later years, as he watched his work fall by the wayside, replaced by moving picture shows that were more accessible to the masses. From his “aesthetically perfect” island of an estate, he watched with some bitterness as the world changed, the old German bourgeoisie values he was raised with eroded, and the mass political movements began to gain traction, particularly after the German unification of 1871. He died in 1928, and his name became a small detail in some obscure history books, and his writing was catalogued and largely forgotten. That is, until Professor Doerre happened upon a book of his in college.

Professor Doerre happened upon Sudermann’s work by accident, and found it enthralling. Sudermann fit in well with Doerre’s interest in German studies and film, and eventually Doerre came to write his entire dissertation on Sudermann’s cultural importance, and his role in the shifting cultural landscape of late 19th and early 20th century Europe. This accidental discovery spawned a whole new area of research, and an impressive project for Professor Doerre. Trinity students were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn about this esoteric yet fascinating facet of culture from a century ago, a piece of history misplaced but not lost, and its rediscovery can provide valuable insight. Professor Doerre’s work provides a poignant example of how simple curiosity can unearth something buried, and can vindicate work forgotten even in the artist’s time, and bring it forward into today, making it relevant for this generation, and many generations hence.

Trinity students were truly fortunate to spend an hour and a half of a rainy day, eating sandwiches in Seabury Hall, learning about a forgotten man of a bygone era.

Faculty Committee Proposes Improvements to Honor Code



Last year, the Faculty Conference selected a special faculty committee to evaluate the College’s student honor code and disciplinary system. This committee examined the Integrity Contract and the disciplinary processes for academic dishonesty and social misconduct.  The system in use today was created more than a decade ago and, as such, the committee was charged with proposing any improvements that might be needed to update the system.

During the 2013-14 academic year, the committee met weekly to examine the current system, “interviewing a wide range of administrators, faculty, and students” according to an e-mail sent out by the committee.  For example, they conducted an online survey of Faculty and graduating seniors, and they examined the disciplinary procedures of Trinity’s peer institutions.

Over the summer, the committee came up with a series of proposals in the form of motions for the Faculty to look over and vote on at its meeting on Nov. 11.  These changes that the committee proposed were also included in an e-mail sent out to the Trinity community at large. Already, the committee has stated that they have begun to revise these proposals in response to suggestions from some Faculty members. They have also expressed encouragement for the community to add any critiques so that they might further improve these proposals.

Many of the issues that these proposals address are those that are concerned with the Academic Dishonesty Procedures. The committee’s motion is to establish a procedure “under which all penalties for academic dishonesty are imposed through either a First Offender Resolution Process or an Academic Dishonesty Hearing…”. Accordingly, the First Offender Resolution Process would be an option in the case of a student who has been charged with an academic dishonesty violation but who has no previous academic dishonesty violation on file, as well as for a student who admits guilt to the charge. Furthermore, in this situation, the maximum sanction that may be imposed by the instructor is failure in the course. However, if a student has been charged with academic dishonesty but also has a previous violation file, the Dean of Students Office is required to attend a formal academic hearing. In the same manner, if a student charged as a first offender but does not accept guilt, they must also attend an academic dishonesty hearing. If a student attends such a hearing, an additional sanction may be imposed in combination with that already imposed by the instructor. Some of these sanctions include: academic censure for the remainder of the students’ undergraduate career; academic probation for one or two semesters; suspension from the College for one or two semesters; or expulsion.

The committee also added that to ensure that all infractions are punished similarly, a Jury Panel instead of the Academic Affairs Committee will establish a set of recommended punishments. In addition, the accused student may be accompanied by an advisor from the Trinity Community if he/she gives notice to the Chair of the Hearing Panel in writing at least 72 hours prior to the hearing. Overall, the motion lists the major changes to the former system as: there will now be mandatory reporting of all cases were sanctions are imposed, that there is the creation of an alternative to the hearing process for first offenders, and finally, that there is now an integration of consequences imposed by faculty into the consideration of sanctions through the hearing process.

Other suggested improvements to the honor system from the committee involve the communication and sharing of the college’s policies and procedures with the community. Although they have already announced these proposals to the community at large, they hope to take steps to make students and faculty fully aware of the responsibilities that they agree to uphold in regard to academic and social integrity. Primarily, they hope to spread awareness of these policies through an updated and accessible website. In addition, the committee believes that there needs to be “a concerted effort” to communicate this information to incoming students and faculty alike. As a result, the committee also suggests that students sign a pledge of academic integrity not only at matriculation, but also at the first meeting of every course, and upon submission of written work as appropriate. This, the committee believes, will reinforce and remind students of what they are agreeing to uphold. Finally, they suggest that all academic advisors be informed when a student is charged with academic dishonesty.

As Trinity attempts to improve its academic reputation, it is important that it also reinforces the academic integrity of its students. As a result, the committee in search of a better honor system encourages all who are interested in participating in such progress to share their recommendations. Those who are interested in participating may find more information on the proposals on the college website, and contact Christine McMorris by e-mail with their suggestions.

Our differences should be celebrated, not just tolerated



I really love it when political, social issues become trendy topics. I loved hearing people discuss their opinions on the George Zimmerman case of 2013. I relished over Facebook rants about feminism and white privilege. Sometimes I don’t agree with what they have to say, but I always think having an open dialogue about these issues is important. Through discussion we are able learn from one another and progress. However, there is one social topic that I don’t believe enough people understand and that even includes the minority group involved.

The Gay Rights Movement has been a trendy topic for a long time and, very recently, a lot of victories have been won. In President Obama’s second inaugural speech, he declared that the American journey could not be complete until “our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.” And, in early October, the Supreme Court decided to lift the hold on lower court rulings and now, according to CNN, “more than 30 states and the District of Columbia allow marriage for same-sex couples.”

This is exactly the path that America should be heading towards and if gay marriage wasn’t such a trendy topic, I don’t think we would be making the strides that we are today. But like every political, social issue, there are people that will write those Facebook rants or debate with you when they don’t fully grasp the concept themselves.

This is definitely happening when we talk about gay rights and gay issues. Even when we believe we are talking positively, the way we view homosexuality in this country is both heteronormative and homophobic. You can have only gay friends or be a gay person yourself and still unintentionally spit discriminatory phrases.

In high school, the advisor for the Gay Straight Bi Alliance Club was a gay man, a Brooklyn hipster through and through. And he decided to post a promotional sign around the school campus for the club. It included five phrases, one under the other:

I Am Gay

I Am Lesbian

I Am Bisexual

I Am Transgendered

I Am Human

All the identifying terms at the end of each phrase had a line crossing through it, except of course the last phrase.

I went to Mr. Hill, the advisor of the extracurricular, to voice my opposition towards the sign. To him, the sign was meant to highlight the similarities between homosexuals and heterosexuals in the hope that by looking at what makes us the same, we would be able to further accept one another.

Well, I had a different take on the sign. More than anything, the sign is telling the viewer that we are all human, therefore being gay does not matter. That sort of suggestion is not only insulting, but it is also false. Being gay matters. I am not like a straight guy. I do not have the same relationship to women as a straight guy does. The dynamic I have with my male friends, regardless of their sexual orientation, is different from that of a straight man. I do not necessarily feel obligated to adhere to masculinity and all the limitations that come from that social construct. A straight male does not have to explain to their extremely Catholic mother why he does not like women. He does not have to feel scared holding his lover’s hand while walking down the street. If you are anything else but straight, you can feel as a bit of an oddity. Growing up and feeling like an outsider matters. It takes a lot for a person to finally and healthily recognize who they are. Homosexuals have to come out. Homosexuals have to ask for acceptance. And, annoyingly, homosexuals have to consistently explain their relationships. Yes, gay men can have committed relationships (that’s probably the reason we want gay marriage). And no, he is not the girl in the relationship because there is no girl in a gay male relationship because that is what gay means.

These are all experiences. Experiences affect personality and identity. Supporting gay men and women does not mean ignoring the very thing you should be supporting. It’s just a clever trick so that you don’t have to personally come to terms with your own views of homosexuality (and what those views say about you). But if and when you do come to terms with this topic, please remember this: similarity and equality are often used interchangeably, but in this case they cannot be. Someone does not have to live the same life you lead to be worthy of equal respect and equal rights.

Another common and apparently “positive” expression of gay acceptance is “Gay is ok.” That, to me, completely reflects the society’s current view towards homosexuality. We are a post-Christian world that is finally coming to understand that being gay does not quite make you a spawn of Satan. However, it is time we adjust that statement, a new rewording of that phrase that could possibly suggest that in the near future we will be in a world that is not only more gay-friendly, but also more loving and respectful towards the differences we all exhibit.

Author Audre Lorde said it best: “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” We don’t need to find similarity to find peace – we need to find peace in the fact that we are all different, and despite all our differences, we are all equal.

Being gay is not just okay. It’s far from it.

Gay is awesome. Gay is new. Gay is different. Gay is fresh. Gay is love. #GayIsTrending.

Concussion prevelance calls for preventative measures



Kevin Kolb is unfortunately not the only one who experiences concussion symptoms ‘every second of every day.’

For those of you who don’t know Kolb is a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.  He was first drafted in 2007. During his career he has also played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals.  However, after severe concussion in a 2013 preseason game against the Redskins relegated him to the Bills’ injured reserves. He was subsequently released from this recovery period on March 11, 2013. However, he still can’t escape the lasting effects of his concussions today.

Then there’s 38-year-old Chad Levitt, a former running back for the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams. In a recent interview with ABC News he elaborated on his experience of sustaining many concussions and said, “if I knew I was going to be suffering for 12 years like I have, I would have reconsidered playing in the NFL at all.”  Levitt’s experience with post concussive symptoms includes depression, mood swings, memory loss, and inability to concentrate properly.

Concussion symptoms can vary, and many times people will experience different combinations of them. On the whole symptoms can range from severe headaches, confusion, dizziness, inability to focus, mental fog, irritability, cognitive slowness to nausea, vomiting, insomnia, constant drowsiness, depression, and anxiety.  Less common symptoms include loss of consciousness on impact, vestibular problems, impaired facial recognition, as well as permanent intellectual, neurological, and emotional changes upon incurring repeat concussions.

There are students and athletes at Trinity who know firsthand the debilitating effects of concussions. Few people realize the prevalence of people who have sustained a concussion, however, because our students and athletes don’t get the media coverage that professional athletes do.

Though awareness of this devastating injury has grown, efforts to actually prevent it from happening have not been able to keep up the same pace. According to a recent study done at Harvard, many colleges still have not implemented mandates by the NCAA to create a concussion policy. Of those schools that have instituted concussion policies, only 71.6 percent of them instruct athletes on how to identify symptoms.

And that’s just the athletic programs. Policy needs to be created at the administrative level as well, so that schools are able to adequately help their athletes off the field as students in the classroom.

But we can capture a moment. Trinity has a shot at becoming one of the leaders in concussion policy and prevention. We have faculty, such as Professor Sarah Raskin, with backgrounds in clinical neuroscience and psychology, who are always willing to take on these new projects. We have alumni, such as Dan Moore III ’63, who are actively studying methods of preventing concussions. We have a group of students, two of whom testified as survivors for Connecticut’s recently-signed concussion law and who have created the Concussion Awareness and Support Organization (CASO). We also have a capable and accessible partner off campus in the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut. Our newly inaugurated President also has a PH.D. in neuroscience, which we can use to the school’s advantage.

We have the resources – now it’s just a question of collaboration, focus, and effort.

That effort needs to begin with education.  In short order, Trinity can incorporate concussion education into many of the programs we already have. We can educate our Residential Assistants so they know what to look for and each student handbook can be supplemented with a copy of our concussion policy and a list of symptoms. We can also make sure that the CASO, athletic department, health center, and administration collaborate to provide the best possible assistance for our concussed students.

Even though Kolb and Levitt are no longer able to play football, they both still think about it all the time. They have no choice. This doesn’t have to be the fate of Trinity students. A concussion intervention would do more for our injured students and athletes and would establish the Trinity community as a leader in concussion care and prevention.

Physician-assisted death raises issues of morality



Death is a topic that no one ever wants to talk about despite the fact that it is a specter looming on the horizon that each of us will have to face at some point. For most people, facing that option comes decades after having lived what many would deem ‘a full life’; sadly this is not the outcome for everyone. Some people have to face this unfortunate prospect much sooner than they should have to. Yet, sometimes the most devastating part is not the idea of death itself, but having to choose death because the other alternative is unbearable.

What if you knew that you only had a few months to live and in those few months, you would be able to physically feel yourself deteriorating without the possibility of any treatment or anything that could relieve the pain? What if you knew that your family would be there to watch you fade away slowly, knowing that ultimately they would lose you? What choice would you make? Would you choose to spend those last few months, however painful with your family, or would you choose death instead to save not only yourself, but also your family from having to watch you die? Sadly, this is not an easy question to answer because with either choice, death still comes much too soon. Just as in death came to soon for Brittany Maynard.

Brittany Maynard discovered that she had a grade two astrocytoma, a type of brain cancer, in the beginning of this year. She had surgery to remove the tumor, but four month later the cancer had returned and this time it was a grade 4 astrocytoma. After the second diagnosis, she was given only six months to live. A grade 4 astrocytoma, also known as a Glioblastoma, is considered one of the most deadly forms of cancer. Most patients who suffer from this type of cancer do not live longer that eighteen months after being diagnosed. Brittany knowing these odds had to make a choice: whether to live those six months or not. With these options in mind, Brittany finally made the decision to travel from California to Oregon in order to “die with dignity.”

In 1994, Oregon passed the Death with Dignity act and became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide, within certain limitations. This act allows terminally ill patients who know that they will die in a few months the right to request, in writing, that they wish to recieve a lethal dose of a medication to end their life. The doctor does not have to agree to the request if they have moral objections against a certain situation and a second doctor is also required to look over the patient’s files to determine whether the terminal prognosis is true. The patient also has to be deemed mentally competent and then wait an additional fifteen days and orally request the lethal medication. By 2013, over 752 people had chosen to die with dignity and now Brittany Maynard is among them. She passed away on Nov. 1, 2014. But this is not where Brittany’s story ends.

Controversy still surrounds the idea of assisted dying. Brittany’s case elicited responses from many people about her decision. For example, Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the leader of the Pontifical Academy for Life, stated that Brittany’s decision was “in itself reprehensible” and that “the gesture in and of itself should be condemned.” When I read these words, I was left speechless. Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula made the distinction to say that he found the decision reprehensible, but not the person going through with it. Yet I find myself wondering who is he to have a say at all in the personal decisions of others, especially when it comes to a condition such as Brittany’s.

Glioblastoma typically occurs in older people so her case was rare considering she was only 29 when she was diagnosed. What is worse are the symptoms associated with the condition, which range from headaches, seizures, vision loss, to personality changes which increasingly worsen as the person nears the end of their life. So for these reason I ask, who has a right to say anything about Brittany’s condition? Her decision was a hard one to make considering that she was leaving behind a husband she had only been married to for a year as well as the rest of her family. However, those last six months would have been difficult not only for herself, but her family as well.

I see Brittany as brave for making a choice that no one should have to and ultimately choosing death. Unless, Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula and any others were commented on her choice were to suffer through those symptoms, what right do they have to say anything about her decision? I do not find what Brittany did “reprehensible,” and I think that people who are terminally ill should be able to make that choice of whether to keep on living those final months or whether to end it. I am only sad that people have to make such a choice, especially those as young as Brittany Maynard.


Uber justifies surge pricing during busy hours



Uber has become one of the fastest evolving businesses in the world. Between 2009 and 2014, Uber set up their service in over 200 cities. Uber has made taxis more accessible by making it easier for passengers to locate rides. It has also created a stable job market for drivers. Uber is reliable because the drivers undergo a background check and the app shows customers the car number and location with the name of the driver. Nonetheless, numerous customers were enraged on Halloween with Uber’s surge pricing.

Gabrielle Wathen is one of the customers who expressed her annoyance with Uber’s surge pricing on social media. On Saturday, Gabrielle Wathen published on a crowd-funding site named GoFundMe, “I feel taken advantage of and cheated by the Uber name. $367 for a 20-minute ride should never be justified, even on Halloween. Please donate even just 1 dollar if you think this is utter and complete bullshit and also hilarious and very, very depressing at the same time.” $367 is not a small amount, especially for college students. We contemplate going to concerts and dining outside because our savings are not significant. If the card information was not registered, nobody would have willingly paid $367, regardless of his or her mental state of mind. Nobody is denying that Uber provides excellent service, but if the company aims to continue expanding worldwide then the prices on special days like Halloween need to be reevaluated.

One of the Uber drivers  grinned at the prospect of Halloween fares. He shared with me that he earned an amount equivalent to three to four days worth of rides. This speaks volumes itself. Customers should not be taken advantage of. A slight surge in price is understandable but $367 is not. However, I cannot deny that Uber is a very active and dynamic service.

The toll free number of Yellow Cabs is (860) 666-6666. These can be booked and be at your doorstep when you desire. Last weekend, my friend and I walked for 40 minutes in search of a yellow cab on our way to Westfarms mall. It was wonderful to have a work out, but with the wind beating against our faces, we really wanted a cab.

It was bewildering that there was not a single yellow cab on the streets, so mid-way we decided to call for a yellow cab. We sat outside a gas station for 20 minutes waiting for our ride to arrive.

Nobody has the time or patience to wait now a days. Can you imagine any New Yorker patiently sitting outside a gas station for a taxi? Subsequently, this explains why Uber has not only a growing following of loyal customers but also cab drivers. Uber is a safety net for college students, especially if the nearby neighborhood is not safe. For instance, before my parents left after moving me in, they ensured that I had an Uber account so they did not have to worry about my travels. It is comforting to have driver information beforehand and also know how much time it will take until the driver will arrive. It allows customers to order a taxi beforehand to plan and save time accordingly. Additionally, the customer service is extremely proactive. I was in New York City when I needed an Uber urgently so I could catch my bus on time. It took quite a lot of time for the Uber to arrive so I got hold of a cab instead. I was charged 10 dollars for cancelling the Uber and I felt that I had been wronged. I sent an email explaining the incident.

Within a day the Uber administration replied apologizing and giving me a refund of $10. I was delighted with the service. Hence, I believe that customers should contact the Uber office regarding any concerns.

We cannot ignore the fact that Uber is creating an economically productive environment. It is providing jobs to unqualified males and females. It is allowing citizens of the country to contribute to the per capita gross domestic product. It is sustaining households and motivating people to work instead of depending on unemployment benefits. Uber is profitable not just for the CEO of the company but also for the nation as a whole.

I will not deny that Uber does provide poor service at times, one of the examples being surge pricing on Halloween. Moreover, some drivers are not courteous and are oblivious about directions and roads.

The drivers of the city are dependent on GPS because when long routes are taken it later equates to a heavy bill amount. Therefore, Uber should pay close attention to driver background checks and ride pricing. If the company fails to do so, Uber’s loyal following could decrease, which would cause the company to lose popularity instead of growing.

Uber needs to reasonably resolve the concerns of customers regarding the surge pricing during Halloween and other holidays. The company can only thrive if customers continue to be happy with the service.

Nevertheless, customers should keep in mind that they are paying for a good service and that the administration can be contacted regarding concerns.


Trinity Bantam athlete of the week: Kelcie Finn ’18



As the Field Hockey season comes to a close, it is clear that the team is a force to be reckoned with within the NESCAC. One of the contributing players to this excellent team is first-year forward Kelcie Finn ’18. A native of Weymouth, Mass, Finn has had a stellar start to her career as a Trinity College Bantam. Through seventeen games, she has used her athleticism and technical skill to score a total of 27 goals for the Bantams. She has also been able to assist on another ten goals, contributing to the teams overall 63 goals.

Finn has had many inspirations as an athlete, an important one being professional soccer player Mia Hamm.  “She [Hamm] was definitely a favorite of mine growing up. She was a huge role model for me because she was such a successful and respected athlete who was so dedicated to her sport and the growth of athletic opportunities for females,” Finn said.  This inspiration has helped Finn to improve her game exponentially, as she started crafting her skill before she came to Trinity.

“I played at Thayer Academy for four years before doing a post-graduate year at Westminster in Simsbury, CT,”  Finn said,  “While playing in the ISL and Founder’s League, I was fortunate enough to be playing with and against some of the top athletes in New England. Like the NESCAC, these leagues provide strong competition every time you face off against another team, which undoubtedly helped prepare me for the collegiate level.” This high level competition certainly helped Finn. Thanks to her contributions, along with the rest of her teammates, the Trinity College Field Hockey Team was able to advance to the NESCAC Tournament with a 12-3 record. Most of these wins were against other NESCAC teams, with an impressive 8-2 record against conference teams.

The team has definitely had much success this season, with multiple blowout wins and playoff victories under their belt. In particular, Finn has fond memories of toppling the Bowdoin Bears. “The most exciting moment thus far at Trinity has definitely been beating Bowdoin in overtime earlier this season,” explained Finn,  “They were undefeated and No. 2 in the country at the time and had not lost a home game since 2009. The win not only made a statement for our team in the NESCAC, but also started our climb up the national rankings and gave us the confidence we needed heading into the second half of our season.”

This confidence has carried over into the girls’ morale, and Finn thinks they have what it takes to go all the way. “The season thus far has been extremely exciting. Our team has really come together on and off the field with the leadership of our three seniors, Catherine Read ’15, Courtney Wynne ’15, and Sophie Doering ’15, and we have proven that we can hold our ground against the top teams in the country. We are excited to be moving forward in our postseason and confident that we have the talent to beat any team we come up against.”

Bantam football ends season with close loss to Wesleyan



Trinity Football finished off their eight game season with what was almost a dramatic comeback against Wesleyan on Nov. 8.  The Bantams suffered a narrow loss to the Cardinals on Wesleyan’s home turf, Corwin Football Stadium. The final score was 20-19. This gives Trinity an overall record of 5-3, and this loss ends the Bantam’s thirteen year winning streak against Wesleyan. The last NESCAC football game of the year was played shortly after the Trinity-Wesleyan scuffle, a matchup between Williams and Amherst. Amherst ended up defeating the Ephs, achieving a perfect 8-0 record and winning the NESCAC Champions title outright. This is Amherst’s second perfect season in the past four years and fifth time taking the NESCAC crown. Coming in behind Amherst was Wesleyan, boasting a 7-1 record. Behind the Cardinals sits Middlebury with a 6-2 record. Trinity earned fourth place, followed by Bates and Tufts (both 4-4). At the bottom of the barrel sits all the teams with a less than .500 record- Bowdoin, Colby, Williams and Hamilton (who finished with an unfortunate record of 0-8).

After the first quarter, Trinity and Wesleyan remained at 0-0. After the second, the score was bumped up to 6-6 after a short lived Bantam lead. The Cardinals took a commanding lead in the third, scoring two touchdowns in the quarter putting the score at 20-6. In the fourth, the Bantams started making some headway in reducing the gap between scores. Tri-captain safeties Mike Mancini ’15 and Kyle McGuire ’15 got the ball rolling with back-to-back tackles for losses and helped keep the ball in Wesleyan territory. After a short punt, first year quarterback Spencer Aukamp ’18 (filling in for Henry Foye ’16) was able to thread the needle with tight end Brenan Oliver ‘15 for a 28 yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 20-13 with around twelve minutes remaining in the game.

With less than five minutes left on the clock, Wesleyan nearly succeeded in securing their victory when corner Jake Bussani ’16 picked off one of Aukamp’s passes. Thankfully a strong Trinity defense was able to force a three-and-out fending off the Cardinal attack. Shortly after this close call, Darrien Myers ’17 caught Wesleyan’s punt at the Trinity 43-yard line and amazingly juked his way down the middle then straight down the right side all the way to the Cardinal 7-yard line. Aukamp came up big, scoring his second rushing touchdown of the game, bringing the score to 20-19 with 1:15 left in the contest. Unfortunately, Trinity was unable to capitalize on their go-ahead conversion try as Chudi Iregbulem ’15 was stuffed at the goal line by Wesleyan defense. Trinity’s defense made a final stand to get the ball back, but an incomplete pass and a sack by Wesleyan’s Dee Simon ’15, ended the game.

Such a heartbreaker for head coach Jeff Devaney and his Bantams is hard to swallow, however, not all is lost. Several players were honored for their exceptional efforts both on and off the field.  Mike Mancini was named as a National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete. An All-NESCAC honoree a year ago, Mancini is tied for a team high of five pass breakups in five games this fall.  He is a two-time NESCAC All-Academic selection, and the College’s junior male athlete of the year in 2013-14.  He is the first Trinity football player to be named an NFF National Scholar Athlete. As far as other accolades earned by Trinity athletes, linebacker Tom Szymanski ’15 and has been named as one of the NESCAC Football Players of the Week based on his performance this past Saturday.

Trinity Field Hockey season ends in NESCAC semifinals



Trinity Field Hockey’s impressive 2014 campaign came to a close on Nov. 8 in Brunswick, Maine.  The Middlebury Panthers, one of the only two NESCAC teams to beat the Bantams in the regular season, pulled out a second win.  The 3-1 final score advanced Middlebury’s overall record to 16-1 and brought Trinity’s down to 13-4.

Middlebury jumped out to an early two-goal lead in the first half. Middlebury midfielder and tri-captain Catherine Fowler ’15 opened the scoring with an unassisted goal just over five minutes into regulation. Minutes later, Fowler added a second point to her personal-post-season tally, as the Panthers struck off a penalty corner as defender Jillian Green ’16 found the back of the cage with Fowler registering the assist, to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage.

Trinity fought back late in the first-half with a goal from leading scorer Kelcie Finn ’18, cutting the margin to 2-1. Elizabeth Caporale ’17 assisted Finn’s 27th goal of the season off a penalty corner. Finn has set the bar high for herself in future years as she now holds single-season program records in points (64) and game-winning goals (7), while ranking second in goals, a very impressive season for a first-year forward.

Unfortunately, Finn did not add to her game-winning goal tally this week, as the Bantams were unable to score a goal for the remainder of the game. Trinity’s defense was thrown into disarray four and a half minutes in the second half as Bantam goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick ’16 was given a yellow card and Gianna Pileggi ’18 come in to take over in net. With Pileggi in front of the net, the Middlebury Panthers stretched their lead back to two as Fowler scored her second goal of the day off a penalty corner. Down the stretch, Fitzpatrick returned and made several saves to keep the Bantams in it. Overall the Middlebury goalkeeper turned aside three shots to earn the victory for Middlebury, while Fitzpatrick made five saves in a losing effort for Trinity. In just under six minutes of action, Pileggi stopped one shot. The Panthers held a 15-7 advantage in shots and took nine penalty corners to the Bantams’ four.

The following Sunday, the NESCAC tournament came to a close as the Panthers defeated the Bowdoin Polar Bears at Bowdoin.  The second-seeded Middlebury topped Bowdoin 2-1. The game began with a Bowdoin goal in the first ten minutes from Rachel Kennedy and remained unanswered until Middlebury’s Hollis Petricone ’16 scored an unassisted goal in the 31st minute.  Catharine Fowler led Middlebury to become conference champions with a goal in the 69th minute.  With less than thirty-seconds on the clock, Middlebury player Alyssa Demaio ’15 took a penalty corner to assist Fowler.

