by Amanda Keyko
Maddy and I had been dreaming about pizza since Thursday night, and after resisting the urge to call in Campus Pizza for dinner, we decided to dress up and head to Rizzuto’s Restaurant and Bar in West Hartford to satisfy our craving. Although we thought our last minute decision was brilliant, we had not made reservations and walking into the packed restaurant with our stomachs growling we were told we had to wait 35 minutes for a table. Luckily for us the restaurant is in the center of Blue Back Square, so we were able to squeeze in some shopping before dinner.
When our table was finally ready, the hostess walked us through the fun and geometric crowded space to our seats next to a giant window. The setting was very intimate with a decorative wall that created a private nook. With the smell of freshly made marinara drifting through the air, we quickly began to examine our menus. Our waiters also gave us the list of the specials and told us any of the pastas could be switched for a gluten-free option. The menu had a typical Italian antipasto section with an extensive cheese and cured meats list, along with a large selection of appetizers, salads, pastas and pizzas. We decided to start with the winter caprese salad and share two entrees: the funghi pizza and orecchiette and house made fennel sausage pasta. After our waiter had taken our orders, he brought over freshly baked bread with steaming marinara sauce. As we smothered our baguette pieces with sauce we examined the interior of the restaurant. Rizzuto’s has a cool and hip vibe, with many geometric architectural elements. The atmosphere was accented with many dark wood and stainless steel pieces. The restaurant was divided into two sections: a bar area, and a dining area with booths and small tables. It is clearly a local favorite, since every single table was filled and the entrance was packed with people waiting for a table.
Our salad arrived quickly on a large ceramic white plate. It consisted of roasted red Roma and yellow tomatoes, warmed burrata (our favorite!), cheese on semolina, local pea greens dressed with olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. The portion was huge and we both received large servings of the salad. We enjoyed the fact that the cheese was melted into a thick piece of bread that perfectly complimented the melt in your mouth tomatoes. It was quickly consumed, and we eagerly awaited our entrees. Both dishes again were generously portioned and made them easy to split. The orecchiete and house made fennel sausage pasta, also contained broccoli rabe, plum tomatoes, olive oil and roasted garlic. We both loved the dish, the sausage was amazing and the fennel flavor was very apparent. Everything in the dish was to our liking. Next we moved onto our pizza covered in king oyster and shitake mushrooms, roasted garlic, pancetta, baby arugula, smoked mozzarella and olive oil. The pizza was wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, and having consumed pizza all over Italy last summer we had high expectations. Unfortunately, we did not love the combination. The pancetta, which appeared to actually be bacon, was overpowering and the arugula was cooked into the cheese making the taste too dry for our liking. We thought fresh tomatoes or a sauce would have transformed the pizza. Nevertheless, the crust was still delicious and we added our leftover dipping marinara to fix our problem.
Maddy and I definitely enjoyed our experience at Rizzuto’s. The menu had a great selection of revamped Italian classics like fig barbequed pizza, artichoke salad and cavatelli pesto chicken pasta. The restaurant was also in a great space and both of us agreed to bring our parents here during their next visit. The prices were moderate with entrees ranging from $13 to $22 and appetizers around $10. They also had a fun cocktail section with options like homemade grapefruit infused tequila. Make sure you try Rizzuto’s Restaurant and Bar during a much needed study break before the semester is over. Remember to make a reservation first though!
PETER PRENDERGAST ’16
On Wednesday, April 24, the Trinity Men’s Lacrosse team wrapped up their 2013 season with a close win over Amherst College. This final matchup for the Bantams, which was played at home, proved that Trinity is still a team that can compete at a high level in the NESCAC, despite a slow start and a weak record this season.
Following a loss to Hamilton a week earlier, the Bantams took the home field hoping to end the season with a win. Trinity struck first, with two early goals from senior attackman Rob Nogueras ’13, assisted on the second by Matthew Hauck ’15. The Bantams finished the first quarter tied at five with Amherst, thanks to three goals from Matt Cohen ’13, Tim Reichert ’13 and Hauck. Both teams played hard in the second quarter, both scoring several goals. Cohen dominated the Bantam offense with three more goals before halftime, giving Trinity a score of 8 to Amherst’s 10. Freshman Henry Coote ’16 made his first starting appearance in goal and played the entirety of the game’s first half. He logged four saves.
In the second half, Amherst maintained a small lead, as Trinity fought hard to keep the deficit low. Nogueras, Nick Shaheen ’13 and Dominic Piselli ’13 combined efforts for an additional five goals in the third quarter. However as the fourth quarter commenced with Trinity down 15-13, the Bantams knew they had to push forward to win. Hauck was able to put one past the Amherst goalie on an assist by freshman Michael McQuiston ’16. With three and a half minutes left in regulation time, junior attackman Chase Growney ’15 scored, followed by Hauck with two minutes left to tie the game at 16. Finally, in overtime, captain Nick Shaheen drove in a goal, assisted by fellow senior Matt Cohen, for the win and the end of the 2013 Trinity Men’s Lacrosse season.
Nogueras and Cohen each finished the day with four goals in addition to one assist. Shaheen and Huack also had hat tricks on Saturday. Shaheen added an assist, a caused turnover, and one groundball. Huack accumulated two assists. Makar Zaverucha, who relieved Coote of his duties in the second half, finished with seven saves on thirteen shots.
The Bantams have wrapped their season up with a 5-10 overall record, finishing 9th in the NESCAC, with a conference record of 3-7. With losses to teams like Tufts, Williams, Western New England and Connecticut College, the Bantams will be looking at what they can improve on in the off season and how to come back stronger than ever next season. While players, students and fans are somewhat disappointed by the squads overall performance this year, there is now doubt that the Men’s Lacrosse team can rally next season to regain their rightful place as one of the conference’s most feared opponents. As the game against Amherst marks the final collegiate lacrosse game for seniors Nick Shaheen, Tim Reichert, Rob Nogueras, Jeff Herbert, Dom Piselli, Drew Grombala, T.J. Cholnokey, Chris Novick, Matt Cohen, and Ben Khouri, there is no doubt that 2014 could bring a new era of Trinity Lacrosse. With seasoned veterans, new talents and incoming recruits, the Bantams will be fighting hard to win the NESCAC and appear again in the NCAA tournament.
by Serena Elavia
It was a boring afternoon on a regular day when I, like hundreds of other Trinity students, received a friend request from Trinity Crushes. Normally, I delete these requests, branding them as things that will clog my news feed with unnecessary event reminders and posts, but this one seemed different. Intrigued, I hit confirm friend request. For the next few days, I watched people post their crushes and chatted about the site with my friends. Trinity Crushes did not seem like a big deal back in March. At first I thought that this was a futile attempt to revive the infamous TrinTalk. For the youngsters on campus, TrinTalk was an online anonymous confession board where students could post just about anything on everything. It was shut down last year because of many of its offensive and sexually explicit posts. Trin Crushes though seems to have a different purpose, and just a few days later, the student behind Trinity Crushes set up a Google Doc where students could anonymously post their crushes and the site blew up in an overnight sensation.
After watching my news feed update every morning with various crush postings, I was hooked and intrigued by Trinity Crushes. Like many other students, I wanted to know who the administrator was and why he or she chose to start the site. I Facebook messaged Trinity Crushes, hoping that it would meet with me in person, but my wish was not granted; so we decided to conduct an interview over Facebook chat.
When I tried to press Trinity Crushes for any identifying factors (age, gender, major), it politely declined and said that the purpose of the site is not to know who is running it, but to provide students with the courage to share a crush. While Trinity Crushes’ gender is set to female, the administrator noted that Facebook randomly assigned the gender. After learning about the James Madison University Crushes page from a friend, Trinity Crushes decided to start one for Trinity. Trinity Crushes hopes that people who do not have the courage to approach their crush will post on the site to let that special someone know that they have a secret crush. Everyone, even the most cynical romantics, like knowing that someone has a crush on them, and Trinity Crushes to create this happy, warm feeling on campus. “Why not start a site where people can get enjoyment from knowing someone has a crush on them, or a place they can share their crush, or even a place where they can enjoy watching love being spread?” Trinity Crushes wrote. The ultimate goal of the website though is that hopefully someone who shares their crush on the page will eventually muster up the courage to approach their crush in person.
But not everyone trusted Trinity Crushes when it was first released. A student messaged Trinity Crushes when it first opened to say that he felt uncomfortable sharing a crush knowing that the administrator of the site would know who he was. This prompted Trinity Crushes to create the Google Doc system where students can submit their crushes 100 percent anonymously. But anonymous postings may not always be the best thing. Lately, however, the site has strayed away from its original innocent purpose. While Trinity Crushes does feel that some posts are overly sexual and edging on inappropriate, it does not feel right censoring peoples’ crushes. Trinity Crushes says “I realize some of the page is quite offensive and I wish that was not so.” If a student wants a crush removed, Trinity Crushes does honor that request and has at times not posted highly graphic crushes. But it will only be a matter of time until a post goes too far and offends a student. Will Trinity Crushes have the same ill-fated ending as TrinTalk? The founder seems to think not. When asked, the founder does not believe that he or she could get in trouble and believes that the page will continue to survive next year. Still, Trinity Crushes says that “some of the posts are very honest and I hope they can lead by example.”
Self-described as a “cynical yet hopeless romantic,” Trinity Crushes has dabbled in posting on the site. “I have a couple crushes,” Trinity Crushes says and has posted three on the page. It came as even more of a surprise when someone posted a crush about the founder of Trinity Crushes. Luckily, this happened after the Google Doc was implemented.
In the same way that many crushes on the site will remain anonymous, so too will the founder of Trinity Crushes. I have my thoughts on a few identifying characteristics of who is behind the site, but I’ll keep those to myself and let the campus guessing game continue. What I will say though is this: please fulfill the administrator’s original purpose and use the site to share a real crush, and not a harassing post. Let’s not have TrinTalk 2.0.
Chloe Miller ’14, News Editor
This past Friday, April 26, Trinity College hosted its own Relay for Life Event from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Relay for Life is a movement organized by the American Cancer Society, a nationwide health organization dedicated to ending cancer. Relay for Life is the main volunteer-driven fundraising event that the American Cancer Society hosts. Participants participate in a walk and other fun fundraising activities in order to raise money for cancer research and cancer patients.
Trinity organizes Relay for Life through a committee of about 20 students. Geoff Kwok ’14 and Aarthi Ram ’14 are co-chairs of the event. Most of the committee work leading up to Relay involves spreading the word about the event. Committee members receive flyers, paint, chalk, and other materials to “paint the campus purple” in the weeks and days leading up to the event. Trinity students are often unaware of all the activities and events that go on on campus, so the Relay committee stresses advertising most. They also host fundraising events throughout the year. A member of Relay for Life foundation, Natalie Cullen, also attends committee meetings and directs students on what to do.
Trinity’s Relay event took place in the Koeppel Community Sports Center and began promptly at 6 p.m. Committee members began setting up the stage, registration tables, track, and other activity tables at 8 a.m. The ice rink area was full of participants either walking around the edge of the rink or taking part in activities. The event attracted 65 different teams, with a grand total of 464 registered participants. Many other students who hadn’t registered filtered in throughout the night. This year’s Relay had fewer participants than previous years, most likely due to the host of other events that were taking place the same night. Different fundraising teams, such as Kappa Kappa Gamma or AD, hosted booths or tables with free activities. There was an inflatable bounce area, a table to decorate cakes, a photo booth, and free snow cones and cotton candy.
Participants in Relay for Life pay a $15 registration fee and are asked to join a specific fundraising team. The money each participant raises then goes toward the team they are a part of. The teams that raised the most money for Trinity’s Relay for Life are St. Anthony Hall with $5,665, Pi Kappa Alpha with $3,050, and Trinity College Women’s Rugby with $2,665. The individuals who raised the most money were Annie Collier ’14 with $2,200, Tasmerisk Haught ’15 with $805, and Sarah Wolcott ’15 with $710. Overall, Trinity has raised $31,000 for this year’s Relay. $7,000 of that was raised during the day of the event. Donations are collected on a rolling basis and will continue to be collected until August.
One of the most popular and moving events of Relay is the Luminary ceremony. All of the participants and survivors gather around and all the lights in the building were turned off. A committee member read a poem she wrote, which used different names such as “father,” “mother,” “grandfather,” etc. She asked participants to crack their glowstick when they heard the name of someone who they personally know who has been affected by cancer. By the end of the poem, all the glowsticks had been cracked and everyone walked a few laps in silence, lead by the cancer survivors. Paper bags lined the track and everyone placed their glowstick in a bag, creating a luminous atmosphere for the moving memorial. Bags in the bleachers also spelled out “HOPE” in glowsticks.
Another popular event at Trinity’s Relay for Life is the Date Auction. The Date Auction took place at 8 p.m. and attracted a large audience. Individuals volunteered or were nominated to be potential “dates.” Each date took their turn standing on a stage while the audience placed bids on them. The winning bidder “won” that person as their date for one day or evening. Most of the people auctioned off were bought by their friends, sports team, or fraternity brothers or sorority sisters. The average price for each person was around $35, although Cody Patrina ’15 went for $120. All of the money raised from this Auction went straight to Relay for Life’s overall donations.
Each a capella group had a presence at Relay for Life, and all five groups performed in a concert at ten p.m., beginning with the Dischords, followed by the Accidentals, the Pipes, and then the Quirks and Trinitones. Their concert was wonderful and was followed by an equally musically talented lip-sync contest. There is a $500 prize for the winner of the lip sync contest, which was split two ways this year. Carl Bareto ’14 lip-synced his parents’ wedding song. This was a sentimental performance because Bareto’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Bareto’s friends and fraternity brothers came out to support his performance and the entire audience was very moved. Bareto also pledged to donate back half of his prize money to the Relay fund. The Moveable Joints shared top honors with Bareto for the lip sync contest.
While Relay is technically held until 6 a.m., activities wrapped up around midnight. Aysen Muderrigsolu ’15, a committee member, explained that in order to keep the momentum of the relay going, it is better to end the event earlier. When people do end up staying all night, the spirit and positive attitude about the event tends to diminish a bit. With all the activities and food and actually relaying, everyone was pretty worn our by midnight. It was a highly successful evening and committee members were pleased with the totals raised. They will continue to fundraise and spread word about the event, and Relay 2014 should be another unforgettable event.
Chloe Miller ’14, News Editor
Memorials and donations have been pouring in from around the world in response to the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings that left three dead and injured early 200. The marathon, held on Massachusetts state holiday Patriot’s Day, is an event steeped in loyalty, camaraderie, and tradition, and the blow of the bombings has shaken that spirit. In an effort to show support and commemorate the victims, runners and spectators alike have been organizing run/walk events around the country. Trinity hosted its own 2.62-mile run/walk last Thursday, April 25, called “Trinity Stands with Boston.”
Anastasia Edwards ’13 organized the event largely by herself with help from Residential Life, Campus Safety, and the Dean of Students office. A blue and yellow balloon arch stretched across the bottom of Vernon Street, just across from Psi Upsilon House, to mark the start and finish line for the event. There were chalk designs on the ground as well, and signs representing different parts of Boston were posted around the staging area. A red “hydration station” held water, Gatorade, bagels, and beads and wristbands to show support for the event.
Around 150 people showed up for the event, which was not marketed as a race, although the men’s and women’s track teams certainly led the crowd. The 2.62-mile route (one-tenth of a full 26.2-mile marathon) was a modified campus loop, with participants running up Vernon Street, down Allen Street, around campus, and then down Allen Street again before turning in at Vernon and finishing at the starting line. Dozens of faculty and students lined the course to cheer runners, and campus safety was stationed at each intersection to direct runners and traffic.
Edwards was a participant in this year’s Boston Marathon, and was just a half-mile away from the finish line before chaos from the bombings brought her and thousands of other runners to a halt before they could finish. The bombs went off at the finish line when the race had been running for four hours and ten minutes, which is the most common finish time for runners of that event. Edwards had been training for the marathon for several months, and ran in a “charity spot” by raising money for Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Edwards was a part of the Dana Farber charity in high school and volunteered at the marathon, but decided her freshman year at Trinity that she would like to run. “I wear the names of the people I’m running for on the back of my singlet. I also write the list on my wrist so when running gets tough I can look at my wrist and just focus on that,” says Edwards.
On race day, Edwards woke early and prepared for the race, joining other Dana-Farber runners near the starting line. Her wave set off at 10:40 a.m., and the first half of the race felt great. Edwards started feeling worse around 20 miles, and the infamous “Heartbreak Hill” that effects thousand of runners. Edwards kept herself moving through the last five miles by focusing on the finish line, and when she hit a wall of runners around 25.7, she was confused. “All I could focus on was not stopping and still pushing, so when someone put their hand on my shoulder I was pissed. I thought they were joking. I sat down and was thrown into the twilight zone,” she recalls. The thousand of runners sat in confused silence listening to ambulances wailing just on the other side of the road. Cell phone service was spotty and it wasn’t until Edwards stepped to the side and received 70 messages from concerned friends that she started to realize the weight of the situation.
Edwards found some friends who walked up from the finish line and waited in a friend’s apartment until things became more clear. Luckily, none of her friends and supporters had made it quite down to the finish line where the bombs went off. “The love and concern that poured in was so comforting. The media covered a lot of the spirit and humanity that shone through the trauma of the bombings, and that was true. It was incredible to see a city come together so quickly.”
“When I came back to Trinity and saw how affected Trinity was by this event I was so moved,” said Edwards, on her idea to create the run. Edwards met up with Director of Campus Life Nora Huth, who helped organize the idea into an event in just a few minutes. Edwards said she pulled the whole thing together in two days, and was extremely impressed with the turnout.
Finishing the Trinity run was an emotional experience for Edwards, as she was symbolically able to finish the race that was cut short as well as face emotions about the tragic incidents. Over 100 students, staff, and faculty members were also able to express emotion and support for the victims in Boston. The race opened with short speeches by Director of Community Relations Jason Rojas and Connecticut State Representative, 4th District, Angel Arce.
Seeing the Trinity community come together in such a way was inspiring and fun. The sunny spring weather and eager runners gave a positive spirit to a sad event. Edwards would like to thank everyone who came out in support of the event. She’ll be back on the race course next year, and continues to fundraise for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Chloe Miller ’14, News Editor
The Tripod has learned through a reliable source that the College plans to cancel the popular Late Night Bistro service after next weekend’s service. Due to high costs and low revenue, Chartwells does not plan on reintroducing Late Night service in the fall. Late Night, which began in September 2012, is an extremely popular food and activity option for students during the night. It is open from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursday through Sunday nights. Among the menu items are chocolate chip pancakes, egg sandwiches, tater tots, and boneless chicken tenders with a variety of mouth-watering hot sauce options.
While Chartwells cites low revenues, Trinity’s Office of Campus Life has also stated that there will be an option for late night dining given the extensive renovation of the Vernon Social Center. Students and Bistro employees alike love Late Night Bistro not only for the delicious food, but because it provides a safe place for students to go late at night. It prevents students who may be intoxicated from driving to pizza or late-night diners off campus, and encourages students to leave other social activities, such as fraternities, earlier in order to grab a snack before it closes. “It gives us something to do besides just go back to our rooms and drink more,” said Katie Barlok ’16, who has never known a Trinity without the late night option.
Citing results about on-campus dining survey that circulated to students earlier this year, Director of Campus Life Amy deBaun said that an overwhelming majority of students responded to the survey requesting late night dining options from Goldberg’s Bagel shop. Goldberg’s is slated to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night food at its new location in the Vernon Social Center. Chartwells will also be opening a new convenience store-style location. There was an open house at the end of last semester to show students what has been planned for the Vernon Social renovation.
While students overwhelmingly enjoy Goldberg’s bagels, there is the issue that they will not accept Chartwells meal plans. They will accept Bantam Bucks, but many students are responsible for their own Bantam Bucks budget and this will be an expensive addition to students’ food budgets. Currently, the vast majority of students use meals and Chartwells Dollars at Bistro Late Night, which is generally included in the costs of the college, and not the individual student budget. It is yet to be seen whether there will be a Chartwells option open late in the evening hours.
Many people are surprised as that Chartwells would go to the trouble of setting up the Bistro Late Night and hiring employees and managers, only to close after less than a year. It is now becoming clear that this is a joint decision between the school and Chartwells. Chartwells employees are unionized, but many late night workers are new to the company and would struggle to find new positions. Other positions, such as in Mather or the Cave, are arranged via seniority, and employees must have at least 90 days of employment to enjoy union benefits such as job search assistance. The current late night staff enjoys their jobs and wants to continue making the students happy, and are understandable concerned about the threat to future positions.
There have been a few incidents of behavioral problems at Late Night Bistro, such as a student who accidentally broke the glass that protects the salad bar, and a handful of intoxicated students who have gotten a little rowdy, but these were not cited as reasons that the program will by cancelled. Bistro Late Night almost always has one or two campus safety officers on duty in order to make sure students stay safe.
Employees and students who are concerned about personal budget may seek a solution to Bistro Late Night solution to low revenues at Bistro Late Night would include new and exciting menu items, which were planned for the fall semester, and an increased emphasis on beer and wine sales. Currently alcohol is available on Fridays and Saturdays at Bistro Late Night for of-age students, but sales are not high due to expensive prices and cheaper options for alcohol at fraternities or in dorm rooms. An unnamed employee also suggested that raising prices on some of the Late Night menu items would increase revenues. Currently, pancakes at Late Night cost $2.99, which is a fairly inexpensive option. With the proper notice to students, and an explanation of the situation, raising prices slightly could cause enough extra revenue to keep Late Night open.
The low revenues reported by Chartwells seem counterintuitive, since any visitor to Bistro Late Night would know that the crowds are usually there. But many students visit Late Night Bistro as a social option and do not actually purchase food or beverages. The employees are happy that students like the atmosphere and space, but unfortunately if their sales do not improve, there will be no choice.
While neither Chartwells nor the college has announced this change to the students, rumors of the news have been spreading. Students who converse with Chartwells employees have only heard one side of the story, as it is not general knowledge that there will be a late night option in the Vernon Social Center. Although attendance at last semester’s open house was fairly low. Many students have friendly relationships with these employees and are concerned about their future positions on campus. The Vernon Social renovation is very exciting for students, as the dining and entertainment options will fill a gap that even Bistro Late Night has been unable to complete. However, communications between Chartwells employees, Trinity administration, and students has been somewhat lacking.
Cara Munn ’15, Staff Writer
On Sunday, April 28, Marc DiBenedetto, ’13, a creative writing major, showed his documentary film “ALL-IN” at Trinity’s very own Cinestudio. The theater was absolutely packed, the air full of anticipation. The documentary followed the 2012-2013 Squash Team in their “comeback” year after losing to Yale in the regular season and Princeton in the National Team Championships just last year. With that in mind, DiBenedetto endeavored to pick up a camera and follow the group, no matter what the result.
DiBenedetto does not play squash much; he says the extent of his squash experience is that he took a squash class his freshman year but he lost in the first round of the class tournament.
“I chose to follow the squash team because I knew that they were more than just a team. My father is a Trinity alum and a good friend of Paul Assaiante, so I have been hearing about the program for a long time. Paul’s father-like influence and the diversity and mixture of cultures just makes for a great story,” he explained.
Throughout the year, DiBenedetto never missed a practice or a game. “I definitely connected with the entire team. I say that with such confidence because that is just the way the squash team is. They are there for each other, not just during squash season… I was friends with a few of the guys on the tem before I started filming, but now I feel like I’ve had a special moment with each one of them.”
When asked why he chose to do a film instead of writing about the squash team, DiBenedetto said, “Obviously, film and writing are very different but they have their similarities as well. I have taken several film classes ever since freshman year.”
DiBenedetto was also included in the team’s post-season festivities. He said, “Being included in all the post season festivities has been an honor. They also invited me to their formal dance and even a soccer match against the Trinity women’s soccer team that was played a few weeks ago.” On receiving a championship ring, he said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better reward than a championship ring but I think what I will cherish the most is that I have 23 new friends that I will be able to call my friends for a long time to come.” DiBenedetto also went to Fenway Park where the Boston Red Sox honored the team.
Although the film was already shown, DiBenedetto promises to have additional screenings. If you missed the showing, you will have more chances to view the documentary “ALL-IN” in the future.
Alie Shreiber ’13, Staff Writer
The 6th annual Samba Fest will be taking place this coming Saturday, May 4. Professor Eric Galm started Samba Fest in 2007. He initially started the event with funds from a Mellon Global/Urban course redevelopment grant. The first Samba Fest featured performances by several Hartford-based musicians as well as the Trinity Samba Ensemble. In addition, Professor Galm collaborated with Trinity’s annual “Fun Fair,” a student-organized community outreach fair for area children. However, in recent years the event expanded its campus participation to include the Athletics Department, Multicultural Affairs, Cultural Houses, and Campus Life. Hartford community organizations also got involved, including: Our Piece of the Pie, Hartford Areas Rally Together, Hartford Department of Public Health, SINA, and The Hartford Public Library.
Professor Galm stated, “The Samba Fest is an important event for Trinity in the Greater Hartford area. It brings together people from some of Hartford’s many cultural communities, including those from Brazil, Puerto Rico, The Caribbean, and Peru (an Afro-Peruvian dance group participated in last year’s festival). The connecting thread is that these cultures bring together the African presence in the Americas, and it is here at the Samba Fest, where people can make connections that highlight similar modes of expression that have emerged in different locations and contexts over the centuries.”
The event has grown over the years. In 2007 the event attracted 300 students to Trinity College’s campus, but in 2012 it grew to 2,500 spectators. The event expanded its reach beyond the neighborhood surrounding Trinity when it moved to the Riverfront in 2011.
The schedule of events for Saturday includes a Trinity steel drum-making-workshop, parade and welcome speeches by President Jones and Ambassador Cézar Amaral from the Brazilian Consulate of Hartford, Guakibom Jazz Orchestra (directed by Ray González), De 4 Ahwee & Company Steel Band, Samba Dance Class with Ginga Brasileira, Ed Fast & Conga-Bop Latin Jazz, Dinho Nascimento and the Orquestra de Berimbaus from the Morro do Querosene, São Paulo, and a performance by the Trinity Samba Ensemble directed by Professor Galm, with special guest José Paulo.
Throughout the day there will be activity booths open, sponsored by Trinity Student and Community Organizations. The Trinity Student groups are being organized by the Annual Community Event Staff (ACES). Activities are run by Trinity students and they are still looking for students to staff activities booths, so interested students should contact Joe Barber (x4256 or email@example.com). Examples of activities include face paint, temporary tattoos, and art projects.
When asked what role Trinity students play in this event he responded: “It is extremely important for Trinity students to help staff the activities and crafts tables, as well as attend the event, since this is an event that directly engages Trinity students with people in the City of Hartford. Many students have told me that they didn’t know what the Samba Fest was all about, but they said that it was one of their best experiences in Hartford — through interacting directly with children and families, experiencing dance workshops, and hearing a lot of great music in a live festival atmosphere, that is quite different from the typical rock concert.”
As a way of promoting the event there will be a live broadcast on Brazilians in Connecticut on WNPR’s “Where We Live” Thurs., May 2, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., featuring Professor Eric Galm, Brazilian Ambassador Cézar Amaral, and Connecticut Master Teaching Artist Efraim Silva. This program is produced by Brianna Gross ’13, and features music by Professor Galm with local artist José Paulo.
Elaina Rollins ’16, News Editor
The Hartford Courant and the Hartford Business Journal published articles this past Thursday, April 25, reporting that the Connecticut Department of Labor has issued a stop work order for eight subcontractors working on the Crescent Street Housing Project. This work order applied five firms from Massachusetts, two firms from Maine, and one firm from New Hampshire. The site inspection took place on Wednesday, April 24, and the stop orders were publicized the next day.
The stop work order was issued because the CT Department of Labor said the subcontractors could not provide records proving that they were paying into the worker’s compensation system.
Worker’s compensation is a form of social insurance that gives injured workers medical care, income, and survivor benefits (in the case of a fatality). When workers accept this kind of insurance, they relinquish their right to sue their employer for negligence under common law. This tradeoff is known as “the compensation bargain.”
In the United States, the most common industries that use workmans comp to deal with injuries are emergency responders and transportation industry workers. Workman’s comp is thus important for many construction workers who are worried about injury and lawsuits.
Another reason that the stop work order was issued is because the Division of Wage and Workplace Standards, a subdivision of the Connecticut Department of Labor, said that the eight companies did not have necessary paperwork that proved they are registered to do business in Connecticut.
Mara Lee, a writer at the Hartford Courant, explained in her article that, “Because companies could not show they were paying into worker’s comp, officials suspect workers are wrongly being classified as independent contractors.” This is problematic because when someone is hired as an independent contractor, that company saves money on Social Security fees, unemployment insurance, and workman’s compensation.
If the Connecticut Department of Labor had declared that the workers were hired as individual contractors, the accused companies would have to pay $300 for every day they were working on the Crescent Street Houses.
To avoid these sorts of fees, some states have worked to privative workers compensation programs. West Virgin and Nevada have both successfully privatized their workmans comp programs. There are only four states that rely only on state-run programs for workers compensation: North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, and Wyoming.
The Hartford Courant quotes Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor Sharon Palmer saying that, “Unfortunately, when an employer fails to properly recognize workers as employees of their company, often they are trying to avoid providing certain protections, such as workers’ compensation.”
The subcontractors included in the stop work order have been working quickly since Thursday to get back on the job.
Michael Wright, an employee from Astro Crane, confirmed that he is already back to work. Wright is the only Astro Crane employee working at Trinity on this project. He explained that his “workman’s comp was fine” – it was just not worded or presented in the way Connecticut legally requires it to be. Wright said that he is unsure of the status of the other companies working on Crescent Street, but he is sure that Astro Crane took care of the miscommunication.
One new company that is now working on the project is KBS Building Systems, a firm based in South Paris, ME. One construction employee from KBS who wishes to remain anonymous commented that his new team came to Trinity on the morning of Thurs., April 25 and had orientation early that day. He and his fellow workers began work by noon. KBS’s presence on site – only one day after the site inspection took place – shows that Trinity is very serious about completing the project on time.
Kirchoff Campus Properties, a private development firm, remains the leader for this project, with Consigli Construction serving as the general contractor. Kirchoff is based in New York and is responsible for the renovation of Trinity’s Long Walk. The firm has also done projects for Vassar College and Pace University. They are responsible for owning and financing the residential development.
Trinity’s Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer Paul Mutone was unavailable for comment about the current status of all the companies affected by the stop work order.
FORREST ROBINETTE ’16
As I look back at my life, I realize how fortunate I am to have had many great teachers throughout my education. We often overlook how much a great teacher can, and often does, impact our lives and who we are. Every one of us can look back at our time in elementary or high school and remember at least one wonderful teacher who inspired us and made us passionate about something. It seems that a single great teacher can inspire a life-long love of a subject. It also seems evident that a single bad teacher can create a life-long distaste for a field of study.
I remember very specifically the first teacher I had who really made a difference in my life. Her name was Mrs. Bigelow and she was my history teacher in sixth grade. During the beginning of the year, we were studying the Sumerian culture. In ancient times, the Sumerians used clay tablets for record keeping and developed the earliest known system of writing called cuneiform. Mrs. Bigelow organized a project with the art department that allowed us to write our own cuneiform records on clay tablets. She even brought in reeds so that we could use them as styluses, just as the Sumerians did. In doing this, she made learning both engaging and a ton of fun. That project made me feel like I was in Babylon all those years ago writing as the ancients wrote. To this day, I still remember the cuneiform symbol for mountain. This is a completely worthless skill in everyday life, but it shows that what she taught us stuck with us and inspired us to keep learning. It was that class that instilled in me a love for history that I still cherish today. Mrs. Bigelow, by going the extra mile in teaching, allowed her students to immerse themselves in another time and another culture.
I share that anecdote to show that a good teacher can have a profound effect on any student. Unfortunately, a bad teacher can have a similarly profound effect as well. I can’t write cursive today because the teacher that tried to teach it to me was mean, impatient, and boring. Thankfully, being able to write cursive is not an extremely valuable skill in today’s society, but I still have a stigma about writing cursive. I have heard of many students who have difficulty with math because of thier past bad teachers. They aren’t just xinherently bad at the subject. Instead, they struggle because their past teachers never created a good learning foundation for their learning. That domino effect is one of the true dangers of bad teachers. If a math teacher doesn’t do his job correctly, then a student of his may later have difficulty in a physics class. Knowledge builds on itself and a person’s knowledge cannot reach any significant heights without a strong foundation.
I write this article to encourage everyone to recognize and commend the great teachers in your life. I also write this in the hopes that we will be less forgiving of bad teachers. The current ills of the education system are many, but the biggest issue appears to be the lack of good teachers and the excess of bad teachers. High drop out rates in high schools come about because many students are not being stimulated and engaged in learning. We’ve all heard about the horrors of tenure in which terrible teachers have no incentive to better their teaching because they are virtually immune to being fired. I hope that as the United States goes forward in repairing the troubled education system that we focus on the importance of having teachers who are passionate about what they do and who inspire that passion in their students.
One of the main reasons why we have so few good teachers is because teaching is such a low paying job. In today’s very difficult economy and work world, most people don’t set out dreaming of becoming a teacher. Teaching is an extremely noble and rewarding profession, but I’m sure there are many people out there who would make great teachers, but never become educators because they want a larger salary. In my opinion, this makes those who do choose to teach even more deserving of our respect. In high school, my English teacher, who was passionate and extremely knowledgeably about his subject, told me that he does it for the joy and reward of teaching. He says that of course everyone cares about how much money you make, but that in the end you have to really enjoy what you are doing.
Here at Trinity, we are so fortunate to have a great teaching staff. We have so many superb professors to enjoy and to help us on our academic journey. I have yet to have a bad professor while here. I’m sure many students will tell me that it is inevitable that I will have a bad professor soon. However, as of right now, each of my professors have challenged me, helped me, and cared about me. We often point out the many flaws of Trinity, but in my experience, our teaching staff is not one of those problems. I came here completely unsure of what I would major in or what I would do with my life. Recently, I have decided to major in English because I have had so many excellent English professors while at Trinity. They have inspired in me a passion for literature and it’s a passion that I intend to explore and pursue. For me, that is the mark of a great teacher: passion. Passionate teachers infect their students with an urge to learn more and keep exploring even beyond the limits of academia.
So all of this is to say that we should appreciate and cherish our great teachers because they have such a profound effect on who we are. If a professor has made a difference in your life, let them know that they have done so.
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
What should I write about for my last opinion piece of the year? I’ve written so much about Chartwells, the social policy, construction, administration, advising, manners, and some other random things. It’s the end of the year though, and there are just a couple things on everyone’s minds: finals, summer, and next year.
First, we all need to get through finals. By the time this is read, students will have finished most of their classes. But on the off chance that students still have classes, here’s a little tip. Don’t let your ever growing frustration with the semester make you disregard all etiquette. No matter how sick you are of your classmates and professors, bite your tongue and just start counting sheep. It’s a lot better than arguing over the most trivial things. Trust me on that one. Stick it out, and leave everyone with a good impression. Leave your rants and tirades for those course evaluations they make you do, which apparently professors actually read. Who knew. Another tip as you approach finals. I’ve said this before and it deserves to be repeated. Don’t keep complaining about how much work you have. Go in the library and get it done. Also, don’t bother asking people how they are in the library. The answer is always the same. They’re swamped with work and sleep deprived. Instead, ask them something that’s so ridiculous they’ll actually pause and think about what on earth you just said. Don’t put me on the spot right now though to come up with a funny question, that’s just too much pressure and I’m sleep deprived.
Another note on finals and the end of the year. Just because it’s finals doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. There’s no time to make questionable decisions late at night on the weekends, but study breaks are necessary. Make time to eat. You won’t be able to focus with your stomach growling, but you will manage to get weird looks from other people in the library. Go to an ihop before you take your place in the library. Don’t underestimate the value of Chipotle and Starbucks. It sounds like I’m suggesting eating away your stress, and maybe I am, but hey, the gym will still be open also. Another way to relieve the stress, just go lay out on the quad. It’s finally nice out, which is almost cruel. You don’t have the go all Spring Weekend on the quad, just relax. Play Frisbee if you want to, but don’t knock someone’s head off. Eat lunch on the quad, do something out there. Trinity can be really beautiful at times, so don’t waste all of the spring sunshine being in the library. If you do, it’s going to be a huge shock during summer break when you step out of your cave and get blinded by the sun.
Second, SUMMER. Summer. Despite all the jobs and internships that’ll be going on, it’s still summer and you can’t deny your excitement. For seniors, maybe you’re taking the summer to travel or relax or do anything before entering the world of employment. All I can say is, Hakuna Matata. For everyone else, enjoy your internships, your part time jobs, or enjoy being a bum. Don’t underestimate the value of being a bum. Downside, there’s no money for Disneyland. Upside, laying out on a beach is free (except for gas) and that’s a beautiful thing. I’m not sure what everyone else’s plans are, but I do miss my California beaches, and I will take many days to lay out. Be like Superman, and let the sun rejuvenate you from an exhausting and stressful semester.
We need to remember what summer break is about. You may have to take classes, or get internships, but it’s still very different from the full course load of a semester. It’s also a break from the social scene at Trinity. If you’re tired of the small school where you see everyone everywhere, then you should really appreciate summer to see old friends, get away from drama, and basically get the choice of who you see constantly. Because when you come back in late August or early September, you’re in for another fun round of not being able to avoid certain persons. Good luck, dolls.
Everyone knows how to have their own fun over summer. I don’t need to give suggestions on that. But in my humble opinion, you should balance going crazy and relaxing. Personally, I know I have some plans that aren’t the most relaxing of events, but I know how exhausted I’ll be when I get back. And that’s what the beach (Cali beaches over east coast beaches any day) is for. Take the time to visit your friends outside of the Trinity atmosphere. I know how annoying it’ll be to make the seven hour flight, plus layovers, to see my friends on the east coast, but it’s worth it. It’s my last summer as an undergraduate, and I’d like to go crazy and also chill out with my friends before entering senior year, and then eventually the world of employment.
Third, try not to think ahead to next year. Or only think of the excitement for next year. Maybe you’re really excited to no longer be a freshman. Maybe you’re excited for your housing situation. Maybe you’re excited for that awesome schedule you created for yourself. Whatever it is, keep that excitement in mind.
