HENRY CHAVEZ ’18
After months of hard work, Trinity College was able to host its first ever thought-provoking TEDxTrinColl event this past April 18. TED is a nonprofit dedicated to spreading ideas, ranging from business and global issues to history and everything in between. These ideas are delivered through short 18 minute, well prepared talks, demonstrations, and performances that spark creativity to change attitudes, lives, and ultimately, the world. This year, under the leadership of Bhumika Choudhary ’18, Trinity embarked on the journey of independently coordinating a local gathering where live TED-like talks would be given around the theme “Rethink.” From this, TEDxTrinColl was born.
The event’s theme was meant to address certain misconceptions in different academic fields. This entailed answering questions people often are embarrassed to ask such as “who is General Tso and why are we eating his chicken?” Hence, the speakers discussed rethinking music, biology, sex, psychology, and a variety of other topics, beginning with similar, common questions like the General Tso’s Chicken example. Beginning with Nell Gibbon, a fellow ’98 Bantam, the audience was quickly captivated by the power of storytelling. From the perspective of a Psychotherapist, Gibbon explained some of the ways we can train our brains to embrace discomfort. She applied principles from several academic fields, and gave funny and moving examples from her own life as she struggled to do just what she was asking of her patients. However, rethinking the power of intimacy and embracing happiness through discomfort was just the beginning of it all. A day filled with brilliant speakers, thought-provoking videos and mind-blowing conversation unfolded as several other distinguished community members took the stage.
Assistant Connecticut Public Defender, Joshua Michtom, who specializes in complex child protection and juvenile delinquency trials and appeals, provided a different perspective of rethinking. He shed light on how the neighborhood Trinity sits in the middle of, Frog Hollow, could be studied outside of its fiscal status. Assumptions about race, class, and economic comfort were all touched upon. Other speakers such as distinguished Harvard Professors Aaron Pascal Mauck and Timothy Patrick McCarthy discussed, how history can transform how we treat disease and how humanity progresses, respectively.
These talks collectively helped initiate a dialogue that could help the college community engage the world about involving Trinity students’ viewpoints. Independently run TED environments are innovative projects that big universities have recently taken on and for Trinity College to be able to host its own exemplified the bold character of the small liberal arts institution. Furthermore, Trinity was among the first of the NESCAC schools to take on the opportunity as well -another key feature that distinguished the College from the rest.
However, the task was no easy work. The vision began with one person, who truly believed in the importance of learning and passing knowledge. The individual grew up listening to TED talks and noticed that Trinity College did not have any club of this nature where ideas could be presented to the Trinity College community. From this moment Bhumika Choudary acquired a TEDxTrinColl organizer license, gained approvals from the administration , formulated a team and solidified her presidency of the campuses’ new organization. Bhumika says that she began watching TED Talks because the ideas and issues addressed went beyond books and media. “It allowed me to see the world around me with a critical pair of lens.”
Moreover, she made it clear that this is only the beginning. The TEDxTrinColl team says they will make sure that these kinds of captivating and revolutionary events will happen yearly on campus. Each event that is yet to come will be build around three ideals; conversation, connection and community. This is the beginning of something new that will continuously broaden Trinity’s horizons. The team is excited to integrate student speakers to make the event more interactive and to use TEDx as a platform to foster intellects by creating a network of sharing ideas within and outside the community. Ultimately, this is a new tool Trinity will be able to teach and learn from.
AUSTIN DUEBEL ’18
How truly capitalist is the United States of America? Most people associate the early 1900s – Wall Street’s heyday – with the rise of entrepreneurial capitalism in the United States that we still recognize today. Yet, it can be argued that capitalism did not ‘rise’ in the States but actually formed it. A fact that is frequently brushed over is that almost all of the Sons of Liberty and the founding fathers had vested monetary interests in seeing the colonies break away from the British Crown. Moreover, these monetary interests, to some degree, relied on the illegal act of smuggling in order to produce fortunes for the colonies’ elite. Though this is not to discredit the various exploits and views of the founding fathers, it is interesting how facts have been replaced by a silver-lined version of history that many, such as the conservative Tea Party, have used to support their endeavors.
Britain’s Prime Minister at the time, George Grenville, was the one who made the massive mistake of trying to crack down on the smuggling trade on which the colonies survived. At the time, New England had one of the highest gross domestic products in the world, with a large part of that based on the thriving merchant, smuggler trade. It is known that John Hancock and Samuel Adams were very much invested in the lucrative smuggling trade, and would go on to organize the famous Boston Tea Party because of this. From a British standpoint, the government was doing its best to stop illegal trading in order to repay war debts. From an American perspective, the government was using its ships to harangue hardworking colonial merchants.
Although some of the other Intolerable Acts (such as the Stamp Act) truly did live up to their colonial nickname, the Tea Act did not – at least, it shouldn’t have, if the Sons of Liberty hadn’t engaged in illegal activity in the first place. With the Tea Act in place, the demand for untaxed tea, i.e. the tea supplied by Hancock’s band of smugglers, skyrocketed. This Act, then, was something the colonies could deal with, and they did, until the East India Company ruined the fun. The East India Company, a Crown-granted monopoly, had been struggling for some time and thus petitioned the British Crown to allow them to ship to the Americas tax free. They were able to win their concession by presenting it as a means to undercut the smuggling trade and bring taxable income profits back to the British Isles. If you ask me, this is a smart business plan. But, before long, it would backfire and the cunning plan would result in the legendary Boston Tea Party.
If you haven’t realized it already, then allow me to elaborate – the Sons of Liberty and other participants of the Boston Tea Party were not protesting taxes the same way that they had been versus the Stamp Act, but were actually demanding that the tax on the East India Company be reinstated. Put into the larger context of the Intolerable Acts and their reception by the colonists, it is easy to have the history of the Boston Tea Party muddled and shaped to fit this image of fighting off tyranny. Does this take away from the brave steps the founding fathers took to form one of the strongest democracies today? Not necessarily, but it should discredit those who ignorantly align themselves with an event that they believe is part of their cause, when it clearly isn’t.
The conservative Tea Party political movement seems to have this idea that they are perpetuating the core beliefs of the Sons of Liberty that would lead them to stage their Boston Tea Party of 1773. As previously shown, the Boston Tea Party was an event where people engaged in an illegal activity, and threw legal trade goods overboard to preserve their economic prowess in the local market. Though the Tea Party movement has been labelled an astroturf one, meaning it is meant to seem like a grassroots organization but rose up due to corporate funding that could have questionable sources, it would be wrong to generalize members as ‘people engaged in illegal activity’ such as smuggling.
The Tea Party conservatives say they represent the people and want to continue the Boston Tea Party’s legacy of ‘We The People’ ruling the United States, not big government. Their intentions and goals seem noble enough, regardles of how polarizing the group members may be in their actions. Though you may have your own opinion as to how well they stick to this, the problem is that this is attributed to the Boston Tea Party of 1773. People who want to continue the Boston Tea Party’s aims should be in favor of an increase in the people’s voice in government, but not taxes in general. The Boston Tea Party was about market dominance, not ‘We The People.’ A more careful eye would have caught this crucial detail. If the conservatives need a proper example of people rising against tyranny, it is not the capitalist market warfare that erupted on the Boston docks in 1773.
SHEILA NJAU ’17
This year marks the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings that took place in 2013. At 2:49p.m. on April 15 this year, the chapel bells rang to commemorate the time that the first bomb exploded in 2013. It is still hard to believe that 260 people were injured and four people lost their lives, including an 8–year–old boy who was the youngest victim, as a result of those bombings. Hundreds of blue and yellow balloons were released into the sky in memory of those who lost their lives, as well as in remembrance for a day that changed the lives of many in Boston.
Various church services were held and as bagpipes played in the background, banners were raised in honor of those who were killed. One of them was for Krystle Campbell, who was a 29–year–old restaurant manager. She was standing close to the place where the first bomb was planted. The second one was for Martin Richards, the innocent boy who had been standing in front of the bomber. Most of his family sustained injuries as well – his younger sister lost a leg, his mother lost sight in one eye, and his father received burns and shrapnel wounds to his legs. The third was for Lingzi Lu, who was a 23–year–old graduate student at Boston University. The fourth was for Officer Sean Collier, an MIT officer who was killed during the manhunt for the two bombers.
One of the culprits, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shoot–out with the police days after the bombing. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was eventually captured. A few days ago, Tsarnaev was convicted by a jury for 30 counts of federal charges, which included those for the bombings as well as for the manhunt that followed.
The decision that has to be made now is whether he should recieve the death penalty. In a poll taken regarding this case, only 30 percent of respondents thought that Tsarnev should be sentenced to life in prison rather than recieve the death penalty. In some ways it is easy to understand why so many people would be in favor of the death penalty. This is because thousands of people were negatively affected by Tsarnaev and his brother’s horrific actions. In addition to the four who passed, we should remember the numerous other victims who lost their sight or who lost a limb or faced serious burns. The bombings will forever have an impact on the victims. So, why wouldn’t we want Tsarnaev to pay for his irrevocable actions? Why would others who have seen the damage that these brothers caused not want them punished?
What is surprising, however, is that the family of Martin Richards has stated that they do not want the death penalty for Tsarnaev. If one considers all of the details behind the family’s rationale, their decision makes sense. If Tsarnaev is given the death penalty, then he can keep appealing it and the case could continue for a long time. This family has already lost so much, so why would they want a continual reminder of the day that triggered their pain and the loss? If Tsarnaev is given a life sentence with no chance of parole, then the family may be able to find some comfort in the fact that he will have to live each day behind bars with the knowledge of the horrible thing that he did. The families that lost a loved one can find a way to move forward.
What Tsarnaev and his brother did was unforgivable and whether Tsarnaev is given the death penalty or not, it will not bring those victims back or change the lives of those who still struggle with the injuries from that day. I agree with the parents of Martin Richards. They should not have that sustained reminder of what they lost and can never get back. Whatever the decision is, I hope that it means the end of this case because while that day will never be forgotten, the families affected deserve the chance to look to the future now without the specter of Tsarnaev hanging over their heads.
NICO NAGLE ’17
In a world where people see the West Wing as a concoction of “Scandal” and “House of Cards,” the presidency is a more hotly debated topic than ever. With that being said, the most boring, expected news of 2015 was Hillary Clinton’s official announcement of her intent to run for President of the United States on Sunday, April 12.
Without much speculation, this is something that could have been assumed since the year 2008, or even 2000. What really makes this story uneventful is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be anyone that poses a challenge to her democratic nomination. Name recognition alone sets her far apart from any of her peers.
There is a certain irony to this name recognition however. It has become a duality that has both boosted and slowed the career of the former First Lady. Widely considered one of the more productive, successful presidents, Bill Clinton’s Underwood-ian reputation is often assigned to his wife as well.
In recent years, the Clintons have been taken as a unit. A vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill, and vice versa. There is a lot of truth to this, and it is actually a good thing in many ways. Bill’s effectiveness is subconsciously transferred to his wife in the minds of many voters. This is reinforced by their work in establishing the Clinton Foundation as well. However, detractors have found the relationship to be some of the most accessible fodder for their attack on the candidate. By framing Mrs. Clinton as one side of a two-headed monster, the failings of the former president have been weighed down on her as well. The case in point is how many have stated that maintaining her marriage with Bill after the Monica Lewinsky scandal was a “political move,” meant to portray her as a self-serving woman who values assets instead of family.
This particular scandal remains incredibly telling as it served to divide the nation on the issue of morality versus effectiveness. What saved Bill Clinton at the time of his infractions was his exemplary record as an effective executive. Unfortunately, it can be argued that Hillary does not have the same luxury.
In light of recent scandals and political conundrums, Mrs. Clinton will more than likely be buried by her opponents. They will have the ammunition to fire back on both fronts. Even more damning is the fact that the criticisms will not have to be slander in the least. What opponents will criticize her for is the fact that under her oversight, compromising scenarios have been fairly commonplace. She will be forced to answer for the Benghazi incident many more times, and allegations regarding the debatable actions of the Clinton Foundation’s top donor, Victor Pinchuk. If someone is being honest, she has been involved with some of the most publicized, scathing scandals of the past twenty years, which ironically, also separates her from her peers. None of the declared Republican hopefuls have nearly as much to answer for, and this will hurt her.
It would seem that the Clinton name is attributed to politics and scandal in equal parts, and while all publicity is good publicity in a way, this woman, who is nothing short of exceptional, may be doomed by it. It is entirely possible that a good Republican campaign strategy would place Mrs. Clinton permanently on the defensive, forcing her to use valuable time and resources to simply explain her past. If successful, this highly qualified stateswoman could easily be buried in campaign tactics. There is legitimacy in having to explain her past actions, however, and this is her greatest weakness.
Despite the many obstacles that await Hillary, recent polls indicate that Democrats are welcoming her with open arms. A whopping 69 percent of Democrat and Democratic-leaning voters support her. On the other hand, the other Democratic presidential candidates, Joe Biden, Bernie Saunders, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chaffee, and Martin O’Malley, all received 11 percent or less in recent polls. Additionally, Hillary is the second choice for most Democratic voters who do not choose her initially. So, overall Hillary Clinton is the first or second choice of 83 percent of the potential Democratic voting population.
While Hillary Clinton will more than likely receive my vote in 2016, she is still a highly controversial figure in the eyes of many potential voters, and even “Clinton-lovers” like myself have legitimate reason to want answers about some of the allegations made against her in order to vote in good conscience.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
Capitalism accumulates a vast amount of dirty laundry that is impossible to dry out in the moist air of its inescapable crisis. The stench prevails. Under capitalism, an appropriation between production and consumption takes place through the manufacture and exchange of commodities. This appropriation is based on a cleavage between “profit seekers and wage owners,” that is, “between capital and labor.” Beneath the mask of freedom in a capitalist society, lies an obsession to increase the rate of capital accumulation. It is this drive that leads to an organic crisis defined by over-accumulation where the ‘capital’ acquired by overproduction and/or under-consumption, loses its legitimacy to act as a quantity of assets whose quality has changed. The result is a redundant surplus, created by means and implementations that test and question economic and social stability.
From a Keynesian perspective, the crisis can be mapped within Schumpeter’s financial cycle, where periods of recession (crisis) are temporary but inevitable. The crises effectively are balanced out over time. Marx, however, locates the crises within a broader, historical framework, reiterating the fallacies of a capitalist society. This perspective demands an examination of finance, modes of production, and labor theory that contribute (amongst other factors) towards over-accumulation and subsequent crises in capitalist societies.
When a gap between the production and the consumption of a commodity arises, it is often bridged by credit debt or other forms of fictitious capital, in the absence of ‘money capital.’ While the use of such forms of capital could temporarily accelerate the material production and purchase of commodities, they also increase the likelihood of crises, as the financial sector remains unable to address socio-economic concerns raised by the subsequent over-accumulation. The value of fictitious or credit capital that is largely determined by speculation, and is manipulated by market values, is also likely to fall in the event of an economic crisis.
As capitalists attempt to challenge the conventional labor-time for producing commodities, they invest more in technology or machinery, leading to a higher capital consumption. Marx pointed that laborers have no independent access to the means of production and therefore must sell their ability to work for specified periods of time. The value that they produce is greater than the value of the labor power that the capitalist purchases from them, and thus the worker produces surplus value. Effectively, as labor, the source of surplus value, is squeezed out, the rate of profit for the capitalist class falls.
The falling rate of profit shows how accumulation creates a surplus in capital, with a consequent dearth in opportunities to employ it profitably. The surplus is thus devalued, and despite a capitalist instinct to produce more to avoid risks, the devaluation will only compound the issue of stagnancy raised by over-accumulation rather than resolving it. Ultimately, it appears that the use of machinery (fixed capital) as a means to increase productivity, may actually lead to a devaluation of the produced surplus. The simultaneous exploitation of labor (variable capital) based on longer hours, and lower wages that do not correspond to their inputs, only furthers the futile over-accumulation. It is thus, in light of this falling rate of profit that is put in dialogue with mechanical production and labor that we can fathom the intensity of the crisis, which only worsens with time. This theory also clearly exhibits that the very premise of capitalism (of production and accumulation) seems to contradict itself, as the challenges capitalists faces are a product of their very instincts.
In linking production to consumption, the consideration of labor and machinery is only a portion of the range of factors that cause or affect over-accumulation in a capitalist society. Yet they clearly exhibit the overarching issues of commoditization and class struggles (between laborers and the dominant, hegemonic group) that tend to pervade capitalist societies. In response to crises, it seems that any solution would benefit the rich, who would become richer, while the poor would get poorer. The over-accumulated dirty laundry in a capitalist society thus reeks of labor exploitation and inequality, highlighting the distinction between private accumulation and social production. While the Marxist perspective does not offer a solution to the problem of over-accumulation, it certainly offers a way to interpret this phenomenon. Despite its many justifications, capitalism remains a paradoxical conception that contradicts its own self, especially in light of the crisis. Capitalism is responsible for its own crisis.
FORREST ROBINETTE ’16
When I visited Scotland three years ago on a family trip to Europe, I was taken by the kindness of its people, the timeworn buildings, and the beautiful landscape that seemed eternally green. So when the time came to start thinking about where I might study abroad, Scotland came to mind. After my adviser suggested that I check out the University of St. Andrews, I began researching the school. The more I learned, the more I loved it, and, in a short time, I was sending off my application.
Now in my third month at St. Andrews, I couldn’t be happier with my choice. First of all, the academics are top-notch. The University is more than six hundred years old and is frequently ranked as the third best college in the United Kingdom, after Oxford and Cambridge. Both my professors and my fellow students make me feel like an intellectual dwarf. My professor for a class on T.S. Eliot wrote one of the definitive Eliot biographies and my Poetic Theory professor has published seven collections of poetry in the past decade alone. The students, meanwhile, seem to have read every book ever written. They will casually reference the likes of Joyce, Tolstoy, and Schopenhauer to illustrate their points while I sit in bemused silence. The good news is that my professors and peers motivate me to get on their level, and I feel that I’ve learned a ton just by working to keep up.
The University is located in the middle of the town of St. Andrews, which is an enchanting place. With its stately Georgian buildings and quaint cobblestone streets, I never get tired of walking around. St. Andrews sits atop a series of cliffs overlooking the North Sea so you get great views of the ocean throughout town. The English department buildings are located right along the coast, which makes for a lovely walk to class.
The town has two beaches, the East and West Sands. The latter is a five-minute walk from my dorm, and, on sunny days, my friends and I will go there to lounge in the sun, play Frisbee, or watch one of the polo matches that are often taking place.
Scotland has a reputation for terrible weather: clouds and rain all the time. However, this stereotype applies more to the Scottish highlands and the west coast than it does to the east coast where St. Andrews is located. Strong winds from the sea mean that bad weather blows through quickly and it never gets too cold. The temperature rarely dipped below forty in February. That mild weather was revitalizing for someone like me who feels that Connecticut winters have done permanent damage to my soul. Since the beginning of April, we’ve been enjoying nearly constant sun and temperatures in the low sixties. Now that my class work is dying down, I’ve enjoyed many afternoons reading non-academic books in the various parks around town.
St. Andrews is calm and quiet by day, but at night you become very aware that it is indeed a college town. The University nightlife is a dream come true for any college student who is tired of partying in dorm rooms and fraternity basements. Because every student is of a legal drinking age, all the partying happens in pubs, clubs, and bars around town. St. Andrews has more pubs per capita than any other place in the United Kingdom so you have a tremendous amount of options when going out. The general trend is to start with the tamer establishments and then move to locales of increasing rowdiness as the night goes on. One might begin their Saturday evening at the St. Andrews Brewing Company to enjoy a craft beer and a chat with friends before heading to the Vic or Ma Bells for lower lighting and a chance to hit the dance floor. The final destination of a truly rowdy night is a place called The Lizard, a tiny, sweaty discotheque. I’ve only been once and it was terrifying. Still, it’s there for people who want it.
Studying abroad in the United Kingdom is particularly wonderful because Europe is at your feet. Hop on a flight, and, in a short time, you can find yourself in France, Denmark, Spain, or Italy. Spring Break at St. Andrews lasts for a luxurious two weeks and is therefore a perfect opportunity to make the most of being in Europe. I went to South East England for the first week and to the French Riviera for the second. I know that other people studying at St. Andrews traveled to Prague, Budapest, Barcelona, Milan, and Munich among other places. You can travel within Europe on a relatively small budget because flights are often quite cheap. For example, I got my round-trip ticket from London to Nice for eighty-two pounds.
Thankfully, Spring Break isn’t your only chance to travel. The rail system in the U.K. is fast and cheap, meaning that you can travel anywhere in Scotland with relative ease. During the term, my friends and I spent most weekends taking trips to nearby cities and towns by train. So far we’ve been to Glasgow, Inverness, the Argyll Forest, Edinburgh, and the Isle of Skye.
I now have less than a month left here, and, although I expect to miss Scotland terribly when I leave, there are many things that I’m eager to get back to in the States. I think that the most meaningful aspect of going abroad is the appreciation that you gain for everything back home. I miss big things like being closer to my family and spending time with my friends at Trinity. I also miss small things like American food and having a functioning cell phone. It’s easy to become numb to the things at home that bring you joy. Right now, I feel that I will return from my time abroad with a renewed respect for the pleasures, both large and small, of my normal life.
by WILL KURACH ’18
April 18 saw the presentation of the Judy Dworin performance project “Lighthouse” at the Wadsworth’s Aetna theater in downtown Hartford. Trinity professor Judy Dworin developed the piece in 1986 following the death of her father. Combining dance and poetry, the piece is grounded by the metaphor of a lighthouse, lyrically exploring the ways people serve as lights in the darkness, and asking what happens when those lights go out, or when the darkness becomes impenetrable. The piece, staged with a local cast and directed by Dworin and Kathy Borteck Gertsen, heavily featured the use of props as a means to bind, connect, and divide the performers in space. A giant white net is passed between performers as they wrap it around each other and pull at its extremities. A set of rope appears lain laterally across the stage late in the show, mimicking the sea. Its gentle movements become menacing, and it foregrounds the performers as they move in unison, carried in the throes of a storm. Ladders also form an important component of the show, as performers stack them and use them to support each other in turn, in a rocking motion that was one shows most affecting visuals. Dancers, dressed casually, moved freely up and down the aisles, falling in and out of synchronization, focused very much on the discovery of the world set up by the props and implied by the text. The work ended up feeling very much like a world, the completeness of Dworin’s vision felt in every loved, sea-worn detail.
The music, performed live by a three-piece band of cello, dulcimer, and vocalist, incorporated the sounds of the sea and a fair amount of whistling, seeped through and around the peace much like the water it sonically described. Composed by Robert Een, the music managed to swell with all the pathos of a storm and still scale back to only a breeze, perfectly accompanying the tenderness of the piece’s concluding moments.
The poetry accompanying the piece came courtesy of Marjorie Agasin, a poet, human rights activist, and Wellsley professor. The text consisted mostly of languorous questions, short interjections regarding the sea, and, briefly, a mermaid. The text served to deepen the narrative and provide a loose narrative framework for the piece. It, nevertheless, remained pleasingly open-ended, inviting interpretation and meditation.
The piece was presented as part of the Dworin’s eponymous Performance Project, which seeks to make use of the arts as a catalyst for social change. It celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, having staged 18 shows with performances across the east coast. The project works to incorporate performance into education, doing work in schools and prisons to inspire new voices to engage with and benefit from the world and practice of performance. Dworin herself is no stranger to Trinity, the first woman to graduate from the college, currently teaches in the Department of Theater and Dance, which she founded in 1983.
“Lighthouse” is a strong example not only of Trinity faculty work, but of its genre of inter-medium, textually grounded performance, exploring psychic space as fluidly as it does physical space. Moving and thoroughly enjoyable, it forces its audience to relate to and perceive its performers in new and affecting ways, ultimately stunningly achieving the goals of expansion of heart and mind the Performance Project set out 25 years ago.
by TRIP SLAYMAKER ’18
There’s no lesson like the past, and “Selma” delivers its lesson with more feeling than the best of history books. Telling the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s journey to Selma, Alabama in 1965, Ava DuVernay’s film moves fast but speaks softly along its message in this carefully structured, and ultimately very spiritual Oscar Nominee for Best Picture.
With the Civil Rights movement well under way, we enter the sun-drenched world of the 60’s in the South like a bird flying in through an open window. With no introduction, and not much background, we need some time to figure out our situation as it stands. The next great battlefield for the fate of the African American community in the United States is Selma: a swirling maelstrom of ignorance that the famous Dr. King wants to use as a focal point for his mission. By attracting media attention to his passive resistance tactics, and of course to the violent racism of the Alabama government (whose leadership characters are so flat here that they might save time by simply etching the word “racist” on their business cards) King hopes he can set up a kind of stage upon which he will play out his movement.
The cause grows every day, from protest to protest, march to march. As the Selma Police lurk around corners, pawing at their truncheons, more and more enlightened people of all races and religions pour in from around the world for the great battle to come, but as hope for the movement heightens, so too do the stakes. There can be no missteps this time- not a single person can be allowed to fight back against their oppressors with violence, or the entire plan will dissolve into a storm of tear gas and bullets. Instead, each protester must hold fast to their cause- putting every ounce of their faith in King.
David Oyelowo plays the Reverend as a bit of a tortured soul, soft spoken and often privately hesitant, but dedicated to his cause. “Selma” is a tonic for humanization, in regard to this very sacred history as well as for the man at its heart. Part of its charm as a biography is that it wants desperately to pluck King down from his pedestal as a perfect human being. If “Selma” had chosen to create for us a flawless MLK, chiseled from marble and glowing with complete confidence, there would be no second level to our empathy– no cause for deeper thought. We would watch these events play out like we knew they would, no questions asked.
Instead, Oyelowo’s King is having trouble with his marriage, his responsibility, and his place in history. He is afraid, in short, and he knows in his heart that his mission might be the death of him. DuVernay’s MLK is painted in the same reluctant hues (if more than a little watered down) as Scorsese’s Jesus in “The Last Temptation of Christ”. Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo) fears the same things as her husband, and though they are sometimes at odds, she serves as an advisor and confidant. Ejogo holds her head high throughout the film, a foil to her husband’s quiet genius and a lioness who does not content herself with the sidelines.
By the time of the final march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, “Selma” has run its course in much the same way as a game of chess. The game is less about force than it is about perception, and both DuVernay and her King have played to win. “Selma’s” great conceit is its almost behind the scenes look at history- regardless of any minor inaccuracy, it is an insightful opportunity. But that same “come and see” attitude goes astray now and then: “Selma’s” death scenes are all heavy-handed, shot in a soupy slow motion and scored by distant drums and tear-soaked violin. A little of this goes a long way- we feel more emotion from reading the “what-happened-after” biography captions at the end of the movie. In other words, sometimes it’s what we don’t see that’s more powerful.
“Selma” misses the mark a few times, yes, but its singular message of equality is more than just a coat-hanger for the movie to drape itself upon. The lesson reaches through the decades and taps us on the shoulder, if simply to remind us that all of this happened only a blink of an eye ago, on the great clock of the cosmos. Lives were lost, stories were told, and peace was earned the hardest but most honorable way possible. For any faults it might have, the best scenes in “Selma” echo like a church. In the same way, it’s a great place for a little bit of quiet reflection.
by ANDREW HATCH ’17
When you think of organ concerts, do you think of slow and solemn “church music?” If that is your impression, we invite you to attend what promises to be a lively and engaging performance by world-renowned organist, Michael Hay, this Friday, April 24 at 8 p.m. in the Chapel.
We equate organ music with “church music” for a reason. The origins of the organ are in fact rooted in European church history. When the world was introduced to the “modern” organ in the 14th century, it was regarded as being one of the most spectacular engineering feats of its time. The only competition for this great mechanical achievement was said to be the clock. Though somewhat common in the ancient world in a varied form, the precursor to the 14th century “modern” organ did not take hold as a popular instrument until its introduction into the liturgical world in the 7th Century, reportedly by Pope Vitalian. These initial organs were of much smaller size, and would be dwarfed by many of the chamber and church organs today. Mozart regarded the organ to be the “king of instruments,” so it seems only appropriate that it should be used to worship the ‘King of Kings’ on any given Sunday.
The organ at Trinity has a long and rather tangled history. The original organ, which was installed in the chapel in 1932, was crafted by the renowned Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston and housed above the main chapel in the organ loft. The organ was designed by G. Donald Harrison, who is still considered to be the best organ architect and tonal designer of his time. It was said to be a particularly sweet instrument, capable of beautifully melodic sounds, which seemed to float throughout the highest recesses of the chapel’s 65-foot ceilings. Unfortunately, the instrument deteriorated at a rather rapid rate and was eventually removed. Its replacement was made by Hartford based Austin Organs, an equally respected organ manufacturer. The current organ has been through several iterations of both appearance and sound; relocation and expansion of the manuals took place, and a new casing was brought in to surround the instrument, along with more pipes added. Estimates put the number of pipes at over 6,000, making it it one of the largest organs ever made. Trinity’s talented and dedicated organist, John Rose, provides lessons for academic credit to any Trinity student who wants them.
Many have pursued the organ as an academic endeavor. They spend countless days and nights perfecting the minute details, because they love what they do. This Friday’s performer, Michael Hay, is one of those dedicated and gifted artists. He received his formal training from an intensive and rigorous five-year program at The Juilliard School. He has been dazzling audiences across the country with his “flashy” and “exciting” performances. Hay has received numerous honors and distinctions and some rather incredible reviews from The New York Times.
While Hay is the assistant director of music and organist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, he still has found time to bring his talents on the road and perform across the country. Most recently in March 2015, Hay played works by J.S. Bach with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s for the inaugural season of Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Last year he had the distinct honor of being the featured solo organist for the New York City Ballet’s recently commissioned work, Acheron. It is fair to say that since his 2010 New York City debut with the Juilliard Orchestra, Hay has been captivating audiences with his incredible touch and deep connection to the works he chooses to play.
His program this Friday, April 24 will include pieces by Claude Debussy, Bach, Shostakovich and more. Hay’s vast array of works will undoubtedly leave you wanting more. Since several of the pieces are arranged by Hay himself, one can assume they are going to have the flare, for which he is best known. The concert starts at 8 p.m., is free of charge, and is open to the public.
Hay’s visit to Trinity is part of a long-standing organ recital program, which will wrap-up later this year. Thus far, the performances have featured young performers who are new to the recital circuit, as well as previous favorites. The programs have been as varied as the performers’ personalities, but overall they have carried the same fun, jovial tone that has been greatly enjoyed by recital-goers. Performances in the Chapel, be it by an a capella group, chamber choir, pianist, or even our very own Chapel Singers, have been an integral part of student life at Trinity since the completion of the building in the 1930s.
WILLIAM SNAPE IV ’18
After starting the season with an 11-10 loss at Colby, the Trinity Women’s lacrosse team has not looked back, capturing wins in their last thirteen matches. The Lady Bantams have shown a stellar performance on both ends of the game, but have been especially dynamic on offense led by the midfielder out of New Hampshire, Martha Griffin ’16. Trinity has dominated nearly every opponent they have faced with the exception of Washington College, who the ladies bested 7-6 back in March. Besides that contest, the closest game Trinity has had came against Bowdoin and Wesleyan College whom they defeated 11-6, and 12-7 respectively. Throughout the rest of the season the team has absolutely decimated their opponents, and are in the process have been rewriting the record books.
The Bantams hosted the visiting Middlebury Panthers on a beautiful, busy Saturday afternoon on Sheppard Field. It was one of the hottest days of spring so far, so fatigue and endurance were factors right off the bat. Off the first draw it looked like it would be another game in which the Bantams would take control, as they jumped to an early 2-0 lead. Griffin fed Clare Lyne ’17 for the first goal, then Griffin went ahead and did it again herself three minutes later with an unassisted goal to put the Bants up two. However, Middlebury battled back to knot the game at two apiece. It was then that three unassisted goals were scored by three different Trinity players to put them in the lead by three, and from there it was no looking back. The girls went into halftime having secured a solid 7-4 lead. Trinity hit the ground running out of the break and tacked on four more goals just six minutes into the second half. Both teams got several scoring opportunities off of free position shots, of which the Trinity squad netted four.
Trinity had control in every facet of the game, most notably on the draw. The Bantams won 64 percent of the draws, which helped them take total control of possession throughout the game. The tight goaltending was also a huge asset for the Bantams. Junior goalie Emily Mooney had five big saves, with the help from a strong defensive performance that limited the Middlebury offense to just 16 shots on goal. Mooney has played well all season long, averaging 7.23 goals against per game.
With only one regular season game remaining, the girls will look to bring their season full circle and extend their nation leading 13 game winning streak against Amherst this Wednesday April 22 at 7:00 p.m. The girls are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation and will need to prepare for post-season playing going into May.
Last season they were in a similar position in the NESCAC when they made their national title run. Now, this year, thay are seeded much higher nationally than the eighth ranked position they began the tournament with last year. The Bantams are a heavy favorite for the title and will be sure to put on a impressive performance this tournament season.
KELSEY BARADZI ’18
Trinity College’s Track and Field season kicked off at the Wesleyan Invitational meet in mid-march in Middletown, Connecticut. It was an overall well-run meet by Trinity’s Track and Field team with second place wins by James Gustafson ’17 and Daniel Hughes ’18 in the 400 meter and 100 meter dash, respectively. Hughes was a mere .01 seconds away from snatching first place with a respectable time of 11.71 seconds. Gustafson’s time of 52.96 put him a second behind the first place runner. Mid-distance runner Matt Reichhelt ’17, grabbed a few points for the team with a fourth place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:05.25.
Following the first meet, the team adapted to running outdoors after a challenging indoor season and put up a fourth place overall finish at the Amherst College Spring Fling Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Invitational on April 4. This meet had beautiful conditions for sprinting with a strong tailwind. The team managed to collect a total of 43 points. Hughes once again performed exceptionally well in his 100-meter dash in which he set a new personal best with an amazing time of 11.13 seconds as well as claiming first place. With this new time he is just .13 seconds away from his seasonal goal of 11 seconds flat. Aman Stuppard ’17, a top long jumper, made a presence in the 100-meter dash as well by placing second with a time of 11.26 seconds. In the hurtling events, captain Geoff Bocobo ’16 took first in the 110- meter hurdles with a time of 15.45 seconds. He then followed this performance, with a third place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a respectable time of 57.50 seconds.
The Trinity throwing division put up some points with Carty Campbell ’18 throwing Javelin 152’10” finishing in first place. Thrower James Kuritzkes ’15, known by his teammates as ‘CrazyK’, discuss tossed 120’01” to get him a second place finish. Overall the meet went exceptionally well across all divisions and this wave of winning continued on into the next meet.
On April 11 the Trinity Track and Field team traveled to the Silfen Invitational at Connecticut College. The sunny weather and good conditions led many athletes to perform well such as Bocobo, who again won the 110 meter hurdles with a season personal best of 15.35 seconds. Stuppard then won first place in the triple jump at a distance of 44’0.125”. The 4×400 meter relay team of Bocobo, Gustafson, and rookies Kelsey Baradzi ’18 and Caleb Wright ’18, posted a second-place time of 3.27.31. In short sprints, rookie Hughes managed to get fourth place with a time of 11.34 in the 100-meter dash followed by Baradzi clocking in at 22.87 to get third place in a .02 second spread from the second finisher. In throwing, Kuritzkes took fourth place with a shot put throw of 42’03. 25”. Trinity Men’s Track Team placed fifth overall scoring 72 points, almost doubling the score they boasted at the previous meet. The team looks to keep up the exceptional underclassmen perfromances this year and trasntion the momentum into next year as well.
ANTHONY ZUCARO ’16
The Trinity College Men’s Tennis Team is nearing the end of its extremely successful regular season, and they look to finish strong against Williams as they head into the playoffs. One of the strongest components of this stellar season so far has been the play of co-captain Musyoka Mbithi ’15.
Mbithi has made a good name for himself over his Trinity career through his strong play, both in singles play and with multiple teammates in doubles matches. His accomplishments in his junior year include having the third most singles wins (including seven in dual-match action), leading his team with 13 season doubles wins with two rotating partners, and becoming second on team in doubles wins overall at 10-5 and doubles winning percentage at .667 percent with the same partner. This doubles skill is incredible not just for Mbithi’s junior year but for the College itself; Mbithi is tied for the most doubles wins with the same partner in Trinity College’s history, winning 11 times with fellow player Ford Traff III ’16.
Hailing from Roxbury, NJ, Musyoka had proven himself to be quite the tennis player even before Trinity. During his tenure at Blair Academy, Mbithi was a captain and three time MVP, which culminated in a National Championship win his junior year. After this successful high school career, Mbithi made a large impact as soon as he came to Trinity.
During his freshman year, Mbithi led Trinity in singles winning percentage at and astounding .833 percent and started his dominance in doubles by becoming second on the team in doubles wins with the same partner (which he accomplished with Charles McConnell ’14 at a 5-5 record). Most impressive of all was Mbithi’s first- year victory in achieving the “C” flight singles title at the 2011 Middlebury Invitationall. Overall, Mbithi has a record of 31-29 in singles and 24-30 in doubles.
Mbithi has being doing well for himself during his final year. During his most recent sets against Hamilton, Mbithi won both his singles game and his doubles game at 8-3 along with Traff. Mbithi also scored an 8-6 win against Wesleyan and an 8-1 victory against Brandeis in doubles, also with Traff Mbithi and won his singles matches agains t the smae schools as well. Among these games and many others this season, Mbithi has helped the Men’s Tennis Team to achieve a 10-3 record overall. This includes a perfect 6-0 home record and a current four game winning streak. Mbithi plans to keep his play strong in order to help his team reach the championship.
Another strong player on the tennis team is Illya Levin ’15, who remains undefeated in conference play at Trinity’s number one singles slot, and has a strong overall 8-2 record. Also, Traff has flourished in his second year of singles play to an overall record this season of 10-4. Many other players have been able to make contributions during the season. Under the leadership of Mbithi and the other co-captains the team has risen above the individuality of tennis to come together for an excellent team performance. Be sure to watch Mbithi and the men play against Williams on April 22.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
The academic culture at Trinity is undeniably dominated by a breadth of Economics, Political Science, or Public Policy majors. As just another one of such students, I agree that selecting a specific area of study is particular to individual interests. So should you happen to be extremely passionate or enthusiastic about such fields- I am in no position to question or doubt your choices. But it is problematic when people choose to major or enroll in certain disciplines simply because they seem to allude to the prospect of a financially successful future. Sadly, a vast number of students at Trinity do have a tendency to let this factor become the driving reason for their academic choices. While this already contradicts the premise of a liberal arts education, such a culture has adverse effects on the treatment of the arts.