While this NESCAC tournament may have not ended the way Trinity hoped, there is hope for an even better season next year, as the core of the team will return, while Bowdoin and Middlebury are losing key players.

Unfortunately, the Bantams’ season came to an end, as they were not selected for the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament despite a top ten ranking in the NCAA coach’s poll.  Bowdoin and Middlebury will represent the NESCAC in the tournament, beginning on Nov. 12.

Through the Grapevine: Taylor Swift’s new album, “1989”


A&E Editor

Regardless of your opinions or biases to singer and songwriter, Taylor Swift, it is impossible to deny her ever-growing success. Oct. 27 was a big day for fans of Swift, as it marked the release of her much awaited and anticipated album “1989.” Predictably, the album has achieved platinum success within a week of its release, having sold over a million copies. Upon receiving good reviews, it is widely recognized as the best Pop album of the year.

“1989” is Swift’s fifth studio album that is inspired by the music scene from the year of her birth, as the title suggests. To be more specific the album gathers influence from some of Swift’s favorite 80s pop singers such as Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Annie Lennox and Madonna. In light of the various controversies that her previous albums, particularly “Red,” have generated for treading the line between pop and country music, “1989” also marks Swift’s departure into purely pop music. “1989” is thus also her first officially documented ‘pop album.’

Typical of Swift, the lyrical content of most of the tracks on her new album discusses her personal take on relationships. While her previous albums have more explicitly dealt with themes such as heart break, or pain caused by somebody else, Swift has acknowledged that the songs in her present album are more about “looking back on a relationship and feeling a sense of pride even though it didn’t work out, reminiscing on something that ended but you still feel good about it, falling in love with a city, falling in love with a feeling rather than a person.” The album from this perspective also captures Swift not as an artist, but as a person.

“Shake It Off,” the album’s lead single released on Aug. 18, 2014, debuting at number 100 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and remains on the top charts.  While the song lyrically addresses critics and those that have made controversial comments towards her, its upbeat and very catchy nature have resulted in its success as a single, but also in raising expectations of the album overall.

Other tracks in the album including, but not limited to “Bad Blood,” “Welcome to New York,” “Wildest Dreams,” and “Blank Spaces” also seem very well-liked by most fans who believe that the songs have exceeded their high expectations. The tracks reveal Swift’s inspiration from the 80s, aspects of her current personal life, as well as relationships with people. A particular track that I think is worth another mention is the albums’ second track, “Blank Spaces,” that many fans have labeled as Swift’s best song ever.  “Blank Spaces” musically seems to take from her contemporary, Lorde, amongst other inspirations. The melody and hooks in the song let it resonate to most listeners. Lyrically too, the song is widely gaining recognition as Swift’s best-written song, capturing her self-awareness and sense of humor.

In addition to the album’s significance in marking Swift’s transition into purely pop music, and the success of the tracks, the commercial aspect of her album is also worth noting. Swift strongly believes in the sale of an album as a “physical package.” Given the drop in incentives to buy a CD in an era dominated by iTunes or Spotify, Swift who also manages the business aspects of her career, has included three extra tracks in the physical CD of “1989.” Furthermore, the CD also comes with five sets of Polaroids from the album photo shoot. Thus the new album also makes a statement against the trend of simply downloading music from the Internet,  to revive the slowly dying physical CD industry. A true Taylor Swift fan would thus buy a physical copy of the album, which also in a sense functions as a collector’s edition.

Needless to say, “1989” has made many statements within a week of its’ release, making listeners and fans wonder what Swift could surprise everyone with next. But for now, it is worth buying a copy of an album and listening to its refreshing and mostly up-beat tracks. As someone who has never really been a hardcore Taylor Swift fan, I must admit, on an ending note that this current album has definitely kept me hooked.


Bantam Artist of the Week: Mill member, Henry Minot ’17


Contributing Writer

Henry Minot ’17  is a Classics major and studies Mediterranean history and mythology, along with ancient Greek and Latin. However, he is also fulfilling a music minor. When he is not studying, he can be found playing music at the Mill.Minot first joined the Mill last Halloween, during the first semester of his freshman year. Meeting people that are involved in all aspects of art, such as visual, sculpting, and music was what really appealed to him. He loves that everyone at the house is super friendly; it almost felt like he was joining a family. At the Mill, he explains, you can “subscribe to any discipline of art, and it is just a relaxed atmosphere to hang out in.”

Minot is especially interested in the recording studio at the Mill, which has led him to meet people from diverse backgrounds. “It is always fun to jam there, even if there are not any meetings going on. People will just gather and play music and participate in any artistic projects,” he states. A recent project that Minot has been working on is related to hip hop productions, and includes one of his friends rapping and singing.

There are various roles for the members of the Mill. Minot has worked his way up to being the Operations Manager. He makes sure that the house is clean and presentable and decorates for the events. He also oversees renovations and comes up with purposes for empty rooms. Recently, Minot and the members of the Mill are trying to start a video production room, where they will set up a green screen and a camera.

Art has always been a part of Minot’s life, as both of his parents worked in radio broadcasting. He was surrounded by musicians, and therefore had many interactions with them throughout his life. He has been engaging with musical instruments since he was three, and has since played the trumpet, cello, and guitar for at least four years each. He still practices trumpet and guitar, typically at the Mill.

Minot derives influence from the different styles that the guitarists have. He says, “one guitarist is a big fan of the Fender Stratocaster, where another guy is a big fan of the effects pedals, which ultimately affects the way that I now view these styles.” He is also more recently inspired by the talents of the many talented people he has encountered since being at Trinity.

To travel back to his school days, Minot had a middle school rock band with his friends, and was also a part of a jazz band at that time. Through high school, he spent his time running on the cross country and track teams, as well as joining the debate team. Although he was not able to remain as devoted to music through these years, Minot reasoned that he would indulge in his passion for music later in college.

Minot’s absolute favorite Mill event was the Halloween program of 2013. This was the first event that he was a part of. The Mill created a haunted house with different themed rooms. Minot focused on one room in the house, which was a psychotic carnival. There was a concert after the haunted house  featuring a band from New York named “The Mix” that made the night even better.

Another event that Minot loved was the spring weekend concert, at which the Mill hosted “BFA,” an innovative band from New York University. Although he can be shy and tries not to be, Minot has performed at the Mill during some of the open mic nights. He has also performed songs such as “Hit the Road Jack,” by Ray Charles with other members of the house.

Minot says that he looks forward to doing many things with the Mill, such as getting more people involved and encouraging them to take advantage of its resources. He hopes to build a new stage at the house with risers for the drum set, over this winter break. The goal is to have this ready for spring weekend, to accomodate electrical wiring and spots to hold monitors. When Minot is not helping organize an event at the Mill, he is working at the radio station, located at the ground floor of High Rise. He is the music director there, and hosted his own show last semester on Tuesday mornings.

Minot is also a stage technician at the Austin Arts Center, where he assists in building sets and hanging lights for the musical and theater/dance productions. In addition to the many extracurricular activities that Minot is involved in, he is also halfway through an artistic project at the Watkinson Library where he researches colonial Connecticut history.

Being involved in the Mill has drawn Minot towards becoming more artistic. He often draws and paints the banners and flyers when the house is running an event. Minot feels that, “for any artist, it is important not to constrain oneself to any one genre or discipline, because everything can be inspiring. Going to an art gallery or museum can be just as fun and exciting as going to a really great concert in New York City.”

The Mill meets on Thursdays at 8pm, and they are open to anyone. Minot insisted that, “the members love to see new faces, so if you have a slight interest or would like to be involved, do not hesitate to stop by.” In the Mill, Minot has not only met people who go to Trinity, but also exciting people who are involved in the music scene around New York City and other areas close to Hartford. It is certainly a place to create long lasting relationships.


Cinestudio Review: Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight”



Few careers in show business are smooth sailing, but there is almost no one in the film industry who can claim to have had a tougher time of it than Woody Allen. His career has been littered with both worshipful praise for his movies, and the harsh criticism that often comes with the spotlight, and from his background of a strange love triangle, and a destroyed and separated family. To avoid lengthy discussion pertaining to  twenty year old scandals, or the painful details which compose them, it is suffice to say that Allen was harshly criticized in the 90s for ending his marriage with actress Mia Farrow, and beginning a relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, Farrow’s adopted daughter.

Allen has continued to make movies since that time in his life, many of which have been critically acclaimed, and nominated for Academy Awards. He has always been and will always be regarded as an expert filmmaker. This grace period did not last long, however, as more trouble descended on the large family (Farrow is mother to fifteen children). In Feb. 2014, when one of Mia Farrow’s children, then named Dylan, accused Allen of sexual abuse in an open letter to the New York Times. Allen responded quickly saying that the accusations were simply falsified by Dylan in conjunction with Mia Farrow.

Whether or not these claims are founded in any truth, it is likely that these family battles have embittered Allen, somewhat. From a movie standpoint, Allen has always produced his best work when he draws inspiration from his own neurotic mind. Classics like “Annie Hall” (1977) “Manhattan” (1979) and his more recent successes like “Midnight in Paris” (2011) and “Blue Jasmine” (2013) are all the great pieces of art that they are because their director took the time to put a part of his own personality in them.

The release of Allen’s latest movie, “Magic in the Moonlight” was small, and casual, without fanfare, and without much advertising either. It tells the story of a magician, (Colin Firth) and a psychic (Emma Stone) as he attempts to debunk her in the French Riviera. It is a simply plotted and pleasantly predictable chunk of the 1920’s, with all of the flappers, and romance, and cliché. Firth is, as always, blustering, brilliant, and very English, while Stone is, as always, girlish but spunky in a way that is purely American. What stands in the way of their chemistry is the fact that the two have an age difference of, drumroll please, 28 years.

“Magic in the Moonlight” is lush to look at, and dripping in pricey sets and costumes. It is a kind of bedtime story for the sentimental, with a soundtrack which includes what feels like eight to ten repeated renditions of Cole Porter’s “You Do Something to Me.” After about forty minutes of this, it begins to feel like you’re being punched in the face by the 1920’s over and over again. Eileen Atkins is a standout among the cast, as Firth’s elderly aunt, but can do little to save the overall mood of the movie, which is, in a word, “oversimplified.”

“Moonlight” is fun, yes, but it has no edge of any kind, and is made up of stiff dialogue, and cartoonish unrealism. We feel little for these characters, particularly when they have casual affairs behind the backs of  their spouses and fiances, a hugely popular plot point in Allen movies. There is an absence felt when it comes to the nervous, brilliant energy that floats in the black and white streets of Manhattan, or the midnight streets of Paris, in the milestones of Woody Allen’s career.

“Moonlight” is not a failure. It has the hallmarks of a fun, untaxing if ultimately forgettable movie. When Allen fails, and he has miserably failed in the past, it is because he refuses to draw from his own more brilliant half, from his own cynical and innovative side. That side is missing here, and the question to be raised is this: should we be asking for this unique energy back in Allen’s movies? Should we want to see them at all, considering the way many people feel about the twisted and war torn past that backdrops them? For a lot of people, it is difficult to divorce the movie from the man, and when the man is in question, as he is now, we might begin to feel ourselves turning away.

Whatever the case, Allen is a living testament that genius sometimes comes hand in hand with personal tragedy.

Peter Meineck’s lecture connects Greek theater with modern day warfare



Ancient Greek plays are among the oldest writings in all world literature. They have survived upwards of three millennia, for a variety of reasons. Circumstance, geographic location, and the significance of the author all affect their longevity in the literary consciousness of mankind. The Homeric epics today are the quintessential classical texts. Referenced in everything from movies to slam poetry, the Iliad and the Odyssey are among the best known pieces of writing in the world. Scholars have analyzed and theorized concerning almost every aspect of the texts, and the plays have been retold and repurposed many times and many ways over the intervening centuries. One of the more unique and recent uses for the Classics was the subject of a lecture here at Trinity. Given by Peter Meineck, a classics and theater professor at NYU, the talk concerned ancient warriors and modern veterans, seeing the emotional effects of war as discussed by the ancient Greeks and applying the experience of the ancients to the plight of today’s soldiers, helping them deal with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and other horrors of war.

Ancient Greek theater was a much more evocative experience than the text-heavy translations of high school and college classrooms sometimes suggest. Actors were always men, and military service was compulsory, so their depictions of warfare were very true-to-life. The Greek city-states, particularly Athens, were frequently at war, and events such as the Peloponnesian War served as a morbid source of inspiration for tragedies and epics alike. The stage became a forum where uncomfortable subjects such as the slaughter of soldiers, watching friends die, and the deaths of the innocent could be discussed.

Dionysus, a god strongly associated with theater, was known as the god of pushing limits, and he was strongly associated with Greek theater, especially in Athens.

That spirit was carried forth with aplomb by Greek tragedians, who created a raw, visceral experience onstage, an experience so evocative that the plays have survived upwards of three millennia. Intricately wrought masks were worn, so elaborate they can hardly be reproduced in the modern era.

These masks were crafted in such a way that they displayed multiple different emotions simultaneously, adding to the emotional ambiguity and confusion of the subject matter.

The plays resonated very strongly with everyone in the audience at the time, in that the men—“the average Joes” conscripted and sent to war—could relate to the violence of battle, while the women and children often experienced extraordinary brutality at the hands of the conquering forces, and in other cases had to deal with shattered husbands shaken to their cores by the horrors of what they had to do.

Thematically, the plays dealt with themes such as regret, guilt, pain, and anger felt by men fighting in war, subjects that are very topical in this day and age, given the recent discussions about the treatment of veterans, particularly in regard to their mental health upon returning from modern battlefields.

The opening word of the Iliad is “rage,” Eurypides’ Trojan Women depicts the abysmal treatment of refugees, and Sophocles’ Ajax deals with a mighty Greek warriors’ descent into madness and subsequent grief-filled suicide.

The pain expressed by Greek tragedians is poignant and difficult to read in many places, yet the fact that the texts can evoke an emotional reaction from an audience with such a different frame of reference is a testament to the text’s accurate portrayal of the human condition in war. Given the relevance that so many find that the classics have today, Peter Meineck decided to use the ancient Greeks’ experience to help modern veterans conceptualize their sufferings, and initiate a dialogue about the nature of war and the veterans themselves, particularly in the area of mental health.

The goal is to allow veterans to discuss their experiences and place themselves in the context of a warrior tradition, and to see that whatever their experience, they are not unique in the horrors they have witnessed.

This can help ease feelings of alienation that veterans feel; the feeling that no one in a civilian context can understand the terrifying dangers and horrific choices of war. The Greek classics allow the experience of war to become more pedestrian, and afford veterans an opportunity to contextualize their stories and the Greek tragedians can put into words things that seem inexpressible, giving a sense of camaraderie and understanding.

To facilitate this process, and to bring the relatively esoteric field of classical study to the veterans and families, Professor Meineck put his extensive theater experience to use, and alongside a group of actors and veterans he has been producing very professional and small-scale productions of some of the more relevant war-related Greek plays and taking them on tour, to public libraries and other venues nationwide, encouraging veterans to share their stories, and the public at large to engage in a meaningful dialogue about war and the toll it can take on the soldiers who survive. As a result, many veterans of many conflicts ranging from Iraq and Afghanistan to Vietnam and even the second world war came forward and shared their stories, many of whom felt at least somewhat relieved by the act of sharing their experiences.

Perhaps the most poignant story Professor Meineck heard was from a Vietnam veteran whose commanding officer gave an order to bomb a treeline from which US forces were being attacked.

The man complied, and assaulted the position in his helicopter, and returned safe to his base.

He learned later, however, that many children had died as a result of his actions.

The rage and remorse that he felt was so profound that he very nearly murdered the officer who passed down the order.

Only the intervention of his comrades prevented him from taking his superior’s life.

He identified very strongly with the story of Ajax, and found the performance of it compelling, to the point that he reached out to the officer.

The two met and have gradually become friends. This is just one of many examples of the kind of resolution that some veterans have found in Professor Meineck’s work.

Professor Meineck’s lecture was a fascinating look into the role that academia can play in the larger world.

The study of classics appears to many to be relatively esoteric, most definitely interesting but not terribly applicable to certain aspects of the modern world. What Professor Meineck proved beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the lessons and perspectives of the ancients can be enormously relevant to the modern person, and that the experience of the ancients can provide new viewpoints and catharsis for members of armed forces across the world, an invaluable service for soldiers young and old. It was enlightening to see the way in which an area of study can so profoundly affect positive change in the lives of people, and Trinity was truly lucky to have been given this insight.

Trinity College celebrates the life of Jack Chatfield ’64



On Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, the Celebration of Life ceremony for the beloved History Professor, John “Jack” Hastings Chatfield took place at 3:00 p.m. in the Trinity College Chapel.

Chatfield was born on July 20, 1942 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was part of the graduating class of Randolph Macon Academy in 1960. He later became part of the graduating class of Trinity College in 1964. He received his M.A. and PhD from Columbia University. He was the head of the history department at Watkinson School in West Hartford, Connecticut from 1970-1978. From 1987 until 2011, Chatfield was made a history professor at Trinity College. It was during his time here that he received several awards, which include the Hughes Award for Teaching Achievement in 1992 and the Brownell Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2002.

The service for him at the Chapel was filled with many of Chatfield’s friends, colleagues, and family members. The chapel was packed full, and by the time the celebration began, there were few available seats for any latecomers.

Throughout the celebration it was clear that Chatfield had a huge impact on all the people who had the privlege of knowing him.

Newly inaugurated President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said that Chatfield was a man of passion, and she called him an extraordinary member of Trinity College. She continued by saying that she was sure that, had she had a chance to know him, he would have inspired her as he inspired others.

Penny Patch was a friend of Chatfield. They partook in the Civil Rights Movement together. Patch met Chatfield in the fall of 1962. According to her, Chatfield was 19 and she was 18. They had met while doing a project with Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a group that had, by the time Chatfield joined, established a voter registration project in Albany, Georgia. Patch explained that during Chatfield’s first night on the job, he and the group that he was with were struck with three gunshots at the house that they were in.

The group had only just arrived at the job. Chatfield took two wounds to his arm and was the most injured from the incident. Patch said that during the time of the project, they learned that everything they had learned about American history turned out to be wrong.

Charley Todd ’64, spoke of Chatfield’s years as a teacher at Watkinson School. Chatfield was at Watkinson from 1971 to 1978. At the age of 28, Todd was given a job as Watkinson’s headmaster. Chatfield contacted him for a job, and Todd gave Chatfield and his wife, Barbara, jobs at the school. Todd said that he and Chatfield were classmates but didn’t know each other very well.

“While I attended frat, Jack was out on the frontline…doing what our generation had been called to do,” Todd said. Chatfield became the head of the history department at Watkinson. Todd said that Chatfield met students wherever he could. Furthermore Todd added “I don’t remember a single teacher who Jack couldn’t reach.” Todd continued by reading testimonials from former alumnus of Watkinson “From A Chicago entrepreneur: “Jack had one overwhelming being of wisdom which stood out to me then and still does today, questions, argue, challenge.” From a state department officer: “He taught me critical thinking…and gave me a great interest in history, politics…inspiring me to choose my career.” From a head of education from a high school in Alaska, “Jack was my favorite teacher and funny. He would write on the blackboard and continue writing on the bricks when he ran out of board…made history relevant.” From an African American artist, playwright and Civil Right Activist, “Chatfield challenged students to think for themselves…he was the most influential teacher I ever had.” From a CEO, “The role Jack played in shaping my life was profound. No one ever did more to motivate and inspire my mind and spirit…he somehow made me feel that my contribution would be significant.” Todd then closed by mentioning Chatfield’s gift of giving, not only in teaching but also in giving of friendships.”

Michael Lestz, class of ’68, Associate Professor of History at Trinity College, spoke about Chatfield’s time while he was at Trinity College. He began with regrets that he will no longer have the opportunity to see Chatfield on the long walk, in the hallways, and to have conversations with him. Lestz said that Chatfield taught an array of subject while he was at Trinity and also won many prizes. Lestz said that students often “majored in Chatfield.” He continued by saying that Chatfield made his students understand, never giving up on any of his students and always willing to motivate and help them. Lestz added that Chatfield’s students appreciated his caring spirit. He concluded by saying that Chatfield’s life was an inspired life.

Peter Friedman, Trinity class of ’94, was one of the students that majored in history with Chatfield. Friedman said that Chatfield’s life was spent with the capital “T” of trinity and lower case “t”, which were his written work, teaching and mentorship to students. According to Friedman, Chatfield’s uniform was a plaid jacket, a button down shirt and khaki pants. He added that Chatfield had careful attention to detail and incredible judgment.

“There was actually no method to his madness at all,” Friedman said. He added that Chatfield was gentle and soft-spoken outside of the classroom. Friedman said that Chatfield was moral but never self-righteous and was available. He said that Chatfield was the first adult to talk to him and others like an adult.

Friedman ended by comparing Chatfield to Trinity’s 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.”

“The mission might have well said: our mission is turn you into an army of Jack Chatfield because that mission signifies perfectly who he was,” Friedman said.

Mary Mahoney, Trinity College class of ’94 was also a student of Chatfields’. She had a class with Chatfield in fall 2007. She described that during her first lecture with him, he strode into class two minutes before the class with a smile and when the class began, he spoke softly at first about his expectations for the class. However, his voice held more passion as he continued with his lecture. She said that he rarely consulted his notes and many of the students perked up as they listened to him.

Mahoney’s friendship with Chatfield began after receiving a note from him on her test that she should introduce herself. She said that she and Chatfield bonded over their health issues. Mahoney added that she held him in highest regards and that Chatfield never complained about what he was going through although he had cause to. She continued that Chatfield always showed up to class with a smile and was compassionate with his students.

During the celebration of life, Chatfield’s granddaughter, Zoe Chatfield sang a song that she composed called “Beautiful World.” Other musical selections during the program were “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and “We Shall Overcome.”

The Celebration of Life ended with Trinity College Chaplain, Allison Reed. “[Jack Chatfield] was a man of big dreams, who inspired others people to believe and have big dreams and to live those dreams out loud,” Reed said. “It is my hope …that what the Chatfield family hears us doing is echoing that hope, that dream that we heard from your husband, your father, your grandfather, that hope for justice and for morals, that desire, that ability to dream out loud. The faith, that love could overcome the fear. We have a great field of appreciation for Jack Chatfield…we hope that you know through today that we carry his spirit, his inspiration, his dream, and his willingness to teach and live out loud into the future of the college.”

Chatfield leaves behind his wife, Barbara Chatfield, children, Jonathan and Julia, son-in-law, Nir Levy and grandchildren, Zoe and Anya Chatfield and Mason Levy and sister, Lora Chatfield. He was a big inspiration to all who knew him. Trinity has truly lost one of its very best.

Once again our condolences go out to the Chatfield family.

Homecoming 2014, an event-filled and fun weekend



One of the most exciting and energetic times of the year with many different events being hosted on campus throughout the two-day period. Alumni return every year to reunite with their classmates, and the campus comes to life with tailgates and music. This past weekend was no different, and in combination with Halloween festivities, homecoming brought excitement everywhere around campus.

One of the first events of the weekend was the Trinity football game that was held early Saturday afternoon.  Students and alumni gathered to tailgate, share music and food, and watch the Bantams play the Amherst Lord Jeffs. Although the cold and rainy weather resulted in the gathering of a smaller crowd than previous years, many students, families, and alumni endured through the inclement weather to support Trinity College in the game. Maggie Elias ’17, who was a part of the Trinity fan section at the game, captured the atmosphere perfectly. “Despite a dreary and cold day, plenty of students, alumni, families, and fans came out and cheered on the Bantams,” she said. “It was a tough loss to watch, but the support didn’t end! It was great to see all of the alumni and enjoy homecoming weekend!” The Bantams competed throughout the difficult game, but in the end suffered a tough loss by a single point to Amherst.

In another area of campus on Saturday afternoon, Jazz Pianist Michael Carabello was hosted in the Underground Coffeehouse. Michael, a student at the University of Hartford Music School, performed beautiful pieces at the lounge transforming it into a peaceful venue for Trinity students and alumni. The event gave members of the Trinity community a chance to relax and listen to captivating and entertaining music while sharing an afternoon cup of coffee.

To close out the weekend, the Imani and Trinity College Black Women’s Organizations in collaboration held an Undergraduate and Alumni Panel networking reception in Vernon Social titled “Bantam See Bantam Do!” on Saturday night. This event covered the forty-year evolution of the Imani Organization and its mission to unify all of its members on campus, and the history of the Trinity College Black Women’s Organization that was founded in the early 1970’s to serve the interests of African American females at the college. Next in the agenda, alumni members of the panel were introduced to students at the event, and the opportunity for a question and answer session was presented.  Finally, students were given the opportunity to connect and network with the alumni present at the panel. “Bantam See Bantam do!” was an event that brought together current students and members of the Imani and TCBWO organizations with alumni, and concluded the weekend in an informative manner.

As homecoming weekend passed again this year, it brought unity, happiness, and excitement once again to the Trinity College community. Homecoming will always be a special time of year, and one that is different from any other. This year, celebrations of a newly inaugurated President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, the Reunion of the Class of 1963, and various other events made it unique. Although poor weather and frigid temperatures made the outdoors unwelcoming, the Trinity College community still embodied the spirit and joy of homecoming weekend.

TCBWO hosts roundtable discussion with Berger-Sweeney

Kendall Mitchell `17


Many members of the Trinity community have been discussing the whirlwind of excitement that is the inauguration of the College’s first female and African-American president, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, which took place on Oct. 26, 2014.  From seeing positive Facebook updates to selfies promoting the hashtag “#JBS22” to celebrate the arrival of Trinity’s twenty-second president, people have noticed the inviting atmosphere around campus that her fresh leadership has created.

At the Trinity College Black Women’s Organization’s (TCBWO) “Roundtable with the President,” on Oct. 30, President Berger-Sweeney noticed the same excitement for her arrival throughout the community.

When asked if she felt welcomed at Trinity, President Berger-Sweeney said, “Never before have I felt so welcomed at an institution.  Throughout the day, students ask me how my transition to Trinity has been.  It’s a great feeling to know that others are as excited for me to be here as I am.”

TCBWO hosted the Roundtable with President in order to give attendees the opportunity to learn more about President Berger-Sweeney and her goals for the next few years.  It is apparent that the president has a strong idea of what is needed to lead a top institution after serving as the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, and also as a nineteen-year associate faculty and dean of her alma mater, Wellesley College.

Whenever you see Dr. Berger-Sweeney around campus, you are always greeted with conversation and a smile.  Her transition to Trinity seems nothing less than effortless, so people were surprised to hear her speak about the one difficulty she has faced in her time so far at Trinity.  President Berger-Sweeney said one of the most difficult parts about her move to Hartford was that for the first time, her immediate family is not residing in the same home.  Clara, the president’s seventeen-year-old daughter, is a senior in high school, so due to college applications and the festivities of senior year, she will continue to reside in Massachusetts along with her father, Dr. Urs V. Berger.  Dr. Berger-Sweeney’s fourteen-year-old son, Tommy relocated with his mother to Hartford and he is currently enjoying his first semester at Trinity Academy. Dr. Berger-Sweeney is grateful for weekend family time, and she also spoke on the fond memories they shared this summer, while experiencing everything they could in Hartford.