If you’re dreading next year, I hope you’re just thinking of how busy it’ll be and how you’ll keep yourself sane. In which case, buy a lot of bubble wrap. Problem solved. There’s no use stressing about next year when you should only be worrying about how you’re going to pay for gas money over the summer. Now I have to mention quickly, I’m excited to be a senior next year. I’ve fulfilled all my requirements already, and as a result have a pretty sweet schedule for next year. I know that isn’t the case for everyone, so I’m sorry that I had to brag really quickly. But the other side of being a senior is the nostalgia. It’s going to be a really fast summer if you keep thinking about how fast the time has gone. If the summer must go by fast, then make it go by fast because you’re too busy having fun. Go visit your friends, even though it’s a seven hour flight each way. It’s worth it.
Coming back next year, I don’t have any suggestions. I’m good at ranting, but not so much at giving advice. I would just say that come in next year forgetting all the nonsense that happened this year. Be excited for Mather food, because you’ll have approximately four meals before you get sick of it again. Be excited for those first two weeks of great weather, before blizzards and super storms hit. Or just be an optimistic person in general.
Students should be glad that the year is finally coming to a close, if only because it’s time for a change. Make vacation more than a cliche, and enjoy the time with family and friends. We all need a break from classes, professors, Chartwells, and even from other students. It’s the end of the year, and if you want to reflect on what that means, then go for it. If you choose not to reflect, hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes as years past. Come back bright and happy faced. When us students come back, we should look like freshman again, with hope shining all over our naïve little faces. We’ve got a while before things starts kicking in again, so enjoy finals (not), summer, and be excited to come back next year.
AHMED JAWAD ’13
The case of Afghanistan is a peculiar one. The country has been torn by war and internal conflicts for more than three decades now. Afghan society is segmented along the lines of ethnic and social conflicts. Violence has been rampant, and the bloodshed uninterrupted. From a Communist regime to a conservative Islamic one, different sets of ideologies, laws and reforms have been imposed upon the peoples of Afghanistan. Many attempts have been made to study the post-US invasion society of Afghanistan. The role of Afghanistan in the newly found concept of terror has been greatly emphasized. The Islamic ideals of the society have been underlined and numerous conclusions have been drawn. However, for understanding the complex affairs of an unusual society like Afghanistan, an understanding of the pre-Soviet and pre-American socio-political struggles of the society is essential. Otherwise, the context of the contemporary issues is de-historicized and one would be deprived of a better understanding of the diverse society of Afghanistan.
Saur revolution was the communist revolution, led by People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which came into power after organizing a bloody coup d’état against the regime of Mohammad Daud Khan. Similarly, the Taliban came into power after waging a civil war against the Northern Alliance forces of Ahmed Shah Masood and Rashid Dostum. These revolutions are important to understand as they display a conflict between the two ideologies that were imposed on the Afghan society. Where the Saur revolution resulted in the encouragement of state atheism, the Taliban regime forced a conservative, extremist interpretation of Sharia Law on the society.
Both these revolutions had social as well as a political agenda but their understanding of a model society emerged from different frameworks. Where one relied on the worldly models of success and power, other tried to shape a society governed by the divine rules of God. However, both the “revolutions” were contrasting in a sense that former was an urban revolution while the latter was a rural one.
Unlike the Taliban regime, PDPA believed in the equality of men and women, and progressive nature of the society. Why, then, were they less popular among the peoples of Afghanistan? PDPA tried to move away from the traditional basis of the Afghan society a little too quickly. A common Afghan was reluctant to let go the traditions deeply rooted in the Afghan society. A transition period was required for the common man to understand the importance of the changes introduced by PDPA. But they were offered none. Afghanistan was not ready for a communist revolution. A common Afghan knew no more about Marxism-Leninism than the fact that it was a “Godless” ideology. The newly founded Saur revolution tried to draw its legitimacy from the ideals of communism. However, the lack of popular support ensured that the movement was to be short-lived.
Birth of the Taliban is rooted in the jihadi struggle against the Soviet invasion for a free Afghanistan. The Taliban regime drew its legitimacy from Islam. In a pre-dominantly Islamic society, Taliban implemented the teachings of Islam. The society they wanted to shape was according to the divine laws of God, taken from an extreme interpretation of Quran. The Sunni brand of Islam was reinforced and policies were made according to such laws. For a common Afghan, Islam was not just a religious phenomenon – it was a complete way of life. Hence, by putting forth a religious narrative, Taliban regime was able to gather mass support for their “Islamic” movement. The interpretations of Islam by the Taliban were not in accord with the interpretation of international Islamic scholars. These interpretations of Quran were idiosyncratic, often addressing the local traditions in the guile of Islam.
There is always a set of ideals that is extremely important to any society. These are called the values of a particular society. America claims democracy as it value. The soviets believed in the Godless communism to serve as their value. Likewise, religion remains to be the value of Afghan society.
In a society fractionalized along the lines of ethnic, ideological and social conflicts, the only uniting power has been religion. PDPA failed to understand that Islam was not a mere ideology for the people that could be endorsed or rejected at will. It was a norm that the Afghans adhered to. On the other hand, the religious narrative put forth by the Taliban was readily accepted by the Afghan society, as this was something they could connect with. Islam became a way of bringing a social change in the society. However, both the revolutions failed miserably in bringing prosperity to Afghanistan and the Afghan society further descended into chaos. In the aftermath of both the revolutions, a common Afghan only suffered. Such is the story of an Afghan society that harkens for peace and prosperity yet only gets more violence and bloodshed as a result.
If one is to go the Korean War memorial in Washington D.C., etched on a wall are some 58,000 names of the soldiers who lost their lives in the forgotten Korean War. On the opposite end of the memorial, another engraving on the wall truly captures the visitor’s attention. “Freedom is not free” seems to be an expression that conveys an extremely powerful sentiment to the mind afresh from reading the names of 58,000 lives lost in the war. It is mind boggling to think, however, that numerous such memorials can be built for the Afghans who have constantly suffered at the hands of domestic and international powers.
More than three decades of conflict has the left Afghan society deeply scarred. A constant struggle of power, military coups, and guerilla warfare in Afghanistan are staples of a spy novel. Millions have lost their lives in their struggle for freedom but freedom is not in sight. Sadly enough, it seems that no one has yet been able to determine the price the Afghan society has to pay for freedom.
ABHILASH PRASANN ’16
“I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this–however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”—Constable Michael Sanguinetti on crime prevention at a York University safety forum at Osgoode Hall Law School on January 24, 2011.
This was the statement that triggered the “SlutWalk” protest marches in 2011. Does it depress you or anger you? Wait until you hear some of the other statements that have been made by policemen, politicians and other people when asked about rape.
These are some of the statements that have been made by some men across the world on the issue of rape. I have not written the name of the individuals who made these statements on purpose.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
“Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”
“The girl was drunk and was asking for it. Why blame the perpetrators?”
“Under the influence of western culture, women have begun to wear short clothes and thus are asking for it.”
“The girl should not have got out in such a late hour. If she had not, then she would not have been raped.”
On April 14, 2013, a five year old was raped in New Delhi by two men. She was abducted from her home and then raped. Doctors recovered a bottle and a candle from her genitals. Her condition is known to be critical. The suspects were arrested within a week.
What was the excuse this time? She was not wearing short clothes. She was not under the “Influence of Western culture.” She was not drunk. She was not “asking for it.” She was not out of her home at a late hour as she was abducted from her home.
Such incidents sadden me, not just because I am an Indian, but as a man. What saddened me more were the reactions to rape all over the world as shown by the statements quoted above. If we blame the woman before we look at the suspect then there is something seriously wrong with our psyche. Somewhere down the line we, as men, have slipped. Somewhere down the line we have become too disrespectful towards the opposite sex.
If you are a man and thinking to yourself “Oh, others are like this, not me,” let me ask you a few questions. Have you ever looked at an intoxicated girl and made a physical move on her thinking that she won’t be able to refuse you? Have you ever referred to your girlfriend or a girl who has said no to you and yes to someone else as a “bitch”? Have you ever thought that you can push a girl to get in bed with you just by forcefully planting a few kisses on her? Have you ever been with a girl only because she looks attractive? Have you ever thought that a certain girl was of loose character just because she is scantily clad on a regular basis?
If the answer to any of these questions is a yes then you have an attitude problem towards women.
I will admit; I found myself saying yes at least once when I asked myself those questions. I am not trying to preach here but we seriously need to introspect where we, as men, went wrong. So how can we stop this? Stronger laws? Some law makers around the world have asked for the death penalty believing it will serve as a deterrent to rapists. Countries have death penalty for murder, we know how much of a deterrent that is. But to put restrictions for women? I am not going to even delve in such Taliban like measures.
The real problem lies in our approach and attitude towards women. Laws can play their part but what we need more than anything else is a little course correction with our attitude.
If you find a girl in a vulnerable, insecure or intoxicated state, just take her back to her room or escort her to safety irrespective of whether or not she remembers you the next day. You have to treat a woman like a lady without expecting something out of her. Don’t look at a woman as only someone who is “looking for the D.” The only thing that they need and deserve is respect from us men.
We can appreciate a beautiful woman on the sidewalk without demeaning her with whistling or groping hands, or worse. You can offer a rape victim compassion, support, and an attempt at justice, not blame her or force her to hide in the very shadows where she was attacked. The shame isn’t on her – it is on those who perpetrate, justify, and ignore.
We need to appreciate women more. Don’t objectify them. Is all this too much to ask? Just try to be the man you would want your daughter to be with. There is more to women than just their bodies. You came out of one after all. You may spend your life with one. They are the best thing to have happened to us men. They complete us. Love them, appreciate them, and respect them.
To quote Jules Michelet- “Women are a miracle of divine contradictions.”
by Serena Elavia
For a little over a year now, Trinity students, faculty and administrators have been discussing the infamous social policy. The big question on everyone’s mind is when will the chatter quiet down and return campus to its original equilibrium? The answer to this question may be resolved by May of 2014.
Newly elected Student Government Association President Ambar Paulino ’15 has a lot on her to-do-list for the upcoming academic year, and yes, the social policy is on that list for you naysayers. While it may not be the first priority, it is in the top 5, according to Paulino. Hailing from Manhattan, NY (is there anything a New Yorker can’t do?), Paulino is a double major in English creative writing and education studies. Even after serving as a freshman and sophomore senator and on the budget, academic affairs and student life committees, Paulino still didn’t consider running for president, mainly because of her age. It wasn’t until outgoing SGA president Dobromir Trifonov ’13 encouraged her to run, and she finally decided to do so.
To many, the SGA is a mysterious group of students who do nothing but Jimmy Jones’ bidding. For others, SGA doesn’t do anything at all. And everyone else thinks that the SGA isn’t capable of any real change. All of these thoughts are wrong, and Paulino is here to prove why they are wrong. “There is a lot of power in the SGA. Students just don’t realize that,” says Paulino. The SGA is the voice, face and representative of the student body to the administration. Its purpose is to be an intermediary between students’ voices and the administration. Things can be changed on campus, if students take the time to reach out to the SGA. Almost all SGA meetings are open to the public and students can drop in at any time to discuss whatever problems or concerns they have on campus. There’s just one tiny problem: not many people drop in. The SGA relies on what students have to say, and needs to hear comments directly from the students in order to do its job properly. Various clubs and organizations, as well as individual students, are invited to join in on meetings, and Paulino encourages them to do so. “It helps the SGA do its job, and helps students voice their campus concerns,” according to Paulino. The SGA has a lot of say in campus decisions and can fight for many student issues. Believe it or not, they have a lot of support.
Of course, I couldn’t resist asking her about the social policy, that joyous topic that seems to be on everybody’s mind. While it is unclear when a final decision will be made or who will make that decision, Paulino hopes that the issue will be resolved by the end of the 2013-14 academic year. The SGA may not have all of the say in this decision, but they will contribute a lot to the discussion and attempt to structure the policy around students’ needs, wants and desires. If students want real change, they need to keep pressing the SGA. The social policy trend has been that when a new component is released, excitement builds on campus, but dies down soon after. Unless students continue to make the social policy a relevant discussion on campus, the timeline of reaching a decision will only expand. Students need to be consistent on fighting against, or in favor of the social policy if they want anything to be accomplished. SGA can help you, if you unite with them.
Paulino can’t make any promises that everything will change on campus, but students always have the option to listen to SGA meetings or e-mail their class senator.
The Trinity community is eager to see what Paulino can do with a big to do list and not that much time remaining in her tenure. But is political office in her future? At first, she answered with a flat out no, but eventually, that no turned into “never say never.” Student government is something that Paulino is passionate about and wants to partake in during her time at Trinity. After graduation, though, Paulino wants to return to her hometown to teach high school and eventually teach at the collegiate level.
Serena Elavia ’14
For a little over a year now, Trinity students, faculty and administrators have been discussing the infamous social policy. The big question on everyone’s mind is when will the chatter quiet down and return campus to its original equilibrium? The answer to this question may be resolved by May of 2014.
Newly elected Student Government Association President Ambar Paulino ’15 has a lot on her to-do-list for the upcoming academic year, and yes, the social policy is on that list for you naysayers. While it may not be the first priority, it is in the top 5, according to Paulino. Hailing from Manhattan, NY (is there anything a New Yorker can’t do?), Paulino is a double major in English creative writing and education studies. Even after serving as a freshman and sophomore senator and on the Budget, Academic Affairs and Student Life Committees, Paulino still didn’t consider running for president, mainly because of her age. It wasn’t until outgoing SGA president Dobromir Trifonov ’13 encouraged her to run, that she finally decided to do so.
To many, the SGA is a mysterious group of students who do nothing but Jimmy Jones’ bidding. For others, SGA doesn’t do anything at all. And everyone else thinks that the SGA isn’t capable of any real change. All of these thoughts are wrong, and Paulino is here to prove why they are wrong. “There is a lot of power in the SGA. Students just don’t realize that,” says Paulino. The SGA is the voice, face and representative of the student body to the administration. Its purpose is to be an intermediary between students’ voices and the administration. Things can be changed on campus, if students take the time to reach out to the SGA. Almost all SGA meetings are open to the public and students can drop in at any time to discuss whatever problems or concerns they have on campus. There’s just one tiny problem: not many people drop in. The SGA relies on what students have to say, and needs to hear comments directly from the students in order to do its job properly. Various clubs and organizations, as well as individual students, are invited to join in on meetings, and Paulino encourages them to do so. “It helps the SGA do its job, and helps students voice their campus concerns,” according to Paulino. The SGA has a lot of say in campus decisions and can fight for many student issues. Believe it or not, they have a lot of support.
Of course, I couldn’t resist asking her about the social policy, that joyous topic that seems to be on everybody’s mind. While it is unclear when a final decision will be made or who will make that decision, Paulino hopes that the issue will be resolved by the end of the 2013-14 academic year. The SGA may not have all of the say in this decision, but they will contribute a lot to the discussion and attempt to structure the policy around students’ needs, wants and desires. If students want real change, they need to keep pressing the SGA. The social policy trend has been that when a new component is released, excitement builds on campus, but dies down soon after. Unless students continue to make the social policy a relevant discussion on campus, the timeline of reaching a decision will only expand. Students need to be consistent on fighting against, or in favor of the social policy if they want anything to be accomplished. SGA can help you, if you unite with them.
Paulino can’t make any promises that everything will change on campus, but students always have the option to listen to SGA meetings or e-mail their class senator.
The Trinity community is eager to see what Paulino can do with a big to do list and not that much time remaining in her tenure. But is political office in her future? At first, she answered with a flat out no, but eventually, that no turned into “never say never.” Student government is something that Paulino is passionate about and wants to partake in during her time at Trinity. After graduation, though, Paulino wants to return to her hometown to teach high school and eventually teach at the collegiate level.
FORREST ROBINETTE ’16
Twitter has blossomed in recent years. The site was founded on March 21, 2006 and experienced rapid growth soon thereafter. In 2007, 400,000 tweets were posted per quarter and in 2008, 100 million tweets were posted per quarter. In March 2011, about 140 million tweets were posted daily and this number continues to grow. So my question is what accounts for this massive explosion of Twitter use? Social networking sites seem to already be a hallmark of our generation. We grew up with Facebook and came of age just as the Internet was assuming juggernaut status.
I believe that too often adults group all of the social networking sites into one entity. I can tell you with absolute certainty that my parents would not be able to describe the differences between Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat. Each site serves a very specific purpose and satisfies a specific set of wants and needs. Instagram allows iPhone users to feel artsy as they seek to uniquely capture the world with a set of standard photograph filters. Facebook allows us to connect with old friend or organize events. All of these sites have a purpose for our wants and I would like to focus on what Twitter provides for today’s young person. Its widespread popularity proves that it must provide something quite important to us.
When I was in high school, Twitter was a fringe site. Most people did not actually use it so my information about the site did not come from first-hand experience, but instead from generalized descriptions of the site as a whole. For example, people told me that Twitter was just a site where you wrote about what you were doing. Remember the old days when Facebook statuses would automatically begin with “John Smith is…” The user would then fill in what he or she was feeling, thinking, or doing at that moment. Those kinds of Facebook statuses went out of fashion. It seemed that Twitter took on the role of play-by-play commentary on one’s life. For much of high school, I perceived Twitter to be the playground for vapid, self-centered people who thought that everyone else cared about every detail of their monotonous life. Then I finally gave Twitter a chance by trying it for myself. I created an account and started tweeting. I found that it was nothing like what I thought and that it was instead a fun place to share thoughts with a close group of followers.
For me, Twitter provided a solution to the increasing flaws of Facebook. For a long time, Twitter bowed down to the all-powerful social networking giant. But Facebook began to lose its edge and fall in popularity. I remember when Facebook seemed to change its format every day and each change angered its users more than the last. I’m sure anyone could list a multitude of reasons for the loss of the magical quality of Facebook, but for me its X-factor went away when it ceased to be cool. Facebook lost “coolness” when adults flooded the site. Parents, aunts, uncles, family friends, and more all began sprouting up all over the site. This immediately stole away a sense of freedom and intimacy that younger users shared up to that point. When I started received friend requests from adults, I concluded that Facebook had reached its apex and was on the decline for young people. Why not just deny these friend requests from adults? Well, unfortunately, it is difficult to explain to my mom’s friend why I don’t want her seeing my pictures and statuses. I specifically remember neglecting my aunt’s friend request, letting it languish unanswered for months. That Thanksgiving, my aunt confronted me about not responding and half-jokingly described how she was upset about the perceived offense. After this, I found that it was easier to just accept adult friend request than face the consequences of turning them down. When adults came online, I became acutely aware of how my every typed word is monitored and judged. There were so many comments and photos that I would happily allow all of my classmates to see that I would never want a friend’s parent to see. The entrance of adults on Facebook destroyed the site’s magic for me.
I found refuge on Twitter. On Facebook, I currently have over 900 friends and I know that is small compared to some other people. With such a large audience, I didn’t feel comfortable saying anything because I knew that 900 people would have access to it. I couldn’t craft a status with any freedom because I had to be constantly aware of a huge crowd of observing Facebook users. One might say the solution is to just unfriend non-essential Facebook friends. That task frightens and intimidates me for two reasons: the sheer enormity of the job and the possibility that I might offend people by un-friending them. Twitter was like a fresh start and I knew that this time I would be discerning in who I followed and who I allowed to follow me. On Twitter, the audience that read my thoughts was much smaller, but I felt much more secure about what I wanted to post. I seem to have peaked at around 150 followers. 150 followers is small compared to the 900+ friends I have on Facebook, but I feel a kinship with my Twitter audience that I lost with my Facebook one. My Twitter following is made up of my closer friends. They are people I know and whose opinions and thoughts I care about.
Twitter appears to currently be somewhat immune to infiltration by adults. This is because most are either confused or repulsed by the concept of the site. I remember a distant relative asking me, “You just tweet what you’re doing? Why would I care what other people are doing?” I agree with this relative in that I don’t care what other people are doing from moment to moment, but I also don’t think that is what Twitter is nowadays. For me, Twitter is a place to share my ideas and see other people’s ideas. There are countless people who tweet ad nauseam about the minutia of their lives, but thankfully Twitter allows you to choose whose thoughts you see. My feed is not clogged with mindless prattle about someone’s day at the mall or emoji-stuffed tweets about how spring has arrived.
Twitter also serves as the perfect several-second distraction. There are always those tiny bits of waiting time that need to be filled. For example, when I’m waiting in line for a sandwich at the Cave, I don’t really have time to complete anything substantial. I do, however, have time to check my Twitter and be momentarily entertained by a photo of a pug puppy or a clever quote from Stephen Colbert. Twitter is so emblematic of our age and our modern brain. Tweets are tiny pieces of self-contained information that don’t require any prolonged attention. A short attention span is one of the defining characteristics of our generation and Twitter caters to that characteristic beautifully. Reading a tweet does not require a significant investment of time and the entertainment payoff is still very good.
Twitter remains a fun, adult-free diversion for younger people to enjoy. I think the site has evolved far past the play-by-play narration of one’s life and has become a powerful place for the sharing of ideas. I hope that it may continue to be such a place.
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
Another Spring Weekend has gone, meaning it’s time to really focus on finals. For those who aren’t ready to face that kind of stress just yet, we can reflect on this past weekend, and look at what made it successful this year. Even as I write this piece, I’m feeling nostalgic, knowing that it’s time to buy gallons of coffee and live in the library for the last couple weeks here.
My first two years here, Spring Weekend meant perfect weather on Friday and Saturday, and then clouds and rain on Sunday. Friday and Saturday on the main quad there would be students playing games I’ve never heard of, or just listening to music. There would be a main concert on Sunday, but since it always rained on Sunday, it would be moved from the LSC quad to the Koeppel Center. Turnouts at the concert would always be smaller than the amount of students on the main quad, because of the bad weather, the far walk, and the fact that students were too tired to walk over. Only the most dedicated students continued their weekend festivities. It was a bit different this year.
For one, the weather was terrible on Friday. It was cloudy and gray, and at times raining. Only the bravest students were outside on the quad, interacting with society on Friday. Props to these students. It wasn’t until later in the day that students decided not to let the weather ruin their fun. Considering it was still warm out, I was surprised at the amount of students that weren’t outside. Shame on you guys. There was a moon bounce. There was silly string. There was music. But the unexpected bad weather was a small price to pay for that sunshine on Saturday, finally allowing the main concert to be outside. It was beautiful.
The coordinators of the various events this past weekend should get a little shout out here. The quad on Friday was filled with tables and events and moon bounces, everything that adds up to pure fun. And also, there were hydration stations located around campus. Wise move, Trinity. Better than sending emails banning alcohol, there were tables with water and snacks. Keeping students hydrated was a better response to excessive drinking than emails preaching abstinence (from alcohol). Besides that, jumping up and down during Alesso non stop got to be really tiring, and those waters and popcorn really helped get the energy back up. Even at the concert, there was a moon bounce chair, if that’s what you call it. While it seemed a little bit like a school dance with the designated picture area, it was perfect. You sat, listened to Alesso, bounced without putting much energy into it, and hoped a friend caught a picture before you fell off.
Another wise decision was moving the main concert from Sunday to Saturday. It always confused me why the concert would be on a Sunday, when students need to be recuperating from an exhausting weekend. The move allowed students to spend Sunday doing work, or more realistically, thinking about all the work they would do on Monday. The sunshine continued on Sunday, prompting students to lay on the quad despite the coldness. Any students who had hopes of being productive found themselves laying on blankets in front of the long walk, just listening to all the different music.
But everyone who was here this weekend already knows all of this. They know what they did, either from memory or from infamous stories. What we don’t know is how we’re going to make ourselves focus. How are we going to reconcile the fact that Spring Weekend is indeed over? How are we going to immerse ourselves into academics, when the sun is finally out on the quad. The library is only so effective if we keep staring out the window at the beautiful weather. Last year I wrote an article about enjoying the quad more often, and I still stand by that. There’s no reason not to capture the feelings of Spring Weekend every time it’s warm out. Except for the fact that we have classes, exams, papers, all that fun stuff. If I didn’t value sleep more than I valued money, I would say just do your work at night, once the sun has already set. That’s just not possible though.
The reality of Spring Weekend, besides coming together as a campus to enjoy the weather, is to give you a little break before finals. It’s supposed to relieve some stress beforehand. Professors are eagerly awaiting our insightful papers, proving that we did indeed pay attention during class and take notes instead of going on the interwebs during class. You’ll have to find a little dark room in the library, and do your work there away from that distracting sun to impress them.
We’re coming up on those last classes, and we need to focus on that first. Be glad that you made it to your Monday morning class, and finish the semester on that note. I’ll see you guys in the library. Spring Weekend will come again. Even better, summer months are coming.
AHMED JAWAD ’13
“The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make guilty innocent, that’s power. Because they control the minds of masses.” – Malcolm X
When the British Empire had colonized India, several armed struggles broke out in the subcontinent against the British Raj. One such armed struggle was headed by a religious leader of a small community in the Northwestern province of the subcontinent in 1897. This religious leader set out to attack the British garrisons in Chakdara and Malakand. Despite possessing the weaponry of primitive flintlocks, swords, and staves, this small group of freedom fighters successfully laid a siege of these garrisons for a week. It was only after the intervention of a British relief column that this untrained militia was pushed back. Winston Churchill was providing media coverage of the events for the British population at home. In his news reports, Churchill labeled the religious leader as a Mad Mullah, and his followers as radical Islamists. Through his works, a discourse was presented to the British population that the Indians were savages and it was crucial to colonize them in order for them to get civilized. Subsequently by shaping such opinions at home, the British Raj was able to rule over the subcontinent for another 50 years.
Similarly, Sayyid Muhammad Abd Allah al-Hassan was another victim of the tag of Mad Mullah. A patriotic Somali leader, al-Hassan led armed struggles against the British, Italian and Ethiopian colonial forces in Somalia. He established a Dervish state in Somalia that indulged in anti-imperial war for 20 years. Due to extensive media coverage, al-Hassan became a polarized figure that divided opinions not only among the British, but also among his own followers. Soon there were plots to kill him by other regional Somali leaders and although he avoided all such attempts, his followership decreased significantly. Al-Hassan eventually died of influenza at the age of 64. Due to powerful media discourse, some factions still remember him as a fanatic Islamist, while others remember him as a Somali patriot.
Greg Mortenson had become a household name upon publishing his book “Three Cups of Tea.” He became the new face of Western philanthropy and was drawing praises of international communities. He had portrayed himself as a pious man who, against the wishes of the barbaric locals, successfully built 300 schools for girls. However, the allegations against him of using charity money for promoting his book proved to be true and Mortenson was charged for his fraudulent dealings. His book presented a discourse to the public about the Pashtun culture, which not only shaped public opinion about the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but even military strategists started basing their military planning on this farce of an account. Mortenson was successful in swaying the public opinion in his favor, was able to portray himself as someone fighting against extremism and chauvinism, and was also able to benefit from large sums of money donated to his cause by various groups and individuals. Therefore, it came as a blow to quite a few when it was discovered that this beautiful story was just that – a story.
The movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” has recently fetched an Oscar award. It is a suspenseful account of the raid and assassination of one of the most notorious terrorists known to mankind. The movie has attracted its fair share of criticism. In her article “Islamophobia on the Red Carpet,” Laura Durkay argues that the movie portrays Muslims as fanatics by nature and further enforces Islamophobia in the mindset of American public. Others argue that “Zero Dark Thirty” endorses and promotes the use of torture to extract information from suspects in custody. It has been argued that the movie shows a complete disregard for human rights and portrays an inaccurate account of the real events. Observing the reaction to the movie on Twitter, the movie was successfully able to extract racial slurs and blind nationalism from a small minority of American public. Once again, public opinion was shaped by the presentation of a specific discourse that was far from reality.
Witnessing the terrible Boston bombings last week, my worst fears were realized when I saw an article that had a collection of public reactions taken from social media. Few people, once again, sprouted a lot of racist comments, and categorically placed the blame of bombings on Arabs, despite any availability of substantial evidence. A few people even demanded deportation of all “sand n*****s” from America. Most of these reactions were recorded when the NY Post, barely a few hours after the blasts, had “exclusively” revealed that a suspect was held in police custody and he was a Saudi national. This report propelled a lot of hate, anger, and racism against the Arabs. These events must remind us of the frightening power of media that Malcolm X talked about in the aforementioned quote. The bombers turned out to be Chechens and the bombings are increasingly looking like an isolated incident without any suggestion of a superior organization behind the attacks. There is no evidence of a country, ethnic or a religious group to have organized this attack on the U.S. In these troubled times, we must act wisely and not believe everything that is being produced in the media. We must remember that the media has the ability, and at times a habit, of furthering a discourse that defies logic. We must remind ourselves of the instances where the discourse presented to public has negated truth. What we can do is take the media’s analysis of the event with a grain of salt and hope that there are no more cases of Mad Mullahs associated with Islam in general, and Chechnya in particular.
JEFF SYBERTZ ’13
This past week was a tumultuous one for all of the residents of Boston and its suburbs after a terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured nearly 200 others on Monday, April 15 and then a statewide manhunt paralyzed the city this past Thursday and Friday. Due to the exhaustive work and cooperation of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, along with the help of civilians, officials killed one of the suspected bombers in a shootout on Thursday and then were able to capture and detain the other suspect the following night. In the wake of this tragedy, there are countless questions to be asked. How could this tragedy have happened? How could two men who had spend most of their lives in a country that granted them refuge carry out such a heinous crime? Why the Boston Marathon? Were they working as “lone wolves” or were they working with a larger organization? Many of these questions will likely be answered in the coming days and weeks, especially as federal authorities question the second suspect. Nonetheless, we have learned one thing in the past week. We have discovered the incredible resolve and determination of Boston’s emergency responders, law enforcement officials, nurses and doctors, athletes, and everyday citizens. In a matter of seconds, these people became heroes. Although the attack caused a number of deaths and hundreds of injuries, the terrorists ultimately failed in their attempt to paralyze the city of Boston in fear.
Like many Trinity students, I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and knew many people who attended Marathon Monday. This day is a uniquely Boston day that few people from outside the Commonwealth can truly understand. First of all, the day in and of itself is a state holiday, Patriots Day, when most businesses are closed and most people would not dare doing anything productive aside from cheering on the Sox and thanking God that we only have to watch the Marathon runners compete and not actually attempt the 26.2 miles themselves. In fact, throughout my educational career in Massachusetts, we got an entire week’s vacation for this one holiday. Consequently, Marathon Monday is one of the most important days of the year to the residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Therefore, when two young men decided to plant two homemade bombs at the finish line of the Marathon and detonate them in the presence of thousands of spectators, they were trying to send a message to not only the people involved in the Marathon, but also the residents of Massachusetts, the United States, and the entire world. Although their exact motives have not yet been discovered, there is no doubt that these two men were trying to cause terror and unrest and destroy what the Boston Marathon and Presidents Day represent. They were trying to make people live in fear and question the values on which this country is based.
However, in the seconds after this vicious and barbaric attack, the residents of Boston made sure that terror would not win. Almost immediately after the two explosions occurred, videos showed police officers, Marathon staff, first responders, runners, and spectators running toward the bomb site to do whatever they could to help the wounded. These people had no idea if the explosions were terrorist attacks, mechanical failures, or isolated events. They did not even know if there was a chance that there could be more explosions. Nevertheless, despite the chaos and uncertainty, these people ran into the face of evil to do whatever they could to help those who could not help themselves. One of the most documented heroes of this day was former professional football player and New England Patriot, Joe Andruzzi. This giant of man helped carry an injured woman to safety after the woman’s two daughters were unable to transport her among the chaos. When asked to comment on his actions, Andruzzi, who has three brothers who are New York City Firefighters and were first responders to the 9/11 attacks, he replied that he was not a hero. He was simply a bystander who acted on his instincts during this time of conflict.
Andruzzi’s comments exemplify why the terrorists failed in achieving their goals. Although there was chaos and unrest immediately following the attacks, people sprang into action in a matter of seconds to help others. An iconic photograph has been circulating that was taken seconds after the attack. It shows a marathon runner who was knocked to the ground by the explosion. Three Boston police officers surround the runner, guns drawn and ready to do their job: to protect and serve the citizens of the Commonwealth. In the aftermath of the explosion, people were neither rioting in the streets nor staying cooped up in their homes because of fear. They lived their lives. They went to work and watched their favorite hockey team take one step closer to another Stanley Cup victory. They belted the National Anthem as one and held massive candlelight vigils for the victims of the attack. Once officials realized that the two suspects were still armed and dangerous and in the area, they warned civilians to stay inside until the terrorist were apprehended. People complied and the streets of Boston and its suburbs were deserted on Thursday night and Friday. These empty streets led to the killing of one of the subjects and the apprehension of the other by Friday night.
Although these two attacks caused an indescribable amount of suffering for the victims and their families, the people of Boston have continued to live their lives. This tragedy has brought people around the country closer together instead of pushing them further apart. It has made the relationship between civilians and law enforcement officials stronger than ever. It has shown us that everyone has the capacity to be a hero.
This country may still be vulnerable to heinous acts of violence, but this attack has shown us that it will take more than two bombs to break our spirits. In the aftermath of the attacks, many people have begun to question humanity: how could two people commit such terrible attacks against innocent civilians? In my opinion, we should not let these types of terrible acts make us question our faith in humanity. We must let the responses to these acts by normal people confirm our faith in humanity.
DUNCAN GRIMM ’15
Esteemed essayist and educator Jacques Barzun, brilliantly wrote once that studying the humanities will produce “a better-organized mind, capable of inquiring and distinguishing false from true and fact from opinion; a mind enhanced in its ability to write, read, and compute; a mind attentive to the world and open to good influences, if only because of trained curiosity and quiet self confidence.” But why do we care as rising college graduates, when our minds are focused on getting a job and being launched into the economic realities of the twenty-first century?
Could it be that our liberal arts education is a “Treasure Trove,” the value of which remains a mystery until rediscovered later in life? Black’s Law Dictionary defines treasure trove as, “literally, treasure found. Money or coin, gold, silver, plate or bullion found hidden in the earth or other private place.”
The value and utility of one’s liberal arts education is sometimes called into question especially as graduation nears, most frequently by parents, “well-meaning” relatives, and students themselves. How do we, as students, respond to their questions civilly? “What are you doing after graduation?” or “How are you going to use your Trinity degree?” are just two rhetorical questions we often hear. While I am not trying to answer this explicitly, I believe it is incumbent on us to delve deeper into the potential value and practicality of a liberal education, not only to satiate our curious relatives and friends, but to also offer ourselves some insight moving forward. Several distinguished educators have offered their thoughts on the pursuit of the liberal arts.
The well rounded experience offered to students through a liberal arts education is the flexible application of skills such as critical thinking and experience-based decisions. In the rapidly evolving world of the 21st century, being flexible with one’s analytical skills is paramount. The President of Dickinson College, William G. Durden, has written that through the liberal arts education, students will have “gained competency through independent reading, experience and observation.” The will to succeed situates the student as the driving force in their education, encouraged by the institution, not the other way around.
While some core requirements of liberal arts institutions such as Trinity may seem superfluous or menial, imagine the kind of student who would graduate focusing only in the mathematics, or only in the arts. Not encouraged by an institution, the student only embraces their known skills, and may approach life in the same way; they will fail to venture outside their comfort zones, and never realize their full potential.
A school’s mission to foster a “well-rounded” student goes far beyond that bullet point on admissions office brochures; it engenders pursuit of courses and a style of study a student might not be immediately familiar with, thereby acclimating the student to a challenging environment in an area other than that with which they are comfortable.
Herein lies the crux of the argument: We as students may not realize that what we learn at present will be useful to us at a later date. Our foundational knowledge garnered at our liberal arts institution will be refined, augmented, and enhanced by subsequent life experiences; one shouldn’t, and doesn’t, stop learning after one leaves academia. An individual will revisit their skills learned during their time at a liberal arts institution again and again throughout life for all manners of things, whether or not they realize it. This analogy to the legal world is that the “treasure trove” of education is meant to be mined throughout one’s life.
Durden goes on to say that from his liberal education, he “appreciated that the breadth of knowledge and the depth of cognitive skill that my undergraduate courses in social science, political science, art and science prepared me for any field of professional pursuit. I was prepared for professional chance. I knew how to ask the right questions, how to gather information, how to make informed decisions, how to see connections among disparate areas of knowledge”. To be prepared for, “professional chance,” any professional chance, is much better than to be prepared for only one skill.
What does professional chance mean? Simply that: a chance at a job! You don’t study for your job in school, you learn your profession when you get there! The liberal arts situates the mind in critical thinking and quick adaptation to learning which allows one to apply themselves to more than one specialized position in life.
As college graduates, we are facing the very real threat of a scarcity of jobs with a growing, global population, and our own sluggish economy. We have an acute concern with our employability as we graduate into an information/knowledge-based economy, not the manufacturing economy of the twentieth century. How will our liberal arts education assist us in our future professional endeavors?
According to the President of Wesleyan University, Michael Roth, “Those who can [imagine] how best to reconfigure existing resources and project future results will be the shapers of our economy and culture… The habits of mind developed in a liberal arts context often result in combinations of focus and flexibility that make for intelligent, and sometimes courageous risk taking for critical assessment of those risks.” Individuals who receive a liberal arts education will therefore be “innovators and productive risk takers, translating liberal arts ideals into effective productive work in the world.”
These are the true treasures of the liberal arts kingdom, and this individual epiphany is essential to one’s success in the modern world.
President of Trinity College from 1981-1989 and past Interim President and Director of Mystic Seaport Museum James F. English reflected on his professional and liberal arts experiences. “The most important thing I brought away from two English majors and lots of history, philosophy, and law has been the instinct to respect language and use it carefully, to recognize that which is not sincerely felt or thoroughly considered, and to reject cant, salesmanship and baloney.” In my opinion, he has refined the ethos of a liberal arts education into a basic principle; to be able to recognize truth and reject insincerity—isn’t this used again and again on a daily basis in our lives?
From his liberal arts experiences years ago, “there remains a small residue deposited in the bottom of my consciousness, which sometimes helps me, I believe, recognize the spirit, whether sincere and thoughtful or otherwise, behind the flood of discourse that surrounds us all.”