The ‘arts,’ comprising of disciplines including the visual and studio arts, theatre and dance, music, and film studies, seem to be sidelined within the broader framework of education, simply because many believe that they cannot promise the most ‘stable’ future in the financial sense. I have met several people on this campus that consider it a waste to spend their money on an education in the arts. Not only does this attitude deny students the opportunity to truly receive an immersive and enriching experience that the arts can provide, but it also has repercussions on the general campus atmosphere. Many students remain ignorant, uninterested, and occasionally even disrespectful towards events, discussions, and courses within the arts.
In my experience as a double major, in Political Science, and Media and Performance, I have to admit that it has been the arts classes and experiences that have truly made my experience at Trinity more meaningful. Not only do the arts allow for collaboration, inter-disciplinary thinking, and the development of a range of conceptual and technical skills, but they also allow one to find their unique perspective towards life by engaging in the practise of physically manifesting their inner voice.
The unfortunate reality at Trinity is that many students will enroll in an arts course, to fulfill a general distribution requirement, or for that “easy A grade.” This very pursuit renders one’s experience of an art class futile. The arts do transcend material, and tangible constructs (like grades and financial figures) and I really wish more people would value them for these reasons over others. It is also especially disheartening to hear of people not pursuing their true passion in the arts because the field isn’t “practical or reliable enough.”
It seems crude to belittle a person’s passion and interests simply because of the prospective future within that particular field. The quantification of such an ineffable quality, which ultimately is what the disparity between majors on our campus stems from, may be a comment on what we as a society prioritize in our lives.
It would be hypocritical to devalue the importance of economics, political science, and public policy, but that is not what I am asking for. Rather, I ask the campus to be more open-minded, and embracing towards the arts, and the experiences they have to offer. The foundation of change lies within the power of thought, and altering the way that we view the role of the arts within the liberal arts education, or even more broadly, within our lives, will aid in the reallocation of something that is more than just, as some people may say, “a joke.”
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
As soon as they are appointed to the bench, Supreme Court Justices are granted lifetime appointments. However, as advances in healthcare and medical technology continue to increase at a rapid rate, the idea of a lifetime is not what it used to be. To put this in perspective and contextualize how times have changed it is important to note that the average retirement age among the country’s first Supreme Court Justices was 60 years old whereas the average retirement ages for the ten Supreme Court Justices who most recently left was 76 years old.
So should there be a limit on the age of Supreme Court Justices before they are required to retire? In a CBS news poll, about 60 percent of people surveyed, out of a 1,000, were opposed to lifetime appointments. Those who argue that there should be a limit to appointments contend that having justices on the bench for such a long time leaves room for them to continue to perpetuate their view, no matter how outdated or modernized, on the court. They argue that this would contradict the fundamental purpose of aspects of the law, namely to limit the influence of certain individuals. Some even go so far as to say that the increasing elderliness of many justices may lead to shrinking productivity and intellectual dullness.
However, I would argue for the importance of lifetime appointments, which ensure that justices can express their honest and sincere opinions to the court without having to worry about re-elections or forced retirement. I believe that lifetime appointments also foster a greater sense of stability in the court system and consistency about how the Constitution is interpreted. As for arguments about age potentially inhibiting productivity and intellectual capacity, I would cite the oldest Supreme Court Justice currently on the bench, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, who is not only as sharp as the day she was appointed, but who has also become somewhat of a cultural icon.
Nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton, the 82 year-old justice has no plans to retire soon despite incessant public nagging to step down. The most recent incident where the public grew concerned about her age happened when she dozed off a State of the Union address. When asked about the incident, Justice Ginsburg explained that it was not a result of age but rather a result of not being “100 percent sober” after not being able to resist the “very fine California wine” that Justice Kennedy brought to the dinner beforehand. In addition, she said she had been up quite late the previous night writing, stating that her “pen was hot.”
I think that this candor is a testament to Justice Ginsburg’s forthright nature, which is a quality to be a valued in any court system. This is also is a testament to her relatability to the general public. It is important that the public feel that that the Supreme Court is not comprised of just a bunch of nameless faces but rather a group of individuals who represent the public interest at large and who have human attributes.
In addition, Justice Ginsburg is known for her powerfully written and unwavering dissents against conservative decisions. Being only the second woman to be appointed to the court, Justice Ginsburg became an influential figure in the revolution that transformed women’s legal rights, as well as their role in the public world. When asked why the women’s right revolution happened so quickly, she answered, “Well, the tide was in our favor. We were riding with the winners.”
Even Justice Scalia, with whom Justice Ginsburg often disagrees, has become an improbably good friend on the bench due to the Ginsburg’s charismatic nature. He even went so far as to comment on her physical fierceness, recalling a summer when they both taught on the French Riviera and she decided to go parasailing.
So to those who disagree with lifetime appointments I would say that even despite her age, it seems that Justice Ginsburg is not only as intellectually capable as ever, but time has also allowed her to add a certain flare to the occupation. Justice Ginsburg is one of the great 21st century role models for women and men alike, even becoming somewhat of a celebrity by being lovingly referred to as the Notorious R.B.G.
by DAN WILKINS ’16
On Mar. 9, Netflix released 13 episodes for the first season of its new original series, “Bloodline,” made by the creators of “Damages”: Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman. “Bloodline” is a family drama that relies on rich character development to make the viewer invest heavily in an otherwise lackluster plot. In this, it succeeds, as each of the show’s characters demand a range of emotional connections from the viewer.
“Bloodline” follows the chaotic events that surround the Rayburn family, when the oldest son, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), returns home to the Florida Keys. He joins his siblings to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the well-known Rayburn Resort, started by their father, Robert (Sam Shepard). But Danny is the outcast of the family. He resists ostracism and consequently creates the show’s central conflict, which examines the relations of a family of six individuals who all fight demons. The plot alone creates a mildly entertaining thriller, but the show’s greater success is as a character piece, with each one as easy to empathize with as the next.
While the show follows a linear plotline, it’s framed between short clips, which gradually reveal more and more of two significant scenes in the Rayburn family drama. The first is a scene from the past; an event that left the family scarred and changed their relationships from that point forward. The second is a scene from the future, the show’s climactic moment. From both of these scenes, starting with the first episode, the viewer learns that a great conflict has and will erupt between Danny and his brother, John (Kyle Chandler). This conflict gives the show drive, and raises a question of morality between right and wrong.
Ben Mendelsohn delivers a brilliant performance as Danny, the misfit who suddenly wants to return home. He earns sympathy from his righteous comments against the way his family treats him. Danny is as slick as he is mischievous. He believes he doesn’t deserve to be abused and undesired like he is, at times his anguish is convincing. The scene from his childhood ultimately portrayed a family that had a deep, and at times a seemingly unfair, distrust and hatred for him. Danny switches between two faces. One side is a charismatic, lighthearted son and the other side is a slimy low–life who corroborates with his small time criminal friend, Eric O’Bannon (Jamie McShane). His character forces the viewer to question whether he is truly evil by nature, or a good person at heart who was merely turned evil in response to unjust abuse and exile thrust upon him.
On the opposite side of Danny stands John. John stayed in the Keys with the rest of the Rayburns and became a detective at the local sheriff’s office. Reprising his mood conveyed as Coach Eric Taylor on “Friday Night Lights,” Kyle Chandler delivers another character that is responsible, unflappable, and strong. Unlike Danny, the Rayburn family loves John. Each of John’s siblings look up to him – sometimes, ironically, even Danny. He acts as a born leader, for his coworkers, his family, and his town. But John is not flawless either. When tensions rise, he acts decisively, but not necessarily morally. This moral conflict delivers the most compelling piece of the show.
While John and Danny are the closest the show has in ways of a protagonist and antagonist, that line is often blurred. Their relationship is strikingly complex because they are rival characters, but John feels a stronger connection with Danny than any of his siblings. For a while even John believes that Danny doesn’t deserve the treatment he receives, and John loves him. One of the greatest scenes between John and Danny is not one of them fighting, but one in which they have a friendly night out at a local bar. Danny suspiciously challenges John to drink heavily with him—something that John is too adult to be accustomed to and renders him vulnerable. As the scene unfolds, it seems that Danny may be aiming for trouble, but all that becomes of it is a genuine moment of bonding and lost brotherly love. This scene causes the viewer to see Danny with distrust in the same way the Rayburns do. Upon reflection, that distrust is unwarranted, which causes the viewer to further examine whether Danny deserves the same distrust he earns from his family.
By the time the show reaches its climax, it seems that it does not matter whether Danny deserves the abuse his family gives him, because it is too late. Whether he was evil to begin with or his family made him evil is unimportant because, whatever the cause, he has become too evil to love. The viewer is left with no choice but to side against Danny and to side with John and the Rayburn family. Even so, Danny remains his darkly comical, independent self until the end. Even as he becomes undeniably evil, his unwavering character draws attention to the flaws that remain in every member of the Rayburn family, including John. Danny becomes a scapegoat and is made to suffer on behalf of his whole family’s transgressions.
While the strongest relationship comes between the two oldest sons, it is well supported by the two youngest Rayburn children, Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) and Meg (Linda Cardellini). Kevin plays a loyal, simple, genuine, but conflicted man who struggles with both alcohol and his marriage. At all times, Kevin wants what is best for him and his family—even if that means cutting out Danny. Despite his problems, Kevin is easy to relate to and depicts a nostalgic, Florida Keys style character. Contrasting him is Meg, who is a sophisticated lawyer yet unable to control her romantic life. Meg’s flaw is adultery, and when her engagement falls apart, her transgressions seem as bad as any of the Rayburn’s.
The most complex character aside from Danny is the understated Sally Rayburn (Sissy Spacek). Sally is the sweet, caring mother, often left out of decisions and vital family information. She loves all her children dearly and wishes only for the best of each of them. But even she is flawed, and is as condemnable as any of the Rayburns. The beautiful way in which she unconditionally loves Danny becomes overshadowed by the way she has denied him relief from blame since the traumatic event from their past. She bears as much responsibility as any of the Rayburns, and thus even her soft character is not without its problems.
“Bloodline” delivers a suspenseful drama that drives at the questions between right and wrong, and good and evil, as it relates to a deeply troubled family. The characters are masterfully created, making this series a must watch. Netflix has confirmed it will renew the series for a second season to premiere in 2016. While this is among the best seasons of Netflix Originals, I have tempered expectations for season two. Given the end to season one, it is impossible for the show to continue with its same family dynamics and rising intensity. I fear that in the next season the weak plot and redundant material may make “Bloodline” fall flat and fail to reproduce the drama from its first thirteen episodes. However, the show has been so well written so far that I reserve hope that it can be redesigned to achieve the same level of greatness with newly crafted conflicts.
by MATIAS PRIBOR
For those who are unaware, the direction of popular music has re–entered the realm of disco. Astronaughty and “RIPE’s” performances at the Mill on Saturday night testify to this fact. While the crowd was thin at times, those who were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the stylings of both bands who channeled their inner funkiness.
The night began with Astronaughty who, true to their name, took the stage decked out in space suites. The dance floor began to fill as the duo played disco and dance tunes on their authentic vinyl turntable. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Astronaughty inventively infused their space theme with the underrated and newly popular disco trend built upon the work of luminaries such as Todd Terie and 2 Bears. The music varied throughout the set, but mainly channeled the essence of disco and house music in the style that has become increasingly popular in the dance genre. One concert goer compared the duo to Daft Punk, bringing a similar energy to the mill performance space. Astronaughty had the crowd jumping before the main act ever took the stage.
The evening’s headliner, Ripe, also based out of Brooklyn, NY, featured and was led by the notable talents of Robbie Wulflsohn on vocals—whose wild afro hair lent to the band’s funky styling. Wulflsohn, led the charge on the dance floor during Astronaughty’s set, blew the crowd away with his singing, accompanied by a wickedly talented ensemble of guitars, drums and horns.
Ripe provided a truly unique performance that fluidly complimented Astronaughty’s opening songs. With a blend of college rock-band sound and old school Motown soul, Ripe rocked the crowd and as is the case with most jam–bands, there were a plethora of guitar solos and truly funky horn riffs. The performance was aesthetically pleasing and Ripe delivered a thouroughly entertaining and fun show for all in attendance. Moreover, the band appeared to enjoy themselves on stage, which translated to the energy of the crowd.
Following Ripe’s act, Astronaughty’s Charles Pinel spun an impromptu DJ set reminiscent of Blaise Belville’s famous Boiler Room series for the lingerers at The Mill, a near perfect end for an energetic and overall fun show. You did not have to be a music lover to appreciate the energy and good vibes that both performances brought to yet another successful night of music at the Mill.
by TRIP SLAYMAKER ’18
Is there such a thing as love at first sight? “Blue is the Warmest Color,” playing on one night only this Wednesday, April 15 at Cinestudio wants to prove that there is. Adele, a 15 year-old girl, is literally stopped in her tracks as she crosses the street one day. The cause of her sudden jolt: a blue-haired, 22 year old artist named Emma.
Adele is a little more than a child. She has often felt adrift in the world, with few friends or interests. With wild brown hair and a tendency to slack in her social life, it’s a part of her most basic and intrinsic nature that she is out of phase with the things that are happening around her.
But on this day, without so much as a warning, she has fallen in love in the same way that a person might walk into a sliding glass door. Is Adele a lesbian? If she is, it’s news to her. All that she knows for sure is that the longer she is forced to go without seeing this woman, the more pain she will have to endure. Young Adele twitches and coughs – it’s as though her feelings are poisoning her more and more every day. But before long, she spots her blue-haired muse again, and a relationship begins.
Emma is an eccentric – she sees in Adele a very adultlike loneliness. The 15 year–old is a stranger in a strange land that she cannot hope to understand on her own. Their feelings toward each other intensify and become physical, and Emma and Adele navigate each other’s feelings using a filter of European art and philosophy. They see themselves in terms of Sartre and Klimt, and at the same time, we see in them, a cosmic inevitability. Their souls have entwined themselves, and cannot be unwound.
The months flutter by in a hail of warm French sunlight mingled with electric blue, and the couple continues to live in the new Belle Epoch that they have built around themselves. The opinions of friends and family members matter less and less the older our heroines become, and soon, years have passed. A new element seeps into their dream–life: the two women are growing apart. The old passion of the past is gone, and the very grim reality sets in: when Adele and Emma found themselves, they realized they had little in common with each other. Adele must reconcile her doubt, and keep moving forward past these new challenges, or take the risk of being on the outside again, out of sync and completely alone. She had nothing before Emma, and she would have nothing without her.
Director Abdellatif Kechiche makes us question the validity of romantic love in all its forms. Is falling in it and having your heart broken the only surefire way to understanding your true self? And vice versa: does one need to understand one’s own feelings to be happy and in love? The result is a gorgeous and emotionally costly piece of film that moved and saddened me. Kechiche must be a bold man to make a movie like this. Its’ emotionally wrenching, visually glorious, and graphically fearless: the romance scenes here are not for the squeamish. They work though, because of their complete honesty, and because of that same filter of French sensibility and art– culture that permeates the film. One probably wouldn’t blush looking at an impressionist nude painting – the hopeful theory is that you will see these scenes in the same light.
“Blue Is the Warmest Color” is bold in that way, but ingeniously subtle in others – by the end of the film, we have watched Adele grow from a naive girl into a very independent woman without even noticing how quickly the time was passing. Filmmaking like that is tough to pull off successfully, especially side by side with themes like sexuality, adulthood, rejection and fate. Rather than chaptering his story with road signs and milestones, Kechiche makes it known that this is a coming–of–age story told in a haze of emotional blindness so carefully procured that in time, glances and smiles mean more than words and monologues. It’s no coincidence that the film won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival when it was shown there.
“Blue Is the Warmest Color” is an excellent film, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. But the thing is, it hurts to watch. Some of the best movies are like this: I’m happy that I saw it – you would be too – but the whole truth is that I don’t want to see it again for a long time.
ANNELISE GILBERT ’17
Ever since Indiana passed their religious freedom bill, there has been incessant media coverage of states and groups speaking out against the new law. Proponents of the bill hold that the purpose is to protect one’s right to exercise religion from government intrusion. Indiana state representative Tom Washburne attempted to further explain the reasoning behind the law by stating, “it’s important that we allow our citizens to hold religious beliefs, maybe even those we might be appalled by, and to be able to express those.” Others interpret the bill to be a clear license to discriminate against gays and lesbians. So, there seems to be a need for balance. Is there any way to protect one’s right to exercise religion while preventing discrimination?
In light of recent disputes over Indiana’s law, many cases have been brought to the forefront as examples. Two cases in Colorado recently examined in The New York Times are known as the “Cake Wars.” In the first case, a gay couple was turned away by a bakery in Denver that refused to make their cake due to the Christian faith of the baker. The couple went on to file a complaint against the baker, and the court ruled in their favor. In the court’s decision, the judge wrote “it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses,” but that would fail to “take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.” In this case I agree with the judge’s reasoning, but once the roles are turned, matters become difficult.
The other case nicknamed “Cake Wars” demonstrates what has been the common occurrence when cases are created on the opposite side. Customer Bill Jack visited multiple bakeries this past summer seeking out a baker that would make a strongly biblical cake for him. Jack requested a cake shaped like a bible with several religious messages on it, which included “homosexuality is a detestable sin.” Subsequently, Jack was refused at three different shops. He claimed he was discriminated against based on his religion and filed a complaint, just like the gay couple in the previous case did. However, Jack’s complaint was denied by the state of Colorado because investigators established that he was denied because the owners of the shops considered his message to be hateful and offensive, not because of his faith. Doesn’t this create a double standard? Couldn’t the owner that refused the gay couple feel that gay marriage was offensive to his religion?
Following Colorado’s rejection of Jack’s complaint, Jack issued a statement concerning what many feel is hypocrisy by the government. Jack stated, “it is offensive that the state of Colorado prosecuted Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop for bringing his Christian faith to bear in his decision not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, yet business owners who decide to refuse service to a Christian wanting Bible verses on cakes are exonerated by the state.” Republican Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, a state lawmaker who supports Bill Jack’s opinion, believed the court’s decision was unfair and said “I’m very disappointed in the hypocrisy that the Colorado government only punishes Christian bakers.” Klingenschmitt also asserted that the First Amendment protects all bakers and that Jack’s case only demonstrates bias by the government.
An interesting counterpoint to all the proclamations of the First Amendment freedom of exercise is the First Amendment freedom of speech. While it is commonly assumed that the two must work simultaneously, they can also counter each other. Can the government force someone to publish what one considers to be hateful speech, whether or not it is religiously affiliated? And if the government does in fact require a religious individual or organization to accept work that is against their values on the basis of antidiscrimination, does that count as a restriction on freedom of speech?
When questioned about freedom of speech versus anti–discrimination, Colorado cites its anti-discrimination law, which aims at protecting people from bias in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Additionally, their anti–discrimination law specifically includes gays and lesbians. Colorado’s anti–discrimination law is not the first to be tested. A florist in Washington was sued for not providing flowers to a gay wedding. A photographer in New Mexico was found guilty of violating the state’s anti–discrimination law when they would not take pictures for a gay couple’s commitment ceremony in 2006.
As numerous state governments go back and forth on whether or not to support law similar to Indiana’s religious freedom bill, it will be noteworthy to see where the federal government decides to stand. Will the rights of gays and anti–discrimination take precedence over freedom of religion? Is there any way for both rights to coexist?
MADISON OCHS ’18
Countless stories have circulated in recent months regarding alcohol–related deaths on college campuses. Horror stories flash across newspapers and television sets baring the details of parties that got out of hand, initiation rituals that went horribly wrong, or just cases of an individual being alone and incapable of taking care of themselves. The common theme is an excess of alcohol, and the problem is a solvable one.
The solution, however, is not to ban parties, segregate housing by gender, or wipe Greek life from the campuses at which Greeks hold influence. In fact, these elements are critical for a college experience that is well–rounded, rewarding, and truly educational. The majority of learning occurs outside the classroom, and sterilizing social interactions will not save students from poor decisions or dangerous mistakes. What happens when these students graduate and go to a bar for the first time? What happens when these students go to a party and have no concept of how to self–manage and pay attention to the pace at which they are drinking?
Taking a variety of classes across a broad array of disciplines is crucial to a person’s development and growth as a worldly, knowledgeable, and adaptable adult. This is the founding principle behind liberal arts colleges, and it must extend to the social aspects of these environments as well.
If people learn by experience, how can students and young people in general be expected to understand their personal limits when it comes to alcohol? It is crucial that they be afforded the opportunity to learn and, quite frankly, make mistakes.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, the drinking age actually poses a threat to the health and safety of young people in the United States. It is no secret that college students are able to access alcohol regardless of whether they are of legal age to buy it, so the law does no good to prevent them from actually drinking. What it does prevent, however, is consumption of alcohol in reasonable, moderate quantities. Students drink heavily on weekends hidden away from the judging eyes of the administration and any other adults that may slap them with a disciplinary measure.
The vast majority of college students have witnessed a gravely ill, heavily intoxicated peer stubling across a path or slumping into an involuntary nap in the corner. A large number of college students will have these experiences themselves, many more than once.
The reason for this is not open kegs at parties, or the influence of Greek life on American college campuses. The problem is that these students have never been exposed to the college party environment. No matter how many times a high school senior has missed curfew or snuck out the back door of the liquor store, they have never truly had time to adapt to the culture of a typical college. Not only do they need to adjust to the academic rigor, living away from home, and starting a new chapter in their lives, but they have to do so while acclimating to a newly accessible substance that, unless one is careful, can quite literally be lethal.
Changing the legal drinking age from twenty–one to eighteen years of age would be the first step towards allowing students the opportuinty to experience adulthood without feeling the need to binge and hide from sight. It is a major responsiblity, and one that can only be mastered through practice. Experience is the best teacher. I am certain it would be very easy to find a Trinity College student who had a particularly rough night and vowed to pay more attention the next time they went out.
There is nothing wrong with discouraging the excessive consumption of alcohol in any environment. There is, however, something wrong with making young people avoid medical attention or care when they need it for fear of disciplinary consequences. One’s transcript should never get in the way of health. Trinity can take strides in solving this problem by implementing an immunity policy for first–time offenders, or by encouraging the prioritization of health over discretion. College students will drink no matter what, and the best decision would be to help them do so in a way that encourages them to safely have their fun. Lowering the drinking age would almost certainly allow young people the chance to adjust to the new responsibility before being inundated with alcohol as soon as they arrive ona college campus.
EVAN SCOLLARD ’17
I’m a Republican. I sympathize unquestioningly with the parenthesized “R,” and despite an imagined sense of individuality, I vote almost entirely along party lines. Maybe then, this sudden departure from my typical loyalty reflects the gravity of the issue that now threatens the demise of my ideological faction.
The recent and ongoing candidacy announcements have shown us the extremism that still plagues the party, cloaked in misguided Christian morality and led by the our most dangerous demagogue, Ted Cruz.
His Princeton education and distinguished clerkship mislead us to a sense of assurance. This feeling is consistently undermined by his zealous commitment to the archaic convictions of generations past. In fact, he champions the last few ridiculous beliefs that shackle to GOP a bygone era of social oppression and an arbitrary notion of uniformity – opposition to women’s rights, environmental protection, and gay marriage. Cruz entrenches himself in unreasonable positions on these social issues, appealing only to a base of voters that would never turn away from the party and simultaneously scaring away every undecided American with moderate intelligence and access to a voting booth.
He fancies himself a political archetype, in the likeness of Reagan or H.W., but makes his name in cheap, public stunts, like filibustering his own bill, rather than a commitment to innovative policy construction. Though they unilaterally dismiss Obama’s administration as ineffectual, Republicans can at least realize the bold legislative steps that the President has taken in accordance with his political vision. Cruz’s political career, however, has focused on antagonism and vocal criticism of Democratic policy without bringing anything significant to the floor himself.
But I suppose I fear most that he’ll secure the nomination. If he does, he will spread the message that the elephants have killed themselves with obsolete conventionalism during a time of progression. When we insist on lecturing the educated masses on the perils of homosexuality and the ethical quandaries of abortion, we alienate independent voters and undermine our platform as a whole. How, really, can a candidate defend a respectable stance on foreign or economic policy minutes after unabashedly denouncing a woman’s right to her own body? The answer rests on a fundamental tenet of his campaign philosophy. Cruz has correctly realized that logical and consistent rhetoric delivered with decorum typically goes unnoticed, whereas rabble–rousing attracts the most immediate attention. By removing the nuance and complexity from controversial issues, he reduces them to straw-men that he can knock down in an act of political extremism that discourages compromise. In essence, he commits himself to simplified ideals that can be easily endorsed but are unrealistic and no longer in vogue.
So he stands in front of the cameras and outlines his platform as a series of ultimatums, demanding unwavering support for Israel, abolishing gay marriage, and bombing enemy combatants “back into the stone age.” The attention this receives, however, has proven mostly negative. Of course, small voting pockets appreciate his defense of Christianity and hard–lined approach to military intervention, but many more dismiss him as sophomoric. They are questioning his views. They are reflecting on the reality he has ignored. Considering him in the context of the subtlety of international relations, the intricacy of environmental sustainability, and even the voters accepting his idealized version of reality at face value. Many find it difficult to agree with his views upon close inspection. In fact, I’d wager that polling will indicate a greater apprehension among Independents towards Republicans as his campaigning progresses.
I obviously hope, then, that Cruz falls short of the nomination and cannot pose the tremendous risk of actually winning the presidency. More importantly, though, I believe that leaving him off the ticket might signal very clearly to the reluctant Independents that the GOP has finally left behind our last vestiges of anachronism and gone along with the social progression that our generation demands.
RYAN MURPHY ’17
Last Saturday brought a couple of losses for the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball program. Not only did they squander their perfect 38–0 record in a Final Four rematch from the prior year against the Wisconsin Badgers, but sophomore point guard Andrew Harrison was caught mumbling a racial slur under his breath in the post–game press conference.
When fellow teammate Karl–Anthony Towns was asked about National Player of the Year, Frank Kaminsky, who scored 20 points and 11 rebounds, the microphone picked up Harrison mumbling “F*** that n*****.” The comment quickly stirred up controversy, casting a negative light over a player who had been considered a humble leader.
Despite the fact that Harrison is black and Kaminsky is white, many found the comment inappropriate. However, I believe it was taken out of context by many. Many have grown to consider the use of the term to be acceptable when used by members of the black community, and unacceptable by any other party.
A black man calling someone a “n*****,” whether the person is black or white, is in no way comparable to a white person saying the same. As much as that seems unfair, and as much as I personally disagree with the use of the word entirely in any context, it is simply a construct.
Without trying to generalize, many black people, especially in the younger demographic, use the term very loosely, referring to each other and others using the word, even using clarifiers such as “white” or “Spanish” before the term itself. For many, it is a term equivalent to the likes of “bro” or “man” and is not derogatory in certain contexts.
Although the word may be conversational in nature in certain contexts, if a white person was to refer to anyone using the term, a majority of people would be highly offended, and rightfully so. The term is undoubtedly derogatory and has no place in the vocabulary of white people in modern society.
I believe the word’s position in modern culture only serves to create a separation between black and white people. The term is divisive in nature, and casual use by white or black individuals perpetuates division of the races. If a white person were to use the word casually, with no derogatory undertone, it would not be acceptable. So the word’s standing as acceptable, only when used by black people, is innately conflicting.
A black Trinity student, Archimede Jerome ’17, said the word is fraternizing: “It’s a term of endearment.” However, he continued that the word’s place in history, as a derogatory way for white people to refer to slaves, makes it inappropriate for white men to use the word in any context, because it is essentially reverting back to the word’s discriminatory roots.
I absolutely do not disagree with the notion that the word is one of endearment with comradely qualities in certain contexts. Having said that, I still disagree with the word’s presence in society. Although I acknowledge the word’s historical roots, which obviously differentiates it from the likes of “bro” or “man,” I think its current role would be the equivalent of one group of people not allowing another to use any term like “bro” to refer to each other because it would be taken offensively.
That doesn’t mean I think the term should be socially acceptable for any and all races to use; in fact, I think the opposite. Like I said, I can’t dispute the term’s fraternal quality. It is evident in film, music, and the media. It’s seen even here on campus. However, the use of the word in reference to other non-black people has gotten away from its post-slavery fraternal roots, and for that reason I think the word shouldn’t be used.
After the incident a black ESPN anchor, Michael Wilbon, openly stated that he uses the word casually and as a term of endearment in certain contexts, but says it’s understandable that people want it abolished from the workplace. He has said it is a difficult and complicated issue, and it is acceptable based entirely on who uses it and whom they address.
Andrew Harrison’s use of the word was not discriminatory; it was not racially charged in any way. However, it is an example of how the word has transformed from a term of endearment among black peers to a substitute for the word guy, and that is extremely controversial, and the cause for frustration.
Many black people have the word indoctrinated in their vocabularies as a result of the society in which they grow up. It is not only a construct of the inner city, either. Black men of all ages and socioeconomic statuses are members of the unique group of individuals who can use the term without immediately introducing racially charged themes.
There are no racial or discriminatory undertones when black people use it casually. The issue lies in the use of the word conversationally in the presence of white people and the transformation of the word into the reference of any person. Equality cannot extend to use of this word because if it did, the term would again become venemous.
DANIELLA SALAZAR, ’17
Last Thursday, students gathered at the Smith house for an engaging conversation organized by Trinity’s Amnesty International Chapter on the future of Cuba and United States relations, which ended with a lively exchange of ideas. Professor Eire from Yale University and Trinity’s own Professor Figueroa led the conversation. Both with relatively opposed points of view, managed to answer all the questions raised by the students.
Professor Eire provided some context, relating that on Dec. 17 two speeches were delivered, one from Obama in Washington, and one from Raul Castro in Habana, Cuba. While Obama’s speech discussed the negotiations that the two nations had been having, indicating that Cuba was moving towards positive change in ideology, Castro made it clear that Cuba’s ideals were static and unyielding. Eire argued that the speeches and purported changes are merely cosmetic, and that in fact, the U.S. has never ceased relations with Cuba. Indeed, they have staff and an equivalent to an ambassador in Habana. Furthermore, Eire surprised the audience by claiming that there is no embargo at all. What is more, the U.S. is Cuba’s fifth largest trade partner, and supplies it mostly with food and cloth. Lifting the embargo, Eire argues, is simply granting Cuba credit, as currently they are allowed to trade only if they pay with cash in advance. Figueroa added to this point, saying that it is highly unlikely that Cuba will change its behaviors and its system, especially because the government still has an important percentage of supporters.
After explaining the many fallacies of Obama’s speech and opening the eyes of the audience to the actual reality of Cuban-American relations, Eire mentioned that the U.S. is looking to remove Cuba from a list of terror-sponsor states, in order to justify “lifting the embargo.” This, according to Eire, would be a terrible mistake, as Cuba has links with Hamas, Iran, and North Korea, among other countries and groups, and provides weapons to many of them. In fact, Russia has reopened a Soviet-era spying station in Habana. Re-engaging in relations with Cuba would imply the United States’ agreement with and support for the acts of terror that they are involved in. Moreover, opening relations with Cuba and removing it from “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list would cast the United States in a hypocritical light. The US is known to intervene in other nations to prevent terrorism, and to pursue warmer relations with a state known associations terrorist organizations would be a betrayal not only of US values, but of the United States international interests.
To expound on his argument against opening relations with Cuba, Eire emphatically argued that the Cuban government endorses a system of modern slavery. Slavery occurs in many regions of the country and sectors of its economy. It is most prevalent in the tourism industry. Foreign investors, mainly from Europe and Canada, own many of the hotels and resorts in Cuba and under Cuban law they are forced to pay their workers European or Canadian wages. That would not present a problem, however, were it not for one key detail: the government receives workers’ paychecks and keeps 92 percent of them. Thus, the Cuban workers only receive 8 percent of their wages. Additionally, Cubans are only allowed into the resorts if they are employed there. This system bears a resemblance to the Apartheid system in South Africa. By opening relations with Cuba and allowing American tourism, the U.S. would be fattening the wallets of Cuban generals who keep their countrymen’s paychecks, while contributing to a system of slavery.
Professor Figueroa contended Eire’s point and asked the audience; “Why do we have to treat Cuba differently than China or Vietnam, if Cuba is following the Maoist system of communism?” To this question, Eire responded in a raised voice, that we simply should not. He said that he wishes to never return to Cuba, and that he does not feel sorry for what he left behind because his entire family is dead, at least partially as a result of Cuba’s policies. He claims that he does not care about that, and that all he cares about are human rights. He strongly said that the U.S. is minimizing, ignoring, and to an extent hiding all of the human rights violations committed by these countries in exchange for economic benefits.
Overall, the conversation left Trinity students with a lot to reflect on. Eire tore apart a wall of half-truths and word games that the United States’ government has put forward regarding relations with Cuba. Attendees may well think twice before going to Cuba for vacation, knowing that they would be complicit in the oppression and effective slavery of many Cubans.
HENRY CHAVEZ, ’18
On Thursday, April 9, an engaging open forum about Trinity’s newly purchased property at 200 Constitution Plaza was held for students. The discussion was led by Trinity’s three consultants in this planning process: Rachel G. Bratt, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, emerita, from Tufts University, and Catherine Donaher, an accomplished consultant in real estate development and master planning, and Stefanie Chambers, associate professor of political science. Though Trinity’s announcement of the property’s purchase at the beginning of this semester had much thought and discussion put into it, the planning process for the space is still in its early stages.
Two hundred Constitution Plaza is a five-story 135,000 square-foot office building located in historic downtown Hartford. Situated in the heart of Constitution Plaza in Hartford’s Business District, the building is just feet away from other long-standing institutions such as the Hartford Stage, XL Center, Brazilian Consulate, Connecticut Science Center, Spotlight Theatres and various other attractions. As Trinity gets closer to these establishments, more and more room grows for possible partnerships and collaborations between local leaders and students.
Although Trinity’s administration had some specific ideas as to how to use the space, there was a clear message that feedback and participation from the Trinity community was and would be continuously sought. Enthusiasm was quickly cultivated as soon as students posited their ideas and suggestions of what to incorporate into the building. Some ideas for the new facility included opening art galleries, centers for immigration, career and urban research, squash courts, labs, crash course lecture rooms, performance stages, dining, and incubator space amongst countless other suggestions. The possibilities seem just about endless. As of now, part of the design process, student input will be continuously sought. Enthusiasm was quickly cultivated as soon as students posited their ideas and suggestions of what to incorporate into the building. Some ideas for the new facility included opening art galleries, centers for immigration, career and urban research, squash courts, labs, crash course lecture rooms, performance stages, dining, and incubator space amongst countless other suggestions. The possibilities seem just about endless. As of now, part of the building contains classrooms and meeting spaces, lounge and breakfast areas, all with open floor plans, as well as atrium lobbies and a 200-seat capacity amphitheater. The upper two floors consist of high-quality office space that would be temporarily leased to build some sort of revenue as Trinity gradually grows into the new acquisition.
As President Joanne Berger-Sweeney shared in a February 19 letter to the campus community, the acquisition of 200 Constitution Plaza provides an opportunity to “enhance the overall educational experience at Trinity by expanding our programming opportunities and providing an additional focal point for further integration with the Hartford community.” The President’s priorities revolve around a synergistic connection being built between the different functions of the building and the different interests, talents, and needs of Trinity students, faculty, and the Hartford community. In order for the integration of the building into Trinity life to be successful, everyone will need to participate in some way, shape, or form. The building provides another outlet for Trinity and Hartford to engage with one another. This cooperation will ultimately be an opportunity for everyone to reflect on their values, goals, and aspirations for the institution collectively.
As more schools such as UConn and Capitol College make a presence in the downtown area, Trinity will have the opportunity to engage in the city as a small liberal arts college, lending its own perspective. However, as the open forum went on, it became apparent that a lot of students seemed to worry about how Trinity’s ambiance could be altered if part of the school were to move about three miles out into the city. Several students expressed that although they were excited about what the new building could bring to the Trinity and Hartford community, they wanted to ensure that school worked consciously to keep the college united as one entity. Conversation also indicated that daily and easily accessible transportation to and from Constitution Plaza would be needed in order to have constant movement of students, faculty and the community in the Hartford area. The administration would very much like to avoid having Trinity split into two “islands,” as it were.
The recently purchased building presents many opportunities and challenges that the administration wants the whole community to be aware of. However, the message is clear. President Berger Sweeney is prepared to be bold and engaging with Trinity’s new endeavor. Two hundred Constitution Plaza presents room for Trinity to gradually expand its presence in Hartford and into the greater community. This new element of campus infrastructure will be both historically significant and reflective of Trinity’s innovative leadership in a liberal arts education.
CHARLOTTE THOMAS, ’17
Trinity’s 14th annual event, “Take Back the Night”, helped to reinforce the message to survivors of sexual assault that they are not alone. This event is a national campaign to prevent and raise awareness about sexual and relationship violence. On Friday, April 11, Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS) and the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRAC) hosted the event, which proved successful despite the last-minute location change to Hallden Hall. The event was also spearheaded by Trinity groups like Trinity Hillel, Trinity Film Festival, and other teams, clubs, and organizations. SECS Coordinators, Mercedes Ward ’15 and Nicole Lukac ’15, opened the floor to performances with a reminder to attendees that the acts that would follow were included in order to help end rape on campus. They further included that some of the testimonies that would be shared might be too difficult for the audience to hear, and that there were people to talk to from Trinity’s Sexual Assault Response Team who could provide further assistance if necessary.
Other important reminders included that those who need to speak to someone in full confidence can go to the Reverand Allison Read and Chaplains John Selders and Shine at the Trinity College Chapel. One can also go to the Counseling Center to speak with Director Dr. Randy Lee, Assistant Director Dr. Kristine Kennan, Dr. Kate Marinchak, and Bonnie Scranton located at 135 Allen Place. To talk to someone in semi confidence—which means that the names will not be reported to the Title IX coordinator unless it is known that the offender is a repeat offender—and can speak to Laura Lockwood, the director of the Women and Gender Resource Action Center located on the second floor of Mather Hall. Additionally, those who need to consult someone can go to The Health Center in Wheaton Hall to speak with Director Martha Burke O’Brien and any staff members.
President Berger-Sweeney spoke after this introduction, stressing the importance of raising awareness of sexual assault. She added that one of the first tasks she dealt with as President of Trinity College involved organizing a task force to help prevent sexual misconduct. She stated that one of her top priorities here at Trinity is to battle the rampant sexual harassment, sexual assault, abusive relationships, stalking, gender identity violence and gender discrimination that pervades college campuses.