TCBWO’s Roundtable Discussion with the President was set up so that students were able to submit questions in advance, or to simply stand and ask any questions that they thought of.  One of the first questions asked was about her vision for student organizations on campus.  Dr. Berger-Sweeney expressed her desire for students to want to engage in extra-curricular activities at Trinity.  The president showed her support for any activities that Trinity students would like to participate in when she said: “When smart students engage, good things happen.  I am a big believer in participatory democracies.”  She went on to say that she is aware that many students feel as though they do not have a voice at Trinity, so her goal is to motivate students to break out of their comfort zones and to try new things.

A question that many people were eager to hear the answer concerned further information on Dr. Berger-Sweeney’s financial goals for the institution. Many audience members were happy to hear Dr. Berger-Sweeney say that her number one financial priority was to provide more need-based financial aid opportunities for students.  In an economy where the interest rate for student loans remains fixed at 4.66%, it was quite refreshing to see that Dr. Berger-Sweeney is pushing for more funding to be allocated toward need-based scholarship opportunities for students.

Taniqua Huguley ’15, asked Dr. Berger-Sweeney for advice for young women entering the work force. Many left the event feeling inspired when Dr. Berger-Sweeney simply stated: “You can be anything you want to be.”  She accredited her mother for instilling a sense of confidence within her, as she described her early memories of her mother reminding her daily that the world was her oyster.  The president went on to say, “I hope that you have someone in your life that says you can be anything you want to be.  If you do not, I speak for myself, along with my faculty members, that we are here to assume that role for you.”

Although the event has passed, many have continued to hear positive feedback about TCBWO’s event, and how attendees are grateful to have had the chance to speak with Dr. Berger-Sweeney on such an intimate level.  Overall, TCBWO’s Roundtable Event with the President served as a great way for the community to create a connection with the president that many know will only deepen as time passes.

Halloween raises issues regarding cultural appropriation



The weekend routines of many Trinity students typically results in a moment of temporary amnesia in which we forget the stress of the impeding piles of homework that sit in our backpacks or the balancing game of deadlines, rehearsals, and sports practices.  Yet the ritual of slipping into a Halloween costume enables us to shed our inhibitions to an even greater degree.  Simply mentioning “Halloweekend” to a peer often sparks a lengthy conversation regarding which ensemble he or she will don in celebration. However, we often fail to acknowledge the issue of cultural appropriation when we dress up as someone or something else.

The extensive definition of cultural appropriation is often streamlined into the practice of one group stealing another group’s cultures and traditions. Susan Scafidi, author of “Who Owns Culture: Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law,” states that it is “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”  Racially identified whites are often subjugated as the most common perpetrators of this act.

A stranger once accused me of cultural appropriation because my friend photoshopped a picture of me in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume into a “It’s A Culture, Not a Costume” campaign poster.  For those individuals unfamiliar with the campaign, it started when Ohio University’s Students Teaching About Racism in Society group created posters to raise a debate about reducing customs to caricatures of cultural conventions.  Each poster features a student holding a picture of an ethnic or racial stereotype, while the caption, “I’m a culture, not a costume,” floats above their head.  Geishas, illegal immigrants, terrorists, nuns, priests, and “Ghetto Fab” compose some of the more recognizable images.  The photoshopped image consisted of me dressed as the ninja turtle holding a picture of an actual turtle. The image was intended to be a satire because students in my dorm last year were laughing at the actual posters my RA placed on a bulletin board.  Rather than laughing at images that display legitimate cultural appropriation, my friend and I thought directing their humor to an image that was actually laughable would be a good solution.

This individual who confronted us about the photo wrote a letter that started “Dear White People,” and continued to say that we were making fun of minorities troubles and promoting racism from our position of white privilege. I felt terrible that an image my friend and I intended to bring light to the issue of cultural appropriation resulted in isolating someone. We had no intention of offending anyone and ironically enough my friend who photoshopped the poster is an immigrant from Vietnam and my RA who approved of the poster identifies as Latina. Yet the individual who made the accusation made an assumption that I identify as a white and that I come from a place of privilege and economic entitlement solely because of my light skin color. He has never seen my mother’s deep olive skin, does not know my religion, and he certainly is unaware of any adversity and economic hardships that I have faced. By assuming my privilege, he participated in the creation of a stereotype.

The debate of cultural appropriation has restructured the way in which people interact. We tend to get angry wheneven majorities imitate something that minorities do. Yet in doing this, we also erase the ability to push our society forward.  Why is it that Misty Copeland, one of the preeminent African American ballerinas, is hailed as breaking racial barriers when she dances ballet, but my white friend is berated by others for “trying be black” when she dances hip hop?

My problem with the discussion of cultural appropriation is that there is an immense difference between playing into offensive stereotypes and physically stealing a culture. As someone who has personally seen white privilege in effect because of my skin color, I must passively tiptoe around the territory of whatever is considered offensive. I recognize that if somebody is genuinely offended by something, than others need to respect that. Period.  I certainly realize that I have almost little to no experience with being the victim of racism. Yet I also vehemently believe that when people presume ownership over cultural symbols, which is a romanticized conservative attitude, they are fated to face the pedagogy of culture challenging these conceptions. Borrowing from cultures does not need to result in insulting them, and we need a forum to discuss this problem, but Halloween is not the time to question whether your Native American headdress or Indian bindi and sari is a form of appropriation.  Ultimately, we must moderate how we present images and symbols in public spaces so we do not mock or isolate any culture; Halloween costumes are merely one example of this.


School shooting calls attention to gun control policies



I was recently talking to someone about the show “One Tree Hill.” We discussed one episode in particular from the third season. That episode was called “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept.” Out of all nine seasons of the show, it is this one that has stayed with me since the first time I saw it. Even when I watch re-runs, this is the episode that always manages to leave me sad, shocked, and confused. I remain confused because I am unable to understand what could make a young person decide to walk into their school with a firearm in order to cause harm to others. What makes it even harder to comprehend is how often it happens in real life. For example, the shooting that took place on Oct. 24 at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state.

After texting his friends to sit with him in the cafeteria, fifteen year old student, Jaylen Fryberg, started shooting others before ending his own life.

Fourteen-year-old Zoe Galasso died at the school while four other students were transported to the hospital. Sadly, fourteen year old Gia Soriano passed away last Sunday and this past Friday, one of the other students, Shaylee Chuckulnaskit who was also fourteen died as well. At this time, Nate Hatch and Andrew Fryberg remain at the hospital. Andrew is in critical condition while Nate is in stable condition. So now the question becomes what drove Jaylen Fryberg to go to school on Oct. 24 with a gun and start shooting not only his classmates, but his family as well. Two of the victims were his cousins.

So far, what I know is that Jaylen Fryberg’s family is a part of the Native American Tulalip tribe. As it turns out, most of his victims were Native American too. Jaylen was also a football player, a wrestler, and had recently been named a homecoming prince. It appears he was a popular student, one with many friends, but there is still the question of what made him turn on his friends that fateful Friday afternoon? Sadly, it is unclear if there will ever be an adequate answer. An answer that can explain why these four teenagers died and two of them are still in the hospital?

I don’t know and that is why I think back to that episode of “One Tree Hill.” In that case, the shooter was bullied, he was rejected from the only college he wanted to go to, and he came from a broken home and even then, I still remain sad, shocked, and confused just as I feel when I read about the shooting that took place at Washington State High School; just as I feel when I read about other school shootings that have taken place in America.

These students were about to embark on the next chapter of their lives. They were about to begin high school and then would be able to graduate and make their own mark on the world.

And now, with their deaths, that opportunity is gone. What about their parents and the sorrow that fills their hearts and the pain of knowing that they will never be able to see their child grow up. And what about Jaylen’s parents; they did not just lose a son, but are also burdened with the knowledge that their son took the lives of others. They may never know where his descent began, when he started contemplating bringing a gun into the school and whether it was planned out or a decision made in the heat of the moment. Some accounts state that he was mad when a girl he liked rejected him and that said girl was one of his victims. If that is indeed what happened, I am unsure of how to respond.

When parents send their children to school, it is with the expectation that they will be safe and that no longer seems to be the case. How many times during the year does someone turn on the T.V. to learn about another shooting? To learn that someone who is still so young made that decision to kill someone?

But the worst part, I think, is the fact that even with all of these shootings people still continue to support the right to bear arms.

I understand the need to protect oneself and that having a firearm can be comforting, but what is comforting about all the lives that have been lost? Is having a weapon really worth it? For me, I say no. I say that too many lives have been lost already and that it should stop by limiting firearms. As I grow older, I am fearful of being a parent and one day receiving that call that something happened to my child while at school.

Corporations exploit social justice movements for profit



Recently, the clothing brand FCKH8 created a viral video where a group of young multi-racial girls dressed as princesses swear at the camera while delivering facts about the struggles of gender inequality which women face in America. The idea behind the video is to question which society should find more offensive: swears, or sobering statistics? “Stop telling girls how to dress and start teaching boys not to f–ing rape,” states one. “F–k that sexist s–t,” says another, before adding, “!” This product placement is crucial. FCKH8 is a for-profit t-shirt company owned by Synergy Media, a corporate branding studio that specializes in marketing. What does it mean for the future of social justice movements when this is the kind of organization that sees value in hopping on the bandwagon of pop-feminism?

Personally, I don’t find little girls swearing to be offensive. What I do find offensive is little girls swearing because it’s in a script written for them by a marketing department for a company’s profit under the guise of social justice. FCKH8 donates 5% of their profits to charity. However, given that this is their profit, not their revenue, this is barely skimming the resources people put into buying their clothing. That means the money could have better spent almost anywhere else if one is determined to use their capital to support feminism, or another of the myriad social movements that FCKH8 has branded, packaged, and priced as t-shirts. The slogans used on the t-shirts have also been appropriated/stolen from other feminist organizations. For example, the idea for shirts with the slogan, “this is what a feminist looks like,” has been stolen from the Feminist Majority Foundation since the 1990’s.

The organization also has a history of not recognizing marginalized identities beyond LGB. Their larger corporate body, Synergy Media, has been known to sell a variety of racist/sexist t-shirts in their other branches, and progressive charities like Race Forward have declined funding from FCKH8 in the past because they are so problematic. This pushback from social justice non-profits is an attempt to show that money is not the end-all be-all of activism, and the pursuit of and need for it can actively harm a movement.

In post-industrial capitalist America, there is an interesting phenomenon where once a social movement reaches a critical mass, it actually benefits exploitative companies to hop on board. Dove’s recent body image campaign is an example. As a for-profit entity, they hopped onto the feminism bandwagon as soon as their marketing department determined it was large enough to be profitable, and portrayed feminist ideals in their commercials in a way that benefits Dove.  ‘All bodies are beautiful,’ they seem to say in the ads. However this message comes with another implicit meaning that this is true, ‘but only with the Dove products which are necessary to maintain that beauty.’ It’s ok to feel good about your body, as long as that means continuing to purchase and be loyal to Dove products. FCKH8 sources their t-shirts from China, where they were most likely sewn together by child laborers, a majority of them girls who are kept out of school to be exploited by multinational corporations. In all likelihood, supporting, or even remaining neutral to this system is far worse for women on the whole than any marginal benefits the t-shirt sales produce.

The new FCKH8 campaign is emblematic of problems in mainstream feminism as a whole. The notion that awareness, the support of corporations, or the potential for profit is superior to being able to support social justice causes without the need to stay marketable is flawed and overall detrimental. This may be one of the reasons the organization neglects the rights and voices of transgender and transsexual people. This movement hasn’t yet reached the critical mass that the LGB movement has to where people can gain social capital by wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a related slogan. Whatever money FCKH8 put towards helpful causes is a miniscule percentage of their revenue and is gained at the expense of the exploitation of little girls, both of those in sweatshops and those in the princess outfits who were told to recite a script about concepts they don’t meaningfully understand yet. Even if money was the best way to contribute to the fight for gender equality, far more money would go towards women’s rights organizations, instead of Synergy Media’s pockets, if people would donate directly, or buy these t-shirts from the grassroots organizations that have been producing them since before feminism became a marketing tactic.


Midterm elections highlight lack of student involvement



On Nov. 4, Americans nationwide will head to the polls to take part in deciding the political landscape of the United States of America. Their votes will help to determine which policies will remain in America’s past, and what might be in store for her future. Issues range from the economy to immigration policies, to women’s reproductive rights and gun control. Numerous variables are at play, and the key to how the election results will shake out is in the hands of the voters.

During this fall, campaign commercials aired with numerous spins to try and attract certain voters. Various advertisements were aimed at different demographics, namely women and minorities. However, one key group was almost entirely bypassed on the campaign trail: students. As the youngest individuals eligible to vote and the people freshest on the political scene, politicians are missing a massive opportunity to appeal to those who are in the process of just beginning to form their opinions and decisions about which political party or politicians best matches their own interests, beliefs, and ideals with regards to the politics of the United States.

Though it may not appear this way, the most hotly contested issues up for debate in this year’s midterm elections have a direct impact on students today. The immigration policies put into place and endorsed by the people who are elected on Nov. 4 will have a major effect on the job market when many college students graduate and are searching for a first job. The decisions made about contraception and abortion laws will play a major role in the way students may or may not decide to start families, and how they will approach such decisions. People hear countless battle cries during election season that the people making decisions in Washington, D.C. are out of touch with the people they represent. Many believe that this election cycle will be the one where the common man and woman will take back the nation for those to whom she is sovereign.

Well, that simply will not happen if students fail to be a presence at the polls. Student presence at the polls and in politics in general is dismally low, especially considering that the elections affect them directly, and in numerous ways. The only way to gain respect for students as a key demographic as well as assure that the student voice is heard is to be active participants in as many ways as possible.

Trinity College has already taken strides to do just that by supporting the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group’s (ConnPIRG) initiative to register 150 student voters by the midterm elections’ registration deadline in Connecticut, which fell on Oct. 21. The group exceeded their goal, but there is still more work to do. What good are student voters if they are not actively exercising their newly eligible right to have a say in the goings on of the American government? Each of those individuals who registered means nothing if they do not go to the polling station on Vernon Street to cast their ballots.

Voter registration also does not end with the deadline. Anyone wishing to participate in elections at home has a civic duty and moral obligation to do so and be an active member of the American community. Any and all students who turn 18 after the deadline can register easily online or at home during a school break. Anyone who is 18 but registered at home should be applying for an absentee ballot to mail in rather than completely missing the chance to share their opinions. There are many opportunities out there for students to be engaged— they just need to take them.

Perhaps most important in solving the issue of a lack of student presence at the polls is awareness. Numerous Trinity students were completely unaware of the fact that midterm elections were quickly approaching. Some have no idea what their significance is. Is this a problem? Sure, but not one without a solution. Read a newspaper article once in a while, sign up for The Skimm (, follow a few news sources on Twitter, read up on the politics of your hometown and do a little research on the candidates running in your districts. Most importantly, ask questions. The more one discovers about the daily happenings of the United States, the more one feels motivated to try to change and improve the nation he or she calls home. Registering to vote will no longer be a chore that parents call to remind you to do. It will feel like a necessity, something that is not an option but a responsibility needing fulfillment. That feeling is accurate, and should be addressed.

Students, mail in your absentee ballots and go out to the polls this election day. Be a presence and a force to be reckoned with. Each and every vote really does count, and the vote of a student carries with it the weight of the rest of one’s life in the adult world. Share that weight with Washington, and things will change.


Field hockey defeats Williams in NESCAC quarterfinals



Despite another tough loss on the Football field, the Trinity College Field Hockey team triumphed over Williams in the NESCAC quarterfinals on Nov. 1 .  The 4-1 win was the sixth win a row for the Bantams, putting them at an over all record of 13-3 and a conference record of 8-2.  One of the two in conference losses for the Trinity squad was to Williams 2-1 early in the season. Since then the Bantams have shown significant growth with key wins against Bowdoin, Amherst and Tufts.

Forward Kelcie Finn ’18 recorded her sixth hat trick of the season to lead the third-seeded Trinity College field hockey team past the sixth-seeded Williams,  The team’s 13 wins marks the highest win total for the Bantams since their 2009 campaign and is the Bantams first post season win since 2011.  Trinity goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick ’16 turned aside seven of the eight shots she faced to earn the victory. On the opposite end, Margaret Draper made three saves in a losing effort for Williams.

Trinity forward Kelcie Finn’18 goal broke open a scoreless game with a pair of goals 21 seconds apart midway through the first half. The first goal came 16 minutes in when forward Olivia Tapsall ‘16 fired a shot toward goal that Williams goalie Maggie Draper managed to tip, but it was quickly knocked in by Finn.  On the following possession, the Bantams got the ball back and Finn raced past the Ephs backline and scored her second of the match.  Three minutes later, Finn struck again, registering an unassisted tally, her 26th goal of the season to earn her a new single-season program record with 62 points. Late in the half, Samantha Sandler ‘17 added to the Trinity lead, scoring on a penalty stroke as the Bantams entered halftime with a 4-0 advantage.

In the second half, Williams midfielder Hannah Goodrick brought the Ephs within three with her second goal of 2014 as senior forward Caitlin Conlon recorded her team-best fifth assist. Goodrick’s marker would prove to be the final goal of the game as Trinity held on in, rainy conditions, to advance to the NESCAC Championship Tournament Semifinals. Each team took 12 shots and the Bantams took eight penalty corners to Williams’ two.

Trinity returns to action next weekend, Nov. 8, squaring off against second-seeded Middlebury at 1:30 p.m. at Ryan Field on Bowdoin’s campus. The Bantams look to avenge a 1-0 defeat to the Panthers earlier this season.  Middlebury is one of the two team in the NESCAC that Trinity has fell to this year.  The Bantams have already beaten one and are poised to continue their winning streak. Both Trinity and Middlebury are top 10 teams in the country.  While not wanting to jinx the Bantam’s performance for this weekend it must be noted that the Bantams core team will not be graduating this year, so regardless of this years outcome, the Bantams will be sure to come back even stronger next year, powered by a strong underclassman contingent, supplemented by new-recruits eager to become a part of a Trinity team that has had so much success this season.

Trinity rowing teams conclude succesful fall seasons



This fall, both the Trinity College men and women’s crew teams have competed in several races, ranging from New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) races to regional and national events.  Unlike the majority of athletics at Trinity, the Bantam crew teams face a much wider pool of competitors, including a large number of Division I schools, such as the University of Connecticut, Princeton, Boston University and Yale.

On Oct. 5, both teams opened their season at the Head of the Riverfront Regatta, held in East Hartford on the Connecticut River.  The women’s varsity eight posted a second place finish with a time of 14:29.75.  They finished just a second behind the Division I University of Connecticut Huskies.  The women’s second boat finished in fifth with a time of 15:19.85.  Trinity’s novice eight boat finished behind Connecticut with a time of 16:54.97 in a two boat race.  The Bantams had two boats compete in the college fours race and finished in second and third place.

The same day, the Trinity men’s first varsity eight boat won their race with a time of 12:55.11, followed by the second Bantam boat at 13:49.41 in second place and the Huskies in third with a time of 14:17.67.  The men’s fours race boats finished behind Connecticut by just over 20 seconds.

Weeks later, on Oct. 9, the Bantam rowing teams competed in the famous Head of the Charles Regatta on the Charles River in Cambridge, MA.  The men’s varsity eight came in ninth place with a time of 15:46.855.  Michigan crew won the race with a time of 14:14.733.  Trinity finished 17th out of 44 boats in the men’s fours race with a time of 17:20.614.

Trinity’s women’s team had an impressive performance at the Head of the Charles as their varsity eight finished 2nd out of 30 boats, recording a time of 17:27.371, just seconds behind Bates who finished with a time of 17:25.603.  Trinity also placed 4th in the collegiate fours race with a time of 18:59.572.

On Oct. 26, the men’s squad traveled to Princeton, NJ to compete in the Princeton Chase on Carnegie Lake.  The men’s varsity eight placed 43rd out of 63 boats with a time of 14:13.165.  The other two Trinity boats finished 57th and 62nd with respective times of 14:46.752 and 15:53.947 in the same three-mile race.  Princeton won the race, clocking in at 12:48.916.

As for the Women’s team, they concluded their fall racing season on Oct. 25 in Philadelphia, PA at the Head of the Schuylkill. The varsity eight finished 2nd out of 19 boats with a time of 14:27.52, just behind Navy with a time of 14:19.48.  In the novice fours race, Trinity placed 4th and 13th.

“The fall season is much shorter than the spring season, when NCAA’s take place.” Veteran rower Georgia Wetmore ’15 explained. “Everything we worked on in the fall and our training throughout the winter is all in preparation for the NCAA Championship, which will take place in Sacramento, CA next May.”

Despite losing 16 seniors from the team’s 2014 National Championship crew, the team is looking towards the performance and improvement of several promising freshmen and returning sophomores.  Led by the 2014 Row2k national collegiate coach of the year, Wes Ng, the Bantams hope to continue their winning tradition following a productive off season.

Trinity men and women’s soccer concludes 2014 season



Both the men and women’s soccer teams had a rough homecoming week, with both teams falling to their opponents during their final games of the season.

The men’s team suffered a tough 4-3 loss to Amherst. The Lord Jeffs scored on Trinity early in the game with a goal by Nico Pasqual-Leone.  Trinity co-captain Tim Shea ’15 was able to capitalize on a scoring chance 10 minutes later as he got a shot passed the Amherst goalkeeper.  Shea’s goal earned him a team leading eight goals on the season.

Unfortunately, the Bantams gave up two more goals in the first half as Christopher Martin and Andrew Orozco also found the back of the net for Amherst.  An early Amherst goal in the second half proved to be all the Lord Jeffs would need despite the fact that Trinity’s Tobias Gimand ’17 was able to record his first multiple goal game, as he scored two goals over the course of the second half.

Earlier in the week, the men’s team also conceded a 1-0 loss to Connecticut College at home earlier in the week. While Bantam goalkeeper Mateo Zabala was able to make four saves against Conn, the defense was unable to stop Camel forward Dillion Kerr from scoring an 80th minute goal to clinch the win for Connecticut College. The men’s team has wrapped up their season with a winning record of 7-6-2, but was eliminated from playoff contention.

The women’s team experienced both highs and lows this week as they recorded a tight regular season win and a tough loss in the playoffs. Their win came on Oct. 28 against Amherst in a 1-0, double overtime away victory.  Both teams struggled to convert offensive opportunities during regulation time, to the extent that Trinity forward Karyn Barret ’15 was the only Bantam to take a shot in the first half.  While Amherst had sixteen shots over Trinity’s total of thirteen, Bantam goalkeeper Monica DiFiori ’16 was able to stop all seven shots on goal. This gave DiFiori her seventh shutout of the season, making it the second most for a goalkeeper in the history of the women’s soccer program at Trinity. This also gave forward Elisa Dolan ’15 enough time to score off a corner in the 103rd minute, advancing the team to the NESCAC Tournament.

Unfortunately for the Bantams, the team lost their quarterfinal playoff game to Connecticut College in a 3-0 decision at Connecticut. While numerous Bantams were able to get shots on goal, Camel goalkeeper Bryanna Montalvo managed to keep them at bay. Connecticut College proceeded to capitalize 3 of their 18 shots despite DiFiori’s five saves.  After being knocked out of the playoffs, Trinity has concluded their season with a winning record of 8-7-1.  Connecticut College  will face Bowdoin next weekend in the NESCAC semifinals.

Trinity Bantam athlete of the week: Joe Diaz ’15



With a winning record of 5-2, the Trinity College Football team is looking to finish its season strong. The team has been characterized by its punishing defense, and one of the many contributors to their current success is cornerback Joe Diaz ’15. A native of Monroe, Connecticut, Diaz has used his athleticism and skill to shut down receivers and opposing offenses in their attempts to best the Bantams. Thanks to his help, the Bantam defense has been able to accumulate 408 total tackles.

While professional athletes serve as inspiration for many young athletes, Diaz was drawn to sports by something more personal.

“I never really had a connection to a professional athlete, it was my family that pushed me to sports at an early age.” Diaz said. “My sister cheerleads at Quinnipiac and my older cousin played baseball in the Houston Astros organization so growing up everything was extremely competitive. I think that was very important for me when trying to adjust to the college level. But I was very lucky to have a lot of people supporting me.” This support has certainly helped Diaz to perform at the top of his game.

Diaz honed his skills while playing for Masuk High School. “My high school football experience was incredibly helpful in preparing me for college football. Playing at Masuk was extremely competitive and we were very successful.” Said Diaz. “The thing I love about Trinity is that we expect to win every game. It is always more fun to be a part of a confident team.”

After he helped Masuk to win a state championship his junior year, Diaz carried his skill over to the Bantams. In this season alone, the Bantams defense has only given up 51 total points through seven games, with one of them being a 38-0 blowout against Williams.

Diaz has enjoyed much of his career at Trinity. In particular, Diaz remembers the Bantam’s 2012 run, in which they went undefeated and earned the NESCAC Championship, as one of his favorite moments. “Beating Wesleyan to go undefeated two years ago was one of the coolest things that I have ever been a part of.” Diaz said. “It’s a tough league, so winning a championship is a great feeling.”

The league certainly is a tough one. In particular, Trinity has had many close games with teams such as Amherst, Middlebury, and even Wesleyan in recent years. However, as the Bantams look to finish their season with a win, Diaz feels confident in his teammates and has enjoyed his senior year. “This season has been fun. It has been easy to go out to practice every day and that makes the season so much more enjoyable. The guys are focused and we just want to win another championship.” Diaz explained.  “I love playing at Trinity.  This team has a bunch of great guys and it has been an awesome four years.”

As Diaz prepares for his last game as a Trinity Bantam, he hopes to perform to the best of his ability in order to help his team win.

The Trinity College football Team’s season is about to wrap up with a final game against rival Wesleyan University. The Bantams will travel to Middletown, CT on November 8th in hopes of continuing their winning streak against the Cardinals.

The Investment Club maintains its tradition of excellence



Trinity College has a well-known reputation of producing many successful financiers, but what is less known is the role that the Investment Club plays in this tradition. Trinity is home to one of the oldest investment clubs in the NESCAC founded in the 1960s, compared to many other NESCAC schools’ clubs founded in the last 10 to 15 years. There are approximately 40 student members, all of whom are aspiring financiers and novices alike, that are charged with working together to manage an investment portfolio of approximately $360,000 with the oversight of advisor Paul Mutone, who manages Trinity’s endowment fund.

Over the past 50 years the club has successfully expanded the small grant they received upon inception, which is a fraction of the current portfolio, to be comfortably separated into six different sectors.