As we go forward with our liberal arts education and into the world outside our school, let us remember that it is this spirit with which we attend Trinity; to engage this world of divergent personalities with developed mental faculties and effective action, and to continually apply this approach wherever we may be. Fiat lux!
By Chloe Miller ’14
This summer, five Trinity engineering students and one professor have secured the opportunity to travel to Tanzania to build latrines for a rural preschool as part of Trinity College Without Borders (TCWB). TCWB is a campus organization that has several initiatives, including a community garden, a youth mentoring program called S.W.A.G., and Trinity College Engineers Without Borders (TCEWB).
TCWB was founded in Summer 2011 by Tarah Sullivan ’13, Lorenzo Sewanan ’12, and Assistant Professor of Engineering Emilie Dressaire. Sullivan has since developed the engineering part of the club, which is part of a national service organization called Engineers Without Borders (EWB).
EWB is comprised of hundreds of national chapters, and matches chapters with service projects around the world. Sullivan has worked to help TCEWB become a nationally recognized chapter (which happened in Fall 2012), and then turned her efforts to finding a project during the spring semester.
EWB partners with people in local communities around the world who demonstrate the need for a project, whether its in agriculture, water supply, information systems, sanitation, energy, or structure. Recognized chapters can apply for specific small-scale sustainable development projects that have a five-year commitment, which EWB says is focused on overall community development and making sure projects can be maintained by community members and local NGOs.
Sullivan was drawn to the mission of EWB because, “TCEWB is special because it works with the local community to find a culturally acceptable engineering solution to a problem. It is important to be able to understand the culture of a community and the community dynamics before implementing a technical solution. Many organizations seem to skip over this, or just throw money at problems, but this group really works with the community and ensures that the community has a large stake in the project. This helps to maintain whatever is built and empowers the community.”
In her search for a project that was suitable for the TCEWB club, Sullivan said she was looking for something that would work well for a small group of dedicated students. The latrine-building project seemed like a good place to start, she explained, because it was a manageable size for the students involved, and the club had strong existing relationships with professional mentors who specialize in sanitation and hydrogeology.
“I liked that it had to do with a preschool and thought that it would be interesting to work with a school in Africa, since we are students as well. However, the primary cause for us to apply to this project was because it seemed within our financial reach and the Ngaruma community’s application seemed very organized compared to some others,” explained Sullivan.
Sullivan, along with Shea Kusiak ’14, Mark Yanagisawa ’14, Iver Hulleberg ’14, John Lehrkind ’13, and Professor Dressaire, will take their assessment trip to the Marangu region from May 21 to June 5. The purpose of the assessment trip is to form a strong relationship with the community there and evaluate whether the proposed project best suits the needs of the community. Since this is a sanitation project, the students will be conducting a health survey of community residents, as well as assisting with mapping projects for this little-known community.
Home to the Ngarunma people, the village was incorporated in 1961 and sits at the base of Kilimanjaro National Park. Tourism is the biggest source of economy there, though the majority of residents are farmers known for their coffee and bananas.
Kusiak is joining the project as a health advisor, which means she is responsible for much of the practical research before they go as well as implementing the health survey once they arrive. The group is working with professional mentors throughout the community, including a Health Professor at the University of Connecticut who is overviewing the surveys and has a lot of experience with overseas health work.
Yanagisawa serves as the group’s project advisor, which means he is assisting with the actual design of the latrines that will be built during the implementation trip.
After the assessment trip this summer, the next step of this TCEWB project is less clear. The team of students, along with volunteer professional mentors from the community, will determine whether the project is well suited, or needs some changes. Then, fundraising will begin in order to raise money for the implementation process of the latrines. This could occur as early as next winter, but will most likely occur next summer.
The fundraising process so far has consisted of grants, scholarships, and donations. About $16,000 was needed just for the assessment trip, of which $10,000 will be provided by the college and the rest through outside sources. Fundraising has been the most challenging part of the project and organization so far, said Sullivan.
The students will also get to take advantage of visiting an African nation, and are planning a safari and other recreational activities. Yanagisawa says that he is most looking forward to “interacting with a community that’s different from my own and seeing how they react to an American presence in their village.” The trip will be mutually beneficial to both the villagers in need of improved sanitation and the students.
By Elaina Rollins ’16
Trinity College’s annual Scholars Reception was hosted this past Thursday, April 18 in the Washington Room of Mather Hall. The Scholars Reception honors the donors and recipients of over 350 named scholarships at Trinity. The Reception also specifically honors members of the Elms Society, a group of alumni who support student scholarships through their estate planning.
The Scholars Reception brings together students receiving scholarships and the giving individuals who are responsible for those scholarships. Although not all donors go to the Reception, students are notified in advance if their individual donor is planning to attend so that the College ensures that the donor and recipient can meet in person.
After students and donors got a chance to chat among one another, President Jones introduced the speakers for the evening: Rae Haynes, Jr. ’13 and Merrill Yavinsky ’65. Haynes’ scholarship comes from the Merrill A. Yavinsky ’65 Scholarship Fund.
Haynes’ introduction talked about what he and Yavinsky have in common. Both grew up in Hartford, graduated from Bulkeley High School, and went attended Trinity. Haynes is an economic major, and so was Yavinsky. Haynes plays for the Trinity football team, and so did Yavinsky.
During his brief speech, Yavsinky talked about his humble roots in Hartford. He explained that as an applicant to the College, he could have easily been denied. But Trinity took a chance on him. Yavinsky’s family could not afford to send him to Trinity, so without a financial scholarship, Yavinsky would have had to pay for his tuition by himself. Trinity’s scholarship took a massive financial burden off of his shoulders.
Yavsinky emphasized that, “every little bit counts.” Small contributions add up to make big changes in a student’s life. His message rang true with those at the Reception, many of whom are at Trinity only because of someone else’s generosity.
Alex Montiero ’16 explained that, “I really enjoyed being able to talk to alumnae, parents, and donors, but I think the event would have been more meaningful had I been able to connect with the representatives of my scholarship.” The Office of Donor Relations always invites scholars to write a letter to their donor discussing their academic and social life at the College – but a letter is never the same as a conversation in person.
Even if scholars did not get to speak with their donors, the Reception is a great place for students to meet other scholars on campus whom they may never have interacted with otherwise. The laid-back atmosphere of the Reception, combined with delicious appetizers and lively conversation, made for a pleasurable night for all those in attendance.
By Elaina Rollins ’16
This past Thursday, April 18, CUNY-College of Staten Island Professor Michael Paris spoke to a group of Trinity students and professors about the possible revitalization of a famous Connecticut Supreme Court case – Sheff v. O’Neill. Professor Paris is an Associate Professor of Political Science at CUNY. His research and work is concerned with distributive justice, public policy, and the connection between law and politics in efforts for social reform. He teaches courses in American politics, constitutional law, and legal studies.
Professor Paris’s lecture focused strictly on Sheff v. O’Neill, a 1989 lawsuit that was filed in response to Connecticut’s major racial segregation and isolated poverty. The plaintiffs of Sheff argued that the state was denying children of their fundamental right to an education, pointing out the fact that suburban schools with mostly white, affluent students were much more successful and well-funded than inner-city schools with nearly all poor students of color.
After seven years of trials, decisions, and repeals, the Connecticut Supreme Court finally ruled that the State was at fault. Although this decision has led to government reform efforts, such as an massive increase in charter schools and urban-to-suburban transfer programs, there is still racial isolation and concentrated poverty in Hartford.
This is where Professor Paris began his lecture. Paris pointed out that although Sheff v. O’Neill is replicable in theory, most people have forgotten about school desegregation efforts. Many state Supreme Courts have stopped even looking at cases similar to Sheff.
Paris explained that the reason many educational activists and lawyers have stopped looking toward school desegregation as a feasible reform option is that it is not “politically viable.” This means that although school desegregation has been proven to lead to greater life chances on behalf of all students affected, school desegregation is challenging to address because it deals with race–a topic many people feel uncomfortable discussing.
Although many people have forgotten about the possibilities of Sheff v. O’Neill, Professor Paris has not. First, he pointed out that this case could lead to many possible avenues for reform if it is dealt with at the state level, rather than the federal level. There are 51 constitutions in the United States, and he believes it is unrealistic to try and only focus on one.
Paris explained that, “Sheff is the only current valid decision about de facto segregation.” This means that Sheff is important because it ruled that although Connecticut did not create racial segregation through specific laws, the state is still responsible for its existence and ill effects on schoolchildren.
In his lecture, Professor Paris discussed four virtues of Sheff v. O’Neill. First, he explained that the reform lawyers had a strong relationship with the people they were representing. Unlike some lawyers who may meet their client once or twice, the Sheff lawyers built coalitions in Hartford for two years before filing their case. These coalitions informed them so that they could present their argument vividly in court.
Second, Paris said that the lawyers of Sheff were successful because they argued for equal educational opportunity, not racial balance. The lawyers framed their case so it specifically made educational equality the ultimate goal. Racial inequality was argued to be of the roots of the problem.
Third, Professor Paris explained that the lawyers made state laws and politics work together. The Sheff case was not surrounded by a lot of public discourse. There were no pickets outside the courthouse or angry parents on television. By keeping the discussion strictly inside the court, politicians in the area were not affected by any opinionated voters.
Lastly, Sheff was successful because its lawyers transformed the language of Connecticut’s constitution into rights for its citizens. Connecticut law guarantees children equal opportunity for education as well as equal protection under the law. By combining these two key components of the legislature, the Sheff lawyers came out on top.
If Sheff v. O’Neill has so many positive components, then why has it not been replicated? Professor Paris has worked for years in the legal world and this country has yet to see another major school desegregation case like the one in Connecticut.
Professor Paris knows Sheff is hard to replicate. It is difficult to link racial isolation and poverty to unequal education inside a courtroom. States deflect the issue by arguing that the problem is poverty, not race. They also often just refuse to assume responsibility, shifting the blame onto individual families rather than structural problems.
Professor Paris gave two pieces of advice to anyone who may attempt to file a lawsuit similar to Sheff. First, he argued that lawyers must differentiate between the consequences of harm and the harm itself. Lawyers must frame their case so that racial segregation and isolated poverty are seen as real problems, and not just side affects to other more politically amiable issues.
Second, Professor Paris said that activists for school desegregation must not shy away from the positive side of race. Racial identity is not a problem – it is a resource. When race is seen as a positive, rather than a negative, the issue can become less politically treacherous.
Professor Paris is realistic about Sheff v. O’Neill. He knows the case presents many difficulties, that it is not easy to replicate. State law is complex and difficult to maneuver. However, he does see law as an avenue for social change, and if law is used in the right way, school desegregation may once again be brought to life.
By Chloe Miller ’14
After several years of development, Trinity’s Center for Urban and Global Studies (CUGS) announced a new Urban Studies major to begin in the 2013-2014 academic year. For several years, students have had the option of self-designing an Urban Studies major, and the official Urban Studies minor was introduced in October 2010. Trinity’s CUGS is a ground-breaking center that has paved the way for numerous urban and global learning initiatives at Trinity, culminating in this major that is currently only available at a few other liberal arts schools across the country.
The major is interdisciplinary, and focuses especially on how dynamic urban centers around the world affect globalization and local spaces. The major will be made up of 12 courses from a variety of departments, including the growing Urban Studies department. There will be four core classes, including Urban Studies 101, which was introduced in fall 2011. From there, students will have some flexibility in choosing courses, but four must fall into one of three thematic concentrations: urban architecture and the built environment; urban culture, history, society, and economy; and environmental policy and sustainable urban development. These thematic focuses will allow students to focus their academic work towards one main circle of thought, while still allowing for a variety of urban and global-based courses. The interdisciplinary major complements well with existing departments at Trinity, including Economics, Public Policy and Law, History, Sociology, and Environmental Science.
Renee Swetz ’14 is a double major in Environmental Science and the self-designed Urban Studies major. She was excited to hear that the major is officially approved, explaining, “It’s exciting to think about being part of a changing field that’s not only making huge strides on a global scale but also at Trinity. Having combined [Urban Studies] with Environmental Science, I’ve had the opportunity to understand major development issues of today from both a social and scientific background. The department has done a great job of integrating the two.”
Currently, students who have already declared a self-designed major in Urban Studies will be permitted to finish on the track they were on. Starting with the class of 2015 these major requirements will be more strictly enforced. The department already anticipates 14 current sophomores to declare the new Urban Studies track as a major, and more from many different departments to come.
The Urban Studies major program is also unique in that it requires some sort of integrating exercise to synthesize the material learned over a student’s academic career. This may take the form of advanced urban research, community engagement or internship, or independent study projects. Using Hartford as an extended classroom, students have the opportunity, starting their freshman year, to gain valuable experience working, researching, and learning in Hartford’s diverse urban communities. The development of the Trinity-in-Shanghai study away program and the rest of Trinity’s global sites will also provide students the opportunity to study away in a variety of urban environments while working to complete their major.
The Urban Studies major was spearheaded by Dean and Director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies Xiangming Chen and Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies Garth Myers. Chen is a native of Beijing, China and has been serving as the Director of CUGS since 2007. Myers joined Trinity’s faculty in 2011 and quickly took over many administrative duties in the Urban Studies Department. Both Chen and Myers have been dedicated to developing the urban and global offerings at Trinity since they’ve joined, and the finalizing of the major program is a great accomplishment to both of them. For Chen, timing is everything – as the world becomes more and more urbanized, the urban fields of study become more critical and respected. Trinity is lucky to be located in such a dynamic urban environment and have the local and global tools to take full advantage of these academic options.
Trinity has many other urban and global initiatives that are unique among NESCAC schools and rarely seen in liberal arts schools across the country. The Cities Program is an honors gateway program for exceptional first- and second- year students that explores the past, present, and future of urban environments through a series of interdisciplinary classes. CUGS also maintains close ties with the Human Rights Program and Community Learning Initiatives. Again, Trinity’s unique location in a dynamic urban space is crucial in the development of these academic options.
By Alie Shreiber ’13
Trinity College’s dorms are currently in a competition to see which dorm can conserve the most energy over a six-day period, from April 21 to April 27. There will be 16 dorms competing in this inaugural competition. The winning dorm will win a prize that is selected by a survey. The options of prizes include: four $50 gift cards raffled to students in that dorm, a pizza party, a sundae party, a study break themed party, or a trophy. At the time of publication the gift cards had a clear lead. This survey also asks questions about sustainability. For filling out the survey there will also be prizes. Two $25 gift cards and 20 shirts will be raffled off to all survey participants, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/xxfc6c7.
The 16 dorms participating are: North Campus, High Rise, Boardwalk, Cook, Doonesbury, Elton, Funston, Summit East, Summit South, Vernon, Smith, Stowe, Northam, Jarvis, Jones, and Goodwin & Woodward. Students living in a participating dorm win points for each hour of reducing their electricity use from their historic average. Some tips provided by the organizers to reduce electrical consumption include: power down or sleep electronics when you are not using them, unplug chargers and turn off power cords, turn off TVs and lights in empty rooms and bathrooms, take the stairs instead of an elevator, and wash and dry clothes on cold cycles, not hot/warm. Residents in the dorms can check their progress and compare it to other dorms at www.trincoll.edu/bantamblitz.
Next year the Sustainability Office hopes to increase the event to twice a year. In addition, they want to incorporate more student groups in the competition such as sports teams, cultural houses, community service groups, Greek houses, etc.
This project first came to Trinity because other college campuses have tried this same type of event and have seen major reductions in the amount of energy consumed. For example, Pomona College in Claremont, Cali. did a similar competition and saw a 24 percent reduction in energy use. This is a great effort for the planet, college, and college budget. To use a phrase common in the industry, “It’s the triple bottom line: social, economic, and environmental benefits.”
This year’s competition is sponsored by ARAMARK at Trinity College, who is in charge of facilities. They will be managing the competition and the gauges on the dorms that measure our efficiency. ARAMARK manages the facilities at several other local campuses and if the pilot program at Trinity is successful they want to expand the program to their other campuses.
This program took several months to put in place and make sure that all the gauges on the dorms were reading accurately. Kira Sargent, an employee in the Sustainability Office who planned this competition, said, “Behavior change is often overlooked in sustainability but people have the power to lessen their impact on the environment every day in their daily habits. This highlights what people can do right now for Trinity.”
The Bantam Blitz coincides with a wider initiative called Earth Week. Trinity’s Green Campus Organization sponsors the conservation efforts of Bantam Blitz, and has also organized the following Earth Week Events: A “Zero Food Waste” effort to take only what you need in the dining halls; “Power Down Day” to unplug unused electronics and power strips; and a planting event at the TREEhouse on Wednesday, April 24 at 4 p.m.
This coming Saturday, the NESCAC Environmental Action Conference will be held at Wesleyan University. Trinity students can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if they are interested in attending.
by Serena Elavia
Commencement Speaker—Bridget McCormack ‘88
Trinity’s 187th Commencement will feature Bridget McCormack ’88 as the graduation speaker. McCormack graduated with honors in political science and philosophy and is currently a Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. She previously taught at the University of Michigan Law School and Yale University. As well, she worked as a staff attorney in the New York City Office of the Appellate. At the University of Micighan, McCormack was a clinical professor of law, associate dean of clinical affairs and co-director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic. Her siblings, Mary Catherine and Will, both attended Trinity and were actors. When McCormack was at Trinity, the Hartford Courant named her an Outstanding Youth Leader for her work with the College’s Community Outreach program. She attended New York University Law School.
Professor Margaret Farley
Trinity’s second honoree for the 187th Commencement is the Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita Christian Ethics at Yale University Divinity School Margaret Farley. Prof. Farley will deliver the Baccalaureate address. Farley has published over 100 articles, and has authored or edited seven books on the ethics of methodology, medical ethics, social ethics, sexual ethics and ethics and spirituality. No stranger to honorary degrees, Farley has received eleven over the years and has also received fellowships and various awards. She was also a founding member of Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Bioethics Committee and was the co-director of Yale’s Interdisciplinary Bioethics Center for eight years. Previously, Farley was president of the Society of Christian Ethics and the Catholic Theological Society of America and is a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
Governor Michael Dukakis
Trinity’s third honoree is former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Dukakis served as two time Massachusetts’ governor and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1998, but was defeated by George H.W. Bush. Before serving as governor, Dukakis was in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for four terms from 1962 to 1970. In 1986, the National Governor’s Association voted him as the most effective governor. Current Secretary of State and former Massachusetts senator John Kerry served as Dukakis’ lieutenant governor. After his career in politics, Dukakis taught political science at Northeastern University in Boston, MA and was a visiting professor at Loyola Marymount University and in the School of Public Affairs at UCLA. Dukakis is the second Greek-American to be a governor after former governor or Maryland Spiro Agnew. He will deliver a lecture called “Gridlock in Washington…and What To Do About It?” on Saturday May 18 from 2 to 3:15 pm in McCook Auditorium.
After previously speaking on campus in the fall of 2009, author Elizabeth Kolbert will return to this year’s Commencement as Trinity’s fourth honoree. Members of the class of 2013 will recognize her as the author that delivered a welcome speech to them when they were first years on her book Field Notes From a Catastrophe. All first years are required to read a different book every year, and the author of that book is invited to speak on campus during the beginning of the fall semester. Recently, Trinity made it a tradition to invite the same speaker back for graduation. Kolbert is a staff writer at The New Yorker and has been at the acclaimed magazine since 1999; she previously worked at The New York Times. One of her areas of specialty is covering climate change. She attended Yale University where she studied literature and received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Germany. Kolbert is the recipient of many awards including a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Sierra Club’s David R. Brower Award. Trinity and the class of 2013 look forward to having her back on campus!
Madeline Baum ’14
How do we react when all of a sudden, every newspaper has “Many Hurt in Blasts at Boston Marathon” and other gruesome headlines plastered across their websites? When we monitor news websites itching for more information when we are given no motive, number of victims, or other details? Flashbacks from other attacks flicker through our minds as we fear the worst, wondering about the severity of the events.
This past Monday, a little before 3 p.m., two explosions went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. As I write this, three people have been killed including an eight-year old, and over a one-hundred bystanders were injured. We’ve been through these acts of terror; we know the drill all too familiarly. The first evidence that the news released was firsthand footage of the explosions showing runners and spectators being tossed to the ground, images of blood spilled across Boylston Street, and injured people being carried by first responders.
The race began with 26 seconds of silence to honor the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary, reminding us of one of the many tragedies that occurred in the past year. And then the race came to a startling end with the explosions. What was meant to be an exciting day marking the 117th Boston Marathon turned into an event we will never forget. We live in an age of fear. We remind ourselves of the children who passed away in Newtown at the start, only to once again be reminded at the end that fear is always present. Not only is it present, but it isn’t going away anytime soon. What seems like a period of darkness, the past decade has been ten years of terror, haunting our daily activities. So how do we approach these events if this isn’t going to end?
One solution is that we can look at is the heroes of the tragedy in Boston: the people who rushed towards the explosion to aid the fallen, the runners who after completing a grueling 26 mile marathon, continued running in order to donate blood, and many more out there.
It is impossible to say that one day we will be able to stop worrying about the possibility of random acts of violence. That we can go about our daily lives without fear, read the newspaper without finding grim images, and always feel safe. But we can take comfort in the fact that there are heroes out there, people who step up when things are at their very worst. It is those everyday people who serve as reminders of hope in the middle of tragedy.
Pooja Savansukha ’15
Mary Iris Loncto’16 stands out as one of the promising artists in this year’s freshman class. Her drive and unwavering enthusiasm to create and perform are characteristics that differentiate her from her peers. Loncto channels her abundant energy and passion into performance, predominantly through dancing but also through acting.
Mary Iris has been dancing since her infant years. At the age of four she trained in classical Russian Ballet. The extremely strict and spelled out techniques of the dance form are conducive to an increased sense of control and articulation, which are elemental to a dancer’s skillsets. Happy to have started off with this dance form, Loncto also began to take lessons in Character, a Russian folk dance as well as Jazz techniques that provided her with a different but equally enjoyable outlet for movement. Her talents did not go unrecognized as she was invited by a classical ballet school to train in Pantomime, during which time she realized her yearning to branch into acting. Her over-enthusiasm while training in Pantomime often invoked comments of her being “such a little actress,” and she eventually did realize that her performance abilities did go beyond dancing alone.
Starting at the end of fourth grade right into high school, Loncto started to train in musical theater, giving herself the opportunity to delve into music to a greater extent than she was able to through dance. She switched dance studios resulting in a style switch from classical ballet to the Balanchine technique. This allowed her to re-learn ballet with a new technique. The Balanchine technique provided Loncto with the platform to take classical ballet and transform it into more contemporary styles. Now she is now proficient in both styles. She was also performing the Nutcracker every year, building on the training received from learning both styles of dancing. To further her own understanding of movement, Loncto also began to explore hip-hop, tap, jazz and more International techniques. These techniques have played a role in developing her skills as a dancer and made her more open minded to different styles of movement.
Loncto became drawn towards the New Players Company” later on in Middle School, which was essentially a high school ran acting group. She was put in their junior company, which allowed her to focus and learn the skills of basic acting while continuing to be a part of the local musical theater group.
In high school, The New Players Company became an integral part of her artistic development. The group put on three main stage plays, one main stage musical and a bunch of student run reviews and projects. Loncto was able to extensivley practice choreography at this time. One of her fondest memories is from her senior year, when she was given the opportunity to direct scenes for a performance of ‘Chicago.
She also studied vocals and was very interested in choir and chamber music. The broad field of music became appealing to her. An improved understanding and appreciation of music also helped her approach choreography in innovative ways allowing her to discern that there is more to dancing than the techniques. She also composed solo music pieces, which she choreographed and danced to. Her music and theater background provided her with the ability to enhance her contemporary art and lyrical groundings.
In high school, her dance group was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall for an event called The Magic of Christmas,’ receiving a rare opportunity to perform at a huge venue so early in her career. She continued to do summer intensive courses at the Boston conservatory and the Joffrey Ballet School, improving her skills as a dancer.
Mary Iris joined Trinity last fall as an Interarts student. The program has helped her comfortably transition into college life. She was also able to meet some great friends who have enhanced her own understanding of art. Loncto knew from the start of her fall semester that she would be majoring in Theater and Dance. She instantly became involved with Trinity’s Dance Company and has taken many dance classes.
She has also performed on stage here at Trinity. As part of the jesters group, she performed in “The Importance of Being Ernest.” She auditioned and got cast in the main stage production this spring, “Disintegration Loops.” As a lead member in the cast she has the chance to further develop her talents and even defined her experience in the play as one of her best college experiences thus far.
This spring Mary Iris has also performed with the Dance Company and has been a part of Anthony Rosado’s and Jonathan Gonzalez’s senior theses performances. While being a part of the Dance Company helps her to practice her traditional training, the senior theses performances allowed her to explore more postmodern styles which she thoroughly enjoyed. The experience allowed her to learn from well-experienced seniors and take away valuable tips for next year.
Later this semester, Loncto will be performing a solo piece at the Spring Dance Fest and is also featuring in the Final InterArts Showcase, “Duende Unleashed.” She has also already been accepted into the LaMama Program in the fall, which will further develop her talents in performance. Loncto aspires to start her own company some time in the future and hopes to find ways to collaborate her understandings of music and dance together on a larger scale.
She looks up to figures from the art world, such as Pina Bausch, Jerome Robbins and William Forsyth. She will undoutebdly become an important member of the Theater and Dance program here at Trinity in the future.
Ashley Mullen ’15
At 7:30 p.m. on April 10, the Trinity Commons Performance Lab presented Anthony Rosado’s senior thesis performance, “And what do we do about all of this? Parts work, a methodology.” With the collaboration of Sarah Watson ’15 as Selby, Henry Moorhead ’14 as Harry, Mary Iris Loncto ’16 as Lucy, Jonathan Gonzalez ’13 as Vinnie, and Juan Vasquez ’14 as Georgette, Rosado created a hauntingly beautiful work that captured raw, rarely-conveyed emotions with a voice both poetic and melancholic.
On Wednesday night, Rosado’s senior thesis performance drew a full house from all over Hartford. As a free admission performance, there were no limits to the amount of people in attendance, forcing the audience to crowd into the three rows of the performance lab and overflow into the surrounding side aisles. Fortunately, students and faculty members alike were glad to squeeze closely together in order to be able to watch the anticipated performance. The tittering and excitement of the crowd was tangible as the beginning of the performance drew closer, creating an optimistic and encouraging atmosphere in support of Rosado’s work.
In a chaotic scene scattered with trash, clothes, and overturned tables and couches, the work opened with four figures lying seemingly unconscious around an unlit stage. As they each woke up and rose from their positions, Rosado illustrated a carefully crafted sequence of actions in which every character’s movement was just one part of a collective whole. The stage was left dark except for the light emanating from a single open door, which cast a long, eerie shadow across the dismal scene. With the awakening of the characters, four desk lamps are turned on in each of the four corners of the stage, illuminating the destroyed setting and revealing the dark, bruised bags under the eyes of each emerging figure. Using this combination of props and lighting, Rosado fashioned a new reality in his work, one that was kept open to interpretation and left the audience reeling by its end. The rarity of the dialogue was seen in the inclusion of only a few monologues that were expressed in poetic verses and spoken with a Shakespearean eloquence that moved the audience to a still and unmoving silence. With a stream of consciousness style, the dialogue proceeded without any decipherable order or meaning, only revealing fragments of feelings and images both unsettling and lovely at once.
But what those who did not attend fail to understand is what was left over from this monumental absence of voices. Instead of the boring, uneventful silence that is expected, Rosado communicated through action, facial expression, and above all, the primitive, instinctual noises that convey emotions not easily articulated by words. From the grunting commotion of a physical struggle to the blood-curdling screams of rage to the helpless sobbing and moaning, Rosado revealed the very existence of emotions that have always been the hardest for any creator, be it an artist, author, director, or playwright, to truly express.
Every choreographed interaction, the violent fights, the redeeming embraces, the panicked scratching, the frustrated scrubbing, all correspond to raw emotions that every person is able to relate to in some form or another, and this relatable quality is what makes Rosado’s work stand out amongst all others. There is no humorous, witty banter, or impressively harmonized musical numbers, but instead a haunting realness that is created through discordant, anticlimactic events that have no single meaning or interpretation. This randomness directly simulates the commonplace of existence, the reality that life does not build up towards a carefully constructed climax, but is instead filled with sometimes-inexpressible emotions and snapshots of inescapable memories that are constantly present, but not always voiced with Rosado’s poetic poignancy.
Without the absolute dedication and enthusiasm of each and every one of the actors, who all collaborated with Rosado in the creation of his thesis, the raw emotion and painful realism of the piece would not have been convincing enough to be memorable. But as it was, the delicate intertwining of the talents of both author and actor gave birth to a profound realness of feeling that resonated with the audience and gave Rosado and his cast a standing ovation.
Sonjay Singh ’15
From boomboxes blaring summer jams and 80’s anthems across the quad, to intoxicated crowds of Trinity students bouncing up-and-down to live outdoor performances, music has always been an integral part of the Spring Weekend experience. Joining the ranks of Snoop Lion, Three Six Mafia, Wale and according to one Tripod editor’s mother, U2, is EDM protégé Alesso who along with Skizzy Mars, Viceroy and the student duo of Connor Proctor ’14 and Gus Dangremond ’14 will be providing music and good times to Trinity College. Read about them below and brace yourself for flying Frisbees, days spent lounging on the quad and nights filled with some great performances.
Main Stage: Alesso
Swedish-born Alesso first started producing electronic dance music in 2010 at the young age of 19-years-old and with innovative remixes such as that of Nadia Ali’s “Pressure” quickly became one of the fastest rising names in the Electronic Dance Music scene. Continued success with such songs as his collaboration with Sebastian Ingrosso, “Calling (Lose My Mind)” led to his placement on top of MTV’s “DJ’s to Watch of 2012” as well as 20th on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs list. His early works of 2013 including an innovative remix of OneRepublic’s “If I Lose Myself” promise that Alesso will continue to be on the charts for years to come.
Headliner: Skizzy Mars
New York rapper Skizzy Mars combines the gritty rapping exemplified by early 90’s east-coast rappers such as the Notorious B.I.G and NAS with the smooth, soulful choruses and R&B rhythms of Frank Ocean or even the Killers. Finding his start on the streets of Manhattan, Skizzy Mars carved out a niche for himself in the emerging, Alternative Rap genre by redefining both what it means to be a musician and to be a performer. His new album, “Phases,” makes up for what it lacks in lyrical depth with endless swagger and musical innovation and as a charming and talented 19-year-old kid from Manhattan, maybe that’s all he needs
After-Party at Psi Upsilon: Viceroy
Exploding on to the scene in 2012 with little warning, San Francisco’s Viceroy has quickly made a name for himself in the newly-popular nu-disco genre. Remixing artists such as Passion Pit and Yelle along with catchy, pop singles such as “While Were In Love,” “Dream Of Bombay” and “Only Takes” has cemented his success in the electronic dance world leading to tours in South America, Australia and Europe. In the end though, Viceroy is really just a kid who likes music, partying and spreading his message that it really can be “summertime, all the time.”
Student Performance: Connor Proctor and Gus Dangremon
Hoping to impress students with a cocktail of electronic dance music and live performance, Proctor and Dangremon have crafted an innovative set influenced by cutting-edge artists such as Big Gigantic and Gramatik. By mixing the popular DJ program Ableton Live with hardware such as MicroKORG and the more standard guitar and saxophone, they create an interesting setlist built on collaboration; fitting for the pairing of this unlikely duo. These unorthodox methods have created a funky jam band sound not unlike that of the Dave Matthews Band but with a distinctly modern, electronica edge. A Trinity favorite for years, don’t miss Proctor and Dangremon as they take the big stage.
Zach Haines ’14
Every April, Cinestudio celebrates “April in Paris,” a weeklong event that showcases of a diverse array of francophone cinema, both classics and the works of up-and-coming filmmakers. This year, the selections included “Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elle” (Two or Three Things I Know About Her) a 1967 film by the master of French New-Wave cinema, Jean-Luc Godard; the Chris Marker 1983 world-trekking semi-documentary “Sans soleil” (Sunless); as well as Michael Haneke’s voyeuristic cult classic Caché (Hidden), which stars Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche and acclaimed filmmaker Daniel Auteuil. Of all the films in this spectacular line-up, I chose to see André Techiné’s “Impardonnables” (Unforgiveable), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.
The story is set in Venice, a rather obvious setting for the intertwining series of love affairs that ensues. At the outset, we are introduced to Francis (André Dussollier), an author of crime-fiction novels looking to retire somewhere amidst the mythical, winding waterways of Venice. He meets a French real estate agent named Judith (Carol Bouquet), who shows him an elegant cottage tucked away in the quieter reaches of the lagoon on the island of Sant’Erasmo. Francis is pleased and decides to buy the house and then asks Judith to marry him. Keep in mind that this is their first meeting.
Fast forward to a year from this encounter: Francis and Judith are living happily together on Sant’Erasmo, despite the Francis’ struggle with writer’s block. One day, Francis’ adult daughter Alice (Mélanie Thierry) and granddaughter Vicky (Zoé Duthion) come for a visit in order to meet Judith for the first time. For reasons I have yet to determine, while Judith and Alice are swimming in the lagoon, Alice swims away and disappears, abandoning her daughter. Francis hires an alcoholic private detective named Anna Maria (Adriana Asti), who discovers that Alice eventually swam away to Paris, where she is living with a Venetian heroin-dealer named Alvise.
Next in this seemingly endless series of subplots, Francis, motivated by Judith’s extensive history of affairs with members of both sexes, hires Anna Maria’s son Jérémie (Mauro Conte), a disturbed ex-convict, to stalk Judith through the streets of Venice and report on her quotidian activities. As the distrust grows between Francis and Judith, their relationship winds down into a state of stale indifference. It is only after they have separated that Francis is able to begin writing again.
Godard’s influence is undeniably present in Techiné’s work; in fact, I’m sure that all modern French filmmakers draw upon the legacy of Godard in some way or another. However – and I know true cinephiles everywhere will be appalled – have not yet developed a taste for the French New-Wave’s particular brand of detachment. Call me a Hollywood hedonist, but I like to be able to understand – or at least speculate – why the characters in a film are doing what they’re doing. These rules don’t necessarily apply in Impardonnables; instead, the characters are driven by invisible and unfounded passions that make them, more often than not, un-relatable. About halfway through the film, I couldn’t help but notice the restlessness of the audience members around me, who, like me, seemed to be giving up hope that any of the subsequent events would make any sort of meaningful impression.
Overall, Impardonnables can be characterized in one word: ennui. It seems to be the predominant emotion experienced by the characters in the film: all of them are incessantly searching for something satisfying, yet always end up taking two steps backward for every one in the right direction. Unfortunately, the film seems to have precisely the same effect on its viewers. That’s not to say that a movie about the misdirected follies of man can’t be a success: one of my personal favorites, Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation,” does exactly that. However, André Techiné’s differs ‘Impardonnables” in that it fails to (or perhaps consciously decides not to) make us fall in love with its pervading sense of ennui. I want to be invited into the world of the film and shown something beautiful, something horrifying, or a combination of the two. This time around, however, I simply left the theatre feeling unimpressed.
BART HARVEY ’16
The Trinity College Baseball team had a rough weekend, dropping all three games, two on Saturday, the other on Sunday, to the Tufts Jumbos. Trinity now boasts a 14-12 record overall and a 5-4 record in the New England Small College Athletic Association (NESCAC), meanwhile Tufts improves to 16-7 overall and 4-2 in the division and extends their winning streak to eight games in a row.
The visiting Jumbos used a three-run fifth inning to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead and went on to win the game with a score of 9-5. Trinity struck first in game one, as outfielder Alex Almeida ’13 doubled to lead off the bottom of the first inning. Captain Joe Papa ’13 then proceeded to draw a walk, followed by a single from Robert Ferrara to load the bases with one out. Outfielder Marc Crowley ’13 drove in two runs on a double to the gap, giving Trinity a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first frame.
Up 3-1, the Jumbos were able to take advantage of two Trinity errors in the top of the fifth inning, scoring three runs on an RBI single by sophomore Connor McDavitt and a three-base error that resulted in Tufts plating to more runners. Leading, 4-3, the Jumbos were able two score two more in the sixth inning before the Bantams plated one more run in the bottom of the frame when Cam Armstrong ’15 scored on a wild pitch.
Trinity was able to score one run in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback as the Bantams lost the first game of the doubleheader 9-5. Tufts sophomore Kyle Slinger earned the win, pitching 5.2 innings while allowing seven hits and five walks with two strikeouts. Bantam pitcher Peter Burrows ’14 took the loss despite pitching five innings and only allowing two hits. He was able to strike out seven but had five walks.
The second game of the day featured Bantam standout Sean Meekins ’15 on the mound facing Tufts junior Dean Lambert. They each went toe-to-toe in their matchup as each pitched 7.2 innings while allowing three runs, two earned, before handing the game over to the bullpen. The game would eventually be suspended due to darkness after nine innings with the score tied 3-3, and would be completed the following Sunday afternoon.
Tufts scored its three runs on an error in the first inning, an RBI single by Mike Barry in the third inning, and the tying run coming on a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning. Trinity scored on a two-out RBI single by Scott Huley ’15 in the first inning, and twice in the second on a Tufts error and an RBI single by catcher Scott Cullinane ’16.
The Bantams and Jumbos found themselves in a high-pressure situation starting Sunday, as they started the day in the tenth inning of the previous day’s game, and the scored tied at three. Tufts led off the top of the tenth inning by loading the bases with one out. Tufts senior Scott Staniewicz hit a groundball to the shortstop which looked to be a double-play ball, but Staniewicz hustled down the base path to beat the throw to first, giving Tufts a 4-3 lead. With men on first and second and two outs, the Bantams had another shot to tie up the game with Huley coming to the plate. But relief pitcher Christian Silby was able to deliver a clutch strikeout to win the second game.