Trinity’s Title IX Coordinator, Dean Spurlock-Evans spoke after this, explaining the Sexual Assault Response Team’s goal of providing “support, assistance, explanation of reporting options, medical help, counseling, and referrals” to victims and survivors of sexual assault, rape, partner violence, and stalking. Spurlock-Evans explained that when reporting sexual assault, students have five options: 1. disclose anonymously online, 2. talk to the chaplains, counseling center, or rape/domestic violence hotlines in complete confidence, 3. ask the college to investigate, 4. ask the police to investigate, 5. talk to a SART member for help and support.
The President and Spurlock-Evans were followed by comic relief, provided by the Trinity College Moveable Joints. The group sought to show the audience, with a bit of humor, how to easily prevent sexual assault from occurring at a college party, because this is often where sexual misconduct occurs. When it seems like such a case is unraveling, such as the example provided by the Joints where a guy is taking a girl home who has had too much to drink in the hope of having sex, there are several methods to help inhibit assault: one includes distraction, where friends of both the girl and the guy distract either party by inviting them to dance or, in the example, “go play some beer pong.” Additionally, friends of either party can try to talk to them to instill reason about either being too drunk to go home with the guy, as in the case of the girl in the example, or convincing the guy that it is not acceptable to hook up with a girl who is too intoxicated, as in the example provided. The presentation stressed that those who are too drunk, passed out, asleep, or otherwise incapacitated cannot give consent for any sexual act, whether it be kissing, touching, or penetration of any kind. The theme of “if you see something, do something” came from these simple steps that any student on campus should be able to exercise in order to help out a friend or stranger.
Ward then shared a moving story of a long-since graduated Trinity student, who was drugged and raped during her freshman year at Trinity. The student repressed the memories of her rape for three years before finally admitting to herself and others what had happened. Sexual assault can cause long-lasting trauma and survivors can be affected in many ways, such as depression, slipping grades, and other problems. Luckily, the student was grateful for many resources on campus who helped her come through not as a victim, but a survivor.
Trinity College Dischords member, Aysha Salam ’18, noted that “it was nice to see so many people at the event supporting the cause, and it was great to be able to perform for the event to help to spread awareness of sexual assault.” She, like many other performers in attendance like Elemental Movement, The Quirks, The Pipes, and The Trinitones, roused the crowd with powerful performances to support the effort to prevent sexual and relationship violence.
The message was heard loud and clear, and attendees learned valuable skills to help prevent sexual assault in the future. The event was a success, as it was both inspirational and informative, and it plays a key role in helping to change the campus environment on such an important issue.
CHRIS BULFINCH ’18
College students worldwide do a lot of reading. Be they humanities, sciences, or arts majors, it is safe to say that the vast majority of college students have spent a fair few evenings reading what might seem like an insurmountable volume of text. This past Thursday, April 12, a Common Hour lecture addressed a side of reading that few people, particularly college students, really consider: the ethics of reading. Over the course of an interesting lecture, Professor Dennis Schmidt from Boston College considered the implications of reading and the written word, using a philosophical text of Plato’s to illustrate his theory: that reading, if done quickly or improperly, is in fact an ethical wrong, and that proper reading is necessary for a thorough understanding of the world.
Schmidt opened with a discussion of literacy; he argued that the process of learning how to read fundamentally changes a person and their ability to live life. Plato argued that when one reads, they are filled with the words of another person – their mind belongs to the thoughts of someone who is absent. Further, since many texts were (and are) written by those who are now dead, Plato thought that it was foolish to spend one’s days absorbed in the words of those who were dead and gone, those who did not understand living anymore. Schmidt added to this point by explaining two observations that he had concerning Plato’s views. The first was that as children learn how to read, they are in fact learning something that is intrinsically human. Words are simply images translated into writing and voice, and by learning how to read, children gain access to a method of communication and an ability to express themselves, which is undoubtedly valuable. Schmidt’s second observation was that Plato’s negative attitude towards readings and literacy likely had their origin in the Greek culture of the day; illiteracy was widespread, and slaves were often the ones who were literate so that they could read to their masters – since their masters would not bother polluting their minds with the thoughts of other (generally dead) people. Slave masters, believing that reading would create space in the mind that did not exist before in a manner similar to love, did not want to be changed permanently by literacy.
The discussion expounded on one of Plato’s texts, “Phaedrus,” which Professor Schmidt saw as a catalyst to his theory about reading and literacy. “Phaedrus” describes the story of an orator (the titular “Phaedrus”) and Socrates having a conversation that touched on many of Professor Schmidt’s points. In the text, Socrates asks Phaedrus to dictate a text that he had memorized, which Phaedrus does with ease. Plato’s argument is that good writing should not be able to be easily memorized; good writing should be able to sustain itself and have a life of its own. The dynamism of good writing is reflected through its fluidity and its engaging quality – the reader should read a text and think about things outside of the writing, to be enthralled by what the author has to say, to make the author’s voice timeless. Poor writing, by contrast, is “like an epitaph” in that it is dead, static, and two-dimensional. Good writing is writing that allows the dead to speak, and to tell a modern audience of their times, to share their perspective, their truth and their reality. A literate person can see history as it happened to those who lived it, giving them undeniable wisdom – unfortunately, not all writing is of this caliber.
Plato’s story of Phaedrus continued by comparing knowledge to a garden. Professor Schmidt explained that Plato was referencing the “Garden of Adonis,” a famous myth from Plato’s time. The “Garden of Adonis” was planted to honor the death of Adonis, a hero of the Greek myths, known as the lover of Aphrodite, goddess of love. The Garden was planted quickly and given special nourishment to grow more quickly than usual – the result was a garden with plenty of plants but no roots, all aesthetic and no substance (tellingly like the man it was created for). Plato makes the argument that a life devoted to reading books is like the Garden of Adonis, without roots in reality and not true or substantive. Good writing is writing that allows the dead to speak, and to tell
It is on this final point that Professor Schmidt makes a critical distinction, a distinction that underpins his philosophical argument; it is not reading that can create a “Garden of Adonis” in people, it is not reading properly. Professor Schmidt argued that if one reads something too quickly, if one reads something and does not fully understand it, does not consider it from many angles, does not think critically about what it is that they have read, or does not read the text in its original, whole form, then their knowledge is incomplete. Like the “Garden of Adonis,” it is untethered, lacking substance. This distinction demonstrates the difference between being able to read and knowing how to read; to cultivate a healthy garden, one needs to allow it to grow at its own pace. With this logic in mind, rushing reading is the same as rushing plants – thus, proper reading is reading done slowly, thoughtfully, and methodically. With this in mind, Professor Schmidt confessed his fear that the modern age, particularly with the proliferation of technology and the constant demands on people’s time, will be the death of proper reading and the cultivation of true knowledge – a sobering notion.
Professor Schmidt ended the discussion with a question and answer session, which allowed the attendees to absorb and consider what he had said. The questions reflected his concern for the state of reading in the modern world, and spurred an interesting conversation about Professor Schmidt’s ideas.
With all of the stresses and distractions in the lives of students, students charged with reading and contemplating a vast number of texts, it is hardly a stretch to see the validity of Professor Schmidt’s concerns. Nonetheless it is important to believe that literacy can still help the past to interact with the present, and to make sure that despite all of the pressure, students can still absorb some amount of their coursework, that they can derive some meaning from what they are told to read, so that the voices of the past do not go silent. College professors not just at Trinity but nationwide might also do well to consider the implications of Professor Schmidt’s talk. While the ethics or reading certainly occupy the minds of certain professors, this concern is not reflected in the syllabi handed out to college classes. Professors may want to conisder the time contraints that are placed on their students, so that they can truly learn and engage meaningfully with the material, to cultivate healthy gardens, to coin a phrase. A balance must be struck between quality and quantity, to ascertain how much reading can be assigned and reasonably read. Unfortunately, the style of most professors is to just assign everything and hope that the students can fit it all in. This is not necesarily the most ethical system, at least according to Professor Schmidt
But, says the popular refrain, that’s just college.
MAGGIE ELIAS ’17
A dorm room is the perfect opportunity for someone to express themselves in any way they want. For the amount of time spent in a dorm room, it is also important to make it as warm, welcoming, and cozy as possible.
Sedona Georgescu ’17 was able to make her room in The Fred her ideal living space. The Fred, which may not be well known to most students, is located within the Summit Suites on the south end of campus. It is a dormitory committed to putting on events every Friday night, creating engaging groups based on students’ interests that are open to all, and providing a common free-space area for the entire college community.
Georgescu has the best of both worlds, sharing a quad with three other roommates while still having her own individual space. As someone who loves decorating and interior design, Georgescu was responsible for not only her room, but the common room as well. The common room is decorated with a floral tapestry, a Trinity flag, and a light up “Hello” sign. It is also filled with personal furniture rather than the average dorm furniture.
As one enters Georgescu’s room, eyes are automatically drawn to the fluffy, bright green and blue paisley duvet and her favorite matching throw blanket. It immediately adds some warmth and relaxation to the room. Her walls are covered in memories, with photos, collages, and other homemade decor scattered all over them. Many of the pictures are of family, friends from home, and Trinity buds too. One of her closest friends made her a one of a kind piece – a calendar made from paint samples. It’s a special touch that reminds Georgescu of home.
Georgescu also added more personal touches by getting rid of some of the classic tacky Trinity dorm furniture. She replaced her desk chair with a comfortable white and blue lounge chair. In addition, Georgescu purchased a cream loveseat for some extra sitting or sleeping space when she has visitors. The rugs and curtains in her room are also trendy additions to the typical boring Trinity room. One piece is a fuzzy shag rug and the other is a beautiful flower design. The curtains match the rugs with their teal shade.
The lamb, perched on the back on the loveseat, is a piece from Georgescu’s childhood. In the midst of a move, her grandmother came across the stuffed animal and insisted that Georgescu keep it in her room as a memento. In addition, the throw pillow was a gift from a close friend, who shared a similar interior decorating interest with Georgescu.
One unique piece in Georgescu’s room is the cardboard deer head that is mounted on her wall, named Bucky. Bucky’s twin, Rudolph, is at home with Georgescu’s sister and serves as a constant reminder of her sisterly bond. The deer head was made by Georgescu and her sister and is covered with a garland of hearts, which is also homemade.
Another important part of her room is the bookshelf above her desk. Overflowing with all of her many course books and favorite stories and novels, it is put to good use every single day. There are also many picture frames and souvenirs scattered throughout the shelf.
Georgescu always thoroughly enjoys decorating her room for holidays. She has plenty of decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and even a pink, sparkly tree for Christmas. Except for the tree, the majority of her holiday decorations are homemade.
When asked about her room design, Georgescu wrote, “the hardest part was finding a balance between form and function. My room is only so big and I needed space for storage but I wanted to maintain the ambience of order. I want people to step into my room and forget they are in a college dorm. Why should we be limited by a few cinder block walls and a sad wooden chair? I encourage all students to take the pledge to go forth and decorate with pride!”
ANDREW HATCH ’17
Have you ever been jolted from your bed at 12:30 in the afternoon or rudely interrupted while studying in the Econ library by a cacophony of bells ringing? Has your most recent Snapchat story included you dancing around on the quad to the bells? Trinity is home to one of the finest carillons in the country. A carillon is the largest outdoor instrument, and regarded by many, as being the loudest instrument ever conceived. Trinity’s 49-bell carillon was cast by the famed John Taylor & Sons bell foundry in England and is housed in the belfry, nearly 150 feet above campus. Until the construction of skyscrapers in downtown Hartford, the chapel was the tallest building in the city. Since the bell tower is situated atop the highest hill in the Hartford, it still remains the highest point in the city.
If a musician plays for a “voluntary” audience, a carillonneur plays for a captive one. Bystanders do not have much of a choice if they want to listen or not, and any tour guide can attest to the difficultly of trying to speak to a group when the carillon is blaring in the background. Trinity’s carillon is classified as a municipal instrument and as such, provides music to tens-of-thousands of people in the greater Hartford area. Keeping in mind that everyone might not appreciate the music selections, we mostly stick to the classics like Handel and Mozart. We try to select non-intrusive pieces providing a melodic theme, without being overwhelming. Taylor & Sons is known for their low, sonorous base notes. If you are a Jarvis resident and have found yourself being jolted from your bed on a Saturday morning at 12:30, you can thank these large bells. The lowest note is the bourdon bell, tuned to B flat, weighing a staggering 5,600 pounds, while the highest note, tuned to a high C, weighs about 28 pounds.
People always ask how I initially got involved in playing the carillon and to be honest, it was purely by happenstance– I was working in the chapel one day and our college carillonneur, Ellen Dickinson, came in to make some photocopies, and the rest, as they say, is history. Trinity is very fortunate to have such a highly regarded carillonneur playing weekly recitals and serving as the official carillonneur for school events. Should you be interested in learning to play the carillon for fun or academic credit, please let us know. We would love to have you join our guild.
The carillon is a unique instrument in that it requires a bit of physical involvement on the part of the player. First, you have to climb the 150 steps to the player’s chamber. Once there, the player must hit batons, which resemble levels by making a closed fist and hitting the batons with considerable force. The batons connect to wires, which run to the belfry. In the belfry, the wires pull tension rods, which then pull a clapper to strike the bell. Whenever I give tours people are never sure what to expect. Unlike some chime systems in Europe, our bells remain stationary while playing; the only thing that moves is the clapper.
Tours of the tower are frequently given throughout the academic year and we highly encourage that you go on one. Every tour includes a comprehensive rundown of chapel history and carillon technique. If you are around during the summer, the college hosts world-renowned carillonneurs during our summer concert series. Hundreds of concertgoers bring picnic dinners and relax on the quad during a beautiful summer evening.
The last thing that needs some explaining is this paradox of the carillon player. Seldom does a carillonneur play with an audience in the tower. Yet, the carillon has the largest audience of any instrument. Our carillon has been a part of the lives of Hartford residents within a five-mile radius of the tower for generations and we frequently receive words of thanks for our work from the community. The carillonneur remains mostly anonymous, and most people think that it is controlled by a computer – it’s not. A real person is up there playing whenever you hear it.
While Yik-Yak remains my sharpest critic, I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy the background sounds from the belfry when you are relaxing on the quad and come visit for a tour!
KELLY VAUGHAN ’17
Most Trinity students would agree that some of their favorite aspects of the school include the beautiful architecture, closeness among friend groups and students, and the history and traditions that lie ‘neath the elms. Looking back at old copies of The Ivy, Trinity’s yearbook, I got the sense that the student body was more vivacious than previous decades. The photos printed throughout showed students having class on the quad, surrounding the construction site of the Chapel, and tossing a football during their free time.
The photos from the yearbook show a much more classic style. The tennis team, for example, truly embodied the definition of “tennis whites,” wearing white slacks, white button downs or polos, and Trinity knit letter sweaters. Furthermore, rather than depicting stress, pledging activities, or confusion, there were now both academic and social superlatives and images representing the various class years. Superlatives included “Most Likely to Marry First,” “Best Natured,” “Handsomest,” and “Best Student.” Other reflections included “Favorite Cigarettes,” “Favorite Automobile,” “Best vs. Worst Lecturer,” and “Favorite Women’s Club.”
Tradition still shone through; in earlier editions of The Ivy, the illustrations introducing each class year were of knights – most likely students – on horses attempting to conquer their time at Trinity. Additionally, the senior class was represented by a cap and gown, rose, pipe, book and diploma, the same images that signify commencement at any school during any time period.
Despite the fact that the 1930s were a time of economic depression, Trinity worked to build up the spirit of the school by building the Chapel. The construction of the Chapel, Trinity’s most iconic work of architecture, as well as the city of Hartford’s, is the highlight of this decade in our school’s history. Today, the Chapel remains both a spiritual and historical part of Trinity and is often featured in student’s Instagram feeds. The 1931 edition of The Ivy contained an essay titled, “The New Trinity College Chapel,” with a notable quote representing the emotional meaning of this iconic building:
“We have watched from the time the ground was first broken. We have seen the steam shovels pick up the first bits of green campus, and we have seen the cement–mixers, other symbols of our great machine age, coming with their vast loads of fluid solidity to mould foundations which will outlast the weathers of many ages to come. We feel that we have a real connection with the new chapel, for its beginnings and its completion will have been ours to watch. For us it is one of the many ties that bind us to Trinity, a symbol for us to live up to in the years to come and something vital which we shall connect with our college life forever.”
The 1930s at Trinity was both deeply significant to the college’s history and truly iconic of the decade in general. We should not only remember, but also continue to embrace and appreciate the beautiful and outstanding history of Trinity College. To this day, students crowd the quad during nice weather and wear graphic clothing showing off Trinity’s name and logo.
Whether or not we show this appreciation by examining historical documents at the Watkinson Library, getting involved in organizations on campus that truly empower the student body, or simply Instagraming a photo of friends enjoying their time on the quad, the past, present, and future Bantams all share a close bond as Trinity students.
SAMANTHA BEATI ’17
It was an exciting Saturday night to be a Bantam, a sentiment that resonated across campus when the Men’s Hockey Team won their first ever National Championship. Trinity College Athletic Director Michael Renwick echoed the excitement after the game saying that, “the historic accomplishment this past weekend could not embody more fully what it means to be a Bantam.” After finishing the season as the leader of the NESCAC, they gained an at-large bid in the NCAA Men’s Hockey Division III Tournament and were able to advance to their first ever championship game. After missing a bid in the 2014 Tournament, the Bantams were fired up and ready to play aggressively throughout the tournament to claim the win. The Championship game was held at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Bantams played the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point team, who finished the season with a record of 23-7-1.
The entire game was aggressive throughout, with both teams holding onto the desire to win. The first goal of the game came on a power play and was by Bantam Sean Orlando ’17 who notched his 15th goal of the season at 3:38. Later on, in the first period, Trinity became a little too excited and were penalized for having too many men on the ice, resulting in a power play for Stevens-Point. This in turn, allowed Stevens-Point to gain some momentum and score their first goal of the game by Kyle Brodie which brought a 1-1 tie going into the first intermission of the game.
The excitement continued throughout the second period when the Bantams were able to gain back some momentum and Michael Hawkrigg ’16 was able to score his 16th goal of the season, resulting in a 2-1 socreline and Trinity lead at 1:52. The rest of the second period was back and forth, with many shots by both teams, but none of them resulted in any goals. The third period started with equal momentum, but at 9:10 Nick D’Avolio from Stevens-Point was able to score, tying the game at 2-2. This was a great goal by Stevens-Point who struggled throught the entire game to convert their shots to actual goals. Trinity was fired up by the goal by Stevens-Point and came back aggressively with the desire to win. It was at 6:08 in the third period when Ethan Holdaway ’17 fired the puck from within the right circle, a goal which became the eventual game winner, breaking the tie. At the end of the third period Stevens-Point made a few shots on net, but the NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and Trinity goalie, Nathaniel Heilbron ’16, was able to save them. This caused Stevens-Point to pull their goalie in order to create some excitement for the last few minutes of the game. This did not give them the momentum that they wanted and caused Bantams Conor Coveney ’15 and Greg Rooney ’15 to score empty net goals to seal the win even further and reach their first ever National Championship win. Orlando, Hawkrigg and Captain Mike Flynn ’15 were also honored for their play in the tournament.
The win was earned from the hard work and perseverance. Athletic Director, Michael Renwick, said while describing the team, that the Bantams were, “a great group of young men set out to accomplish a goal together and worked selflessly to do just that. This was a championship for the ages for which the young men on this team will never forget, and nor will the great Trinity community.” The championship concluded a fantastic season by the Men’s Hockey team who finished with a record of 25-3-1, which is a new school record. Although many fans were not able to travel to Minnesota, the Trinity College community was with them in spirit. This is certainly a victory that Trinity will always remember.Congratulations to the Trinity College Men’s Hockey Team on a great win as well as an amazing season.
ANTHONY ZUCARO ’16
Congratulations to the Trinity College Men’s Ice Hockey Team for winning its first national NCAA Division III Championship. In order to properly celebrate, it would only be right to look back at one of the contributing players who was a part of it. This incredible season can be attributed to, in part, senior tri-Captain Michael Flynn. As a defensive player, Flynn has contributed tremendously to the team’s outstanding defense. Thanks to Flynn and his defense, the team entered the final game with an amazing record of 24-3-1, with their win in the final moving them to a record of 25-3-1. Flynn himself has some impressive accomplishments, which include making the AHCA/CCM Division II/III All-American East 2nd Team, New England Hockey Writers Association Division II/III New England All-Star Team, and All-NESCAC 1st Team his junior year. Despite being a defensive player, Flynn is known for his ability to assist and score. In his junior year Flynn was 4th on team in assists and the top scoring defenseman.
When Flynn was young he found inspiration in the New York Yankees. “My favorite athlete growing up had to be Derek Jeter. Being a die-hard Yankees fan, I always looked up to him as a leader and unbelievable baseball player. He always did the right thing and carried a swagger like no other athlete I have ever watched.” This mentality helped Flynn through his high school career in preparation for college. “My high school competition definitely prepared me well for hockey at the collegiate level. I attended Avon Old Farms and was constantly going up against the top prep school players in New England, which made the transition to college much easier.” This was certainly beneficial, as Flynn proved in the team’s semi-final against Adrlan. After a somewhat static first half, Flynn’s assist to junior Elie Vered helped to create a spark that would lead the Bantams to a 5-3 victory. This victory would eventually lead the Bantams into their 5-2 victory against Wisconsin Stevens-Point. Despite this tremendous win, Flynn remembers another win that stands as his favorite moment at Trinity. “My most exciting sports moment at Trinity had to have been the win over Plattsburgh State in this year’s NCAA quarterfinals. We punched our ticket to the Frozen Four in front of a packed house and against a national powerhouse at the D-III level”.
Overall, Flynn and the Bantams have had a rollercoaster of a season. After making the NCAA tournament following their loss in the NEASCAC, the team has gone against all expectations and demolished their opponents (while also doing so with a four win streak). In his previous interview before the final, Flynn was unsurprisingly confident in his team. “This season has been an unbelievable ride. Our loss in the NESCAC certainly came unexpectedly but we were lucky enough to receive a bid for the NCAA tournament and we are making the most of it. I’m confident in what our team brings to the table day in and day out and know we have what it takes to make a legitimate run at the National Championship title,” and what a run they had. Flynn and the rest of the team have had a terrific season and they have made Trinity extremely proud to have a second national title this year.
RYAN MURPHY ’17
No Cinderella Stories this year. The Final Four will feature four of the biggest and most storied franchises in college basketball – Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Duke. For the first time since 2008, at least three of those teams are number 1- seeds.
Four of the most legendary coaches in the game find themselves in the Final Four again. Coach Krzyzewski (Duke) has reached the Final Four 12 times, Coach Izzo (Michigan State) 7 times, Coach Calipari (Kentucky) 6 times, and Coach Ryan (Wisconsin), who has won four D-III National Championships, twice.
Everyone expected Kentucky to make it, although they narrowly escaped ACC Champion Notre Dame in the Elite 8. Duke and Wisconsin, both number one seeds, were also favored to reach the national semis, overcoming number 2- seeds, Gonzaga and Arizona, respectively, in the quarterfinals.
The one team that is a bit unexpected is Michigan State, the number 7-seed in the East Region. Seeing as they are coached by former champion ,Tom Izzo, though, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Spartans ousted number 2-seed Virginia in the Round of 32, following that with victories over 3-seed Oklahoma and an overtime victory over Rick Pitino and 4-seed Louisville.
The Spartans success has hinged largely on the play of seniors Travis Trice, averaging 19.75 points and 4 assists per game, and Branden Dawson, averaging 11 points and 9.25 rebound per game, in their first 4 games of the tournament. Junior guard Denzel Valentine has also carried a lot of the weight, averaging over 13 points and just under six rebounds in the tournament.
They will face off with Duke, led by freshmen phenoms Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow. Okafor, the ACC Freshman and Player of the Year, stands 6’11” and is regarded as one of the best post players in the country and most likely the number one pick in this summer’s NBA draft, should he forgo his eligibility.
Both of these teams each boast three or four players averaging double figures in points throughout the season, but relatively weak benches as well. In Duke’s Elite 8 matchup with Gonzaga, all 66 of their points were scored by starters. For Michigan State to win this game, Travis Trice is going to have to continue his stellar production, a tall task against Duke senior captain Quinn Cook, who will likely guard him all game.
Branden Dawson will also have to hold his own in the post going up against the best center in the country. I think if Duke can hold Trice to under 20 points, State just won’t have enough fire power to win. If they can get some sort of offensive production from the likes of Bryn Forbes and Gavin Schilling, they may be able to pull the upset, but I think Duke will find itself in the final on April 6.
On the other side of the bracket, the rematch of the two super powers of college basketball over the last couple years will take place. First team All-Americans Willie-Cauley Stein and Frank Kaminsky will lead Kentucky and Wisonsin into the rematch of last year’s Final Four bout, in which Kentucky came out victorious.
Kentucky, led by an astounding nine McDonald’s All-Americans, has been ranked number one in every poll in the country since day one of the season, and have backed it with style, going an unprecedented 38-0. They are the first team in men’s college basketball history to win 38 games, and will reach a prestigious 40 victories if they are able to win their last two games.
The Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, are two of the most dynamic playmakers in the league, and passed up an opportunity to be first-round NBA draft picks, to come back to school and avenge their 2014 Championship loss to UConn. Freshmen Tyler Ulis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles have all played very significant minutes and have been essential in helping the team overcome the loss of junior Alex Poythress to an ACL tear mid-season.
On the other side, Wisconsin’s two-headed monster of Kaminsky and Sam Dekker will try to do what no one has been able to thus far. Dekker has been on an absolute tear in the last two games, notching career-highs in points in back-to-back games, with 23 points against UNC and 27 points against Arizona.
Dekker is lethal from three-point range and Kaminsky has a great mid-range and post game. The two will be likely first round picks in the upcoming NBA draft and will likely be the most star-power that Kentucky faces all season. Sophomore Nigel Hayes and senior Traevon Jackson will also be crucial for the Badgers in trying to down the Bobcats.
As hot as Wisconsin has been, I don’t think anyone has what it takes to down Kentucky. I feel like their fire power is simply too much for any team to match up with and their size will end up making all the difference. I anticipate a Kentucky-Duke Championship bout, rekindling some past March Madness memories, but where Duke has often come up victorious in the past, I think this year’s title belongs to the Wildcats. It will certainly be a fantastic Final Four, and we will be treated to some great basketball this Saturday and Monday.
BRIAN SULLIVAN ’15
The Trinity College Men’s Basketball team enjoyed by far its most successful season in recent memory this year, finishing 23-7 overall, winning the NESCAC regular season title, and ending up a few seconds shy of advancing to the Division-III Final Four. The Bantams were led by a strong group of six seniors; tri-captain center George Papadeas, tri-captain guard Hart Gliedman, tri-captain forward Steve Spirou, forward Alex Conaway, forward Austin Pidoriano, and guard Josh Peter. These seniors constituted the first recruiting class of fifth-year head coach James Cosgrove. They were joined by Jaquann Starks ’16, Shay Ajayi ’16, Andy Hurd ’16, and Rick Naylor ’16; and underclassmen Ed Ogundeko ’17, Chris Turnbull ’17, Chris Filpo ’17, and Brian Horn ’17; and Eric Gendron ’18, James McCullagh ’18, and Cord Stafford ’18.
Papadeas, the starting center for much of the season, provided an efficient interior scoring presence with 8.1 points per game on 57 percent shooting. Gliedman solidified himself as the best perimeter defender in the conference, consistently shutting down the opposing team’s best player and sacrificing his own offensive gains on the other end of the floor. Spirou was the quintessential “glue guy” for the team, facilitating others with screens on offense and taking the most charges on the team, defensively. Conaway emerged as a great two way player for the Bantams, capable of big games offensively but also able to defend the opposition’s best forward when necessary. Starks led the team on offense with 14.1 points per game, shooting 41 percent from the field and 44 percentfrom three, capturing First Team All-NESCAC honors for his efforts through the regular season. Ajayi was second on the team with 10.5 points per game, and contributed in other areas as well, averaging 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Hurd, a transfer from Division I Central Connecticut State, played a crucial role as backup point guard, playing his way into a bigger role as the season progressed, and ended up leading the team in assists with 3.2 per game. Naylor served as Gliedman’s backup as a perimeter defender, and also ended up being the second-best three point shooter on the team, shooting 36 percent from distance on the year. Ogundeko finished third on the team with 9.3 points per game, and led the squad with 7.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Turnbull played important minutes all season off the bench, playing a crucial role in big wins with timely three point shooting and pesky defense.
The season did not start out as planned, as the Bantams went 2-2 through the first two weekends with a pair of bad losses to Salem State and Cortland State. After that, however, the team rattled off 10 straight victories, highlighted by a pair of 30 point victories against Rivier and Norwich and a double-overtime win on the road against Williams. After a skid in which the Bantams lost 3 out of 4, including their only regular season conference loss to Tufts, the team had a 7 game win streak, which included a 16 point road win against Amherst, an overtime victory against Bowdoin, and a big win on senior night versus Colby. After finishing the conference schedule 9-1, the Bantams earned home-court throughout the NESCAC tournament, and used that to their advantage in the quarterfinals with another win against Colby. The team ran into a red-hot Wesleyan team in the semifinals, though, and fell on their home floor 55-52. This led some to question whether or not Trinity deserved a spot in the NCAA tournament, but those fears were more than put to bed when the selection committee gave the Bantams the honor of hosting the first two rounds. In round one, Colby-Sawyer jumped out to a 24-8 lead, but over the balance of the game Trinity outscored the Chargers by 21 points to pull out a 60-55 victory. The following night against Salisbury, the Bantams stifled the Seagulls from the very start of the game and cruised to a 60-47 win. In the Sweet Sixteen, Trinity met up with conference foe Bates in a game with would decide who would be the last NESCAC team left standing in the tournament. The Bantams responded to that challenge with one of their best games of the season, blowing out the Bobcats 79-62. The next night, in the Elite Eight, Trinity had the number 4 ranked Babson Beavers on the ropes all night, leading almost the entire way and holding a 6 point advantage with 2:30 left on the clock. Babson was able to claw back to force overtime and ended Trinity’s season in a 76-69 decision. This constituted the second best finish in Trinity Basketball history, only behind the 1994 Final Four team, and resulted in the Bantams being ranked #17 in the final Division III basketball poll. A truly great season for the Bantams.
ANTHONY ZUCARO ’16
The Trinity College Women’s Lacrosse team had a fantastic week as they beat both Connecticut College and Hamilton by a large offensive and defensive margin. With these two wins, the women have extended their winning streak to ten games, leading to an almost perfect 10-1 record within the NEASCAC.
The women’s match at Connecticut College on Wednesday was both an offensive and defensive show, with the total score coming out to 15-4 in favor of the Bantams. Midfielder Martha Griffin ’16 played a large part in the victory as she scored three goals and assisted on two others. While the game started at 3-1, the Bantams scored an astounding five goals within the final 10 minutes of the first half, leading them to a commanding 8-2 lead that wouldn’t be surpassed by the Camels. Clare Lynn ’17 and Allie Barret ’17 each scored three goals for the Bantams during the game, contributing even further to the offensive’s dominating performance. On the defensive side the Bantams held the Camels to a paltry 4 goals and 9 shots. This defense dominated thanks in part to goalie Zoe Ferguson ’18, who contributed to five saves. Players Ashley Stewart ’16 and Lara Guida ’17, along with the rest of the defense, also created many scoring opportunities for the Bantams by forcing 14 turnovers. While Camel player Tina Balzotti helped to contribute to the Camel’s four goals, they were no match for the Bantams.
The Bantam’s game against the Hamilton was more of the same greatness as they beat the Continentals 15-7. Eight of these goals were scored by Griffin and rookie attacker Abby McInerney ’18, who each had four goals during the game. The Bantams dominated for the entire game and never let up on the Continentals. Barret received an assist by attacker Lynn early on in the game to bring the Bantams up 2-1. This goal would give the Bantams a lead that the Continentals wouldn’t be able to break for the rest of the game. Attacker Molly Cox ’15 also had a terrific game with two goals and one assist. While Caroline McCarthy of the Continentals scored twice in order to close the gap early on, the Bantams responded with three more goals, leaving no doubt as to who would win the game. Other scorers include tri-captain attacker and midfielder Renee Olsen ’15 with 2 goals and midfielder Nicole Stauffer ’17 with one goal and one assist. On the defensive side, goalies Emily Mooney ’16 and Ferguson had five saves, while the rest of the defense limited Hamilton to only 14 shots over a half hour period. Defender Hannah Whithiam ’17 caused three turnovers during the game, further helping the Bantams.
With these two wins, the Bantams have certainly made a name for themselves as they continue to be the number one ranked team within the NEASCAC. Among their statistics is an impressive 149 goals, with 13.55 goals per game, and an undefeated record when playing at home in Hartford.
JUSTIN FORTIER ’18
Lily Talesnick ’15 made NESCAC sports headlines when she took home three first place finishes at a recent outdoor track meet on April 4 at Amherst College in a spread of six teams. The “Amherst Spring Fling” meet featured Tufts, Amherst, Brandeis, the Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College and Trinity. Despite Tufts taking first in the women’s competition, captain Talesnick led the women’s throwing team to an impressive showing.
Talesnick’s athletic career at Trinity began as a Volleyball recruit, but after her freshman season she had to retire from the team due to health reasons. However, she is a fierce competitor and refused to let her cardiac limitations prevent her from competing for the Bantams. When her sophomore year rolled around, she joined the Track and Field team, and has been throwing ever since.
It was not an easy start on the throwing squad, but Talesnick has learned a lot. When she began, she did not know what a hammer, shot or discus was, but now she spends everyday thinking about how to improve and trains hard to be the best.
In true Trinity spirit Talesnick’s favorite athletes are not professionals or Olympic contenders. Instead she looks up to her fellow track captain Jenna Wilborne ’15 who has made three appearances at the DIII Nationals. As she reflected on her favorite athletes she talked of Jaquan Starks ’16, Martha Griffins ’16 “and so many more that roam our campus every day who ultimately put Trinity across their chest and show their hearts on the court, ring, field, track, and classroom that I truly look up to.”
Beyond the track team, Talesnick is an integral part of the Trinity community. She is active in the Hillel groups on campus, as well as a manager for the Campus laundry service, in addition to taking roles around Ferris. Each summer she has taken time to be a leader in the QUEST orientation program, and helps first-years acclimate to a new college dynamic.
Even though she is fiercely competitive, Talesnick hold her family’s love at the core of her being. She is the youngest of four children, and has had five amazing role-models in her parents and siblings. Her family has helped to mold her, “to be the type of person to do everything at 100 percent.”
Talesnick’s performance at the “Amherst Spring Fling” affirmed her determination, and left her with three medals to remind her that her hard work and 100 percent effort paid off. When Talesnick spoke of her team’s performance on April 4, she said, “I was so proud and happy of all of my teammates that performed well, which energized me to compete the way I did. Track and Field is definitely a sport based on individual performance, which is something I have struggled with mentally. This weekend, however, I felt very much a part of a force.”
There is still a good stretch of season left to go, but there is no telling how far Talesnick will go this year in NESCAC and in the DIII competition. If Saturday’s performance is any indication of what Talesnick is capable of, Trinity will surely be adding a few more Track and Field golds to its historic trophy collection.
WILLIAM SNAPE IV ’18
This past weekend, the Trinity Men’s Baseball Team travelled to local Hyland Park in Hartford to take on the Colby Mules in a two-day, triple-header showcase, that had both conference and division implications.
The first match got off to a quick start, with both teams scoring one run apiece in the first inning. The Bantams continued to put the pressure on Colby starter Scott Goldberg, and loaded the bases later in the first inning with two outs. Unfortunately, Trinity left the runners stranded, as Goldberg was able to eventually retire the side.
The strong pitching continued as Trinity’s left-handed starter, Jed Robinson ’16, held the Mules to six scoreless innings, and one earned run in seven innings pitched overall. The middle stretch of the game was relatively quiet and there were no runs scored again by either team. The Bantams finally broke the stalemate in the fifth inning, until a leadoff single from outfielder Evan Abraham ’15 gave Trinity some momentum and eventually led to another score.
Heading into the seventh inning stretch, Trinity had a 2-1 edge, but it was in the final few stanzas of the game that the scoring really ramped up. In the eighth inning, Colby got two men on base and capitalized with an inside-the-park homerun from Daniel Csaplar. The Bantams were shutout in the eighth inning and went into the final frame of the game trailing 4-2.
In the bottom of the ninth a walk, and a line drive single from Trinity set up third baseman Daniel Pidgeon ’16 with two runners on the bags with one out. Pidgeon battled the Colby relief pitcher until he knocked a three-run shot over the right field wall, in what sealed the game for Trinity as a walk off win. It was Pidgeon’s first home run of the season, and it was a crucial one.
The Bantams had virtually no turnaround time, and were back out on the diamond at noon the next day to rematch Colby in a doubleheader. Trinity was shutout 7-0 in the first fixture, but made the second game a lot more competitive, with some outstanding individual performances. Outfielder Scott Huley ’15 went 1 for 4, which accounted for two RBIs and a solo homerun in the second inning. Brendan Pierce ’18 went 3 for 4, along with a stolen base and two runs. Pierce had three of the teams six total hits that day.
However, in the end, Colby’s Daniel Csaplar and Tim Corey combined for two extra base hits, and a total of five RBIs on Saturday, and the Bantams fell for the second time 5-3.
Trinity has games this coming weekend with another conference and division matchup, and will be looking to bounce back from this past weekend’s performance as they take on Tufts at home. The team will start off the weekend at 3:00 p.m. on Friday April 10 for the first game, and then start their double header at noon on Saturday, April 11.
by HENRY CUTLER ’17
If you were in the audience for the Spring Dance show at the Austin Arts Center on Mar. 27, you would have had the opportunity to see the dance team, Elemental Movement, in action. One of their many talented members, Miguel Adamson ’17, is this week’s Bantam Artist of the Week. Although he joined the group in January of this year, he has quickly risen through the ranks to become an elite artistic performer.
In a recent interview he told the Tripod, “I joined [Elemental Movement] because I enjoy dancing a lot and meeting people. Making new friends at Trinity isn’t always the easiest thing to do, so I wanted to expand my network while doing something that I liked. I never expected to join a dance group, but at the beginning of the semester, I told myself I had nothing to lose, so I tried out and the rest is history.”
In order to be a part of Elemental Movement, Adamson had to audition by learning a choreographed piece and then performing a free-style dance in front of the team, which he said was the most nerve-wracking part of all.