While Trinity’s Investment Club has always operated with real capital, many other colleges’ clubs still simulate investments with paper portfolios or function with strict limitations, making these Trinity students’ experience a unique one. The club’s president, Georgios Papadeas ’15, stresses that while the club aims to make money and takes their responsibility seriously, they aren’t hung up on the possibility of error. “You might make mistakes, you might lose money, but it’s okay because it’s a learning experience.” Papadeas says that when he joined the club as a freshman he didn’t know much about investments, but through his involvement in the club he gained the skills necessary to succeed in a variety of internships in the financial arena.

To allow for the best learning experience while still safeguarding their funds, more experienced upperclassmen manage investments as sector heads while members who are still learning the ropes follow along to get exposure to the behind-the-scenes work that goes into picking investments. Sectors in which the club invests include alternative energy, technology, metals & mining, and healthcare. When asked about the club’s investment style, Papadeas said that it can vary among different sector heads, but overall the club aims to beat the S&P index while minimizing volatility with low-risk investments.

The club, which meets every Monday at 9:30 pm, starts off its meetings with brief reports given by the six sector heads on market changes and investment updates, providing some common informational ground for all members. Members also propose new investment opportunities to the club or recommend sales from the current portfolio. When meetings aren’t taken up by proposals, the club also offers various educational sessions for its members.

Doing research on investments has recently become easier and more advanced with the addition of the Financial Research and Technology Center in Raether Library: the home of eleven Bloomberg terminals. These terminals enable students to access real-time updates on the stock market, do research, and make trades. Once members become familiar with investing, many go on to participate in the Wall Street Prep program the Career Development Office has held over Trinity Days for the past three years. Participation in this program and the club has proven very useful for members interviewing for internships and jobs.

With a constantly evolving portfolio, improved technology, and large membership, the Investment Club is successfully continuing a Trinity College tradition.

David D. Kirkpatrick receives prize in journalism



On Wednesday, Oct. 29, I had the pleasure to attend a lecture given by David D. Kirkpatrick of the New York Times. The occasion for his talk was his receipt of the Moses E. Berkman Class of 1920 Memorial Journalism Award, which is given every two years in recognition of exceptional reporting.

Professor Mark Silk, director of the Trinity College Program on Public Values, (comprising of both the Greenberg Center and the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture) introduced Kirkpatrick to a packed room of students and professors.  Professor Silk hit the high points of Kirkpatrick’s career to date, before the journalist himself took the podium to deliver his talk, “From Baghdad to Benghazi, Covering Political Islam for the New York Times.”

Graduating from Princeton with a BA in History and American Studies, Kirkpatrick’s career began in the mail room of the New Yorker magazine, before he moved up to become a fact checker. Silk noted that Kirkpatrick’s career, like characters of Horatio Alger’s novels, “has been profoundly marked by both luck and pluck,” as he became a research assistant for prominent Wall Street Journal editor James B. Stewart, and was able to capitalize on this association to return to the Journal after earning his master’s degree in American Studies from Yale. Assigned to cover Commercial Real Estate, Kirkpatrick showed a budding talent for investigative journalism from successful pursuit of initially unassuming leads.

While still working at the Journal, Kirkpatrick was engaged in freelance writing and became aware that the New York Times was looking for someone to cover the publishing world. Joining the Times in 2000, Kirkpatrick discovered the world of evangelical publishing which was very little recognized outside relevant circles, but his stories proved so engaging and well-researched that when the Times created a beat covering conservative movements related to religion, politics, business, media, and public policy, they assigned Kirkpatrick. According to Silk, “Six of his first twenty stories ran on page one…[in which he] took his sources seriously…[allowing them] to explain their ideas and values so that others might understand them.” This engagement with sources on the ground and comparative study to obtain the fullest possible picture is what still characterizes and elevates Kirkpatrick’s work to excellence today.

Kirkpatrick worked at the Washington Bureau of the Times covering money and politics, before being appointed to Cairo bureau chief, his present position, and arriving in Egypt in January of 2011 just as the Arab Spring was breaking out. Whether chronicling the flight of Tunisia’s dictator, profiling Tahrir Square activists, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, the takeover by the Egyptian military, or being the last Western journalist to interview a member of the Gaddafi family while it still held power, Kirkpatrick’s coverage is characterized by his meticulous work with sources on the ground in order to illustrate the fullest possible picture of events unfolding across North Africa and the Middle East.

Perhaps the piece he is most known for today is his 2013 “meticulous and measured investigation” of the 2012 attacks on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi which left Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, one foreign service officer, and two CIA contractors dead. Kirkpatrick’s piece, “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi,” posits, “that the reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier [than either the Obama Administration or Republican opposition suggests]…Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.” True to his own scrupulous style, Kirkpatrick’s investigative report is based on thorough interviews with eyewitnesses and associates in Libya, as well as knowledgeable American officials.

The same conscientious mindset with which David Kirkpatrick researches and writes permeated his talk on Political Islam. He sought to offer a “distillation” of the American stereotype and Western fears of the Arab World, which paint all of Islamic society as a tribal system run by strongmen, without whom the system would collapse. “In many ways I find that the people I met in the Arab World,” said Kirkpatrick, “are much more sophisticated on my culture than I am about theirs, partly because of the Western hegemony in cultural matters.” We as Americans would do well to appreciate the world in a more nuanced way.

Our understanding of Political Islam is a fear we must “get over” if we are to engage effectively with the Islamic world and see a “stable region,”  according to Kirkpatrick, “it is difficult to generalize among and between Islamic groups,” and we cannot place all under one definition. Kirkpatrick states that because of the “elastic” nature of the different interpretations of the Quran, adopting only one attitude towards the governments and followings in the Islamic world is fundamentally flawed.

It is clear from Kirkpatrick’s talk on Political Islam, and from reading his coverage of the 2012 attack on the diplomatic mission and CIA compound in Benghazi, that if we as American citizens really want to be able to engage in a discourse about the Islamic world in Africa and the Middle East, we need to do our best to educate ourselves of the multiple perspectives on the ground in the particular situation we are concerned with, thus avoiding generalizations which breed fear and uncertainty. Understanding nuances of particular conflicts will protect us from using the same metrics when judging disparate situations across the globe.

We would do well to emulate Kirkpatrick’s lifelong style of investigative journalism in our own interaction with the modern news cycle and current events. Such persistence and diligence just might lead us to be more engaged and not accept a ‘one-stereotype-fits-all’ mentality when discussing turmoil and destabilizations around the world. Perhaps then we can adopt the same principles of the Moses E. Berkman citation Mr. Kirkpatrick received of “remarkable curiosity, insight, willingness to explore complex and convoluted topics,” into our daily lives to become more informed individuals who also “discover and convey the views of participants” to better appreciate and contextualize current events and cultural perspectives different from our own.

ONE Campaign aims to serve students in Connecticut



Today, students represent a unique political constituency and a powerful political force. Regardless of the scale of advocacy, students have historically had a unique influence on the government as they are the generation who will be living with the decisions made by the government today. This September during the Hong Kong protests, a single student by the name of Joshua Wong built a pro-democracy youth movement which will go down in history as being as significant as the student protests at Tiananmen, 25 years ago. Wong’s tenacity and passion for activism should not go unnoticed.

As a leader of his generation his influence on the government will be remembered for years to come. Although Wong took extreme measures to make his voice heard, one should take away from his example that people should not be afraid of their government. Simple actions such as hand written letters, phone calls, and the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are equally as important as rallies, in mobilizing a social movement. Here at Trinity College, the ONE campus campaign is currently working to bridge the gap between the senators of Connecticut and students. By utilizing an intercollegiate competition to advocate for the prevention of extreme poverty and preventable diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa, students have lead successful campaigns, and turned their ideas into life-saving actions.

Currently, the lack of electricity in Africa remains as one of the largest barriers to the region’s development and prosperity, and continues to trap millions of people in extreme poverty. Nearly seven out of ten people living in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity or modern energy sources. That means no refrigeration for vaccines that could save millions of lives each year. It means that an entire generation of students does not have access to modern-day educational resources. It means no central banking system or modern public transportation. It means huge health and safety risks, especially for women and girls. Without affordable access to power, businesses cannot grow, jobs cannot be created, and poverty cannot be eliminated.

ONE’s energy poverty campaign comes as a direct response to the needs and wants of Africans on this continent. More than two dozen African nations have committed to the goal of providing universal energy access by 2030 so that people living in rural and urban areas are lifted out of poverty and can benefit from strong economic growth. The Electrify Africa Bill declares that it is the policy of the United States to partner with the governments of sub-Saharan African countries to promote first-time electricity access for at least 50 million, encourage reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in urban areas to promote economic growth and job creation, and financing to provide electrical service to rural and underserved populations.

This past May, the House of Representatives passed the Electrify Africa Act, the House version of the bill that will help African leaders provide electricity to millions of people at no expense to U.S. taxpayers, thanks largely in part to the advocacy efforts of ONE Campus members. Now, the U.S. Senate is considering its counterpart version of the bill, the Energize Africa Act (S. 2508). Passing this bill in the Senate is a critical last step to getting this bill written into law. While politics may be tough, living in energy poverty is tougher. We must make our voices heard so that U.S. Senators don’t let politics or distractions get in the way of bringing electricity to 50 million people in Africa for the first time. As the ONE campaign is in the homestretch, students of the Trinity College ONE club are using their voices to recruit U.S. Senators to co-sponsor this bill while simultaneously educating our community about the lack of electricity in Africa. Your voice is one of the easiest ways we can reach the Senators of Connecticut because when you learn the facts, lack of energy is unacceptable.  In this country, we often take for granted the access we have to utilities such as electricity. The mission of the ONE campaign is to open the eyes of many to the ways in which so many unfortunate people have to live their lives. With the help of local businesses, professors, student organizations and sports teams, the campaign can open the eyes of Senators Blumenthal and Murphy of Connecticut and persuade them to help get the Electrify Africa Bill passed though the Senate.

The ONE campaign is an excellent recourse for members of the Trinity College community to get involved with something larger than themselves. Advocating for a cause one is passionate about gives you a remarkable rush. Additionally, the ONE campaign offers an education on global campaigning, advocacy organization, U.S. politics, and African affairs. For those looking to get involved in the Trinity College ONE chapter, come to a meeting, stop by a ONE event on campus and keep your eyes opened for ways you can transform the lives of millions.

Students show support for victims of sexual assault



Carrying a mattress or a pillow around all day seems like a rather odd idea; however, on Wednesday, Oct. 29 many members of the Trinity community were seen lugging around their pillows and mattresses. Arleigha Cook ’16 carried her mattress throughout the day, accepting help from Student Government Association President Josh Frank, ‘16 and  President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, who later tweeted “Supporting survivors of sexual assault.”  The idea to carry a mattress originated from Emma Sulkowicz, a senior at Columbia University. Sulkowicz was raped by someone she knew. The University hearing panel found in his favor.  Emma decided to carry a mattress on campus until her assailant was expelled.  It symbolizes the emotional weight of the injustice. This monumental act of bravery is not only Sulkowicz’s senior thesis, as it is a form of performance art, but also the spark for a media storm of attention towards how societies, especially institutions of higher education, can mishandle cases of sexual assault. Trinity joined this National Day of Action to support survivors of sexual and domestic violence and to end sexual violence and the culture that supports it.

Only a day later on Oct. 30 in McCook Auditorium, Dana Bolger, ’15, Amherst College, and John Kelly, ’14, Tufts University, of “Know Your IX”, shared that despite doing everything “right,” they were both sexually assaulted by people that they knew, trusted, and cared for. Dana was later stalked, and John continued to receive physical and emotional abuse. As if that wasn’t hard enough to endure, both faced inadequate responses from their schools. Dana was advised by the Dean to take a semester off, work at Starbucks, and come back when her rapist graduated.  Both later learned that their schools’ responses or lack there-of was a violation of the federal law, Title IX.

Know Your IX is a national survivor-run, student-driven campaign to end campus sexual violence. What is Title IX and what are your Title IX rights? 1.) It is a federal civil right that prohibits sex discrimination in education. 2.) Title IX does not apply to female students only. 3.) Schools must be proactive in ensuring that your campus is free of sex discrimination. 4.) Schools must have an established procedure for handling complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. 5.) Schools must take immediate action to ensure a complainant-victim can continue his or her education free of ongoing sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. 6.) Schools may not retaliate against someone filing a complaint and must keep a complainant-victim safe from other retaliatory harassment or behavior. 7.) Schools can issue a no contact directive under Title IX to prevent the accused student from approaching or interacting with you. 8.) In cases of sexual violence, schools are prohibited from encouraging or allowing mediation (rather than an informal hearing) of the complaint. 9.) Schools cannot discourage you from continuing your education.

Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS), a student organization of WGRAC, organized these events as well as the Red Flag Campaign, which educates on the “red flags” of abusive relationships. SECS meets Thursday nights, 5:00 p.m., WGRAC Lounge, and welcomes everyone.


Brendan Norton on his experience as a CDC Fellow



My first experience at the Career Development Center was at the Bantam Sophomore Success Program last fall. Like many students, I thought I would use the opportunity to get back to school a few days early. Instead, it turned out to be one of my best experiences at Trinity thus far. Aside from the fact that the program was interesting and useful, I made valuable connections with members of the CDC staff. After meeting some of the Senior Fellows, I decided to apply for a student assistant job that was available at the office. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly personalities allowed me to feel at home almost immediately. By the time spring rolled around, I was comfortable with everyone in the office, including the then-current fellows, and decided to extend my stay in the office another year by applying for the Career Development Fellows position.

The Career Development Fellows position is a new program (only in its second year) that has been implemented by the Career Development Office to increase its outreach to the student body. This year there are five fellows; Ana Medina ’16, Madison Starr ’16, Madeline Melly ’16, Paul Nicholas ’16, and myself, Brendan Norton ’16. As a group, we are working together to give individual presentations to Freshman Seminars about the functions of the CDC and how we, as fellows, can offer initial student-to-student support early on in the process. Additionally, we have gone through extensive training so that we can help advise students on resume building and career exploration. We each have different in-office hours (between 9 A.M. and 4 P.M.) during the week, and also an hour of out-of-office advising for increased flexibility and accessibility. Each fellow also works on personal projects targeted at the student body. For example, I am organizing a junior workshop on resume building and how to prepare for the critical junior internship search on October 28th. This is just one example of the vast array of opportunities the CDC is continually organizing for students.

Circling back to my first interaction with the Career Development Center, I entered the Sophomore Success Program with no resume and a vague idea of my major. After the program and a few appointments with the CDC staff that fall, I had a usable resume, decided on my major, and even had an informational interview with an alumni about my interest in their respective career field. I am now an Environmental Science major with a possible Urban Studies minor. I play on the Rugby Team and am also on the student-run board of the Club Hockey team. Similarly, the other fellows are even more involved in a wide variety of classes, clubs, and activities on campus that give us a well-rounded insight to student life. At the most basic level, this is why the fellow position exists: to allow the Career Devlopment Center staff to design programs and workshops that are going to be most beneficial to Trinity students.

The staff at the CDC cares about Trinity students more than many people will ever know. They are constantly asking how they can attract more students to programs, and how they can be more relevant or helpful. The Sophomore Success Program and Entrepreneurship Competition are just a couple of examples of major events the CDC hosts for students. These projects take extensive amounts of effort and time. Another event that took place behind the scenes this summer was the system switch over from Experience to Symplicity. This may not seem like much, but it took countless hours over the summer to transfer all of the CDC’s information to the new system, just so it may be more user-friendly for students.

Although the process of getting an internship and especially your first job may seem like a daunting one, the Career Development Staff is here to help you along every step of the way. Everyone in the office is friendly and ready to help you with whatever you need. The fellows are an additional resource all students should feel comfortable using, especially underclassmen or students using the Career Development Center for the first time. Log on to symplicity and book your appointments now!


The final bow: remembering Oscar de la Renta



The pain inspired by the loss of designer Oscar de la Renta is felt far beyond the fashion industry. The artist finally lost his battle with cancer on October 20th, at the age of 82. Oscar is as renowned for his precise tailoring and innovative designs as he is for his exuberant personality and charity work. Fiona Brennan ’15, who interned for Oscar de la Renta last summer, remembers, “even during his final days he was in the office more than three days a week. He gives back enormously to his roots in the Dominican Republic. He started an orphanage there and adopted his son from the orphanage. He was very good at making everyone feel like they were an integral part of the business”

The business, The House of Oscar de la Renta, was founded in 1965. Before beginning his own label, Oscar worked for houses of Lanvin and Balenciaga. His house was widely accepted as the ultimate model of an American fashion house. Never one to take the easy road, Oscar has consistently been ahead of the trends and able to update his clothing for the time periods in which he was working. He spoke often about the importance of pushing fashion into the future and making clothes that women can and want to wear. Though not an official couturier, Oscar’s craftsmanship was as meticulous as any found in a Parisian house.

Oscar’s designs occupy the space at the crossroads of what is wearable and what is avant-garde. He was respected and admired by those within the fashion community, both young and old, yet was able to dress some of the most stylish women in the world.

Though primarily known for his ball gowns, Oscar was a master of clothing of all forms. He could properly cut a tailored suit as well as he could a great pair of dress slacks. This is perhaps why he has one of the most impressive client lists in fashion history. Each season he would put out a collection that could appeal to women both subtle and extravagant. My mother was a fan, as was Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce Knowles, Barbara Walters, Karlie Kloss, Amy Adams, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Obama, and Nancy Regan. Hillary Clinton became a client and a close friend of the designer after wearing several of his gowns for events as the first lady and even in the pages of Vogue.

Oscar wanted to give women what he believed they wanted. He is often defined as a Park Avenue designer, but he truly reached an expansive audience with his designs. He could produce modest full-length ensembles that appealed to an older and more conservative demographic with the same ease and artistic integrity as he brought to some of his short cocktail dresses and even midriff bearing gowns. Despite the rich crop of young designers, Callan Vessels ’15 chose to intern with Oscar two summers ago. She remembers his youthful personality above all, saying, “Oscar’s presence in the office was remarkable.  He brought a glow to the office that I have never experienced anywhere else.  His designs and creativity were magnificent, and he will never be forgotten.  I am beyond lucky to have gotten the chance to work for him.”

Personally, the loss of Oscar is great because I grew up admiring both his gentle nature and grand designs. Unlike many designers who only focus on their vision, Oscar respected the needs and desires of his clients as much as he did his own integrity and artistry. While many, from Ralph Lauren to Anna Wintour, have honored him, what cemented the tragedy of death for me was a simple Facebook comment posted by a middle-aged woman in Buffalo, NY on an image of Oscar from a fashion page. She ended her post of remembrance by saying “If I were ever lucky enough to be rich, I would want to buy a dress designed by Oscar de la Renta.” This remark was a humble reminder that while for some Oscar was a friend, mentor, boss, and even the name on many labels in a wardrobe, to most, he was, and now tragically will always be, a dream.


Bantam Artist of the Week: Quirks member Lizzy Foley ’17

Amanda Lundergan ’17

Contributing Writer

Lizzy Foley ’17, a sophomore Neuroscience major, has always loved to sing. To her, it’s not just about making music, it’s about being happy and expressing it.

Lizzy started indulging in music lessons ever since she was little. She has taken piano and trombone lessons. When she reached high school, she decided to join the choir, which inspired her to try out for an a capella group in her senior year of high school. Lizzy is incredibly glad that she finally pursued her passion of singing, because it led her to join the Quirks, here at Trinity.

After days full of science classes, labs, and never-ending homework, Lizzy looks forward to hanging out in the Summit Suites grand piano room with her fellow Quirks. She joined the Quirks in the Spring semester of her freshman year. Lizzy went to the auditions concert to see them perform and thought they were absolutely amazing.

Being a part of an a capella group has its many perks, such as being able to build new relationships and perform at different places on or off campus, which was why Lizzy auditioned. She sang “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding and then had to sing a song that the Quirks taught her. The audition process was very nerve-wracking for her, but she made it to the callbacks, giving her the confidence to perform excellently. Her courage certainly was helpful, since she was eventually accepted into the a capella group.

Lizzy loves being a part of the Quirks, along with the other extracurricular activities that she is involved in. Lizzy is the president of Active Minds, which is a club that meets with the goal of changing the conversation that surrounds mental health. She also partakes in community service often, as she lives in the community service house on campus, Doonesbury.

Being a member of the Doonesbury house comes with many responsibilities, but it keeps Lizzy busy and motivated. Lizzy spends her free time trying to learn squash and doing crafts with her friends.

Even though Lizzy has several obligations she still makes time to practice her songs and beatbox occasionally for the Quirks. She practices in the shower and even listens to the recordings of the songs while she studies. On occasion, she’ll end up practicing with fellow Quirks who have different voice parts.

The Quirks have been a tight-knit group of women that support each other, which is one of Lizzy’s favorite parts about being in the group. She loves the a capella community in general, because it is awesome working with not only her group, but the other all girl, co-ed, and all male groups too. Her favorite songs that she has performed with the Quirks were “House of the Rising Sun,” by The Animals—which perfectly describes the Quirks, and a mashup between “Stay With Me,” by Sam Adams and “Holy Grail,” by Justin Timberlake. Since joining the Quirks, Lizzy has made a number of new friends that she might not have met otherwise. She became close with upperclassmen and people in different majors than her. These connections have brightened her experience at Trinity.

Lizzy has performed with the Quirks many times already, but only a few have been Trinity sponsored. They have performed an “arch sing,” the auditions concert, and concerts where they paired up with at least one other a capella group. Lizzy looks forward to the Festival of Trees, where the Quirks will sing at the museum, and the baseball games, where the Quirks will sing the national anthem.

Trinity Restaurant is where her very favorite impromptu performances happen. The latest concert that the Quirks attended was the Inauguration of President Berger-Sweeney, where all of the singing groups on campus performed. This opened the eyes of many on how big the singing community is on campus. The songs that students sang at the Inauguration were conducted by one of President Berger-Sweeney’s close friends, John Rose. Before the Inauguration, Rose taught each a capella group the songs separately and then brought them all together to practice a few times.  All of the groups sang “America the Beautiful,” a samba song, and “Lift Every Voice.”

Another concert that the Quirks will be hosting is the Halloween performance, which is happening on Wednesday, October 29th. The Quirks will be singing with the Accidentals and dressing up in costumes. It will be held in the crypt chapel to make the scene spookier. This will be just in time for the haunted holiday. Don’t miss the next Quirks performance on Halloween, and be sure to look out for Lizzy!


Cinestudio Review: Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Trip Slaymaker ’18

Staff Writer

Why do we love “Guardians of the Galaxy”? I won’t bother reviewing it traditionally because about 90 percent of us have seen it at this point. Instead, I offer more of a retrospective. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is widely considered one of Marvel’s most ambitious movies to date, and serves as a transition between Marvel’s more Earth based “first stage” of movie productions, and the even more confident second tier. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is not exactly brilliant filmmaking. It can be somewhat formulaic in its space-cowboy, rock opera plot, and there is not a single moment of real dramatic fear on the viewers’ part that everything will not turn out all right for our heroes, the Guardians.

Those heroes, by the way, consist of Chris Pratt’s cheeky never do well “Starlord,” a green and slightly stiff Zoe Saldana as “Gamora,” the usually silent and physically enormous Dave Bautista as “Drax the Destroyer”, and the voice of Bradley Cooper in the body of a Raccoon with an inexplicable Brooklyn accent, and a tree creature voiced by Vin Diesel. They quickly become a gang of rag-tag friends, firing their lasers and flying around in space ships together. There is a great evil to overcome, but that is so far from the point of the movie that most forget what it was. Consider them for a moment. They are deliberately ridiculous. The kind of characters a six year old dreams up in a coloring book. What’s more, if I had a nickel for every space battle I have seen, I might match “Guardians” at its own gigantic production value.

The point is this, on paper this is an absolute flop,  a non-starter that any production company in their right mind, let alone the careful and litigious Marvel should pass on in a matter of thoughtless seconds.

Needless to say, it was made, and it soared to an opening weekend box office intake of nearly one hundred million dollars, endearing itself to the hearts of millions of fans, and almost instantaneously waltzing down the not-so-long road toward a sequel. What is it about this bizarre, quirky, and campy movie that let it achieve such spectacular success, and ultimately landed it at Cinestudio?

There are a lot of converging ideas that contribute to this, but the most potent of these is this: “Guardians of the Galaxy” is simple fun. It asks so very little of its viewers, and seems almost in on the idea that it offers a pretty common piece of summer escapism.

It is like coming home after a long day of studying and being given the choice between unwinding with an episode of “Two and a Half Men,” simple, formulaic, occasionally funny, and not at all challenging, or an episode of HBO’s “True Detective”; depressing, haunting, and endlessly complex. Most Americans would choose “Two and a Half Men”, so as to have a normal, and not particularly thought provoking night of relaxation.

That is what “Guardians” has to offer, it works so beautifully because it does not try to be more than a heartwarming and exciting piece of summer escapism, and that is all we really need. It is not a bad thing, “Star Wars” accomplished the same kind of whimsy in its day, and sometimes, once in a very long while, these summer fun movies end up making movie history. “Guardians” is also a sentimental movie, at least in the direct sense that its sound track is made up of 1970s pop, and bounces along like an extended music video from the time.

In the more subtle sense, “Guardians” arrived just as we were beginning to see the death of the space-based action movie, (which took off with movies like “Star Wars”) and breathed new life into the overused and inflated genre.

The final reason is that Marvel has already won the great battle of the movies. Marvel, which was acquired by Disney a few years ago, could put out anything, literally anything they wanted (stay tuned for Paul Rudd in “Ant-Man” next year), and we, the happy consumers, would hop on the bus without a second thought. It has officially become a movie empire, and the scale at which it exists has never been seen before. “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a great time, a fun ride full of laughs and thrills. Marvel dares us to call it anything but excellent, and just as predicted, we cannot seem to do it.

Organist Christopher Houlihan returns to Trinity

William Kurach ’18

Contributing Writer

This past Thursday, members of the Trinity community flocked to the college chapel to attend a concert featuring renowned organist Christopher Houlihan ’09.

Given Houlihans repertoire, it was not at all surprisingly that the chapel was filled to a point where it was hard to find a seat to watch the concert. Audience members sat in a kind of buttoned-up anticipation, awaiting who has amounted, in his young career, to somewhat of a rock star in the world of organ music.

Houlihan developed a love for the organ early in life, playing from the age of twelve. He graduated from Trinity College in 2009 and later went on to attend the prestigious Julliard School in New York.  While at Trinity, he made his orchestral debut with the Hartford Symphony. He has won several international prizes, and has also amongst others, played before then-U.S. president, George W. Bush. His Vierne 2012 tour, in which he played the complete organ works of French composer Louis Vierne in six U.S. cities, was met with much critical acclaim.

His performance at Trinity marked a homecoming of sorts. The recital served to celebrate the inauguration of President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, who appeared just as excited as the rest of the crowd awaiting the recital to begin. It was also fascinating to see Hartford residents and members of the Trinity community come together under a roof to watch the performance. One member in the audience even mentioned that he hadn’t visited the chapel in twenty years, but was drawn back by the magnetic attraction Houlihan seems to exhibit.