The Jumbos took a 4-0 lead, scoring three in the top of the third, highlighted by an RBI double from sophomore James Howard. Trinity chipped away at the Tufts lead with a run in the third, and two more coming from Tufts’ miscues in the fourth inning, making the score 4-3. A sacrifice fly in the sixth and two consecutive bases-loaded walks in the eighth, gave the Tufts a 7-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. Trinity was able to score one run in the eighth but was erased in the top of the ninth by another sacrifice fly. The Bantam bats were silent in the ninth as first-year closer Matt Moser notched his fifth save of the season for the Jumbos.
The Bantams will look to turn their recent woes around as they face NESCAC-rival Bates in a three-game series on April 19 at 3 p.m. and April 20 at noon.
SAM LAMSON ’16
Although the year is coming to a close, and spring weekend and exams are just around the corner, Trinity Golf’s spring season has really just begun. The team played great in the fall, winning the Fall NESCAC championship. Trinity’s performance earned the team several honors, including Greg Palmer ’15 winning the NESCAC player of the year award, Nick Buenaventura ’15 and William Burchill ’15 winning first team all-conference, as well as Don Hunt ’15 and Jack Palley ’13 making the second-team all-conference. The performance by the Bantams also lets Trinity host the upcoming Spring NESCAC championship at Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Berlin, Connecticut from April 27-28.
Despite having 13 kids, the team remains surprisingly consistent throughout the lineup. This has contributed to success earlier this spring and past fall, and will continue to prove useful for the bantams in the coming weeks. Sophomores lead the pack on the team, including Greg Palmer, Nick Buenaventura, William Burchill, and Don Hunt, with best finishes of 71, 72, 72, 73, and 73 respectively. Look for continued sophomore leadership on this young golf team in the coming years as the young team continues to mature and gain success.
Greg Palmer is the sixth Bantam over the past eight years to have won the all-NESCAC golfer of the year award, joining the ranks of George Boudria (2005), Reid Long (2006, 2008), Josh Grossman (2007), and Jack Palley (2011). What differentiates his performance above the other previous winners is that he had to overcome a career threatening injury. In March 2011, Palmer suffered a broken arm from playing soccer, and a college golf career seemed far from realistic. After intense rehab and hard work on the course, Palmer managed to come back and eventually score a 147 through two days of golf at the NESCAC championships to lead the Trinity Bantams to the Fall NESCAC championship.
Heading into the Spring NESCAC championships, Palmer and the Bantams will need just as good, if not better performances to beat out Hamilton, Middlebury and Williams for the Spring NESCAC title. Hamilton and Williams will be the Bantams toughest competition. Williams is traditionally good at golf, and this year has proven no different. Hamilton has had a great year so far. Having three second-team all-conference golfers, Hamilton could easily have a good weekend and steal the title from the Bantams.
The Trinity Golf team began the season earlier this spring on March 22 in the Sunshine invitational down in Port Lucie, Florida. Trinity finished second out of three teams (Williams and Hamilton). Trinity missed beating Williams by only five strokes, but beat Hamilton by over ten strokes. Again, look for Trinity and Williams on April 27 to fight it out for the NESCAC title. Despite the recent success, Trinity golf is suffering the weekend through April 14 at the Manhattanville Spring Invitational. The event features Division I teams, so it is no surprise Trinity sits at seventh out of nine teams attending. Trinity will play Williams again next weekend at Williams, before heading back to Trinity the weekend of April 27 to play in the NESCAC championships. On May 14-17, Trinity will finish off their season playing in the Division III national championship.
As I see it now, Trinity golf has a 50-50 chance at winning the NESCAC championship. The title will come down to whom has the better weekend, Trinity or Williams. Williams is guided by the NESCAC Coach of the year, whom has a lot of experience and is working with a lot of talent. A good preview of the NESCAC championship will be over spring weekend, when Trinity golf will play Williams. Although a miserable time slot to put a golf match, Trinity will need to focus in order to show they are still the best in the league heading into the Championships the following weekend.
BART HARVEY ’16
The Trinity College Women’s Lacrosse team was able to maintain their undefeated record and extend their winning streak to 19 games in a row thanks to a late goal from attacker Shea Kusiak ’14. With 1:54 left in the game and the score tied at 9-9, Kusiak received the pass from Kaitlin Hildebrand ’13 and was able to stick it in net passed Alyssa Palomba, the opposing goalie, to give the Bantams the decisive goal against the visiting Middlebury College Panthers. Trinity, the reigning Division III champion and current No. 1-ranked team this season, broke the College’s consecutive win record by recording it’s 19th straight victory. Trinity improves to 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), meanwhile Middlebury suffered their first loss of the season, giving them a 10-1 record overall and 7-1 record in the NESCAC. Trinity jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of gameplay thanks to attacker Hadley Duncan ’13 who scored both goals, the second thanks to a clever pass from midfielder Lindsay Mullaney ’15. Middlebury senior Emma Kramer responded with a goal of her own five minutes later before Trinity’s Kaitlin Hildebrand ’13 notched two scores to put the Bantams up 4-1 with 17:22 remaining in the first half. Trinity then jumped out to a 6-2 lead as a result of goals from Molly Cox ’15 and tri-captain Megan Leonhard ’13 and a converted free position shot by Middlebury. After Middlebury’s two goals, both assisted by Margaret Souther, and a converted free position shot from Leonhard, Trinity took a 7-4 lead heading into intermission. About five minutes into the second half, Mullaney was able to convert on a free position shot, the only attempt of the half. Middlebury answered with a goal from Katie Ritter, cutting the Trinity lead to 8-5. Trinity was able to recover their lead quickly after Cox put in her second goal of the afternoon with 17:28 remaining in the game. Middlebury proceeded to mount a comeback as senior Alice Pfiefer put in back-to-back goals to cut the lead to 9-7 with 8:15 left. Kramer soon completed a hat trick on the afternoon with two successive goals of her own, the second came with a wide open net to tie the game at 9-9. Following a Trinity timeout, Martha Griffin ’16 was able to rifle a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal with less than three minutes on the clock, but was stopped thanks to a clutch kick save from the Middlebury goalie. Running out of time, Hildebrand found Kusiak streaking down the middle of the field who fired the ball into the back of the net to give the Bantams the decisive goal in a touch matchup against the Panthers. Hildebrand, Duncan, Cox, and Leonhard each finished with two goals apiece for Trinity, tri-captain Hildebrand also notched two assists in the contest. Fellow tri-captain Olivia Whitney ’13 finished with four saves and a win in net, meanwhile Middlebury’s Palomba had six saves and was given the loss. The Bantams and Panthers have formed somewhat of a rivalry as both programs have seen recent success in Division III women’s lacrosse. However, Trinity has dominated the rivalry of late, winning their past six games against Middlebury. Four of their last five contests have been decided by a single goal. Last year, Trinity topped Middlebury 11-10 in the NESCAC finals on a goal by Hildebrand with 4.7 seconds left on the clock. Middlebury last beat the Bantams on April 18, 2009. Saturday’s game was played in support of Lacrosse the Nations, a non-profit that promotes health and education through lacrosse in areas around the globe. Trinity and Middlebury combined to raise $2,200 for a Scoop a Loot fundraising campaign, which will entirely benefit the organization. The Bantams with face Wesleyan at home on April 16 at 6 p.m. before heading to Hamilton to take on the 16th-ranked Continentals April 20 at 12 p.m.
Fayola Fraser ’15
After a period of serious campaigning, the Trinity College Student Government Association (SGA) elections began last Tues., April 8, giving students a 24-hour time frame to vote for their choice of candidate. The most hotly contested seat was the Vice Presidency, as there were two candidates, Allison Cazalet ’14 and Carlos Velazquez ’14, campaigning intensely against one another. The elections went off smoothly, without a hitch, and the newly elected members are Ambar Paulino ’15 as President, Carlos Velazquez ’14 as Vice President, Erica Bertoli ’14 as Vice President of Finance, Elizabeth Getzoff ’14 as Vice President of Entertainment, and Adolfo Abreu ’15 as Vice President of Multicultural Affairs.
The SGA campaign season lasts about two weeks, and the deadline to submit bids for candidacy was Sunday, March 31. All contestants were required to attend an open SGA meeting to field questions from students and current SGA members about their campaign platform. Candidates also had to specifically describe their goals in writing so that students could make an informed vote on Election Day. Most positions required the candidates to have served two prior semesters on SGA or two semesters on a related student group or committee.
Every one of the elected students had a lot to say about how they think they can and will influence the future climate of Trinity during their terms, and about what they hope to accomplish for the betterment of the College. Although the candidates are all busy, they had concrete visions that they wished to share with the students that elected them.
Elected President Ambar Paulino is very determined to make sure that her presidency makes an impact. She has a strong desire to serve each and every student on campus. Paulino’s main concern going into her term is that she sees a gap existing between the SGA and the student body. She wants students to get involved in the Trinity programs that SGA helps facilitate. Paulino plans to hold open forums, social gatherings, and student panels to ensure that students can communicate their needs to the SGA.
Outside of the Trinity community, Paulino wants to bridge the gap between the College and the residents of Hartford. She would like to expand Do-It-Day, a campus-wide community service day, to incorporate more of Trinity’s surroundings. She also said it would be great to establish a relationship with Hartford’s legislators and figure out how Trinity students can contribute to the city.
The new Vice President Carlos Velazquez secured his position in part because of his diligent campaigning. He explained that, “In addition to campaigning, my staff created flyers, talked to people on my behalf and created polling stations for people to vote. Also, we promoted our campaign videos on our Facebook page.”
Velazquez believes that his campaign staff was “imperative” to his win. His interim “Chief of Staff” was Josh Frank ’16, who Velazquez says was “huge in helping [him] pull this together.”
As Vice President, Velazquez hopes to not only increase the frequency of communication between the Administration and students, but also to increase collaboration and transparency. Velazquez is concerned that, “some decisions regarding students blatantly disregard student opinions.”
Another ones of Velazquez’s goals is to create more social and academic opportunities for students both on and on campus. He explained that he wants “to create more social and academic opportunities for students both on and off campus. I want to create a stronger relationship between Trinity and the City of Hartford. Our students should not fear venturing into an unfamiliar, yet indubitably beautiful City.” Along with these initiatives, he also wants to increase links between SGA and the Men of Color Alliance (MOCA), the gay/straight alliance Encouraging Respect of Sexualities (EROS), and the Individualized Degree Program Association (IDPA).
Although he was ultimately the winner, Velazquez believed that the race seemed very close. He is very proud to have won the election, and stated that, “I am humbled and honored to have gained the trust of Trinity students both on campus and around the world.” He gave homage to his opponent, Allison Cazalet ’14. Velazquez thanked her “for her passion and commitment to Trinity and its students.”
Cazalet’s platform focused on her experience on the SGA Budget Committee, where she became very familiar with student organizations on campus. She also worked on the Academic Affairs Committee, where she created surveys, hosted, events, and talked to students about improvements they envisioned for Trinity’s academic climate.
Elected Vice President of Finance Erica Bertoli believes it is important to use the past as a guide while also looking toward the future. Bertoli’s main goal is to “monitor the budget in a responsible manner that allows a diverse group of student organizations to secure access to funds that allow them to hold events, fundraisers and other activities that benefit the Trinity community and surrounding area.”
Bertoli plans to achieve this by following the policies and precedents set by her most recent predecessors, Adrian Jul ’12 and Shawna Berk ’13. She plans to build on Jul and Berk’s foundation and also contribute her own ideas to make fair, rational, and reasonable decisions.
Elected Vice President of Multicultural Affairs Adolfo Abreu aims to help the student body understand the reasons the Multicultural Affairs Council. He wants to hold programs where the Council can answer student questions. He says he will also hold meetings for the leaders of the other multicultural organizations and the Greek organizations on campus. Abreu believes these meetings will be a merging force between different students on campus and increase their collaboration on different ideas and projects.
Abreu stated that, “”It is my aim to redefine the Multicultural Affairs Council that makes it a mission to educate the Trinity College Community on the myriad of cultures that exist on campus.”
All of SGA’s newly elected officials have their own vision for the development of the Trinity community. Through these unselfish and all-encompassing visions, it is clear that all the new members want to increase student-SGA interaction and make sure that decisions and relationships on campus are fair to the student body
Cara Munn ’15
Last Friday, on April 12, 2013, Thomas McKenna Meredith ’48 Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Science Sarah Cullison Gray delivered a special lecture on the impact of climate change on freshwater land resources in McCook Auditorium. Though she originally majored in chemistry at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, when she graduated from there she went on to study oceanography at the most unlikely of places: the University of Montana. Her specialties now include environmental chemistry and problems in acquatic biogeochemistry. Her research is primarily in the global carbon cycle, Sensor Design, and Marine and Freshwater Biochemistry. She has three publications out and since 2009 has given eight lectures in Environmental Science.
The lecture that she gave this past Friday, entitled “Carbon Cycling in Local Connecticut Freshwaters: Assessing Susceptibility to Climate Change,” centered on her work that she did with students this past summer at Batterson Park Pond, Mill Pond, and Wethersfield Cove to study small areas that were largely impacted by climate change. She stressed that she did not take her students to the ocean because the ocean can withstand most of these climate changes. Inland waters may cover a small fraction of the earth, but they are thought to be more and more important in the global carbon budget. Gray had her students, Kate Furgueson ’15, and Erika Adams ‘13 collect 320 water samples approximately 320 times over a 13-week period, which they then measured and studied to draw conclusions about water quality and watershed dynamics.
Gray also pointed out that all the sites that they studied were only ten miles apart yet they all had extremely different dynamics. She showed the audience bird’s eye views of the different ponds, some of which were connected to the Connecticut River. It was striking to see all the sediment that had settled in the Connecticut River, and the loss of water volume of the river over the years, illustrating effects of climate change.
Batterson Park Pond had the clearest water, and Wethersfield Cove had the murkiest. The students could tell because their waders would actually stick to the bottom of the pond surface at Wethersfield Cove. Their surface data, which Professor Gray concentrated on primarily in the latter part of her lecture, involved finding the pH and the factors that made it fluctuate up or down. She spoke about how temperature and pH had virtually no correlation at Mill Pond, and low oxygen. Other things that could have affected the pH at this site include photosynthesis and respiration.
The final part of her lecture focused on how to determine how susceptible an area was to climate change, which is called buffering capacity. She said that sea water systems were much more buffered because they were obviously connected to the ocean. The last thing she mentioned was the presence of carbon dioxide and other gases that are unhealthy for living animals.
Professor Gray will end her tenure at Trinity at the end of this year. She will be replaced by another post-doctorate fellow, and will continue to pursue her studies at another college where she will become an associate professor of chemistry.
In 2011, Trinity received a bequest of $1.2 million in the name of Thomas McKenna Meredith, a 1948 Trinity graduate who died in 2007, establishing a permanent endowment to hire fulltime environmental science fellows. Meredith was an investment banker who had a lifelong passion for Arctic travel and a commitment to environmental research.
Emily Chassman ’16
Since 2007 the Sustainability Task Force (STF) has been discussing and developing plans in the effort to make Trinity a “greener” community. Years of efforts and attempts on the behave of the Task Force has culminated in the recent release of the 2013 Sustainability Strategic Plan (SP13), an outline of all sustainability projects set to be implemented at Trinity before the end of the 2013 calendar year. The committee’s goal, through the release of this plan, is to create meaningful short-term sustainability projects designed to be integrated into the initiatives, support, and work already taking place on campus. Along with these short-term goals, larger and long-term sustainability solutions for the campus will be discussed and pursued in the years to come.
The SP13 is divided into nine categories: green building, education, community engagement, dining services, Climate Action Plan support, transportation, water, and recycling and solid waste. Within each of these categories, there are specific goals, such as increasing the number of alternative-fuel vehicles used by the college, and wide-reaching goals such as publicity and advocacy of the Climate Action Plan.
The different areas these initiatives will take place are expansive; they aim to target every area of life on campus from “empower[ing] the campus community…by advertising existing efforts, educating about and incentivizing sustainable behaviors in classrooms, dorm rooms, and offices,” to exploring “opportunities to reduce water consumption” on campus, to even publicizing and expanding current research and courses in sustainability in the course curriculum. The committee’s report details an extensive list of these initiatives, many of which are already underway.
Some of these projects are: posting signs at sites around campus where energy efficiency and lighting upgrades are taking place as part of the Climate Action Plan; implementing a green purchasing policy through W.B. Mason, the primary office supplier at Trinity, including a 30 percent recycled paper content minimum on paper purchases; participating in Recyclemania, the national recycling competition that ended March 30. Trinity’s recycling rate during Recyclemania was 13%, better than previous years, but there is much room for improvement. A special effort to collect faculty and staff books also brought in over 1,000 pounds of books for donation. The SP13 also plans on developing a record of water consumption over the past 18 months at Metropolitan District Commission water sources on campus, and setting up an inkjet and toner cartridge recycling program with Hartford Toner, with drop-off locations in Mather Hall’s recycling center and Faces Lounge and the lobby of LSC.
The STF is working with other campus organizations, such as Facilities (run by Aramark), ConnPIRG, Chartwells, Green Campus (a student group), Peter B’s Café, and Envrionmental Health & Safety, a branch of Aramark.
For projects not yet enacted, either fully or partially, the sustainability report lays out strategies, easily integrated into the Trinity community, as well as individuals day to day lives. By producing a report of this nature, the committee is able to effectively target their audience and offer real solutions. The wide-ranging nature of the report shows the urgency of these environmental concerns, both worldwide and within our own community. The outline of both long- and short-term goals allows for realistic measures to be taken in both an appropriate yet efficient amount of time.
Another initiative currently taking place is called Bantam Blitz. Using an interactive website, students can track their dorm’s electricity consumption in real time. The competition is between 16 dorm buildings to reduce their energy consumption the most between April 21 and 27. Students in participating dorms are encouraged to limit energy consumption, power down electronics, unplug cords when not in use, and take other simple steps to reduce electricity use. For each hour that electricity consumption goes down, the dorm will receive points.
Using a recorded baseline from the month of March, the website will record how much each dorm reduces their use during the week of competition, and participating students can track their dorm as well as other buildings they are competing against. Students can even vote for what the winning prize will be using an online survey. For more information, see www.trincoll.edu/bantamblitz. The “Power Down” initiative includes other activities such as free t-shirts in Mather on April 18, 19, and 22 in order to raise awareness about this energy reduction cause and more.
Students are encouraged to take part in these current initiatives, one of the largest being to educate students and faculty alike about environmental concerns both in the world and specifically on Trinity’s campus. The STF continues to investigate “all aspects of campus activity, including energy consumption, procurement, transportation, construction and renovations, recycling and waste, grounds management, and dining” in order to make recommendations as to ways the Trinity community as a whole can become more sustainable. For more information about the Task Force or the recently released Sustainability Strategic Plan for 2013 please visit http://www.trincoll.edu/AboutTrinity/offices/sustainability/Pages/Sustainability.aspx.
ALIE SCHREIBER ’13
Trinity College’s seventh annual Relay for Life will take place this Friday, April 26. Relay for Life is an all night experience. Members of Trinity’s community will walk around the track all night to raise money for the American Cancer Society in a nationwide event. This year the doors will open at 5:30PM and the event will kickoff at 6:00 PM and will continue until 6:00 AM on Saturday morning.
Relay for Life is a worldwide initiative to raise money and support for all types of cancer research. “Each year, more than 4 million people in over 20 countries take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.”
Relay for Life was started in May 1985. “Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, ultimately raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern – cancer. A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event. Since those first steps, the Relay For Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising more than $4 billion to fight cancer.” Trinity’s Relay for Life will be held in the Koeppel Community Sports Center. The night will start off with a performance by the Steel Pan group as well as an a capella concert featuring all five of Trinity’s groups. Following the performances there will be a formal Opening Ceremony to Relay for Life in which all participants will walk the first lap around the track together lead by the cancer survivors participating in the event.
Participants come from all over the Trinity community: sports teams, fraternities, sororities, friend groups, cultural houses, etc. Anna Seidner ’13 remarked, “I really appreciate the way that Relay is always able to bring so many Trinity students together. Not many events on our campus are able to engage such a large and diverse crowd of students.”
Throughout the night there will be many different activities put on by the Relay for Life planning committee to keep up the morale of participants. Some of the activities planned include an inflatable bounce house, a cake decorating contest, trucker hat decorations, a movie screening, a date auction, and a lip sync contest. In addition, each team is expected to host some sort of activity of their own choosing during the night. One of the most emotional parts of Relay for Life is the Luminaria Ceremony. In the ceremony participants light glow sticks in honor of loved ones who have passed away or are currently fighting cancer.
Sophie Goldsmith ’13, a former participant, said, “It was definitely an amazing experience. I’m really grateful I had the opportunity to participate in such an inspiring event.”
In anticipation of the event the Relay for Life Committee has held multiple fundraisers throughout the year including bake sales and a dodge ball tournament. In addition, this spring committee members have been selling Luminaria bags as a way to honor a loved one during the actual event. So far, Trinity’s Relay for Life has 249 registered participants on 52 teams, but that number will continue to grow during the final week.
Relay for Life co-chair Geoff Kwok ’14 commented, “Even though the event is getting close, we’re still pushing to get as many new teams started, as many new participants signed up, and as much money as possible raised towards the fight against cancer.” A reported $16,000 has been raised for cancer research so far. The team from Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity is in the lead for fundraising with $2,835, followed closely by the Women’s Rugby team, with $2,610. Anyone who wishes to join the cause can still register, whether with a preexisting team or by creating a new team at www.relayforlife.org/trinityct.
FORREST ROBINETTE ’16
Video games have never occupied a place of respect in our society. To many Americans, they are either a severely corrupting influence or, at best, a guilty pleasure. I am a lover of video games, but I also understand and agree with some of the criticisms that people have levied against the industry. I believe that video games have never really been given a fair trial in the American conscience. They are too often branded as evil and written off as an inherently bad influence. These accusations may indeed be true, but I don’t think that the main critics of video games have closely examined what they are criticizing. I write this article in the hope of giving video games the fair examination that they never seem to have received.
Opponents of the industry argue that video games are time-wasters, they “rot” the brain, they decrease social behavior, and they increase violent behavior. The greatest criticism of video games rests on that last point: violence. In 2001, Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman published a scientific study that claimed video games increase aggressive thoughts. They concluded that the interactive nature of video games makes children susceptible to more violent tendencies. It is true that in most games the player is rewarded for being violent. In games such as Halo and Call of Duty, the only way to win the game is through killing enemies. Anderson and Bushman argued that the repetition of violence and the reward for being violent serves as an effective learning tool and therefore teaches children to be violent. Other studies such as that of Anderson and Dill in 2000 as well as Gentile, Lynch, and Walsh in 2004 have contained similar findings.
The fact remains, however, that the debate over whether video games increase violent behavior is ongoing. Many defenders of the games are arguing that the reports mentioned above wrongly imply causation from correlation. For example, after the Columbine High School massacre it surfaced that the two shooters were fans of violent video games such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D. Some individuals believed that the violent behavior of these boys was the direct result of their frequent playing of violent games. Other people argued that this theory implied causation where it wasn’t justified. Defenders of video games argued that the boys’ choice to play violent games was a result of their violent tendencies, not the cause.
There are some scientists who argue that video games actually reduce violent behavior because the games are a safe place to take out aggression. Henry Jenkins, an expert on video game critical studies at MIT, claims that a decreased rate in juvenile crime in recent years corresponds directly with an increase in the popularity of games such as Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto. I have little knowledge regarding cognitive science so I will just say for now that there are scientists on both sides of this debate and that all parties have convincing evidence.
Many people believe that video games hurt an individual’s brain and mental capacity. Some studies have shown that academic achievement is directly and negatively affected by the amount of time one spends playing video games. Anderson and Dill claimed that the more time a child spends playing video games, the more his grades will drop. This correlation would make sense because heavy gamers spend so much time playing video games that they leave no time for their academic work. Another study by the National Institute for Media and the Family suggested that video games are addictive for kids and that this addiction increases risks of depression and severe anxiety. Video games have also been blamed for making kids more socially isolated. Large amounts of time spent playing video games often come at the cost of time spent reading, playing outside, or bonding with one’s family. Lastly, it has been argued that gaming decreases a child’s attention span. One study published in 2012 in Psychology of Popular Media Culture claimed that video games improved a child’s ability to concentrate in short bursts, but that games severely damaged an individual’s ability to concentrate for prolonged amounts of time.
The effect of video games on one’s brain is just as divisive as the violence issue. Countless scientists line up on the other side of the fence and argue that video games actually help one’s brain. Many people believe that video games give one’s brain a great workout. Most video games require abstract and high-level thinking in order for the player to succeed. In this way, video games are far superior to the activity of watching TV during which the watcher does not need to be mentally engaged at all. Video games have been shown to teach countless valuable skills, which include problem solving, logic, planning, resource management, logistics, multitasking, strategy, and quick thinking just to name some. Some researchers have argued that video games introduce children and adults to computer technology and the online world. The games make the player comfortable with the concepts of computing which is very important in our increasingly digital world. Video games have also been shown as a possibly revolutionary learning tool because they make learning fun. I specifically remember how I learned to type with a game called Dragonkeys. I learned valuable typing skills at an extremely young age because the means by which I learned was both fun and engaging.
I think many of the video game debates ignore the fact that gaming is just plain fun. I can’t even count the many blissful hours that I’ve spent immersed in the world of Zelda or Bioshock. For me, they are the perfect way to release stress. There are few things that I find as calming and relaxing as delving into a good video game. That being said, video games can be a huge waste of time. In high school, many of my assignments suffered because I couldn’t pull myself away from Super Mario Galaxy. I think video games are so difficult to handle because they invite extremes by their nature. I either play games constantly or not at all. For example, I am completely guilty of engaging in video game binges.
I go through periods of addiction, which are always difficult to break out of. During my vacation, I can be found on daylong Skyrim marathons. But while I’m at school I don’t play any video games at all because I know my GPA would plummet. I wish I could find a middle ground in my playing, but I have the hardest time doing so because of the addictive nature of the games. But just because this middle ground is hard to find doesn’t mean we should stop working to achieve it.
I wanted to list the many cases for and against video games to show that they are neither wholly good nor are they completely evil. I believe that the effect of video games is an extremely complicated issue and that it cannot be simplified and crystalized down into a simple, one-sided solution. People who attack video games as purely evil are denying the countless ways that video games can be beneficial to children and to society in general. Those who hold video games up as perfect are ignoring the serious problems that they create.
Going forth in this debate, I hope that all the parties involved will seek to empathize with and understand both sides of the issue. We as a society will only be able to harness the positive aspects of video games if we approach the issue with an unbiased and fair-minded attitude.
ABHILASH PRASANN ’16
Lesson 1: When somebody says, “What’s up?” you do not have to stop and tell them what’s been up in your life. They are just being cordial. However unagreeable it may seem to your delicate talkative and social sensitivities, all you have to do is return that with another “What’s up?”
Lesson 2: This is not India. People panic when you call them up. You have to text them. Nobody calls someone unless it’s an urgent matter. If you call them too often even if there isn’t any pressing need, you will face de-pressing consequences.
Lesson 3: Watching the “American Pie” series has screwed up your image of American college life. You will not (always) get women easily. Not all women are scantily clad. Stop having false expectations. How would you react if the Americans thought we broke out into synchronized dance on the streets just because that’s what they have seen in Bollywood movies? Now think how stupid you were for keeping those expectations.
Lesson 4: When people say stuff like “yeah” or “cool” and don’t contribute to the conversation, it’s time to get out. Again, this is not India where you can have awkward one-sided conversations with great regularity.
Lesson 5: Americans have stereotypes about you just like you have about them, though some of them may exhibit a rare sort of evolution regressing stupidity. It’s as if they are the answer to the question “How do we make this world a little more irritating?” If you are an American reading this and you get offended, I apologize but it is true to an extent. And yes, I do believe that this is an aberration and no way reflective of every American. Here are some of the things I have been asked. “Can you touch a girl in India?” “Do people ride elephants to school in India?” “Do cows cause traffic jams on a regular basis?” “Isn’t India in Eastern Europe?” I can go on.
Lesson 6: For some reason, nobody finds jokes funny in the early morning classes. Don’t laugh out loud and make yourself look like a fool.
Lesson 7: Being Indian does NOT mean you are going to ace the Calculus class. (I got an F in that one).
Lesson 8: When it comes to American politics, remember one quote. “All people are born alike— except Republicans and Democrats.” – Groucho Marx. Don’t side with anyone when there is a political debate going on, ESPECIALLY when it is about the gun laws. Don’t even enter these debates as a neutral. Shit gets serious. You will probably get lynched for quoting Groucho Marx because some dummy will mistake him for Karl Marx.
Lesson 9: People will have opposing views. Some are diametrically opposite to your own views and may even seem offensive to your moral sensitivities. Don’t judge them. Don’t relegate them to the trashcan of logic and reasoning no matter how much the temptation. It is just an opinion.
Lesson 10: You HAVE TO say “just kidding” after you make fun of someone or make a condescending remark or else you are just being “mean.” Again, unlike India, you need to be politically correct and show a degree of diplomacy here. Right to offend does not come with Right to free speech. Just kidding.
Lesson 11: This may seem hard but do not lose it if someone does not know who Sachin Tendulkar or Amitabh Bachchan is. (For those who still don’t know, ask Uncle Google).
Lesson 12: In India, if you were the only guy hanging out with a group of pretty women, people would assume you are a “player” or an “alpha male.” Here, they will just assume you like men.
Lesson 13: If you live in a place called “North,” expect your moral compass to start pointing south.
Lesson 14: When you sneeze, say, “excuse me.” When someone else sneezes, say “Bless you.” YES. It was a lesson for me. When you live in a country of a billion plus people, nobody cares whether you bless them when they sneeze or you are apologetic about your own sneeze.
Lesson 15: Write the dates MM/DD/YY style instead of the DD/MM/YY style that you are used to. No wonder people gave you funny looks when you told them your birthday was on 23/11.
Lesson 16: Put up with the annoying people that you may come across. Not everybody’s parents gave them that stinging slap from the back of their palm when they acted silly.
Lesson 17: Do not follow the infamous Indian Standard Time. Which means when there is a party or a meeting at 7 p.m., be there at 7 p.m. In India, it is okay to come at 9 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. thing because it is called being fashionably late. It is how we roll. Here, it is just rude.
Lesson 18: Don’t try teaching them cricket. It requires a lot of patience. Plus America already has baseball (which I can’t understand).
Lesson 19: Despite all their faults, Americans are among the best people you can meet. They work hard, plan ahead, are self-reliant, have an entrepreneurial spirit and defend their right to party. Many are incredibly intelligent. They are curious, friendly, helpful, innovative, fun loving and welcoming. They are loud and proud and make a damn good crowd. Work hard and party harder seems to be the way everyone rolls.
Nobody judges you if you think, work, dress or act different from others. You are free to make your way. You are free to do your thing. And that is why despite all the fun I often poke at them, I love Americans and America. I did have a bunch of negative perceptions about them, but not so much now ever since I fell in love with this place. So here is to a continued love story. Here is to another crazy but amazing year ahead. I bet my ancestors will turn in their graves when I say this but God bless America.
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
Get ready guys. It’s yet another article about Chartwells. Chartwells, that ever so beloved food provider, has made their next misstep. I’m not referring to charging students for sauces now, or charging for one slice of cheese when they don’t have the cheese the sandwich comes with. This time, it really isn’t about the food either. It’s about their attempts to advance their technologies. They’ve gotten an app to order food from the comfort of our own dorms and pick them up when they are ready. This app is called Tapingo.
Now let’s keep in mind why this model would normally work. Take a look at Chipotle, or Panera, or any large food chain with an app. You make an order on your phone, pick a time for it to be ready, and then go on your merry way and pick up your delicious food. This works because people may want to pick up a meal quickly on the way to work, without running into the food crowds. In theory, this should also apply on campus. However there is a big difference in the way Chipotle runs, and the way the Cave and Bistro run. Chipotle has the resources to make this technology effective. Chartwells does not.
Quite honestly, there is no reason for students to order food from the Bistro or Cave through an app. Imagine a person who lives in Hansen placing an order for a sandwich at the Bistro. It’s barely a few steps away from this hypothetical person’s dorm. This is called laziness at its most extreme. If a person doesn’t have the extra ten minutes it takes to wait for a meal, then time management skills are definitely lacking. There’s a difference between ordering Chipotle and Panera, because it already takes another 15-20 minutes to get there, and then more time to order and get a meal. These places end up being an hour long process simply for a really delicious burrito. Obviously, not everyone has time for that and it then makes sense to place an order beforehand. This is not the situation on campus. It takes about five minutes to get to a food place, and another five minutes to get a meal, unless you go during the crowds, in which it’ll take ten minutes. Students generally have no problem waiting these few minutes. Yet when orders start coming through online, it creates another issue for those patient and not lazy students who are waiting in line and interacting with humanity.
The Bistro and Cave are understaffed. It’s very simple. If you go to the food places during lunch and dinner hours, it’s packed. It’s a huge hassle to get a meal, and this is when the waits are lengthy and students might actually consider ordering ahead of time through Tapingo. But ordering through Tapingo takes away valuable staff from the already busy schedule to make a meal for someone who hasn’t the time or patience to wait in line. Everyone else who actually walked the two minutes are now stuck waiting for a selfish student’s meal to be prepared before theirs. Alright, maybe they don’t realize the problems this creates. Chipotle has extra staff members to handle the online orders, but the Bistro and Cave do not. It’s the same staff, who already have a lot of students to serve in person. This is not sufficient to make the app something that doesn’t take away from those students who do make the effort to walk for a few minutes.
This app just makes it easier for lazy students to keep being lazy and for other students to stay apart from the community by making things even more impersonal. I am not arguing about apps that make things easier, but when the Bistro is so close by, there isn’t a need. Things are already pretty simple. Tapingo sounds like a great idea in theory. If Chartwells is going to continue using this app, they need to hire more staff to handle the crowds or else Tapingo will make things even more hectic and stressful.
Chartwells gets a lot of negative attention, but it generally isn’t about the food. It’s about the actual service. Students are charged an extra 50 cents for a side of sauce, charged extra just for substituting a different kind of cheese, and hassled when they question why they are being charged more. For all their claims that customer service is important, Chartwells doesn’t have the resources to maintain a business the way Chipotle and Panera do. Things are overpriced, making me question why Chartwells cannot afford to hire more staff. Obviously I don’t know the inner workings of Chartwells, and I’m sure things like Bistro Late Night have cost a lot more, but students are paying a lot more than they did a couple years ago. Perhaps there should be just one more person hired to handle the online orders. Perhaps there should be more than one toaster for sandwiches. These are more expenses, but they are necessary if students are expected to deal with even more wait times.
Chartwells make it very clear with all their declarations on posters that customer service is very important. But using this app just kind of suggests that they don’t want to actually interact with students at all. It may be a reach, but why would a company introduce something that isn’t actually helpful? Either they don’t care to interact with us, or they didn’t think this new app through very much. The latter seems the most likely, so in a nutshell it causes more delays and leaves a disconnect. I could go on a rant about things becoming too dependent on technology, making everything more impersonal, but we’ve heard it all before from hipsters. A last note though, it really isn’t that hard to walk to the cave and pick up your own food. Stop being the epitome of lazy.
ALYSSA ROSENTHAL ’13
For those of you who aren’t avid Justin Bieber fans, let me give you an update on what he has been up to. Currently in the middle of a European tour, Bieber paid a visit to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam on Friday between his concerts in Antwerp, Belgium and Arnhem, Netherlands.
At first glance this seems like a good move on Bieber’s part, as it makes him appear slightly more cultured and aware of social and historical issues. However, this façade was shattered when it was revealed what he wrote in the museum’s guest book at the end of his tour: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
Let’s break this down (having been to the Anne Frank house and having read her diary myself, I feel that I have the authority to do so). First, Bieber said that his visit was “truly inspiring,” and I completely agree with this sentiment. To quote my own blog post describing my visit, I called it a surreal experience and said, “I had chills the entire time I was walking through.” Visiting the house is incredibly inspiring; to see the tiny rooms in which Anne, her family, and friends lived while they were in hiding was shocking and humbling at the same time.
Next, Bieber wrote, “Anne was a great girl.” This is where he starts to go downhill. Anne Frank was not just a great girl. She was the voice of a generation. Her diary showed us the hope that existed in the hearts of the Jews being persecuted during the Holocaust. It also serves as a brief example of the brilliant, caring, and inspirational people that never had a chance to reach adulthood and leave their personal mark on the world.
Then we get to the last bit written by the 19-year-old international pop sensation: “hopefully she would have been a belieber.” Again, for the non-Bieber fans out there, (according to CNN) a “belieber,” is an adolescent or teenage girl obsessed with the Canadian singer.
Before I go into what I personally think about Bieber’s note, and what it means for the way young people relate to history, I would like to share some of the reactions CNN included in their story on Bieber’s visit to the museum: “Glad he went, but, the last sentence is VERY self serving. He missed the lessons of Anne totally.” Another comment read, “She would’ve been a WHAT? That little idiot is way too full of himself.” Similarly, another comment stated, “She’s an important historical figure so show some respect.” And my favorite, “Here I thought it was nice of him to go and see the history of her until I read what he wrote. Have some respect Mr. Bieber for she will be famous long after your fame fizzles.” I completely agree with all of these people, as I’m sure many other Americans do as well.
Bieber had the incredible opportunity to visit the Anne Frank house, which has, fortunately for us, been preserved beautifully and in such a way that visitors can really feel and understand what life was like for the eight people living there.
And maybe Bieber saw that; maybe he imagined what life was like for Anne as he walked through her tiny bedroom and saw the magazine clippings and photos she had pasted to the walls, and maybe he did feel stifled and moved as he climbed up the narrow staircase leading to the annex.
But the public will never know, and probably will not care, because what the singer chose to write in the guest book showed no intense feelings or emotional reactions, only a constant selfishness and consciousness of his personal image and fame.
I do not think it is a bad idea for young people to attempt to relate to historical figures on a personal level. In fact, I think this is a great idea if it will further their understanding of a particular historical event or phenomenon.
The best way to do this is to attempt to put yourself in the shoes of the other, to imagine how you would feel having the same experiences, and how you might react. What Bieber did appears to be the opposite; instead of trying to imagine what life was like for Anne, he took her out of her world and transplanted her into his, in which naturally he would hope that the 13-year-old Anne would fall under his spell and begin blasting “Beauty and the Beat” in her room at night.