Elemental Movement practices in Trinity Commons, which is not too far from Summit South, Adamson’s dorm. He is a part of several organizations on campus, including La Voz Latina where he is the community service chair, an intern for multicultural recruitment in the admissions office, and the social chair for Model United Nations. He has friends all across campus due to his involvement in so many extra curricular activities, and is distinguished by his famous catch phrases, such as “Your face,” “Excuse me,” and “Rude.” As an International Studies major, Adamson spends a lot of his time in classes and lectures, trying to become the world’s next great diplomatic leader.
Adamson does not really know when his passion for dancing began, but he is known for boasting his moves on Friday and Saturday nights at various houses on Vernon Street. His hobbies outside of academics and dancing include reading, playing music, and relaxing with friends.
Although he never danced in high school, Adamson engaged in art as a member of Washington D.C.’s Maret School Orchestra. They traveled all across the country, from New York to New Orleans, Nashville, and Los Angeles. He has also participated in many of the school’s musicals and plays.
“I’ve made tons of new meaningful friendships in the Elemental Movements – something I truly value because it’s a judge-free environment,” says Adamson. His favorite event has been the recent Spring Dance Concert, as it gave him and the rest of the group an opportunity to perform in front of a large audience, a thrilling and rewarding experience. Unfortunately he had to miss out on a major performance because of a class trip to Canada. As Adamson continues with his dance career, he looks to grow even closer with his group and to learn as much as he can about the art.
by MATIAS PRIBOR ’16
Over spring break I was lucky enough to spend time in London, where I perused quasi-hipster record stores, searching for what I knew was an impossible goal – finding a good, new English band. I did not succeed in this effort, but in the process I uncovered Paolo Nutini’s “Caustic Love,” the blue-eyed soul equivalent to the Arctic Monkey’s iconic, 2006 album, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.” The Arctic Monkeys hit the scene, mesmerizing American audiences with tracks like “Fluorescent Adolescent” and “A Certain Romance.” Nutini’s album is similarly characteristic; it embodies new age Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker, UK rock-soul.
If someone asked me what the three best songs on “Caustic Love” are, I would reply, without hesitation, 3) “One Day” 2) “Numpty” 1) “Better Man.” These three songs are the best representation of the album that harnesses blues forces and compounds them with the artist’s distinct and powerful voice to create its UK-infused soul sound. “One Day” serves to fill Nutini’s quota of heavy blues tracks on “Caustic Love.” Nutini introduces his uniquely Scottish style to the traditional love ballad’s somber message of love’s loss. “Numpty,” on the other hand offers an energetic complement to “One Day” with its characteristic opening guitar riff, fun piano accompaniment, and background horn section that ties it all together into the chorus.
“Better Man” in my opinion, is the best track on the album and is also one of its simplest tracks. The song’s lyrical quality is evidenced by the subdued and minimalist instrumental accompaniment featuring an electric guitar, drum kit, bass and keyboard. Building from the start, the story centers on a man who, on the road to love’s discovery, comes to realize that his love for a woman makes him a “Better Man,” as the title suggests. “One Day,” “Numpty,” and “Better Man” all read like vignettes in the compendium of short stories that is the spectrum of love’s experience. The feelings elicited in Nutini’s album range from great loss and playful happiness to resignation and acceptance of love’s hold. These stories derive value from the universality of their messages, enhanced by Nutini’s unique sound and musical perspective. These are precisely the reasons why critics have declared Nutini “arguably Scotland’s biggest musician right now,” (BBC News) and why “Caustic Love” was considered one of the best UK albums of 2014.
“Caustic Love” is an album that deserves to be heard in its entirety, not scrapped for parts, as is the case with many records sold on iTunes and other music services. From its first track “Scream (Funk My Life Up)” to the popular single “Iron Sky,” the track list is carefully devised, with instrumental and spoken-word interludes that help the listener to comprehend “Caustic Love” as a complete project. This album is not simply a collection of great songs recorded by Nutini, but a work of his artistic elegance, calling upon the forces of love to a place where the listener can indulge in its “caustic” nature. It is for this reason that I believe “Caustic Love” is one of the best albums I have listened to in a long time. Harking upon the spirit of 1970s UK R&B/Soul style, Nutini captures the essence of something unique to his country, yet universal in life.
CAROLINE HARIRI ’17
Last week, I met with Trinity college’s very own Wolfpit, a newly created, student-run band on campus. Three of four members of the band came to talk to me about the creation, current status and future of Wolfpit. As they each walked in, it was clear the boys had recently seen each other, as they caught up since their last encounters the day before. I was introduced to senior Alex Rusbarsky (percussion player), senior John Moran (vocals and guitar) and freshman Nate Choukas (vocals and guitar). These three, and senior Billy Burchill (bass player) are the four members of Wolfpit.
Wolfpit was initially formed last semester, when Nate, John and Billy were asked to play some covers for a show at a basement party. After that, the boys decided to play at Trinity College’s first annual Trintober festival. On that day, a drummer was missing, so they called Rusbarsky as a last minute substitute, and the members simply clicked. There were a couple of unofficial auditions here and there, the band said, but the four members seemed to unanimously come together by chance. The show (and the party), were a complete success, and the boys “just knew [they] needed to make this a real band.” The name had been already chosen and was apparently nonnegotiable-and thus Wolfpit was born.
Wolfpit rehearses in the Mill, where they have easy access to equipment, and utilize the large stage space, “unless there’s some weird event going on, and we have to play on pots and pans in Billy’s house,” Rusbarksy joked. The band rehearses every day, which definitely seems like a large time commitment for a student-run band. “It’s like being on a sports team”, says Choukas. For their first year of being a band, it is extremely impressive that the boys have dedicated enough time to rehearsing, and planning so many successful shows.
Though it is clear that the members are fans of all music genres, the band mostly performs classic rock and reggae. Some of their most covered bands and artists include the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Slightly Stoopid, Bob Marley, and Dispatch. Several of their performances have included original songs, but a majority of performances consist of covers. The band describes their most played genre as “crowd pleasers,” because as a band adapting to a very particular time and setting, they feel that confirming to a ‘party band’ seems to attain more success, and is definitely more fun.
Many of their gigs have been at the Mill, but most are at The Tap Café, where it is a simple and realistic process of moving equipment to and from locations. Wolfpit would love to move to different locations, and play throughout the Hartford area, but for now, moving equipment around is unrealistic and unnecessary. The band says that there have been only a few shows where they have struggled with attaining enough crowd members, in the beginning of their careers. They said these shows tend to be the most fun for them, as people who are there, really seem to engage with the music.
The band discussed their plans for next year, when only two of the four Wolfpit members will be at Trinity. I asked whether or not the band was planning on continuing the legacy, and replacing the two graduating seniors. Moran responded that “it could never be the Wolfpit,” clearly demonstrating the bond, friendship and originality of the band. The boys say that they have reached the point where even if they can not practice for a couple of days, they can still play a gig together because they know one another’s tendencies so well.
There are plenty of bands on campus, but what makes Wolfpit so successful and recognized at Trinity is their lighthearted approach and willingness to have fun. Not only are the concerts themselves pleasurable and entertaining, but the members of the group themselves are all relaxed, upbeat, and willing to have a good time. It helps that the groups openness and social personalities have attracted students of different demographics to come support fellow classmates. Their presence on social media is also vibrant and clever, only contributing more to their popularity.
Trinity students are looking forward to seeing what Wolfpit will bring to campus in their last couple weeks as the original band. I highly recommend going out to Wolfpit’s next show to support not only an extremely musically gifted band, but a hardworking, passionate and successful group of students. Schedules are posted on their Facebook page (Wolfpit) or Instagram account (wolfpit_trinity). If you can’t wait until the next show, be sure to follow the band on Soundcloud as well!
ALEX COGGIN ’16
It is hard to pinpoint exactly when I decided I wanted to study abroad in Paris, but somewhere in between four years of high school French, a Hemingway novel, and a passion for food, I found myself becoming a regular Francophile. Paris may top the list for the most cliché study abroad cities, but it shouldn’t be dismissed as unoriginal or overdone. In my eyes, Paris is the perfect city to study abroad.
Aesthetically, the city is a perfect mix of old and new, its historical architecture blending perfectly with modern age art and style. Situated in the center of western Europe, Paris is also the perfect hub for weekend travel – Barcelona, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome, and London are all just a quick plane or train ride away. The Trinity Program’s space is beautiful and located in one of the best neighborhoods in the city. With some of the greatest museums in the world, amazing food, and plenty of nightlife, it’s no wonder people say “Paris is always a good idea.”
Although culturally Parisians are often stereotyped as highbrow and rude, in my experience this could not be more false. Yes, there are waiters who are standoffish and will give you a hard time for not speaking French perfectly, but really how is that any different from how the United States treats tourists in our cities? The key to understanding Paris is to acknowledge that, culturally, it is not the same as the United States, and to be open to the differences. All it takes is for Parisians to know that you are trying to respect their culture, and they will respect you. Everyone on my program all grew to love the “crepe man” who ran a stand outside the school. He laughed at our accents at first but in no time began serving us our Nutella crepes with a contagious smile and friendly nod. It was the little day-to-day interactions like this that made it easy to call Paris home for a semester.
The best part about studying in Paris is having the chance to construct your own Paris. Like any great city, you cannot capture Paris in a postcard or photo. Everyone has seen the postcard pictures of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero or the Arc de Triomphe. The real Paris is not one that you can simply take a picture of and post to Instagram, it is the one that you have to experience for yourself.
My favorite memories of Paris are from when I got off the beaten path and tried to see the city from the perspective of an insider. Stumbling across hidden parks, an amazing hole in the wall Asian restaurant, or the canal St. Martin are all things that I would not have seen without doing a little adventuring. Even when things don’t work out as planned, it still makes for a great memory. Whether it was almost getting mugged by a gang of 12 year olds, accidentally going to a gay bar because we could not read the sign, or getting impossibly lost trying to use the Metro the first day, I would not change a thing about my Paris experience.
Another one of my favorite memories was seeing Kygo perform at Showcase, a club situated under one of Paris’ most famous bridges, Pont Alexandre III. Emerging from the club after the show, to be on the banks of the Seine with the city of lights all around is still one of the most vivid memories from the entire trip.
Another abroad highlight was Oktoberfest in Munich, which is of course an absolute must if you study anywhere in the Eurozone during the fall semester. Hofbrauhaus tent is known as the best, and that is where most of the students go. We got there at 7:30 a.m. to get a spot in line. The inside of the tent was massive, with thousands of other study abroad students packed into a space about the size of a football field. We even ended up befriending some of the students at the table next to us and met up with them again in Barcelona. Outside the tents there are food stands and several thrill rides for the strong-stomached. With authentic German beers the size of your head and endless pretzels it is easy to understand why so many make the pilgrimage to Munich in October.
The classes the Trinity Program offers are great as well; each one of the professors carefully integrates the city into the coursework so that you get the full experience of studying abroad. My favorite class was called “Exotic Fares,” a course about the history of French gastronomy and culinary arts. The course was taught by an award winning chef and author and featured a lab component consisting of restaurant visits and a wine tasting.
Courses aside, the experience of living in a foreign city is an irreplaceable learning experience. I chose to live in an apartment, and the independence and adaptability involved with living in a new city is perhaps the greatest lesson of all. There really is no better way to teach yourself about independence than to study abroad.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
We as a culture are a product of our past. While contemporary issues, developments and technologies continue to shape who we are and the way we function, it is impossible to deny how much of our identities and associations we owe to our heritage. A heritage that we from time to time, like to confront through encounters with monuments, artifacts, and other edifices that remind us of the time gone by. Of our ancestors.
Thus, historic structures, objects, and pieces of art bear more than just an aesthetic function- they are a physical manifestation of a bygone era, of the passage of time. This is why our society puts so much care into the preservation of such items. But what happens when these indicators of time and history are destroyed? When we can only helplessly witness the plunder of the most revered monuments of our society, thankful that it is not our lives confronting the same fate, in that moment? This is a reality faced by innocent citizens of Iraq and Syria who are victimized by The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
ISIS is well into its execution of a campaign to smash, burn, and demolish or loot a majority of ancient relics and archaeological sites under their control in Syria and Iraq. This destruction raises worries that shouldn’t remain specific to those of Iraqi or Syrian heritage, or to historians and archeologists- it should be a matter of concern to the world.
Even in light of the bloodshed, and the threat to lives that the civil wars ignited by the ISIS pose, the damage to irreplaceable pieces of history is a parallel issue that demands addressal. The regions of Syria and Iraq trace back an extremely rich history, that dates to ancient human civilization, stretches through the biblical period, and also cradles the history of Islam. Consequently, the artifacts and structures here take us back to a variety of eras that are reminiscent of the birth of religions, cultures, and of human life itself.
The statues at Nimrud, for instance, were constructed almost 3,000 years ago by one of the most ancient civilizations to inhabit the planet: the Mesopotamian civilization. The statues were recently announced to have been bulldozed to the ground by ISIS’s militants. These winged statues are symbolic of Iraq’s rich history, and by virtue of their conception in the cradle of civilization, are relics of the history of mankind. An image of the statues that has been featured on Iraq’s currency since the 1950s is now gone forever. This is only one example of the damage that the ISIS has already caused, and threatens to continue causing.
While a majority of objects and relics may not always be destroyed, they are constantly being stolen and sold into the black market, and effectively are lost forever. Their existence is thus also rendered insignificant. The destruction or loot of historic sights or objects, arguably aims to wipe out a collective memory, destroying notions of identity particularly when citizens realize they have no history or culture to look back to, and no material sense of their past. While a majority of us may not be as conscious of our connections to Mesopotamian, or relatively recent Islamic heritage, the loss is most felt by citizens of the region that must endure a sense of a part of themselves being taken away from them.
Although the destruction of objects and buildings seems trivial in light of the relative monstrosity of bloodshed and rising death tolls, their impact will be faced by generations, even after the wars end. The ISIS is destroying more than lives, it is dismantling and destroying a culture.
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
In the wake of the cataclysmic plane crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, new information has recently been uncovered that may be able to shed some light on the tragedy.
New findings indicate that the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight, which was carrying 150 passengers from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany, deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps on Tuesday, March 24. The flight departed from Barcelona at approximately 10 p.m. A half hour later the captain asked the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, to take over the controls while he left the cockpit, presumably to go to the bathroom. It was at this point that the plane began to make a steady descent. For the next ten minutes, the captain was heard demanding entrance into the cockpit with no reply from Mr. Lubitz. At 10:41 p.m., with the captain still begging to get back into the cockpit, the planes last known location was recorded at 6,800 feet before crashing into the mountains at 6,000 feet. The plane had been descending at a rapid pace of 3,400 feet per minute (the average descent is 1,500 feet per minute).
Reports from the crash and the evidence from the voice recorder inside the cockpit indicate that, before air traffic control lost contact with the plane, Mr. Lubitz had been breathing steadily and calmly in the final moments of the flight. Brice Robin, Marseille public prosecutor, also said that the voice recorder showed evidence of courteous conversation between the two pilots for the first half hour of the flight, however Mr. Lubitz responses were terse. Data from the planes transponder also suggested that Mr. Lubitz had manually set the autopilot to take the plane to lowest possible descent setting, 96 feet. These discoveries all led officials to believe that the crash was premeditated and intentional. Further investigation revealed the shocking truth that Mr. Lubitz suffered from severe depression.
He was first hired by Lufthansa airlines, the parent of Germanwings, two years earlier. Prosecutors said that Mr. Lubitz has no obvious reason to commit mass murder nor was there an indication that this had been a terrorist attack. Lufthansa did reveal, after a search of its records, that Mr. Lubitz had sent the company an email informing them of his depressive condition. This was the first acknowledgement by the company that it was aware of Mr. Lubitz’s health issue before the crash, raising further questions as to why the airline would allow him to continue to fly passenger jets without further investigation. Prosecutors in Germany have released a statement saying that Mr. Lubitz had been previously treated for suicidal tendencies. After a search of his apartment, police officers also found doctor’s notes saying the Mr Lubitz was too sick to work, including on the day of the crash. Some of the notes had been torn up and thrown away, leading officials to conclude that Mr. Lubitz was attempting to hide his medical problems. Many continue to question why the airline didn’t go further into investigating Mr. Lubitz indications that he was somewhat mentally unstable. However, he did end up passing the company’s medical and psychological tests.
No one will ever be able to be wholly sure about what prompted an individual to act in such a destructive manner. Questions about Mr. Lubitz mental health have provoked debate about making stricter regulations regarding the qualifications required by pilots. While I cannot agree more that this may be a necessary step forward and while I am saddened by this horrific tragedy, I wonder about the repercussions of this incident, specifically in regards to mental health stigmas.
The intense focus being placed on Mr. Lubitz mental health may raise a double-sided concern. On the one hand it raises the risk of unfairly stigmatizing millions of people with mental disorders and subsequently making it less likely for them to come forward for fear of being persecuted or facing unemployment as a consequence. This could then lead to making it harder for professions to detect employees who may be at high risk. Companies dealing with these questions are now faced with the challenge of striking a balance between decreasing the stigma enough to encourage employs to come forward and also drawing a firm line in protecting the publics safety.
KELLY VAUGHAN ’17
When five guys and one girl live together in a suite, it’s hard to imagine a room that isn’t filled with solo cups, pizza boxes, and clothes carelessly tossed across the furniture. However, the roommates of Jarvis Towers have gone above and beyond in decorating their space with unique, hard-to-believe-it touches that truly redefine dorm decor.
The residents, Max Le Merle ’16, James Whelan ’16, Camden Howe ’16, Scott Caradonna ’16, Gianna Tondini ’16, and Brendan Dempsey ’15 all have welcoming personalities that can be seen both in their smiles and in the personal decor scattered throughout the room. When you walk through the door, you immediately enter a large common room with two black couches, a high definition TV placed on the mantle of the fireplace, and foam tiles covering the area of the floor that look exactly like wood flooring.
Another highlight within the space is a customized wooden table with Jarvis T400 and the Trinity logo engraved into it, which is placed alongside a windowsill adorned with pillows. The windows overlook by far the most remarkable view of the Chapel and quad that I have seen in any dorm room. All of the roommates agree that the view is by far their favorite part of living in the Towers; Le Merle even admits that he has seen multiple people Instagram the Chapel from the common room.
For roommates Le Merle and Whelan, they “agreed on a sort of maritime theme and wanted [their] dorm to feel more like an apartment than like college housing.” They also pulled inspiration from their hometowns. Whelan, who originally hails from Hyannis Port, and Le Merle who is from California, attached a wooden oar to their wall, nautical statues, and framed seaside paintings throughout the room. Tondini, who is a photographer, spent this past summer in Denmark and framed six breathtaking images of Copenhagen that look like postcards.
Le Merle’s believes that interesting books and framed posters of art are essential when decorating and that one should “steer away from posters if you want it to look like you’ve put serious effort into your room.” Their tasteful yet bold design choices make this already unique room to Trinity even more outstanding.
KELLY VAUGHAN ’17
Dorm rooms are essentially a home away from home for most college students. Therefore, naturally one will want to incorporate as many aspects of their home life as possible. Brianna Allen ’16 exemplifies that.
Hailing from Florida, Allen’s room in Vernon Place is a nautical, spa-like sanctuary, with soothing lighting, romantic bedding in shades of ivory and blue, and silver furnishings. Subtle hints of the sunshine state shine through in her choice of coral and aqua printed pillows, a brown wicker coffee table, and a bold flamingo print on the wall next to her bed. A blue and white printed curtain draped in front of her window and the light breeze that entered from the window elevated the refreshing ambiance.
Her room feels effortless, which is what makes it the perfect space to come and relax after a hectic day of classes and extra-curricular activities. A large, incredibly comfortable looking bed is pushed against the back wall with white scalloped sheets and layers of blue and white pillows, with the front pillow embroidered with the phrase, “Sweet Dreams.” Next to her vanity hangs a large vintage champagne print in gold and black reading, “L’Instant Taittinger,” raising a toast to Grace Kelly. The print is simple yet elegant, much like the rest of Allen’s room.
A turquoise and blue printed tray which was a lucky find at Home Goods holds Allen’s makeup brushes, lotions, and perfumes. What makes this special is that Allen is not thrown all of her makeup into one cosmetic bag, but rather, thoughtfully placed individual items out for display. A dorm room, especially a single, should be a space where one can escape from the chaos of campus and relax. Take a note from Allen in order to create a polished and peaceful environment.
KELLY VAUGHAN ’17
Somewhere between shopping in the Kate Spade flagship store and devoutly reading fashion and design blogs, I developed a vision for what I wanted my dream dorm room to look like. With the fear of having linoleum floors and stereotypical dorm furniture, it was hard to imagine that I could make my pink and navy dreams come to life. However, with hours spent on Pinterest, many trips to and from the craft store, and a naturally unique room, I was able to create a setting that was bright, comfortable, and very much true to my own personal style.
I am lucky enough to live in Cook, which automatically means a classic room, with a large fireplace and gorgeous view overlooking the quad. I knew I wanted the fireplace to be one of the main focal points of my room, so I filled it with battery operated candles and changed the mantle decor based on the season. I also created a large gallery wall following the pink, navy, and white color scheme and included everything a girl could wish for – whimsical quotes, Lilly Pulitzer prints, and several other paintings and DIY projects.
Given my love for arts and crafts, I knew the fun couldn’t stop there. I sewed many of the pillows on my bed and chairs using a variety of patterns and trims, all of which coordinated with my navy and white polka dot bedding.
The best feeling is when my friends come into my room into my room and say “oh my gosh, this is so you!” In order to keep your room a reflection of your personality, steer away from white christmas lights, tapestries, and movie posters. Instead, define your style through coordinating colors, personal photographs, and decor to receive that same reaction.
ELISE KEI-RAHN ’16
I was a freshman in October 2012 when Angie Epifano, a former Amherst College student, wrote a harrowing account of her rape for the Amherst Student. Her story captured the interest of numerous major media outlets such as The New York Times, Bloomberg and The Huffington Post, which immediately transformed the bucolic liberal arts college into a national battleground teeming with animosity towards educational institution’s treatment of sexual assault survivors. Anger was directed towards the administration at Amherst, but Epifano’s story was so inherently powerful that she turned the college’s mistakes into an Everyman’s mistake. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network reports that one in four women will face rape or attempted rape by the time they reach graduation. This statistic also fails to account for those outside college gates as well as males’ experiences, most specifically the LGBTQ community who traditionally contains a disproportionate quantity of such assault. Additionally, only 46 per cent of survivors report their rapes to the police, and only three percent of those reports lead to any jail time for the perpetrators. So, what elements of Epifano’s story distinguished her from the abundance of other individuals who faced the same adversity she did?
This question is more rhetorical as it is almost too immense to answer. Epifano’s story resonated with me because I could picture myself in her place. At the time, I attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, just a mere mile from Amherst’s campus. I have friends at the college and I have many memories of socializing in Crossett, the suite-style dorm Epifano reported being raped in. I remember dancing at a party in one of the common rooms and immediately coming to a halt when an acquaintance mentioned that he thought that we were standing in the crime scene.
Yet what I found most intriguing about Epifano’s story were the polarized responses she garnered post-publication. Epifano was a runner on the college’s cross country and track teams, and one of her teammates, and acquaintance of mine, disclosed to me that there was a general feeling that she was a bit off before her story was brought into the spotlight. Epifano’s friend emphasized that she came from a broken household and somewhat isolated herself from the team dynamic despite being a core runner and scorer of points at meets. It didn’t surprise him that Epifano was institutionalized against her will after she spoke to a college employee about her case, and was pressured into taking time off from her education. To him, Epifano needed attention for the sake of her sanity and to move forward. To him, she had already been disregarded far too many times in her life, so she embellished a story to compensate for the dearth of compassion shown towards her.
On the other end of the spectrum, Epifano incited a flame of brethren between survivors and students across the nation to speak up against the injustices. One of the most disturbing sections of her account is when Epifano says, “Amherst has almost 1,800 students; last year alone there were a minimum of 10 sexual assaults on campus. In the past 15 years there have been multiple serial rapists, men who raped more than five girls, according to the sexual assault counselor. Rapists are given less punishment than students caught stealing. Survivors are often forced to take time off, while rapists are allowed to stay on campus. If a rapist is about to graduate, their punishment is often that they receive their diploma two years late. I eventually reported my rapist. He graduated with honors. I will not graduate from Amherst.” As a result of Epifano’s accusations, and because schools are under a microscope to adhere to Title IX and accurately report statistics in their Clery Acts, there is a more visible media platform for students to come forth with their own stories of assault on campus.
One student who used this platform was Jackie, a pseudonym used in a Rolling Stone article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, about exposing the story of University of Virginia student who was allegedly “gang banged” at a fraternity party two years ago. Recently, Rolling Stone’s managing editor, Will Dana, announced that publication found discrepancies in Erdely’s account of Jackie’s story. Dana writes, “in the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.”
While these stories depict authentic suffering, they can be easily manipulated and embellished by the greater public, the media, and sometimes the schools themselves. The media attacks women with messages about how they need to look, act, feel, and relate to one another. These expectations discredit self-esteem and create hyper-censorious association between one’s self and its manifestation. Women are under constant scrutiny as sexual objects or toys. They patrol each others’ attractiveness and behavior to the same degree that men evaluate females based on their looks. Thus, every pair of eyes is always directed towards women.
You may argue that the same can be said about males. The media indeed bombards men with messages about how they ought to look, act, feel, and relate, but it does so in a different fashion than how it directs its attention towards females. Look at any advertisement directed at males in their twenties and there is a near perfect chance that the poster boy is attractive, muscular, confident, and most importantly, masculine. Women evaluate men based on their attractiveness and males arguably police each other’s looks and behavior, just in a less direct manner than females. Thus, girls have become a focus in the media and will remain the focus in discourse of responses to sexual assault and the greater issue of on gender equality.
However, girls becoming the focus of this issue shouldn’t push males into a corner. The voices of the fraternity brothers in question were silenced when Erdely failed to reach out to them to comment on their experiences. Rape accusations are not something that should be trivialized or exploited for the sake of selling a magazine. The pervasive linkage between such stories is a habit of the mishandling or disregard of sexual assault claims. The controversy surrounding Rolling Stone impacts our campus because our school is subjugated to the same federal laws that UVA and Amherst are both under scrutiny for violating.
It is truly disheartening for victims still holding their stories inside to see the backlash about the article and Jackie’s claim. False reports of rape and sexual assault occur with the same frequency as false reports of any other crime, from theft to murder. There is a deafening silence from the student body at many colleges and universities in the United States when it comes to support for reporting incidents on college campuses. The phrase “cry rape” is used regularly even in reference to actual incidents that are proven to have occured. Unfortunately, it has become so engrained in our culture that even those who speak about sexual assault in this manner do not realize that they are subliminally perpetuating the concepts of victim shaming and victim doubting. It is sentiments like these that scare victims into bottling their feelings, thoughts, and stories. As we all know, traumatic events like these can have disastrous effects on a person. Often, victims withdraw from school, isolate themselves from their friends, and their health rapidly deteriorates from a lack of support from any source.
I cannot speak for other students, but thus far I have been impressed with Trinity’s response to sexual assault on campus. I am aware that campus safety officers are known to assist victims by clearly presenting all the options they could take against their perpetrator, and also direct them to resources that could help them emotionally. They are even known to follow up with victims to ensure that they are in a sound state and care for the student’s wellbeing long after an incident has occurred.
Rolling Stone’s contentious story shouldn’t nullify every other victim’s experience, such as Angie Epifano’s sexual assault narratives are still pertinent. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, I encourage you to reach out to either Know Your IX or WGRAC, both viable options to combat the after effects of sexual violence. Friends of survivors and supporters of the cause, it’s time to stand in solidarity. Please take the time to attend this week’s Take Back the Night event, and surround yourself with people who also want to show support for those who need it most. Survivors need to be encouraged to bring light to their experiences so society can properly combat this monstrous issue.
NICO NAGLE ’17
Rapper, Childish Gambino, used his comedy special, “Weirdo”, to hilariously argue that “there is something about racism that’s funny, when it’s tiny.” While you may have your qualms with this statement as it stands, the multi-talented New York University alumnus makes a point that one would be hard-pressed to rebut. What he attempts to convey is that racism, prejudice, or any other derogatory commentary directed at a group, does not have such an impact when it is separated from the devices that give it force.
I would contend that nearly everyone, at one point or another, has told a joke founded in race, religion, or some sort of similar identifier. I would also contend that a similar percentage of the population has laughed at such a joke, and thrown its hurtful barbs by the wayside in the wake of its comedic value. Let me be clear, I cannot and will not claim to be of those who are so enviably progressive that a slip of the tongue is not an option. What I will claim is that there is an ideal that all people should strive for.
The natural impulse of the human brain is to generalize, group, and label everything it has the opportunity to analyze. In fact, the brains that do this the best are regarded as the most intelligent, the most competent, and the most useful. However, like everything humans regard as an achievement, ascertaining a higher, better version of oneself requires training. The existing infrastructure of the body, mind, or both must be actively molded to handle more nuance in a way that deviates from or directly conflicts with the manner in which the untrained self might handle similar scenarios. With whatever level of proficiency a person may have in this regard, he or she will invariably, as people do, apply his or her ability of analysis to the phenomena he or she sees in the world around them. The manifestations of what has been described are the actions and thoughts a person engages oneself in, which consequently are an undeniable assertion of values derived from worldly perception. In the chronology of human existence, the most revered figures, the pillars of human potential, have been those who have trained their minds to appreciate, account for, and act on the nuance of the world around them.
That is why it is so upsetting, when students, those who are supposed to have the highest potential for such intellectual capacity, hold onto knee-jerk sentiments about social issues.
Let us be honest about the state of the social scene at Trinity College. Despite the tremendous diversity of the student body and faculty, it is often overshadowed by the numerical dominance of the “WASP.” This is not entirely a bad thing, as being surrounded by similar types of people affords people comfort, a key component of success in academic and other arenas. However, for those who do not come from such a background, whether it be ethnically, economically, or in some other way, the same enclave that supports one group can be alienating for another. Upon their arrival in New York after fleeing the potato famine, Irish immigrants were met with jeers from the decedents of Protestant immigrants that had come before them. The repetition of this process led to the division of the city, and to defensive mentalities that often led to violence.
The fact of the matter is that people do not like to venture out of their comfort zone. It is a symptom of basic human thought that has nearly defined sociology since the dawn of man. The other fact is that at Trinity, those who are of the most numerous party have no social impetus to venture outside of this comfort zone. This is not to say that the dominant party is the only group on trial, as comfort zones exist for all types of people. As history has shown so many times before, the discomfort in associating with different types of people often brings about separation. It also brings about fear-induced stereotyping, which goes by many names, but is most widely accepted as prejudice.
Let me once again be very clear. Extreme, socially unacceptable prejudice exists at Trinity College. It takes many forms and covers a variety of topics, and recently, it has shown itself as overt racism. The proposition of a Latino-based, not Latino-exclusive, LAU, fraternity on Trinity’s campus induced a lashing out of these defensive feelings.
Let me be very clear one final time. This article does not mean to take on the issue of Greek life on the campus of Trinity College, and while it may be a related issue, the discussion of this article does not apply, in full, to the subject. Please excuse this digression.
Behind the veil of anonymity, students took to Yik Yak to fly the flag of hatred and ignorance in a myriad of ways. The most distressing of these outbursts were those that came in the form of jokes. One post read “All the locals bout to try to get a bid at LAU,” while another stated “Can’t wait to hear call a hermano por favor!!!” Still another read, “A new fraternity will be named Kappa Kappa Kappa.” The most legitimate concern of the student population was what one post called “reverse racism,” a topic that deserves discussion in the public forum. With that being said, whether it be disparaging commentary directed at people based on their socio-economic status, a put-down of the language and culture, or a joke based on an infamous hate group, the common theme was inappropriate racism based on ethnic and cultural boundaries.
What is particularly troubling is that these types of posts were met with positive responses. One of the quoted posts received more than 30 ups. What this means is that a majority of those who saw them either agreed with the sentiment, or felt its comedic value trumped the offensive message. Regardless, it represents a problem. Those who are equipped with the greatest ability and opportunity to enhance their brain function and appreciate the merits of nuance in society have succumb to their basic, animalistic, unbecoming nature to group broadly, and fear differences.
In what is considered one of the greatest speeches of all time, Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his dream that all people would “not be judged by the color of the skin, but by the content of their character.” Fifty-two years later, I would like to express the same dream. I implore the students of this campus, regardless of ethnic or socio-economic background, to reach inside themselves and pull out the hostility-inducing instinct to judge individuals based on grouping, or to judge groups based on their associated stereotypes. I beg of you to use the gifts you have been afforded to attain a greater version of yourself. Allow your mind to develop and grow not just in the classroom, but also outside of it, and learn to analyze people the same way you analyze a text, with a large set of parameters, and on a case-by-case basis.
Finally, I hope that all people can realize that comfort comes in similarity, and that comfort with similar people often blossoms when faced with a common enemy. With this realization, let us repurpose the human instinct to defend against the enemy, and point it toward that which threatens all of us. What if we did not take socio-economic standing as similarity, and instead united against the common enemy that is the ravages of time or the oppression of spirit? What if all people saw death, of the body and the soul, as the greatest enemy? Might it highlight that we are all the same in the way that matters most? Could it further establish the truth that to be human is to demand a certain dignity? The answer is yes, because to fear the unknown and to love the similar is a human condition. Let us be human together.
MAZIN KHALIL ’15
Dear Members of the Trinity College Men’s Basketball Team,
I know some, if not most, of you all personally. I say hi to you guys in passing, and in classes, and cheer you guys on at your games. During my four years here, I have been to most, if not all, of your home games. I’ve been there when you guys have had a winning season, and I’ve been there when you guys have had a less successful season. This may seem odd to some people, and completely normal to others. The reason for this, and also the reason why I’m writing this letter are much deeper, your team has helped me find my place here.
I said it would sound odd, but this letter has become more needed, especially now with talks amongst underclassmen about transferring as a result of not finding their place here. I came to Trinity from a school in Brooklyn, N.Y, which was approximately 90% Caribbean. The rest of the student population was a mixture of Asians, Hispanics and Russians. After having come from such a diverse place to Trinity, I felt overwhelmed. I felt essentially how Timmy Turner from the show “The Fairly Odd Parents” felt when he wished that everyone were a grey blob. This was because I felt that there was a culture here that I could not understand, one that I was not a part of and one that I could not be a part of. I felt out of place and that I couldn’t find my niche. I felt that way for such a long time and this feeling of isolation is something no one likes to experience. This could have been due to many reasons, ranging from people not being quite so friendly here (the lack of acknowledgements on the Long Walk, as an example) to ostracizing anything different from the Trinity mold.
When I went to the basketball games that feeling changed, I felt what it’s like to be a small part of something that serves a greater purpose. It’s the fact that I was still able to find a sense of comrade, and shared a desire for our team to win and a general love of the sport with people I’ve never seen before. At that point, I began to feel at home. In my particular case, I realized I had felt that I was out of place because I had not quite immersed myself into Trinity. That changed once I realized and knew that I could come to your games and feel that Bantam Pride that I had so desperately wanted to feel. I felt that I could be there cheering you guys on and feeling school spirit. I didn’t realize how important that was until you guys played Wesleyan in the NESCAC tournament. I saw the Wesleyan crowd, who made ours look diminutive in size and how happy and jovial they were, because they were all together feeling that Wesleyan pride together. Then it clicked even more when you guys played at Babson against both Bates and Babson. Yes, both crowds were bigger than ours, but the rallying from our fans was so amazing. It felt great to be part of something like that.
You guys have had such a phenomenal season. Your team has come a long way from the first two games of the season to where you are now. I’m very grateful for the heart and soul you all have shown in each and every game. You’ve played through injuries, you’ve come back and cut the lead after being down 30 in the half against Salem State, you’ve even fought back and taken the lead against Colby-Sawyer in the first game of the NCAA tournament. As athletes, it isn’t always apparent what you guys do for the school. You play with the name “Trinity” on your jerseys, and yes you “represent” the school. But more so, for me, you’ve come to represent the student body and produced a place for someone who had trouble finding one during their time here. As athletes, you are capable of becoming the glue for the student body, and in my opinion and from my perspective, this particular team along with several others, have been able to do that.
I want to thank the team again for being a great group of guys and for allowing me to cheer and in doing so, feel at home. As a senior, I’m glad I was able to feel that Bantam pride, regardless of when it happened, and it was all because of your team.
AUSTIN DUEBL ’18
For decades, U.S. foreign policy has regarded war with the Russian Federation as one of, if not the most, unfortunate event to befall both the U.S. and the world. However, we have been at war with Russia before. No, not because of some fluke during the Cold War or a declaration of war against Hitler’s ally in the early years of the Second World War but a properly sanctioned one from 1918 to 1920. Yes, even in 1918 and before, the leading country of the free world was invading countries to spread freedom and democracy. President Woodrow Wilson stood at the forefront of this spread of democracy, and he placed full, unwavering support behind those who he knew would uphold liberty and freedom; the autocratic, corrupt, and oppressive Tsarist regime of Russia. For those who know about Wilson, this must seem like a minor exception to his purely democratic views, as he is credited with the idea of the League of Nations, the United Nation’s doomed predecessor, and a key figure of International Relations’ Liberalism. A little known fact is that he also is held responsible for the rise of the infamous dictators Batista, the Duvaliers, the Somozas, and Trujillo.
Why is this not widely known? Why do most only know Wilson as the first Liberal, and not as a dictator-supporting, voracious white supremacist? As historian James Loewen argues, it is because of blind heroification, a process that “[turns] flesh-and-blood individuals into pious, perfect creatures without conflicts, pain, credibility, or human interest.” With the assumption that you have been subjected to this heroification as I have, I shall spare you the merits of Wilson’s Fourteen Points, women’s suffrage sentiment, etc., and get straight on to some good old bashing that you can throw at your professors when they say Wilson was a true proponent of IR Liberalism and world democracy.
As early as 1917, a year before American boots hit Russian soil, Wilson was sending the White Russians secret monetary aid. Not only did this secret money flow completely fail, as the expeditionary force did, but it would also mark the beginning of hostile sentiment between Russia and the Western powers. This was because the expeditionary force prolonged the Russian Civil War, made it considerably more bloody and destructive, and gave the Bolsheviks undeniable proof that the West had always meant to crush the USSR’s socialist experiment. Moreover, it would only be after the collapse of the Soviet Union that Russian demands for reparation payments for the 1918-1920 fiasco finally silenced.
The rights laid out by the League of Nations, notably the one to self-determination, were supposed to be ones respected with few exceptions. Ironically, Wilson would be the one to make this unchanging right the most unreliable. When Ho Chi Minh came to Versailles to petition for Indochina’s freedom, for example, the President refused to listen. That wasn’t all – Wilson would also do the most to suppress the right in Latin America and virtually subjugate countries to the invisible strings of the great American puppet master.