When Houlihan emerged, he shot out of the gate with a Toccata by 20th century American composer Leo Sowerby. The sound glowed through the expanse of the chapel, as the intricacy and muscularity of the piece danced in counterpoint, and the audience followed with rapt attention.

He followed the Sowerby with a graceful organ rendition of a vocal piece by Maurice Ravel and a Bach concerto. The Ravel piece stirred about in a really lovely processional fashion.

Houlihan imbued the Bach with real clarity and color. He noted to the audience how much he liked to play it on the organ, and the love that drives his deeply affecting work was readily apparent. He then played what he regarded as “one of the most beautiful pieces ever written for organ,” a sublimely dreamy movement from Charles-Marie Widor’s “Symphonie Gothique.” Houlihan described the audience’s graceful crescendo into applause following the Widor as one of the most rewarding moments for an organist.

He finished with something truly special. He recounted to the audience the events of a day in which President Berger-Sweeney wandered into the chapel while he was playing and noted to him that her favorite organ piece was Bach’s “Passacaglia & Fugue” in C minor. Houlihan had treated her with an impromptu version then, and now, in recital, he presented to her a more polished musical gift. His imbued “Passacaglia” with a vibrancy that proved transfixing, bringing the evening to a satisfying and dramatic close, the audience on its feet, calling him back to the organ to bow several times.

This event marked not only a musical event of importance, but also a moment of great promise and hope for the Trinity community.

Welcoming our new president in the chapel, in the presence of students, parents, and faculty past and present, there hung a sense of sanctity as palpable and graceful as the music that filled the space. In the midst of the ceremonies of Inauguration weekend, Houlihan’s recital served, in some part, as an invocation of art, and of beauty into the new chapter in Trinity’s history. one that we as a community will hope to cultivate for some time to come.


Hartford Stage presents striking production of “Hamlet”

Malcom Moon ’15

Contributing Writer

A mere seven minute drive from Trinity, one of the nations leading residential theatres, Hartford Stage is currently showing its’ production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” The production reflects the company’s artistic director, Darko Tresnjaks innovative and entrancing directorial skills. Tresnjaks’ “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway,” have recently won him four Tony awards. That said, it is unsurprising that the “Hamlet” production has not only been extremely well attended, but has also already received much acclaim.

The magnum opus has survived the years as a timeless classic of tragedy and revenge. The play details the story of Prince Hamlet of Denmark who seeks revenge against his uncle Claudius for killing his father and marrying his mother to seize the throne. In this production, Tresnjak highlights this central theme along with the themes of religious differences, spying, and surveillance. Recognizing “Hamlet” as one of Shakespeare’s most complex tragedies, Tresnjak’s direction and design stand out remarkably in doing it justice.

Perhaps the most outstanding aspect of the production is the staging. As the audience enters the house of the theatre, one would immediately notice the unit set of a lowly elevated, cross-shaped platform that seems to consume most of the space. Symbolizing Christianity, the set resembles the clear division within a unified body, such the Protestant Claudius versus the Catholic Hamlet. Additionally, by having all scenes take place on the cross-platform, multiple commentaries are made in regards to power struggles within the monarchy, the murder of a powerful Jesus-like figure, and the vengeful acts and their consequences.

The action of the play takes the form of a thriller. In the ghostly scenes featuring Hamlet’s father, the use of grandiose spectacle heightened the action of the play. The production incorporated Hamlet’s father in dark armor on a black horse that rose from the grounds of Purgatory at the center of the stage. Along with the use of minimal lighting and fog, a chilling mood swept through the audience as King Hamlet revealed Claudius as his murderer. Personal conflicts also arise as the audience meets Ophelia, and her love for Hamlet is soon blinded by his overt obsession with murdering Claudius.

For those who may not be familiar with “Hamlet,” the play is set in Denmark, and King Claudius has just seized the throne. Prince Hamlet’s father’s ghost visits him to inform him that Claudius poisoned King Hamlet in his sleep. Angered by Claudius’s ruthlessness, Hamlet vows to seek revenge for his fathers’ death.

His obsession and neurotic energy soon affects his relationship with Ophelia, daughter of the chief counsel Polonius. Hamlet confronts his mother, Gertrude, for her treason against his father by marrying his brother so quickly after his death. His erratic behavior frightens Gertrude, especially when he kills Polonius who was eavesdropping on their conversation. The death of Polonius and the heartbreak over Hamlet causes Ophelia to slip into a deep state of madness and later commit suicide. Laertes returns from studying in France to hear of the death of his father and sister and demands his revenge. Working with Claudius, the two set up a fencing match between Laertes and Hamlet in which they plan to kill him by poison. However, like a true Shakespearean tragedy, the action ends with the deaths of Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and soon Hamlet.

The lighting and costume design proved to be striking elements in this production. The use of bold shades of reds, golds, and blues were a vibrant contrast to the dark setting and themes that defined the plot. The costumes were of true Elizabethan style consisting of traditional royal garb with a modern twist. The play was very simple yet eloquent.

The acting performances were also truly stunning. The cast members seemed to have a full grasp of their characters, and were committed to presenting a marvelous production. The stage direction was excellently executed. Most importantly, the attention to the small details of the set definitely furthered the thematic elements of the plot, and the cast helped breath a new life into the classic. I would definitely applaud the director and the cast for highlighting the moments of humor in the mostly depressing and horrifying tragedy. The humor definitely lent towards shaping the structure of the performance.  Edward James Hyland who played the role of Polonius is worth a special mention as he served as the comic relief in the production.

If I had to pick out aspects of the production that I personally did not appreciate, the dark horse would be one of them. In the scenes of King Hamlet’s ghost, he arose from the ground on a huge horse. While it was very striking and interesting, the horse also seemed to take the audience out of the world of the play because it didn’t truly seem necessary. Additionally, in the beginning, the production used a lot of entrances from trap doors with fog and bright white lighting. These elements began to lose their powerful effect on the audience and became a bit predictable. Regardless of the few pitfalls, the production overall was worth a watch. The audience remained engaged despite the long length of the performance, and the visually striking nature of every scene kept audience members in awe.

In the Hartford Stage production, the director made the Shakespearean tragedy more modern and easily accessible to its contemporary audience. Hamlet, portrayed by Zach Appelman, reminded spectators of their years of teen angst and obstinate nature while remaining true to classical characterization. The cast consisted of wonderful performers including Trinity alum Erik Bloomquist ’14, who portrayed Cornelius and supporting ensemble roles. His performance was truly remarkable, showing his versatility in playing multiple characters and his strong connection to the Shakespearean text.

Watching him perform professionally may be yet another incentive for members of the Trinity community to take the short trip out of the campus bubble to watch the show.    “Hamlet” is running at the Hartford Stage until Nov. 16.


EROS teams up with a variety of student organizations for Ally Week

Aurora Bellard `17


When students returned from Trinity Days on Wednesday, Oct. 15, they found the campus sidewalks covered with chalk messages for Ally Week. The previous night, members of Trinity’s EROS (Encouraging Respect of Sexualities) stayed up late, chalking the Long Walk, the Summits, the Concrete Jungle, and the Lower Long Walk with serious and humorous statements of support. Some said, “Have a Gay Day” and “Love Knows No Gender.”

With this act, Ally Week commenced. The next five days yielded daily events meant to honor allies and empower others to become allies against anti-LGBT harassment and bullying. Teaming up with multiple organizations, EROS organized events with other students that brought attention to the struggles young gay youth face today, as well as the powerful impact having an ally can make in the community. With guest-directors, a comedian, food, and partying, Ally Week reached out to the Trinity student body in a positive manner, promoting the message that all are equal and deserve love.

The week began quietly with Coming Out Stories at the La Voz Latina House on Vernon. Students gathered in the LVL living room to listen to harrowing stories of students “coming out” to their family.

Being gay is still considered taboo, even sinful, throughout much of American society. As such, coming out to one’s family can result in being kicked out of the house or left to fend for oneself. Someone is being told that he or she is less than human because of who they love. This is the case for many gay youth in America. The stories shed light upon this pertinent step and how coming out can change everything in a person’s life.

Thursday brought guest LGBT filmmaker Jonathan Caouette, who presented his film, “Tarnation,” a home video, documentary, and snapshot fueled tale of his life and his experiences with mental illness and a tragic family. The same night, the Underground held open-mic, which was an opportunity for students to stand up and express themselves. Men and women sang, spoke poems, and even did comedy. It was heart-warming to know that it was all was in recognition of what love can do when it’s used to support others.

Rainbow Shabbat at Hillel House kick started Friday. Seth Browner, co-president of EROS, partly led service and gave a brief talk on Ally Week, Judaism, and homosexuality. However, it was the Spotlight Party at Cleo of Alpha Chi on Friday night that truly showed how large of an impact EROS was making. Packed to the brim with students of all classes, the party roared into the night, never letting up. The constant stream of new and familiar faces bombarded anybody manning the door with questions about EROS and Cleo. Each question helped us realize how loudly our voices had been raised and how little the student body knew about EROS.

Saturday night, well-respected and known comedian, Chris Doucette, lit up Vernon Social. Not holding back with his stinging humor, Doucette even went after the crowd, giving Ally Week its most humorous event and Trinity, a perfect performance.

The wonderful week came to an end with Chapel Brunch on Sunday, where Chaplain Reed opened up discussion on how conflicting sexuality and religion can seem in the world sphere, when in fact Queer Theology has been at the forefront of breaking down barriers and answering the seemingly conflicting question of whether one can be gay and religious.

Though Ally Week was undoubtedly a success, EROS members were met with many obstacles. Some came in the form of harsh criticism on why the group was “forcing” homosexuality on people. This was not only disconcerting, but also confusing to hear coming from fellow Trinity students. The intention was not to force anyone to come out, but to let everyone in the LGBT community on campus know that they have support and others who understand what they’re going through.

The long history of violence and harassment against those in the LGBT community warrants awareness, recognition, and change that depend on the younger generation. EROS is at Trinity to make a difference and to connect.

One day, sexuality will no longer be a topic people will tip toe around or have need to discuss. But, today is not that day. Today, people of all backgrounds and sexualities need to stand up and hold hands, so that one-day people will no longer be judged for their sexual identities.

Ranked number 13th as the most homophobic college in the United States by the Princeton Review, Trinity does need to change. This is written in the fact that ugly and insensitive posts were made all through Ally Week on social media, and that just walking down the long walk, there were numerous remarks about how “nobody cares.”

Everyone can’t care about everything, but it’s important to recognize social injustice and hate; it’s important to create a more welcoming and open campus to all.

From the smiling faces at the Spotlight Party to the people who came to each event, it’s evident that support is indeed present in some ways; it just needs to be made stronger. With Ally Week, EROS hopes that it has furthered this conversation and that Trinity is on its way to changing for the better.

Academic symposia showcases importance of liberal arts

Esther Shittu `17


In celebration of the inauguration of the 22nd president of Trinity College, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, four academic symposia were held last week. Two were held on Thursday, Oct. 23 and two were held on Saturday, Oct. 25.

In the discussion titled, “Engaging with a Diverse World,” there were three panelists and a moderator present for each of the symposia. For “Engaging a Diverse World,” the panelists present were John Agard, Richard Eichenberg, and Irene Mata, with moderator Zayde Antrim. Antrim is the Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor of History and International Studies and International Studies Program Director at Trinity College.

Each panelist spoke about the various ways that their fields as well as being a member of a liberal arts college relate to “Engaging with a Diverse World.” John Agard is a professor of Tropical Island Ecology and head of the Department of Life Sciences at the University of the West Indies. Agard mentioned that as someone with a science background, he wonders about the limits of science because science tends to make students concentrate on measurements, whereas other subjects require other ways of thinking and assessing information.

“This is where the liberal arts context comes in,” Agard said, “I know in universities and colleges such as this, there’s a big emphasis on diversity, getting people from different cultures and backgrounds and so forth because that helps to stimulate thinking.”

Agard said that it is important for students who study science to appreciate the arts and vice versa. He said each institution should strive to create a place where stimulation is taking place and students are molded into people who exercise moral and ethical judgments, who can appreciate art and who have a have a broader thinking. “In an institution like this, you want to create a culture with rules with these characteristics… a culture is normally when you have a petri dish and you get a nutria medium… depending on the things you put in, you can get all types of things to grow,” Agard said, “Diversity, having people from different backgrounds, different countries, different ways of knowing, are all essential elements to increase thinking and discussion amongst so that the perspectives are broader.”

Irene Mata, the second panelist to address the audience, spoke on how liberal arts colleges are integrating diversity in the classrooms. Mata is a professor of Women and Gender Studies at Wellesley College. “It’s not enough to just incorporate bodies that look different from us and histories that look different from us, if we are not critically engaging with those histories to challenge our own ideas of what we think we know,” Mata said.

She continued that it is important to incorporate into the each student’s history into the curriculum in the classroom. “For us as educators in liberal arts institutions, we have the opportunity to train our students to engage critically with each other,” Mata added. She also said that it is dangerous to throw around the term diversity with the assumption that incorporating more diverse students is enough because it is not enough. She urges educators to learn from their students a lot more than they do.

“For me using the classroom…not only questions the validity of certain narratives but also, when we open up the space for students whose narrative may not necessarily be represented in a traditional curriculum becomes an incredibly empowering experience, not just for the students themselves but also for the students who are listening to these narratives, for the professor who is engaging in these narratives,” Mata mentioned. She said this type of curriculum leads students to go out in to the world with the more open understanding that the world they live in is not just black and white but it is a more complicating and changing environment.

After Mata, spoke, Professor Richard Eichenberg was asked to speak on why engaging the world’s women is important to the topic. Richard Eichenberg is an associate professor of Political Science at Tufts University. Eichenberg also teaches International and Gender studies at Tufts. Eichenberg began by mentioning that the pursuit of global gender equality is a strategic priority of the United States. According to Eichenberg, the U.S. government is working almost every day is working in different parts of the world in pursuit of global gender equality. He believes that many students are not aware of this and that they do not study it. He said that this subject should be implemented into the classroom.

“We need to engage the interests more of our female students; teach and research more about subjects that interest them,” Eichenberg said. “But we also need to engage our male students, to get them studying these issues from whatever disciplinary perspective as well.”

After this section, the discussion shifted focus from gender studies to climate change, something that Agard says that it is one of the challenges that the climate change. He said that globally, it has been established that there is an increase frequency of extreme events.

Agard continued that the complication of climate change comes from the socio-economic aspects. He gave the example of Haiti and the impact of a hurricane of category four compared to category four in Barbados.

He said the Barbados is more organized so the impact of the earthquake was not as exaggerated as the cause of Haiti’s hurricane. He argues that it is not the physical action of climate change but it is the cost of inaction that increases vulnerability. Unfortunately, he said that the vulnerability increases for the poor.

To wrap up the discussion, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions. An audience member asked about the importance of studying abroad since they are not rigorous in the academic sense.

Eichenberg suggests that students should look at academic rigor in study abroad as secondary. “The recommendation I will make a student is go someplace for study abroad that’s as different as who you are and where you are as possible because you really do need to see the world from a different perspective,” he said.

Mata said that since students are studying with other students in different countries, they have the chance to see different perspectives on a topic that they believe they knew.

This symposia was an opportunity to examine the values of a liberal arts education. The events of the symposia were part of many other weekend events that took place in celebration of President Berger-Sweeney’s inauguration.

Lecture at Alpha Delta Phi updates students on ISIS

Chris Bulfinch `18


ISIS has been a very prominent news topic over the past year. The images of violent warfare, masked men wielding assault weapons, and public beheadings are poignantly seared into the public consciousness, largely thanks to up-to-the-minute news reporting via social media and applications from CNN and the New York Times. Many in America feel anxiety over the violence and extremism inherent in movements such as ISIS, yet in many cases are largely unaware of the capability of such organizations to truly damage America or threaten them directly. This misunderstanding has caused many to misperceive ISIS as a much greater threat than they truly are. This fear in turn puts pressure on the United States’ administration to take some form of action—in order to assuage the public’s concerns over ISIS—which can often result in less than ideal policy decisions. In order to clear up misconceptions about the significance and threat of ISIS, as well as to spur discussion about the situation in Iraq and Syria on the whole, Alpha Delta Phi hosted Vijay Prashad, a journalist and professor of international relations here at Trinity. He discussed ISIS’s origins, their influence today, and the Obama Administration’s plans for the region, and succeeded in providing a more clear and concise picture of the situation than most had, and did so in an engaging way that kept the attention of the room.

Professor Prashad opened the lecture by giving an overview of ISIS, beginning with its origins. Many in America see ISIS as a recent development of the last year or two, but the reality is quite different. The group originated in Iraq, and gained power in the wake of the United States’ invasion in 2003. Originally the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI), the group had very limited membership and scant resources, operating as a marginal splinter group of al-Qaeda, conducting small-scale terrorist attacks in northern Iraq. In essence, they weren’t particularly significant, notwithstanding the tragic yet small-scale loss of life they had inflicted. They lacked proper military expertise, organization, and discipline, and their capability to be a true threat was negligible as a result. After the United States’ swift and well-documented conquest of the nation in March of 2003, the situation began to change, and the seeds were sown for the current ISIS organization to come into being.

The US took over the reconstruction of Iraq, and one of its first acts was the disbanding of the Iraqi military. This, according to Professor Prashad, was a grave error. Without jobs in a stable regime, and feeling significant animosity towards their Western conquerors, the remnants of the Iraqi military joined the burgeoning ISI. This was a disastrous result for two reasons: first, ISI’s ranks swelled with their new members, increasing their capacity for violence. Secondly, the ex-Iraqi army had considerable military expertise and experience, something that ISI had been conspicuously lacking from its outset. Combine this with the former Iraqi soldiers access to and familiarity with more advanced weapons, and ISI became significantly more dangerous after 2003. The religious fanaticism and expansionist ideals of ISI with the ability and discipline of the remains of Iraq’s military made for a potent combination, the lethality of which we are witnessing today. In a way, the removal of Saddam Hussein allowed the beginnings of ISIS to ferment, though Hussein’s removal was central to US policy at the time.

As ISI began to gain significant traction, the political topography of the Middle East and North African regions began to shift dramatically. The Arab Spring of 2011 brought about the destabilization and regime change of a number of states across the Arab world, a worldwide event that presented ISI with an opportunity to expand its reach. While many of the Arab Spring uprisings were able to be settled quickly and without much bloodshed, the nation of Syria was an outlier, in that the nation descended into a bloody civil war that continues to rage to this day. ISI capitalized on the chaos, sending fighters from their native Iraq into Syria, often through neighboring Turkey. They proceeded to fight alongside the rebels against Bashar al-Assad, the dictator of Syria, while simultaneously trying to secure as much territory as possible, exerting their interpretation of Sharia law, and gaining international notoriety and condemnation. They have refashioned themselves as ISIS, and ascended to their ubiquitously known status internationally, and their position as a fixture on headlines in the United States and across the western world.

This is the situation as it sits at the moment. ISIS is not an overnight phenomenon, but rather the result of a process spanning more than a decade. The political, ethnic, and historical factors surrounding ISIS’ development are exceedingly complex, and this complexity makes crafting effective policy for the region difficult. Professor Prashad notes that the Obama Administration doesn’t seem to be taking this complexity into account, and is acting almost to the letter as they have in the past, with bombing campaigns and funding of “the enemy of my enemy”. Professor Prashad believes bombing isn’t an effective way of dealing with ISIS. ISIS doesn’t fight a conventional war, it is a highly mobile organization that fights from pickup trucks on the roads, able to assess their ability and performance in the field, and to retreat if things aren’t going well for them. To this end, bombing only does so much, and in many cases simply sharpens the enemy’s resolve, and increases festering anti-US sentiments in the region. Furthermore, Professor Prashad believes that ISIS’ existence is symptomatic of a larger problem in the region: a lack of job opportunities and political instability.

He illustrated this point by mentioning a young ISIS fighter he talked to during visit he made to the region. The young man said that ISIS was just his job. He had studied engineering at a university in Syria, but when the fighting broke out, he couldn’t find a job, so he turned to ISIS for a living. Professor Prashad says this is hardly a unique story. The political and economic instability of the region has created conditions ideal for such fanaticism to flourish, with many people without options any better than ISIS. The vast majority of ISIS fighters are young people (about college age) who are fighting for what they believe will give them better opportunities. They join ISIS for reasons not so dissimilar to why we choose to go to college: the pursuit of greater opportunity. They see ISIS as the only means to that end – not the best means, but the one that is available. For this reason, no number of bombs will ever be enough to contain the spread of ISIS. We may be able to destroy them militarily, but until there is a fundamental shift in the region, the same systematic problems that created ISIS will just create a new and equally horrific organization. The strategy of arming moderate rebels has little more merit than bombing, by Professor Prashad’s estimation. The US has engaged in such foreign policy before, with questionable results at best. We armed the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and even Iraq itself in the 1980s, to combat the spread of communism. What rose up with our funding was an even more difficult enemy: religious fundamentalism and instability. Why should we expect, 30 years down the road, that the same foreign policy will yield more desirable results? Professor Prashad recommends a very different course of action. He advocates the United States’ convening the United Nations’ Security Council and talking the issue over in greater depth, so the US can act in a more informed and responsible manner, and not risk remaking the mistakes of the past.

Professor Prashad concluded his lecture with two interesting notions. Firstly, he brought up two summer blockbuster “B movies”, Godzilla and X-Me. He had noticed one major similarity between them; in both, the government is very slow to respond to the (ridiculous) crises of the movies, and often the government doesn’t know how to handle things any better than the people they represent. This insecurity with authority and fear of misunderstood forces are major anxieties of the modern person, and we can see them manifested in the American public’s fearful and somewhat reactionary response to the news about ISIS’ doings. Professor Prashad’s second (and arguably more poignant) concluding thought was to wonder why the death of two American journalists is worth the ire of the civilized world, while the thousands of victims of ISIS’ terror didn’t even merit a byline on American news. He also asked the audience why we were afraid of ISIS.

He explained that the conflict is sufficiently far away and our government is sufficiently adept at anticipating and eliminating threats that we really have nothing to fear from them. As long as there is no ISIS navy or air force, Professor Prashad says, there is no reason to be worried.

Professor Prashad’s talk was illuminating, not only in that it cleared up many misconceptions about ISIS’ origins and their ability to harm us, but also in that it opened up the issue for discussion here on Trinity’s campus. Now we can have a more informed dialogue about the relative merits of different courses of governmental action, as well as having valuable perspective about what is newsworthy, and the nature of hysteria. Hopefully Professor Prashad’s talk can help to mitigate the misinformed fear that has clutched the public consciousness concerning ISIS.

Berger-Sweeney Inaugurated as Trinity’s 22nd president

Forrest Robinette `16


This past Sunday, Oct. 26, Joanne Berger-Sweeney was inaugurated as the 22nd president of Trinity College. She was elected to the position in March of this year and assumed her office on July 1; however, Sunday’s inauguration marks her formal acceptance of the office of president.

The audience at the inauguration was diverse, including Trinity staff, faculty, parents, and students as well as representatives from many colleges and universities across the country.

The ceremony, held in Trinity’s Koeppel Center, began with a processional led by the Trinity College Samba Ensemble. When President Berger-Sweeney appeared and began her walk to the stage, the crowd erupted with applause. After the processional, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Cornelia Thornburgh ’80, addressed the audience, welcoming everyone to the historic event. The ceremony that followed included speeches from such distinguished guests as the Mayor of Hartford, Pedro Segarra, Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, two current college presidents and two college presidents emeriti.

The ceremony also included a wide array of musical performances. The first was a rendition of “America the Beautiful,” sung by the combined voices of each of Trinity’s singing groups. Later in the ceremony, John McDonald, Professor of Music at Tufts University, performed a piano piece that he composed in honor of the occasion. After that, Carolyn Wilkins, Professor of Ensembles at the Berklee College of Music, sang a stirring rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

In addition to the musical performances, James Fenton, a renowned poet, journalist, and literary critic, read a poem that he wrote for the ceremony titled, “Those Whom We Admire.”

Speaker after speaker had the same message for the Trinity College community, that we have chosen well. Governor Malloy said that President Berger-Sweeney “complements the history of the College” and that, he believes, “she will be making history herself at this institution.”

President Berger-Sweeney’s colleagues from Wellesley College and Tufts University were extremely enthusiastic in their praise of her character, work ethic, and quality as an individual.

Dr. Lawrence Bacow, President Emeritus at Tufts, recalled that when he and his colleagues recruited Joanne Berger-Sweeney to be the Dean of Arts and Sciences, he told the Tufts Board of Trustees that “Joanne is a president in waiting.” He went on to say that she possesses “that rare combination found in all great leaders: a hard head and soft heart.”

Diana Walsh, President Emerita of Wellesley College, worked with Berger-Sweeney during her time at Wellesley. Walsh said of Berger-Sweeney, “here is a leader who embraces new learning, appreciates conflicting views, fosters collaboration, and inflects her leadership with a taste for adventure and fun. Here is a leader you can trust.”

After Dr. Walsh’s speech, Berger-Sweeney was officially inducted as the College’s new president. Thornburgh ’80 presented her with the symbols of the office. The first was the Owen Morgan Mace, which symbolizes the president’s executive power. After being given the mace, President Berger-Sweeney joked, “It’s heavy, everyone” and her words with met with laughter throughout the audience.

She was then given the Key, which represents the physical properties of the College, the Book, which has been touched by every graduating Trinity student, and the Presidential Collar, a symbol of the president’s high office.

With the conferral of these items, Joanne Berger-Sweeney became the 22nd president of Trinity College. The crowd roared with applause as Berger-Sweeney moved to the podium for her inaugural address. In her speech, she spoke about her personal history and articulated her goals for the future of the College.

She said that she hopes to preserve Trinity’s traditions while also going boldly into the future. “We will try things, and some of them may fail,” she said, but the future of the College “will be based soundly on lessons learned, and we will continue to be a learning network in a very complex environment.”

In her closing words, she said, “Let us go boldly. Let us be engaged… I invite you to join me in making Trinity College’s future the best it can be.” The conclusion of her speech was met with an extended standing ovation.

President Berger-Sweeney’s inauguration was a tremendous success and it instilled a feeling of excitement and hope in the members of the Trinity community for the future to come.

Paralyzed man able to walk again with new technology



Last year I read an article, which I found to be particularly interesting, about a scientist named Peyton Rous, who found chicken that had breast cancer. At the time of the discovery not much was known about cancer, such as where it originates from or what leads to its proliferation. Peyton Rous’s work was unable to answer these questions, but through his research he was able to induce cancer in healthy chicken, providing a foundation for future scientists to build upon. Recently, similar to Peyton Rous, an advancement has been made and this time in the field of cell regeneration.

Surgeons from Poland working in collaboration with scientists from London were recently able to help a man who was formerly paralyzed learn to walk again. They preformed the procedure by taking cells from his nasal cavity and transplanting them into his spinal cord. Darek Fidya, the patient in question, is a 40 year-old Polish man who had become paralyzed from the chest down after being the victim of a knife attack, which cut into his spinal cord, in 2010. Despite the fact that he has to use a frame to help him walk, it is still remarkable that he actually has the ability to stand on his two feet again, especially considering the unique procedure.