Justin, this is not the way to understand and relate to historical figures, this is the way to show the extent of your ignorance of historical and world events that are occurring outside of the bubble that is your life.
Earlier I referred to my visit to the Anne Frank house as a humbling experience- I still strongly believe it was and is a humbling experience for most of the tens of thousands of people who visit the museum each year.
However, based on Bieber’s note, it does not seem that he felt the same way. In his defense, perhaps he did, and he just wasn’t thinking when he voiced his hopes of Anne Frank joining his loyal legion of fans. But if that was the case, Bieber did not have to include this last little musing. Without it, he would have been respectful enough and he would not have revealed his lack of world social consciousness.
But unfortunately for him he did, and being the international superstar that he is, in doing so he opened himself up for criticism from all those who wish to speak out against him. In my opinion he has decreased his chances of many potential “beliebers” seeing him as “Somebody to Love.”
Editor in Chief
Last week, I was sitting with one of my roommates, venting about how every aspect of my life seemed not to be going the way I wanted. I complained about the state of disaster I felt enveloping me, and in turn she told me – in a matter of fact way – that I was going through my “mid-semester crisis.” Of course.
I see myself as someone who will go through some awesomely ridiculous mid-life crisis, panicking when I hit 40, maybe buying a motorcycle or going skydiving. I just expect that from myself. But throughout college I’ve been in control. I don’t get too stressed (though it would probably help my motivation), and I simply figure everything will work itself out.
When my roommate said that I was hitting my mid-semester crisis, I wanted to deny it. Then it suddenly struck me and seemed to fit perfectly in the chronology of my semester: January and February were filled with excitement to be back in school, new notebooks and the potential of succeeding! Then came March: midterms, internship applications and the comfort that I still had two months left on campus. But now it’s April, and there is less than a month left of the school year. With no internship offer under my belt, the daunting fact that we only have about three and a half weeks of classes left, final papers yet to be started, a thesis proposal unwritten, and the feeling that I just got here, April has sent me into a full on panic.
Continue reading Dealing with my mid-semester crisis
Wednesday afternoon is the time in the week when things start to slow and momentum dies down. But the workweek isn’t over. It’s not time to dive into weekend mode just yet. That’s why the Flavors of Jerusalem Cooking Series at Hillel is the perfect mid-week pick me up! Every Wednesday a group of students gather together at 4:30 p.m. in the Hillel House on Vernon Street to collaborate their skills and cook. The Director of Hillel, Lisa Kassow, is a seasoned cook. She spent ten years in Jerusalem where Israeli natives and luscious spice markets influenced her to experiment with different recipes. Last years publishing of “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi inspired her to get back into the Middle Eastern cooking. The cooking class at Hillel began last year as a bimonthly activity where guest cooks would come in for a session and share their skills and recipes with students. Although it was fun and inspiring, we wanted to bring in something more consistent and hands on for the group. Flavors of Jerusalem is designed with the goal to have fun while also learning to cook. The cookbook is filled with eclectic, spice-infused Middle-Eastern creations. Each week we choose an appetizer, entrée, and side dish, and occasionally a dessert. There is no rhyme or reason to the choice, usually it is made by flipping through the book and seeing what looks delicious and catches the eye. The pictures are colorful and detailed, making the dishes look particularly savory. The cooking classes are completely kosher. Hillel has a kosher kitchen meaning we observe kashrut, which is the Jewish dietary law. There are a series of customs that come along with kashrut. For instance, if you have a milk based food you cannot eat meat at the same time. Thus, we often substitute cheese in a recipe for a non-dairy alternative or do a class focused on dairy products and then another one with a meat concentration. The laws sound complicated, but once you get the hang of them they are not too difficult to follow especially in a space like Hillel. Our first class of the semester we crafted a salad infused with dates, spinach, and strawberries paired with stuffed eggplant and rice. We didn’t stick to the recipe religiously; instead we played with variations and spins to add our own twist. We quickly learned the hard way about the importance of reading the recipe through before beginning. We attempted to make basmati rice mixed with orzo and soaked in chicken stock for flavor, but we cooked the white rice through, not realizing we were supposed to wait. It was an easy fix—we chose to have a just a plain white rice for the week, so nothing went to waste. Other weeks we have experimented with a cheese and vegetable casserole, Israeli salad, which is often made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and greens diced into very small pieces, and turkey and vegetable burgers. Many weeks we spin up home made hummus or tahini to spread on our food. Hummus is a chickpea spread that pairs great with pita, while tahini is a thinner, sesame paste made with olive oil. We’ve also made rice mixed with lightly fried onions, raisins, and nuts. This semester we have had the honor of welcoming in two guest cooks. On Wednesday, Hebrew teacher and cooking aficionado Michal Ayalon joined us and instructed us how to make a special Israeli sandwich full of potatoes, tuna-fish, and vegetables. Just last week, Hillel Assistant Director Ceceley Chambers shared with us her favorite Kosher pizza dough recipe and we enjoyed our own personal pizzas. We asked Ceceley the trick to her tasty dough. She replied, “the trick is to add a touch of cornmeal for extra flavor.” The pizzas came out scrumptious covered with innovations of garlic, tomato-sauce, pesto, vegetables, chicken, and samplings of Kosher red meat. We left out the cheese because of the kashrut rules, but the other ingredients made the change barely noticeable! The beauty of the class is that every week is different. We get to experiment with a multitude of delicious recipes, while learning important facets of cooking. The diverse group that comes together offers an intimate and enjoyable setting. It is held at Hillel, but all students and faculty are welcome. We invite anyone to join us in the coming weeks! It is every Wednesday at the Hillel house, 74 Vernon Street; cooking begins at 4:30 and we finish with dinner at 6 p.m. Any questions or suggestions for recipes contact Sophie Katzman at email@example.com.
Jackie Sanders ’14
As winter turns into spring at Trinity, students emerge out of their dorms and begin to spend as much time outside as possible. During the day, students can be found lounging with their friends on the main quad, putting together an impromptu game of flag football, or using our campus-wide WiFi outside to try and get some work done. Trinity students love when the weather gets warm, but let’s face it—who doesn’t? Warm weather means summer is near, and of course, less layers to worry about before you go outside. After surveying many students around campus, I discovered which trends should appear around campus for the next two months. Spring at Trinity is all about colors and bringing back out those patterns you couldn’t wear in the winter. As Mariko Nitta ’14 says, “winter is for dark colors and jeans. That’s what’s boring about winter, you can’t dress up.” During the fall and winter, lots of people at Trinity tend to wear cozy sweaters, leggings, or dark jeans. Winter clothing consists of mainly neutrals and dark tones. It’s way easier to throw on a solid black outfit in the winter, especially early in the freezing morning when you’re unmotivated to go outside. Why waste time if you’ll be wearing jackets and layers over the clothes anyway? Chiffon is another key addition to your spring wardrobe. Chiffon is the perfect spring fabric because of its lightweight quality. Not only is chiffon comfortable, but also very breathable so you don’t develop sweat-stains. Chiffon tends to look expensive, which is decieiving because many items made of chiffon are actually very reasonable. Buy a chiffon maxi skirt or a chiffon top that you can tie or tuck in. Also, many tops made of chiffon come in soft, pastel colors which are perfect for this spring season. Colored pants. These have been around for years now, but girls at Trinity will never leave them at home. Colored pants or jeans are the perfect, easy way to spice up an outfit without being too aggressive for the daytime. A lot of popular brands carry pastel colored jeans which are perfect for the spring. Another similar trend are patterned jeans, which excites an outfit by bringing an unexpected twist. Look for floral prints, animal patterns, or polka dots. Jelly flats are another perfect item for the spring at Trinity. Not only do jelly flats come in a variety of bright colors, but they are also less expensive than regular ballet flats. Jellys are perfect for the spring because they’re easy to clean and can be worn almost anywhere. To class on that rainy day? Check. Leave your bulky rainboots behind. To a late night party on the weekend? Check. You no longer have to worry about ruining your favorite pair of shoes in a slush-filled basement. Jelly flats can be found at a variety of stores, ranging in price and design. Statement necklaces and jewelry are the last top trend at Trinity this spring. Although chunky, oversized necklaces were worn all winter, statement necklaces this spring are more colorful and bright than ever. While the winter was about jewels and sparkles, Spring necklaces are covered in beads, stones, and other bright embellishments. These necklaces can be found in just about any women’s boutique. So how do you stay trendy at Trinity this spring? Simply listen to these five trends suggested by fashionable students. As Georgina Thermos ’14 says, “Don’t be afraid to take risks. Pair a few different trends together in an unexpected way. Your style should be unique!”
Amanda Keyko ’14
Located in West Hartford, Blue Elephant Trail is a wonderful authentic Thai restaurant. After a busy week and an exhausting weekend, Maddy and I were craving some fresh spicy food in contrast to the cheesy fried dishes we had consumed the rest of the weekend. We entered the small, simply decorated restaurant, overwhelmed by the smell of curry. For a Sunday night the establishment was not very busy and we were immediately seated. We excitedly started flipping through the many pages of our leather-bound menus, surprised at the array of choices, such as frog’s legs and squid. After much debate and with the help of our waitress, we finally decided on sharing two appetizers and two entrees. We started with the seasonal special, grilled corn with coconut milk (our waitress’s suggestion) and Thai summer rolls, followed by Pad Si Eow with tofu and chicken Panang Thai curry. While eagerly awaiting our food we examined our surroundings. Both of us loved the bright geometric blue wallpaper, which made the small space appear much larger. The remaining décor was simple with an emphasis on black and silver pieces of furniture. The other tables consisted of families, couples and students. Although only eight of the 25 tables were filled, each dish that was carried by looked more appetizing then the next as we unsuccessfully tried to stop staring. Thankfully our appetizers arrived fairly quickly and we dug in at once. Our first dish was the Thai summer rolls, which were soft wrapped rolls with shrimp, rice vermicelli, Thai basil, peanuts and vegetables with hoisin sauce. We enjoyed not only the taste but the fun and unique presentation as well. Soon after, our corn arrived. Our enthusiastic waitress eagerly stood by to overhear our thoughts on her suggested dish. To her relief, we completely agreed and thought the grilled taste of the corn perfectly complemented the sweet and spicy coconut dressing. After our satisfying start we could not wait for our entrees to arrive. The two huge steaming plates overwhelmed our table, as we quickly served ourselves. Each dish was equally good, yet completely different. Our noodle dish, the Pad Si Eow, was made up of a thick rice noodle with egg, Chinese broccoli, and tofu. Each bite was filled with flavor, making it difficult to stop eating to switch to our second dish. The Panang curry was a classic Thailand curry, filled with kaffir lime, lemongrass and chilis. Despite the low spicy score, this dish left our mouths on fire. Luckily, both of us enjoy an added kick with our food, so the spiciness was no problem. We chose chicken and brown rice as our additions, although jasmine rice and pork, beef or tofu were all appealing options. We were overall completely happy with each of our choices, and enjoyed the array of complex flavors. Although we normally pride ourselves in being members of the clean plate club, we could not find room in our stomachs to finish the gigantic portions. The Blue Elephant Trail was a perfect Sunday night meal. The delicious dishes left us feeling refreshed and satisfied to begin our weekend’s worth of procrastinated work. The prices were low with entrees ranging from $12 to $18. We will definitely be bringing the rest of our roommates and friends back to enjoy the vibrant décor and fresh and spicy food. Next time you venture to West Hartford for a fun and satisfying meal, we strongly recommend this hidden gem for fantastic authentic, and contemporary Thai food close to home.
Serena Elavia ’14
If you’re like me, you have no idea how to use your inhaler. Luckily, all of that will change soon. Student Gunjan Gupta ’15 is working with a company called Emedsim to develop an app that gives users simulated instructions on how to properly use their inhaler. Instead of only relying on written instructions, the app involves simulation technology, where users can watch a model take an inhaler. The app also uses video feedback and various interactive components. Essentially, it serves as a middleman between doctors and patients. Gupta says that simulation methods are the “new teaching tools instead of traditional methods,” which can include written instructions or learning from a healthcare provider. You must be wondering what prompted her to do this. Gupta says that patient education is a vital part of medicine, but receives little emphasis in a doctor’s office. Healthcare providers are too busy caring for patients that patient education seems to have taken a backseat. Not only do many providers not have the time for patient education, but many have never received training on how to properly take an inhaler. And you wonder what they do for four years in medical school. Gupta, who has asthma herself, learned how important patient education is when she realized that she was not taking her inhaler correctly. This is what propelled her into patient education. Both of Gupta’s parents work in the healthcare field, which intrigued her to explore medicine. She soon learned that her interests were in patient education, and patient interaction. During her senior year of high school, Gupta shadowed at a hospital where she was exposed to simulation technology. Combining her knowledge of simulation and interest in patient education, Gupta began working on the app in the summer before she enrolled at Trinity. Hailing from Barrington, RI, Gupta is a chemistry major and is involved with the Open Airways club. The club is on campus and travels to schools in Hartford to educate students on asthma and how to control their asthma. Gupta’s work though doesn’t stop at developing the app. She spoke at a conference hosted by the Society for Simulation in Medicine in Orlando, FL in late January. She did a poster presentation on the abstracts of the app and why simulation methods are preferred to traditional methods of teaching asthma. But in May, Gupta will present at the fifth annual International Clinical Skills Conference in Italy. Instead of doing a poster presentation, she will give an oral presentation on the benefits of using simulation technology in patient education. Gupta says it is always entertaining to see people’s reactions to her attendance at the conferences. “Most people think I’m a resident pitching for a hospital and then they’re shocked to find out that I’m a college student,” says Gupta. Turning her passion into a job, Gupta says that she sees herself continuing in patient education and most likely not attending medical school. She says that pharmacists are a wonderful resource for patient education, and that she wants to explore this field after graduation. But for now, Gupta is currently working on a study testing if simulation methods increase the accuracy of using an inhaler at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. After completing some studies, the ultimate goal of the app is to have it used in doctors’ practices and endorsed by insurance companies.
Pooja Savansukha ’15
Even considering the International Hip Hop Festival captivating much of the campus’ attention, not only did Caitlin Crombleholme’s ’13 senior thesis performance “Basil and Cleopatra” stand out given its distinctively 20s genre but it also celebrated the creativity and skillful direction of one of our talented student artists at Trinity.
“Basil and Cleopatra” is a short story written by the renowned F. Scott Fitzgerald. Crombleholme adapted this story into a theatric piece that was performed on Friday and Saturday night at the Garmany Hall in Austin Arts Center. The cast, which consisted of Lindsay Walker ’13, Kevin Rich ’13, Leah Novak’ 13, Chanel Erasmus ’15, Heath Harckam ’15, Forrest Robinette ’16 and Tim Crombleholme, delivered an extremely promising performance that captured the full attention of the audience and provided a great deal of humor throughout the performance.
Basil has been a recurrent character in several of Fitzgerald’s short stories and his persona is essentially an embodiment of Fitzgerald himself. “Basil and Cleopatra” is one of the last stories written about Basil and it depicts him as a rising freshman at Yale, transitioning into a new phase in his life, particularly as he enters his first romantic infatuation with a Miss Erminie Gilberte Labouisse Bibble.
The story unfolds to reveal Basil’s newfound realizations of the idea of love and itscomplications. Crombleholme’s adaptation of the story intended to “perform every word of Fitzgerald’s timeless prose about youth, love, and ambition.” The inclusion of a narrator (played by Lindsay Walker ’13) retained the well-constructed phrases and sentences that are the central charm of Fitzgerald’s works. The dialogue successfully reflected Fitzgerald’s time period of the 1920s and his writing style, giving the audience a visual representation of the actual short story.
Garmany Hall provided an intimate setting for the performance as the audience was seated very close to the stage on two sides. This allowed the characters to occasionally weave in between and behind the audiences, inviting every spectator to be engaged in the world of Basil Lee. As the audiences entered to take their seats, the background music set the mood and gave everyone a preview of what to expect.
The narrator sat by a bar on stage and went about her bartender activities but her appearance and dressing immediately resonated with the time period the play is set in. She played the an omnipresent role through her constant presence on stage as well as her subtle but significant interaction with the other characters. Her role transcended one of a mere narrator as she almost appeared to be the catalyst during climactic moments. The play began with her pouring a drink for Basil (played by Kevin Rich ’13) and ending with her presenting the book she was narrating from to him. Her elegant postures and powerful narration played a crucial role in maintaining the setting of the play. While her presence was acknowledged by other actors, it was implied that she was playing a separate role within the story. Her role was Crombleholmes’ creation in the adaptation and it fascinated the audience.
The cast did an excellent job in living up to the elaborate descriptions that the narrator gave throughout the course of the performance. Their accents and body language came off as extremely authentic and while there were particular actions and expressions that were overdramatized, they were by no means over compensating the portrayal of their characters. They brought a great deal of life to the play, transforming it from a story enjoyed by many readers into a play enjoyed by many viewers. Rich’s love-struck portrayal of Basil, Harckham’s extravagant dance moves and expressions, Erasmus’s flamboyant body language, Novak’s depiction of the conjoint pretensions and naivety of Minnie’s character and most hilarious, Robinette’s drunkenness were some of the highlights of the performance. The actors all did a fabulous job in delivering the characteristics of the individuals they embodied with minimal use of props. The use of the space as well as of light and shadow actions were well executed as the combined delivery of dialogue and the physical movements of the actors culminated in an outstanding performance. There were many memorable moments during the performance but the two particular scenes that induced the most laughter needless to say were the football playoff between LeMoyne and Basil that consisted of slower bodily movements to portray the athletic actions and the scene where the actors danced for the audience.
The performance was sold out, on both nights and members from audience walked out with smiles on their face, recapping their favorite moments.
Georgina Thermos ’14
The Studio Arts Annual exhibit began Thursday, April 4th in the Widener Gallery and will be open until April 28. The exhibit highlights a selection of work by Trinity students. The artwork ranges in medium and style but the exhibit features engaging artwork worthy to be placed on display.
The exhibition showcases a variety of work from the studio art courses: drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and design. The gallery is presented beautifully, grouping certain works together based on color and medium. The first section is devoted to paintings. Some are completely abstract while others are based on a specific painting style. The juxtaposition of different colors offers a pleasant twist. The abstract paintings are energetic and loud, focusing on geometric shapes. The other set of paintings are relaxing and more meditative. The colors are ocean blues and earthy shades of red.
The series of four paintings in the center of the exhibit show an array of shell still lives. Their definition in volume and light and shadow are critical. The display of sculptures begins in the forefront of the gallery. The six models are placed sporadically, offering a continuous movement within the room. The sculptures differ in material, one being made out of wire and another out of wood. They are all from different artists; however, they follow a similar abstract style. In the center of the gallery are a group of self-portraits from the drawing courses. The students worked from their reflection in a mirror as opposed to working from a photograph. The resemblances in the drawings are very impressive. They each emphasize the value of light and shadow.
The portraits vary in color, size and the direction of posture, which makes for a great overall composition in this exhibit. The drawings share a wall with a variety of prints. Black and white returns with this group of prints and charcoal drawings. These works explore different shades of grey and the drawing of line. One print is composed of four sheets of Lenox paper. It shows different sea animals, gliding into the next attached sheet of paper. It conveys the floor of the ocean, highlighting positive and negative space.
Opposite these works are digital and film photograph prints. The series of three film prints focus on light and shadow and geometric shapes. The print itself is very appealing, offering a range of darks and lights. The next three black and white photographs are winter landscapes. They are highly structured and dramatic. Similarly, the “door” series underneath it contains a deep mood and is more metaphorical in meaning. Further down on the wall are black and white graphic art series. They range in design and pattern, showing the progression of the series.
Jumping right back into color is a display of a few paintings and three-dimensional figures. All are compacted with vibrant colors and a sense of texture.
Last, but not least, on the back wall hang 70 photographs that as a whole manifest into a masterpiece of its own. The photographs vary in subject and in color. Viewing it from left to right, the colors shift from green to blue to purple to red to orange to yellow. The photographs are highly saturated close-up shots. They convey texture and evoke a sense of memory and emotion.
The exhibition honors many students and their work. It is an inspiring show that expresses the hard work and creativity of our friends and classmates. All are encouraged and welcome to enjoy this great exhibit. The Widener Gallery is open from 1- 6 p.m. and is closed on Saturdays.
Cara Munn ’15
For the past seven years, Trinity’s annual International Hip-Hop Festival has been a heavily-anticipated event. Among the featured events were a spectacular performance by “The West End Blend” on Friday in the Washington Room on the second floor of Mather and the Graffiti drawing and the highly impressive Hip-Hop Showcase on the Cave Patio on Saturday.
It seems that the Festival was more of a success this year than ever before. According to John Moran, ’15, “The International Hip Hop Festival is perhaps the coolest thing Trinity has to offer. I hope everyone here is planning to go to all these events.”
There were many exciting lectures held throughout the Festival as well. On Thursday, April 4, there was a lecture on African Nationalism and Decolonization with Professor Seth Markle, Hip Hop as an Educational Tool in Ethiopia/Ghana by guest lecturers Carol O’Connor and Teddy Yo, Intro to Human Rights Studies by Professor Sofia Cardenas, Hip Hop and Human Rights in Senegal with guest lecturer Bideew Bou Bess, Global Politics with Professor Michael Anderson, Hip Hop Ourstory with guest lecturer Minister Server, Women, Gender, and Family in the Middle East and Transnational Hip-Hop and Arab Youth Politics with Dr. Lara Dotson-Renta. Following the lectures were various shows, film screenings and workshops that dealt with how music is used in African American culture today. From the Spoken Word Workshop with Urban Word NYC by M.C. K~ Swift to Musicology 101 to the Live Medium, there were many fascinating things to choose from.
On Friday, April 5, there was a host of engaging activities to explore as well. For example, they had the urban flea market in the Washington Room that featured Connecticut vendors such as the Hartford Denim Company, Nomadic Wax, World Hip Hop Market, Pura Vida Bracelets, Nora Cupcake Company, Hartford Prints, Hajila Movement and Dewy Neo. Upon entering the Washington Room Friday afternoon, one is immediately struck by the amount of merchandise they had on the tables. A person could buy a wide variety of items from clothes to records. Another major attraction was the band on the stage, “The West End Blend.” They were extremely interactive with their audience, encouraging them to dance and sing along with them as they performed their pieces.
At the same time, in the nearby Terrace Rooms B and C, there was the Hip Hop Artist Lecture Series. This featured interesting lectures like “RAPtivism” with Aisha Fukushima of the United States/Japan and Identitary Juxtaposition; Notes on the African Heritage in Mexico, Hip Hop and Counter-Hegemonic Movements in Latin America with BocaFloja of Mexico. Following the Hip Hop Artist Lecture Series, they had “Workshops for Artists.” These included but were not limited to interesting workshops on the Bankable Artist with Self Suffice, The RapOet, Challenges for the Do-It-Yourself Hip Hop Artist: Overcoming Legal and Business Obstacles in the Current Music Market Panel. There was also a Q & A with key people in the field such as Tony Tampano, an Entertainment Attorney and Business and Legal Affairs Executive, Edward “Self Service Hinson- who is an 18-time Platinum Produce who produced records for DMX, Ja Rule, Jay-Z and others. Among other important people at the event were Michael Brinkley, a Connecticut-based Artist Manager, Orville Hall, Director of Marketing for Adidas/ Director of Marketing for Polo Ground Music, and Steven Josey, a Film Producer/Record Producer. Later that night, there were lectures on Hip Hop around the world, from Europe all the way to the Middle East to Asia.
This International Hip Hop Festival had a lot to offer students and members of the Trinity College community,
Most importantly it brought a broad set of people together under one roof. Many of the people present at this event will be impatiently waiting for next year’s Hip-Hop festival.
Matt Maniulu ’13
The April in Paris Film Festival has brought a splash of French culture to the Trinity College campus every year since its founding by Professor Emerita of French Sonia Lee. Entering into its 14th year, April in Paris, which began on Sunday, is currently in the midst of nine celebrated French and Francophone films centered around the theme “Tales of Cities.”
The festival is held at Trinity’s Cinestudio and features, among others, a silent film with live piano accompaniment, a conversation with La Fille de Montréal director Jeanne Crépeau, post-film discussions led by Trinity professors, and last but not least, pastries from La Petit France. Surely the Lumière brothers would be proud.
Kicking off the festival on Sunday afternoon was a silent film by Julien Duvivier titled “Au Bonheur des Dames” (The Ladies’ Paradise). The oldest film in the festival—it was released in 1930—“Au Bonheur des Dames” is based on a novel of the same name by Emile Zola. Pianist Patrick Miller accompanied the black and white film, adding a melodic touch to Duvivier’s masterful camerawork.
The 1967 Jacques Tati film “Playtime” was featured on Sunday night, wrapping up the first full day of the festival in classic comedic style. The affable and animated Tati, who plays the iconic Monsieur Hulot in Playtime, is as goofy as ever; he fumbles through a rapidly modernizing world much to our delight.
On Monday the spotlight was on Jean-Luc Godard’s “Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elle” (Two or Three Things I Know About Her). A politically pointed film by one of the premier New Wave filmmakers, “deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elle tackles” subjects like consumerism, the Vietnam War, and the new suburban life in France.
With this film Godard called once again upon the talents of Raoul Coutard (Breathless, Jules and Jim) as his director of photography. Coutard brilliantly captures the color and style of 1967 Paris, lighting up the screen with super-saturated reds, whites and blues.
Still to come are a collection of contemporary French cinema classics as well as films that have only recentlymade their mark. The 1990 film “Halfaouine: l’enfant des terrasses” (Boy of the Terraces) is a remake of a Tunisian film that came out 71 years prior and tells the tale of a 13 year old boy who feels conflicted about the traditional fundamentalist relationships between men and women in Tunis. While gazing at a women’s bathhouse from a terrace, the protagonist Noura wonders about the unveiled women and the male-dominated world under which they live.
Chris Marker’s 1983 film “Sans Soleil” (Sunless) captures stunning scenes in Japan, Iceland, South Africa in a attempt to dramatize the faults of human memory. In doing this, Marker makes a keen point regarding how humans view foreign cultures. “Sans Soleil” is often cited as a mock-documentary, but it can more accurately described as a visual essay with no main character or distinct narrative.
Rounding out the festival will be André Téchiné’s “Impardonnables” (Unforgivable) on Thursday, Michael Haneke’s Caché (Hidden) on Friday and a double feature on Saturday of “Une vie de chat” (A Cat in Paris), an animated film by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, and finally Crépeau’s 2010 film “La fille de Montréal” (A Montreal Girl). April in Paris is sponsored by L’Alliance Francaise de Hartford, SODEC and La Délégation du Québec à Boston among others. Principal Lecturer in Language and Cultural Studies Karen Humphreys heads the Festival Committee. Students can take a course in conjunction with the film festival for a half credit.
All students must attend the film showings, participate in two mandatory workshops and complete coursework.
Samia Kemal ’14
Anyone who has ever seen a Quentin Tarantino movie understands the brash, stylized, ferocity in his vision. In the past, Tarantino produced classics out of the likes of “Kill Bill” and “Inglorious Basterds.” These are films that could have easily succumbed to the label of simply “a cult classic.” They have all the makings including inside jokes, quippy dialogue, and stylized violence. However, Tarantino’s movies have crossed over the boundary of cult classic and garnered a huge following, along with Oscar recognition.
His most recent film, “Django Unchained” (2012) is no exception. The film follows Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave who was freed from a chain gang by the German bounty hunter “Schultz” (Christoph Waltz). Together, the two set off on a mission to rescue Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the clutches of her cruel master Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
Like “Inglorious Basterds” and “Kill Bill,” Tarantino chooses to take characters that have historically been oppressed (such as Jews in Nazi Germany and Women who have undergone assault) and lift them up with such vigor that it establishes a certain underdog mentality to his films. In “Django,” Tarantino chooses to focus his attention on Slavery in America, and gives us a perspective that we’re not typically used to seeing.
What also undoubtedly imbues a film with “Tarantino-esque” qualities is both the artistic portrayal of violence and a melding of unlikely genres. “Django” is bursting with the same high-energy shots that made Tarantino’s other films so memorable. There’s something visionary and otherworldly in the way that violence can be taken and deconstructed.
Tarantino’s melding of genres is most apparent when listening to the soundtrack of his films. The contrast of seeing a John Wayne reminiscent gun fight scene paired with a bass-heavy Rick Ross song creates a juxtaposition that, in the hands of a less skilled director, would fail miserably.
There is also some unusual references and parallels towards German mythology in the film. Django’s wife, Broomhilda, is fluent in German, and Schultz shows a particular interest in her lingual ability. There is little to no historical accuracy that points towards southern slave women being capable of speaking in German, yet with Tarantino, we are taken by the hand, guided through a vision, and told to throw all our notions of accuracy and movie convention out the wind.
At this year’s Academy Awards, “Django Unchained” was nominated for five different categories. Of those, it won the Oscar for Best Screenplay (written directly for screen) and actor Christoph Waltz took away the Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of Dr. King Schultz.
Tarantino revealed that when writing the characters, the role of Dr. King Schultz was written specifically with Waltz in mind. This comes as no surprise after seeing his first performance in Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” in which he won an Oscar for his chilling performance as Col. Hans Landa. The win for Landa was well-earned but Waltz’s second Oscar for “Django” seems less deserved due to his already established sly and contemplative style. The role of Schultz was indeed praise-worthy, but not all that different or challenging from the characters of Waltz’s past.
I don’t have many qualms with “Django Unchained,” and much of that is due to my appreciation of Quentin Tarantino as both a writer and a director. I view him as one of the most creative and eccentric filmmakers of our time, and I credit him for both taking risks and simultaneously having fun with the films that he makes. Large audiences took offense to many of the racial dynamics that were portrayed in Django (there was very specific criticism directed towards Samuel L. Jackson’s character) however, when the dynamics are put aside, there is still something to be said for the underdog mentality that Tarantino caters to in his films. No matter who it is that is taking a stance against “the bad guys”, the end result is always very satisfying. It makes us feel as though we too can seize what we want, and that maybe one day we can be taken seriously for being ourselves.
by Elaina Rollins ’16
This past weekend Trinity College hosted the 20th annual Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest, a popular robotics competition with over 130 teams. Seven different countries send students to Trinity for this event, including teams from Armenia, China, and Japan. There are 26 prizes awarded at the end of the weekend, and last year, China and Indonesia took home 18 of those awards. The Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest is one of the top robotics competitions in the world, and the level of difficulty involved for each task has grown as well. The competition consists of two main events: a RoboWaiter competition and a Fire Fighting Competition. The RoboWaiter component is an assistive robotics competition, which means that this event connects robotics technology to individuals with disabilities. Students place their robot, which they constructed themselves, in a kitchen arena during a series of five-minute trials. They must use the robot to identify food in a fridge, retrieve the food, and then deliver it across the arena to doll in a wheelchair. Students decorate their robots with bright colors and exciting designs. However, despise the lavish decoration, the robot is actually quite small – about the size of a breadbox. The RoboWaiter competition is especially renowned because it is the first international assistive robotics event. This specific part of the Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest began in 2009 after the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities (CTCDD) contacted Trinity Professor of Engineering David J. Ahlgren. The CTCDD wanted to raise awareness about the need for robotic devices to help people with disabilities. The conversations and testing for this event began three years prior to its actual launch. This year, the RoboWaiter competition has more people competing than ever before. Almost 40 teams will bring their robots to campus for this event, including teams from China, Indonesia, and Israel. The Fire Fighting Contest, on the other hand, requires students’ robots to respond to a fire alarm, find the fire, and extinguish it – all as fast as possible. Teams from Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Canada, and Israel will all be competing. This event focuses on robotics as an educational tool and how they can help humans in this way. Once the robots hear the fire alarm signal, they must then find the fire. However, this part of the task is not as easy as it may seem. The arena is designed to look like a typical family home, meaning there are separate rooms with tables, chairs, and couches. During all parts of this event, the robot must operate on its own. No human help is allowed; so the robot uses its sensors, control logic, and actuators to complete the tasks. Each robot completes the task three times, and the top two scores are evaluated. This method is designed to ensure that some teams do not have an arena with an easier setup, therefore giving them an unfair advantage. Within the Fire Fighting Contest there are junior, high school, senior, walking, and expert divisions. The expert division, for example, is open to competitors of any age. The burning candles for “expert” competitors could be located anywhere in the arena, including high in the air on top of other obstacles. Contestants in any division score more points if there are more items in their respective arena. Robots are penalized in the Fire Fighting Contest if they hit a wall. Officials for the Trinity College Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest explain that, “In a real world situation, moving through a house by ricocheting off the walls is not a very practical means of locomotion.” The judges are looking for a robot that can function realistically. The RoboWaiter took place on Saturday, April 6 at 1:15 p.m. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and Trinity College Dean of Students Richard Prigodich introduced the event. The Fire Fighting Contest took place on Sunday, April 7.
by Alex Coggin ’16
Charles A. Dana Research Professor of Anthropology James Trostle was recently awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach a graduate course in Chile and perform research. Trostle has over 25 years of international experience, and will teach a graduate seminar at the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile. The grant will be in effect from March 2014 to July 2014.
Trostle is a medical anthropologist with experience in the areas of epidemiology and public health. His research will focus on the health impacts on road development. He will be using anthropological and epidemiological methods and theories to explore the vast health effects of social change. He will seek to work with other researchers actively involved in similar projects. Trostle will be teaching one of the following seminars: “Introduction to Medical Anthropology,” “Anthropology and Epidemiology,” or “The Anthropology of Global Health.” Teaching courses in other countries is often very different from teaching courses in the United States, according to Trostle.
“Students often expect more lectures and are surprised by more informal discussions during class,” he noted, “I often find my students in other countries are more engaged in the political aspects of a course.” In his Fulbright proposal, he states that, “[he] understands that there are national (and disciplinary) differences in teaching style and student expectations for what constitutes a ‘good class,’ and am able to adapt to local preferences.” This type of versatility and adaptability is important to teaching in new environments. Trostle estimates that he will spend about 30 percent of his time teaching and 70 percent of his time doing research.
The course will be conducted in Spanish, a familiar territory for Trostle. He has taught at locations in both Mexico and Argentina before, so he has a good amount of experience with teaching in other languages. Not only will he be teaching one of the seminars, but he also expects to work with local university faculty and administration to either build or strengthen a program that will link the social sciences and the health sciences – similar to what his research will be doing. He has prior experience in the process, as he designed and directed a five-campus interdisciplinary program called, “The Five College Program in Culture, Health and Science.” The program was established earlier in his career and, according to Trostle’s Fulbright proposal, “is still going strong.”
This is not the first extensive research project Trostle has performed in South America. He worked on a 12-year project in Ecuador, in which he inspected the effects of construction of a new two-lane highway had effected the social lives and disease transmission of the residents. The area did not have a paved access road before the construction of the highway, so the effects were actually quite significant. This previous project will likely prove quite helpful, as Trostle will be able to implore prior knowledge and findings to his research in Chile.
Comparing his findings in Ecuador to his findings in Chile is actually a central part of Trostle’s research. According to his Fulbright proposal, he hopes to look at “how the health impact of roads or other linear construction projects look different in other ecological and political/economic contexts.” Essentially the question is: how do these social impacts vary between location and environment? Since this is his second project on the topic, he will be able to draw parallels and possibly bring to light important correlations and similarities between his two projects. Trostle put the importance of his research into perspective in the conclusion of his Fulbright proposal: “[this research] is… valuable for exploring how to study the complex types of interactions between environmental change and health outcomes that are a growing part of the contemporary human experience.”
By Caroline Melly ’14
This past Wednesday, April 3, the Brotherhood of St. Anthony Hall hosted their annual Clement Lecture featuring Peter Kougasian. The Clement Lecture is a historical lecture named after Martin W. Clement, who graduated in 1901 and was an active Hall member. This year the honorary speaker did a wonderful job at captivating the audience with his intriguing speech on the War on Prescription Drugs. Peter Kougasian is currently a Special Assistant in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York. For 33 years, he has been an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, and for 30 of those years he served under legendary District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Kougasian also served as Director of Legal Staff Training and Senior Counsel and is currently a member of its Conviction Integrity Panel. He is a past Vice President of the New York City Bar Association, and is a former Chair of its Executive Committee. He is currently a Vice Chair of the Committee of the Judiciary of the New York City Bar Association. In his lecture Kougasian touched on the fact that the War on Drugs, which has plagued American cities since the 1970s, is no longer focused on drugs like crack cocaine and marijuana. Addiction to prescription medications is now increasingly a problem. Anyone can seek out an individual with a PhD and get numerous prescriptions written for them. Shortages on certain medication like Adderall have occurred in the past year. Kougasian explained that corrupt doctors, rather than feigning patients, are the real problem. Many doctors do not even have to meet with patients face to face; they merely write prescription and go. Prescriptions like Oxycodone are highly addictive, even if addiction is not prevalent in the patient’s family. When asked what people usually seek out these faulty doctors in search of an Oxycotton prescription, Kougasian responded, “Look around the room, they look like us. It is a scary thought that one could become so hooked on a drug that is easily obtainable.” In the question and answer portion of Clement Lecture, Kougasian was asked if the trafficking rings of these prescription drugs have been extended to other countries. In a terrifying response, he informed the room that not only have these drugs been introduced to the dangerous drug trafficking ring, they are being illegally mass-produced and brought into the United States. It is unfortunate that in our society humans have been infected with prescription drugs that drastically alter their mind and personalities if abused.
by Emily Chassman ’16
Last Saturday, April 6 at 5 p.m. a small group of Trinity alumni and members of Trinity’s Greek life organizations gathered to discuss the changes being made to Trinity’s campus that are outlined in the Committee Report released this fall and to also develop a realistic course of action moving forward.
Spearheaded by Robert Bibow ’89, the group of four male Trinity Greek organization alumni, who all are volunteering their time to help students, opened the forum by voicing their disgust for the new social policies set to be implemented as early as next fall, specifically those aimed at destroying many, if not all, of Trinity’s Greek Letter Organizations. There was a consensus among alumni that the new social policy changes were not only unfair but nothing more than the administration pushing back against what they deem as “the problem with Trinity’s social life.”