Under Wilson’s leadership, not Congress’, the US landed troops in Mexico in 1914, Haiti in 1915, the Dominican Republic and Mexico (again) in 1916, nine more times in Mexico after that, Cuba in 1917, and Panama in 1918. Historians sympathetic to Wilson like to shift the blame to Congress, claiming Wilson was hamstrung in office, but this was not the case. Wilson’s order for the 1914 invasion of Mexico outraged both the American public and Congress. The U.S. would rewrite Haiti’s constitution to make it less democratic, force the election of the United States’ favoured Haitian Presidential candidate, and engage in the “indiscriminate killing of natives” during the Haitian anti-American revolt in 1919. Haiti would not be the last, unfortunately. Throughout his presidency, Wilson kept troops in Nicaragua to influence the president of that country, too, and make sure she committed to policies preferential to the US. Perhaps when you think of working with charities helping in Latin America, you’ll think of America’s role in setting up the extractive, corrupt institutions that so plague the region.
As Loewen has revealed, there is a stunning lack of information and whitewashing when it comes to Wilson’s policies. If it weren’t for blind worship and reverence, where we make Wilson into a two-dimensional champion of democracy, I wouldn’t be writing this article as war with Russia would be common knowledge. Writers seem to fear including the ‘warts’ of characters, as Oliver Cromwell so famously put, as these would put a stain their otherwise immaculate careers. In truth, it makes some people’s achievements, like the Communist Helen Keller’s (we’ll talk about that another time), less remarkable, and not-so-great people like Wilson to be champions of values they failed to practice.
SHEILA NJAU ’17
On Mar 19, 2015, a woman was beaten to death in Kabul after she made statements to a man who was selling amulets at a shrine. These statements turned into an argument, an argument that led to her death. While it remains unclear exactly how this came about, the 27-year old woman, Farkhunda, was accused of burning pages of the Quran. This act is considered a grave wrongdoing in numerous religious sects. Farkhunda, who had a degree in religious studies, was beaten by a mob, pushed off a roof, and run over by a car. After all this, her attackers set her on fire and threw her into the Kabul River. Farkhunda had only been trying to tell the man to stop selling false artifacts, and she paid for it with her life. What makes the situation worse is that those who witnessed this atrocity occurring did nothing to aid Farkhunda. I am trying not to judge too harshly because I was not there at the time to observe what could have prevented others from helping her, but I remain horrified. This woman wasn’t just beaten to death, she was dehumanized and the fact that they thought to finish the atrocity by setting her on fire is incomprehensible.
Accounts from a man who was there that day said that during Farkhunda’s argument with the man about the amulets, she threw pages of the Quran into the fire and that is what caused the mob to begin beating her. It also seems that police officers tried to control the crowd, but were unable to. At one point, they were able to get Farkhunda to a place of safety, but she was taken again by the crowd of attackers. Additionally, there were claims that Farkhunda was mentally ill. Later, it turned out that there was no evidence that could be found which proved that Farkhunda had burned pages of the Quran. So an innocent woman was killed based upon unsubstantiated charges. There is no proof that Farkhunda was mentally unstable, not that such a fact would justify any of the behavior took place. This just goes to show how awful this attack was.
As I sit here and think, I struggle to wrap my head around this senseless tragedy. What makes this hard to understand is the fact that as much as we want to believe that we have made so much progress forward, the truth is that maybe things haven’t really changed that much and that maybe they never really will change. What does that say about human progress? Does the fact that people took videos as she was being murdered say something about the progression? I understand the need to have evidence to be able to prosecute the perpetrators, but it’s still hard to swallow that her suffering was captured on these videos. As she begged for mercy, as she stated that she had done nothing wrong, people stood by watching and did so until she took her last breath.
Over 18 people have been arrested over the murder and 13 policemen have been suspended over the lack of action. While it is good that some kind of action has been taken against this vicious attack, it will never be able to erase the events that took place that day. I do think, however, that the women carrying Farkhunda’s coffin on the day of her funeral rather than the men was beautiful because in their own way they were showing their outrage over her death. Now, with the protests going on, it is somehow gratifying to know her death will not go unnoticed, it is gratifying to know that people care and are willing to fight for her. That will to fight is something I wish had surfaced when she was attacked, ran over by a car, or even as she was set on fire. Unfortunately, these actions were done and cannot be changed. All that others can do at this point is try to make sure that it does not happen to another innocent person.
What was done to Farkhunda was terrible. It was unjust and merciless. Again, I try not to be harsh, but I find it hard to accept that one’s beliefs should ever justify such an act. The worst thing of all is how something like this can be brought about by many reasons. In many areas similar to Kabul, these kinds of violent attacks on women and minorities are not uncommon. Often, they go unpunished by the authorities, who should be responsible for promoting progress toward a safer culture. I don’t even know what to say that doesn’t sound trivial in the face of her death. All I can say is that I hope that Farkhunda has peace and that she knows that people will continue to fight against her unjust death.
KELLY VAUGHAN ’17
More often than not, if one were to survey both the prospective and current students on any college campus, most would say they were dissatisfied with the college apparel’s lacking unique quality. Despite flaunting a college’s respective colors, logo, or mascot in every possible combination, there is nothing personal or timeless about a t-shirt or hoodie. Though threaded with comfort and ease, the stacks of cotton garments that fill campus bookstores nationwide are somewhat monotonous. Enter, Hillflint.
Started by Ivy League graduates Woody Hines and John Shi, Hillflint is a startup luxury sweater company that aims to bring back classic collegiate knitwear to students and alumni of schools across the nation. Though the company originally only sold Ivy League sweaters, due to high demand, Hillflint has expanded their line to include other NESCAC schools- including Trinity- and other large universities. Hines says that both he and Shi felt that their school stores carried a “bunch of stuff that felt commoditized and inauthentic, like the guys making it had no idea what it was like to go to our schools, much less be a college student these days.”
It wasn’t until a homecoming event at Dartmouth where the men found the inspiration for their company. “John met a guy named Ed Heald, an alum who was wearing his class year sweater, with 1968 knit across the chest. It was in perfect condition 45 years after he received it. The numbers were knit-in- not screen-printed, embroidered, or felted on. It was just a totally timeless looking and feeling sweater.” This sweater is more well known for glossing the pages of Take Ivy, a Japanese photography book first published in 1965 that archived candid images of Ivy League students in their attractive, yet modest everyday wear.
As recent college graduates marketing to their same demographic, Hines and Shi both knew that they wanted to make an affordable, unique sweater unlike the “other sweaters in stores which were thin, itchy $120 sweaters with little logos embroidered on the left chest.” Hines says that ultimate goal of Hillflint was to create “well-designed college sweaters that authentically spoke to peoples’ college affiliations. Quality and design that was made to last, at an attainable price point.” And the company offers just that. Their line of collegiate knitwear and class sweaters are knit with over one pound of Australian Merino wool or cotton and cost just under $100. At stereotypically preppy campuses, like Trinity’s, it’s difficult to obtain a unique sense of style while also remaining true to the school’s heritage. Hillflint provides the apparel for students to craft their own image while also engaging in fashionable camaraderie.
While there’s a time and place for critter pants and madras button downs, Hines and Shi felt that the clothes they made should match the diversity and casual feel of the average student body. “I look at a Ralph Lauren ad and think that this idea of smoking a cigar and sipping scotch in an oak room feels out of touch,” says Hines. “The truth is that we don’t think this kind of advertising is enticing. We think it makes people who see it feel alienated because it doesn’t speak to what they want from life. The scotch and cigar lifestyle might have been appealing back in the day, but I think it just doesn’t speak to millennials. We let our customers choose how to wear our sweaters, but we don’t market them through images where they are on tall models who don’t look like anyone we know, with the models on a giant lawn holding croquet mallets.”
In order to genuinely engage with their customers rather than stigmatize a certain lifestyle, Hines acknowledges that “even the preppiest kids in our college classes were less preppy than the image these brands painted for their customers. Our brand is increasingly just about engaging honestly with our customer base, rather than forcing someone else’s notion of style on them.”
Having just graduated from Princeton University less than three years ago, Hines understands the struggles college students face not only in trying to find a job, but also, when trying to create their own job. A huge challenge Hines and Shi faced was having the financial means to support their aspirations, especially since, as Hines puts it, “John and I don’t have networks full of individuals who are absolutely dying to invest in 25 year olds, and while I say kudos to anyone who has that, if you don’t, fundraising can at first seem like a daunting process.” However, because Hillflint also prides themselves on superior customer service, their honest and professional communication with customers pays off in unexpected ways.
Hines believes that one of the most valuable ways their business has grown, both financially and aesthetically, has been through customer feedback. “One of our investors is an early customer who we met after he emailed support saying he wanted to exchange his sweater for a different size. He said nice things about the brand and so we started asking his opinions on products and eventually got his wisdom on search engine optimization. He started asking what our plans were and lo and behold he said he wanted to invest when we were ready to start fundraising.”
Hines urges aspiring entrepreneurs to form a relationship with their clients and pay attention to their clients’ interests and desires. “I have found that people are honored when they know their opinions are valued and that they have a voice in shaping your company, and that can lead to paying more dividends than just getting an outsider’s opinion or advice- which is already excellent in and of itself.”
In terms of where Hines sees Hillflint heading in the future, he says, “Right now we are very focused on the collegiate apparel space, particularly knitwear. We will continue to test out different markets within the college universe and sell to the students, alums, and fans of schools where we see success.” The most recent school the company has started selling is Trinity College. After several months of seeking permission to bring back the vintage letter sweater to Trinity’s campus, Hillflint now sells a navy sweater with a gold T at center front.
Hillflint’s sweaters are both classy and classic and can be shared amongst generations of Bantams. For more information on purchasing a Trinity letter sweater, or any of the products Hillflint offers, visit hillflint.com or visit The Trinity Tripod’s Facebook page.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
On Mar 25, Zayn Malik, a member of leading boy band, ‘One Direction,’ announced that he would be quitting the group to fulfill his desire to live as a “normal 22 year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.” While this already reiterates the kind of pressure that is placed upon a ‘celebrity,’ that he should want a ‘normal’ life, the responses of the thousands of fans to his decision have been extremely disturbing.
Malik’s departure from the band caused a lot of shock to ‘One Direction’ fans, the majority of whom consist, according to various news reports, of females between the age groups of 12-20. This shock became strikingly expressed through a variety of photographs uploaded on twitter that depicted fans cutting their wrists or inflicting some sort of pain upon themselves to show their disapproval of Malik’s decision. This action became collective, through the trending hashtag “#cut4Zayn.” Fans justified it as a way to physically manifest the emotional pain they felt in regard to Malik’s split up from the band. Reportedly, there have also been at least six suicides attributed to the same. To a certain extent it is normal and healthy to grieve when faced with sad news. In this situation, however, fandom manifested through a dangerous form of grief is not at all as innocent, or somewhat funny as it can otherwise come across to be.
It is in fact, quite tragic that individuals consider taking their lives or physically harming themselves for reasons that are particularly as shallow as this. The phenomenom of the ‘celebrity’ itself is the underlying cause for this. The same phenomenon that drove Malik to quit the band, is also the factor that has pushed people to channel their obsession in an unhealthy manner. Who is to blame, here? I feel sorry for Malik, who has to bear the personal guilt of such acts occuring in his name. Yet, the fans themselves cannot be blamed as they aren’t entirely guilty either. It is the very construct of the celebrity, as more than human, and something to idolize that, in my opinion, appears dangerous, especially through this example.
There have been plenty of instances where crazed fans, driven by obsessions have commited self-harming acts. Bjork’s 1996 stalker, who sent her a letter bomb and also took his own life, documenting it in a video diary stands as an extreme example for such incidents.
Ultimately, the way celebrities are idolized, stems from the amount of attention given to their personal lives, which is a bit oppressive. Not only does it victimize the celebrity for every human error that they make, but it also generates unrealistic and far-fetched sterotypes, prejudices and expectations. Fans who by virtue of media, learn to monitor every move a celebrity apparently makes, often become more involved in their personal lives than their artwork. I think it is important for this distinction to remain respected, to the extent that it can be. Celebrities ultimately are as human as we are, and are driven by the same insticts. It is our society’s habit of isolating them that becomes dangerous for both- them and us.
Modern media can be held responsible for creating both the celebrity, as well as the consequent fan. Both arguably become the victims- such as in the Zain Malik situation. It is however, up to us to become more conscious of the choices we make, the people we choose to idolize, and to determine the level of attachment we imaginatively sense to someone or something that we don’t even personally know.
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
The number of Americans with a chronic disease that requires at least one medication, such as heart disease and diabetes, is expected to grow to 157 million by 2020. As these numbers rise, so does the need to address the prevalence of medication non-adherence, which is already estimated to cost between $100 billion and $289 billion and 125,000 lives annually.
A new study from the University of Pittsburgh, named the Pennsylvania Project, used the expertise and accessibility of community pharmacists to improve medication adherence. The results, published Aug. 4 in the health policy journal Health Affairs, suggested adherence ultimately lowers health care costs through reduction of ER and hospital visits.
Jesse McCullough, director of field clinical services at Rite Aid Corp. who holds a doctor of pharmacy degree, said non-adherence is also due to the “silent state” of certain chronic diseases. “You may not feel like you have the symptoms all the time — you may not feel your high blood pressure all day even if you have it — so because those conditions are silent, you don’t really know if you’re OK until something bad happens.”
When something bad does happen, the price tag of a visit to the emergency room is often more expensive than the one on the script pad. “The congressional budget office did a scoring of adherence,” said Mr. Stolpe, “if you improved it by just 1 percent across 50 million Medicare patients, you can lower the cost to the federal government by $1.5 billion. That’s including the medication cost.”
Non-adherence raises the risk for mortality from 12 to 25 percent in statins and 50 to 80 percent in cardioprotective medications. To assess medication adherence, researchers calculated the proportion of days covered for the intervention year, 2011, and also 2010, to be used as a benchmark. They used a PCD of 80 percent, meaning medication was taken at least 80 percent of the expected period, the minimal dosage required to achieve the desired clinical outcome.
PCD80 rates for all five medications in the SBI group exhibited statistically significant improvements in adherence compared to 111 control pharmacies that didn’t use SBI. Annual health care costs of SBI patients dropped by $341 for those taking oral diabetes drugs and $241 for those taking statins. “Costs dropped for every member,” said Ms. Pringle, “it was largely driven by use of departments and hospitals.”
Pharmacists also had access to a monthly cloud-based report card which monitored and compared adherence of their patient population to other pharmacies in the area. “The use of these report cards is evolving in the health care system as a whole,” said Ms. Burns. “They provide the heath care provider with a summary of how the patient population is doing.”
“As an industry, pharmacies are looking at how they can improve adherence,” said Mr. McCullough, “at Rite Aid we are already doing some things based on what we learned from this study.”
While medication adherence may seem like a trivial problem, it comes with a high cost. Simply reducing the instances of non-adherence would greatly benefit our society by lowering the cost to healthcare. This is a reminder that while we think of health as a personal and indivualized concern, it somtimes can have reprecussions on society as a whole.
SHEILA NJAU ’17
On Mar. 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel stood before a joint meeting of Congress to voice his opinion about President Barack Obama’s attempt at negotiating with Iran to limit the country’s nuclear program. According to Netanyahu, this agreement would not “be a farewell to arms” but rather “be a farewell to arms control.” He also said that his visit was not “political” and that that was never “[his] intention.” Yet, why would he decide to speak at Congress while State Secretary John Kerry and other U.S. officials were bust participating in conversations with Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Switzerland over Iran’s Nuclear Program? Even more interesting is the fact that he did it so close to his reelection time, which is coming up quick on Mar. 17. The question remains, however, who is on the right side of the argument? Is it President Obama trying to reach an agreement on how the Tehran Nuclear Program should be handled or is it Prime Minister Netanyahu who proposes that this would be a mistake and will lead to more conflict? Not only are those ideas contradictory, but there is also a division in Congress. Fifty Democrats did not attend Netanyahu’s speech. Ultimately it will be up to Congress to approve such an agreement if it’s meant to last.
From Netanyahu’s speech, it is clear that he has support from many in Congress as shown by the applause he received during his speech, not mentioning the warm welcome that Congress gave him when he was making his way down the aisle to take his position at the podium. Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about how the deal with Iran would allow the country to retain some of its nuclear “facilities.” This would result in Iran having enough fuel to build a bomb in one year. Additionally, this agreement would not affect “Iran’s ballistic missile program” and would be moot in ten years. This does sound dire and I can understand why so many in Congress would be opposed to reaching an agreement with Iran, especially if these problem areas are not addressed. At the same time, I agree with President Obama’s viewpoint on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s lack of substantive contribution to this issue. Yes, he can talk all about what a problem Iran’s nuclear capabilities pose, but as Obama stated, where are the solutions to help solve this crisis? Just saying that the agreement is not a good idea does nothing to solve the issue at hand, which is limiting Iran’s nuclear program. As House Representative Nancy Pelosi stated, Netanyahu’s comments showed “condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran.” It goes back to Obama’s question, what solution is Netanyahu proposing, because at this point, not doing anything is not an option, especially after Netanyahu went into such detail talking about the problems with Iran’s nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cannot be counted on to keep track of Iran’s program as shown by its ineffectiveness with North Korea.
I find it hard to envision what it would be like to work in some sectors of the government, particularly those that deal with sensitive issues such as this one. What I think makes me even more scared is the fact that there is such a division in government at this time. The fact that 50 Democrats missed Netanyahu’s speech and many Republicans were giving him ovations is very telling. Then, something else comes to mind that bothers me, how Netanyahu went on and on about how helpful President Obama has been with aiding Israel in various issues such as when Israel had the Camel Forest fire or when Israel’s embassy in Cairo was under attack. In some ways it feels underhanded as if he is trying to straddle the fence. I understand that elections for Netanyahu are coming up, but this does not seem like the time to be trying to save face with President Obama on one hand and then bashing him for his foreign policy on the other. I am left wondering whether he approached the President first with his worries before making the decision to speak to Congress if he is truly concerned about Obama’s continued support over Israel’s affairs.
This agreement is not only between the U.S. and Iran, but also includes Britain, France, China, Germany, and Russia. Doesn’t the fact that these countries also support reaching some sort of agreement say something? The fact that Obama has said that he would not let Iran have a nuclear weapon, and would take action if such a thing happened also says something. To be honest, I think, Isaac Herzog, an opponent of Netanyahu said it best when he stated that Netanyahu’s speech “will not stop Iran going nuclear.”
JEAN GERMANO ’18
Trinity Days, Spring Vacation, it’s just one thing right after the other. Beyond the impending midterms and assorted homework, how is it that we can take the time to contemplate grander things? As many of you prepare to be on your merry way it might be worth it to spare a moment or two contemplating Trinity. The college stands at what may be a critical point in its history. The past few years have brought with them diminished funds, cultural doubt and reevaluation, a falling ranking on lists of top liberal arts schools, and administrative chaos. As 2015 progresses, we will soon determine if these problems will be sorted out.
The attached cartoon points out some of our present predicament. Greek Life and partying are tacitly accepted as integral parts of student life despite the publicly expressed desire to “clean things up” via methods like diversifying the student body as outlined by President Berger-Sweeney when she spoke to WNPR. While Trinity is charging forward, it’s hard to tell where we’re headed with efforts like the $2.025 million spent to acquire 200 Constitution Plaza. Committees have been formed to figure out what to do with the space, but the fact remains that a large investment was made with an unclear idea of the future. For the next few months, Trinity’s newest asset will languish until a plan can be made. After, there will be investments made in renovations and preparations that will ensure that the current Trinity student body wont see the benefits, unlike UConn’s similar effort to put parts of their campus into Hartford which won’t be done till 2017. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that a tenured professor on average costs about a million dollars, per slot made available. If that’s the case, would it have been a better investment to have hired two professors to improve the quality of Trinity’s education in the next couple years rather than taking a radical plunge with no plan and unknown future costs? Is Trinity charging forward like a chicken with its head cut off, unsure of where it’s headed and likely to fail?
Of course what’s done is done. While we may complain about what has happened, it’s important that when we can, we intervene to control what will happen. President Berger-Sweeney has made efforts to allow students to participate more in the decision making process of the school’s future, and some of the aforementioned committees are student run. It may turn out that 200 Constitution Plaza, when completed, will be an important milestone in rebuilding Trinity’s honor as a “Little Ivy.” The best thing that you can do as a student of the present is to make sure that when you have the opportunity to add your voice to the present process you do so. Who knows, you may make the difference in ensuring that Trinity is not a headless chicken guilelessly charging forward, right over the precipice.
ANNELISE GILBERT ’17
On Mar. 3, Sweet Briar College in Virginia announced that it would be shutting itself down. The closing of the small women’s college has been a frequent topic of conversation on campus due to the fact that Trinity’s past president, James “Jimmy” Jones, is the current president of Sweet Briar. Many students of Sweet Briar expressed unhappiness and despair with the decision, and countless people sympathized with them. Some Trinity students have taken the misfortune as an opportunity to boast about their happiness, since some assume Trinity would have been closed if Jones stayed. In addition to the feelings of understanding and the joking, though, seems to be the unacknowledged praise Sweet Briar is receiving for the manner in which they closed.
What causes a small liberal arts college with a $94 million endowment to shut down? Sweet Briar has been discounting tuition in order to increase appeal for the school. The trustees even considered the option of admitting men, but determined that the costs to accommodate men outweighed the potential benefits. Instead of running through resources in an attempt to save the college, Sweet Briar looked at the numbers and chose to put students first. While it may not seem that ending education at the college is supportive of the students, the trustees’ reasoning is sound.
It has been reported that Sweet Briar College will use remaining funds to foster an orderly transition for those affected. Employees will be paid severance and students will receive help in their searches for new academic institutions. Sweet Briar has also worked with other colleges in the area, such as Virginia Tech, to accommodate students’ transitions by accepting late applications.
This situation would not be ideal for any student, but the time and effort the trustees and administration took to evaluate their choices needs to be respected. A group of alumnae has opted to retain a lawyer and raise funds in an effort to reverse the decision. The same group has advised current students not to commit to other schools. The alumnae and students need to understand that Sweet Briar is closing, and make alternate plans.
ABIGAIL ROGERS-BERNER ’18
Some disclaimers- I do not have a Yik Yak, I have never had a Yik Yak, and I neither judge nor possess inherent dislike for the app. There are, indeed, hilarious one-liners and witty posts that I have heard my friends read aloud, and in truth, it was a brilliant idea to create a geographically based bulletin board for a campus or region.
The only issue I have with Yik Yak is one of the most obvious, and the problem that most young adults hear administration and adults utter—it creates a space for public, anonymous meanness. Anonymity can be a wonderful thing, and it can be used to spread positivity, such as anonymous compliments or encouraging commentary about a particular element of school culture. Yet, more often than not, Yik Yak anonymity incites Yaks that insult, degrade, and mock our peers and our campus. These remarks would probably not be shared, were it not for the seeming privacy of anonymity. They can create images of people that are unfair or untrue, or at the very least, not nice. No one deserves to be degraded, especially not on a public forum.
College is difficult for everyone, in all sorts of ways. Life is hard. People can be mean. Most have been teased or bullied at some point in their life experiences. Trinity has the benefit of being a small enough campus that most faces are familiar, everyone who chose to be a part of this amazing community did so, in part, because of this closeness and possibility of interacting with hundreds of incredible students.
We chose to associate ourselves with a group of 2400 humans who are all intelligent, caring, beautiful, and good, and professors who truly want to live and work here. I, for one, believe in this image of our campus. No amount of scathing Yaks could change this opinion- Trinity is bursting with spectacular human beings, people who are lovely, inside and out.
All that I would change, if I could, is the culture that I have sometimes witnessed- one that grants validity to negative, cruel comments that peers make. There is never a truly good reason to insult anyone. We’re all great. And honestly, Yik Yak is the only forum in which I’ve ever heard intentionally mean comments. For the most part, Trinity is a kind, loving, and supportive campus, but we can do better. We do not have to attack our peers, teachers and even Mather food online, even if the way in which we do it is funny. It gives power to unkindness, and it takes away from our college experience. We have the opportunity to interact with people, some of whom we will never see again, and we distance ourselves from them by mocking them on apps such as Yik Yak. We don’t take advantage of the chance we currently possess to make friends with a number of people who seem, at first glance, to be quite different than ourselves.
When we post sexual comments about people we’ve never met or when we attribute nasty labels to our peers, it may be humorous and it may be witty, but it will certainly exacerbate a culture that isolates us from our community members. These actions do not help us become the best versions of ourselves. Isn’t that what college is for—finding our inner selves through formative encounters with teachers and friends? Stretching our minds to their fullest potentials, and then stretching them some more?
Again, I won’t say that Yik Yak is intrinsically wrong, just as I will never believe that any person is innately mean, but like anything, the app holds great capacity for both good and for evil. Yik Yak could be used to make our campus better. We could say only nice things, kind statements can still be witty. There’s nothing better than spontaneous compliments from strangers, right? We could use it to market campus events, and tell the campus about how kind your best friend is for bringing you your favorite Peter B’s drink, or how good it felt that your professor let you out of class twenty minutes early, or even how beautiful your friend/girlfriend/boyfriend is. We could turn Yik Yak posts into uplifting, positive messages instead of commentary that snarls at a girl for the way she runs on a treadmill, or mocks an RA for strictness, or a professor who dresses strangely.
I know that we are a group of spectacular human beings. The administration knows it, too, or else they would not have admitted us. I have experienced extraordinary friendliness and emotional support this entire first year of being a Bantam, and I wholeheartedly look forward to the years to come. My only hope in communicating my thoughts on Yik Yak is not to make anyone feel wrong for using the app or attacked; we all say things that we wish we could take back. I believe that Trinity is worth bettering, and one way to uplift our campus is to use the many tools at our disposal, such as Yik Yak, to brighten someone’s day. It just feels better.
CHRIS BULFINCH `17
For the past three months, five teams composed of Trinity students have been considering ways to refine and improve Trinity’s current mentoring networks. The program, referred to as the “Design Team Challenge”, was aimed at improving the first-year experience and engaging students of trinity more with the faculty, Hartford, and all of the opportunities that the college has to offer. Further, the teams were tasked with redesigning the basement of Math Hall, which will be vacant with the departure of “The Cave” next fall. The teams were given three months, small budgets, and an introduction to all of the resources that the college has at its disposal. On Thursday, all of the teams presented posters detailing their various plans in Vernon Social, at a science fair style exhibition that drew a number of people from the Trinity community, including students, faculty, and administrators.
Each of the five teams had very distinctive plans for the new mentoring network, and many people turned out to hear just what they were. In attendance at the catered event were president Berger-Sweeney and several members of her cabinet of other Trinity administrators, as well as trustees, consultants, architects, and faculty members. Further, many Trinity students came by as well. The purpose of the presentation was to garner feedback on the merits and weaknesses of the disparate proposals, to help the teams prepare for the final presentations of their ideas to the President on Sunday, Mar. 8.
The first team’s idea, “The Trinity Network”, would consist of two upperclassmen meeting with small groups of 15 – 20 freshmen at orientation each fall. These upperclassmen leaders would serve as mentors, guiding their group through acclimation to Trinity life, as well as continuing to hold events throughout the first year. Orientation would be expanded to include walking tours of Hartford, in addition to programming and events connected to Hartford – with the goal of increasing student contact with the city that may expand into more involvement for all students in Hartford. More vents would be hosted around Hartford an on campus throughout the year, with the goal of creating and maintaining relationships between first year students and upperclassmen, This emphasis on connections between myriad students and to the city is a theme that is consistent across many of the plans. Team One’s plan for the basement of Mather is a new late-night dining option (in place of “The Cave”), complete with a study space and printing, a game area, and a yoga studio.
Team Two had a different model, based around a system of “C.O.O.P.S.” (“Cooperation, Organization, Optimism, Participation, and Success”), which are groups of roughly 120 students (divided by dorm) would be broken up into smaller groups for orientation, which would be expanded to include programming in Hartford, most if not all of which would integrate faculty. The C.O.O.P.S. would integrate R.A.s, PRIDE leaders, faculty, and other college resources (including academic resources such as the writing center) into student life. A “C.O.O.P. Council”, five freshmen elected by their COOPmates to represent them, would help to put on events and hear any questions, comments, or concerns. These councils would network with RAs, PRIDE leaders, the Student Government Association, faculty, and other Trinity resources to help effectively manage their COOP. Another aspect of this plan is to expand on the “Big Sister” program that is already in place here at Trinity, by adding a parallel “Big Brother” program. Each spring, a number of upperclassmen would be chosen to act as the “Big Sibling”, and would be matched with between one and five incoming freshmen, and over the course of the first year guide them through the social, academic, and institutional environment of Trinity. The second team’s plan for the Mather basement is a sports-bar oriented late-night dining option, which would host different local restaurants from around Hartford, rotating on the basis of availability. A bowling alley would also be part of this plan.
The third team’s idea, the “Trin Nets”, aims to revamp all existing Trinity mentoring and orientation programming, while adding supplemental programs where necessary. June Days would be changed, emphasizing the social component of the day, while minimizing time spent in placement testing. The orientation program too would be modified, including a capella performances at freshmen matriculation, and condensing all of the academic and disciplinary presentations condensed into one day (with a field day to relax afterwards), with the other days devoted to more social activities. New seminars would be introduced, helping to get students more engaged intellectually. These new seminars would meet and have regular classes for the first semester, then would engage in a community project for the second semester. The seminars would integrate museums and other venues of Hartford into its curriculum, and the second semester projects would also involve work in Hartford, or with its institutions. The “Nets” would arrange meetings with freshmen and Trinity academic and career resources, from the Writing Center to the Career Development Center.
Team Four advocates for “Nests”, groups of students composed of a diverse array of first year students. These large “Nests” are broken up into four seminars per group, and with these smaller groups, events will be coordinated, many of which will hopefully involve Hartford. The Nests will also be involved with orientation, with small groups (distinct from the seminar groups) of Transitions fellows, career development fellows, and transitions fellows will be integrated into meetings amongst the Nests, helping to increase the exposure that first-year students have with such useful resources. Mather basement will be used as a study space and student lounge, with late-night dining options.
The fifth and final team identifies the need for a “Legacy” of Trinity College. Its plan entails creating “Legacies”, which are groups of first years assembled by dorm, and led by upperclassmen peer mentors, who take a very active role from the very beginning of orientation. After splitting the Legacies up into smaller groups, the mentors guide first years through all of the difficulties and adjustments of college life. The mentors continue to host social events throughout the year. The RAs social obligations would be curtailed, and they would serve largely as disciplinarians. Also, the first year seminars would be made strictly academic. To increase student involvement, an extracurricular points system has been introduced to the housing lottery system. Every time a student attends an extracurricular event, points are deducted from their housing lottery number, providing an incentive for people to engage with student organizations and Hartford. Team 5’s approach to the new space underneath Mather is to create a study space with food service, using the kitchen infrastructure that already exists there.
At the event, each team stood beside a poster detailing their ideas and delivered a presentation to the attendees, who offered their feedback on the efficacy of each program in fulfilling the goals of the Design Challenge. The teams synthesized the advice into their final presentations to president Berger-Sweeney and her cabinet on Sunday.
After all five of the presentations on Sunday, president Berger-Sweeney and her cabinet deliberated briefly. The announcement of their decision was made at a function in the President’s home on Sunday evening. Ultimately, the fourth team, the “Nests” group, was selected as the most practical and effective plan. President Berger-Sweeney (and by extension her cabinet) lauded the plan for its emphasis on Trinity pride, as well as its fusion of academic and social life on campus, vis-à-vis its integration of seminars and other academic programming into the residential and orientation experiences, as well as to campus life on the whole. President Berger-Sweeney and her cabinet noted the merits of all of the plans, and stated that while team Four’s plan was the best (with Team One being a runner-up), the ultimate design of the new Mentoring Networks would include aspects from all of the teams’ various designs.
The students of the winning team all received certificates celebrating their achievement, as well as a $250 Bantam Bucks reward to each of the Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors on the team. The seniors each received a $500 stipend, accompanied by the strenuous suggestion that half of the money be given to their senior class donation fund. All students were thanked for their hard work and participation, and every Design Team Challenge participant received $50 in Bantam Bucks, as well as an embroidered blanket. The president and her cabinet expressed their deep gratitude to the participants, stressing the important role they are playing in the college’s future.
With a new, student-designed plan, the administration is moving forward to change many aspects of trinity life, especially for first-year students. Trinity College has faced, and continues to face, many challenges in recent years, past, present, and future. Given the falling retention rate, stagnating budget, and deteriorating relationship with Hartford (to name but a few of the issues being faced by the college), it had become fairly apparent that a change was necessary here on Summit Street. The president and her cabinet approached the issues head-on, and the “Design Team Challenge” is reflective of one of the major initiatives to tackle what some see as insurmountable challenges that threaten Trinity’s continued efficacy as an institution. The involvement of students would suggest (as President Berger-Sweeney has intimated numerous times throughout the redesign process) that the administration values its students’ feedback and believes (at least to a point) that students have a more intuitive grasp of what students would like to see changed, and what changes they would respond well to. This approach is somewhat innovative, at least as compared to decision-making processes of the past.
It is unclear exactly how the ideas put forth in the “Design Team Challenge” will be integrated into Trinity life. While Team Four’s design will certainly be the central framework of the plan, no details have as of yet been shared about exactly what form the raw ideas of all five teams will take. While the Challenge was certainly an interesting step in the right direction in terms of remedying Trinity’s myriad issues, the college still has many obstacles and challenges to face. With any luck, initiatives such as the “Design Team Challenge” will see the college through these trying times, strengthening its existing practices and programs, and adding new facets of student life. The future is uncertain, but for the moment, Trinity has, to borrow the parlance of American politics, pulled itself up by it bootstraps. Its feet are on the line and it seems to be walking in the right direction. Perhaps the college is dusting itself off and steeling itself for the long haul, maybe into the most stable and effective period in its long and storied history.
But, like so many other things in these tumultuous times, it all remains to be seen.
WHITNEY GULDEN `16
When the credits rolled for The Hunting Ground, a film shown at Cinestudio on Wednesday, March 4th and Sunday, March 8th, stunned silence of disbelief and outrage was the only reaction.
Between the two nights, over 350 students, faculty, and visitors attended the sneak preview of the acclaimed Sundance Festival Film. Trinity was privileged to be one of only a select few colleges to view the film, and the first to have Academy Award nominated director Amy Ziering attend.
The Hunting Ground is an incredibly moving and powerful film documenting the epidemic of college campus rape culture and sexual violence, providing insight into the institutional cover-ups and struggles of survivors.
Following in the wake of Title IX investigations into over 85 colleges and universities, the film interviews survivors and activists from dozens of campuses to create a narrative around a topic of increasing prevalence in the news.
The film includes shocking facts about the way in which universities have “handled” reports from students of having experienced sexual assault in the past. Two universities in particular stood out as the most negligent in dealing with these issues, for having several hundred claims reported, but by contrast, having no expulsions in connection with the students who inflict this harm on the survivors.
The Obama administration has spoken out supporting the cause as a priority, instituting the It’s On Us campaign (which is currently supported at Trinity by the SGA).
Hosted by the Trinity College Women and Gender Resource Action Center (WAGRAC) and subgroup Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS), the film showings were followed by a panel discussion of four students addressing questions from the audience.
WAGRAC director Laura Lockwood coordinated the very successful event and moderated the panel. Students on the panel Wednesday included co-coordinator of SECS Mercy Ward, Arleigha Cook, Emily Kaufman, and bystander intervention trainer AJ Ballard.
The panel on Sunday also included Arleigha Cook with SECS co-coordinator Nicole Lukac, Resident Assistant Mazin Khalil, and student bystander intervention trainer Whitney Gulden.
The Sunday panel also included producer Amy Ziering who answered many questions about the filmmaking process and her opinions of the epidemic.
Reflecting on the events Laura Lockwood commented, “The two screenings of The Hunting Ground and the subsequent discussions were extremely powerful and beneficial to not only the Trinity campus, but to other schools, parents, friends, and the general public. There were 350 attendees, which impressed the Producer, Amy Ziering, as did the level of discourse and the honesty and courage of survivors on the panel and in the audience. This film and the open sharing will break down the walls of silence and victim-shaming that discourage victims from coming forwards and enables predators to commit the crime of sexual assault with impunity.”
A review for the New York Times praises the message of the time stating, “’The Hunting Ground,” a documentary shocker about rape on American college campuses, goes right for the gut. A blunt instrument of a movie, it derives its power largely from the many young women and some men recounting on camera how they were raped at their schools and then subsequently denied justice by those same schools.
Their stories — delivered in sorrow and rage, with misting eyes and squared jaws — make this imperfect movie a must-watch work of cine-activism, one that should be seen by anyone headed to college and by those already on campus.”
The core of the film follows student activists Andrea Pino, Sofie Karasek and Annie Clark who are the co-founders of the group EROC, End Rape on Campus, which offers resourced to survivors and helps students file Title IX complaints against colleges and universities.
The film also briefly showed student activists from the group Know Your IX, who were hosted by WAGRAC at Trinity last semester.
Panelist, SECS member, and student bystander intervention trainer AJ Ballard said, “The film itself was heartbreaking, but I’m proud that Trinity was one of the very few schools that showed a preview of the Hunting Ground. I think it shows that we’re not afraid to confront these issues at Trinity.”
Laura Lockwood continued, “All campus members including the Board of Trustees, the Board of Fellows, and alums need to work together to upend the ‘rape culture’, hold all offenders accountable, support and believe survivors, and take responsibility for each other. We are making huge strides in this direction. Bystander intervention and sexual assault education training is not only required by law for the entire campus but is one of the few preventative methods that works. We are doing this. Heed the president’s call to leadership on this issue – President Obama and President Berger-Sweeney. Learn what you can do. We all have a stake in creating a respectful community with no power-based gender violence, stalking, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence or discrimination and oppression of any nature. Together we can make it happen!”
Any students interested in getting involved and becoming a part of the Trinity campus movement can contact Laura Lockwood (Laura.Lockwood@Trincoll.edu) or attend meetings for WAGRAC and/or SECS. WAGRAC hosts weekly discussion meetings Fridays at 12:15pm with pizza for lunch, and SECS meets 6:15pm on Mondays. Both groups meet in the WAGRAC lounge located on the second floor of Mather Hall, which is a safe space open to all students.
HENRY CHAVEZ ’17
AMR ARQOUB ’18
On Monday March 3rd, Hillel and The House of Peace invited Palestinian peace activist Ali Abu Awwad to shed light on a non-violent solution between the state of Israel and the people of Palestine.