The cells used in the procedure were called olfactory ensheathing cells, which are involved with the ability to smell. These cells also allow nerve fibers in the olfactory system to regrow once they have exhausted their capabilities. Mr. Fidya had to undergo two operations, the first of which involved the surgeons removing one of his olfactory bulb, which is located in the brain. An olfactory bulb helps to process what a person smells. Once Mr. Fidya’s olfactory bulb was removed, the cells were placed on a plate to proliferate. After two weeks these cells were then transferred to his spinal cord as part of the second surgery and roughly 500,000 cells were transferred into Mr. Fidya’s spinal cord. The cells were used to join parts of his spinal cord back together. The surgeons also used nerve tissue from his ankle to give the cells a base on which to grow.

Six months after the surgeries, Mr. Fidya was able to take his first steps for the first time in two years since his paralysis. So, is it the perfect fix? No, but in evaluating how far we have come in the field or research and what these doctors and scientists are capable of is outstanding. Normally, regeneration is discussed in an almost science fiction context. However science is no longer fiction in Poland, this group of scientists have managed to make it a reality in Poland. With this initial step, one can only wonder about how much farther this field can go. I also wonder about what Mr. Fidya is feeling at this time. When he was paralyzed, he probably thought that he would never be able to walk again and now he can because these doctors and surgeons were willing to think outside the box to find a way with which to help him, and possibly many more patients who have the same problem.

One other thing that stood out to me when reading about this great news was the fact that it took not only the surgeons from Poland, but a collaboration with the scientists from London to find a solution. This situation really highlights the importance of combined efforts that may allow for more innovative discoveries, such as this one. The world is full of so many resources and so much can be learned if people work together. All the individual discoveries have been built on past ones and past knowledge. Future scientists will in turn be able to improve or build more upon the discoveries that are made now. That, in and of itself, is collaboration and is what makes not only science, but all other disciplines, productive.

This new beginning promises so much more to come. Today, a man was given the chance to walk again. Who knows what tomorrow might bring. The best part is that it will keep growing and there is always room for improvement. Maybe there will be a time when patients such as Mr. Fidya can walk again without the use of any aid at all. Like Peyton Rous, these doctors and scientists have not found the answer to regeneration, but rather a component of it. But since they have managed to accomplish such a feat, one can only wonder where research on other debilitating diseases, such as cancer, is heading or whether the answers to better health care, which still elude us? But that is what makes science so great; because it is about growth, about taking those small steps forward and hoping that they will be able to positively impact the lives of real people like Mr. Fidya.

Fox News biases highlight inadequacies in good reporting



One of my biggest fears on earth is that my little brother or sister will accidentally turn on Fox News and actually believe that any of the arguments made there had any sort of validity. The idea that Fox News misconstrues ideas and arguments and then broadcasts these opinions to the general American populous is the sort of nightmare that keeps me up at night, drenched in sweat.

Just in this month alone, the anchors of Fox News have made some very interesting statements; “interesting” being the nice way to describe them. For example, Campus Reform, a conservative organization, went to Harvard asking students who is a bigger threat to world peace: ISIS or America. The students made very articulate and intelligent arguments. Many condemned America for their imperialistic decisions and for our oil companies, which do very well when the Middle East goes through periods of destabilization. One student argued that we, Americans, had “created the problem of ISIS ourselves.” Whether or not you agree with the comments made by these Harvard students, it was clear that they had enough basic knowledge on America’s international relations to give solid responses to the question.

The way in which Fox News responded to this Harvard interview, in a segment they call “Outnumbered,” left me bewildered. First, they began to laugh and ridicule the students on their use of “very big vocabulary words.” They then brought in John Rich, a country singer, to give commentary on ISIS. This isn’t to say a musician cannot contribute to political discourse or have different viewpoints, but Mr. Rich failed to do so. Instead of making some intelligent argument about American foreign policy explaining his opposition to the Harvard student’s opinions, he began to talk about patriotism and worshipping the American flag. He then goes on to call the students previously surveyed “a bunch of snot-nose brats.” Most of the anchors also made similar statements, arguing that these students should have more respect for the military. The entire discourse strayed from the initial question and seemed very irrelevant to the topic at hand. They continued to focus on the military despite the fact that the military does not make foreign policy, they are simply tools for carrying it out. The students asked did not critique the military but the politicians that made these decisions. The whole segment really was quite humorous to me. It seemed that the main goal of the segment was to belittle the sufficient arguments from the Harvard students by saying nothing grounded at all and making obscure justifications against them.

Another segment from Fox News that actually made me cringe more was called “The Five.” The segment was centered around a group of anchors who were discussing why young women shouldn’t vote. I was honestly shocked by the fact that they are able to find these women who are so willing to be sexist to their own gender. One female anchor, Kimberly Guilfoyle, went as far as to say “…young women on juries is not a good idea, they don’t get it…they are healthy and hot and running around.” She goes even further and says that these young women should be excused from juries so that they can “go back to Tinder and,” implying that they are too vapid to understand the complexities of courtroom hearings. The fact that this can actually be said on national television is so absurd to me. Another woman is telling young ladies that what they have to say is irrelevant, that it is not worthy of consideration. They are telling a certain demographic that they shouldn’t vote. I believe that is simply unAmerican, regardless of whatever political stance you have.

We could talk even further about the constant fear mongering Fox News does, most recently with the disease Ebola. Instead of informing their viewers about what Ebola is and how it is not an extremely contagious disease (because it can only be transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person), they create panic and blame President Obama for it all. This seems to be a cornerstone of Fox News, it is a conservative machine meant to convince people of Republican ideology regardless of whether they have the actual information for it. They’ve used Ebola as the perfect subject matter to slander President Obama. While there is nothing wrong with having a conservative view point, it is extremely unethical, especially for a “news” organization, to misinform their audience so overtly and so unapologetically.

The way in which Fox News portrays certain issues could almost be considered American terrorism, and this is not me being a sensationalist. It is very clear that those running Fox News are wealthy conservatives who know it is strategically beneficial for them to manipulate the reality of certain issues. Yes I am a liberal and a Democrat; but I am not a bigot. There is nothing wrong with news stations that have a more conservative slant, but let them have arguments based on facts. They should bring in guests that actually have the education and well-rounded perspective to contribute to political discourse rather than go to a polar extreme. They should treat all American people with respect by avoiding manipulation through slander. Fox News either has to be completely obliterated or fundamentally changed.

An international student’s perspective on Family Weekend



It does not matter whether you live an hour away or 12,530 kilometers away because no matter where you are, nothing can truly replace the feeling of being home. However, distance does matter for Parents Weekend since the parents of international students cannot visit campus easily. Many of my friends were thrilled to reunite with their parents, siblings, and pets, but for the international students it was just another weekend. We couldn’t have a delicious meal with our loved ones or walk our pets around campus because home is a flight away, not a car ride. So, what then does family weekend mean for an international student?

You wake up to a friend’s snapchat saying, “the Fam’s arrived.” You walk down the  dorm corridor listening to siblings argue. You go to class watching a friend take their pet for a walk to explore the campus. Family weekend is the one time when we are truly home sick because we see what we long for, our family, all around us. For Indians, it is right now the festival of lights and I wish that I could return to my chaotic city and be amongst firecrackers and celebrations. Seeing our friends dress in traditional attire to visit extended family through social media is nostalgic because we were doing the exact same thing last year. But nobody would want to sulk in their room looking at pictures and eyeing the students fortunate enough to have families visit. We must be immune to this plethora of emotions because the next chance to see our families, Thanksgiving break is so close. Thus, how should the international students be “optimistic” in such situations?

We came to college knowing that we cannot drive back home. We travelled large distances to educate ourselves and compete on an international platform. We came to the melting pot to live our dreams because we cannot choose both academics and passion back home. All of this had to come at a cost of leaving behind our homes. We are mature individuals who are now in college, so we should be prepared to face any situation. Well, we are successfully doing so by embracing family weekend. We are either buried in homework or are volunteering for numerous events. It is a tactic to keep ourselves occupied, and somebody needs to welcome parents with a smiling face. Subsequently, those smiles belong to the international students sitting behind the registration tables at Mather. After all, we must show off the diversity element that Trinity boasts about! Moreover, birds of a feather flock together so we stay with our kind and do the usual: hangout, listen to music, and chat. It is not very bad is it?

For all those Indians out there, you can always celebrate Diwali irrespective of your location. Most of us miss our traditional food, which is way more delicious than Mather food. Hartford has a variety of cuisines so why not dine with friends over an Indian meal? Nobody would deny food that awakens his or her taste buds. After an Indian meal, you could celebrate Diwali by decorating your room. But the most important aspect of our culture is religion. We all have carried with us either a photograph or statue of God. Technology has made everything easily accessible so we could use spotify to find a ceremonial song and carry out an aarti. You do not need elaborate, fancy materials to pull this together, but simply the will to do so. International students are in a unfamiliar environment in terms of residence, food, culture, and friends, but by keeping our culture alive, there is one familiar rock to lean on. All we need is closure and these small gestures do what is needed. For instance, one of my friends hosted a get together by inviting her friends over and making them part of the Indian tradition. There are a countless number of ways to make Family weekend and Thanksgiving joyous and fun-filled. We are in the land of immigrants, so subsequently everybody is sailing in the same boat.

Nonetheless, I was fortunate enough to have my parents travel twelve thousand five hundred and thirty kilometers to visit me at my new home. One of the perks of being an only child is that family weekend can be delightful in its true essence. My parents wore Trinity gear, attended panel discussions and the presidential inauguration. Watching my parents relive their teenage years through me or rather their dream, made me proud. It is the same for all our parents. For example, my cousin’s parents called him to give him instructions about the time to cook the sweet for the ritual. Hence, family weekend can be special even without your parents being present in actuality. Family is always with you because technically they are your genes.

Family is family, whether it be an hour or 12,530 kilometers away. Nothing can replace the happiness of dining with your parents. A few months ago, we may have looked forward to living independently but if it wasn’t for family: none of us would be here. We all need love and they are the only ones who do so unconditionally.

We should re-examine gender-discriminatory humor



There was a man, who was sent across galaxies in space to fulfill various tasks in exchange for money. One day, he was sent to find an orb. However, he didn’t know that this orb was highly valued by other forces in the galaxies. While retrieving it, he was attacked for the small, ball-shaped device. After he reached his space ship, the chase continued. Balls of fire flew and a geyser flung his ship higher into the air, jostling him around until he could reach the steering wheel to control his ship.

After, a frightened, confused girl emerged from the lower deck of the ship looking a complete mess. It appeared she had been sleeping after having a one-night-stand with the man retrieving the orb. She asked what happened, and as he started to address her, he forgot her name; she reminded him, and he proceeded to say that he had forgotten she was even there.

This is the beginning of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a fairly good movie with lots of comic relief, which came mostly from the relationship of the main character and his short-lived lover. However, I was not amused. I was disappointed in the laughter it received from my fellow viewers, and sad that whoever composed those lines knew it would be funny.

The way he treated her was appalling. It demonstrates how our culture and society perceive sex and relationships. Scenes from the movie seem to tell the audience that it’s okay to have meaningless sex and then treat your partner like a completed homework assignment that one forgot to turn in.

Watching the opening scenes of this movie had me thinking of the many other movies and TV shows that support this type of behavior that and portray it as comical. One of them is “Two and a Half Men,” a well-known and long running sitcom that uses sexual jokes and the degradation of women to entertain its audience.

In the original cast, Charlie Sheen plays a character that has a different woman in his bed every week, sometimes every night. We laugh at this because he’s a likable character, while being so awful that it makes the show funny. Also, if you think about it, the women on the show highlight very negative generalizations of women. There is the overbearing, protective ex-wife of Charlie’s brother Allen, the overweight and bossy cleaning lady, the psychotic neighbor and friend of the family, Rose, who is in love with Charlie, and all the other women whose scenes are shot only in Charlie’s bed.

The show has been on the air for years, so we can see that it has a strong following. Why, though? Disgusting behavior is disguised by witty commentary and unbelievable situations.

We have to remember, also, that there is a young boy on the show, observing everything his father and uncle say and do. What kind of impression does that make on him? The same impression that all young men and boys have when they watch the show. They begin to think it’s okay to treat sex like it’s no big deal. The boy in the show grows up to do just that. If the show was written fifty years ago, the pilot wouldn’t even be filmed, much less aired on national television.

Women can have the same mentality. In a movie named “Friends with Benefits,” both a man and a women are guilty of this. Two friends decide that they want to have sex with no strings attached and no emotion, so that it can be pain free while indulging in pleasure and fun. However, it has the opposite effect. They become irritated with each other and a little sad. Who can avoid that when you are taking from each other and never giving anything back? In the end, they become a couple, but that doesn’t happen in real life. After using each other for that long, you’ll rarely become interested in making the other person happy and loving them. Luckily for them, they were friends before their experience and loved each other from the beginning. Although I don’t understand why you would treat someone you love in that way, but that’s another issue.

Our culture is heavily influenced by these hidden messages in our entertainment. People don’t take sex, or each other, seriously anymore. Why do you think divorce rates are so high? It’s partly because people enter a marriage with a tainted definition of what love is and how we show that love.

What we see and hear from the media influences our views on important things in life; two of them being sex and love. We become like a frog in a pot of boiling water. If a frog is placed in water and is slowly heated to a boil, the frog will sit there and kill itself because it doesn’t realize what’s happening to it; it becomes desensitized, which is what we become when we are constantly fed lies from the media starting at a young age.

There are plenty of other popular shows and movies, but send a disturbing message. Some are “The Big Bang Theory,” “Bridesmaids,” “The Other Woman,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “No Strings Attached.”

It’s easier said than done to stop watching these irresistibly funny shows and movies. However, if we watched more shows like “Gilmore Girls,” “Full House,” and “Boy Meets World,” and more movies like “The Goonies,” “Despicable Me,” and “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection,” we would be a much healthier society. These are funny shows and movies without the explicit sexual jokes and obnoxious innuendos.

It’s one thing to be funny, but it’s so much better when you can be funny without hurting anyone or relying on inappropriate jokes.

Bantam football loses to Middlebury at home, 27-7



This past Saturday, the Middlebury Panthers defeated Trinity at home, ending Trinity’s astounding 53-game winning streak on their home turf of Jesse/Miller field. This winning streak began midway through the 2001 season and continued for a record shattering 13 seasons after that. This streak is among the longest in sports history, and was even mentioned on ESPN as such. This loss is Trinity’s first in six games.

Middlebury improves to 4-2 on the year as Trinity, ranked second in New England, now boasts a 5-1 record, tied for second behind Amherst (6-0) with Wesleyan, also 5-1. This win marks Middlebury’s third straight victory of the season. Trinity will play Amherst next weekend, and a win against the Lord Jeffs will move them up to first place, along with Amherst.

Middlebury was the first to score, with a 13-play, 91-yard drive touchdown coming in the second quarter off Kyle Pulek’s ’16 booming 62-yard punt. Later on in the second, Trinity gained some momentum and answered with a long drive from its own 23-yard line to the Panther 5-yard line. However, this drive was anything but fruitful for the Bantams, as Middlebury player Dan Pierce intercepted a pass from Trinity’s Henry Foye ’16 and returned it an astounding 71-yards back into Bantam territory. Middlebury quarterback Matt Milano found reeiver Matthew Minno on a pass into Trinity’s end zone, giving the Panthers a 13-0 lead.

After punting the ball away once more, Trinity’s defensive end Lyle Baker ’16 forced a fumble and jumped on the loose ball at Middlebury’s 36-yard line. In the final minute of the first half, the Bantams fell just short of getting on the scoreboard. Time ran out as Ian Dugger ’16 was tackled at Middlebury’s 20 yard line after three completions from Henry Foye ’16 to wide receiver Chris Ragone ’15.

As the second half commenced, a special teams play by Middlbury opened the third quarter with a successful onsides kick which turned into a 24 yard touchdown pass by Milano to Minno. This play came just 40 seconds into the second half.Trinity running back Chudi Iregbulem ’15 had several excellent drives in the third, but was thwarted away from the Panther end zone by Middlebury’s string defense.  With 1:10 left in the third quarter, Middlebury punted from its own end zone and Trinity took advantage, finishing the play with a 33 yard scoring pass from Foye to wide receiver Nick Gaynor ’17. This brought Trinity back within a touchdown, as the score at this point was 13-7. The potential comeback was shut down when Middlebury’s Dan Pierce intercepted a pass from Spencer Aukamp ’18, who was filling as QB for Foye who had left after a sack earlier in the second half. Pierce took it all the way to the Bantam end zone for a touchdown. With 6:07 remaining in the game was 27-7, and that is where it would stay for the rest of the contest.

Trinity will be back in action next Saturday, when they head up to Amherst to take on the current NESCAC leaders.

Trinity Bantam athlete of the week: Gina Buzzelli ’16



With a record of 12-10, the Trinity College Volleyball team is working hard in to achieve further victory, and their previous success have been helped in large part by setter Gina Buzzelli ’16. A native of Cheshire, CT, Buzzelli has used her athleticism and skill to dominate opponents on the court. She proves this through her results as she currently, averages an impressive 4.08 assists per set and has much room to improve further.

Buzzelli has had many inspirations as an athlete, particularly from her sport of choice. “Kerri Walsh Jennings is currently one of my favorite athletes.” Buzzelli said. “I am inspired by her intensity and passion towards the game of volleyball”.

This inspiration has greatly influenced Buzzelli’s success in volleyball.  In Trinity’s past two games alone, she had a combined total of 39 assists. This skill was, of course, tailored in her high school career.

“My high school had a very competitive volleyball program. It was at this level where I developed who I wanted to be as an athlete.” Buzzelli explained.  “High school volleyball gave me a competitive and relentless attitude towards the game. This prepared me for the collegiate level because it taught me to expect more from myself and never give less than my best effort”.

As the season draws to a close, Buzzelli and the team are looking to play with high intensity in order to finish the season strong.  With teamwork and focus, the girls can overcome any opponent and this season, the team has been able to improve on their past losses.

“The most exciting sports moment at Trinity this year was beating Bowdoin.” Buzzelli remembered.  “Last season, we had lost to Bowdoin in a tough five set match knocking us out of the NESCAC Tournament. Beating them this year was revenge after they handed us a loss last season. Also, it was one of the first games of the season where the team played steady as a cohesive unit. We were playing for each other, never once getting down on ourselves when mistakes were made.”

Team cohesion has always been important to Buzzelli, and she strives to achieve nothing but the best out of both herself and her teammates. “My outlook on the season so far is a positive one.” She said.  “We go into every day with the mentality to always improve and learn by pushing each other in practice. We hold high expectations for one another so when it comes game time everyone knows that their teammates won’t expect anything less than their best. Moving forward I believe we can end the regular season on a high note and make a run at the NESCAC Tournament”. Needless to say, the girls are prepared to do what it takes to come home with a win.

The Trinity Volleyball Season comes to a close next weekend, and it is sure to end with a bang. The girls will be facing off against Bates at home on November 1st in their goal to end the season with a win.  With a win, the Bantams can improve to 13-10 overall.

Men and Women’s soccer suffer losses to Conn. College



It was a heart wrenching family weekend for Bantam athletics across the board.  The Men and Women’s soccer teams both lost to Connecticut College on Saturday.  Fan turn out was high and both teams had a great deal of support, but at the end of the day, Conn outplayed Trinity.

Saturday’s contest was the Women’s soccer team’s Senior Day, honoring tri-captains McKenzie Jones ’15, Maggie Crowe ’15, and Elisa Dolan ’15, as well as leading scorer Karyn Barrett ’15 in their last fall season.  On the pitch, the Connecticut College Camels were dominant from early on.  The Camels were awarded a penalty kick in the thirteenth minute, and made sure to capitalize.  Connecticut rookie, Caroline Kelleher, scored a second goal to close out the first half of play, giving Connecticut a 2-0 lead.

Before Trinity could get any momentum going in the second half, the Camels scored again in the first three minutes of the period. They finalized their victory in the 83rd minute with a fourth goal.  Trinity goalie Monica DiFiori ’16 finished the match with 7 saves while the Connecticut College keeper was able to keep Trinity at bay with an impressive 14 saves.

The Men did not fare much better on Saturday as they took a hard 1-0 loss.  For the majority of the game, the score remained at zero, but in the 80th minute, the Bantams had a corner kick late in regulation and after a subpar service, Connecticut College broke out as midfielder Matthew Birchall played a through ball to Camel forward Dillion Kerr who quickly found the back of the net to put Connecticut up 1-0.  The Bantams had the best scoring opportunity in the first half as midfielder Fernando Cuervo-Torrello ’17 took a pass from Mike Cooke ’17 and blasted one past the Camel keeper.  Unfortunately for the Bantams, the shot hit post and ricocheted out.

Despite the disappointing outcomes this past Saturday, both the Men and Women had mid–week games against Wesleyan in which both Bantam squads beat out the Cardinals.

For the Women Nicole Stauffer ‘17 scored two goals late in the second half to give Trinity the 2-0 win.  Stauffer’s game-winning goal came in the 71st minute, as Trinity took control of the ball from the Cardinals midway through the second half.  Bantam midfielder Laura Nee ‘switched the field and Sarah Connors ‘18 outraced her defender to the ball and one-timed a pass to Stauffer who finished beautifully.

The Men’s Soccer team played well and got a goal from Cody Savonen ’17 in the 43rd minute to close out the first half.  Co–captain Tim Shea ’15 got a second goal 8 minutes into the second half to put the Bantams up 2-0.  Wesleyan retaliated in the 62nd minute to bring the score to 2-1, but that would be the final goal of the game. Trinity rode out the remainder of the game with a strong defensive performance and secured the win.

The men currently stand at 2-5-2 in the conference and 7-5-2 overall.  The Lady Bantams rest at 3-5-1 in the conference and 7-6-1 overall. Both teams will play Amherst on the road this weekend.


Field Hockey moves to 11-3 with consecutive wins



The Trinity College field hockey team continued an impressive four game win streak this weekend as they secured two more New England Small School Athletic Conference (NESCAC) wins this past week.  On Oct. 21, the Bantams outscored Wesleyan 8-2, followed by a 7-1 victory over Connecticut College on Oct. 25.  Trinity boasts an impressive 11-3 overall record and is currently tied with Amherst for third place in the conference standings, behind only Middlebury (14-1) and Bowdoin (13-1).

After conceding the first goal of the game to Wesleyan’s Hannah Plappert, six minutes in, Trinity forward Kelcie Finn ’18 opened the Bantam scoring with an impressive run from midfield to beat the Cardinal goalkeeper one on one.  Wesleyan responded with a second goal, off the stick of forward Lauren Yue.  Finn answered  again with her second goal of the game, coming off a pass from Casey Quinn ’17.

Trinity dominated the second half of play as they scored six more goals and did not let up another score to the Cardinal’s offense.  Finn scored her third goal of the game early in the half off a pass from Brenna Hobin ’18.  Minutes later, Catherine Read ’15 assisted forward Olivia Tapsall ’16 for her 7th goal of the season.  Finn socred her fourth and final goal of the game less than a minute later. Hobin, Clare Lyne ’17 and  Samantha Sandler ’17 rounded out Trinity’s scoring, finalizing their 8-2 victory.  Goaltender Sophie Fitzpatrick ’16 played a complete game and made 6 saves on 8 shots.

Over parents weekend, the team hosted the Connecticut College Camels. Once again, the Bantams dominated play, as Finn scored her 21’st goal of the season just four minutes into the game.  Midway through the first half, Hobin put Trinity up 2-0 as she scored off a pass from Finn.  Elizabeth Caporale ’16 finished the first half with a third goal.

In the second half, Trinity allowed just one goal to the Camels, delivered by forward Maggie Wells.  Finn responded with a second goal, assisted this time by Tapsall and Read. Just a minute later, Nikki Rivera ’16 received a pass from Hobin and scored to put the Bantams up 7-1.  Samantha Sandler added an unassisted goal with 6 minutes left to play and Finn rounded out the scoring with her third goal of the game, completing another hat trick for the first year forward.

In net, Fitzpatrick secured another win by saving 6 shots and allowing only one goal to Connecticut’s attack.

Kelcie Finn leads the Bantam offense this season with 23 goals and 10 assists.  Brenna Hobin follows with 9 goals and Olivia Tapsall is third in scoring with 7 goals.  Sophie Fitzpatrick leads in net with an 11-3 winning record, 69 total saves and 4 shutout victories.

The field hockey team is looking ahead to their final game of the season on Oct. 29 at Amherst College.  Possibly their toughest matchup of the season, a victory for Trinity against the Lord Jeff’s could secure them a top finish in the NESCAC standings and a high seed for the conference playoffs.  The Bantams are also currently ranked 11th overall in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) rankings.

Max Szapary’s journey from Austria to Buenos Aires



I spent my junior spring semester in Argentina’s capital city, Buenos Aires. I traveled directly from my freezing hometown in Austria and arrived in the warm late summer climate of Buenos Aires. I spent the next four and a half months fully immersed in the porteño (or Buenos Aires) culture, studying at different Argentine institutions and living with an Argentine host family. Perhaps more so than other study abroad destinations offered at Trinity, the Buenos Aires program is one of complete immersion. Butler University’s Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) that assigns each student to an Argentine host family in the city runs the program. I studied on the advanced track, having taken a Hispanic studies class every semester beginning with 101 my freshman fall, and all my classes were taught in Spanish. During IFSA’s three-week orientation period, all 80 students visited multiple Argentine Universities, including the Universidad de Buenos Aires, a public institution of 300,000 undergraduate students, the private Universidad Torcuato di Tella, and the Universidad del Salvador, the alma mater of Pope Francis.

I chose to take a class at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and was immediately intrigued, appalled and astonished by the porteño student life, which differs drastically from what may be generalized as the American liberal arts college experience. The building’s condition matched that of a fraternity basement, complete with political graffiti on the walls, flyers and posters littering the floors and students smoking cigarettes in the hallways. The building’s (and student’s) appearance is not, however, analogous to the institution’s academic reputation. UBA is regarded as the most prestigious and academically challenging university in Argentina; in fact, Trinity awards two credits for each UBA class.

UBA’s organization, generally speaking, is passé when compared to the high tech capabilities we take for granted at Trinity. Strikes were common and unannounced, professors could not be reached via email, nor were they available for meeting outside of class, and class registration was on paper. My class did not even have a syllabus and therefore required independent initiative and organization. This was, though slightly troubling at first, a welcome change from the sheltered and thoroughly organized student experience that I had become accustomed to at Trinity.

Another striking difference between the two educational systems is the UBA’s communal characteristic and the emphasis on group work. Most of my exams at UBA were group projects that required meeting outside of class, but even some written exams were completed as a group, allowing members to pool resources, an idea which appealed to me, as it seems very applicable to the working world.

Trinity requires students on the Buenos Aires program to complete an internship with a local non-profit organization to which applications must be submitted prior to arrival. I worked for fundación SES, an Argentine NGO dedicated to the promotion and development of work and educational opportunities for the underprivileged Argentine youth. I worked on a project applying for governmental funding for three small startups, meeting with the Argentine ministry for social development and the startup members, a valuable experience which allowed me to improve drastically my Spanish speaking skills and experience a snippet of Argentine bureaucracy.