Although many wouldn’t argue that there are definitely improvements to be made to Trinity’s current social environment, students and alums both agreed that the administration is going about solving that problem in a completely backwards way. Instead of expanding the spheres for social growth on campus, they said the administration is taking away “the only social outlets present on campus,” as a member of the Ivy society described it. When asked if other projects, such as the new Crescent Street housing or the improvements to Vernon Social Center, would realistically provide social opportunities for night life at Trinity, all students present unanimously agreed that they would not, and that if those projects were the only perceived social channel on campus, Trinity’s social scene would essentially be nonexistent.
Bibow then turned the meeting over to the students present and asked their opinions on the issues, specific dilemmas they have already faced, and how they think the alums could best serve them. Every Greek organization was represented and all were passionate about the issues at hand. One member of Ivy Society voiced her qualms with the new social policy: “It seems to be blatantly clear that the administration’s goal is to end all Greek life on campus. The bonds and ties I have formed within my all woman community is sacred to me and it just seems so cruel that the administration is taking away from us.”
Many students are most concerned with the specific part of the committee’s report outlining the coed mandate that is to be imposed on all current Greek organizations, a mandate that would essentially wipeout more than half of Trinity’s current fraternities and sororities. When asked about student’s perceptions of the administration’s intended goal of the social policy changes, Pi Kappa Alpha President Sonjay Singh ’15 explained that he didn’t believe their intention was to be cruel but rather a way for the school to reinvent themselves and fix (what they see as being necessary to fix) the perception of Trinity as a “party school not focused on academics.”
Alums echoed this belief and even brought light to the fact that Trinity graduates have the highest initial earning salaries of any NESCAC college. This fact calls into question the legitimacy of the “problems” the administration has. Members of Psi Upsilon confirmed similar beliefs, citing reference to the extreme increase in TCERTs that took place on campus while the fraternities were prohibited from opening. The discussions present at the meeting were expansive; alums seemed to really want to understand the current social and academic environment on campus, as they believed this to be the most effective way in preparing to combat the administration regarding these issues. Many inconsistencies were revealed, both by students and alums, regarding the Charter Report. One alum described the report as, “something the school should be ashamed to have put out.” Another disclosed that there was a census that, “The report could have never been submitted to peer review,” which is a fundamental test to the legitimacy of an academic document.
Members of Greek organizations seem to have the biggest problems with “Trinity faculty voting to take away something they know nothing about.” A Psi U brother echoed this same feeling explaining how his house hosted members of Trinity’s faculty for “Conversations over Cocktails” at their house a few weeks ago. Many faculty members expressed their surprise at the level of sophistication and elegance of the house environment, even admitting that it was not what they imagined the fraternity environment to be like. All present seemed to agree that there is currently an extreme disconnect between the students (especially Greek students) and faculty on campus, and that the only way to gain any support from the faculty is to educate them about the true nature of Greek organizations on campus, not just the stereotypes surrounding them.
The meeting concluded by discussing the course of action for all moving forward. Bibow reiterated that the best thing for current Greek members to pursue right now is the support of the student body, Greek and non-Greek. One alum, who also happened to be a lawyer, explained that, “The administration’s strategy is a ‘slow burning’ one, they are trying to wait this thing out so it does just what they want it to do. What we need to do is stick together on these issues. Never underestimate the power of one’s own voice on campus.” Many alums have put together a non-profit organization to ensure that Greek organizations remain a part of Trinity, and they urged students to join online at http://www.savetrinity.com.
Students were advised to remain optimistic and were assured that a large number of Trinity alums are rallying to stand up for students and that no one is taking this lying down. Alum after alum stated in some way that the most valuable things they learned at Trinity didn’t come from the classroom but from the Greek organizations they were a part of and were passionate about maintaining the features of Trinity that made their time here so special.
By Chloe Miller ’14
The chant “If you see something, do something” resonated through the library and across The Quad as students, faculty, and community members marched during Trinity’s 12th annual “Take Back the Night” last Thurs., April 5. Take Back the Night is a national campaign to prevent and raise awareness about sexual and relationship violence.
Take Back the Night is organized primarily by Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) and the Women and Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC). Co-Coordinators of SASA Mary Taliaferro ’13 and Ana Medina ’16 spearheaded this year’s program, beginning planning in January. The event is arranged into a series of performances and presentations at different campus locations, such as Raether Library, The Plaque, and the Cave Patio. This is to make sure that the message is heard not only by event attendees but the rest of the student body as well, since sexual assault is an issue that affects everyone.
The event began on the Cave Patio with introductions of Trinity’s Sexual Assault Response Team. The emcees of the event, Oludare Bernard ’14 and Adolfo Abreu ’15, acknowledged that some program material might be emotionally sensitive or triggering for survivors and other audience members, and encouraged students to utilize the specially trained individuals on campus, including Chaplain Allison Read, Associate Dean of Students Chris Card, Director of WGRAC Laura Lockwood, Hillel House Director Lisa Kassow, Associate Dean of Students Ann Reumann, and many others. Alix de Gramont ’15 also spoke about her rewarding experience in training to be a sexual assault counselor at the YWCA. Bernard and Abreu then led a silent march from the cave Patio to the steps of the library, honoring survivors of sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and stalking.
President James F. Jones then spoke briefly, stressing the importance of this awareness on a global level with a story of a young girl in Afghanistan. Students huddled together against the wind as Associate Head Football Coach Lew Acquarulo shared his story and involvement with the issue. Acquarulo referenced his college experience “not so long ago,” but said that dialogue on sexual assault awareness was nearly nonexistent. He acknowledged being a passive bystander in many situations as a college student, and has taken an important role as leader of the Male Ambassadors, a campus organization dedicated to raising awareness among males, who make up a majority of sexual violence perpetrators.
Mercy Ward ’15 then shared a moving story of a long-since graduated Trinity student, who was drugged and raped during her freshman year at Trinity. The student repressed the memories of her rape for three years before finally admitting to herself and others what had happened. Sexual assault can cause long-lasting trauma and survivors can be affected in many ways, such as depression, slipping grades, and other problems. Luckily, the student was grateful for many resources on campus who helped her come through not as a victim, but a survivor.
Throughout the night, the speakers referenced “blue dots,” which are easy and helpful ways to step in when signs of a sexual assault may take place. Bernard and Abreu encouraged those in attendance to be aware of when they or their friends may be put in a compromised situation and need to distract, delay, or defuse the situation. These include simple actions such as saying to a drunk friend, “Let’s go get some pizza,” or, “Come dance to this song with me.” Lockwood stressed in her introduction that those who are too drunk, passed out, asleep, or otherwise incapacitated cannot give consent for any sexual act, whether it be kissing, touching, or penetration of any kind. The theme of “if you see something, do something” came from these simple steps that any student on campus should be able to exercise in order to help out a friend or stranger.
“If students remember just one or two of these examples and feel empowered to act next time they observe a dangerous situation, then we accomplished a huge feat,” said Lockwood on the Blue Dot Campaign, a new addition this year.
The group of about 100 carried this chant as the event moved from Raether Library to the Plaque, attracting passing students long the way. Here, Director of Student Activities Romulus Perez shared some chilling statistics from a Neuroscience student’s senior thesis. The student had been a victim of sexual assault herself and used that experience to study the effect of sexual assault on the brain. She pointed out that all of the survivors she studied and interviewed showed symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and he shared statistics about the number of rapes and assault that go unreported.
Quirks member Margaret Nolan ’14 noted that, “It was great to see so many students support the cause. Sexual assault is an uncomfortable subject to talk about, and that it why it is so important to make sure that those who have been affected don’t remain silent!”
After some emotional testimony, the event took a turn for the uplifting with performances by some of Trinity’s celebrated groups. The Quirks sang “Sigh No More” and the Dischords performed “A Change is Gonna Come.” Back at the Cave Patio, the Shonda Steppers performed a lively dance and event participants performed a Bystander Intervention skit to put some of the blue dots’ advice to practical use. The event wrapped up with some introductions to other organizations that seek to put an end to sexual and power-based violence such as Planned Parenthood and the One Billion Rising Campaign. An exciting finish was a flash-mob dance called “Break the Chain,” which featured 45 students and faculty who first performed the flash mob in February at the Legislative Office Building in downtown Hartford. The event’s organizers had the idea to end on a positive, powerful note coupled with a reading of the poem “Rising,” by Eva Ensler.
Despite the wind chill, the 12th annual Take Back the Night was a rousing success. The message was heard loud and clear across campus and attendees learned valuable skills to help prevent sexual assault in the future. The event was both inspirational and informative, and is instrumental in changing the campus environment on such a relevant and sensitive issue.
FORREST ROBINETTE ’16
Ever since James Cameron’s wildly successful “Avatar,” Hollywood has thoroughly and foolishly embraced the 3-D movie. Today, the average movie theatre is almost always playing at least one 3-D film and more often theatres feature two, three or even four 3-D movies at any given time. As of this very moment, a sizable theatre is likely to be playing some or all of the following 3-D films: “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “The Croods,” “Oz The Great and Powerful,” and “Jurassic Park.” And it is likely that the number of 3-D films will only increase over time because they have proven themselves to be so profitable.
“Avatar” changed the 3-D game because it made the technology more accessible, mainstream, and impressive than ever before. Since then, big budget blockbusters have sought to recreate Cameron’s stunning box-office receipts. My question is this: what is so great about 3-D? What does it add to the essential movie-going experience that makes it so much better than the now inferior “2-D?”
First, tickets to a 3-D movie are typically six to seven dollars more expensive than a 2-D counterpart. So what makes the $11.00 ticket so worth it? Roger Ebert beautifully wrote about how a film does not need to jump out as us to engage us. He said that a great 2-D film “completely engages our imaginations.” Ebert went on to think about what “Fargo” or “Casablanca” could possibly gain from being shot in 3-D. The entire notion of 3-D film insults the moviegoer. It’s a gimmick, plain and simple. Novels and short stories rely completely on the reader’s imagination and we don’t feel a need to technologically renovate the novel.
Many critics of 3-D have also noted that movies already exist in 3-D in our minds. When we look at a film, the characters and the set do not exist in a two dimensional space. For me, the term “2-D” conjures the image of the early Super Mario games in which Mario could move left, right, up, down and in no other direction. I think it’s clear that “2-D” characters such as Gandalf and Buzz Lightyear are not similarly limited. In 2-D films we see and experience depth, perspective, closeness, and distance in a completely sufficient and enjoyable way. 3-D films attempt to bridge a gap between the audience and the screen that never needed bridging.
It’s not just that 3-D doesn’t add anything substantial. In my opinion, it actually degrades and detracts from any movie going experience. First of all, the brightness is severely reduced in 3-D films. The technology currently being used for 3-D doesn’t allow for the same production quality that is always the standard in 2-D film. Lenny Lipton, considered by some to be the inventor of modern 3-D technology wrote about today’s digital projectors saying they are “intrinsically inefficient.” Half the light goes to one eye and half to the other, which immediately results in a 50 percent reduction in illumination.” A 3-D film, despite any massive budget, is dimmer and less vibrant than a 2-D film.
For me, 3-D makes my head hurt and makes me a little queasy. And I know I’m not the only one who has had such an experience with 3-D. By its very nature, 3-D is an unnatural visual experience. Our minds can easily become strained attempting to process it, resulting in frequent headaches. Critics of 3-D have noted that the technology is not calibrated in the same way that our eyes are. The way that 3-D movies force us to experience depth and perspective are foreign to how our own eyes are designed to experience those sensations.
Countless movies are being retrofitted with 3-D, which is probably the most horrifying thought imaginable. Movies that were not originally made in 3-D are being degraded in an attempt to update them. The most recent victim of this sick practice is Steven Spielberg’s visual masterpiece “Jurassic Park.” I refuse to go see this newly imagined “Jurassic Park” because all I can imagine is how the awe and absolute terror of the original will be degraded and bastardized in this cheap, gimmicky, money-grabbing rehash.
The “reimagining” of classic films into 3-D exposes the blatant commercialism of Hollywood that has been present for many years now, but seems to now be reaching new heights of artistic corruption. Hollywood has always had the goal of making money, but few times before has that goal so maimed the artistic integrity of the industry. Great films are being refitted with this new technology and are being passed off as “better than ever before.” Stunning Disney classics such as “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast” have reentered theatres in a downgraded and subpar fashion. But imagine the moneymaking potential of this recent marketing ploy. Why spend the money to create anything new or original when you can just degrade something great by presenting it in the latest gimmicky and inferior medium? Remaking old movies into 3-D is a crutch for an industry that is struggling to remain meaningful and valued.
The current 3-D situation is not that bad for people like me who hate 3-D movies. I thankfully still have the option to just go see the 2-D version. However, my fears are as follows. First, big budget 3-D action films are becoming par for the course for the movies these days. The comic book film has reigned supreme for the last several years because the superhero premise is an excellent way to justify a two or three-hour special effects show.
Can you imagine a meaningful drama shot in 3-D. I’m trying to imagine a version of “The Social Network” in which the characters jump out at me. The more that audiences encourage the 3-D action film trend, the harder it will be for serious filmmakers to find funding and support for their projects.
As of right now, audiences are flocking to special effects showcases, which often sacrifice a strong script, interesting characters and creativity for shock and awe. If this trend continues, directors who want to make meaningful (but less flashy) films will find themselves at a disadvantage as Hollywood will only want to support huge special effects shows that they know will pay off at the box office.
Hollywood seems to have turned to this new artless practice as a crutch for its inability to create meaningful art. As movies fail to attract audiences with great stories and artful direction, they turn to tacky technology to make up for their weaknesses. I do not take issue with the notion of 3-D as a side option for those who are interested. My fear is that it will continue to grow and come to consume an already flagging film industry. 3-D signals an increase in commercialism and sacrifice of quality across the board. Everyone has the right to go see a 3-D movie if they want to, but I will be horrified if ever a film is offered only in 3-D and not in 2-D. As for now, I hope audiences come to their senses about 3-D and stop encouraging it. And I submit the following message to the rehashers who are destroying classic films in 3-D remakes: If anyone touches “The Lord of the Rings,” there will be blood.
CAROLINE NOLAN ’14
It’s the beginning of the academic year. After spending hours lugging all of your belongings up flights of stairs, cleaning, and rearranging furniture, you begin the annual process of settling in. Before everyone else has the same idea, you head over to Campus Safety to get your parking permit for the year. As you begin to fill out all of the necessary information, you glance over at the price: $200. Two hundred dollars? For a parking sticker?!
It’s an extravagant purchase, but how could you possibly put a price on the convenience of having your car on campus? Think of all the times you will need to run to CVS/the mall/Savers to buy an outfit that you’ll only wear once for that themed party next week.
Maybe you’re living in one of the few dorms with a kitchen and will need to make regular trips to the grocery store. What if you need to be home on short notice? Two hundred dollars starts to sound like a deal, so you continue to fill out the form, get your parking sticker, and continue with your day.
For a while, everything is fine. You consistently get a good place to park, right outside of your dorm, and can even make a quick trip to Dunkin’ before class every morning without someone stealing your spot. There’s always competition for the best spots, but generally there seems to be more than enough parking for everyone. Then, a few weeks later, campus seems a bit empty.
Whether it’s over Trinity Days or just happens to be a quiet weekend, there are more parking spots open in every lot than you’ve seen all semester. Then, one Monday, it happens: like the plague of locusts in Egypt, cars begin to flood campus. What was once a leisurely drive to get coffee becomes a race to get back before anyone else in his or her car can take your spot from you.
After the first few weeks of the semester, the rules concerning student parking lots slack. A few cars here and there begin to appear without parking stickers, taking spots from students who have paid the $200 (or $100 for the semester) fee. While inconvenient, they may receive a parking ticket or two.
However, once weekends such as Trinity Days, Thanksgiving, or Spring Break have passed, student parking becomes a free-for-all. Campus Safety no longer writes up tickets or tows cars without stickers parked at Trinity.
Freshmen disregard the regulations all together and start to bring their cars back with them. Even faculty members begin overflowing into student lots. Students bring their cars without registering because they know they can get away with it.
If the lot by their dorm is full, a few students create their own ‘spots’ and park directly behind dumpsters or double-park against the cars of strangers (by far the most irritating option), amongst other things. Aside from Campus Safety writing down notes, it doesn’t look as if anything is being done.
In the midst of this chaos, there seems to be only one, hard rule: if a student’s car is found parked in a faculty lot, it is almost certain to be towed immediately, without even a call from the school.
Granted, the school’s website does tell us that “Campus Safety will not make ‘courtesy calls’ to prevent a vehicle from towing…” when violating various regulations. This is understandable when the car is parked in a fire lane or handicapped spot, which is in obvious disregard for the law. But, after paying $200, is it really so hard to make a quick phone call, especially when, with the issuance of the parking permit, students provide their cell phone number?
There’s a very good chance that a student is within a 10 minute walk from where he or she has parked, and can move his/her car without the assistance of a $92 tow truck and a friend to help get it back. Personally, I have received a courtesy call from a Campus Safety officer before he called a tow truck for my car. Let me say, I have never appreciated being woken up in the middle of a nap more in my life.
I don’t think taking two minutes to call a student to move his or her car is so much to ask for, especially considering the price of retrieving it, as well as how much of a nuisance it is to do so.
The College is quick to point to the various student lots on campus in response to such problems. However, just about half of these lots are as far from student dorms, especially those located at the bottom of Vernon Street.
With so many questions about safety at Trinity coming up annually, as well as incidents of tire-slashing and stolen cars in campus lots, students find it increasingly difficult to leave their cars so far away from where there is the most activity on campus. On issues of student parking, students and Campus safety need to work out a compromise in order for any change to come about on campus.
JEFF SYBERTZ ’13
At the start of this semester, I wrote an article regarding the current state of gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. I wrote of the need for the federal government to enact tougher gun laws, despite political bickering and powerful lobbies, in order to prevent another Sandy Hook from happening and help decrease the number of gun related deaths in America’s urban areas.
Although the federal government is still struggling to enact any sort of substantive legislation, the state of Connecticut was finally able to implement substantial gun reform this past week. Many have said that these reforms have made Connecticut’s gun laws some of the toughest in the country. Although some people may argue that some of the measures are too extreme, these reforms represent an example of bipartisanship in the wake of one of the worst national tragedies in our history.
After a gunman killed 20 children and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th, all of American society knew that there needed to be changes to the nation’s gun laws. The gunman used legally purchased assault weapons. In the wake of the tragedy, the Obama administration and the Democratic Party vowed to enact significant federal gun control measures to prevent the more than dozen mass shootings and nearly 10,000 gun related deaths in 2012. However, in the four months since the shooting, the federal government has been unable to enact anything significant because of obstructionist politics in Washington and the power of gun lobbies.
Although the call for federal gun law reform has been much louder, the state of Connecticut also vowed to enact significant state gun control laws because of the fact that the Newtown shooting took place in the state of Connecticut. With much less fanfare than the federal gun control debate, the state of Connecticut established the toughest gun control laws in the country last week. Some of these new laws included adding more than 100 weapons to the assault weapons ban, created the nation’s first dangerous weapon offender registry, and enacted background reforms for all firearms sales.
The bill also included measures that would attempt to address some of the state’s mental health and school security deficiencies. The bill was easily passed in both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support and has been lauded as an example of officials from both sides of the aisle banding together to create legislation for the benefit of their constituents.
The bill is not as comprehensive as it was originally designed to be, as gun control advocates were unable to get magazine size limits into the legislation. Nonetheless, this bill shows that governments can effectively respond to the demands of their voters, especially in the wake of a national tragedy. Granted, Democrats own large majorities in both the House and the Senate in Connecticut and widespread support from the Republican Party was not needed to get this legislation passed. Nonetheless, lawmakers wanted to make sure that this law transcended petty political issues. No matter what one may think of the overall gun control debate, one does not have to want every gun in the United States confiscated by the government to realize that something had to be done after the number of mass shootings in the US in 2012.
Although the legislation may not be as extensive as it needs to be, the fact that something has finally been done helps restore the faith in government for many American citizens. Connecticut went from being one of the states with the weakest gun laws in the country to having some of the strongest laws. These laws will not prevent all future mass shootings and gun related deaths. People who should not be able to use firearms will always find ways to acquire firearms.
Trying to prevent all gun related deaths is like trying to stop all people from drunk driving; it is simply impossible. But this does not mean we should not try to do everything we can stop gun crimes. In the wake of dozens of mass shootings and 10,000 gun related deaths in the past year, it is obvious that we have not done enough. Despite the limitations and controversy surrounding the recent Connecticut gun laws, it is a significant first step. Lawmakers from both sides came together to address the state’s worst tragedy in its history. However, we will be able to truly evaluate our lawmakers and this law in the coming weeks and months.
If lawmakers simply enacted these reforms to show their commitment to their constituents in the wake of tragedy and then fail to follow up on this law in the future, gun crimes will not decrease. However, if lawmakers stay committed to this issue and continue to implement reforms, then the deaths of those 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary will not have been in vain.
R.H. COLEMAN ’77
Walk the 100 acres that comprise Trinity College and you will see hundreds of names chiseled in stone, carved in wood and etched into glass directly on and around the buildings where we learn, we socialize, we eat, we sleep and we pray.
We honor these people by displaying their names for generations to see and to be inspired. They helped shape Trinity and we are all their heirs. And yet, there’s another story implicit in these names that we rarely consider that’s every bit as important—the story of how Trinity shaped them.
What do you suppose these people would say to that question?
It’s time we ask everyone and time for a new tradition. If self-awareness and self-realization are the hallmarks of the liberal arts education, then it’s time we embrace a new tradition of students expressing their individual hopes, values and aspirations directly on the single most iconic, most shared piece of the campus: the Long Walk.
This is VoxPop. VoxPop is the right of all Trinity students to inscribe the words of their choosing in chalk on the Long Walk. It happens twice in your Trinity years—once upon matriculation and once upon graduation.
Whereas our peers at other institutions are given clay pipes or walking sticks at commencement, we at Trinity are given a simple piece of chalk. But we are also given a glorious canvas.
So as we take chalk in hand this year to initiate VoxPop in this new rite of passage, let us contemplate our time at Trinity and, if only for a moment, inscribe the thoughts we value most in our boldest, most unforgettable, most resonant words for all to see.
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
This week is advising week. Logic indicates that next week is when students pick their classes for next week. Oh boy, isn’t everyone excited? Every semester begins the race for the best classes, the best schedule, and the best professors. There are some things students should think about if they haven’t already.
First, your advisors are not some supreme entity that you should only speak to once a semester. While there are many advisors that are very unapproachable, it is very important for students to take an active role in speaking to their advisors. Advisors are extremely busy, so don’t be surprised when they don’t go out of their way to monitor your progress. That is your job as a student. If you have questions about what classes to take or what to do with your life, set up a meeting with your advisor. They aren’t psychic, and won’t know when you’re going through an academic crisis.
For freshmen and sophomores, your advisors are especially there for you. They are your first year seminar professors. They have had class with you. They know you better than you would like. They are there to guide you into your first years of college, before releasing you into the wild that will become your major and new advisor. Personally, I had a fantastic advisor for my first year and a half. (Shout out to Professor Gregory.) She helped me pick classes that I had to take outside my major, she scolded me when I wasn’t putting in enough effort, and she was excited for me whenever I accomplished something more than just showing up for class. So in my experience, I can say that your advisor as an underclassman will be the most approachable professor you encounter here. Of course there are students who didn’t particularly connect with their first advisors, and in that case bummer. You missed out, and I hope your new advisor can fulfill that void.
For juniors and seniors, you should be getting to know your advisor, or already have known them so much that they wish you would stop emailing them. If you don’t like your advisor, try someone else. You are supposed to be able to speak to your advisor about anything related to your academics or possibly future career, so if you can’t even tell your advisor about a class you want to take, something isn’t right. Once you find the right advisor, whether it be a professor you really liked or someone you only met once you declared but discovered how amazing they were, things should be a smooth ride. At that point, you just have to worry about what classes to take, and your advisor is there to share in that worry and excitement.
Next week it’ll be time to sign up for classes. Ideally, you’d have an idea of what you want to take beforehand, but if not then here are some words of wisdom. Don’t take more than two or three English classes in one semester. In other words, don’t take too many classes that are going toward your major. You will get sick of reading similar things over and over, and you will want a break. Everyone should take an easier class every semester, or a class outside their major that just seems interesting. I’m not telling students to take a class just because it’s easy and you can cruise through. It’s just better to have classes in different fields. You get to meet new people, and you keep yourself from viewing classes in your major as routine and typical. Don’t be in a little history bubble.
Everyone keeps in mind their actual schedule when signing up for classes. Please don’t be the kind of student that won’t take an interesting class just because it’s early in the morning or meets on a Friday. There are definitely professors who are worth going to that early class for, because you just can’t help but match their enthusiasm. That early morning class goes by a lot faster than an afternoon class that bores you out of your mind. Professors will appreciate that you have chosen to take this ridiculously early class, or at least my professors appreciate it. It shows a genuine interest in the class, and they’ll be more willing to help you on your paper topics or problem sets if they know that you are trying. The opposite end of the spectrum is night classes. I don’t recommend taking an 8:30 a.m. class and then also taking a night class. It isn’t ideal. It’s not impossible either, but eventually one class is going to get a lot less attention when all you can think about is the warm, comfy bed waiting for you.
Unfortunately for freshman, you get last pick. You may feel completely frustrated at your lack of choices when it comes to classes, but it’s the same system as with the house lottery, for better or worse. It’s based on seniority, and complaining to upperclassmen about it is just like complaining about puberty. Everyone goes through it, and this is the way of the land. You are more than welcome to leave a revolt to inspire change though. This isn’t to say that you won’t get what classes you want. Many spots are reserved specifically for freshman and sophomores, so have fun battling it out with your classmates. Just remember to talk to your advisor first, because if you don’t do so this week then you’ll have a hold and you won’t be able to get any of the classes that you want.
As everyone meets with their advisors and chooses classes, kind in mind your capabilities and be realistic. If you aren’t going to be interested in a class, don’t take it just for the schedule. Remember that your advisors are full of rafiki-like wisdom, and talking to them can only help. Happy hunting everyone.
by Serena Elavia
Starting a business is certainly a challenge, but starting a business shortly after graduating from college is an even greater adventure. For many, owning their own business is a dream that takes years to happen, or it never happens. But with a bit of granola, a lot of family and a vision, two Trinity graduates started their own business fresh out of college. Nate ‘10 and Will Kelly ‘11, originally from New Canaan, Conn, started and currently operate Kelly’s Four Plus, a granola company that sells six types of granola (honey maple, nutty, cranberry nut, vanilla almond, cherry chocolate, apple cinnamon), with no added preservatives or extra sugar. If you’re mouth isn’t watering already, it will be soon.
Like all successful businesses, Kelly’s Four Plus has a unique beginning and history. Cordy Kelly, Nate and Will’s mom, started making granola for her husband during one of his healthy phases. It seems like everyone’s dad goes through one of those at some point, but who knew that a health craze would result in a business? In the fall of 2011, Nate was coaching a men’s crew team and started bringing Cordy’s homemade granola to regattas (rowing competitions). If you have never attended a regatta, the other activity besides rowing is eating copious amounts of delicious food, that it is after the race is over. Soon, parents started placing orders for Cordy’s granola. With an entrepreneurial spirit, the Kelly family started bagging, labeling and selling granola and developing new flavors.
Most of us know granola companies with names like “Nature Valley,” or “Kashi,” so how did the Kelly family create Kelly’s Four Plus? Well Kelly is an obvious choice as that is the family’s last name, but Four Plus has many meanings. Cordy has four children (plus a husband), Nate and Will rowed in a four boat at Trinity, and their granola starts with four basic ingredients (whole grain oats, honey, maple syrup, canola oil) plus any additional flavors. Who knew that a brand name could have so many meanings?
In the spring of 2012, Nate reached out to Peter B’s Coffee and Espresso, one of Trinity’s 2 coffeehouses, and pitched Kelly’s Four Plus. You can always count on Trinity to have your back even after graduating. Peter B’s was Kelly’s Four Plus’ first account, and the first of many more to come. Kelly’s Four Plus is now sold in a walloping 35 locations including a variety of grocery stores and markets in Connecticut and New York City.
The family first started making granola out of their kitchen, but recently moved into a commercial kitchen to increase production capabilities, service more people and eventually expand. Kelly’s Four Plus is currently focused on granola, but hopes to expand into other products in the future.
Some may wince at the idea of working with family, but the Kellys have found a method that works for them. Cordy handles baking, while Nate focuses on marketing and sales and Will handles inventory and operations. Working with family can be a challenge, but the Kellys acknowledged the challenge and have developed a successful business model.
In just a few weeks many college seniors across the country will graduate with a diploma, but without a job offer. Nate and Will suggest that instead of working for someone else, be your own boss. “If you have the opportunity to start your own business, go for it,” says Nate. Being young is the perfect time to start a business if you have the means and abilities to do so, and Trinity’s liberal arts education gives students a broad range of necessary skills to start a business, according to both Nate and Will.
At Trinity, both Kelly brothers were political science majors with focuses in international studies and rowed crew; both were captains during their time here. Rowing played a large role in their Trinity lives and both brothers say that some of their most memorable moments happened at crew practice at 6 in the morning. Only rowers could say something like that.
Like so many other college graduates, Nate and Will miss their college days and have a few sage words of advice for current Trinity students. “You always hear from your parents to appreciate the time and that college is the best 4 years of life. Then senior year comes and you realize that the best 4 years are over. There is no place like college where all of your friends are in one place,” says Nate. Will encourages students to explore Hartford more, and by that he means check out Hartford’s various eateries.
So next time you’re feeling a little hungry, or need a snack in between classes, stop by Peter Bs to pick up a bag of Kelly’s Four Plus and satisfy your appetite.
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education calls for student freedoms to be upheld in new social policy
The following letter was originally sent on March 13, 2013:
Dear President Jones:
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) unites leaders in the fields of civil rights and civil liberties, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of liberty, legal equality, academic freedom, due process, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses. Our website, thefire.org, will give you a greater sense of our identity and activities.
FIRE is deeply concerned by the threat to freedom of association presented by the new Trinity College Social Code that takes particular aim at fraternities and sororities. The Social Code dramatically reduces the freedom of association of such organizations, threatens the rights of all Trinity students, and is wholly inconsistent with Trinity’s stated policies and promises.
The following is our understanding of the facts. Please inform us if you believe we are in error. In October 2012, the Board of Trustees of Trinity College unanimously approved the recommendations presented in a report by the Charter Committee for Building Social Community at Trinity College. The report makes wide-ranging recommendations for the purpose of “build[ing] community and promot[ing] the intellectual life of the College.” Among the recommendations is the enactment and enforcement of the new Social Code aimed at “social organizations with a facility, selective membership comprised predominantly of Trinity students, and/or an initiation process.” Listed among the “key outcomes” to be enforced by the College are requirements that “
All Trinity students will have equal access to membership in social organizations. Membership will be determined on the basis of student interest alone. Hazing or blackballing will be prohibited and grounds for judicial proceedings. […] Social organizations whose members are Trinity students shall not be affiliated with national organizations that do not adhere to a coeducational philosophy. Exceptions include academic organizations (e.g., professional and scientific organizations) and athletic and musical organizations.” [Emphases added.]
The report states that “as of fall 2012, no new single-sex fraternities or sororities may be formed,” and mandates that existing fraternities and sororities must annually increase thresholds of “minority gender” participation, ultimately achieving a minimum of 45% minority gender membership and a minimum of 40% minority gender leadership by October 1, 2016. Fraternities and sororities are additionally required to provide Trinity with a “complete and up-to-date membership list at the beginning of each semester” to demonstrate compliance.
Additionally, Trinity plans to eliminate the classification of some groups as “unrecognized” social organizations, which previously were able to associate at Trinity without official recognition.
Social organizations in the future will either be classified as “approved” or “prohibited,” and all current social organizations wishing to remain recognized at Trinity must receive approved status. Social organizations failing to meet Trinity’s new requirements—including organizations that make good-faith efforts but fall short of compliance with the required thresholds—may become prohibited organizations at Trinity. If an organization owning a facility becomes prohibited, the College plans to “establish a fair sale price for these assets with alumni owners and reassign them to another organization for the betterment of the College.”
Finally, the report states that “[s]tudents who participate in prohibited organizations will be subject to separation from the College.”
Trinity’s new Social Code gravely violates its students’ right to freedom of association—a right Trinity explicitly guarantees in its policies. The Trinity College Student Integrity Contract states that
“According to the mission statement of Trinity College, excellence in liberal arts education relies on critical thinking, freeing the mind from parochialism and prejudice, and encouraging students to lead examined lives. Free inquiry and free expression are essential for the attainment of these goals. Therefore, we deem it necessary to establish the basic rights and freedoms of the students of Trinity College. Fair grading, protection against improper disclosure, and protection of freedom of association are guaranteed under this contract.” [Emphasis added.]
Trinity’s new Social Code violates this promise—explicitly referred to as a “contract”—in fundamental and chilling ways. Under the code’s mandates, fraternities and sororities will be forced to choose between abandoning their founding principles and the long-established organizational structure under which they had chosen to gather or disbanding entirely under pain of expulsion for members and the forced sale of organizational assets for alumni. Under the new Social Code, social organizations that do not wish to be officially recognized at Trinity do not even have the option of operating, however peacefully, outside the university system. Thus, despite its own promises of freedom of association, Trinity has entirely banned certain kinds of private associations among students.
Further, for those organizations that remain, it is not enough simply to be open to co-educational membership or to be affiliated with organizations espousing a co-educational philosophy: their composition must meet gender quotas as well. The resulting mandatory thresholds of “minority gender” membership and leadership, combined with the requirement that “[m]embership will be determined on the basis of student interest alone,” erode a most basic protection of freedom of association: the ability of groups to self-select their membership based on those who best fulfill the common objectives and interests of the group. Under Trinity’s new Social Code, social organizations are forced to sacrifice their autonomy and their discretion to decide who best fits their group to avoid being sanctioned.
These problems are especially apparent in the matter of electing leadership, when it is of particular importance for organizations to ensure that they select officers who best exemplify the principles of the organization and enjoy the broadest support from the organization’s members. Under Trinity’s new Social Code, a sorority or otherwise predominantly female social organization, for example, must allocate a minimum number of its leadership positions to male students, regardless of their qualifications for leadership. Again, social organizations are forced to cast their own judgments aside to comply with Trinity’s demands, as evaluating potential officers solely on the basis of their perceived merits puts a group at risk of official sanction.
Fraternities and sororities are specifically targeted by the new Social Code, while certain other types of organizations—including academic, professional, athletic, and musical organizations— are not required to comply with Trinity’s onerous and intrusive requirements. As a result, social organizations are significantly discriminated against in the freedom of association they enjoy at Trinity.
FIRE works toward preserving freedom of association for all students and student groups on college campuses nationwide because we understand that freedom of association is a crucial complement to freedom of speech. Underrepresented groups, for example, have relied on the protections of freedom of association in forging their identities and agendas for the advancement of their causes. The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly recognized the importance of groups being able to self-select their members and leaders, as well as the ability of groups to control their own messages. See Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. Public Utilities Comm’n of Cal., 475 U.S. 1, 11 (1986) (plurality opinion) (“Since all speech inherently involves choices of what to say and what to leave unsaid, one important manifestation of the principle of free speech is that one who chooses to speak may also decide ‘what not to say.’”); Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609, 623 (1984) (“[F]reedom of association plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate.”). The protections of freedom of association enshrined in First Amendment jurisprudence make clear that, in addition to violating its explicit promises of freedom of association in its Student Integrity Contract, Trinity’s new Social Code also violates the College’s charter, which directs that Trinity’s policies shall not be “inconsistent with the Constitution and Laws of the State, or with the Constitution and Laws of the United States.”
In abridging this fundamental right for fraternities, sororities, and other social organizations, Trinity evidently believes it has solved a substantial social problem. In reality, its assault on the associational rights of social organizations is so dramatic as to be a threat to all student groups at Trinity, particularly belief-based organizations such as religious and political groups. While Trinity claims in its own policies to value and promise full rights of freedom of association to its students, its new Social Code makes clear that Trinity is willing to negate such promises for the purpose of curing perceived social ills. Whatever the issues Trinity seeks to remedy with its new Social Code, however, Trinity faces costlier long-term consequences to its reputation by establishing itself as an institution willing to impose its own judgment for that of its students and to disregard basic rights in doing so.
FIRE asks that Trinity College and its Board of Trustees reconsider and revise its Social Code to fully protect the right of freedom of association it promises to all Trinity students and is morally bound to provide. We request a response to this letter by April 3, 2013.
Peter Bonilla Associate Director, Individual Rights Defense Program
This letter was also copied to the following persons, in addition to President Jones: Paul E. Raether, Chairman, Board of Trustees Philip S. Khoury, Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees Frederick Alford, Dean of Students Amy DeBaun, Director of Campus Life Mary Jo Keating, Secretary of the College and Vice President for College Relations
DAYANA ALEKSANDROVA ’15
As Trinity students, all of us have dynamic and busy schedules often requiring us to rush from one class to another, racing through the Gates Quad, trying to make it from the Roy Nutt building to Mather Hall in less than five minutes. In the late afternoon, we like to swing by the Ferris Athletic Center for a nice mood-boosting workout.
We enthusiastically support our hockey teams at the Koeppel Community Sports Center. When weather is kind, we enjoy a friendly tennis match on the Assaiante courts. Meanwhile, there are close to 600 Trinity students who received named scholarships this year. For example, I have been lucky enough to be named the McArdle family scholar for two years in a row. Have you ever taken a second to think where all these names came from? They are certainly not made-up. In fact, behind every name there is a person who has contributed to Trinity College in a significant way.
Trinity enjoys long-standing relationships with alumni, friends, and donors. Their support really has made and continues to make a difference in many areas.
About 40 percent of our student body receives financial aid or scholarship support that helps them afford their higher education. Many Trinity donors make that support possible. And donor support not only affects students, but faculty members as well.
A number of our teachers are recognized and supported in their area of study. An example is Professor Mark Setterfield, who recently gave an inaugural lecture as the Maloney Family Distinguished Professor of Economics.