Ali began the nuanced discussion with a personal story about being incarcerated for participating in the First Palestinian Intifada – the first Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation – in 1987. According to Ali, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison because he refused to give information to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) about his mother, who was also arrested and sentenced to multiple years in prison. He was later released under the provisions of the Oslo Peace Accords negotiations- an agreement wherein the State of Israel recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization as valid representatives of the Palestinian people.
Ali described the atmosphere of the prisons in Israel; contrary to popular conceptions of prisons, Ali believed that Israeli detention centers were also, surprisingly, educational institutions. According to Ali, these Israeli prisons were not full of criminals but rather of patriotic and educated Palestinians seeking to learn more about their identity. “Prison was the best university I could have been enrolled in at the time,” said Ali, describing his four years of imprisonment. Ali and his fellow prisoners tried to put pressure on the Palestinian leadership to agree to the Oslo Peace Accords. During his time in prison, Ali started reading about Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King Jr., and learned about what it means to be a true advocate for non-violent resistance. This would serve as a pillar of his later philosophy and a major theme of his presentation at Trinity.
After being released from prison, Ali woke up one day to very painful news; his brother had been killed by the IDF at a checkpoint. Ali struggled with his anger against Israelis until one day, when an Israeli family decided to visit him and his family. Not only was Ali surprised that an Israeli family was politely knocking on his door, since Israeli soldiers usually forced themselves inside, but that they came to talk about the loss of their son to Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic organization. This story resonated very strongly with Ali, and would shape his convictions and desire for peace.
After listening to the Israeli family’s story, Ali and his mother both came to the realization that they want to be successful in brokering peace, not righteous in taking revenge. This meant that Ali and his mother no longer wanted to take revenge for the death of Ali’s brother, but rather sought a successful solution to the ongoing violence between both sides. This change of perspective led him to his life’s work, trying to build understanding and peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Acting on his newfound desire for peace, Ali built a center for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue near Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Ali has been working on creating better relations between Israeli settlers and Palestinian civilians by creating safe spaces where each side can learn from the other. Ali’s open dialogue center receives visitors of many different nationalities eager to hear different perspectives on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The discussions conducted at the center are important and engaging, helping to further the prospect of peace.
Ali brought the same energy and lively debate to Trinity, and established a welcoming atmosphere for the discussion. Although most discussions surrounding this topic end in heated, unproductive debates, Ali made this talk engaging for everyone. Ali remained unpartisan, not supporting one person’s opinion over the other. Ali believed that the solution entailed both freedoms for the Palestinian people and security for the State of Israel. The only way this could be achieved was worldwide education about the issue and an emphasis on practicality as opposed to partisanship. Moreover, Ali redefined justice as “just us” and that “just us” meant that citizens of the world are the only ones who can make change in the region.
Zach Bitan, the president of Hillel says: “Ali was a great speaker and he cultivated the audience. When listening to him speak you can see how much he wants to resolve the issue. He has amazing ideas and I would love to see him succeed and bring peace. I found what he said extremely interesting. Both sides need to stop instilling hatred in their young towards the other side.”
CAROLINE HARIRI ’17
As an enormous fan of recreational tennis, I have come to recognize that the hardest part of the sport seems to be finding a partner, a court and a good time to play. This challenge inhibits many students from getting a good workout and also enjoying the wonderful sport. This past fall, the Trinity College Club Tennis team was formed to tackle this problem. The team evolved to give students the opportunity to play tennis in a fun, social atmosphere, while still being able to help them improve their skill level. A step up from the intramural level, and a step (or two) down from the varsity level, club tennis is the perfect balance of competitive sport and pleasant recreation.
The team was set up through the United States Tennis Association (USTA), a non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting tennis, which helped to establish the “Tennis On Campus” program. With 16 different Campus Leagues, and almost 600 teams involved, “Tennis On Campus” is flourishing throughout college campuses, as it is open to college tennis players of any skill level. These co-ed teams throughout the country have joined together to create an incredible program. Each school, each match and each practice has contributed to the expansion and promotion of tennis in the college world. Teams interested in creating a team or joining the program can simply sign up on the Tennis On Campus website, register in their area, and are given a name of all other schools in their league. The Trinity College Club Tennis team was easily able to be a part of this national program, and with the help of Kathleen Kilocoyne, Assistant Director of Recreation/Intramurals and Club Sports in organizing the logistics, the team has had an enormous success.
The Trinity College Club Tennis Team has become a great way to work out and to meet new people whom you might not normally get a chance to meet. Sophomore and Vice-President of the club, Clara Abramson says of the team, “I have made some great friendships through Trinity’s Club Tennis Team. The practices are a perfect break from our hectic, daily schedules. It is such a treat, and never an obligation to play with the team!” The team consists of members from the freshmen through senior class. Beginners and advanced players all come together to play.
Not only has Trinity’s club tennis team been a great way for students on our campus to meet, but it has also provided us with the opportunity to contact and meet with various schools throughout New England. Multiple schools have reached out to the Trinity team, willing to play a match or to set up a multiple team tournament throughout our campus league, giving us an exciting opportunity to meet new people and extend Trinity’s wonderful reputation on and off the courts.
The team practices twice a week and a typical practice includes a cardio warm up, a short court, and a long court warm up. This is followed by a rotation of drills and practices always end with a quick, friendly and extremely fun game. Although a lot chillier and with tighter court room during the winter season, the team is still able to meet in Trinity’s indoor courts and get in playing time. In addition, there are occassional matches throughout the semester.
The team is extremely excited to move forward in the coming years. Always able and willing to accept new members of any level, the club looks forward to seeing new players during practice time.
NOORI CHISHTI ’17
It may not seem like it just yet, especially with piles of snow still all over campus, but spring is right around the corner. That being said, it’s never too early to start thinking about one’s spring wardrobe. I wouldn’t say it’s time to retire your warm winter gear just yet, but it can’t hurt to start introducing some more ‘springy’ clothing into your daily repertoire.
There are a few simple ways to start transitioning into the next fashion season. The most obvious thing to think about in transitioning into spring clothes is color. Even if you’re someone who tends to base your wardrobe mainly in neutrals, a little color can go a long way. You can easily add a vibrantly colored scarf or necklace, a pastel colored accessory, or even a pretty light pink or a dark purple shade of lipstick to an outfit. All of these single statement pieces would still go with darker winter clothes.
Another obvious choice is florals. No matter what trends are currently popular, florals will always be in for the spring. But keep in mind with florals, a little can go a long way. An outfit based entirely in solids with a floral scarf is always a go-to, or even perhaps a floral top with a solid pair of pants. If you’re feeling particularly bold, Burberry designed a floral printed trench that could go really well with an otherwise understated outfit.
The color scheme trending for Spring 2015 mainly consists of light pastels, corals, and an emphasis on more earthy color tones. This season, we’re also seeing a lot of patterns, especially gingham. Michael Kors featured a beautiful light pink and white gingham mini dress in his spring collection. In doing so, you could definitely channel the iconic style of Brigitte Bardot, who famously wore a gingham printed dress to her wedding. However, many designers have also been working with a more minimalist look, as modeled by Caroline Lindholm ’17, who is wearing a military inspired coat (pictured above). We will definitely be seeing a lot of this spring.
Another very easy way to start dressing for spring weather is to opt for layers instead of wearing a single heavier jacket. This is a great fashion choice for boys and girls alike, as demonstrated by the photo of Griffin Hunt ’17 and Dillon Walker ’17 above. Wearing multiple thinner layers – a button down, Barbour, vest, and/or sweater – always makes for a great New England spring outfit. Lighter quilted coats are always a classic way to look cute but also stay warm with the chilly weather.
Even if it isn’t Memorial Day yet, I’m definitely a proponent for pulling those white pants out in time to transition into spring. There are definitely ways to wear white pants without looking too summery. Not to mention, monochromatic white outfits were all over fashion week. The trick to wearing head to toe white is all about balancing textures and layering up (perfect for the weather that still won’t cooperate). There’s nothing wrong with pairing a nice cream or off-white with bone or white. White clothing is always a classic, and is also a great way to make anyone’s complexion look tanner.
Bigger trends to look out for in the coming season are shirtdresses, shift dresses, and 70’s inspired bohemian clothing – think fringe, suede, light wash denim, and dresses with looser silhouettes. It’s the perfect opportunity to channel your inner Penny Lane from “Almost Famous.” Wear a bright colored shift dress with a cute fur coat and a pair of boots.
Another easy way to transition your winter clothes into spring is by switching up your shoes. Opt for stylish booties instead of your tall winter and fall boots. Switch out your Bean Boots for Hunters or another cute pair of rain boots. Or even wear your taller boots, but do it with a more colorful and ‘springy’ dress. Spring and Fall are always fun seasons to dress for because you can work with a wide variety of clothing items. For this reason, pulling a few spring pieces into your winter wear should be no trouble at all!
HENRY CUTLER ’17
On Valentine’s Day night, many go out to restaurants to express love for their significant others and their love for food. As I was furiously trying to make a reservation last minute (four days before Valentine’s Day), I found that this task was going to be more difficult than expected. I tried all the regulars first: Barcelona, Capital Grille, and all of the Max locations in the Greater Hartford area, but they all had been booked for that day. Thinking that West Hartford was the only acceptable destination for such an occasion, I felt doomed. On a final try out of desperation, J Bar, only steps away from Trinity, said they could “squeeze us in” for a 7:30 p.m. Valentine’s Day dinner. The last minute accommodations were the very start of a great relationship (with the restaurant of course).
J Restaurant and Bar, commonly referred to as ‘J Bar,’ is a trendy eatery located at 297 Washington St. in Hartford, just across from Hartford Hospital. Customers can choose to order in, take out, or get free delivery, the latter being an option that most Trinity students take advantage of. Although it is a convenient ten minute walk from campus, it is not in the most pristine of neighborhoods. One of the great amenities about J Bar is the free parking lot right next door. Even though it is less than a mile away, inclement weather can be a deterrent from walking. Upon entering, guests are welcomed by a beautiful stone fountain and a koi fishpond, surrounded by an array of plants and flowers.
It is an Italian restaurant, boasting a menu filled with salads, soups, pizzas, and pastas. It also features a host of seafood options, as well as sandwiches, chicken, and a number of vegetarian options. It would be impossible not to find something you like on their menu! The good service didn’t stop at the reservation. If you see a variation of a dish you want on the menu, they will be glad to accommodate you. For those with dietary needs, they are able to make most of their entrees gluten free and are very safe regarding severe food allergies.
At the time, I was craving genuine Chicken Parmesan, and lo and behold, there it was staring back at me from the menu. The plate was covered in warm cheese and marinara sauce melting onto the breaded chicken, all of which rested on a bed of al dente penne pasta. It was exactly what I had hoped for. Although the serving was so huge that I could have taken some home with me, I finished it all right there – an indication of how satisfied I was with this meal.
After dinner, they brought out a menu filled with delectable desserts. I for one was far too stuffed to even consider it, as their portions are more than generous. They offered chocolate mousse, key lime pie, berries, and everything else you would want to eat on a night out.
If you are looking for a better alternative to some of the closer restaurants to campus, J Bar is perfect. It is a great way to have some delicious food in a slightly more upscale ambiance without having to trudge downtown or to West Hartford. Having only been once, I am excited to return and explore their many options – and I will be sure to remember to leave room for dessert!
MAGGIE ELIAS ’17
On Feb. 26, the Hartford Police Department (HPD) arrested Hartford residents Pedro Carillo, 20, and Veronica Marquez, 27, on the charges of second-degree assault and conspiracy to commit second-degree assault towards a Trinity student in 2012.
Around 3 a.m. on Sunday, Mar. 4, 2012, Chris Kenny ’14 and Timmy Suspenski ’14 were walking home from a party on Allen Place. According to The Hartford Courant, a dark vehicle pulled up next to them, words were exchanged, and five people jumped out. Suspenski was able to run away but Kenny wasn’t so fortunate. Kenny was repeatedly kicked in the head and left bleeding on the sidewalk. According to hospital reports relayed to Kenny’s family, another kick would have been fatal. A passerby honked their horn during the assualt to scare the attackers off, who subsequently jumped into their car and sped away, according to Chris’ mother, Cecily Kenny. Suspenski returned to help Kenny, calling 911. Kenny was then rushed to the hospital.
Around 10 a.m., Chris woke up and called his parents. He suffered a broken cheekbone and jaw and was going into an eight-hour surgery that afternoon. Prior to that, neither James F. Jones, the then President, nor any administrator had contacted the family. David Kenny, Chris’ father, called Jones, disappointed by the lack of communication. In a Tripod exclusive interview Cecily stated that Jones acted surprised and claimed to be unaware of the assault.
When Chris’ parents arrived at the hospital around 10 p.m. that night, the waiting room was filled with Trinity students. However, no Trinity faculty or administrative member had visited Chris. Frederick Alford, the then Dean of Students, did visit Kenny and his family for some time later that night.
Jones’ first visit to the hospital was on Monday, Mar. 5, over 24 hours after the assault. He expressed his sympathy and concern.
According to Cecily, Jones told the family that “another attack at the Sigma Nu fraternity occurred a few years prior and resulted in the closure of the chapter.” Jones allegedly stated that he was going to use this assault to get rid of St. Anthony Hall and the other Greek organizations on campus.
Cecily explained that their family was taken aback by Jones’ words, as she believed the attack reflected the lack of safety at the school rather than problematic Greek life.
After that morning, the Kenny family had no additional contact from Jones. Paul Raether and Dean Alford were their contacts moving forward.
Chris returned to classes after spring break. The attack brought distress and fear to students on campus. According to Cecily, the incident was “polarizing” for the Trinity community. Cecily said that the administration didn’t address the incident directly and let rumors run wild.
Chris and Supenski identified their attackers as “Spanish.” An internal source contradicted their statement, describing the attackers as “two preppy-looking white males accompanied by three females believed to be of college age.” These mixed messages left students confused and scared.
Cecily told the Tripod that faculty members were openly speaking about the assault and telling students that the attackers were within the Trinity community. Yet, when these individuals were pressed for information – both by the Kenny family and the HPD – “they backpedaled, pointing fingers and didn’t actually have any evidence.”
In the following weeks, Trinity students described rumors circulating amongst the student body, including accusations that St. Anthony Hall was responsible for the attack. Some blamed members of other Greek organizations.
Sonjay Singh ’15, a freshman at the time, stated, “the attack on Chris was terrifying because we didn’t know who the culprit was. Rumors accused almost everyone within the Trinity community and the local area. It estranged us from our surroundings and also caused internal friction, which was exceptionally personal because Chris had so many friends on campus.”
Cecily explained that, “her family didn’t believe it was Trinity students. Had they believed that, Chris wouldn’t have returned to Trinity.” She recognizes that such rumors are often inevitable, but believes the administration made no attempt to dispel them. She also believes the administration, including President Jones, used the incident as a way to attack the Greek system. Off-campus, local residents also felt wrongfully accused. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra requested a formal apology from Trinity for accusing local community, according to The Hartford Courant. Consequently, the relationship between Trinity and Hartford was damaged.
After the assault, the HPD continued to investigate. They didn’t believe that the attackers were Trinity students. Shortly after the attack, they identified two suspects but didn’t have an eyewitness account to arrest them.
In the years since the attack, the HPD has continued their own investigation of the case. When probed about what has changed since 2012, Cecily told the Tripod that she believes the “alliances [among the suspects] have crumbled,” thus leading to their arrest. She expressed appreciation for the diligence of both the Trinity administration and the HPD.
When asked to respond to Cecily’s comments, former President Jones wrote in an email that, “what I can certainly state with honesty is that the college followed advice we received from the HPD, including the Chief of Police, the detectives assigned by the Chief to investigate the case, our legal advisors, and the private investigator we hired to try to assemble the facts surrounding the case itself. I know that the Trinity community is just relieved that the case has been brought to closure.”
The attack resulted in a disturbing time for the victim, his family, and the Trinity community. Since then, Trinity administration, faculty, and students have come together.
In a Tripod exclusive interview regarding the attack, President Berger-Sweeney stated, “several questions relate to a period of time when I wasn’t here at Trinity, and I am not in a position to comment on people’s actions at that time or the perceptions of others about what may have happened. However I know that the assault on Chris Kenny not only was a terrible event for him, but also for many others here at Trinity. I am thankful that Chris recovered and was able to continue his studies and graduate. I have spoken with his family, and, as a parent myself, completely understand the anguish they experienced when their son was injured. We are all gratified that the perpetrators have been identified and arrested.”
In regards to how she would handle a similar situation, Berger-Sweeney explained that her “first priority would be for the wellbeing and recovery of the student, and staying in close communication with the family. I myself or other campus leaders would endeavor to communicate broadly with the campus community and particularly with the students most closely affected by such an attack. In a case, such as the Chris Kenney incident, in which the identities of the perpetrators aren’t known, I would also encourage every member of the Trinity community, no matter their affiliation or personal opinion – to refrain from engaging in rumor and speculation, which in the past has proven to be divisive and destructive. Instead, I would encourage all of us to let the police work toward identifying the perpetrators. Investigations can take a long time to yield confirmed results, and it is prudent and more humane to refrain from speculation.”
She continued, saying, “it is my sincere hope that students will feel free to come forward if they are victimized. I encourage all members of our community who may have the misfortune of being a victim of or a witness to a crime on or near our campus to contact Campus Safety or the HPD. There is a core group of people here who are trained to help and are ready to provide students the support and guidance they need in such situations, and we want students to be assured that they will receive that support.”
Berger-Sweeney concluded, stating, “over the past three years, Trinity has taken a number of steps to strengthen security on campus, including increasing the number of Campus Safety officers, adding a team of officers patrolling on foot to be a presence during nighttime and early morning hours, expanding our network of exterior lighting and cameras, and working more closely with the HPD. These and other steps have been important in increasing safety on campus. However our officers cannot be present on every inch of the campus, nor should they be. As president, I will do my utmost to foster transparency, open dialogue, mutual respect, and mutual support in the college’s efforts to keep our community secure.”
Singh added, “both the students and the administration rallied back from the inciden.. Campus Safety responsiveness and overall presence has increased dramatically… the student body has shown an overwhelmingly united front of support. I think that these arrests are the final chapter in a long line of community action which will help to protect both the campus and our local community.”
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
The trend of college students to utilize social media as the ultimate outlet for communication and creative expression has fostered an environment conducive to the rapid growth of new social media sites and apps within a very short time frame.
One such social media app that has experienced this phenomenon is Yik Yak. The app made its debut in the Apple App Store on Nov. 6, 2013 – just 16 months ago. In that short period, Yik Yak has grown to establish locations where people can post on over 1,700 campuses nationwide and has also been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people, a population which continues to multiply every day as more users are exposed to the app. While the intangible electronic presence of Yik Yak continues to grow at a rapid rate, it is accompanied by a growth in a physical presence through the form of campus representatives.
Campus representatives are tasked with the job of being the corporation’s eyes and ears on the ground, relaying information about the use of the app and the ways to improve it based on student feedback. The Trinity College campus representative is Ian Brody ’15, who sincerely believes that Yik Yak can play a very significant role in building a stronger community on campus.
“Yik Yak allows people to get a break from the mundane aspects of being a college student and enter a new realm where they can be open about their ideas and express them in a constructive and supportive environment,” said Brody. He further expressed, “it is a great outlet for students to share insights as well as funny thoughts and stories with their peers, which makes our student body more tightly-knit.” His sentiments coincide with the mission of the app, as expressed by Cam Mullen, the lead community developer at Yik Yak Inc. “Yik Yak, acting essentially as a virtual bulletin board, helps inspire a sense of community belonging and is a way for students to easily get connected with each other because they can connect with anyone without sending friend requests or going through other formalities” said Mr. Mullen.
However, it has been argued that the anonymity aspect of the app sometimes breeds an environment of harassment because people are no longer held accountable for the content they post. Mr. Mullen’s did not deny this possibility but offered a number of solutions that the officials at Yik Yak have devised in order to be able to tackle this problem. “One of the first tools the community has is to up-vote and down-vote, if a post gets five down-votes it automatically gets removed, so the community actually has some control and power over what stays posted,” said Mr. Mullen. “At Yik Yak’s headquarters we also have a team of moderators looking through all the posts that are flagged or reported. Based on the severity of the content, the moderators can suspend users who posted it,” he continued explaining that Yik Yak also “has different filters running, like for homophobic or racial slurs, which automatically prevent this type of language from being posted.”
This is another reason why campus representatives are becoming an important part of social media. Yik Yak campus representatives are also tasked with the responsibility of monitoring the feed and making sure that it is appropriate and not offensive to anyone. “All of this helps to ensure that community ‘herds’ of Yik Yak users are not misusing the app and that the herd is growing in a smart and healthy way,” concluded Mr. Mullen.
He actually argued that the anonymity aspect of Yik Yak holds a certain value as “it levels the playing field – it doesn’t matter if you’re the captain of the football team or the quiet girl in the back of the class, the content posted is judged on content alone, it is not judged based on who said it.”
While there is always room for debate on the goods and evils of anonymity, the responsibility that comes with such anonymity is somewhat under our control. While we cannot control what others may post or say, we do have the power to help monitor and shape the ethos of our community through the methods mentioned above. If this app is to continue to maintain a presence on our campus, we have the responsibility to make sure it is used properly and that our Trinity herd only grows stronger because of it.
WILLIAM SNAPE IV ’18
The Men’s Lacrosse team hit the ground running this season with three games in their first week. The Bants started off the season against league opponent Colby at home on Saturday and played them to a close game, only to letting up two late fourth quarter goals to fall to the Mules 9-7. After three days of rest and practice, the team bounced back in a strong victory against Western Connecticut State.
Trinity started the game on a 4-0 run in the first ten minutes, dominating the ground ball play with the help of face-off man J .P. Masaryk ’18, who went four for six in the first quarter face offs and finished the day at 15 for 24. After exchanging a pair of goals in the second quarter, Trinity eventually ran away with the game in the second half, outscoring Western Connecticut State 10-3. While the score line alone proved an overwhelming superiority, Trinity continued to control nearly all facets of the game. They outperformed their opponents 44-23 on groundballs and 16-9 and face-offs, and held the Colonials to just one shot in the fourth quarter. Attackman Matthew Hauck ’15 had a big day with four goals and an assist. The Bantams went on to rout the non-conference Western Connecticut 16-6.
The team had another quick turnaround, this time with only two days of practice in between their next game away against Williams College. Williams is off to a great start this season with two decisive wins against league opponent Bowdoin (16-5), and Skidmore College (13-4). The Williams Ephs kept the ball rolling on Saturday as the Bantams were the ones finding themselves in a 4-0 hole at the start of the game. However, the Bantams battled back. A little more than halfway through the third quarter they weretrailing by just one point. But Williams began to pull away again and were able to net two goals as the third quarter was winding down to give them a three goal advantage heading into the fourth quarter at 8-5.
Despite a strong effort in the final quarter of play, Trinity was unable to close the gap and Williams walked away with the 9-7 win. A big part of the win can be attributed to Williams’ goalie Dan Whittam who stepped up multiple times to make some big saves hammered in by the Trinity front line. However, there are some warning signs for the men’s team, who have struggled so far with turnovers as well as converting on their extra man opportunities, while on the attack. The Bantams are averaging a little over 24 turnovers a game, and the man-up unit has only converted a mere 2 goals in 16 chances. However, it is still very early in the season and the team has plenty of time to turn things around. Their next game is at home this Wednesday, Mar. 11 at home on Sheppard Field at 4 p.m. against Western New England.
ANTHONY ZUCARO ’16
The Trinity College Women’s Ice Hockey Team defeated Middlebury in the NEASCAC Championship. In addition this team has also achieved some amazing accomplishments this season. However, one cannot look at these accomplishments without considering team captain, Lily Gacicia ’15. As a defensive player, Gacicia has helped her team to win a majority of their games with little to no opposition. There were six games this season in which opponents couldn’t score. This skill has led to an impressive 18-6-2 record. Additionally, Gacicia’s defense has resulted in 14 games where opponents haven’t been able to score more than two goals. Gacicia has even helped to contribute to her team’s goals in the past; she has one goal and two assists on her record.
Gacicia’s interest in hockey was first sparked by Sasha Cohen. “I was both a figure skater and hockey player and I would always watch Sasha because by sheer determination, she took her sport to another level and watching her perform was just a joy.” Gacicia has also received inspiration from her brothers, Sam and Ben. “I am the youngest in my family and my brothers both played hockey, so I followed their footsteps.” Following these footsteps proved to be the right choice, as Gacicia has been a good leader and asset to her team during this year’s playoffs. Their game against Williams was another scoreless game for the opponents, which Gacicia remembers fondly “last year, we played Williams in the quarter-finals at their rink and lost in the third period. It was such an exciting moment this year because it was like we got revenge and just worked as a unit and now, we have moved on to semifinals against Amherst.”
However, Gacicia could not have got to this level without her high school experience. “My high school team, Southfield, had some really strong competition. We were such a young team when we started, therefore, it was necessary to bring all we could to every game. As the years went on, we built our team into a stronger one. Each year the competition would just get better and every year we would play new, more competitive teams. Year after year, we became more successful and were always a top contender. It really showed how hard work paid off. This prepared me for the collegiate level because it taught me that by working hard and giving all that I can, I am able to attain success.” This work paid off when Gacicia finally played for Trinity. “My most exciting personal sports moment, before the championship of course, was the first week of college hockey here at Trinity, especially the two games against Connecticut College, because I was able to actually play at the collegiate level, the level I had been striving for.” As Gacicia approached the final conference game, she was determined for both herself and her team. “This season we have been a strong team on and off the ice. We have really played as a unit and we all get along very well with each other. Our coaches are just great, very supportive, and know a lot about the game.” In a pre-game interview Gacicia was confident that the Bantams could beat Middlebury, and her confidence surely paid off on the Vermont ice.
JUSTIN FORTIER ’18
For the first time in history the Trinity Women’s Ice Hockey team won the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship. This 3-2 victory over Middlebury College was brought about by a fusion of strong leadership, new talent, and a second year coach that was willing to take the Bantams to the next level.
Head Coach Jenny Potter was quoted saying, “throughout the season, our team has done a great job of staying grounded, sticking to our game plan and playing our game. I am proud of how our seniors stepped up and have led our team starting with pre-season workouts in the fall. We have a fantastic group of players and I am so happy for our senior class.” This weekend was certainly a time for celebration, for the three seniors it marked the culmination of four years of hard work, and for the rest of the team, the victory is an inspiration for next year.
Trinity began the game with a ferocious first period, eager to get point on the board against a team with a stronger record. Middlebury and Trinty had met twice before in the season, the first match ended with a close 4-3 win for the Bantams, but the second regular season matchup ended far differently. A humiliating 7-2 loss stung and was certainly in the back of the Bantams minds as they took on Middlebury in the championship.
After Cheeky Herr ’16 and Emma Tani ’16 scored in the first third, the Bantams went silent on the scoreboard for the remainder of regular time.
Middlebury fired off exactly double the number of shots as Trinity in the contest (44-22), and that intensity eventually began to pay off. A wrist-shot form Middlebury’s Elizabeth Wulf ’18 slipped by Trinty netminder Sydney Belinskas ’18 just under the 4:30 mark. In the third period Middlebury had their third power play of the game, and Maddie Winslow ’18 managed to tie up the score with the Bantams, two all.
The game went into sudden death in overtime, and the Bantams put everything on the line. Before the first minute of overtime could be put on the clock Shleby Labe ’16 connected with Cheeky Herr, who put the puck deep into the back of Middlebury’s net.
It was a great win for the Bantams, and another great display of skill by their net keeper, Sydney Belinskas. The whole team looks forward to pushing toward their next challenge which is to come home with the NCAA title trophy. The Bantams will face the incredibly dominant Elmira College away in New York on Mar. 14 in what can be expected to be a close game.
RYAN MURPHY ’17
After falling short against Wesleyan in the semifinals of the NESCAC postseason tournament, the Trinity College men’s basketball team bounced back in a tremendous fashion this weekend in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Despite their early exit from the conference tournament, the Bantams got an at-large bid to the national tournament and held home-court advantage for the first two rounds. Oosting Gymnasium was in a ruckus during both games, with both bleachers being lowered to accomodate fans for the first time all season and a student section spanned the length of the court.
Forward Alex Conaway ’15 commented on the crowds this Friday and Saturday, saying, “I was glad to see that we got a bunch of support from the school. Since I’ve been here, that’s the biggest crowd that I’ve played in front of. The fans just made the game 100 times better.”
Friday’s first round game against Colby-Sawyer attracted a season high 1,258 fans, with the first 300 students receiving ‘Hoop in the Coop’ t-shirts. The Bantams needed every bit of crowd support as they trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, and 7 points at the close of the half.
Andrew Hurd ’16 kept the Bants close in the first half, scoring all eight of his points in the half while dishing out two of his game-high five assists. In the second half, , the starters, who scored just 11 points combined in the first half, took control of the game.
Big men George Papadeas ’15 and Shay Ajayi ’16 led the charge, scoring 18 of their collective 22 points in the second half. Free throws by Papadeas at the 8:13 mark gave the Bantams the lead for good in a back and forth half featuring six lead changes in six minutes. A Papadeas assist to Alex Conaway for a thunderous slam with 5:37 remaining put the Bantams up six points, enough to stave off Colby-Sawyer’s late charge and sealing the win.
Saturday’s game featured another crowd of over a thousand fans and an energized Trinity squad. The Bantams, who in the past, have struggled during the first half this season, jumped out early on the Salisbury Seagulls, taking the lead after two minutes and maintaining it throughout the game.
The team was led by the hot shooting of point guard Jaquann Starks ’16, who tallied a game-high 18 points on 4-for-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw stripe.
Starks said the difference between the NESCAC semifinals and this weekend’s games was that “we were a tougher and more aggressive team on defense and came out with the attitude that we were going to be the aggressors.”
Hart Gliedman ’15 and Alex Hurd contributed five assists apiece, combining for a total of 19 over the weekend. Papadeas and Ajayi had another big day, scoring 12 points each, helping make up for Ed Ogundeko’s ’18 limited minutes due to a foot injury against Wesleyan.
With the victory, the Bantams will advance to the Sweet 16 of the tournament, where they will meet conference rival Bates College, which they beat 66-59 in January. This is the third time that the Bantams have reached the third round of the national tournament.
Papadeas commented on the competition saying, “We want to focus on the first game against Bates and not the whole weekend. Bates is a hungry team and if we don’t match the intensity from the first minute we will lose.” He continued to say that the run they are making is a great way to end his career.
If the Bantams can get by the rival Bates Bobcats, they will advance to the Elite 8. The next rounds will be hosted at Babson College.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
On Wednesday, March 3, BBC released a documentary titled “India’s Daughter,” narrating the infamous Delhi gang rape and fatal assault of a young woman. The rape incident, which took place in 2012, shook not just India, but the world. While India already held a horrible record for crime against women, this case gained massive media coverage due to its extremely grotesque nature and through the social movements that it sparked worldwide. The BBC documentary featured interviews that were enough to make people relive the horror they faced when the incident had just occurred.
Although the Indian government banned the release of this film in the nation, BBC allowed its release on YouTube, letting it reach thousands of Indian homes. This reignited discussions concerning gender roles and sexual violence. The Delhi court’s ruling prohibited “the media/internet from publishing/transmitting/telecasting/uploading the interview,” and eventually YouTube was forced to issue a statement on Thursday confirming it had blocked access to it. One may wonder why the government banned such a thought-provoking documentary – disappointingly, certain members of the parliament claimed it exemplified a conspiracy to malign the reputation of the country. Others reasoned that it would hurt sentiments, in light of some of the remarks made in the interviews. Still others expressed anger concerning the making of the documentary, accusing the filmmaker of acquiring illegal access to the prison, and for releasing information that should have been kept discrete. I think these are ridiculous justifications – expressing outrage against the documentary seems like a convenient way to avoid the important societal questions that it raises.
I was able to watch the documentary when it was briefly accessible online. Especially given my own Indian upbringing, I have to admit that this was not easy to watch. There was something extremely heartbreaking about hearing a victim’s parents narrate how their daughter went to the cinema with one of her friends, and never returned. The victim, Nirbhaya, was on her way home on a private bus with her friend when he was attacked by a group of men, and she was subsequently raped, assaulted (an iron-rod was thrust into her, pulling out her intestine) and the two were thrown out on the street. It was disturbing to hear no hint of remorse in the perpetrator’s voice as he recalled the happenings on that evening. Some of the most appalling statements were made by the defense lawyers – one stated, “You are talking about man and woman as friends. Sorry, that does not have any place in our society. A woman means, I immediately put the sex in his eyes.” The other claimed, “if my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take [her] to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.” I have never heard such patriarchal, and misogynistic views being spoken out loud before, and like most others who watched the documentary, I was enraged by the existence of this mentality. For a moment I was ashamed to associate with such Indians, but acknowledging the shameful nature of such views towards women that triggered the incident in the first place, is crucial. In allowing citizens to realize the innate problems that trigger specific crimes (in this case, rape) in a society, the film could have provided an opportunity for transformative action. Yet, the government stresses the significance of its ban.
Although the documentary can no longer be watched, it definitely made a powerful statement, reminding people in India and around the world, of the significance of properly addressing sexual violence as well as the factors in society that lead up to it.
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
It took five years and multiple cross-country visits to more than 20 specialists for Chuck Mohan to get a diagnosis explaining the uncontrolled seizures and idiopathic strokes experienced by his daughter Gina.
“When they told us it was a rare disease called MELAS we finally had an anchor for which to move forward. The unknown is the most fearful disease of all,” said Mr. Mohan.
Each rare disease affects fewer than 200,000 people. But collectively, they affect 30 million Americans, or about 1 in 10 people. Roadblocks in diagnosis, due to doctor’s unfamiliarity and often nonspecific symptoms, are common and detrimental in prolonging life expectancy and can ultimately be fatal.
Gina was 14 when she was finally diagnosed in 1994 with MELAS, or Mitochondrial Encephalopathy, Lactic Acidosis, and Stroke-like episodes, caused by a genetic mutation inside of a cell’s mitochondria. The condition leads to headaches, brain dysfunction, seizures and temporary local paralysis. It is one of 200 mitochondrial diseases for which there is no cure.
She died eight months later, just after her fifteenth birthday. Afterward, Mr. Mohan continued to advocate for better awareness of these conditions and in 1996 established the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation through a merger of several smaller foundations established by those who lost loved ones to the disease. Starting as a volunteer organization, it is now one of largest promoters of research and education for mitochondrial disorders.
“The single hardest thing any parent can hear a doctor telling them about a rare disease is that there is nothing we can do,” Mr. Mohan said. “You can choose to be part of the disease or you can choose to be part of the cure. We were determined Gina’s 15 years had impact and we can utilize that value and spread it forward.”
Because these diseases are so rare, patients and families frequently need to take greater control of their circumstances by pushing for more research, fundraising and awareness. They often end up acting as the main driving forces behind advocacy. Advances and accessibility of social media have added new ways for these families to take their message to the public. The mitochondrial foundation has grown to have representation in every state and 152 countries. In 2003, less than $1 million had been donated to mitochondrial research and now UMDF has contributed more than $11 million.
One factor adding to the increases is new development linking the study of rare disease to understanding underlying causes and functions of more common problems. Most of them are genetic, which is helping researchers identify how certain mutations can explain development of other diseases. “The view from the scientific standpoint is that rare diseases can tell you about normal disease processes,” said Lee Sweeney, Ph.D., director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy.
Mitochondrial dysfunction has helped with the study of disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and certain cancers. To promote the progression of this research, UMDF recently established the Mitochondrial Disease Community Registry. Participants can anonymously submit information and health data and then monitor who has access and who can reach them about participation in clinical trials. “As a community, because we are small, if we don’t share information then the likelihood of finding therapies and treatments is greatly diminished,” said Phil Yeske, Ph.D., chief science officer at UMDF. Mr. Yeske is also a parent-turned-advocate after losing his daughter to a rare mitochondrial disease.
Building momentum for research does not come without cost to families. It often requires a balancing act with fundraising to bring in the best care, advocating to propel research for the development of treatments or therapies and then actually spending the little time left with those who are declining in health.
CAROLINE HARIRI ’17
Last summer, I was fortunate enough to intern with artist and creator, Suzy Kellems Dominik in San Francisco, California. Dominik is a contemporary, San Francisco based artist most credited with her multi-sensory installations. As an intern at Dominik’s office, called The Ballroom, a magnificent old-fashioned mansion overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, I learned skills in event planning, advertisement, public relations, social media and marketing – not just in the world of the arts, because Dominik does a lot more than just art. Dominik is a creator. She finds inspiration in her daily life and translates it into words, videos, photographs, paintings, food, song, and even more. She is able to take the events, people and occurrences around her and transform them into art. Each little bit of her surroundings give Suzy inspiration to do more, with the most enthusiastic and inspiring attitude.
When I first joined the Ballroom, I was introduced to Dominik’s multi-sensory installation “Bear Attack – The Urban Bear,” a traveling exhibition that would be presented in New York, Denver, Chicago, London, Tokyo and San Francisco. The idea of “Bear Attack” came to Dominik as she was hiking in Wyoming, and read the warning signs for bears in the area: “Be alert. Make noise. Carry bear spray. Avoid hiking alone. Do not run.” Dominik immediately saw the connection between this and various events that had happened in her life, and felt a familiarity between the bear and some men in our society. The bear held the same threat that women today feel throughout the stages adulthood. She created beautiful and extremely realistic images of conventional looking men of our society, with the head of a bear. Her images show the danger and discomfort that women automatically feel when they are alone. With the help of Hanna Armstrong and Lindsay Van Cantfort, Dominik’s extremely talented and knowledgeable staff, I worked a lot on advertisement and promotion on the piece, emailing and calling galleries throughout the entire world to introduce this talented artist.
I also got to work on two other of Dominik’s newest installations: “Beatrice” and “Baddassery.”
“Beatrice,” presented last summer at the Onishi Gallery in Chelsea, New York, tells the story of a beautiful pig experiencing Dante’s Inferno. Her photographs and soundtrack connect a piece of literary genius with an artistic masterpiece. I was extremely fortunate to assist at the photo shoot of “Beatrice,” our golden metal pig, and a golden, real, pig’s heart. It was a true honor being a part of the shoot, and running around San Francisco trying to find a butchery that would sell me a pig’s heart.
“Badassery” was a true thrill to help design. The piece is made up of a collection of phrases of bright orange, bold fonts over squares of light blue paper stating thirty phrases that contribute to the idea of being “a badass.” Some of my favorite cards we picked, “Earn Your Luck,” “Bob and Weave,” “Throw Your Head Back and Laugh,” and “Farewell to Fear.” This fun, light-hearted, yet extremely inspiring, piece sends a worthwhile message to all ages.