Buenos Aires offers an incredible nightlife consisting of bars and small to giant nightclubs. On weekends and the more than occasional weekday, I would meet friends after a late dinner at a park, bar or apartment, and at around 2:00 a.m. we would go as a group to a club, oftentimes returning at 8:00 a.m. to commence the following day “haciendo fiaca,” the important Argentine custom of “doing nothing” after a long night out in the town.

In striking contrast to culture, the social environment in Buenos Aires is very relaxed. Meals oftentimes take two hours or more, people sit for hours in parks or cafes sharing their beloved “mate,” a sort of tee rich in caffeine and something of a national icon, discussing politics or soccer, and, generally speaking, Argentines, especially students, do not fill their calendars with countless appointments as is often the case in America. There is far less emphasis on time and punctuality. Indeed, professors and employees often show up considerably late to class or work; however, this is not seen by Argentines as disrespectful, but simply a normal part of their culture. This is bolstered by Buenos Aires’ public transportation system, which, while very widespread, is quite unreliable in terms of punctuality.

The program’s academic schedule allowed for much leisure time, which I spent wandering the streets on foot and via bus, playing soccer in beautiful parks and going to theatre productions. I also joined the UBA law school boxing club, where I trained three nights a week and made a number of Argentine friends.

I spent many weekends traveling to different locations in Argentina. I caught a 20-hour bus ride to Bariloche and spent a long weekend hiking the Andes with two friends from the program. Another weekend I traveled to Iguaçu and saw the world’s largest waterfalls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides. The program also organized a weekend trip to Punta del Este, Uruguay, which we spent at the beach or at restaurants drinking beer and enjoying the warm climate.

Argentina is world famous for its meat, available in restaurants called “parillas,” basically Argentine steak houses, at a very reasonable price. I spent many a night conversing with Argentine and American friends over steak and wine at my go-to parilla, located just around the corner of my apartment, before going out to a nightclub.

The arts of Spain and of Italy, heavily influences Buenos Aires’ architecture owing to the immense immigration from these countries, much of it in the neoclassical style. Indeed, some parts of the city could be mistaken for the buildings and streets of Madrid, while others, such as the Barrio Once, show a different face of the city and bring to light a more realist Buenos Aires perhaps not so apparent in beautiful and well known structures such as the Teatro Colon.

One of my most memorable experiences was partaking in a walking graffiti tour of the city. Parts of Buenos Aires are littered with Graffiti, ranging from small tags to enormous works of art produced by renowned artists in the street for everyone to enjoy without paying a fee. In many parts of Buenos Aires, graffiti is legal and spaces are offered by the government for the creation of artwork. The tour concluded in an almost hidden graffiti gallery on the top floor of a bar, where one could view artwork over beer and empanadas.

The Trinity core class, “Buenos Aires: the Urban Experience, Human Rights and Cultural Production,” is taught by Prof. Maria Silvina, a Buenos Aires native and highly interesting woman., The was nt only through classroom sessions but also walking tours and theatre viewings. Perhaps more so than on other Trinity study abroad programs, the Trinity in Buenos Aires program allows students a deeper immersion into the local culture through living with a host family and studying at local institutions, making it easy to make meet locals and improve language skills. I would highly recommend the Trinity in Buenos Aires program to any student contemplating study abroad.

The Food Gals find tasty sushi on a conveyer belt at Umi





For those of you who are sick of microwaving Ramen in your dorm room for every meal, Umi Sushi and Tapas in Blue Back Square offers an upscale version.  For just ten dollars, you can order the spicy Ramen, a take on the favorite that includes chicken, corn, egg, scallions, and a unique broth.

Umi prides themselves on being a 21st century restaurant.  Throughout the entire space runs an updated yet traditional Japanese revolving conveyor belt, featuring a variety of fresh sushi rolls and salads.  The dishes are priced based on a color scale, ranging from green to purple.  The least expensive are the green plates, which include avocado and salmon rolls, for $1.95.  On the other end of the spectrum, the purple plates are more extravagant rolls such as seven-spice lobster salad and rainbow for $5.95.  All of these cold foods are prepared in front of the guests, who are seated either around the conveyor belt or at spacious booths.  At the end of each table sits a device equipped with three buttons: check, drink, and service.

If you are over 21, Umi has a popular bar with a vast array of different drinks. Many beverages were made with Saki to complement the Japanese food being served. On Thursday nights past 9:30, karaoke is available for those brave enough. We left before we could participate, but next time, we are hoping to go with a large group of friends and make a night of great sushi and singing.

In addition to more than one order of the Spicy Ramen, we tried the rock shrimp, miso soup, the seven-spice lobster salad roll, rainbow roll, and shrimp tempura roll.  Sushi can be taken directly off the conveyor belt or special ordered. The rock shrimp was delicious, dressed with a spicy sriracha sauce and served over a bed of lettuce.  Because the food comes out in small portions and so quickly, Umi is the perfect restaurant to share food. The miso soup was blissfully mediocre, as good as miso soup can be.  One of our favorites, the seven-spice lobster salad roll was spicy but left us getting a second order.  The rainbow roll included Hamachi, tuna, and salmon that complemented each other perfectly.  Lastly, the shrimp tempura roll was seasoned without being soggy.

Other special aspects of Umi’s menu are the BLT roll and plenty of vegetarian options.  There were seaweed salads, desserts, and even individual containers with ginger and wasabi to complement the sushi. In addition, the restaurant offers over one hundred combinations of flavors and tapioca balls for the trendy bubble tea. For anyone who hasn’t tried bubble tea, we strongly recommend everyone getting a different flavor and sharing. From what we hear bubble tea is extremely popular in Japan.

Despite the modern factors of the restaurant, the level of service we received pleasantly surprised us.  Although the restaurant was almost packed, and we could tap a button to get her attention, our server was attentive and readily available for our every need.  Most of the servers and bartenders are young and they loved to make jokes and give their own recommendations. Ours chimed in on our conversation and made us really laugh. They were fully staffed so everything we ordered from the kitchen came speedily and still hot.  Even our hostess at the front was friendly and accommodating when we asked to be seated at a booth along the conveyer belt.

Wall Street Prep helps students interested in a career in finance

Esther Shittu `17

Staff Writer

While most Trinity Students spent their Trinity Days visiting friends, families and getting more sleep, some students spent their Trinity Days investing in their future. During the break, the Career Development Center held quite a few programs, one of which was called Wall Street Prep.

The Wall-Street Prep program has been offered to Trinity juniors and seniors for the past three years. The program is led as a two-day intense boot camp where students are trained in financial accounting, financial modeling, and interview strategies.

“Because Trinity is a liberal arts school, we do not offer classes that expand on or go deep into financial modeling, evaluation, which are a things that investment banks and other highly quantitative jobs are looking for,” Breton Boudreaux, assistant Director of the Career Development Center, said. “The Wall Street Prep Program is offered as a supplement to those students who are interested to going into those careers because we want to make sure that students have the support to go into whichever career path they want.”

Topics covered during the Wall Street Prep program included Excel Crash Course, Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis, Financial Statement Modeling, Valuation and DCF Modeling and Technical Finance. In the Excel Crash Course, students learned about the basics of Microsoft Excel such as shortcuts, navigating and editing. Students also learned about Lookup Functions And Data Tables and VBA, Recording Macros and Custom Formatting. The Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis taught many of the students about how to understand financial statements. In the Financial Statement Modeling course, students developed a three-statement model from scratch. In Valuation and DCF modeling, many students learned about valuation methodologies and DCF analysis. In Technical Finance, students prepared for the technical finance interviews.

The program was taught by an outside vendor, Wall Street Prep, who brought their own instructors. “The vendor bring in instructors… that I believe MBA that teach this and it’s the same kind of curriculum that you get with training programs at some of the bank,” Boudreaux said.

Boudreaux explained that the training does not provide a certificate but it can be put on one’s cover letter when applying for jobs. “It will give you the tools so when you are applying for jobs, it can be built into your cover letter and interview and you will be able to more accurately talk about those skills that you learned,” he said.

Boudreaux also said the program gives students a boost when applying for finance jobs. “As it becomes more and more difficult to careers in finance, programs like this are not a necessity, but they really help students to be able to get through the interviews and be competitive for those positions,” Boudreaux said.

Sean Meekins ’15, an economics major, was one of the students who took part in the program. “I took part in the program because I am looking for a job in finance and the tools essential for finance aren’t taught at Trinity, like DCF models, balance sheets, etc,” he said. “I knew Wall Street Prep was an extremely well taught course and it was too good of an opportunity to pass up”.

Meekins found the program helpful because of all the information that he learned as well as the foundation it gave him in regards to the jobs that he is looking for. “I learned about valuation models and accounting strategies. I also learned about different questions to prepare for interviews,” he said. “I think [Wall Street Prep] is going to help me because it gives me a good foundation for finance jobs. They also give you all the materials to take home with you. So not only are you learning in the course, but you also have to the ability to refresh on what you learned. That is something that I can take back with me.”

The Wall Street Prep program was not only open to students wishing to go into finance. “Anyone can take it, although it does help to have some sort of quantitative background,” Boudreaux said. “Many of the students who were interested this year weren’t economics majors…it’s mainly used in financial services but other industries and businesses who use some of the same things as well. There were definitely students who took the program who were not interested in finance”.

Both Boudreaux and Meekins see the program as an opportunity that students should take advantage of. Boudreaux extends the invitation beyond the Wall Street Prep. He said that students should look for ways either through programs like the Wall Street Prep or other ways to supplement their career goals and paths.

“We want to encourage students from all majors to take advantage of the opportunities on campus to supplement their classwork and their coursework with either extra classes or exploration experience,” Boudreaux said.



Tel Kabri wine cellar survives after many centuries

Chris Bullfinch `18

Staff Writer

What could chemistry, history, and Mediterranean trade winds possibly have in common? How do cloning and wine relate to one another? And what in the world is vitiology?

Trinity was given an in-depth answer to such questions (and many more) with a presentation by Andrew Koh, a professor at Brandeis University. The presentation, entitled “Characterizing a Middle Bronze Palatial Wine Cellar from Tel Kabri, Israel”, deals with an archeological site in Israel dating to the second millennium B.C.E., and the discovery of what is believed to be an ancient wine cellar.

Tel Kabri was discovered in 1957 in Galilee, northwestern Israel, and is one of the largest Bronze Age (circa 2000 B.C.E.) Canaanite sites discovered. Excavations over the last half-century have uncovered a large palace or estate complex, and many important artifacts have been discovered therein. In 2013, one chamber within the complex, very near to what archaeologists believe to be the main dining hall, contained numerous jars and containers with a very particular design. Upon closer examination, one graduate student remarked, “This tastes like dates”. This revelation spurred an interest to find more hard data about what the room had been used for. The hope was that the researchers has stumbled upon an ancient wine cellar, a discovery that could have huge implication in the study of viticulture, or the means of producing and consuming wine.

Scholars of antiquity have long noticed the large role that wine played in ancient society. Dionysus was the god of wine in ancient Greek culture. Noah allegedly had his own vineyard after his adventure on the Ark. Wine is used in many religious sacraments, traditions dating to ancient times. Wine is one of the most historical spirits, and there is a fair amount of evidence from ancient administrative clay tablets that wine production was a major industry of the ancient world. Despite wine’s tremendous influence, there is very little hard data or physical evidence of wine production and consumption at ancient archeological sites. In light of this lack of a tangible connection to man’s spirit imbibing past, the discovery at Tel Kabri takes on an entirely new significance.

A new and unusual branch of archeological research has spring up in recent years that became very useful to Professor Koh and other scholars investigating ruins with natural remnants: organic residue analysis. Organic residue analysis is essentially a chemistry lab with historical samples. Archaeologists at Tel Kabri took small pieces of the pottery recovered from the site and ran them through a series of tests to find different chemicals and residues left over from whatever was carried in the vessels. After all was said and done and the tests were completed, traces of various organic chemicals associated with winemaking were found. What makes the recent Tel Kabri research groundbreaking is the level of detail that the tests were able to find. The tests revealed traces of honey, storax resin, terebinth resin, cedar oil, cyperus, juniper, and perhaps even mint, myrtle, or cinnamon. The implications of these residues are far-reaching. Not only can archaeologists now ascertain what additives and ingredients went into the wines of the Tel Kabri region, but they can also get an idea as to preferred ingredients of different regions, by tracing the different plant and other organic materials to the areas from which they originated. By tracing the ingredients and additives, scholars can get a sense of Bronze Age trade networks. Furthermore, the prevalence of certain ingredients in certain regions can give experts an idea as to what commodities were being traded, and their relative values. Furthermore, the discoveries at Tel Kabri also demonstrates the value of wine itself in ancient societies. The denizens of the Tel Kabri palace clearly enjoyed drinking wine, which places Tel Kabri firmly in the human tradition of making and drinking wine.

The sophistication of the winemaking process displayed at the ruins of Tel Kabri suggest that the residents of the area were very familiar with the botanical properties of the ingredients they were using, as well as an understanding of preservation and storage of wine, which in turn implies knowledge of fairly advanced chemical processes. Whether or not the Canaanites of Tel Kabri and others of the age truly understood the chemistry of their beverage making is unclear, but the sophistication of the storage and the myriad ingredients suggest that the ancient peoples had experimented extensively and developed a successful fermentation process, and that they were familiar enough with the process to experiment with different additives, to create new flavors and enhance their craft.

Among the most intriguing innovations that have resulted from the research at Tel Kabri are the myriad of ancient ingredients whose chemical makeup is being analyzed. Ancient winemaking was almost certainly different than that of the modern day, and scientists believe that with the Tel Kabri sample, some of the ancient ingredients may be recovered and used to recreate ancient wines. Some have even talked of cloning grapes from the residues, very precisely reproducing the wines of the past.

The many different wines tell us much about the ancient people who created them, but perhaps the most intriguing insight to be gleaned from Professor Koh’s research is an image of people nearly four millennia ago enjoying a glass of wine over dinner, talking long into the evening, laughing and enjoying a glass of one of humanity’s oldest beverages, wine. Professor’s Koh’s research gives us unique insight into the lives of our ancestors, and paints a detailed picture of one of humanity’s oldest traditions.

Sophomore Success Program inspires students

Charlotte Thomas `17

News Editor

After two days of what hopefully included a much a needed break from the daily academic grind, a few sophomore students decided to use the rest of their Trinity Days to take advantage of the Sophomore Success Program. This intensive two-and-a-half day workshop arranged by the Career Development Center provides sophomore students with the skills to develop their academic and career interests.  The program also offers students the chance to network with Trinity alumni.

            On the first night of the program, Trinity alumnus, Bryant McBride of the class of 1988, spoke to students about how to achieve their career goals. McBride shared his secret to success as a CEO and founding partner of Route 2 Digital with students, which namely included “how to eat an elephant”. The answer to this strange quandary entails “breaking bigger things into pieces”. Therefore, Mr. McBride simplified his advice for how to succeed in the “real world” with his first point—students first need to figure out where they are going in their career path. He also reiterated that it is important to be one of the fifteen percent of Americans who enjoy their work.

While some students choose their majors according to what they think will most likely win them a high-paying job out of college, McBride emphasized that students should continue to do what they like. “Take note of what you do on a Saturday. This is what you like to spend your free time on, and what could ultimately turn into a rewarding career,” advised McBride.

Other factors that contribute to one’s success after choosing a career path relate to preparation. On the second day of the program, participants attended several different workshops, including two that were lead by alumni: Jett McAlister, the Associate Director of the Career Development Center, and Jeb Balise, a CEO of PuzzleSocial Inc. Respectively, each alumni instructed students on “Creating One’s Narrative” and “Following One’s Passion”.  In the first workshop, Mr. McAlister reviewed basic etiquette for applying to and interviewing for potential jobs. One key tip that he highlighted included that applicants should not only be well-informed about the company that they apply for, but that they should also be prepared to take notes and learn from an informational interview with the employer. Mr. Balise emphasized in his discussion an idea similar to that of Mr. McBride, in that one should want to express interest in a potential job because people should be working in an industry that they love. Furthermore, Mr. Balise encouraged students to think “outside the box” when brainstorming future career goals, by reflecting on the past. He added that while students are focused on the newest technology, and how to “one-up the next Einstein” it is vital that people look to history to build on modern ideas. This served as an important reminder to students to reflect inward on their own academic predilections, rather than to look for what the world needs.

Later in the day, the final three workshops offered participants the chance to revamp their resumes, practice their interviewing skills, and learn how to write an effective cover letter. One sophomore student, Silvia Fedi, commented that “it was very beneficial to have a Trinity alumni who works as the Leisure and Arts Editor of The Wall Street Journal lead the cover letter workshop”. This appearance of Eric Gibson from the class of 1976 offered another example of the depth of Trinity’s alumni network.

The final day of the Sophomore Success Program provided participants with an even more comprehensive look into Trinity connections. Two shuttle buses transported students to The Marriott in Downtown Hartford, where Trinity alumni from all different areas of work spoke about their experiences in their respective industries. Such areas included: Insurance, Fine Art, PR/Communications, Financial Services, Performing Arts, Health Professions, Real Estate, Non-Profit, Entrepreneurship, Law, Engineering, and Food/Hospitality. One particularly inspiring lecture came from the most recent Trinity graduate, Merritt Piro, who graduated in the Spring of 2014. After graduation, Miss Piro ventured into the entrepreneurial world with her brother and his friend when she launched a new line of beverages called “Captain’s Neck & Co.” Seeing someone who was once a fellow student at Trinity pursuing her dreams alongside another successful Trinity graduate, Colin Touhey `10, was encouraging for those who feel nervous about the transition from college to “the real world”.

As a consequence of participating in this program, these sophomore students should feel better prepared to pursue their career interests. Although some of these students may still be questioning which industry they wish to enter—in addition to which major they will choose—it is reassuring to know that Trinity’s strong alumni network will be available to support whatever career choice these students select.

Director Jonathan Caouette visits Trinity to discuss “Tarnation”



This past Thursday, Trinity’s EROS, InterArts, and Theatre and Dance departments hosted a special 10th anniversary screening of the acclaimed documentary-film, “Tarnation,” at Cinestudio. The screening was followed by a discussion with the film’s director, Jonathan Caouette.  Given the groundbreaking nature of the documentary, it was an honor for Trinity to host Caouette. The extremely moving and thought-provoking film, coupled with an engaging discussion with Caouette, made for an excellent campus event.

‘Tarnation’ narrates Caouette’s turbulent life story through a striking assemblage of snapshots, Super-8 home movies, old answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of 80s pop culture, and reenactments that together portray traumatic issues concerning abandonment, rape, drug addiction, and promiscuity.

Effectively, his story brings awareness to the hardships of mental illness and what it was like growing up and living a life as a homosexual man. One also gets a glimpse into the fragmented and complicated but extremely sincere, loving relationship that Caouette shares with his schizophrenic mother.

In the film, Caouette begins his story with his revelation that his mother has overdosed on lithium. The rest of the film, flashes back all the way from the marriage of his grandparents, who had a daughter [Caouettes’ mother] named Renee. At a very young age Renee became a model and while this bought her a few years of fame and success, her life changed when she had a fall that paralyzed her legs. Her parents agreed for her to receive electric shock treatments. The treatments entirely changed her personality, and also caused her psychological trouble for the rest of her life.

Renee fell in love and married Steve Caouette, finally happy. However, they divorced very quickly. When Renee discovered she was pregnant, Steve was already gone and she was left a single mother to Jonathan Caouette.

They moved to Chicago when Caouette was very young, without any money and no place to go. Following an incident where Renee was raped in front of Jonathan, amongst other unfortunate events, Caouette was taken by child protective services and was put into the foster care system. At the age of four Caouette was verbally and physically abused by his foster parents, resulting in his moving back to Texas where his grandparents were granted custody of him, and eventually adopted him. Renee was hospitalized many times for mental illness throughout this time and the rest of her life.

At the end of a very troublesome childhood, and a teenage life tested by many trials and tribulations, Caouette decided he needed to get out of Texas, and moved to New York City in his early 20s. When he was there, he continued to film, starred in a few productions and met David Sanin Paz, who became his boyfriend. They moved in together and were very happy. Not only was this a very important part of Caouette’s story, but it provided the film with moments of happiness and hope that revealed to the audience where Caouette got his strength to deal with his  struggles. Eventually, when Caouette found out that his mother was being hospitalized for a lithium overdose, he decided to go back to Texas and visit her. When she recovered, he brought her back to New York where she lived with him and David. The scenes that followed were terrifyingly real and extremely jarring in their depiction of Renee’s mental health and the stress that this caused Caouette.

After the documentary was screened, Caouette answered the audiences’ questions and discussed how the film came to be. He said that Tarnation was not just a “happy accident.” He had the idea of someday creating a film with everything he recorded. He wanted to do this mostly to show the effects of mental illness. He said, “Sometimes we put mentally ill people in a category with homeless people and people addicted to drugs.” He acknowledged that mental illness is its own very serious issue. Watching his mother go through it was incredibly hard and scary. In the film he says at the end, “I don’t want to become like my mother.” Each scene is so authentic and raw that it draws viewers in causing them to care very much for Caouette and his family. Listening to Caouettes’ own reflection on the film was a very meaningful experience.

In terms of editing the film, Caouette was very humble. He says that David’s aunt was “the catalyst” for the project because she provided them with the iMac that they edited the film on. They used the very first software that came out for editing at that time, and therefore “a twelve year old could have probably put it together,” he states. However, Caouette’s unique decisionsformulated the film into an incredible documentary. Although having words on the screen to tell parts of the story instead of a voice over, and using special effects to split the screen into many separate pictures were merely results of what was technologically available, they had a major artistic effect on the film.

The split screen and movement of pictures as if they were in a kaleidoscope, paired with interesting music, made the film look crazy and chaotic at times, which mirrored the turmoil Caouette lived with.

Caouette mentioned that if the film came out today it wouldn’t have had the same effect as it did coming out in 2003. It was before YouTube became an outlet for people who enjoyed creating videos and films, so it was a very unique and artistic documentary for that time. It was particularly remarkable that although the serious themes of the film could in itself have sparked a lot of discussion, Caouette spoke a lot about his artistic process, which provided the audience with a new light on the film.

It has been ten years since the film came out. Looking back on it Caouette said that “Tarnation” is a film that would typically come out at the end of one’s career. However, he insists that he has more stories to tell and is currently working on two screenplays. Having seen “Tarnation,” undoubtedly most viewers would be keen to see more of Caouette’s work.

Music department presents a double-billed fall musical



This past week Trinity’s Music Department presented its Fall musical theater production in the Austin Arts Centers’ Garmany Hall. Aptly directed by Music Professor Gerald Moshell, “A Cabaret” and “Colette Collage” cleverly featured a series of Broadway standards, followed by the first act of a two-act musical about the life of the French writer Sidonie-Gebrielle Colette.

The first act was performed smoothly enough, buoyed by the suitably energetic performances of its six cast members, and the variety of its fourteen numbers. The selections that comprised “A Cabaret” spanned the depth and breadth of the American musical theater catalog, with hits from well-known classics such as “Wicked”, “Godspell”, and “Chicago” running up alongside more esoteric selections and hidden gems. Minimally staged with simple costumes by Kathryn Durkin ’15, “A Cabaret” served to showcase student talent above all else. Overall, the six performers handled the material well, feeding off of each other in the group numbers while losing some steam in some of the solo and duet performances. Regardless, the performances were all very engaging, and the audience remained in awe throughout. Highlights included a rendition of the title number from the 1976 revue, “Starting Here, Starting Now,” a powerful version of “In His Eyes” from Frank Wildhorns’ musical, “Jekyll & Hyde,” by two of the evening’s most vocally seasoned performers Caroline Cannon ’18 and Lydia Haynes ’18, and a cheerful ensemble performance of “We Beseech Thee” from “Godspell.” Haynes’ sophisticated and gutsy performance of “Nothing” from “A Chorus Line” was a standout, funny, confident and altogether delightful.

While the first half provided an entertaining sampler of standard Broadway fare, the second act was a different beast altogether. An obscure one-act musical from the 80s, “Colette Collage” proved a strange and thought-provoking, non-canonical romp. Based eponymously on the life of the turn-of-the-century French writer Collete and her relationship with the literary scoundrel known by the pen name, Willy. The musical chronicles, Colette’s coming-of-age, her sexual awakening, her abusive relationship with Willy, and her foray into writing and performance. The musical’s themes of sexual self-acceptance seemed particularly appropriate given its run at the end of Pride Week. A bizarre highlight of the musical came in the form of its second to last number, in which Collette’s mother bleakly declares that “Love Is Not A Sentiment Worthy of Respect,” a curious and thought provoking note to end on.

The cast of “Collette Collage” served it well, and their commitment and enthusiasm for the project showed throughout the performance. Maggie Powderly’18 who played the title character as well as choreographed the show, admirably led the cast. The two men of the cast likewise delivered fine performances, with Malcom Moon ’15 playing the scheming, smooth talking literary figure, Willy, and Davis Kim ’15 as the free-spirited and wholly amusing, Jacques. The chorus roles played eloquently by Sarah Wallingford ’15, Adelaide Jenkins ’18, and Kira Mason ’15, also added another element of humor to the show. Kristan Bertschmann ’15 blew the roof off with her incredibly strong vocal performance as Collette’s mother Sido, rounding out the pleasingly robust cast.

Ultimately, this unique production found its strength both in Professor Moshell’s careful and loving curation and direction, and in the casts’ courage to find life and exuberance within the assembled pieces. It also very succesfully brought extremely talented freshmen singers and vocalists into the light.

Cinestudio Review: Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, “Vertigo”



There is nothing that could possibly compare to this film. It appears like a lingering ghost in nearly every movie that follows in its stead, and continues to shape creative thought with its bitter story of love, death, and where the two overlap: “Vertigo.” Many readers have heard of it, while the rest have seen and marveled at it in one-way or another. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece lived on this past week at Cinestudio, and to those of you who have yet to see it, there is no better time than a crisp and moonlit October night with a friend or two.

Reviewing “Vertigo” is like walking a tightrope over a steep drop. It can really only be done by giving up one or two of it’s ingenious twists. In my defense, this movie has been praised and doted upon so many times that it has taken on a kind of legendary status, which allows reviewers to talk about it without really spoiling anything. It should be reviewed not as any old movie, but as a well-oiled and beautiful machine, full of gears and cogs. Its greatness is most evident to those who have already riddled it out, who can look into the performances’ artistry, and haunting implications without being too distracted by the plot.

Jimmy Stewart plays a police detective plagued by severe vertigo: a debilitating fear of heights. In his first case in many months, a wealthy San Francisco man hires him to follow his wife around on her daily errands. You see, the man believes that the spirit of her great-grandmother may possess his wife. It is a strange commission, but the detective, John “Scottie” Ferguson, takes it on as a way to get back on the job. At first, the wife, played with cold detachment and gravelly gravitas by Kim Novak seems normal – but in time, it becomes clear that she is acting strangely, visiting her great-grandmother’s grave, and showing suicidal tendencies. When they finally meet face to face, Ferguson and the wife, “Madeleine,” quickly fall in love, and begin an affair.