Many buildings on our beautiful campus have been constructed with the aid of a gift from a Trinity donor. The next time you go to the library, notice its actual name engraved at the front of the entrance. It reads “Paul E. Raether Library and Information Technology Center.” Mr. Raether ’68, P’93, ’96, ’01, is a Trinity alumnus who has been involved with our school for many years. He is the chairman of the Board of Trustees and is actively steering Trinity’s development. Our periodic table-shaped building on campus, formerly known as MCEC, is now the Roy Nutt Mathematics, Engineering & Computer Science Center. Mr. Nutt, a Trinity alum (Class of 1953) and parent, was a businessman and computer pioneer who co-founded Computer Sciences Corporation and was a co-creator of FORTRAN, a computer programming language.
He was also a generous donor to Trinity and last May the College held a ceremony, with many members of his family attending, at which he was honored and the building was officially named for him. The Koeppel Community Sports Center was named in memory of a former College Trustee, Alfred J. Koeppel ’54, by his family in 2006. The wonderful facility, which is available to both our College and the community, won an architecture award from the Athletic Business Journal.
When you take a moment to think about all the names around you, you will realize how significantly donor support has contributed to Trinity College being the top-notch educational institution that we know and love. Named scholars write to their scholarship donors every year to thank them for their support. Many of the scholarship donors come to campus in April for the annual Scholars Reception where they meet scholars in person. As we eagerly anticipate the arrival of the warm spring weather, we should think warmly of our Trinity College donors, and express appreciation for their continuous support.
JEFF SYBERTZ ’13
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article thanking the Trinity employees who worked so tirelessly to keep this institution running after the February snowpacalypse. The Chartwells employees who braved the terrible weather to feed us were among workers to whom we should all be grateful. Although many of us have very strong relationships with a number of Chartwells employees, the overall public opinion of Chartwells as an organization is overwhelmingly low among the student body. Some complain about the quality of food, others about the unavailability of healthy or alternative foods, and others about how busy the three areas get during the peak lunch and dinner hours. However, all of these factors are to be expected of a typical college dining service.
The real reason why there is so much discontent for Chartwells as an organization among the student body is the blatant price gouging done on seemingly a daily basis. Examples of this price gouging include having incredibly limited services during non-holiday periods, cutting the hours of the more popular dining locations, over charging for convenient and healthy options, and having a virtual monopoly on all major food sales on campus. Even though most of us have tremendous relationships with Chartwells employees, the organization must address these issues if they want to truly regain the approval of the student body.
Although it is not the first to bemoan the services of our food service provider, this article was motivated by a recent trip to the Bistro this past Sunday. I went there expecting a simple Sunday dinner after a thesis and job application-filled weekend. To my surprise and anger, there was a sign on the door saying that the Bistro was closed in observance of the Easter holiday.
Disappointed, I made the long walk to Mather only to find an incredibly limited selection characterized by lukewarm food. Although I recognize that Easter is an important holiday to many people and that a large number of Trinity students go home to have a meal with their families, not all students have the opportunity or desire to go home and I do not think that they should be subjected to second-class dining services.
Unfortunately, the Easter holiday is not the only example of times when Chartwells’ services are incredibly limited. Another instance of these limited services comes during Trinity Days. During these days, when the college is still open but classes are not held, Mather’s food selection is limited and the Cave and the Bistro have severely shortened hours. Once again, I recognize that many students like to go home during this long weekend. However, many other students stay on campus because home is too far away or they want to use the extra days to catch up on work. In fact, the college actively encourages students to stay on campus and not use the days as a vacation. However, those who choose to stay are once again forced to bear second-class dining services at hours that may not be conducive to their schedules.
Finally, both the Cave and the Bistro close nearly a week before final exams end. During the time when people’s schedules are the most hectic, they cannot go to the more convenient dining locations because Chartwells wants to close early and pay fewer workers to keep the services running. Given the thousands of dollars that we shell out to Chartwells every semester, we deserve a dining service that is at least close to fully functional throughout the times when the college is in session.
Another point of discontent among the student body of Chartwells is the inconvenience of the hours of operation. Although Bistro Late Night has been a huge success and an example of Chartwells implementing a successful reform after listening to the student, the weekend hours of the dining services are inexcusable. Not a single dining location is open before 10:30 a.m. Yes, the weekend is meant to relax and sleep in a little bit but the fact that there is no food available before 10:30 a.m. promotes unhealthy eating habits and more late night customs.
Overcharging for convenient or healthy goods is another example of the disconnect between what we students are paying for and what we are receiving. Some of the most popular goods that the Cave and the Bistro sell are Greek yogurt and Cliff Bars. Because these two products are non-Chartwells’ brands and Chartwells has a virtual monopoly on the sale of food services, the company can sell the product for more than four times the price of the same good at the grocery store. For example, Fage Greek Yogurt is sold for approximately $1 at Stop & Shop or Whole Foods. At the Cave and the Bistro: $4. Cliff Bars will run you about $1 at a normal grocery store, but approximately $3.29 at the Cave and Bistro.
Considering these products are likely bought from a wholesaler in bulk, Chartwells is reaping an incredibly lucrative profit by selling these goods that are both healthy and convenient. Another recent implementation that we have all noticed at the Cave and Bistro has been the extra charge for extra meat, bacon, extra cheese, or sweet potato fries. For a measly two to three pieces of bacon, it is an extra $2.50. This blatant extortion is infuriating, especially since Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, and a large majority of Seniors are forced to be on the meal plan either through decree or because there is a lack of an alternative.
Ironically, the Trinity College Administration appears to be responding very well to student discontent with the dining services on campus. However, this refreshing response has largely alienated Chartwells. By adding alternative dining options in the new Vernon Social Center that will provide more food than a coffee shop spread and building new townhouse-style dorms in which students may actually want to live, it appears that students will have the option to say no to Chartwells.
If Chartwells wants to avoid losing further support, they must implement some changes. Along with improving some of the features discussed above, the blatant price gouging must change. Once again, this article is not an indictment of the Chartwells employees with whom we all interact every day. These employees love their jobs and the students with whom they work. Many of them are also often displeased with the price gouging forced upon them by higher management.
Yet, they still do what they are required to do tirelessly and with a smile on their face. If the company continues to upset both its employees and the student body, fewer people will utilize its services and Trinity College may consider making the permanent reforms that Chartwells has been reluctant to enact.
SHRIYA NAGPAL ’16
From the sleep-deprived eyes of my perturbed professors to the still-drunk slurs of my clamoring classmates, one question seemed to prevail among all: Why are we here? And no Trinity, I do not pose this question to provoke existential thought, but rather I ask this question to shed light on a violation of one of our alienable rights as Trinity College students: Our Right To A Real Spring Break.
When we look at the formal definition of spring break, (created by my very professional opinion), we see that it is defined as an interruption of continuity or uniformity from standard Trinity-related endeavors. That is, an interruption of continuity from dreaded sociology readings, an interruption of continuity from online math homework, an interruption of continuity from liberal arts influenced physics essays, and last, but certainly not least, and interruption of continuity from having to endure Mather chicken.
These interruptions of Trinity life serve a vital purpose that seems to have been sidelined by faculty members. These interruptions foster a time for relaxation and release so that students can feel rejuvenated, mentally and physically, upon return. Yet this rejuvenation can never be achieved if said faculty members continually inundate their students with work over spring “break.”
I totally understand that college is time for academic exploration and in order to truly explore every facet of academic life, it is important to emerge yourself in dense readings and so on, but is intellect and a notable academic life only attained through means of perpetual school provided work? A growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity. In fact, John P. Trougakos, an assistant management professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Rotman School of Management says that mental concentration is almost analogous with a muscle.
That is, much like a muscle, mental concentration becomes fatigued after sustained use and needs a rest period before it can recover (like a weight lifter needs rest before doing a second round of repetitions at the gym). Not only are these breaks necessary to provide mental concentration and foster active learning, but the timing of these breaks are essential as well.
It is important to take these breaks before reaching the absolute bottom of your mental concentration barrel. Professor Trougakos cautions that if these breaks are not taken, symptoms of over exertion of your mental concentration capacity include drifting and daydreaming. And unsurprisingly, drifting and daydreaming are extremely counterproductive in terms of absorbing information and increasing our intellect.
But how can students keep from sinking to the bottom of their “mental concentration barrel” if students are overwhelmed with their perpetual sociology readings, online math homework, or physics essays? If college is truly an environment for learning, shouldn’t we be granted our right to a work-free spring break to provide for greater absorption of material?
Even so, work provided over spring break does not only hinder learning absorption but it also has the capability to induce guilt. Many of us feel guilty for neglecting our work because of an unexplained deep-rooted devotion we have towards our beloved grades. However, Professor Tougakos argues that students generally need to detach from their work and their workspace to recharge their internal resources, so that a later higher productivity may occur.
Professor Trougakos says that long hours don’t mean good work and that highly efficient, productive work is more valuable. And conveniently, highly efficient work is fostered through frequent guilt-free breaks. Moreover, through history, these breaks have been known to give way to flashes of genius.
For example, Perry Spencer came up with the idea of a microwave when a candy bar in his pocket began to melt. Fireworks were accidently invented by a cook who in his leisure time mistakenly mixed charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter. And last, but certainly not least, Albert Einstein is thought of have conceived the theory of relativity while riding his bicycle, not while doing online math homework.
Trinity College, I think it is important that we recognize that school provided work is not the only source of knowledge that has the potential to foster intellect. Personal experience, through breaks, can help to form an environment conducive to that of learning as well. But in order to promote this school-free environment, we need to ensure that spring break is truly a spring break. That is, we need to ensure that spring break is actually an interruption of continuity or uniformity from standard Trinity-related endeavors.
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
Trinity is becoming more and more inaccessible on campus, in many different respects. On the literal level, it’s simply becoming too difficult to maneuver around campus, owing to all the construction. There are construction sites in three different locations on campus. This makes things problematic and also unsightly. Student parking is always limited. But more recently, facilities essential to academic learning are either less available, or inadequate for students.
In simpler terms, student needs are not being met. While parking and construction are temporary issues we can all manage, there are certain actions in place that aren’t conducive to learning. For instance, the library hours are not practical. I’m not arguing for later hours, because for many that is not an issue. I’m arguing that the library resources need to be available earlier than 8:30 in the morning. Two years ago, Peter B’s would not open for coffee or pastries before 8:30 a.m. and it made no sense for students who had class at that time. Peter B’s has since adjusted, knowing that students have very early classes and people can’t survive without coffee. The coffee shop has managed to notice student needs, and respond accordingly, but the actual library services have not responded. Students need to come in and get work done occasionally before their morning classes, and when the front desk doesn’t open until 8:30 a.m. there is no possibility for using materials and doing work before classes.
I am by no means an early bird, but having a ridiculously early class necessitates the need for more resources. I can’t look at a book that is on last-minute reserve right before class. Even reserve materials are problematic. There are textbooks open for the class to use, but just one generally. When a class of 50 students needs to all look at the same book for a test or exam, it becomes a race to get the book. There should be more copies on reserve, so that it isn’t a battle for the books.
The Writing Center is another inaccessible building on campus. The hours of operation are extremely difficult to make, as they are generally during class times. This leaves writing associates under utilized, and often complaining about having nothing to do. Even the website is hard to navigate, a characteristic of many Trinity websites.
Other buildings on campus need to be accessible as well. The library is always open to everyone, but it’s not enough. Despite what tour guides say, there isn’t enough room for students to all be in the library at the same time, let alone faculty as well.
Especially during midterms and finals, places like Seabury and MECC need to be open for students to study in. Having to call Campus Safety and come up with some excuse to be let in to the building makes students feel like we are not in fact young adults, but reckless children who need to be monitored in their playpens. Even in the mornings, students don’t have easy access to buildings. If you need to get into the English building at 8 o’clock in the morning, well then tough luck. It’s a game of chance in figuring out when the building is open. I’m not trying to critique the English building, because it’s a beloved home to me, but it’s just one example of inaccessibility on campus. With all the construction on campus, some of the handicap accessible entrances have been removed. While there is a real need for repairs between Austin Arts and McCook, there is also a need for students to get to class. It seems that little thought was given to things like this.
Trinity is by no means completely inaccessible. There are still many ways around campus, and many resources, but with a growing student body the school needs to expand on various things. Often times, little changes can be made to allow for students to reap all the benefits of a higher education. Multiple copies of items on reserve would alleviate the tension between students who should be helping each other. Earlier hours for both buildings and food services could make it easier for students to be productive and not lazy bums.
While construction on campus is temporary, it seems a bit excessive to have three different construction areas on campus and expect students to park in assigned spots, or even make it to class on time. The on campus shuttle is yet another example of difficulty with students. Their website is generally not ever working, and many students find themselves wondering when and where the shuttle will be. Simple solutions on campus simply include making things more clear, such as pathways, websites, hours of operation (which should also be extended). Seemingly small things to complain about would make a big difference.
While it is easier to point out all the issues and ignore the things already done well, students are always striving to make things better for themselves and others. Trinity wants to have a lasting impression that reveals all the good it has done. When we graduate, many will be praising the different positive aspects of Trinity, but while we are here, constructive criticism is necessary to make Trinity a better place. It’s just a little reminder that each Opinion piece I, and others, contribute isn’t just a rant. There’s definitely ranting in there, but the main point is how to make things better.
Alie Schreiber ’13
Every year Trinity seniors are required to attend Senior Salute. At this right of passage the graduating seniors receive things like their cap and gown, class rank, extreme weather tickets to graduation, etc. There is also a table set up which is manned by members of the Community Service office where seniors can take the Graduation Pledge.
The Graduation Pledge states: “I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.” The pledge is completely voluntary, but as liberal arts graduates who are taught in their four years at Trinity to be civically minded, the Pledge is an excellent way to leave the College with a promise to make the world even just the slightest bit better.
The Graduation Pledge Alliance (GPA) sponsors the pledge. The GPA was started in 1987 with a clearly defined mission: “The mission of the Graduation Pledge Alliance (GPA) is to build a global community of responsible graduates improving society and the environment through the workplace. GPA works to help realize a world where every graduate, through the workplace, is an effective leader for social and environmental improvement.”
The original GPA was founded out of Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. The following year it was moved to Manchester College before finding its current home at Bentley University in Massachusetts. Since its founding, hundreds of different colleges and universities around the world have taken part in the GPA’s efforts. The GPA has had over 125,000 graduating students sign their pledge. All different types of schools are involved with GPA, including liberal arts colleges, state universities, private research universities, and schools in other countries such as Taiwan, the Philippines, Canada, Bolivia, and Switzerland. The only other NESCAC school with a GPA chapter, besides Trinity, is Bates Colleges in Lewiston, Maine.
As a part of this pledge effort at the Senior Salute, Trinity’s GPA chapter has also formed a partnership with the Career Development Center. Each week a new job that epitomizes the ideals of the GPA is advertised in an email to all students and the information is also posted on Facebook. These jobs are one way that students can actively fulfill the pledge, but they are not the only way. No matter what job students commit to as a post-graduate, there is always the opportunity to try to actively improve the world.
To take the Pledge, the graduating seniors sign the same book that hundreds of prior graduates have signed in order to signify their commitment. In recognition of their promise the graduating seniors will also receive a green ribbon in their mailbox right before graduation that is to be worn on their gown.
William Ihne, a co-founder of the GPA, said, “The pledge isn’t the answer. It’s just a piece of paper with words. On the other hand, it’s much more. The words and concept point towards solutions — that is, it points to the individual and suggests a role for the educational community. The vision that goes along with it is simple. If thousands of schools around the world give graduating students an opportunity to sign the pledge, and if even a small percentage of pledge-signers dedicate themselves to ensuring positive, constructive consequences, then humanity, and the systems that support life on our earth, might very well reap a substantial benefit.”
Seniors who did not sign the pledge at Senior Salute but are still interested still have an opportunity to participate. For more information, seniors should contact Joe Barber in the Community Service office in the basement of Mather Hall.
Alex Coggin ’16
The Neuroscience department at Trinity College has approved a new five year Bachelor’s/Master’s program for undergraduates wishing to continue their study in neuroscience. The program will be made available to students who have demonstrated academic excellence within the Neuroscience major. In order to qualify, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or greater during their time at Trinity, and they also must have a faculty sponsor. Students would be encouraged to apply to the program by the conclusion of their junior year.
The new program was proposed in part as a response to the current structure of Trinity’s degree program. Currently, students graduate after four years with a BA in Neuroscience. Students that wish to pursue either medical school or a possible Ph. D. after Trinity must first earn their MA. However, in order to be accepted into many MA Neuroscience programs, an increasing number of schools require an additional year of research after the BA degree is earned. Since about 40-50 percent of Neuroscience majors at Trinity go on to attend medical school, this leaves many students searching for a location to perform their research. Students commonly turn to hospitals or other outside institutions to be hired as research assistants. Students would then have to take a year to do research, and then apply to an MA program. This extra year is somewhat cumbersome to those wishing to pursue higher degrees. The new five year BA/MA program will eliminate this step, allowing students to simultaneously research and take graduate level classes.
Research is a vital part of the Neuroscience major—some students actively participate in this part of the department beginning during their first year at Trinity. Research is an important way to experience learning alongside faculty and to apply classroom knowledge to the real world. Some current research topics within the Neuroscience major include topics such as “Memory and Long-term Potentiation” and “Neuroplasticity of Memory Systems in Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury.” Participation in these types of research projects helps to strengthen later applications to medical schools or Ph. D. programs, and extended research is becoming an increasingly important part of admittance to many programs.
Availability of the new program hinges mainly on level of commitment of the student. Students that show a high level of dedication and interested in their specific area of study will be offered the opportunity. This means that there will only be between one and five students per year entering this new program. Those students who need only one more year of study to complete current work are especially suited for the five-year option. Many Neuroscience students at Trinity have found that despite their research time at the College coming to a close, they do not feel as though they have been provided enough opportunity to finish what they began.
Five-year BA/MA programs are growing in popularity in other colleges and universities that are similar to Trinity. Wesleyan University also offers a BA/MA program that focuses on research, and admittance is only open to students that perform above the University’s academic average. Like Trinity neuroscience BA/MA students, they must acquire the recommendation of a professor.
Brendan Kelley ’14, a Neuroscience major at Trinity, praised the convenience of the new program. “I know Trinity has a great neuroscience program, so given the opportunity, I would rather stay here for another year.” Faculty and students develop a close connection through their time together, and many would prefer another year at Trinity than to research for a year somewhere else.
Although this new program appeals to many students, its components require such a high level of commitment and skill make it extremely small and specific. When prompted about whether Trinity may plan to revise this program in the future if more students show an interest, Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience and Director of the new program Professor Guardiola-Diaz stated that there are no current plans to expand. Despite these limitations, the selectivity of the program does, however, have a silver lining: it will certainly promote constructive competition within the major and the Neuroscience department to ensure Trinity students are prepared after graduation.
Cara Munn ’15
In a campus-wide announcement by President James F. Jones Jr., Dr. Thomas Mitzel has been unanimously selected to be the next Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Mitzel, who served Trinity until July 2011 as Associate Academic Dean after serving 15 years in Trinity’s chemistry department, is currently Dean of the School of Natural Science at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Thomas Mitzel teaches because “The guidance, wisdom, support and friendship I received from my teachers have all been invaluable. I cannot think of a better way to spend my life than doing for others what these wonderful folks have done for me. As one of my mentors once suggested to me, the quest for knowledge is a never-ending endeavor.
“If I can instill that idea within my students — and persuade them to “own” their learning process — it will be more important than any particular topic I may discuss with them. We should not just teach students, but inspire them to always wish to learn, and carry that desire with them for the rest of their lives.” It is not hard to see why so many of the faculty chose him to be their frontrunner for the job.
The Princeton Review and the U.S. News and World Report named St. Edward’s University one of the best Catholic Colleges in the United States. Located in Austin, Texas, it offers a liberal arts education and boasts notable alumni such as the daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson Luci Baines Johnson, who graduated in 1997 at the age of 50. Within the several days following President Jones’ saddening announcement that Dean Fraden was departing from Trinity, many members of the faculty reached out to President Jones with the suggestion of Dr. Thomas Mitzel as a candidate. This movement by the faculty points strongly toward his high esteem in the view of the faculty. The search committee was made up of Professors Joseph Byrn, Kathleen Curran, Leslie Desmangles, Michael Lestz, Joan Morrison, Garth Myers, and Trinity CFO Paul Mutone. Professor Lestz and President Jones co-chaired the search. With more than twenty faculty members nominated, the selection process proved to be an extremely tough one. It included the review of CVs and letters of interest, written statements, and interviews.
Three academic members of the Board of Trustees (Dr. Philip Khoury ’71, Dr. Kevin Maloney ’70, and Dr. William Richardson ’62) interviewed the three semifinalists but were not permitted to cast votes. The faculty search committee’s final votes were cast in the form of secret ballots which were then tallied and reported to President Jones by the search committee. The search committee’s opinion was formed independently and the search committee only consulted the advice of the gracious board members after the vote.
Rich Prigodich has served as the interim Dean of Faculty since January of this year, and Mr. Prigodich will continue to serve as interim Dean until June 30, 2013. Dr. Mitzel will begin serving as Dean on July 1, 2013 and he will continue to serve in this role until June 30, 2016.
President Jones’ successor will thus have a year to decide on a more lasting Deanship here at our College. Dr. Mitzel will come to campus in the late spring to meet with chairs of departments and programs and various other members of the faculty and staff.
Chloe Miller ’14
Last Thursday, March 28, the International House (iHouse), House of Peace, and Office of International Students and Scholars co-sponsored the 3rd annual International Culture Show in the Washington Room on campus. The international show has been a joint effort between these three groups for the past three years, and focuses on celebrating the growing diversity of Trinity’s student body.
President of the House of Peace Monica Rodriguez Roland ’13, from Spain, is a graduate of Armand Hammer United World College, an international boarding school in New Mexico. She was inspired by cultural heritage days in high school and wanted to bring that tradition to Trinity. A graduate of the UMC has served on the international show student committee every year that it has been put on.
President of the iHouse Ananya Sahay ’13 was also a main organizer of this year’s show, which began preparation with recruitment and auditions last semester. She oversaw a committee of five students, who organized lighting, sound, food, and other details of the event. They held rehearsals and meetings for performers every two weeks during this semester leading up to the show.
The theme of this year’s show was “Rediscovery,” which Sahay explained came from the Mayan expectation that the world would end in December 2012. “Because the world obviously didn’t end, 2013 is really a year of rebirth and [a] re-creation of diverse cultural beauty,” she said.
After a brief introduction by Roland and Sahay, emcees Dobromir Trifonov ’13 and Annick Bickson ’14 took over the duty of introducing each performance group and explaining a bit about its cultural significance. They also provided comic relief, such as dancing to “Gangnam Style” during the K-Pop performance. The show boasted over 80 performers in 14 different acts, including three new additions since last year. K-Pop, a celebration of Korean dance and music; a belly dancing performance; and Trinity’s Steel Pan Drum group were all new this year, and joined old favorites like the Shonda Steppers, the Quirks, Samba Ensemble, and more.
There was also a unique set of poetry readings in a variety of international languages, such as Arabic, Albanian, Turkish, and Urdu. These were a special audience favorite since the languages were so rarely heard, and provided an interesting break from music- and dance-focused numbers.
Sahay and Roland explained that the closing number was most special to all the performers. Trinity’s Samba Ensemble, led by Professor Galm, performed for two or three songs, and then all 80 performers came in from the back of the audience, dancing and waving flags from all the countries represented. The infectious beat of the samba music got all the audience members dancing on their feet along with all the performers. Sahay said that bringing together all the cultures was really the whole point of the show, and this final number was symbolic of the hopeful unity of diverse cultures on campus and around the world. A reception with foods representing different cultures followed the show, and performers chatted with students, faculty, and alumni about the event.
Trinity now boasts ten percent of the student body hailing form international destinations, and that number grows every year. The show covered cultures from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, India, and North America, and was the most successful in the show’s history. Almost every one of the 400 seats in the audience was filled, and several deans and members of the faculty were present along with the student population.
SAM LAMSON ’16
It has been a long three weeks since our last Trinity baseball update. The team has improved to a record of 10-8, and is leading the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). The team began the season with a bumpy start. During the spring break trip to Florida, the team maintained a mostly even record, eventually reaching 8-7. The Bants played teams from all over the country including Wisconsin, Florida, New York, and New Jersey. Despite the tough competition, the team showed substantial firepower by putting up double digit run totals on the board in over seven games. The Bantams continued this success this past weekend against Bowdoin. Trinity baseball played three times this past weekend, including a double header on Saturday. Sitting with a No. 3 ranking in the ‘CAC heading into the weekend, Bowdoin was predicted to be one of the tougher tests for the returning NESCAC champs; however, Trinity managed to pull out of the weekend with a 2-1 record. The three game stand against Bowdoin began Friday. Although the games were played at Trinity, Bowdoin was still considered to be the home team in all three contests. Sean Meekins ’15 pitched the whole game, and only let up two runs through the nine innings. The Bantams started off the contest strong scoring off sac-flys from captain Stephen Rogers ’13 and Alex Almeida ’13. A single from Joe Papa ’13 drove in Michael Reuger ’13 to put the Bants up 2-0 after the first inning. The Bantams would keep up the pressure on Bowdoin senior pitcher Oliver Van Zant driving in six more runs before the end of the contest. Papa stood out as he drove in four runs with two doubles in the 8-2 win. Trinity then played Bowdoin again on Saturday in a double header to close out the weekend. Trinity won a close second game against Bowdoin off a Papa single and scored a game winning run off an error. Rogers and Reuger both had great games in the 8-6 win. Later that day Trinity played Bowdoin again to close the series. After a 3-0 start from the Polar Bears, Trinity could not recover. The contest would end with a Bowdoin win 4-1. Trinity still sits atop the ‘CAC after a long three weeks of baseball. After the past weekend’s 2-1 performance, Trinity managed to maintain its No. 1 ranking in the ‘CAC (followed by Amherst and Bowdoin). Although Trinity is leading the ‘CAC right now, the team will need to prove itself as the season progresses. Trinity sits at seventh in most major team categories, including batting, and pitching. Sitting atop the ranking in those categories sits Amherst (No. 2 in the ‘CAC). Although Trinity does not play Amherst during the regular season, look for the two teams to collide in the NESCAC tournament at the end of the season. The success over these past three weeks is due in large part to the individual efforts of many seniors on the team. These stand-outs have contributed to the team’s recent successes both defensively and offensively. As the top two pitchers in the ‘CAC, Ben Goldberg ’13 and Peter Burrows ’13 have all had good starts to the year on the mound. Each pitcher has an ERA under two and have at least four wins each. Rogers, and Reuger are proving to be among the best bats in the league, contributing to Trinity’s offensive firepower. Rogers and Reuger are in the top 10 for number of hits, batting average, and runs scored in the ‘CAC. Rogers also ranks in the top 10 in the ‘CAC for number of runs batted in, home runs, and total bases. Ameida and Papa have also been making big plays in clutch situations. Good games to look forward to include Tufts on April 12 and 13, Eastern Connecticut on April 15, and Middlebury April 28 and 29. Good games to look forward to include Tufts on April 12, and 13, and Eastern Connecticut on April 15. As of right now, Tufts is currently tied with Bowdoin for the third spot in Trinity’s division within the greater NESCAC conference; however, Tufts is actually ranked as the third worst team in the conference. If you are looking for a good game to sit back and tailgate at while watching your Trinity Bantams put up big numbers, this is your game. Eastern Connecticut should prove a tough contest for the Bantams as they just missed out on being ranked in the top 25 nationally. If you are looking for a nail-biting, edge of your seat contest, this game would suit you better.
by Serena Elavia
For some, life is a series of calculated decisions that add to a designated career path. For others, life is a collection of partially random choices that accumulate into a desirable outcome. James Callaghan ’98 is someone who chose the slightly random version of life, which is why he is now president of the city council in Narragansett, RI.
After serving as a prosecutor on the criminal side in the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office for eight years, Callaghan decided that he wanted a career change and ran a campaign this past fall, which successfully was a win. In addition to serving as the president, which he notes is part-time but takes up a large amount of time, Callaghan works in private practice. Callaghan describes campaigning as “a lot of fun,” which most politicians probably would not say. Enjoying the personal aspect of it, Callaghan says that campaigning allows you to learn more about people than you normally would while going door to door. “It’s a lot of hard work and you have to be on your game every day, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would,” says Callaghan.
As president, Callaghan sets the agenda for meetings and works with the other five members to make sure that everyone has a voice. The council’s first problem to tackle is restoring Narragansett’s finances, and like so many other suburbs, controlling the inflating pension systems.
After graduating in 1998, Callaghan, armed with his degree in English and formal organizations volunteered on a political campaign in RI. Following his first exposure to campaigning, he worked for the RI AG as an investigator in the consumer protections division. There comes a time though when a two year out of college person is not quite sure which direction they want their life to move in. So what do all confused people do? They go to California, and that’s exactly what Callaghan did. Callaghan spent a few years in Los Angeles, trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life, when he then decided to attend American University’s Washington College of Law. Unable to stay away from his home, Callaghan returned after three years of study to clerk for the presiding justice at the Rhode Island Interior Court.
Another slightly random choice that Callaghan made was his decision to attend Trinity. His college tour mostly consisted of southern schools in Virginia and D.C., but on his drive back up to Rhode Island, Callaghan and his brother decided to stop at Trinity. He describes his visit day as beautiful and saw Trinity as a place with a “great energy.” Excited about Trinity, Callaghan was accepted and happily accepted his letter of admission. Like so many of us, Callaghan admits that he was neither the most mature nor the most focused student during his first two years at college. Not knowing what he wanted to do after graduation, but interested in writing and politics, he enrolled in as many classes as he could. Eventually, he learned to be an adult. “Looking back I would have liked to have been more set on specific goals for the future, but I just was not at that stage in my life,” he says. By taking a variety of classes, Callaghan met different kinds of people, which he says taught him to get along with all types of people and gave him the ability to move in different circles. Meeting so many people allowed him to form close bonds with friends, who he says are all “tremendous” people. While Callaghan and his friends may have had a blast during their time at Trinity, they continue to today as many of them attended Callaghan’s wedding a few years ago.
With so many different jobs, husband, president, attorney, Callaghan has plenty of opportunity to exercise his skills acquired at Trinity, whether it is with a client, in the courtroom or at a campaign event.
by Serena Elavia
If I told you that Trinity’s new Director of Career Development has a vase on her desk containing a pet moss ball named “Moe,” would you believe me? Probably not. Meet J. Violet Gannon, Trinity’s new Director of Career Development and the proud owner of Moe. With an edgy haircut and sassy fashion sense, Gannon has arrived at Trinity and is ready to get down to business.
Previously serving as the Director of Careers in Health Professions at the University of Chicago, Gannon brings to Trinity a breadth of knowledge and wide variety of skills. She says that a combination of the warmth of the students and people at Trinity and listening to her gut drew Gannon here. Gannon saw “the commitment to career development at Trinity from top down horizontally and vertically was very authentic,” and that this commitment is essential to being successful and making change.
At Chicago, Gannon was in charge of expanding opportunities for undergraduate students interested in medicine and the health professions. While she helped to prepare students academically, for example by giving students opportunities to participate in stem cell research, she also increased students’ options for activities outside of the classroom. Students could work with faculty at the medical center, or work in the Illinois Governor’s Office on health policy. One of Gannon’s many goals was to “get students out of the classroom,” and see learning on a macro level. Similar to what she will do at Trinity, Gannon helped students network with alumni and become the most competitive applicants to graduate/medical school. Gannon showed students how to do an honest self reflection of their skills and capacities to help identify their skills and weaknesses. With the mentality of “it takes a village to support students,” Gannon built an interdisciplinary staff that viewed doing well as “a process, and not an event.”
As I listen to Gannon answer my relatively boring questions, I can’t help but notice how eloquent and well spoken she is. Every word she speaks is thought out and carefully chosen before being delivered; there are no “ums” or “likes” ever. Completely settled into her new role here at Trinity, Gannon brings incredible grace to campus. After spending an hour with Gannon, I can tell that she is passionate about her work and that she will make Trinity’s CDC one of the best in the country.
Currently, Gannon is learning about what Trinity’s CDC has and regularly talks with students, faculty and alumni. Gannon says that she is a fan of mirroring good ideas and has been learning about career centers at other colleges to see what other features can enhance Trinity’s CDC.
Still many students feel that they do not need to visit the CDC for a variety of reasons, including the infamous “I have a family connection at Goldman Sachs.” Attention all students: Career Development does more than you think they do and everyone should meet with a career specialist, even you Mr. Goldman Sachs. One of the many questions on students’ minds is what can they do after graduation with the liberal arts education they have received at Trinity. Gannon believes that “career development and a liberal arts education have a beautiful complementary nature,” and that career specialists can help students see how their skills are transferrable and help place them in an appropriate work environment. “We serve as a middleman between skills and jobs,” says Gannon. Additionally, Career Development can help students explore various job fields. But even for those students who do know what they want to do in life, Career Development can help everyone refine and articulate their oral and written communication.
Another myth about Career Development is that first years should not step foot inside the CDC. Gannon believes that a student’s interaction with Career Development should start at the beginning of their Trinity career and that students need a consistent interaction with the CDC. Citing her medical background, Gannon says, “It’s easier to do preventative care during freshman year instead of emergency medicine during junior year.” As well, the CDC will work to be as unique as they need to be in order to accommodate a variety of student interest in various job fields says Gannon.
A successful career center is one that is a partnership between students and the center, according to Gannon. Career centers should create a collaborative and supportive environment for students and establish partnerships with a number of constituents including alums, faculty and other members of the campus community. Luckily, because Trinity is a small enough campus, Gannon is confident she can do all of this.
The times are a changing at Trinity, and so is Career Development. Gannon is the type of person who creates change and in a short time, I have no doubt that our CDC will be one of the best.
MADELINE BAUM ’14
For most of February, I had a lingering feeling that I was neglecting something. It was the unease of finishing a day of classes yet still sensing I had missed an assignment. And then as March rolled around, it dawned on me – and the summer internship panic set in.
Perhaps I was in denial about not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, or perhaps it was the knowledge that this is my last summer when I can have an internship. Or maybe I subconsciously didn’t know where to begin, as last summer’s internship just jumped into my arms like a lost puppy. I painlessly applied to a single internship last March through a family connection and got it, not even bothering to look elsewhere.
Continue reading Floating through internship naïveté
SHRIYA NAGPAL ’16
Twas a typical Wednesday morning on the Long Walk. The Trinity winds relentlessly thrashed my naked face as I nobly pioneered on to the other side of the world: The Writing Center. With only a stupid Hello Kitty notebook and a heart full of sarcasm to keep me alive, I continued to brave the winds fury in hopes that the day had finally come where my professor would learn my name. Thankfully, my weekly treks were never void of my friend’s encouragement. “You are almost there” Mather inspired. “Don’t give up!” Seabury chimed. “Today will be the day she learns your name,” Jarvis seduced, “Today, you will…”
But alas, introverted Jarvis was immediately silenced at the sight of another human being approaching, and my heart began to race at the prospect of interacting with something other than a brick building. So in anticipation, I decelerated my aggressive strut into a graceful stroll in hopes of invoking some “natural” small-talk like, “Lovely weather we are having, isn’t it?” “The long walk gets longer every day huh?” or the classic, “If it was any windier my face would fly off. Ha Ha?”
Continue reading Long walk greetings merit a better response than “sup”
JEFF SYBERTZ ’13
On Tuesday, March 5, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died after a long battle with cancer in his Caracas home. The socialist president had led Venezuela since 1999 and made a name for himself in the international community for his policies regarding the country’s vast oil fields and executive power, his confrontational views toward the United States, and his close relationship with controversial leaders such as Fidel Castro and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many Americans and middle and upper class Venezuelans regarded Chavez as a dictator. However, many Venezuelans and other Latin Americans see Chavez as a liberator and reformer who challenged American neoliberalist policies and represented the interests of the people of Venezuela. Although many have celebrated Chavez’s demise as the death of a tyrant, people should recognize the advancements he achieved and the legitimacy he held. Some of his policies were controversial and others were outright reprehensible but the man also won more elections during his time as president than any other elected official in the world. Chavez should be held accountable for his reprehensible actions but these policies should not be the defining aspects of his legacy. He should also be remembered for his representation of the marginalized members of Venezuelan society and his role in the creation of the movement throughout Latin America that stressed a more humane version of capitalism.
Hugo Chavez came to the forefront of Venezuelan and international politics as a lieutenant colonel in the Venezuelan army in 1992 when he was involved in an unsuccessful coup d’état attempt against then President Carlos Andrés Pérez. Chavez was arrested, prosecuted, and eventually released. Seven years later, he was democratically elected President of the Republic.
Continue reading Death of Hugo Chavez calls for look at his role in global scheme
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
We’re almost at Spring Break. It’s so close. But before you rejoice in the comfort and freedom of warmer climates, we need to get through midterms. However, to get through midterms, we need to print. And so begins my commentary on the long debated issue of printing dollars.
We get 20 dollars a semester, no rollovers. But would having the dollars roll over make a difference? If you’re like me, then you ran out of printing dollars two weeks ago. High five for being an English major!
Let me check my math for a second. 10 cents a page, divide that into 20… 20 dollars of printing gets you 200 pages, as long as none of them are in color. But when you have articles and notes to print out to study for your test and create your papers, you thank God for professors who let you email them your papers. Thank you, kind sirs.
Continue reading Printing dollars inadequate to match needs of Trinity students
FORREST ROBINETTE ’16
Liberal arts schools emphasize critical-thinking and intellectual curiosity. The goal of such institutions is to instill a sense of civic responsibility in its students and to create informed citizens who think of learning as a life-long process. This is quite a grand definition. Trinity being a liberal arts school, I am always considering what the value of such an education is in our society today?
First of all, a liberal arts education is meant to endow a person with flexibility and an ability to adapt to new challenges. Specialization in a particular field is forgone in a liberal arts education for a more broad approach to learning. Schools like Trinity work to give students a set of skills that can be applied to a variety of professions. The ability to adapt seems particularly important in today’s ever-changing society. The average person in our generation will change their career path several times and will hold no less than eight completely different jobs. These facts definitely show that the days of specialization are gone. I’ve heard it said that many of the jobs our generation will be working have not been invented yet. With so much uncertainty in our futures, now more than ever, a flexible set of work skills seems like a great asset to have.