I was also able to work on Dominik’s blog, “Whatever From the Ballroom.” Working on it, I learned a lot about the technical aspects of blogging. In addition, I contributed to stories to the three categories of “Big Ideas”, “Swoon”, and “Artful Living.” The blog contains articles, pictures, maps, horoscopes and much more. Each piece is written and posted with utmost elegance and detailed design.
It is incredible to me how each of Dominik’s art pieces reflected an aspect of society that I feel should be acknowledged. Not only does Dominik question certain aspects of society through her art, but she is able to have a great time doing it. The entire point of her expenditures is for her own enjoyment, a mindset that we rarely see in our society today. She isn’t creating art to make money, or to impress anyone; Dominik’s sole motivation is the pleasure she gets from doing what she loves. This creates an amazingly upbeat and exciting workplace. Through Dominik, I learned the unteachable idea that must be experienced, not taught. I learned how essential it is to find passion and joy in whatever task you are given. Whether it is planning the most extravagant party of the year, or washing dishes, Dominik taught me that there is no right way to do anything, except to do it in a way that makes you happy.
KELLY VAUGHAN ’17
The 1920s constantly carries connotations which are reminiscent of a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel- sequined bodies, blaring jazz music, and drinking away one’s burdens at a Speakeasy. Most commonly referred to as the Roaring Twenties, this decade is often defined by the start of prohibition in 1919 and the Stock Market crash in 1929. These troubling times were often pushed aside by a crystal highball glass on a bar by the adults who tried to reclaim their youth during this period. In the words of Fitzgerald, “I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again,” was the mentality held by many Americans in the era of Prohibition.
Issues of The Ivy, Trinity’s yearbook, show the ways in which these conflicting times were both mourned and celebrated. The issues from the 1920s were large collections of tributes to the young Trinity men who had fought in World War I. Some of their involvements were marked by their photos in the “In Memoriam” section, while those who survived had their rank or even station location next to their portrait in their class year. In general, there was a huge war influence across the books – literally – as multiple pages contained the members of the Trinity body who fought in the war, their ranks, and those who were wounded. In this case, the yearbooks served not only recount the events at the college over the past year, but also to honor the “Gold Star men.”
The college’s seal stamped in the ‘0’ of “The 1920 Ivy” represents the literal mark that Trinity seems to want to place both in the college and nation’s history. Furthermore, for the first time, there is the inclusion of color in the form of navy and old gold ink in the introductory pages of sections like academics, student body, fraternities, and society, showing that we as a school were embracing the spirit of Trinity. Despite the war time era, the student body of Trinity had much to celebrate. In 1922, the college celebrated its 50th anniversary of the Board of Trustees selling the “College Hill” campus to the City of Hartford as the location for the State Capitol building. A year later in 1923, Trinity also celebrated the Centennial of college’s founding. These historic events marked a sense of tradition and familiarity among the student body in an era where many unexpected events had occurred.
By 1929, the pages of The Ivy were filled with eclectic images and bold graphics. Action shots entered, which replaced the simple hand drawn illustration that often represented a sporting event or dance, like the Sophomore Hop and Junior Prom. The action shots show the progress that was being made in this period of society, in which the nation was moving away from the disparities of war and towards celebrating life and one’s youth, especially during the college years. This decade was also one of the first times in which women were shown as being a part of the men’s college experience, in which they served as companions for the Trinity men at their seasonal dances.
The time of celebration during the 1920s was marked by the stride made both in the college’s and the nation’s history. After the 1910s, a period which deeply affected all nations, the 1920s was a time of uplift. Browsing through The Ivy’s from the 1920s, there was a lack of cohesion from year to year. That said, one can still see the ways in which individuals celebrated the lives of those who fought for them during the War, as well as the growth made right here on Trinity’s campus.
HOLLIS ALPERT ’16
KATIE ORTICERIO ’16
CRISTIANA WURZER ’16
As the Food Gals, we feel it is our responsibility to try each new restaurant that comes to Hartford. That is why we found ourselves at Majorca located on Park Street. Majorca is a Mediterranean Tapas restaurant that opened in January. We went last Thursday night around 7 o’clock and were surprised to see that we were one of just three occupied tables in the large dining room. We seemed to catch the end of the Happy Hour crowd, as the bar had another dozen people. The space itself has an industrial yet rustic feel; the ceilings were very high with exposed piping and brick walls, making the dining room feel altogether too open. As a result, we could practically hear other peoples’ conversations because the noise was traveling so much. We were seated by the window on one of the coldest nights when the restaurant was virtually empty (Hollis doesn’t like to sit near the window, part two). It was pretty drafty the whole night, which distracted us a bit from the rest of the meal. Our waitress was very nice, however she was training another waiter who did not speak one word to us even though he visited the table several times to bring drinks and clear plates. We must have looked like professional critics as halfway through the meal, the owner started tending to our table. The owner was very nice and accommodating when we asked for more aioli for the calamari. He seemed to truly care about our satisfaction, returning to our table multiple times throughout the meal to ask how everything was.
We ordered Albóndigas, Papas Fritas, Croquetas de Arroz, Calamares Fritos, Alcachofas Marinadas and a Caesar salad. Albondigas are meatballs, which were served with tomato sauce and Manchego cheese. They had the right flavoring and were made of dried and spiced pork that was slightly unfamiliar but appetizing nonetheless. Next, we tried the Papas Fritas, which were literally french fries. The menu read, “fried potatoes, Manchego cheese, garlic, truffle oil” so we were disappointed to find simple truffle fries. The Croquetas de Arroz were rice croquettes that contained chorizo, saffron, and once again, Manchego cheese. Though they were pretty good and served with tomato relish and garlic aioli, they are no competition to those at Barcelona in West Hartford. The calamari was simple, but sadly (since you can have this anywhere), it was our favorite dish we ordered.
The Alcachofas Marinadas, which are poached artichokes with sherry vinaigrette, arrived at our table steaming and looking delicious, but actually tasted rather bland. The Caesar salad was essentially like any other Caesar salad we have eaten in our lifetimes except that Manchego was substituted for parmesan. It is safe to say, we will probably not be eating Manchego cheese for a while to come. Our final disapproval was the dessert. We ordered to share a chocolate mousse with Oreo crumble and a salted caramel drizzle. This was over-advertised and we agreed that the mousse tasted like a boxed mix.
The tapas were about the same price as, or more expensive than the food at other restaurants we have previously visited like Barcelona, Bar Taco, or Umi. It is worth mentioning that Majorca recently replaced a Portuguese restaurant called O’Porto. Though never featured in one of the new Food Gal articles, we loved O’Porto. Undeniably less cosmopolitan, the menu at O’Porto was authentically Portuguese, the service was attentive and the atmosphere constantly lively. Overall, the food at Majorca was subpar and the service was good but could have been better for such a slow night. However, maybe we came on an off night because looking at other reviews online, everyone seemed to have exceptional experiences. Although we can’t comment on the reasons for the transition to an Americanized, Spanish tapas restaurant, the relative ambitiousness of the new menu was a disappointment compared to the standard, delicious Portuguese fare of Majorca’s predecessor.
GEORGIE WYNN ’16
I can’t remember a college tour without a detailed description of their study abroad options. As a result, I knew I wanted it to be part of my college experience. At first, I was not sure where that somewhere would be, but once I arrived at Trinity and was enrolled in the Spanish track, it became clearer and clearer that Barcelona was becoming one of my top choices. Coming from Boston, one of America’s fabulous cities, Barcelona intrigued me as one of Europe’s renowned cities. The program offered by Trinity allowed me to take classes at a local university, live in a homestay, experience the city for myself, and travel all over Europe…the whole package.
I spent my Tuesday and Thursday mornings at University of Pompeu Fabra, listening to my lively professor for two hours (in Spanish may I add) and on Mondays and Wednesdays, I was enrolled in a Catalan class, which is basically the dominat culture in Barcelona. Not only was I able to improve my Spanish in Barcelona, but I also learned a little bit about the history of one of the oldest European languages to ever exist. It was quite the brain overload at times, but totally worth it.
Barcelona, a city that dates back to the Roman Empire, is engulfed in history. I was able to visit just about every museum in the city and each and every one of them held something different and dear to its history. The streets themselves could be museums, whether it’s the hidden synagogues or marks on the cobblestones, every corner and turn in the city emphasisizes its rich culture.
A special area in Barcelona is the gothic quarter, which is one of a kind. In the quarter, there is a section called El Born, which was by far my favorite part of the city. I would find myself wandering the five foot wide alleyways for hours, each day discovering something new and brilliant. The small shops that lined the allies were filled with handmade clothes, jewelry, bags, everything, all of which are made in the stores! Most of the storeowners were friendly and helpful because they usually looked at me as a tourist.
If you ever have the fortune to visit, do not leave Barcelona without trying Manchego cheese- it is just to die for. The Boqueria, which is a huge building with just fresh produce ranging from fish to smoothies to nuts, offers a variety of different foods from around the area. It was incredible and something I have never seen in America. As most people associate sangria with Spain, as they should, the red wine was also tasty and very inexpensive. The food in Barcelona – well let’s just say it was irresistible. All restaurants flaunt their favorite tapas, and every one has their own version of “patatas bravas.” Unlike America’s go-to of bread and butter, Barcelona specializes in “pan con tomat.” Who would have known that tomato smeared over bread could taste so good?
Granted, I loved all the food in Barcelona and the many other places I was able to visit, but nothing beats my mom’s home cooked meals, which I frequently missed. The lifestyle in Barcelona was long. Days usually started at 9 a.m. and ended easily at 2 a.m. – that is if you weren’t going out. Dinner started around 10 p.m., which is quite a change from the 6 p.m. Mather meals here at Trinity. It took a while for me to adjust to the long days and late meals, especially because the idea of a “siesta” never became my reality, unfortunately. As for my experience in the homestay, it was one of the best decisions for my study abroad trip. Unlike living in a dorm or apartment, the homestay opened me up to cultural experiences I would have never had elsewhere. They were wecoming and inclusive which made my time abroad even more special.
Today, back on campus, my time in Barcelona feels like a dream. I would recommend going abroad to just about everyone. It is a time to grow as a person, learn outside the classrooms, and experience life in a different culture.
NICO NAGLE `17
Trinity’s newest head Bantam, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, has had a rather impressive string of accomplishments on the road to Hartford, CT. An author of more than 60 publications, the holder of grants from the esteemed National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and fellowship at the American Association for the Advancement of Science riddle her résumé. This is to say nothing of her chairing the professional development committee of the society for Neuroscience, the field in which she received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.
President Berger-Sweeney recently continued her life-long run of professional accomplishment with an appointment to Hartford Hospital’s board of directors. She now shares her position with the likes of prominent members of the financial industry, such as Douglas Elliot, the president of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., as well as the president and COO of Stanley Black & Decker, James Loree. Other prominent figures, such as ESPN sports analyst, Rebecca Lobo, and Magdalena Rodriguez, the head of Community Renewal Team Inc. will find themselves working in tandem with Trinity’s 22nd President.
This is a major step for Ms. Berger-Sweeney, the first female President of Trinity College, as it establishes her presence in the Hartford community, outside of the campus jurisdiction, and even outside its medical community to some degree. She joins a staff that oversees the direction of the number one hospital in the region, as ranked by the U.S. News and World Report. In 2012, the hospital successfully catered to nearly 100,000 visits, including a staggering 36,000 surgeries, as well as delivering 3,700 newborns to the families of the region.
Like the President herself, Hartford Hospital has maintained its place on the cutting edge. Despite being established in 1854, the facility performed the first successful heart transplant in the state, and realizing the vision of using robotics in surgery. They have also extended their reach with Connecticut’s first air ambulance system, LIFE STAR. The fine work of Hartford Hospital’s medical professionals have garnered awards of merit in nearly all of the 18 departments, particularly with membership to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, which seeks to bring the most advanced methods of care to the Hartford community. Also meritorious for their clinical excellence are the departments of cardiology, oncology, emergency services and trauma, mental health, women’s health, orthopedics, bloodless surgery, and advanced organ transplantation.
This particular addition to the doctor’s, and President’s lengthy résumé seems to fit quite snugly with her personality. Trinity’s leader finds her greatest calling in making a difference for the better, in whatever capacity that may be, as shown by her varied involvements, and her accomplishments in them. In an AAAS Member Spotlight article from 2013, during her time at Tufts University, she stated, “I feel as though I’ve been able to have an impact. And what’s more satisfying than that?” (Tufts University, Photography & Web Communications).
What is most notable when considering her appointment to Hartford Hospital’s board of directors, however, is the verve with which she attacks her many responsibilities and the way in which it reflects her belief in interdisciplinary action and education. The aforementioned report also wrote that she “is keeping one foot firmly planted in the laboratory” (American Association for the Advancement of Science). As a professor of Neuroscience at Trinity College, along with the duties of her presidency, it is clear that she seeks to maintain that course of action at Trinity. She is a real manifestation of the interdisciplinary values that Trinity promotes, having a stake in so many institutions that are at the summit of their respective fields. Keeping with the metaphor, she is a woman of many feet, and chooses to make her presence felt wherever they step.
In her opinion, the Presidency at Trinity College and the position on the board at Hartford Hospital hold similarities tied to the Hartford community. In an interview conducted via email, she made it clear that “Trinity College is tied physically to Hartford and we are very much vested in Hartford moving forward, so it is extremely important to be integrated into the leadership of the Hartford community. Both Hartford Hospital and Trinity College are very important institutions, located only three blocks from each other, and I though it was particularly important to understand the hospital. I would add that both Trinity and Hartford Hospital care about the immediate neighborhood in which we are located. Hartford Hospital is clearly expanding its footprint in the area and there are exciting opportunities for our two institutions to work together.” Her commentary illuminates intent to influence progress in an area that has been racked by stagnant decay since the development of the Rust Belt in manufacturing.
While President Berger-Sweeney’s call to action cannot be denied, an analysis of her credentials may be cause for some pause. Appointment to the board of directors is would seem a nearly automatic step given her education and all she has achieved, however, achieving presidency at an academic institution, a position usually left for scholars of the humanities or the business realm, would seem slightly off the beaten path. However, as previously mentioned, she is a believer in the avant garde. Admittedly, she writes, “when I think of all the college presidents I know, I would say fewer than one-third of them come from a science background, so it is somewhat unusual.” However, she sees it as an advantage, saying “as a scientist, I am an experimentalist by nature. As I said in my remarks at inauguration, I believe in trying things, revising, and trying again. I believe experimentation is an important way to arrive at creative solutions to address challenges.” As a person occupying a high-pressure position, it is somewhat strange to find this attitude with the expectation of success so high. However, with her record of success and achievement, she may be onto something.
MAX LE MERLE
On Wednesday, Feb. 25, Jessica Clark’s presentation, “Winning isn’t everything: The Moral Power of Defeat at Rome,” in the Rittenberg Lounge showcased an interesting take on the way in which ancient Romans handled defeat. While many historians would portray Roman defeats as shameful or disgraceful, Rome saw these defeats as roadblocks on the path to success, and as opportunities to be exploited. The general public does not know much about Roman defeats as, for every ten books on Roman victories there may be one about a defeat. However, a lot can be learned from historical documents. Despite it’s indomitable image, Rome actually experienced many defeats. In retrospect, it was the way in which Rome handled defeat and the enemies they defeated that contributed to it’s image as one of history’s greatest empires and a home to notorious conquerors.
Dr. Clark first referenced a game in which two players flip a coin and pointed out the importance of the order of wins and losses; when you win is important. She posed a hypothetical; I am playing with someone else and they win the first toss, I might say “best two out of three” and continue playing in such a fashion until I eventually emerge the victor – if I am able to control the number of iterations of the game, then I have the power to determine when a game is finally won. She continued; consider two players flipping a coin but one can see the result of the coin toss while the other cannot. As I am able to see the result of the coin tosses, I can keep the game going until I have eventually won. Furthermore, even if I experience a string of losses followed by an eventual win, if we stop playing the game after that win some might consider me the final victor. There are similar instances of this phenomenon employed by Rome.
Marcus Claudius Marcellus was a distinguished Roman military commander during the Gallic War and the Second Punic War and eventually received the most esteemed decoration a Roman general could earn – the spolia opima. While he was universally celebrated as a brilliant commander, history shows that he did not always win his battles and often would hide the stories of his losses with stories of great victories. During the Second Punic War Marcellus fought two large Gallic tribes: the Boii and the Insubres. During this time he was utterly defeated by the Boii but achieved a victory over the Insubres, and returned to Rome celebrating a triumph. He framed the Boii defeat as a trial to be overcome on the path to his eventual success over the Insubres later on. However, many modern historians now debate whether or not his defeat by the Boii predated the Insubres victory at all. Many claim that Marcellus had won first over the Insubres and had been defeated later by the Boii, switching the order of these battles to cloak his loss with a victory and celebrate a triumph upon returning to Rome. This behavior was not uncommon in Rome, where many Roman commanders were encouraged to return to the battlefield until they experienced an eventual victory. Their prior defeats could then be framed as hardships to be overcome in lieu of the final victorious battle.
Rome also employed a particularly interesting strategy following one of these decisive victories; there were severe penalties for “being the aggressor of a war no longer feared.” In other words, following one of these victories, any aggressive behavior in the region conquered by Roman commanders was punished harshly as a rebellion and commanders were effectively erased from history as a result. An example of this can be found in Rome’s final victory over the Cenomani people. Following a large-scale defeat over the Cenomani, a tribe of the Cisalpine Gauls, a Roman commander entered the territory and noticed that Rome had allowed them to keep both their land and weaponry. The Roman magistrate aggressively tried to ban their possession of weapons and a Gallic emissary was sent to Rome in protest. As a result, the Roman commander was heavily punished and the Cenomani were re-armed by the Roman senate. We see, in this example, that those who surrendered after a large defeat (the final coin-toss so to speak) were treated relatively well. Land was not confiscated, the people were generally left alone, and the conquered people benefited from being able to assimilate into the Roman market system. Aggressors on both sides were punished harshly, and there is a resulting peace within the conquered territory. A similar strategy was employed by Genghis Khan in his Mongolian conquest. It can be seen that, after these final, decisive victories by Rome, the preceding defeats did not matter – Rome won, Rome gained territory, Rome conquered. “Veni Vidi Vici.” However, a fascinating thing to point out is that the way in which Rome treated the defeated following these battles resulted in a “win” to the defeated people as well; they were treated well, their daily way of life is only marginally affected, and overall they benefited from this assimilation into the Roman economy. While Rome would keep fighting battles until an eventual victory, these defeated tribes no longer wanted to continue fighting (they no longer wanted to play the coin game), and so Rome achieved the final and decisive victory mentioned in history books.
Another interesting way in which Rome dealt with defeat was their portrayal of it in the media. A fantastic example of this is in the legend of Horatius defending the bridge against the Etruscans (there are many paintings concerning this subject). The story tells of an infamous Roman defeat in which the Etruscans slaughtered Roman soldiers and forced them to retreat over a bridge. Perceiving the danger, three Roman nobles and a junior officer named Horatius decided to hold the bridge so that their army could retreat in safety. Upon being assaulted, the three Roman officers begin to retreat and call on Horatius to pull back. Instead, refusing to allow the Etruscans to pass and slaughter his brethren, Horatius called to the commanders to tear down the bridge as he continued to hold off the Etruscan advance alone. Suffering many wounds and being pierced by spears, he received a shout that the bridge is successfully torn and dived into the water, swimming to shore still with all of his arms on his person. Disabled, and unable to walk for the rest of his life, Horatius returned to Rome a hero greeted by a roar of celebration and reveration. Though technically defeated, the people of Rome saw Horatius’ great bravery as a moral victory. The story of courage and perseverance during a defeat raised the morale of the Roman people in a way that a victory could not – it frames the losses of life and the violence of war as a necessity rather than as a result of bloodlust or weakness. As John D. Rockefeller put it, “I always tried to turn every defeat into an opportunity.”
In conclusion, this interesting examination of how Rome treated defeat, not as conclusive and shameful, but as a roadblock on the path to success allows us to understand a fundamental mentality of one of history’s greatest empires and contrast it with a modern understanding of defeat. Additionally, the way in which they treated their conquered allows us to see a successful strategy in achieving conclusive and lasting victories.
CHARLOTTE THOMAS `17
On Tuesday, Feb. 24, published author Leslie Jamison visited Trinity College to share pieces of her highly esteemed works. The Smith House hosted the author as a part of the Allan K. Smith Reading Series, giving students the opportunity to listen to excerpts from her New York Times best-selling essay collection “The Empathy Exams,” as well as her novel, “The Gin Closet.” Not only was this second piece a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award, but her work has also appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Oxford American, A Public Space, Boston Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer and The New York Times.
The Allan K. Smith Reading Series, which hosts authors and poets as part of a college endowment, provides students with a glimpse into the thought processes of accomplished authors like Ms. Jamison, so that they can work to improve their own writing. Ms. Jamison was able to provide insight into the world of journalism, as she is a regular columnist for The New York Times Sunday Book Review. While raised in Los Angeles, she moved to several other places, including Iowa, Nicaragua, and New Haven, until she settled in Brooklyn to pursue her writing career. Each of these stops along the way, she says, “was a world” to her, which undoubtedly helped to shape her perspective as a writer.
Her experiences with living in many different places translate particularly well in her piece, “The Empathy Exams.” When she presented this meditation on the way people relate to each other’s personal experiences at the reading, she highlighted her knowledge of the layers behind social interaction. The piece distinguishes sympathy from empathy, as the narrator provides the reader with specific details concerning how people handle both listening to and sharing their personal struggles with others. Some people, she notes, can imagine how painful an experience may have been for a person, while others take on the pain and share the experience with the other person. In one excerpt from “The Empathy Exams” the narrator shares how she works as a medical actor, “playing sick” for a living, and how she must teach the medical assistants who examine her to understand each sickness that she portrays. She deepens the meaning of empathy with anecdotes of her actual struggles with illnesses, to the point where it is clear that neither the medical assistant actors, nor real life physicians are capable of feeling genuine understanding for her battle with heart disease, among other complications. As a consequence, the reader is left with a profound understanding of how empathy deepens a person overall, and how feeling with someone rather than for someone can save a person’s life.
Once Ms. Jamison had finished sharing some of her best work with the audience—a myriad of English professors, potential English majors, and a couple of Hartford residents who were curious about Ms. Jamison’s methods—there was a brief discussion about the background and the planning that went into the publication of her works. One professor shared with Ms. Jamison that his students were focused on re-envisioning the next draft of their memoir pieces, and that they could benefit from hearing from a published author on how to cut out unnecessary details. A student in this class, Jackie Mercadante ’17, stated that she “felt like Ms. Jamison had some great advice on this aspect, because she does not seem to include a lot ‘fluff,’ or filler pieces in her writing.” This is a habit of which many college students are guilty, as they hope to meet the designated word limit allotted for papers by their professors. Yet, clearly it is within the concise but necessary details of “The Empathy Exams” that the reader learns of the complications within human connections.
Ms. Jamison also read excerpts from her book, “The Gin Closet,” which discusses the story of a young woman named Tilly, whose life changes for the better once her niece, Stella, arrives on her doorstep. The novel, which discusses with witty candor the struggles of addiction and loneliness, reminds the reader of the value of life itself despite its shortcomings. Once again, Ms. Jamison also reminded the audience of her vast experience with different types of people, as well as what she has learned along the way.
While Ms. Jamison may have settled in Brooklyn, she continues to travel to different locations to share her work with interested readers. Before arriving at Trinity, she had visited Rutgers University, Fresno State, and Holy Cross. She intends to make stops at other schools, such as the Duke University and University of Pennsylvania, as well as other countries like Portugal and Ireland later in the spring of this year. At the same time, she is currently pursuing a doctoral dissertation at Yale University about addiction narratives. Those who are interested in reading more of Ms. Jamison’s novels, or who would like to learn more about her very active career, can visit her website.
KENDALL MITCHELL `17
“I can hear my neighbor crying: ‘I can’t breathe,’ now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave,” sang the melodic and passionate voice of Reverend Osagyefo Sekou at the Trinity College Chapel in honor of the lives lost due to police brutality in this country. Rev. Sekou’s visit to Trinity came as a celebration of Black History Month, and as a time for the Hartford community to stand together to make a change. The Chapel community welcomed Rev. Sekou, a renowned leader in the nonviolent movement for justice and peace. Rev. Sekou’s weekend at Trinity included a discussion on the current Black Lives Matter Movement and nonviolent protesting, a session in nonviolent disobedience training, and Sunday’s church service, which all were events leading up to a peaceful protest throughout downtown Hartford on Feb. 23.
For anyone who was a participant in the protest, one could not have been more grateful for the nonviolent disobedience training that Rev. Sekou led. He, along with Trinity’s own Bishop John Selders, led simulations of nonviolent protests where attendees learned how to act and respond to police officers. Nothing would scare a participant more than the thought of being arrested for standing up for what’s right, so one would be grateful to have the knowledge of learning how to protest in the most peaceful, but meaningful way. Rev. Sekou organized a group of adults to pretend to be police officers, so the protestors could learn how to stand up to the police and learn how to continue to protest, while ignoring authority.
The next morning, Rev. Sekou preached in Trinity’s Chapel and emphasized the importance of young leaders rising to the challenge of ending racist police terror and brutality, and other types of inequalities that take place in the United States today. His sermon inspired churchgoers, including participants of the protest, to make a change immediately, and that’s what happened on Monday, Feb. 23.
Trinity College and the Greater Hartford community joined forces with Moral Monday CT in order to call to action the full employment for all people, access to quality housing and education, a fair prison and justice system, and the ending of police brutality against unarmed black people. Moral Mondays are protests that began in North Carolina and were led by the state’s citizens in response to several actions of those who had been elected into North Carolina office. First led by the Rev. William J. Barber II, President of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Moral Monday protests began in 2013 after stricter voting laws were enforced in the state.
The protests focus on a range of issues such as inequality, discrimination and new laws implemented in the states. Participants in Moral Mondays engage in civil disobedience each week by protesting inside of legislature buildings and then being peacefully arrested. These protests ultimately launched a grassroots social justice movement that spread to Georgia, South Carolina, Connecticut, and other U.S. states.
In spirit of the protests that took place in Hartford, 60 people (a mix of Trinity students and faculty, as well as Connecticut citizens) joined together at the Christ Church Cathedral parish house to march arm-in-arm throughout downtown Hartford. The protestors, wearing signs that reminded viewers that “Black Lives Matter” walked throughout the streets of Hartford. Protestors chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot!” and “Stop Shoot to Kill” in order to relay the message that racist police terror is an issue in this country that will not be ignored. This was a central idea in the protest, which many people recognized was a touchy point given the cirumstances. However, the participants were determined that this would be a peaceful protest, to effectively communicate the goals that they hoped to attain.
After a half-mile walk through the busy streets that were crowded due to Monday rush hour, the protestors valiantly walked through Hartford City Hall singing the freedom song, “The Little Light of Mine.” The voices of the protestors rang throughout the high ceilings and corridors while those who worked in City Hall applauded the group and took pictures. This was a very moving experience for people who feel that there have been so many wrongdoings, and to see this support was very rewarding. In honor of Michael Brown being fatally shot by a police officer, the group laid on the floor of City Hall in a silent protest called a die-in, where they stayed still on the ground for four and a half minutes. This represented the four and a half hours that Brown’s body laid in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. Thankfully, no one in this group was arrested for protesting, but the group was followed on the way from City Hall to the church. One participant’s favorite sign at the march was the one that stated “Not Against Police; Against Excessive Force, Deadly Force Used on People of Color, Use of Military Hardware on Civilians and Not Enough Justice.” This sign reminded the community that Moral Monday protestors respect the Hartford police and are making sure their power is used in a just, not excessive, manner. This is exactly what Rev. Sekou intended to have the participants do in this protest, and as a consequence, the march proved successful on both ends.
When marching, many protestors remembered the case of Luis Anglero Jr., 18, who was unarmed and shot by the Hartford police in 2014, and the case serves as a reminder that situations such as these are happening all over the United States. The signs protestors carried, many of which were designed by third graders in the Hartford area, personally moved many participants. The signs were decorated with pictures of the students and their ages, and the reminder that their lives indeed matter. It was truly amazing for one alumna in particular, Megan O’Brien, to see people of all ages participate in Moral Monday CT. She stated that “it was a great experience to attend the Moral Monday protests,” and she hopes to attend another one.
Campbell North ’17
Scientists who existed pre-Darwin predominantly practiced the Christian faith, believing that “a creator God…had endowed humans with the ability to discover the deep principles by which He had created the universe,” according to the Reverend Dr. John Polkinghorne, English theologian. The Darwinian Revolution catalyzed the rift between science and religion on the necessity of God in the evolutionary equation. The developing insight into evolution and evolutionary processes converted some previously religious scientists into non-believers. However, new understandings and interpretations of scripture and Christianity can help in re-building a bridge to overcome the gap that was created. Evolution and religion can exist in a cohesive relationship when evolution is viewed as a mechanism that will bring one closer to God and a divine state.
The Homo Divinus model makes an important distinction about how God played a role in human biological evolution. The model states that, “God conferred his likeness upon a member of the ape family and brought into being Homo Divinus, the ape-in-the-image-of-God, with the unique capacity to know, love, and serve its creator.” These first members of the Homo Divinus are interpreted as Adam and Eve from the creation story. According to Graeme Finlay, a cell-biologist, by encompassing both ideas that, “biologically, [humans] are apes” and that “theologically [humans] are creatures who share vital characteristics with God,” evolution can be seen as the necessary mean that allows humans to be spiritual. In Christianity, God is an all-knowing being and consequently, one of the characteristics humans share with Him includes a higher capacity for knowledge and awareness. This understanding leaves room for the theory of evolution to maintain its legitimacy because it still holds that humans evolved from other primates. It does not discredit any evolution or natural selection that occurs in other organisms. Evolution in this sense lends “insight into the scientific details of how God did these things,” says Polkinghorne. There is a reason other than the process of natural selection behind why humanity evolved, which is to know love and God.
Natural selection for larger brain size in humans can be acknowledged as way through which evolution brings people closer to divinity. According to Robin Henig, a science writer, anthropologists have found “religions that share supernatural features – belief in a non-corporeal God…belief in the afterlife…belief in prayer,” like Christianity, “are found in virtually every culture on earth.” This ubiquitous aspect has caused scientists “to look for a genetic explanation” for why religion may have emerged. Larger brain size leads to a larger expanse of cognitive processes and abilities. Religion is credited as a byproduct of this evolution. As noted by Henig, byproduct theorists explain that one of the reasons that religion has persisted is because “children are born with a tendency to believe in omniscience, invisible minds, immaterial souls — and then they grow up in cultures that fill their minds, hard-wired for belief, with specifics.” This may seem to detract from the validity of religion because it is explaining it as simply a repercussion of evolution. However, Justin Barrett, supporter of the byproduct theory and practicing Christian, argues that it supports religion because “Christian theology teaches that people were crafted by God to be in a loving relationship with him and other people…why wouldn’t God, then, design us in such a way as to find belief in divinity quite natural?” Just because science has found explanations for certain mental phenomena, like religion, does not make them any less valid asserts Barrett, “suppose science produces a convincing account for why I think my wife loves me — should I then stop believing that she does?” Humanity’s natural, evolutionary progression towards larger brains also ties back to the Homo Divinus model by citing a reason that allowed humans to become theological creatures, when God separated the humans from the apes by exposing himself, helping them know truth and love. It explains the necessity for bigger brains; to give humans a greater capacity for understanding this divine knowledge God revealed.
New interpretations of scripture allude to God as logos, which can also explain the evolutionary selection for bigger brains helping people get closer to God. Logos is the word that describes “logic, reason, and rationality.” The Gospel of John explains that “in the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.” If God in this context is to be construed as reason and logic, then it makes sense that humans developed larger brains as a mechanism to get closer to being able to understand divine reason. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin proposed the concept of the Omega Point, which plays off this notion.
The Omega Point, a state of divine consciousness, emphasizes evolution as a way to reach God because it “introduces the concept of God as Omega.” Teilhard suggests that the rise in consciousness that accompanies biological evolution will ultimately bring humanity towards a divine state. He “follows the evolutionist understanding of an evolutionary progression” but notes that it is always accompanied by “an increase in consciousness.” According to Teilhard, humanity has crossed a threshold of “self-conscious thought, or mind” that other life has yet to cross. This notion ties back to the Homo Divinus model by pointing to God’s gift of awareness as the reason humans unique evolution. Teilhard’s theory explains that God as the Omega Point and “the convergence of evolution” are the two principles necessary “to explain the persistent march of things towards a greater consciousness.’”A higher level of consciousness is not necessarily essential for life, as one can see from varying levels found in different life forms. Natural selection for larger brains can be pointed to as the scientific aspect of this evolution. The theological explanation for an increase in consciousness is to reach the ultimate conscious state and know God. However it is important to note that an increase in consciousness is not being directly controlled by God, but is a byproduct of evolution.
The distinction needs to be made that while God has been cited as having influence in one part of the evolutionary process, which helped distinguish humans from the other primates, it does not mean that He directed every step. According to Polkinghorne, evolution is the “interplay between chance and necessity.” Necesity in this sense is a “gift of God’s steadfast faithfulness” and chance is the “gift of a free openness.” He believes that since God has endowed life with infinite, “inherent potentiality” and the natural rules and laws of the corporeal world act on this potential. To Polkinghorne, this concept also applies in the context of free will. Humans still have free will and are allowed to “‘make themselves.’” This embodies the theory of top-down causality, which explains God’s role as being a “constraint or boundary condition” for the natural processes that happen at lower levels of life” explained by Teilhard.
Religion and evolution both need to be appreciated as necessary in process through which humanity will progress.
Caroline Hariri ’17
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines “basic” as “forming an essential foundation or starting point; fundamental”. It also says, “common to or required by everyone; primary and ineradicable or inalienable.” In chemistry, objects or liquids with a pH greater than 7 are considered basic. Basic is also an acronym for a simple computer programming language: Beginner’s All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend sent me a quiz from a popular website, Buzzfeed, entitled, “How ‘Basic’ Are You?” When I saw the title, I knew the meaning of basic in this case had nothing to do with chemistry, or computer programming. No, the quiz involved its most recent definition: the 21st century term of basic. Basic has come to mean a girl who acts, dresses, eats and thinks like the majority of all other young adult girls, in a boring and unoriginal manner.
I took the quiz, as I found myself drawn to the various answers, such as, “pick a pumpkin spice product,” or “choose your favorite social media platform.” I felt a connection and relation to almost every question they asked. My result: “Basic and you own it. You love infinity scarves and everything about the fall…” I was perplexed by this result, because though I did relate to many of the questions, I was offended that I was placed into this boring and generalized category.
Being basic is a newly titled concept in media culture, as a label for young adult girls who like or follow popular culture. Girls who are considered basic typically have stereotypical attributes, including “being a Kardashian fan,” “shopping at Brandy Melville,” “instagramming” at least once a week, “watching the hit sitcom Sex and the City,” “choosing music based on the most popular iTunes songs,” and “wearing yoga pants everyday and everywhere.”
In a popular video released earlier this year by College Humor, a scene takes place between a doctor and a young adult female with her boyfriend, as she dramatically receives “test results” back about a medical condition The scene opens with the doctor entering the room and stating, “…I got your results back…uh, I’m sorry but the test was positive; you’re [a] basic [girl].” A dramatic pause ensues as the doctor tells her that her symptoms of scented candles, picture frames that say family, owning every season of Friends, all prove that she is indeed, basic. The girl is visibly devastated by this dreadful news that she, like so many others in our society, is a follower of basic trends.
The basic girl holds attributes that seem unavoidable and universal to most young adult females. How can one, in a modern day, technologically advanced, big-company-run world, not be basic? It seems like everything pretty, tasty or fun also gets a connotation of being boring, common and too well-known to be original.
Just last week, I went to a birthday party with twenty girls in my grade, and the dress code was all black. I was not sure what type of shoes I was supposed to wear to the party, so I decided my safest bet was to borrow my roommate’s black Jack Roger’s- a classic pair of sandals dominant on the East Coast fashion circuit.
When I was ready to leave the party, I looked around the room to see where I had put my roommate’s shoes. To my dismal surprise, I saw eleven pairs of the same exact shoes waiting to be picked up. Out of the twenty girls who attended, eleven of them wore the same pair of shoes. I stood in the room full of women, and stared at the eleven pairs of these identical, indistinguishable shoes. In my flurry, I grabbed the pair that was closest to my bag, figuring that I had probably left them together. I took the pair, with the same wooden platforms I had seen and worn so many times, and the same exact stitching through the leather, bandana shaped sandal.
I left the pair in my roommate’s closet, next to her three other colors of Jacks. Yet, after a couple days, I received a phone call during my walk to class. My roommate hardly ever telephoned me, so I figured it must be urgent.
“Hello? Hayley, are you okay?!” I asked concernedly.
“Caroline. You brought back the wrong pair of shoes.”
“Hayley? Hello?” I heard something about shoes, but my connection was extremely choppy.
“CAROLINE. You brought someone else’s Jacks home. Hello?!?!” I could hear brief bits of aggression in her voice, yet all I could understand was something about shoes. Shoes? What could be so urgent about shoes that she needed to call me before my 8 am class? I hung up, and texted her asking if everything was okay, to which she responded, “Caroline you brought back someone else’s Jacks. These aren’t mine.”
The ones that I brought back, though the same color, same shape, same size and same condition “didn’t feel like her pair”. I texted everyone from the party, asking if any of them had accidentally taken the wrong pair, but no one had, because the shoes all looked the exact same.
Why did we all wear the same shoes? Was it security for our own sake? Are we upholding some sort of social expectation? Or are these shoes actually so great, that they deserve to be the most commonly worn shoes by the young adult female population?
I don’t think there’s one single answer to these puzzling questions, but I have come to the conclusion that there’s a difference between being basic for the label, and being basic because you’re being true to yourself, and you happen to like “basic” things. For example, there’s a difference between the girl who has the Jack Rogers because she truly appreciates the style, the feel of it, does not mind the price, and believes that it is a beautiful shoe, and between the girl who sees that this shoe is a trend, and that everyone has it, so she should get it, too. That’s boring. That is basic. To me, being basic is about doing things only because other people do them. It’s about upholding the idea that something is required, instead of challenging these requirements or social norms. Basicness is more than just following trends; it is following trends that you do not appreciate. Whatever new style, or food, or activity is popular, must have a reason for its popularity, but in our advanced day and age, a lot of that popularity seems false and forced upon people. However, this distinction between what is done for attention and what is done for oneself is difficult, if not impossible to determine. The majority of human action is determined by social norms, as humans are naturally, socially aware species. People make decisions based on other people, even subconsciously. Without even knowing, people act in a certain way that could be contradictory to who they really are, whether they are aware of their true opinions or not.