Thinking that all will be well, Ferguson and Madeleine drive to a Spanish mission church not far from the city. Madeleine seems to remember the place from a dream of her past life. It was the place where the great-grandmother committed suicide. Upon arriving there, Madeleine seems overcome by the persona of her ancestor, and runs to the top of the mission church tower. Ferguson chases after her hoping to save her, but along the way up, he has an attack of vertigo, and must stop. Moments later, he sees Madeleine fall past the window, and to her death. Detective Ferguson is heartbroken, and goes into a state of shock for many months. This is when the real depth of the movie is seen. One day on the street, perhaps a year later, the now retired detective sees a woman who appears to be a kind of doppelganger of his lost love. Hitchcock employs all of his skill to make time seem to stop for us; there she is, alive again, or at least someone who looks exactly like her.

“Vertigo” explores the idea of second chances with an air of enormous darkness, how far will a man go when he is given the chance to go back and change his great failure? The answer is astonishing and chilling. The best twist occurs toward the end of the movie, and is legitimately shocking, even with today’s standards in mind-bending movies. The lesson detective Ferguson learns that love is a difficult and ethereal emotion that can destroy twice as fast as it creates, and that sometimes, when dead, love is better left buried deep.

This past week, Trinity was again gifted with a movie that deserved to be seen on a big screen. “Vertigo” was designed to make your stomach jolt with its heights, angles and illusions, and they are now unparalleled. Bernard Herrmann’s soundtrack is an eerie thing of beauty, and is written to capture the love story element of the movie while hinting at a festering undercurrent. Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak are perfectly cast as their respective characters. In short, “Vertigo” is more than just a scary movie, It’s a piece of art that reminds us that to be in love is to be terrified of loss.



TV review: “Once Upon A Time”



“Once Upon a Time,’”is a fairytale drama set in a fictional town in Maine called Storybrooke, a place in the modern world, where characters from various fairy tales (that really belong in the Enchanted Forest, or other magical lands) have been cursed into. The show manipulates familiar plots and relationships from the original fairytales to create an interesting narrative and web of connections that make us rethink fairytale archetypes that we have possibly harbored all our lives.

The past three seasons of the show have featured everything from establishing that every fairytale world exists as a parallel universe, to the idea of travelling across realms and times through magic, to drawing connections between characters such as Snow Whites’ evil Step Mother, and the Wicked Witch of the West; and finally rendering heroic characters such as Peter Pan to be villainous. The surprising number of references, and seemingly bizarre but extremely clever connections, have resulted in the show becoming progressively more complex, and addicting. The current season that aired its first episode on Sept. 28 is garnering much intrigue, as well as criticism for its addition of a “Frozen” subplot.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersens’ dark fairytale, “The Snow Queen,” Disney created an adaption that transformed the Snow Queen (giving her the name Elsa) into a relatable character who is mistakenly assumed as evil because of her lack of control over her magic. “Once Upon a Time” however goes a step further and brings Elsa into Storybrooke, where she is not welcome by everyone and is consumed by her confusion, insecurity and loneliness as she is displaced from her sister, Anna.

A twist that the show adds is that it separates Elsa’s character, which we recognize from “Frozen,” from Andersens’ Snow Queen, who embodies a different character, introduced in the plot as a more powerful and intimidating personality. These references definitely keep most viewers engrossed, and in anticipation of what more the season has to unfold.

Along with the main plot this season that centers around Elsa, the show recurrently also features ongoing tensions and shifting dynamics between characters such as Hook, Rumplestiltskin, the “Evil” Queen, and Robin Hood (to reveal the least). While many critics claim that the references to “Frozen” are simply added from a marketing angle, one has to admit that the subplot definitely thickens the already complex story, making viewers look forward to even more.

“Once Upon a Time” is a show to be watched from the first season, so for those who are drawn towards the reference to the “Snow Queen,” and characters in “Frozen,” it is recommended and well worth your time to watch the show from the start.

Vatican’s new stance reflects acceptance of homosexuality



As the many chalk drawings suggested, last week was indeed Ally Week. As expected, the sudden promotion of gay acceptance on campus sparked quite a bit of debate, both in and outside the classroom. To me, the US seems still very much embroiled in the issue, with viable arguments for both sides. States seem to be slowly warming up to the idea of legalizing gay marriage, something that Europeans largely applaud.

Being gay in Europe is something that doesn’t require much explanation – homosexuals are ‘totally ordinary.’ However, not all countries are on the same footing in terms of gay rights legislations. For instance, the Netherlands, the first country in the world to adopt gay marriage laws, has a differing view than that of their neighbour Germany, which only allows same-sex partnerships.

Despite these opposing legislations, Europeans as a whole have adopted some pretty progressive strategies. The Romance countries (with the exception of Italy), the Benelux countries (except Luxembourg), the Scandinavian countries (except Finland), and Britain all have full gay marriage rights. In addition, Ireland, North Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia all have some kind of gay rights legislation.

As one may note from the list, Northern Ireland has not joined the UK standpoint on gay rights legislation. Here we see the ‘bible belt’ phenomena, where the conservative religious people of the UK gathered in Northern Ireland, reject the progressive laws that the less-observant British have accepted. This Bible belt carries the same connotations as the one in the USA, and almost all European countries have one. Even Holland, which has a high population density and very liberal views, has one stretching from Zwolle to Terneuzen.

The fact that Germany didn’t have same sex marriage actually surprised me whilst I was doing my background research.  In Berlin, for example, there is a very large and publically accepted gay community and neighbourhood similar to the one in Paris (where same-sex marriage is legal). The point that is being made here is that despite Germany’s absence of a concrete legislation, there is still a lot of acceptance there, more so than on this side of the Atlantic. To say that Germany is on the same level as the US in terms of gay rights would be a flawed statement – it’s simply untrue.

Why is it untrue? The answer lies in society. Most Europeans are unbothered by homosexuals, as long as they keep to themselves. Others are in fervent support of gays, found quite a lot in very liberal countries such as the Netherlands. It is only when one goes to the bible belts or notoriously conservative cities of Europe that the opinion that gays should have minimal rights becomes the norm.

But even in the most conservative places change and progress is gaining understanding. People are beginning to understand that their ultra-conservative hype is alienating possible members of their community.

This is understood no less than by Pope Francis I himself. Just recently he gave his backing to a clause discussed in the Catholic Church’s synod concerning the acceptance of gays. However, it was shot down, and despite the Pope’s best efforts he now faces considerable internal opposition.

But above all, it has made a statement to the world. Europe should start to see the encouragement of even more marital freedom in partially-protected states and get the ball rolling in countries that currently have none. One can safely say that a lot of Europeans applaud the fact that even the Vatican, one of the largest religious institutions can discuss progress that may one day mirror the liberal ideas that permeate European society.

However, it is when Europeans look at American society that they become somewhat disheartened. The main reason for this is because they just cannot understand the conservative views we have here. America may be a burgeoning capitalist empire that dominates the world, but the people still need some work when it comes to being a model citizen of the world.

But change seems to be looming on the horizon and the picture is not as bleak as suggested. More and more states are accepting gay marriage and ceding rights to the homosexual community. Admittedly, Europeans have stolen a page or two from the U.S.A.’s notes – we too have Christopher Street Day and related parades in most large cities, practices borrowed from the ex-Dutch city New York.

Social acceptance must follow these public awareness campaigns, and this is where the Europeans have the biggest trouble with understanding how Americans feel about homosexuality. How can you have so many parades, campaigns, legislative pushes, and most importantly the promotion of the US being the ‘land of the free’ when people are still not free to simply express their sexual orientation? Sure, people can be uncomfortable with the idea – that’s your opinion – but by imposing that phobia on others and depriving them of elementary rights in what is supposed to be a free society is hypocrisy in its purest sense. Will USA continue to allow New Zealand to be the freest country in the world, or will we step up to the plate and show that we truly stand for liberty for all, even when it comes to whom you choose to marry?


Criticism of government response to Ebola continues



After a tragic yet distant epidemic of Ebola appeared in Africa, the frightening and lethal pathogen landed on US soil, causing widespread concern and criticism of the United States’ preparedness for such a dangerous illness. As stories developed and people learned of the cases close to home, the Obama administration and various healthcare organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have been under scrutiny for failing to fully contain and prevent the disease from spreading between civilians and healthcare workers.

Government officials and spokespeople for various agencies assured the public that they were prepared to take on Ebola. By what standards was this actually the case? Alarming news updates have repeatedly flooded newspapers and televisions with story after story of missteps and mistakes made by the people trusted to care for and protect the American public from the threat of this deadly virus.

Recent reports released information that nurses wore full body suits when treating suspected Ebola patients, as directed by the CDC. Some suits were too big for the nurses, however. They were forced to use tape around the sleeves to try and tighten them for proper use, which was most certainly not in the CDC approved plan of action. Such last-minute changes and sloppy solutions give the public reason to worry about whether or not the nation is actually ready to deal with the seriousness of the Ebola virus. A nationwide survey revealed that a whopping three out of four nurses feel that their hospital has not adequately educated or prepared them to deal with Ebola virus. Included in this survey were other shocking figures as well. A concerning 85% said no official training sessions had been offered, and 76% stated that they were not clear on their hospital’s policy for admitting suspected Ebola patients. A lower yet equally frightening 37% of nurses felt their hospital did not even have enough supplies to deal with Ebola cases, and certainly not enough to counter any kind of real outbreak or epidemic.

Perhaps even more concerning was the news that a nurse who treated the United States’ patient zero was allowed to board an airplane. This caused widespread panic among airline staff and passengers, and with good reason. Schools that had teachers aboard the flights suspended classes as a precautionary measure upon learning that the nurse in question had a low-grade fever while on the plane. Why is it that this woman was not screened before her flight, despite the fact that she was a potential carrier for this lethal disease, and showed symptoms? Americans nationwide are pushing for stricter, more thorough screenings of airline passengers who may have been exposed to Ebola. Many have even called for a complete cessation of air transport between African countries impacted by Ebola and the United States altogether. In a recent press release, the CDC stated that it was against a full ban on air travel, but was open to suggestions. Reassuring, isn’t it?

Thankfully, it seems that the government is finally catching up to the epidemic of panic infecting American citizens. On Friday, President Obama tapped Ron Klain as Ebola czar; a position that Obama predicts will be active for roughly five to six months.  Klain has served as Chief of Staff for Vice Presidents Gore and Biden, and the hope is that he will be able to manage the government’s action-plan for Ebola response, including keeping the American people informed. The decision to appoint an individual to such a position comes at a critical time and will hopefully be both reassuring and successful.

As one of the most advanced and capable nations in the world, the United States has a reputation to uphold, one of readiness, ability to act, and effectiveness in execution. Since Ebola’s arrival, the United States has failed miserably at approaching the situation in every way. Health care workers were unprepared and unequipped to treat patients from the start. Regulatory measures in response to potential threats of Ebola spreading took days to finalize, and have not yet been implemented in a strong enough way to effectively minimize chances of contamination. Most importantly, the government has been unsuccessful in assuring the public that everything is under control and in capable hands. Stories crop up day in and day out about another suspected Ebola patient, or a new study that found a flaw in the response plan. People are becoming convinced that Ebola virus will become a present-day World War Z type phenomenon, largely due to the fact that it is plain to see that the Obama administration was not prepared for any kind of swift action. When the time came to initiate plans and make decisions, it appeared more haphazard than something appropriately thought-through. Unless changes are made and actions are taken, the results of Ebola in the United States will most certainly be tragic.


Protests in Hong Kong may be ultimately futile



The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has a distinctive ability of creating unhappy populaces. China may be one of the only nations to challenge the economical supremacy of the United States, but it is a socially failed sovereign state. It is ironic that the people of Hong Kong chose the National Day of PRC to protest, a day that should be rejoiced, but the protestors used the 65th anniversary of PRC to fight for change.

The people of Hong-Kong initiated the Umbrella Revolution on Oct. 1, 2014 in the Mong Kok neighborhood. In 1984, Britain decided to handover Hong Kong to China, creating a capitalist island within a communist state. Hong Kong is tired of being a puppet of the PRC, where the governors rather than the citizens decide the chief executive of Hong Kong. It is hilarious that PRC believes that a direct election is pre-approving possible candidates by a 1,200-person “nominating committee” comprised of Beijing loyalists. This was created as an amendment for the elections of 2017. However, this is an imitation democracy, so it is important that the people of Hong Kong protest because they have been oppressed for fifty years. The unwise chief executive of Hong Kong, CY Leung, refused to resign and labeled the demonstrations as disruptive and illegal. CY Leung and other officials were seen toasting one another with glasses of champagne on the National Day event, while thousands of protesters booed the ceremony. This clearly embodies PRC’s attitude towards opposition, as Zhang Xiaoming, Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong, dismissed the protests by stating that the “the sun rises as usual.” Moreover, the Hong Kong police reacted similarly to PRC. The police force used aggressive clearance operations such as tear gas and baton charges. This bold behavior explains why the protest is titled the ‘umbrella revolution,’ as protestors use umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas. These protests are creating noise worldwide as Amnesty International has called on China to “immediately and unconditionally” release all those detained in China for supporting the protests.

The Tiananmen Square Massacre took place on June 4th 1989 when thousand of citizens were silenced for raising their voice against communism. The government again silenced the people by raising the official flag as if the National Day had passed peacefully with few student protesters attending. It is indeed a skill of the government of PRC to act oblivious to resistance and believe that people are happy. Many citizens of China are unaware about the Tiananmen Square Massacre because the government controls social media. Subsequently, it is no surprise that China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua is puplishing limited news about the protest. Additionally, Chinese-language papers offered little to no coverage of the protests. The government of PRC needs to take immediate measures to ensure political and social stability in China. For instance, the movement has gained attention in Taiwanese media outlets. An article in the Liberty Times states that the people in Hong Kong “have awakened to get rid of the dictatorship of the Communist Party of China (CPC)…strike down the CPC and the Kuomintang Party.” The article even voiced its displeasure over Kuomintang Party’s close relations with the CPC. China needs to control social media so there is no obstruction to their trade relations.

Many believe that these protests are futile, as PRC would not accept the demands of the people as seen in the past. Nevertheless, Wang Dan, one of the student leaders in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests said, “whether or not democracy is achieved should not necessarily be judged by whether the movement can achieve a certain goal. I don’t think the Beijing government will give in to the protesters’ request. But the movement still serves a purpose; “it has stimulated a new generation’s passion.” This is true as women are now dressed in yellow and tie a yellow ribbon around their wrists because yellow is the color of protest. Moreover, protesters have been marking the roads with chalk, graffiti, and stickers with the ubiquitous umbrella symbol. The US government stated that the “legitimacy of the chief executive will be greatly enhanced if the Basic Law’s ultimate aim of selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage is fulfilled and if the election provides the people of Hong Kong a genuine choice of candidates representative of the voters’ will.” It is obvious that the Umbrella Revolution is causing disruption for PRC as numerous nations are taking their stand on the agenda. Nonetheless, it will not be surprising if the protest fizzles out with the government of PRC having their way.


End of NightWatch makes students more accountable



One of the first campus services to be dissolved was TCERT (Trinity College Emergency Response Team). Now Night Watch has followed suit and is gone as well. For those of you who remember, TCERT was a student organization whose members were trained to be EMTs and then would help students when they became too intoxicated. To be honest, when I first arrived at Trinity the TCERT team was the extracurricular activity that I wanted to join the most. I wanted to be a member of TCERT not only because of the benefits and skills I would gain, but also because I believed this kind of group would be beneficial for the general wellbeing of students as well. Throughout my time at Trinity I have learned that there a wide variety of misfortunes that can happen on a college campus such as alcohol poisoning. Many of these unfortunate alcohol-related mishaps can be prevented if someone steps in. Sadly, as I came to learn, many members of TCERT were not treated well and most of the time students would choose to try to help their friends’ themselves rather than have them be “TCERTed.” I will not lie and say that I don’t understand why some students may want to handle the problem personal and avoid getting a friend in trouble. From that perspective, I can understand why TCERT may not have been as effective as hoped.

From this came the birth of NightWatch. The program would require students to be trained as active bystanders. On Friday and Saturday nights, members of the group would walk around campus and offer water and pretzels to anyone who seemed overly intoxicated, hopefully preventing the need for said students to have to be transported. When I first heard about this, I thought it was an excellent idea because students who were drinking heavily would still be able to receive help, but at the same time not have to worry about being “reported.” This aspect of NightWatch thereby solved the previous problem of TCERT and had potential to be more effective.

Unfortunately NightWatch has now disbanded due to some recent changes in Connecticut legislature, specifically Title IX. Previously, Title IX had primarily addressed issues of sexual assault, stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment. The new addition to Title IX states that two people who are intoxicated are not within the right frame of mind to consent to sex and therefore, it could count as sexual assault.

Since Trinity paid members of NightWatch for their services they were considered employees of the school. According to Title IX, they could then be additionally classified as mandated reporters. This means that if a NightWatch member were to see something that looked like sexual assault, they were required to report it as well as documenting any witnesses. On a Friday or Saturday night, this could prove to be extremely difficult and again harkens back to some of the original problems of TCERT. Therefore, NightWatch is no more.

I was initially shocked when I first heard the news. My first thought was about all the good that NightWatch did last year and how unfortunate it was that there would no longer be anyone to help other students out by giving them water and pretzels. I thought about how many students have been transported this year and how many more may be transported and the potential numbers that could have been prevented by NightWatch. While there are still general training session for people interested in becoming more well-informed active bystanders, there is now no formal system in place. It made me wonder, what if all these active bystanders chose to drink as well, then how effective will this be if there is no longer a designated group?  And yes, people hosting parties could offer water and pretzels to their guests, but what happens when people leave? The argument could be made that people should just drink less and that they should also learn what their limits are. This way we could avoid having someone else intervening. To some extent, I agree with this idea.  On the other hand though, I can also acknowledge how hard it can be on a Friday or Saturday night, for someone to stop drinking, especially if one’s friends are not stopping. So where does that leave us?

The time has now come for us to hold ourselves accountable; not only because of the end of NightWatch or even the implications that the changes in Title IX will have, but because of decisions we have to make later in our lives. The choices we make now affect us not just today, but well into the future. What if, without your knowledge, someone took a picture of you throwing up and posted it online? What if that is something that a future employer sees? I am going to miss NightWatch, but I also think that its end should represent a new beginning in which we do act as active bystanders without having to be paid. I hope for a new beginning in which we learn when to stop and knowing when someone has had too much. Sadly, I know that even as I say this each weekend students will still get transported to the hospital for drinking too much. However, it is my continuing hope that one day that does not have to be the case and that people will grow more accountable for their actions.


Trinity football remains undefeated, defeats Bowdoin


This past Saturday, the Bantams headed up to Brunswick, Maine for their annual regular season contest against the Bowdoin Polar Bears. Coming into the game, Trinity was 4-0 on the season and Bowdoin was 2-2. The past 15 times Trinity has played Bowdoin, the Bantams have come out on top, but this year the Polar Bears certainly gave them a run for their money.

Whittier field saw quite the game; after the first quarter both teams were scoreless.  After the second, Bowdoin had a commanding seven point lead which carried into the third, and by the end, Trinity managed to come out on top pulling off an impressive come from behind victory. The final score: 17-10.

The scoring began with 12:35 remaining in the second half, as Bowdoin’s Andrew Sisti kicked a 27-yard field goal giving the polar bears a 3-0 lead. Directly following the field goal during Trinity’s possession, Polar Bear Branden Morin intercepted quarterback Henry Foye’s ’16 pass at the Trinity 45-yard line and ran it all the way for a touchdown, increasing Bowdoin’s lead by seven. Luckily Kyle Pulek ’16 was able to capitalize on Trinity’s final possession of half, kicking a 25-yard field goal to put the Bantams on the board before the break.

The third quarter did not see any scoring from either side. Offense from both teams had chances but neither was able to finish and Bowdoin retained its seven-point advantage.

The fourth quarter is where things got interesting. On Trinity’s first possession of the quarter, the Bantams amazingly covered 60 yards in six plays. The path to tying the game began when Foye connected with Michael Budness ’15 who ran for 30 yards to the Bowdoin 30. Four plays later, Foye found wideout Bryan Viera ’18 in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard pass that gave Trinity their first touchdown of the game with 13:17 left on the clock.

Following a Bowdoin punt, Trinity gained possession at their own 15 and managed to tally up 85 yards in 10 plays. The play of the game came in the midst of the 10 plays, when Foye found Ian Dugger ’16 and sent him a 37-yard pass, which got the ball to Bowdoin’s 13 yard line. Two plays later, on a third down with 11 yards to go, Foye threw a bullet to Chris Ragone ’15 in the back corner of the end zone. This gave the bantams a 17-10 lead with 6:22 to go in the game.

Bowdoin could not do much once they got the ball, going three-and-out on its next possession. The Bantams got the ball back and ran out the final 5:26 left in the game.

Trinity improves to 5-0 on the season, as Bowdoin drops to 2-3. Next Saturday Middlebury will make the trek down to Hartford for their annual regular season contest which will begin at 12:30. Middlebury will come into the game with a 3-2 record; suffering loses only to Wesleyan and Amherst.

2014 World Series preview: Kansas City vs. San Francisco



The Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants are set to compete in the 2014 World Series.  This series marks Kansas City’s first World Series appearance since 1985, when they rallied from down three games to one against the Toronto Blue Jays.  The Giants on the other hand will be competing for their 3rd championship title in five years, as they defeated the Texas Rangers over five games in 2010, and swept the Detroit Tigers in 2012.

Kansas City finished their season second place in the American League Central Division, and defeated the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card Game, making them the first team ever to reach the World Series after winning the recently introduced one-game wildcard playoff round.  Their Wild Card victory also marked Kansas City’s first playoff victory in almost 30 years. They went on to sweep the Los Angeles Angels in the American League Divisional Series and then continued to sweep the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series, earning them their first Pennant since 1985.

The Royals have found success through their outstanding defensive performance this season including exceptional play by veteran gold glove award winners, left fielder Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer.  Offensively, the team has been defined by their speed as they lead the league in stolen bases with 153. Jarod Dyson leads the team with 36 steals, followed by Alcides Escobar with 31 and Lorenzo Cain with 28.

On the mound, the American League Champions boast a solid starting rotation, led by veteran pitchers “Big Game” James Shields, Jeremy Guthrie and lefty Jason Vargas.  In the bullpen, the Royals lead the American League with 53 saves, 43 of which have come from closer Greg Holland.

The San Francisco Giants will represent the National League in the World Series for the third time since 2010. A roller coaster type of team, 2014 marked a return to form for the Giants as they came off a disappointing 2013 season, finishing 16 games behind the division champion Los Angles Dodgers.  This season, like the Royals, the Giants advanced to the divisional round after shutting out the Pittsburg Pirates 8-0 in the National League Wildcard game.  They went on to beat the Washington Nationals in four games to win the division and then bested the St. Louis Cardinals in five games to advance to the World Series.

The Giants are an offensively strong team, led by catcher Buster Posey, who leads the team in homeruns (22), runs batted in (89), batting average (.311) and on base percentage (.364).

Left handed all-star, Madison Bumgarner leads the Giants’ starting rotation with 18 wins and 219 strikeouts.  Accompanying Bumgarner on the mound is a powerhouse lineup of veteran talent including four time all-star Tim Hudson and Cy Young Award winners Tim “Big Time Timmy Jim” Lincecum and Jake Peavy.

This year, the Royals wear the crown of the loveable upstart contenders.  As a team that hasn’t played in a World Series in nearly 30 years, they overcame all odds this season and fought tooth and nail for a long overdue chance at the championship.  In that respect, they are not unlike the 2010 San Francisco squad, who until that point hadn’t won a World Series since 1954.  Today, the Giants are the powerhouse team, the final obstacle in Kansas City’s underdog tale.

Game one of the World Series is to take place at 8 p.m. Oct. 21 at Kaufmann stadium in Kansas City.


Field hockey improves to 9-3 with string of victories



The Field Hockey team has had a string of good matches in the past few weeks, improving their record to an outstanding 9-3 overall while maintaining a 5-2 record in conference play.  Since  Sept. 28, the girls have gone 3-1, losing to Middlebury College in a close match and beating Springfield College, Tufts, and Bowdoin.  The Bantams now rest comfortably in fourth position in the NESCAC behind, Middlebury, Bowdoin and Amherst.

On Oct. 4, Trinity had its biggest win of the season, edging out Bowdoin in overtime after a grueling 0-0 regular time result.  At the start of the match Bowdoin was ranked 2nd in the nation and had a 44 game at home winning streak. Forward Kelcie Finn ’18 scored the game winner unassisted a little over three and a half minutes into overtime to lead the Trinity College field hockey team to victory.  This isn’t the first time a first-year has made a major impact, in fact  this was Finn’s fourth game winning goal this season.  The new recruits are supplementing the upperclassmen with high levels of energy and skill that is pushing Trinity up in the rankings, as they continue to accumulate victory after victory.  The Bantams rank 13th in the nation, up from 17th just a few weeks ago.

The following week in Hartford did not go as well for the Bantams as they lost to Middlebury College Pathers, which is ranked 3rd in the nation.  A scoreless first half saw Trinity take three shots and Middlebury shoot just one, but seven minutes into the second half, Middlebury forward Pam Schulman scored after receiving an assist from defensemen Shannon Hutteman. Trinity had a penalty corner with 10 seconds on the clock, and co-captain defender Sophie Doering ’15 got a shot on Middlebury goalie Emily Knapp but the Panther rookie came up with her third save of the afternoon to preserve the shutout.  Trinity goalie Sophie Fitzpatrick ’16 totaled five saves.  The Middlebury attack was the first one to get past Fitzpatrick in league play since Sept. 20. The Bantams outshot the Panthers, 7-6, and held a 10-to-6 edge on penalty corners, but could not capitalize.

Coming off the difficult loss, Trinity rebounded the following day with a 3-1 win against Tufts.

In a midweek game on Oct. 15, the Bantams humiliated Springfield College 5-1. The game was scoreless for the opening 15 minutes, but Trinity put a shot in after a barrage of four smots within a matter of minutes, and Springfield goalie Timarie Villa could not hold up.  Trinity put another one in the net before half. The second half played out and resulted in a blowout. Trinity out shot Springfield 36-8, so the final score is not very surprising.

Currently, Finn leads the team in goals with 16, while Brenna Hobin ’18 and Olivia Tapsall ’16 have contributed 7 and 6 goals respectivly. The Field Hockey team has three regular season games left, against Connecticut College, Wesleyan and Amherst.  The first two teams should not be a problem for the skillful Bantams but Ahmerst on Oct. 29 should be a great challenge, like Trinity, Amherst has lost two games and needs the win to hold on to the 3rd spot in the conference, the final game will decide final position, provided the previous games go as predicted. After six days of rest the Bantams will again begin play against Wesleyan on Oct. 21.