Howard and Mathew Greene wrote an education guide called the “Hidden Ivies: Thirty Colleges of Excellence.” Trinity is listed among these “colleges of excellence” along with other NESCAC schools, schools in the South such as Wake Forest and Washington and Lee, schools in the Midwest such as Grinnell and Carlton College, and more. The Greene brothers wrote an extensive definition of what they considered to be the definition of a liberal arts education and what they thought the strengths of such an education are. He writes, “In a complex, shifting world, it is essential to develop a high degree of intellectual literacy and critical-thinking skills.” For the Greene brothers though, liberal arts extend beyond one’s mental skills. They say that students at liberal arts school develop “a sense of moral and ethical responsibility to one’s community,” the ability to “respond to people in a compassionate and fair way,” and to “continue learning new information and concepts over a lifetime.” This is a big promise for a single type of college. I’m not sure these goals are lived up to all the time at every liberal arts school, but I think that it is still good to keep such goals in mind.
Continue reading A liberal arts education proves valuable in all aspects of life
Last week Trinity announced that it will be introducing a new major within the Department of Language and Culture Studies. The major is called “World Literature and Culture Studies” and will allow students to study literature from a vast number of different countries and cultures. The major was designed with the intent to allow students explore literature, culture, and linguistics across national broders. Students will major broadly in literary studies and learn to place texts within their original cultural content, as well as use literary criticism and other methodologies to interpret texts.
Chairperson of the Department of Language and Cultural Studies and Associate Professor of Russian Carol Any has spearheaded the effort to make this major a reality. A faculty subcommittee spent two years conceiving and developing the specifics of the major and finally felt that their proposal was ready for submission to the College Curriculum Committee in December. The proposal was approved just last month and is now a go for current first-year and sophomore students and all future students.
The major will be customized for each student’s particular interests, and will incorporate classes from across disciplines, such as philosophy, religion, and history, in addition to literature and foreign language classes. There are twelve class requirements, including a senior project that integrates the various literary and interdisciplinary experiences a student has had. All students will take LACS 299, “Foundations of Literature and Culture Studies” as well as at least three courses in another discipline that revolve around some sort of thematic focus. Some foreign language study will be required, generally to the second- or third-year level. This can be as little as one semester more than the foreign language requirement faced by all students, Any points out. The diverse range of cultures and disciplines will allow students to interpret literature in a way that was not possible before. Having an intermediate level of foreign language can help students avoid the pitfalls of reading works that have been translated into English, because they develop the ability to recognize common errors or phrases that may distort the original.
Continue reading Trinity adds new World Literature and Culture major
By Alie Schreiber ’13
This past Thursday, March 7, in Mather Dining Hall, ACES (Annual Community Event Staff) held their 21st annual community service auction. ACES, headed up by Gracie Phillips ’13 and Emily Howe ’13, runs all of the major community service events and fundraisers on campus.
According to the presidents, “over the past twenty years, this event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local nonprofit organizations, including Youth United for Survival, St. Agnes Home, Immaculate Conception Shelter, Peter’s Retreat, Interval House, and HartBeat Ensemble. This year ACES will be raising money for My Sister’s Place, a shelter that exclusively serves and supports local women and children, as well as the Trinity College Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a group that works to provide affordable housing to families in need throughout the U.S.”
Groups and individuals from the Trinity community as well as off campus businesses all came together to donate items to be auctioned off. Some of the items that were auctioned this year included: employee parking passes, personalized signed footballs from Bill Belichick (Head Coach of the New England Patriots), and gift certificates to The Tap, Firebox, Arch Street Tavern, Plan B Burger, Wings Over Hartford, Piolin, and J Bar and Restuarant. Many items were grouped together in a themed package. In addition, a few fabulous pieces of jewelry were auctioned off, including a freshwater pearl necklace donated by Ali Bazar ’15 and her family, and a pair of button earrings made and designed by Emma Jesberg ’13.
Continue reading 21st annual ACES auction is a success
Elaina Rollins ’16
This past Friday, March 6, Dean of Students Fred Alford hosted the fourth House System Open Forum in Mather Hall. These forums aim to “de-mystify” the new housing system and collect ideas and advice from students. This week’s topic was about the potential for Trinity College’s honor code to play a role in the House System. Past topics have included the general format of the System, the role of advising in individual houses, and the use of facilities in the Houses. Dean Alford began the meeting by asking students if they knew Trinity has an honor code. Although most people at the table recognized that there was a code at the College, most had vague ideas about what it involved. One student believed the purpose of the Honor Code was to, “uphold a sense of community, respect, and openness,” while another simply defined it as a document that says, “don’t lie, cheat, or steal.” Trinity’s actual Integrity Contract is a document signed by all students prior to official matriculation. The College defines it as a, “code of honor that fosters moral growth and upholds academic and personal integrity.” Part I of the Contract is dedicated to academic life. When students sign the Integrity Contract, they are granted academic rights and freedoms, which allow them to think critically and “free the mind from parochialism and prejudice.” Part I of the Contract also includes a section on academic integrity and intellectual dishonesty, which deals with issues concerning cheating and plagiarism. Social life policies are dealt with in Part II of the Contract. Trinity requires its students to extend its “principles of honor, responsibility, and self-governance” beyond the classroom. Students committed to the Honor Code treat their peers sensibly and conduct themselves maturely. The majority of the students at the House Forum clearly did not know all of these details about the Honor Code. Dean Alford said that he believes trust is the most important part of an honor code. Trust involves a sense of fair play and an appreciation of the people in the community. He related a college’s honor code to an honor code within the marines or a fraternity in order to emphasize the idea of trust within a community. Dean Alford recognized that while trying to decide how to integrate an Honor Code into the new House System, faculty struggled with the idea that students often feel a great loyalty not to “rat out” their peers. Several students at the table acknowledged the legitimacy of this concern. Most students see or hear of cheating at some point at their time at Trinity, yet they often do not acknowledge the situation. This creates, in a sense, two senses of honor within the community: student loyalty to other students and student loyalty to the College Honor Code. Other liberal arts colleges like Trinity have Honor Codes that are deeply engrained and respected. At Haverford, students are known for leaving their backpacks unattended around campus and taking exams in their dorm rooms with no faculty around to make sure they do not cheat. When prompted about the level of trust on Trinity’s campus, one student said he felt that trust was “low” in the community. He said that although he can confidently leave his dorm room and know his roommate will not steal his things, he knows he cannot leave expensive items in the library or other public spaces. Dean Alford and the group all agreed that there could be a better sense of trust on campus. Dean Alford then asked the students at the Forum to imagine what they would include in the College’s Honor Code if Trinity were to start over from scratch. Overall, everyone at the meeting agreed that it is important not to steal from peers and to respect the faculty, administrators, and workers at the College. One professor offered a new take on promoting academic honesty in the classroom: he suggested that students could sign a short statement before every test or exam that says they promise that the work they are turning in is their own. This small act of signing a sheet of paper could help reaffirm and remind students of the Integrity Contract that they sign before they come to Trinity. This idea of starting from scratch has potential in the new House System. Dean Alford introduced the idea that each House could have their own individual Integrity Contract that they craft and sign themselves. Rather than having students sign a document over the summer before they even arrive at school (which most people forget they even signed), members of each House could communally participate to agree on values that are important to them. If this idea were to be implemented, there could be many different strategies about how to uphold the Honor Code in the following years. Some students suggested that every fall, new and existing members of the Houses would review and vote on their respective Integrity Contracts. Other students thought that it could be helpful to recreate the Contract each year so that it is always relevant and fresh in students’ minds. The exchange and flow of ideas at the Forum helped everyone at the meeting, both faculty and students, reflect on the College’s current Honor Code and how it could be improved. Although there were differing opinions in the group, everyone did agree that it would benefit the school to create an Honor Code that students respect and follow. Dean Alford and the House System sub-committee will continue to host these House Forums every Wednesday at 5:30 P.M. or 6:00 P.M. in the west side of Mather Hall. The forum is open to all students and faculty who are interested in discussing new options for the houses. Specific times and topic information is included in weekly emails sent out to the campus.
Last Friday, March 8, the Student Government Association and Psi Upsilon fraternity teamed up to present “Conversations over Cocktails,” an informal cocktail party with students and professors. The event was designed to help facilitate teacher-student relationships outside the classroom. About eight professors from various disciplines attended the event, and the topic of conversation was centered around Trinity’s academic climate. Using the results of an academic survey sent out to the entire student body a few weeks ago, the SGA organizers printed a flyer of statistics and questions raised by the survey. Among topics explored were, “Are all majors at Trinity equally challenging, and should they be?” and “How do you feel about Trinity’s implementation of the Liberal Arts Curriculum?” The survey garnered 457 responses, which was more than the organizers had been expecting. They will continue to organize the data of the responses and hope to conduct the survey each year. Some statistics that stood out include that 41 percent of respondents disagree with the statement that all majors are equally challenging, and 52 percent of respondents reported feeling challenged by their courseload. Members of the Academic Affairs Committee, led by Alexa Mehraban ’13, Allison Cazalet ’14, and Erica Bertoli ’14, organized the Conversations over Cocktails event because they wanted students to feel more comfortable around professors in a social setting. “We felt that since so much attention has been given to the new social policy, we wanted to kind of explore the other side of that and talk about academic issues,” said Cazalet. The event also embraced the school’s goal of providing alcohol in mature, school-sponsored environments. Finger food and wine and beer provided by Chartwell’s were served at no cost to attendees, creating a pleasant atmosphere in the main level of the Psi U House. About 40 students filtered through the event, which was held in an open-house style from 4-6 P.M. Mehraban said they were initially worried about turnout, since only six professors had confirmed attendance at the beginning of the week. Friday’s snowstorm was also a concern in attendance, but in the end they were very pleased with the range of disciplines, opinions, and experiences presented by the faculty. While some questions were posed to direct conversation, small groups of students and faculty talked about a wide range of topics. Assistant Professor of History and International Studies Seth Markle talked candidly about his experience teaching a first-year seminar last fall and the surprising amount of hand-holding that the administration expected. Principal Lecturer at the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric Irene Papoulis also conversed about the role a major plays in deciding on a future career – not much, she thinks, and stressed the importance of internships and other experiences. David Linden ’16 attended the event, and despite not yet knowing what he will major in, gained some important insights for his next few years at Trinity. He spoke with Professor of Fine Arts Alden Gordon about various study abroad opportunities, interesting courses to satisfy the arts requirement, and even architecture that they both find interesting. Other professors in attendance included Arthur Schneider (Economics), Edward Cabot (Public Policy), Brigitte Schulz (Political Science), Mark Silk (Religion), Johannes Evelein (Language and Culture Studies), Judge Smith (Public Policy and Law), and Jasmina Spasojevic (Economics). Some students were frustrated by the lack of representation of professors from the science and engineering departments, considered by many to be some of the more challenging majors. Joanna Wycech ’14, a biomedical engineering major, was discouraged from attending the event because she felt it would be counterproductive to discuss her academic challenges with humanities professors. However, the Academic Affairs Committee hopes that this event can set the precedent for more to follow, and students will feel more comfortable joining their professors for a casual drink and intellectual argument.
SONJAY SINGH ’14
Official Response of the President of Pi Kappa Alpha (Epsilon Alpha) to the Charter Committee Report of Trinity College:
As Social Chair, Vice President and now President of Pike, my last few semesters have been a maelstrom of meetings discussing the future of Greek life at Trinity College in the wake of the now-infamous social policy drafted by the Charter Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees last semester. As most of you know, these policies essentially consist of a revitalized first-year housing and orientation system, expanded social options on campus through the introduction of new theme houses and a redesigned Vernon Social Center and a slew of new restrictions on the Greek system. These include overarching limits on the size, frequency and alcohol availability of parties, the reduction of pledging to a 10-day period, the introduction of a minimum GPA on both the individual members and the organization as a whole and required co-education.
Of these rules, I am in full support of revitalizing the social scene and although the GPA mandate, party regulation and limits on pledging will negatively affect our traditions and lifestyle, Pike is willing to comply. However, the co-education mandate violates the charter of almost every Greek organization on campus and irreparably damages our personal identity. If it is enforced, Pike will no longer exist at Trinity and any other Greek organizations which manage to remain will be nothing more than shadows of their former selves. Because the rationale for this plan merits reconsideration and the cost of this plan is our place at Trinity, I cannot support the co-education mandate.
Continue reading Pi Kappa Alpha president responds to Charter Committee Report
Nick Auerbach ’14
Trinitarians, you waited with bated breath for all to be right in the world again. Now that the squash gods have finally spoken, and have chosen decidedly in your favor, it seems order has been restored to the cosmos. This is because on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, the Trinity College men’s squash team regained supremacy as College Squash Association (CSA) national champions. Capping off another perfect season, they knocked off St. Lawrence University, Yale University, and finally Harvard University this past weekend at Yale’s Brady Squash Center en route to their 14th Potter Trophy. Once the well-deserved celebrations have died down all over campus, please be sure to consider what this year’s team, and their success, means in the context of the past 15 years.
The No. 3 ranked Crimson secured their spot in the National Championship with a 5-4 defeat against the No. 2 ranked Princeton in the semi-finals. Tied 4-4 and down 2-0 in games, Harvard’s Gary Power surmounted an improbable comeback at the No. 4 spot against Princeton’s Dylan Ward, who was a key part of the Tigers’ win against Trinity in last year’s final. After learning that they would face a top heavy Harvard team to determine Nationals, Head Coach Paul Assaiante prepared his squad accordingly, hoping they would play with the same kind of resilience they had showed all year. The players heeded their coach’s advice and were able to hold off Harvard 6-3. Feeding off the support from a huge fan base in attendance, as well as from historic squash alumni attending the match (such as Baset Chadhry and Gustav Detter), Trinity played with an unmatched fervor.
A humble Zayad El Shorafy ’16, who clinched the title for the Bantams, felt that “being part of the National Championship team is a privilege – you can’t ask for more than that.” The freshman also explained that after “losing the streak last year […] everyone was hungrier than ever before, and being in my first year at Trinity College, I was just as hungry as the others, because it’s an incredible family – once you join it, you’re in. You’re in with all your feelings, you’re in with all your attachment, you’re in with all your loyalty.” Another Trinity freshman, Juan Vargas ’16, was considered to be the hero of the match. Jonca (pronounced Wonka), as he’s known by his teammates, elevated his level of play to another level against Harvard’s highly touted Brandon McLaughlin ’14 at the No. 2 spot. Expected to lose, Vargas surprisingly won his match 3-1 and put his team up 4-2. This allowed Trinity to make its final push, wanting so badly to make up for last year’s disappointing end to the season.
Continue reading Victory: Men’s Squash beats Harvard to secure 14th National Championship
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
A Trinity College team made history this weekend. But it’s not the squash team we’re talking about here. It’s the Equestrian Team. Wait there’s an Equestrian Team? Who would have thunk? There is indeed, and they’ve come a long way recently, so much that they deserve a lot more attention than they are getting now.
Three years ago, the team had never won a horse show, finished a season, or hosted a horse show. In the past three years though, some big changes have been made. Since the 2010-2011 school year, the team has finished numerous horse shows, seasons, won high point team, and even hosted horse shows. Continue reading Club sports teams contribute impressive feats to Trinity College
DAISY LETENDRE ’13
Gun control supporters look to capitalize following a horrific tragedy. In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting Democrats in Congress and President Obama are scrambling to push any and all gun control legislation possible. Obama sees the Sandy Hook shooting as a call for stricter gun control laws and yet he overlooks the fact that law-abiding Americans, while sharing in the grief of what happened in Newtown, Conn. still value their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
The President’s initiative to reduce gun violence contains within it various restrictions including four legislative proposals and 19 executive actions. The legislative proposals include universal background checks for all looking to purchase firearms, a crack-down on gun trafficking, a ban on military-style assault weapons and a ban on ammunition limiting magazines to 10 rounds, among others.
The first issue with the President’s proposals is that they would not have prevented the Sandy Hook massacre or the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado from occurring, as the weapons and ammunition used in both assaults were purchased legally (The weapon used in the Newtown shooting was purchased legally by Nancy Lanza whose son Adam stole it from her). Second, the President’s proposals define military-style assault weapons according to how a gun looks, not according to the firearm’s effectiveness or actual killing power. Many guns used for sport, and untouched by the President’s proposals, are more dangerous than these so called “military-style” assault weapons. In fact, according to FBI data, less than three percent of murders in the United States for which the murder weapon is known are committed with military-assault rifles, regardless of how we define them.
Continue reading Gun control reform should not be emotionally motivated
BRYAN FARB ’14
It is not our duty to help the poor. It is our duty to create a society where being poor is impossible. Millions of Americans spend large amounts of time and money trying to help those in need. There is a good chance that you and your family are a part of that group.
Maybe you volunteer for Do It Day, mentor inner-city students, or buy Thanksgiving turkeys for families who cannot afford them. Of course, these acts create positive outcomes, but they also present the following problems:
1. Charity treats the symptoms of structural injustices, but does not address its causes. Donating to a food bank will feed hungry people, but it does nothing to keep those people from going hungry again.
In a world with such abundant resources, every human being has the right to never worry about having enough to eat. We need to aim at incorporating that right into law, and charity takes the wrong approach.
Continue reading Charitable efforts misdiagnose and mistreat the ills of society
JEFF SYBERTZ ’13
This past Sunday, the 85th Annual Academy Awards took place amidst the pomp and circumstance of Hollywood. Some of the biggest winners of the night included films that were based on historical events, such as “Argo,” “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” These films either detail actual historical events or portray a particular time in history. Due to these portrayals of controversial times or events in our history, these films have come under heat from both film critics and American politicians, despite their commercial successes. These experts have criticized the films for historical inaccuracies, over-dramatizations, an obsession with assigning a hero to every major event, and a desire to sacrifice the truth in order to reap a larger profit. Although the directors and writers have the right to artistic expression in their portrayal of these events, they also have the responsibility to maintain some semblance of the truth.
Considering the amount of influence these filmmakers have over the masses, they often have the power to bring previously unknown or rarely discussed political and historical events into the public eye. It can be potentially dangerous to bring these issues to light without showing the whole truth.
One of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed films of the past year was Argo. This political thriller details the true story of an outlandish CIA plot to save six American hostages after Iranians stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.
Continue reading Oscar-winning films skew controversial historical events for profit
Sophie Katzman ’14
Last Thursday, Feb. 21 in the Reese Room at the Smith House, the Allan K. Smith Reading Series kicked off the semester with a reading by the Connecticut Circuit Student Poets. The Allan K. Smith series is a set of five reading events throughout the semester sponsored by the Trinity College Allan K. Smith Writing Center and the English Department. The Connecticut Poetry Circuit was established in 1968, and each year it selects five student poets from colleges across Connecticut to participate in a series of readings. These students’ work is also published in the Connecticut Review. In 2012, Leslie Ahlstrand ’12 won the honor of reading for Trinity as well.
This year’s CT poetry circuit winners are Allegra Berndt (UConn ’14) Elizabeth Norton Sallee (Wesleyan University ’13), Amanda Schoen (University of Hartford ’13), Amelia Urry (Yale ’13) and Trinity’s own Emma Phillips ’13. All the poets are active in the English departments at their respective schools, and are the recipients of numerous prizes and accolades.
Each of the girls performed a collection of their poems ranging from many different subjects. The beauty in the performances came from the individuality of each poet’s muse. Urry comes from a family of physicists, where she is the only poet. She plays around with myth in her poems. Many of her inspirations come from the sea, which influenced her poem “Seal.” She was also inspired by the town of Soden in Leo Tolstoy’s renowned novel “Anna Karenina.” In “Volto Santo,” which means Christ on the crucifix, Urry talks about suicide, and incorporates the sea once again.
Continue reading Trinity senior showcases talent on student poetry reading tour
Immanuel Adeola ’14
The Mill Faculty Lecture Series continued last Thursday, Feb. 21 with a spirited debate on “Religion in American Politics.” Professors Frank Kirkpatrick and Mark Silk of the Religion Department attracted a great deal of students to what proved to be an engaging discussion moderated by Trinity College Chaplain Allison Read.
It was clear from the start of the debate that both professors possessed the necessary qualifications. Professor Kirkpatrick is a Trinity graduate who earned a degree in religion after his graduation in 1964. He also has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Brown University. He has published numerous works in the field of religious ethics and philosophy. Professor Silk graduated from Harvard in 1972 with degrees in history and literature and earned his Ph.D in medieval history from Harvard in 1982. Silk has also published numerous works in the field of religion, specifically the role of religion in American history and politics. The depth of knowledge and the well-established careers of both professors was evident in the level of excitement on the faces of students and other faculty as Chaplain Read started with formal introductions.
The central question of the debate was what role, if any, should religion play in politics and policy-making. The audience was unaware that both men had agreed to adopt certain personas before the debate in order to highlight a stark contrast that would generate substance for a productive discussion. Professor Silk adopted the liberal stance, which objects to religious influence in the sphere of politics and policy-making. Professor Kirkpatrick adopted a Christian conservative stance which favors a major role for religion in the political sphere and the incorporation of religious values in policy-making. Chaplain Read diversified her questions with key topics that have been intensely debated in the American political sphere, such as healthcare, gay marriage, taxation, women’s reproductive rights, the framework of the constitution and the role of the government. Both scholars exposited numerous fascinating points on their prospective stances on these issues.
Professor Silk argued that it was not necessary to have religious values in order to be a moral person. He further developed his argument by pointing out that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and referenced the Founding Fathers’ intention to keep Church and State separate. One of the major questions Chaplain Read posed to him was about his view of the Affordable Care Act as a vehicle of change that has corrected what many religious people believe was a major wrong. It was clear that the expected answer would include an admission that religion might have influenced health care policy making. However, Professor Silk crafted a smart answer that pointed to the financial benefits of the law as a key motivator for the law’s successful passage rather than religious reasons. Professor Kirkpatrick argued that Church and State could not be separate and that the country was founded on religious values. He advanced his argument further by posing the notion that we derive morality from religious values. He argued that the country would be better served with a theocracy that modeled that of John Winthrop’s Puritan society. He made a memorable remark that resonated strongly with the audience when said that humans are “depraved beings” and should never be left to their own moral devices, which drew a great deal of shock and laughter from the audience. Another shocking comment he made was that he would remove certain language in the First Amendment that he found supported irreligion.
It was obvious that Kirkpatrick’s views were on the defensive for much of the debate, causing him to cite as much as possible from the Bible and the Constitution. His impressive citation of the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses found in the First Amendment gave his argument a convincing tone for much of the debate.
After 45 minutes of an engaging back and forth between both professors, the moderator finally revealed to the audience that they had adopted the personas for the purpose of having an exciting debate. Both professors revealed that they are in mutual agreement about the absent role religion should play in politics. They both conceded the fact that religion does play a role in the marketplace of ideas and public discussion but attributed that to individuals rather than political institutions. The debate itself might have possessed sparks of electric intensity, but the atmosphere was relaxed and inviting. Food from El Serape, wine, and music preceded the anticipated showdown as people made their way in to grab a plate of food and find a seat before the start of the debate.
The last 20 minutes were devoted to an open forum where audience members asked questions and made comments about the adopted personas of both professors or their real take on a certain issue. The audience was able to share in a few laughs and ideas with the debaters and the moderator, leaving the event with a little more knowledge about the vast field of religion and politics.
Elaina Rollins ’16
Barnyard Entertainment is already busy preparing for Trinity College’s famous Spring Weekend, and Barnyard needs students across campus to make the event the best Weekend yet. Barnyard, a branch of Trinity’s Student Government Association (SGA), hosts a variety of popular events throughout the school year, including the Welcome Back Dance and 80s Night. This year, Barnyard’s Spring Weekend will begin on Friday, April 19 and finish on Sunday, April 21. Currently, there is no specific information about the Weekend schedule or who will perform at the Sunday concert.
Will Cha ’13, the student in charge of Spring Weekend, explained that the events this year will be very different from those in the past. He stated that, “It’s going to be an action packed Friday and Saturday.” Barnyard wants every day to be as fun as possible leading up to the main concert on Sunday. To go along with all this action, the theme for this year’s Weekend is Electric Carnival. This theme will bring together an “electric component,” as Cha explains, as well as a carnival component. The Electric Carnival atmosphere will “add flavor” and “spice things up.”
Barnyard has confirmed that BantamFest will once again take place on the Friday of Spring Weekend at 4:30 p.m. on the Main Quad. This is the event where SGA really wants Trinity students to get involved. SGA is calling for all student bands, singers, acappella groups, dance groups, or ensemble groups to apply to perform on the Quad during BantamFest. The goal is to create a lively, energetic, and spirited atmosphere to kick off the weekend.
To go along with these student performers, Barnyard is allowing student organizations to host booths or vendor spots during BantamFest. These vendors can host a variety of fun activities, such as a hookah spot or cultural food table. Student organizations on campus should considering applying to be a BantamFest vendor if they are looking to promote their group.
To prepare for the Sunday Concert, Barnyard is searching for a lineup of student DJ openers. Any student DJs on campus have the chance to enliven the entire student body before performers like Three 6 Mafia, Chiddy Bang, and Major Lazer – the 2011 main musical guests. After all the applications are received, Barnyard will narrow down the DJs to a maximum of six finalists. Each DJ who is selected to be a finalist will get the chance to be in a showcase at a venue on campus during a weekend prior to Spring Weekend. Students will then cast their vote for their favorite performer. Cha explained that Barnyard will be “considering the general vibe, the quality, and originality of the tracks.”
For the artistic students on campus, Barnyard is accepting shirt designs for the annual Spring Weekend tank tops that will be sold in the weeks leading up to the event. Applicants have lots of free rein to experiment with their designs. The only rules are that the design must reflect the 2013 theme – Electric Carnival. Also, designs must have no alcohol or drug references.
All students who wish to apply to be a student vendor, student DJ, student performer or T-Shirt design applicant must submit their work to Barnyard via email by March 6 at 11:59 p.m. Specific application instructions can be found in an email sent out by SGA on Feb. 19. Barnyard will release the detailed schedule and headliner performers sometime in March. In the meantime, students can check the Barnyard Facebook page for updates and news regarding Spring Weekend.
Alie Schreiber ’13
Peter’s Retreat is a Hartford organization that provides a safe haven for impoverished men and women living with HIV and AIDS. David Pierce ’13 and Nicole Sagullo ’14 run a community service program for Trinity students to volunteer at Peter’s Retreat every other week.
Peter’s Retreat was founded in 1988 with the goal of “helping individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS to receive the comprehensive and compassionate services necessary to live healthier lives and break the cycle of homelessness.” Peter’s Retreat is a subset of larger charitable group called Hands on Hartford, part of an international volunteer alliance.
Describing their patients they say that, “All individuals who come to Peter’s Retreat live in poverty, are HIV positive or living with AIDS, have histories of homelessness, and nearly always have other complicating health problems and disabilities. No one is denied housing because of an inability to pay.”
This unbelievable organization relies on volunteers to help their mission. HIV and AIDS are very isolating diseases. Volunteers allow the patients to interact with the Hartford community, which is an invaluable gift.
When Trinity students volunteer, they usually socialize with residents and help clean or decorate. Students also
go to special events such as a pumpkin carving party on Halloween.
When asked why he volunteers with the organization, Pierce ’13 explained, “I enjoy going to b Peter’s Retreat because the people are so appreciative. They just like having you there. It’s fun to get to know the residents on a personal level.”
Sagullo ’14 added, “Peter’s Retreat is an incredible opportunity. The residents are so light-hearted and fun to be around despite their circumstances. They make me laugh and enjoy spending time with the volunteers. I feel appreciated, and I love being involved in the community. But I feel like I get something back too.”
Volunteers go to Peter’s Retreat almost every other Friday at 2:30 p.m. until about 4:30 p.m., but you do not need to attend every time. This is a great way to interact with the Hartford community and truly help a group in need.
For more information on how to volunteer, contact Nicole Sagullo at firstname.lastname@example.org or David Pierce at email@example.com.
By Chloe Miller ’14
Last Tuesday, Feb. 19, Trinity sponsored a screening of the documentary “Overdraft” in the Washington Room of Mather Hall. The one-hour documentary – a nonpartisan, factual exploration of America’s deficit crisis – was followed by a question and answer panel discussion featuring two Trinity professors. “Overdraft” was made by a public television station with generous support from the Travelers Institute, the public policy branch of Travelers Insurance companies. The film premiered on PBS in August 2012 and is slated to play until 2014. Since October 2012, the film has been screened at college campuses across the country in an effort to increase awareness and knowledge of the deficit crisis among the student population. President of the Travelers Institute Joan Woodward has been traveling the country introducing these screenings and moderating panel discussions afterwards.
The goal of “Overdraft” is to present a straightforward picture of the magnitude of our nation’s debt crisis. This is achieved through first person accounts of high-profile political leaders on both sides of the aisle. President Bill Clinton, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Senator Kent Conrad, National Deficit Commission leaders Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, Brookings Institute economist Alice Rivlin, and many other public and private officials offered clear explanations of the many sources of the deficit.
The documentary is organized by five main components that make up the deficit: healthcare, entitlement programs like social security, defense spending, state debts, and other. Healthcare and social security together make up 60% of the debt, so those programs were the main focus of discussion in the film. While the film did not culminate in any grand solution to solve the crisis, it did pinpoint legislative activity that has failed in the past and the growing risk of letting the debt spiral onwards. The equation is simple: a deficit can only be reduced by raising revenues (taxes) or cutting spending. The problem, of course, is that no one is willing to implement the necessary changes, especially as we’re still recovering from the financial crisis and recession of 2008.
After the screening of the documentary, Woodward opened up a question-and-answer session. Joined by Associate Professor of Economics Mark Stater and Associate Professor of Legal and Policy Studies Adrienne Fulco, the panel addressed audience questions and also offered their own opinions on the views presented in the film. “I was extremely impressed with the questions presented by Trinity students,” said Woodward, “they were not your typical ‘Why should I care?’ questions. They showed a high level of understanding and insight.”
Students asked for clarification on why the U.S. healthcare costs are so high; what kind of crisis will have to happen to finally spur government action; and even proposed an international bailout-type solution. In response to what will finally spur us to action, Stater answered that unfortunately, the U.S. will most likely have to see a major catastrophe before both sides of the political system realize they need to compromise. To this, Woodward pointed out that the international credit-rating agency already downgraded the quality of the U.S. debt for the first time in our nation’s history, which might have been seen as the necessary catastrophe, but still hasn’t spurred action.
The screening came in a timely manner because as a nation we face another looming deadline that might be that tipping point to solve the problem: the sequester. This political buzzword refers to a series of spending cuts that are set to take hold on March 1, 2013 unless political action is taken. They sequester date was set as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, and was delayed from its original date of January 1, 2013 as a partial solution to the “fiscal cliff.” However, the sequester is now less than a week away and the broken political system seems unable to move anything forward.
Student involvement and awareness of the deficit crisis is one of the most important goals of the “Overdraft” initiative. Woodward explained that today’s students will be the ones to bear the burden in future years, and Travelers Institute sees it as their responsibility to the public to help spur education. The documentary is available in full on YouTube and also comes with a Twitter campaign (#Overdraft) to engage students in the deficit conversation. After the campus tour of the film, Travelers Institute will collect social media data about the issue.
At Trinity the film was attended by dozens of students with a variety of interest in the issue, as well as many members of Hartford’s professional world. Heavily represented was Professor Chambers’ American National Government class, and Fulco stressed that she will be showing the film in future public policy classes. Nick Celestin ’16, a member of Chambers’ class, used his knowledge of monetary policy to comment on the film, “I think the deficit is very concerning, but given the current economic situation I feel as though quantitative easing is necessary.”
The deficit crisis is compounded by the short-term economic recovery we need, as well as the aging population of baby boomers who will only need more healthcare and social security benefits in the next ten years. The crisis is obviously far from solved, but through public awareness campaigns such as “Overdraft” and a call for compromise in Congress, our nation can start the long-term process of handling our deficit and our stagnant political system simultaneously.
Hannah Holland ’15
Last Thursday, Trinity College staged a production of The Vagina Monologues starring students and faculty members. The Vagina Monologues, an episodic play composed of numerous monologues centered on certain aspects of the feminine experience, drew a substantial crowd. The monologues consist of interviews conducted by women from all different walks of life and situations. The discussions concentrate on matters of sex, menstruation, rape, genital mutilation, and orgasm, among other things. The dialogues run the gamut between immensely tragic and touching and funny, while always portraying the vagina in a positive light. “The Monologues” honors the vagina as the embodiment of the individuality of the feminine spirit and as a means to implement and engender female empowerment. Among the more humorous monologues included “My Angry Vagina,” in which a woman rants, in turn, about the grievances against her vagina, including tampons, douches and the OBGYN.
Another monologue, “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could,” focuses on a woman’s traumatic memories of her childhood and the sexual experiences of her older years. The sexual experiences in her older years are self-described as “positive healing,” which sparked controversy due to the nature of the sex. “My Vagina Was My Village” describes the atrocities committed against women in Bosnian rape camps. This particular aspect of the monologues was tragic. It sparked unease amongst the crowd due to its disturbing reality and horrific content. “Because He Liked to Look At It,” centers around a woman’s feminine awakening. The monologue begins elaborately explain the woman’s dislike and discomfort with her vagina. Eventually, her view on her vagina shifts because she meets a man who liked to stare at her. “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy,” describes a female sex worker’s career. This skit draws to a close with a humorous vocal demonstration of different types of orgasms. The proceeds from Trinity’s production benefited One Billion Rising, a cornerstone of the V-Day movement.
The V-Day movement takes place worldwide, generally on Valentine’s Day, to benefit woman shelters, rape crisis centers, and lesbian resources. As the play drew to a close, the lights dimmed and a short movie began to play, courtesy of One Billion Rising. It showed women of varying race, taking a stand against female violence and rape. Women around the globe partook in demonstrations, such as the “Vagina Monologues” performed at Trinity, to contest violence against woman. One Billion Strong, the 15th Anniversary of V-Day, invited woman to “walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to [violence]”. One Billion Rising centers around the idea that “one billion woman violated is an atrocity”, whereas, “one billion women dancing is a revolution.” Domestic violence, atrocities against woman, and female self-loathing are prevalent issues within society and the world in general that desperately need to be addressed. “The Vagina Monologues” serve to both combat these problems as well as to empower females. “The Vagina Monologues” gives a voice to woman that is feminine but also entirely human.
Duncan Grimm ’15
Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Smith House, Associate Professor of History at Boston University, Betty Anderson ’87, delivered a well-attended lecture on Beirut, Lebanon’s capital city. It is also Lebanon’s largest port and responsible for much of the goods that pass in and out of the country. The role of education in this extraordinary urban growth is not lost on Professor Anderson and is addressed in her 2011 book “The American University of Beirut: Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education.” Initially seeking to uncover how students of AUB became politicized, Anderson soon discovered that the story of the University lay in Protestant missionary tradition and international intrigue between European nations and the Ottoman Empire. Beirut has been rebuilt significantly since the nearly 16 year Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) which left downtown Beirut bleak and deserted. The rebuilding program has put Lebanon into enormous debt, but the city is no longer the ghost town it was in the years after the war, and has once again become a thriving port and educational powerhouse, just as it was at the turn of the century. Because of education, the city had a unique vibe separate from surrounding cities, and has since recovered this aspect of its character. This vibe has its roots in the forming of both Beirut’s educational and economic bases in the 19th century.
To put the growth in perspective, in 1800 the city was home to 6,000 people, while in 1900 the population had reached 120,000. Part of this shift was economic. First the French wanted to be able to extract the raw materials out of the Middle East, notably cotton and silk. Between the 1820s and 1840s, they constructed factories and invested in Mulberry trees. By the 1850s however, native Lebanese began to involve themselves in this new economy, and the combined activity of the French and native Lebanese increased trade to such a degree that a better port was needed. The French endeavored to improve the port facilities over the second half of the 1800s, and it is here where education comes in, for it was in Beirut that Christian missionaries and their schools collected. The fundamental shift however began in 1820 with the arrival of missionaries from the American Board in Boston. Knowing nothing about the region except from their Bible studies, they targeted “nominal” Christians, or those of non-Protestant denominations, hoping to peak Muslims’ interests. Initially having no conception of local culture or even Arabic, the first missionaries were divorced from the local system.
Most importantly, they did not understand that within the Ottoman Empire one was legally defined by their religious sect (taxes, laws, etc.). There were no provisions for Protestants under Ottoman law. If an individual were to convert, they would be de jure a nonentity. The American missionaries instead found individuals were more inclined toward intellectual conversation and debate rather than conversion, and so they invested in free missionary schools promoting education. They started by creating coeducational elementary schools and later high schools, shifting the balance of power in Lebanese society, most notably in the silk trade. The lower classes and poor, seeking to improve their lives and involve themselves in the lucrative economy, could learn a foreign language such as English, German, or Italian, and acquire a job at a European consulate and become involved on many levels of relationships between foreign traders and local merchants.
The poorer classes now saw themselves empowered with a rising income to buy their way into the local silk trade, increasing the economic activity and the capacity of the port, and in time saw goods from neighboring areas like Syria passing through Beirut. A growing prosperous economy, propelled by education, encouraged investment in modern infrastructure such as railways and highways. This new interest in schools led to the 1866 founding of the Syrian Protestant College, renamed the American University of Beirut in 1920. According to Andersen, its founders including Daniel Bliss sought to establish a school instilled with the traditional values of an American liberal arts education, bringing a westernized education to the Middle East. Essentially, Bliss and his colleagues sought to transplant the college model from New England, bringing it in full force to Beirut, their ideals stemming from the original missionaries in the 1820s. A strict adherence throughout the twentieth century to a western-style curriculum has precipitated many student protests in favor of adapting the educational style to accommodate a greater consciousness of the city where the university is located. These student protests during the 1960s dissipated with the Lebanese Civil War, but in 1998-99 during reconstruction, provided the foundation for the reassessment of AUB’s traditional values. Today, there is a healthy combination on the university campus between an American liberal arts education and a curriculum conscious of Middle Eastern proclivities. AUB remains a powerhouse and beacon of higher education in the Mediterranean world, thanks to the efforts of Daniel Bliss, student protestors, and progressive thinkers leading Beirut into the 21st century.