Part of the problem of why basicness is so prevalent in our day and age is because of social media. Social media has given people a constant outlet of viewing what others are doing, wearing, eating and thinking. This not only adds more places where people can be constantly influenced by what others are doing, but also makes individuals obsessed with what they themselves are doing, because they want attention and credit for it. Today, you don’t just figuratively like something. You literally, and psychically, can show that you “like” something on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and GroupMe. People, realizing it or not, start thinking about what will get their photo, or their status update, or their tweet, the most “likes.” And what do others like? What is the simplest way to secure yourself attention and credit from others? Posting the familiar, the known, and the trendy-posting things that are basic.
Technology, the quiz, the encounter I had with my roommates shoes, and this new concept of basicness, though light-hearted and certainly comical, raised this question of the meaning of originality and whether or not it can even exist. Sometimes, even the attempt to stand out makes one seem more basic, as an attempt to be different. Thinking that you are fighting the social norms of society can make you seem even more cliché and unoriginal than just accepting them. The great existentialist German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, explained that purposefully fighting social norms makes you comply with them, but accepting them and understanding that society works in such ways is more original than most people have the power to achieve. He says that “everyone is the other and no one is himself.” This is an enormous problem for society, and it is unavoidable. Just living in a society and obeying laws and speaking the common language prove that people are forced to follow others. That is perfectly fine, if not necessary to civilization. Liking things that other people have, or do, is absolutely no crime. In fact, it can be very beneficial and comforting to both you and others to follow the same recognizable and known trends. The distinction in the case of being basic is based upon people who follow mindlessly, and people who actually believe in what others are doing.
As difficult as this is in our day and age, I believe that it is somewhat possible to stay true to one’s beliefs, whether or not that means following a trend or shying away from it. A couple of months ago, I saved up and decided to buy a second pair of Jack Roger’s, and I do not regret that choice. They are a beautiful light pink with metallic gold stitching that does indeed fit my foot perfectly and comfortably. Though many people have this same shoe, I feel that I have other, nonappearance-based characteristics that give me the power to wear them differently than everyone else. Based on appearances, they give me an identity as a typical Trinity girl, a label that I am not ashamed of, as basic as it may be.
Sheila Njau ’17
Brian Williams has been a television staple for over 3 decades. He began his journalistic career in 1981 at KOAM-TV in Kansas and migrated to other stations before finding his home with NBC News in 1993. In time, he gained the position of NBC’s chief White House correspondent before moving on to serving as an anchor and as managing director of The News with Brian Williams on MCNBC and CNBC. He faced yet another big move in 2004 when he became the anchor of NBC Nightly News, a position he has held until now. This is a man who has received 11 Edward R. Murrow Awards, 12 Emmy Awards, the duPont-Columbia University Award, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the George Foster Peabody Award for his exceptional journalistic abilities. In 2006, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world. This was a man who was taking the world by storm and his spectacular rise seemed to have no end. In 2011, Williams made another leap when he earned his own primetime news show, Rock Center with Brian Williams.
When I read about all that Williams has accomplished during his broadcasting years, I cannot help but be impressed by his numerous achievements, and I am not referring to the awards. I mean, here is a man who started of as a firefighter and later became a household name. Here is a man who has been to disaster-ridden areas, such as those following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and reported about shocking events. Here is a man who people looked up to and admired. And now, here stands a man who has fallen from grace. It seems that Williams falsified a story about being in a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq in 2003. The incident was over twelve years ago, so why is he getting caught now and why did no one catch the lie before? Williams decided to retell the story again when he was doing a story about the Army veteran Tim Terpak, who was charged with taking care of the NBC staff. During the show, Williams stated, “the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG.” As Williams later confessed, the real story was: “I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft. We landed after the ground fire incident and spent 2 harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert.” What I consider worse than the lie about the Iraq mission, is the lie Williams told about going into Baghdad with SEAL Team 6, the team also responsible for the death of Osama bin Laden. Furthermore, he made up a story about how he received gifts from members of the team such as a piece of the aircraft that was destroyed during the raid on bin Laden’s compound.
Many are conflicted, questioning when these lies were originally presented. Past claims such as that of seeing bodies during his coverage of Hurricane Katrina are now under investigation. Not only that, but the scrutiny is going back all the way to when he was at Catholic University and Pope John Paul II came to visit the school in 1979. All I can think now to ask is whether it was worth it? Was it worth it for Williams to embellish these stories, because he has now lost the respect that he worked for so many years to attain. While he may have only been suspended by NBC for 6 months, I do not think that Williams will ever regain what has been lost, and that is the trust that people had in his journalistic capabilities. Do not get me wrong, I know that people lie and I’ve told my own share of white lies, but what Williams did was not a simple white lie. To say that he was a part of the mission with SEAL Team 6 was a bit much or when he stated that he had been there when the Berlin Wall fell, when in fact he arrived the next day. These are big moments in history into which he inserted himself. By lying about it, it feels like he was taking something away from these moments and that is why I find it so difficult to overcome this. Right now, I think about his daughter, Allison, who is just starting her career in the entertainment business and I wonder how this will affect her? So, all I can say is, “Brian Williams, I hope it was worth all the lies, because it’s now all gone, those 22 years are just gone.”
HOLLIS ALPERT ’16
KATHRYN ORTICERIO ’16
CRISTIANA WURZER ’16
As the Food Gals, we feel it is our responsibility to try each new restaurant that comes to Hartford. That is why we found ourselves at Majorca located on Park Street. Majorca is a Mediterranean Tapas restaurant that opened in January. We went last Thursday night around 7 o’clock and were surprised to see that we were one of just three occupied tables in the large dining room. We seemed to catch the end of the Happy Hour crowd, as the bar had another dozen people. The space itself has an industrial yet rustic feel: the ceilings were very high with exposed piping and brick walls making the dining room feel altogether too open. As a result, we could practically hear other peoples’ conversations because the noise was traveling so much. We were seated by the window on one of the coldest nights when the restaurant was virtually empty (Hollis doesn’t like to sit near the window, part two). It was pretty drafty the whole night, which distracted us a bit from the rest of the meal. Our waitress was very nice, however she was training another waiter who did not speak one word to us even though he visited the table several times to bring drinks and clear plates. We must have looked like professional critics as halfway through the meal, the owner started tending to our table. The owner was very nice and accommodating when we asked for more aioli for the calamari. He seemed to truly care about our satisfaction, returning to our table multiple times throughout the meal to ask how everything was.
We ordered Albóndigas, Papas Fritas, Croquetas de Arroz, Calamares Fritos, Alcachofas Marinadas and a Caesar salad. Albondigas are meatballs, which were served with tomato sauce and Manchego cheese. They had the right flavoring and were made of dried and spiced pork that was slightly unfamiliar but appetizing nonetheless. Next, we tried the Papas Fritas, which were literally french fries. The menu read, “fried potatoes, Manchego cheese, garlic, truffle oil” so we were disappointed to find simple truffle fries. The Croquetas de Arroz were rice croquettes that contained chorizo, saffron, and once again, Manchego cheese. Though they were pretty good and served with tomato relish and garlic aioli, they are no competition to those at Barcelona in West Hartford. The calamari was simple, but sadly (since you can have this anywhere), it was our favorite dish we ordered.
The Alcachofas Marinadas, which are poached artichokes with sherry vinaigrette, arrived at our table steaming and looking delicious, but actually tasted rather bland. The Caesar salad was essentially like any other Caesar salad we have eaten in our lifetimes except that Manchego was substituted for parmesan. It is safe to say, we will probably not be eating Manchego cheese for a while to come. Our final disapproval was the dessert. We ordered to share a chocolate mousse with Oreo crumble and a salted caramel drizzle. This was over-advertised and we agreed that the mousse tasted like a boxed mix.
The tapas were about the same price as, or more expensive than, the food at other restaurants we have previously visited like Barcelona, Bar Taco, or Umi. It is worth mentioning that Majorca recently replaced a Portuguese restaurant called O’Porto. Though never featured in one of the new Food Gal articles, O’Porto was loved by those of us who had visited. Undeniably less cosmopolitan, the menu at O’Porto was authentically Portuguese, the service was attentive and the atmosphere constantly lively. Overall, the food at Majorca was subpar and the service was good but could have been better for such a slow night. However, maybe we came on an off night because looking at other reviews online, everyone seemed to have exceptional experiences. Although we can’t comment on the reasons for the transition to an Americanized, Spanish tapas restaurant, the relative ambitiousness of the new menu was a disappointment compared to the standard, delicious Portuguese fare at Majorca’s predecessor.
GEORGIE WYNN ’16
I can’t remember a college tour without a detailed description of their study abroad options; therefore I knew I wanted it to be part of my experience. At first I was not sure where that somewhere would be, but once I started at Trinity and was enrolled in the Spanish track, it became clearer and clearer that Barcelona was becoming one of the top choices. Coming from Boston, one of America’s fabulous cities, Barcelona intrigued me as one of Europe’s renowned cities. The program offered by Trinity allowed me to take classes at a local university, live in a homestay, experience the city for myself, and travel all over Europe…the whole package.
University of Pompeu Fabra was where I spent my Tuesday and Thursday mornings listening to my lively professor for two hours (in Spanish may I add) and on Mondays and Wednesday I was enrolled in a Catalan class, which is basically the dominating culture in Barcelona (for anyone who did not know that). Not only was I able to improve my Spanish in Barcelona, I also learned a little bit of one of the oldest European languages to ever exist. It was quite the brain overload at times, but totally worth it.
Barcelona, a city that dates back to the Roman Empire, is engulfed in history. I was able to visit just about every museum in the city and each and every one of them held something different and dear to the history. The streets themselves could be museums, whether it’s the hidden synagogues or marks on the cobblestones, every corner and turn in the city has history. The “gotic” courter is one of a kind. Within this courter, there is a section called El Born and that was by far my favorite part of the city. I would find myself wandering the 5 feet wide ally ways for hours, each day discovering something new and brilliant. The small shops that line the allies are filled with hand made clothes, jewelry, bags everything, all of which are made in the stores! Most of the storeowners were friendly and helpful because they usually looked at me as a tourist.
If you ever have the fortune to visit, do not leave Barcelona without trying Manchego cheese- it is just to die for. The Boqueria, which is basically just a huge building with fresh foods ranging from fish to smoothies to nuts, offers lots of different foods from around the area. It was incredible and something I have never seen in America. As most people associate sangria with Spain, as they should, the red wine was also tasty and very inexpensive. The food in Barcelona, well let’s just say it was irresistible. All restaurants flaunt their favorite tapas, and every one has their own version of “patatas bravas.” Unlike America’ go to bread and butter, Barcelona specializes in “pan con tomat”…Who would have known that tomato smeared over bread could taste so good?
Granted I loved all the food in Barcelona and the many other places I was able to visit, but nothing beats my mom’s home cooked meals, which I frequently missed. The lifestyle in Barcelona was long. Days usually started at 9am and ended easily at 2am- that is if you weren’t going out. Dinner started around 10pm, which is quite a change from the 6pm Mather meals here at Trinity. It took awhile for me to adjust to the long days and late meals, especially because the idea of a “siesta” never became my reality, unfortunately. As for my experience in the homestay, it was one of the best decisions for my study abroad trip. Unlike living in a dorm or apartment, the homestay opened me up to cultural experiences I would have never had elsewhere. They were incorporating and made my time abroad even more special.
Today, back on campus, my time in Barcelona feels like a dream. I would recommend going abroad to just about everyone! It is a time to grow as a person, learn outside the classrooms, and experience life in a different culture.
KELLY VAUGHAN ’17
The 1920s constantly carries connotations which resemble that of a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel- sequined bodies, blaring jazz music, and drinking away one’s troubles at a Speakeasy. Most commonly referred to as the Roaring Twenties, this decade is often defined by the start of prohibition in 1919 and the Stock Market crash in 1929. These troubling times were often pushed aside by a crystal highball glass on a bar by the adults who tried to reclaim their youth during this period. In the words of Fitzgerald, “I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again” was the mentality held by many Americans in the era of Prohibition.
Issues of The Ivy, Trinity’s yearbook, show the ways in which these conflicting times were both mourned and celebrated. The issues from the 1920s were large collections of tributes to the young Trinity men who had fought in World War I. Some of their involvement were marked by their photos in the “In Memoriam” section, while those who survived had their rank or even station location next to their portrait in their class year. In general, there was a huge war influence across the books- literally- as multiple pages contained members of the Trinity body who fought in the war, their ranks, and those who were wounded. In this case, the yearbooks served not only recount the events at the college over the past year, but also to honor the “Gold Star men.”
The college’s seal stamped in ‘0’ of “The 1920 Ivy” represents the literal mark that Trinity seems to want to place both in the college and nation’s history. Furthermore, for the first time, there is the inclusion of color in the form of navy and old gold ink in the introductory pages of sections like academics, student body, fraternities, and society, showing that we as a school were embracing the spirit of Trinity. Despite the war time era, the student body of Trinity had much to celebrate. In 1922, the college celebrated its 50th anniversary of the Board oft Trustees selling the “College Hill” campus to the City of Hartford as the location for the State Capitol building. A year later in 1923, Trinity also celebrated the Centennial of college’s founding. These historic events marked a sense of tradition and familiarity among the student body in an era where many unexpected events had occurred.
By 1929, the pages of The Ivy were filled with eclectic images and bold graphics. Action shots entered, which replaced the simple hand drawn illustration that often represented a sporting event or dance, like the Sophomore Hop and Junior Prom. The action shots show the progress that was being made in this period of society, in which the nation was moving away from the disparities of war and towards celebrating life and one’s youth, especially during the college years. This decade was also one of the first times in which women were shown as being a part of the men’s college experience, in which they were companions for the Trinity men at their seasonal dances.
The time of celebration during the 1920s was marked by the stride both in the college’s and the nation’s history. After the 1910s, a period which deeply affected all nations, the 1920s was a time of uplift. Browsing through The Ivy’s from the 1920s, there was a lack of cohesion from year to year. That said, one can still see the ways in which individuals celebrated the lives of those who fought for them during the War, as well as the growth made right here on Trinity’s campus.
CAROLINE HARIRI ’17
Last summer, I was fortunate enough to intern with artist and creator, Suzy Kellems Dominik in San Francisco, California. Dominik is a contemporary, San Francisco based artist most credited with her multi-sensory installations. As an intern at Suzy’s office, called The Ballroom, a magnificent old-fashioned mansion overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, I learned skills in event planning, advertisement, public relations, social media and marketing-not just in the world of the arts, because Suzy does a lot more than just art. Suzy is a creator. She finds inspiration in her daily life and puts in words, videos, photographs, paintings, food, song, and even more. She is able to take the events, people and occurrences around her and put them into art. Each little bit of her surroundings give Suzy inspiration to do more, with the most enthusiastic and inspiring attitude.
When I first joined the Ballroom, I was introduced to Suzy’s multi-sensory installation Bear Attack-The Urban Bear, a traveling exhibition that would be presented in New York, Denver, Chicago, London, Tokyo and San Francisco. The idea of Bear Attack came to Suzy as she was hiking in Wyoming, and read the warning signs for bears in the area: “Be alert. Make noise. Carry bear spray. Avoid hiking alone. Do not run.” Suzy immediately saw the connection between this and various events that had happened in her life, and felt a familiarity between the bear and some men in our society. The bear held the same threat that women today feel throughout the stages adulthood. She created beautiful and extremely realistic images of standard looking men of our society, with the head of a bear. Her images show the danger and discomfort that women automatically feel when they are alone. With the help of Hanna Armstrong and Lindsay Van Cantfort, Suzy’s extremely talented and knowledgeable staff, I worked a lot on advertisement and promotion on the piece-emailing and calling galleries throughout the entire world-to introduce this talented artist.
Also this summer, I got to work on two other of Suzy’s newest installations: Beatrice and Baddassery.
Beatrice, presented last summer at the Onishi Gallery in Chelsea, New York, tells the story of a beautiful pig experiencing Dante’s Inferno. Her photographs and soundtrack connect a piece of literary genius with an artistic masterpiece. I was extremely fortunate to join in the photo shoot of Beatrice, our golden metal pig, and a golden, real, pig’s heart. It was a true honor being a part of the shoot, and running around San Francisco trying to find a butchery that would sell me a pig’s heart.
Badassery was a true thrill to help design. The piece is made up of a collection of phrases of bright orange, bold fonts over squares of light blue paper stating thirty phrases that contribute to the idea of being “a badass”. Some of my favorite cards we picked, “Earn Your Luck”, “Bob and Weave”, “Throw Your Head Back and Laugh” and “Farewell to Fear”. This fun, light-hearted yet extremely inspiring piece sends a worthwhile message to all ages.
I also was able to work on Suzy’s blog, Whatever From the Ballroom, where I learned a lot of the technical pieces of blogging as well as contributed to stories to the three categories of “Big Ideas”, “Swoon”, and “Artful Living”. The blog contains articles, pictures, maps, horoscopes and much more. Each piece is written and posted with outmost elegance and detailed design.
It is incredible to me how each of Suzy’s art pieces reflected an aspect of society that I feel should be acknowledged. Not only does Suzy question certain aspects of society through her art, but she is able to have a great time doing it! The entire point of her expenditures is for her own enjoyment, a mindset that we rarely see in our society today. She isn’t doing her art to make money, or to impress anyone; Suzy’s sole motivation is the pleasure she gets from doing what she loves. This creates an amazingly upbeat and exciting workplace. Through Suzy, I learned the unteachable idea that must be experienced, not taught. I learned how essential it is to find passion and joy in whatever task you are given. Whether it is planning the most extravagant party of the year, or washing dishes, Suzy taught me that there is no right way to do anything, except to do it in a way that makes you happy.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
Following a certain Tumblr post this past Thursday, the Internet saw an explosion of arguments pertaining to the colors of a dress. People worldwide engaged in debates with friends, family, colleagues, as well as strangers over social media, opening up broader questions pertaining to perception, reality and within the heat of the moment- one’s own sanity. As Ellen DeGeneres tweeted, “From this day on, the world will be divided into two people. Blue & black, or white & gold” I have no doubts that most of you are aware of exactly what I am talking about, and are probably an established a member of one of the two band camps.
The “dress debate” began on the Scottish Isle of Colonsay, when a singer and guitarist Caitlin McNeill who was perplexed by the color of a dress that was worn at a recent wedding she attended. The dress had generated a debate at the wedding as some thought it was blue and black while others were certain it was white and gold, in color. McNeill posted a picture of it on the Internet simply to acquire a sort of consensus. What followed was probably the least expected, but a truly amazing phenomenon. The photograph was viewed and shared amongst tens of millions of people across the planet, not ceasing to baffle the majority that could not believe the dress could be any other color than what appeared before their eyes.
Personally, I belong to the three-fourth majority of people that see the dress as white and gold, according to an obviously very reliable Buzzfeed poll. That said, I witnessed a friend who was shocked and thought something was wrong with her when she could only see it as black and blue. As most articles online pertaining to this issue have also pointed out, the dress has actually managed to drive people to reconsider their view of the world. While scientists easily justify this in relation to variations between the rods and cones in certain people’s eyes that make perception vary between different individuals, it seems that most people are not satisfied by merely this justification. Many believe that the dress poses some sort of prank, just to make people feel like there are delusional. Some others believe think the entire charade is a hoax that is gaining too much attention for no reason.
A whole other side to the discussion involves the reactions of celebrities. Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Mindy Kaling all tweeted expressing their disbelief at the dress being anything besides black and blue, while Kim Kardashian, Jimmy Fallon, B.J Novak and some others, felt otherwise. One may now question whether people at large remain truthful about what they see, or whether they are simply jumping on band wagons based on fandom. There is of course, ultimately no end to carrying on the debate, and there is no way of truly seeing what someone else sees to really verify anything.
But perhaps this debate, which centers on a rather shallow subject, does bring to light a much bigger global potential. It is amazing that a mere Tumblr post could mobilize the world into partaking in a single discussion. Given the endless social, environmental and political issues that press us today, “the dress debate” has exemplified that the world is indeed a global village that can easily be brought closer together to support collective discussions and consequent action to actualize bigger changes. While I would love to keep chatting about the dress, as “God” himself tweeted: “The color of a dress? Really? That’s what you’re asking Me? THE OCEAN LEVELS ROSE FOUR INCHES IN TWO YEARS. You know that, right?”
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
This Monday an unprecedented trial began in rural Wyoming County, N.Y., investigating correctional officer brutality that occurred with in the confines of Attica, a prison infamous for bloodshed. Three guards have been convicted of brutally battering an inmate on the night of Aug. 9, 2011, just one month before the 40th anniversary of the gruesome Attica prison riot
The Attica prison riot is a symbol that encapsulates the nature of Attica’s rather intense and violent past. Described as the single bloodiest encounter, excluding the Indian massacre, between American citizens since the Civil War, the vicious legacy of the riot still looms over all who enter through Attica’s maximum-security gates. The altercation started after a group of inmates held 33 guards hostage. Causalities amounted to 43 dead and 89 wounded. Eleven of those killed were state workers, eight guards and three civilians. All but one had been held as hostages and died in a deadly hail of friendly fire after Gov. Nelson Rockefeller ordered the authorities to retake the prison after the four-day standoff with mutinous inmates. The rest of the victims were inmates, three of whom were executed by other inmates during the takeover for actions deemed counter to the intended rebellion. To correctional officers, the riot is reminder of the inmates strength in numbers and the potential for take over. To inmates the riot serves as a testament to the bloodshed that can occur behind prison walls.
The incident currently under investigation regarding correctional officer brutality was originally marked down as just another occasion when officers were compelled to use force to defend themselves and do their jobs. However, further investigation has shown that the actions of the officers were gravely misguided and cruel.
The victim of these actions was a then-29-year-old George Williams. Mr. Williams had been transferred to Attica after serving time for robbing two jewelry stores. He had four months left to serve before being released. On the night of the incident, the three officers pulled Mr. Williams from his cell for an impromptu search. The officers started to brutally beat Mr. Williams, who had curled up to protect himself from the assault. After the beating ending one of the guards stepped on a plastic safety razor and pried out the blade, announcing, “we got the weapon.” They then transferred Mr. Williams to “the Box,” otherwise known as the solitary confinement unit. The officers in charge of the unit refused to accept Mr. Williams, saying he needed to go to a hospital. Mr. Williams was originally transported to a hospital Warsaw County but was then transferred to the Medical Center in Buffalo due to the severity of the injuries.He sustained a total of one broken shoulder, several cracked ribs and two broken legs, one of which required surgery.
In a recent development this Monday, before the trial started, the three guards pled guilty on all charges of the brutal beatings and admitted to misdemeanor charges of official misconduct in an agreement that would save them jail time.
After being released from the hospital, Mr. Williams was transferred to a new facility in Buffalo where he served his remaining time. He still doesn’t know why he was singled out that night in Attica. While the memory still plagues him, he has a tried to return to an ordinary civilian life and is currently raising money for barber school tuition.
Inmates still incarcerated at Attica had hopes that this case would spur changes in how the prison was policed. Those hopes have since ebbed. “We feel Albany doesn’t give a damn,” one inmate said, voicing despair rather than menace, “no one on the outside is going to change anything.” This sentiment is an important reminder of the dangers of feeling both overwhelming power and powerlessness. It calls for a re-examination of how modern prisons are run and how the system can be changed to still serve as a correctional facility but simultaneously maintain the notion of inherent, inaliable human rights, like protection from random brutal beatings.
WILLIAM SNAPE IV ’18
February was a busy month for the Lady Bantams, playing seven games in just 11 days against tough competition as a part of both the NESCAC Tournament as well as the CSA National Tournament. The women’s squash team travelled to Cambridge last weekend to try and repeat as National Champions, taking on Harvard for the second time this season.
In the NESCAC tournament, Trinity dominated and had no trouble sweeping through the competition. The team won decisively in the opening round against Colby, winning 8-1. The rest of the tournament was a similar story. In the next round against Bates College, the girls showcased an impressive victory with a 9-0 sweep, with every single individual match being won in three games. Chanel Erasmus ’15 put on a particularly notable performance, losing only a single point in her match, defeating Bates’ Sarah Miller 11-1, 11-0 and 11-0. The championship match wasn’t any more competitive, as Trinity defeated the hosting school, Williams, 9-0 just as they had done the last time the two teams met in January.
It is undeniable that the Trinity Women’s Squash program has reached the status of a dynasty amongst NESCAC opponents. The Bantams have captured the league title every year of the tournament’s nine year history, and have never lost a match to a NESCAC opponent. The team will look to maintain its championship status next season, and it seems highly probable that the girls will be able to make it a decade of domination.
After wrapping up the season in terms of league play, the girls got four days to rest and recuperate before a relatively quick turnaround for the CSA Nationals Tournament to compete for the Howe Cup. After taking the first match against Cornell 9-0, it appeared that Trinity might be able to take the National Tournament as handily as they did the NESCAC. However, the next two teams would prove to be incredibly challenging matches. In the semifinals match against the University of Pennsylvania proved to be a tighter contest that would edn up being decided by a single game. With the score tied at four games, the match would come down to one individual gmae at the No. 7 spot. Down two games to one, co-captain Natalie Babjukova ’15 rallied to win the fourth and fifth games 11-7 and 11-6 respectively to help lift Trinity past UPenn and take them onwards to the championship game.
There is a lot of history between the Harvard and Trinity Women’s Squash teams, and in recent years the two have met on numerous occasions in what is often a very close matchup. This meeting was no different. Despite the 7-2 scoreline, the match was much closer than it appears on the headline. Six out of the nine individual matches needing to be decided in 4 games or more, such as Trinity’s Sachika Balvanis ’16 who defeated Harvard’s Isabelle Dowling in a five game thriller. All of the girls played great across the board and fought each match down to the very last game, but in the end it was Harvard who won on their home court. The Bantams only graduate four seniors at the end of this year, and currently have tons of young talent who will only continue to get better. The Trinity team has all the tools to refocus and train so that when they make the trip back to the championship game next year and bring the Howe Cup back to Hartford in 2016.
SAMANTHA BEATI ’17
The George A. Kellner ’64 Squash Center was filled to the brim with enthusiastic fans who could not contain their excitement about the day’s championship game between Trinity College and St. Lawrence University. Not only was Trinity Men’s Squash playing in the National Championships, but they were playing at home in Hartford. As the players moved on the court, the crowd started to chant “I believe that we will win,” a mantra that they hoped would become a reality at the end of the days final. Trinity coach Paul Assaiante spoke to the crowd before the start of the finals and said that “history is being made today,” a statement that echoed what all players and fans were feeling. It was a day of firsts, not only was it the first time in history that the Bantams hosted the National Championships but it was also the first time in history that two teams playing in the championship were not Ivy League schools. The momentum of the energetic crowd was too much for St. Lawrence to handle, allowing Trinity to walk away with their 15th National Championship in 17 seasons. They finished the day’s matches 7-2 and finished the regular season with a record of 20-1.
Trinity had an impressive performance from players Rick Penders ’18 and Omar Allaudin ’18, who gave Trinity a quick 2-0 lead. The next match was James Evans ’18 who was down 2-1, but was able to come back and eventually win with great athleticism. Evans finished the season 21-0, an amazing finish that lead to Coach Paul Assaiante proclaiming him the “MVP of the team” saying that “he understands himself as a person and also plays great squash, something that is hard to do when players are really good.” After a 3-0 lead, the next match was played by Karan Malik ’15 against St. Lawrence player Anderson Good, who would win the No. 5 match 3-0 to give the Bantams a 4-0 lead. In a down to the wire result, Bantam Miled Zaraua ’15 played against Edgar Zayas who would win 3-2 and gave St. Lawrence their first point of the afternoon.
The crowd was the loudest during the last game of the match between Trinity’s Affeeq Ismail ’17 and Lockie Munro. They both traded games, but Ismail was able to outlast his opponent and win the last game 11-9. This clinched the National Championships for the Bantams and allowed everyone to breathe as well as smile for the first time that day. The crowd was cheering and hugging each other, wanting to soak up the excitement of the days championships. Although the Potter’s Cup was already decided, the excitement did not stop while last wave of matches was played out. Juan Vargas ’16 grabbed the sixth win of the day for the Bantams, while top-slot player Vrishab Kotian ’15 lost to St. Lawrence player Amr Khalifa.
The final match of the day ended in a set that truly represented the level of competition between the two teams. Moustafa Hamada ’15 took on his St. Lawrence opponent Duncan Maxwell in a fierce w game that stretched to a 15-13 win for the Bantams. It was a satisfying finish for the Trinity team, reminding players and fans alike that every single point must be fought for on the quest to win a National title.
During the acceptance of the runner-up trophy St. Lawrence coach, Chris Abplanalp only had words of praise for Trinity saying, “what the Trinity program has done for squash is why the college game is at the level it is today.”
In an interview after the big win with Trinity coach Paul Assaiante he explained that, “it was so wonderful to have the win happen here, a campus wide celebration of fans, students, alums and faculty” further saying that “I now know what other schools have experienced that we haven’t.” Coach Assaiante continued by explaining that in preparing for the championship, he told his players “act like you have been there before” this advice would help them when playing a St. Lawrence team that had never reached the National Championship finals before. In fact, the year Trinity won its first Potter’s Cup was the first year of the St. Lawrence programs existence. Assaiante added that he always tells his players that “how you deal with emotions during the match will prepare you for things far more traumatic in the future.”
It was difficult to leave his office without taking a peek at his many championship rings located in the front of his desk. Coach Assaiante noticed this and with the same smile that he held the moment they won another National Championship told me “we are getting another one of those.” Congratulations to the Trinity Men’s Squash team for another great season.
RYAN MURPHY ’17
The Trinity Men’s Basketball team continued its great season on Saturday with a first round victory in the NESCAC tournament. The win was much too close for comfort though, as the eigth seeded Colby College Mules, nearly knock off the number one Bantams.
Down 63-64 with 10.7 seconds left in the game, Colby guard Luke Westman drove all the way to the rim and had a relatively clean look at a lay up that would have given them the lead. Instead, he banked it too hard and Andrew Hurd ’16 soared to grab one of the most crucial rebounds of the season.
Hurd was immediately fouled and with 3.1 seconds left on the clock and swished two critical free throws to give the Bants a 3-point lead. Colby’s desperation heave to try and get the ball down the court for a shot was intercepted by Shay Ajayi ’16, securing the first round victory for the Bantams.
Ajayi, who notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, said “man it was way too close, but since we were hosting that was an advantage to us because we had people cheering us on.”
Leading scorer Jaquann Starks ’16 struggled shooting the ball early and turned the ball over three times, but he did manage 12 points and three assists. Eight of those 12 came in a two-minute span toward the end of the first half on 3-for-3 shooting, bringing the Bantams to within one point at halftime.
After the break, the Bantams came out firing, going on a 14-1 run early in the second half to seize the lead, which they would maintain for the remainder of the game. Bench players Ed Ogundeko ’17, Chris Turnbull ’17, and Rick Naylor ’16 led the charge, with Ogundeko tallying 11 points and five boards in the second half.
Co-captain Hart Gliedman ’15 sank his only field goal of the game, a three-pointer late in the second half, giving the Bantams enough cushion to fend off the Mules’ late surge.
Gliedman, playing his final season at Trinity said of getting one step closer to a NESCAC title, “it would mean so much to the older guys (Alex Conaway ’15, Steve Spirou ’15, George Papadeas ’15) on the team because of how far the program has come in these past years, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves, we still have a huge weekend ahead of us to get through.”
The victory over Colby not only sends Trinity to the NESCAC semis for the second consecutive year, but it will also bring the NESCAC tournament semifinals and finals to the Ray Oosting Gymnasium for the first time since 2002. Home court advantage will certainly favor the Bants, as they have only lost two games on the home floor all season.
The Bantams will play the sixth seeded, in-state rival the Wesleyan Cardinals on Feb. 28th in hopes of meeting either Bowdoin or Amherst in the NESCAC Championship. If the Bantams were to win the championship, it would be their first since 2008, and would secure them a spot in the National D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament.
ANTHONY ZUCARO ’16
The Trinity College Women’s Ice Hockey Team has just finished their regular season with a bang and is preparing for playoff contention. This formidable team has been helped in part by rookie goalkeeper Sydney Belinskas ’18, who has had a tremendous start during her first year at Trinity. Belinskas has helped the team finish their regular season at 15-6-2, with a majority of their wins being conference matches. Along with the rest of her top notch defense, Belinskas has posted five shutout games and has been in the net for 87 percent of games in which opposing team scored less than 3 goals.
Like many previous athletes of the week, Belinskas has found her inspiration in many athletes, but her status as a Floridian made her transition to ice hockey different. “Growing up my favorite athlete was Andrew Raycroft. I can remember watching the Bruins on TV and I always wanted to play like him…being from Florida I also found (pro-surfer) Kelly Slater as a huge inspiration. In the seventh grade I read his autobiography. Reading how hard he worked for everything made the phrase hard work pays off” true to me. This spark was strengthened by Belinskas’ family. “Somehow [my sister] was almost always stronger and faster than me, but that always pushed me harder and harder. Both of my parents taught me how to lift and fight for what I wanted. I learned to work hard and to follow my dreams.” This work ethic began long before her time in a Trinity uniform. “Before high school I played on Team Pittsburgh and we ended up winning Nationals. I went to the Williston-Northampton School my sophomore year to senior year. That’s when opportunities really started coming. The off- ice and on ice teaching and coaching there really prepared me for college. Without Williston I would not be where I am today.” This hard work and dedication paid off in dividends for Belinskas. In her most recent game against Wesleyan she limited the opposing offense to two goals and made 18 saves throughout the game.
Belinskas has had many opportunities to make memories, one of which was, “beating Tabor in overtime at their home rink during a night game. They had the stands packed. When we scored it felt like we won a championship”. However, the team at Trinity and its amazing fans seemed to have an even greater impact on Belinskas. “At Trinity the best moment was finally putting on my new pads for our first home game. I had just gotten back to school after being very sick and couldn’t play yet, but just the vibe and hype was amazing. As soon as I walked into the rink that day I was so excited.” The current playoff has made this experience even better for Belinskas, who has a positive outlook on the rest of the season. “This season has been great. We’ve really started working as a team. Moving forward this season I have a good feeling. Everyone’s energy is high and as long as we keep working hard in practice the outcome will show in our games. The playoffs are in site and everyone is ready to battle.”
Belinskas and the third-ranked Trinity College Women’s Ice Hockey team will host Willaims at the Koepell Center on Saturday, Feb. 28th.
PRAWESH DAHAL ’18
Being a part of the David Project has been a truly enriching experience. When I embarked on the ten day trip to Israel. I wasn’t expecting to come across anything new. Israel is like a second home to me, after Nepal, since my parents live there. I myself lived in Israel for a year before joining Trinity and I thought I already knew a lot about this country. However, I was wrong and I am very grateful to the David Project for uncovering the real Israel for me.
When I was in Israel during my gap year, I did not find it difficult to connect with the country, and its people. I believe that living in different countries since childhood has taught me to embrace open-mindedness and accept different perspectives. And it was in the summer of 2014, during my stay in Israel, during the Israel-Gaza War that I truly realized the gravity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The first few thoughts that ran through my mind were not at all about knowing which side to choose. It was not about Jews or Arabs. It was about peace, which I soon realized was hard to get, for trying to understand the Israel-Palestine history left me confused and perplexed. As I spent this winter in Israel, I connected more with this issue.
In my opinion, one can never know what the conflict has truly done to these two regions solely by following what the media portrays. Instead, I learned that it is more about personal narratives. It is through listening to different people, whether Israeli-Jews, Israeli-Arabs, Palestinians, Israeli-Palestinians, Orthodox Jews, Reformed Jews, and many more, and their experiences that one can finally see a vague picture forming. I call it vague, because after listening to different personal narratives during my entire David Project trip, I still couldn’t figure out what was black and what was white. It’s grey and yes, it is confusing. But what’s clear is my stand on all of this – trying to achieve peace through non-violence, and my experiences in Israel this winter has given me hopes for that.
I was very moved when I encountered an organization called, Combatants for Peace during this trip. It is a movement that started by Palestinians and Israelis, who have fought for Palestinian freedom and for the Israeli army (IDF) respectively. These members have seen violence, decided to put down their guns and come together for peace. We heard from a Palestinian and an Israeli speaker from the movement and saw strong bonds of friendship between them. Their bond showed us that reconciliation is possible, if both the sides allow themselves to understand the other’s narratives and aspirations. They said that there is more that unites them than divides, and they act non-violently to raise consciousness regarding the sufferings and hopes of the other side to stop the cycle of violence. I think that the bloodshed and terror is never going to rescue these regions. If there is peace somewhere out there, it is in the hands of organizations such as this, which understands that change can only come if two sides truly understand each other’s stories.
The David Project exposed me to so many different narratives in an unbiased way and I feel that I have uncovered Israel in many more ways.
HANNAH HIAM ’18
This past winter break, I visited Israel again. I was not a tourist within a large group, as was the case during my prior three visits. Then I followed a formal protocol of educational and cultural immersion that was driven by a mission of a particular organization leading the trip. During these arranged excursions, be it hiking trips, outdoor adventures or the museum tours, constant topics in discourses involved politics, history, and religion. Although I felt highly informed and inspired by the history of my Jewish land, I still didn’t feel fully connected to contemporary Israel or its people. This is not a criticism of Israel programs as these educational and leadership tours provided me with knowledge and skills I wouldn’t have learned in a history book.
This January I felt ready to embark on a journey of my own, driven by my own mission and itinerary. My mom and I rented an apartment in the middle of Tel Aviv, the country’s New York City. Of note is that we hit the worst weather with much of Israel covered in snow and the normally warm and dry Tel Aviv drenched in rain, hail, storm winds, and very cold. Undeterred, we walked for miles, bought our own food at the local shuk (the grocery market), and used transportation such as taxis and buses, and visited museums and cultural centers throughout the city. Both of modest fluency in Hebrew, we managed to communicate to our best abilities. Israel, because it is a land of immigrants, made the language barrier feel like only a minor problem. We were living in Tel Aviv, making our own plans day by day, and sometimes we even passed for Israelis! Witnessing daily life of Israel as a disguised Israeli walking the streets among the people, the worries and conflicts discussed academically and politically took a back seat to the normality of daily living. Nonetheless, not being a native Israeli, paranoia about security would spark whenever I was near bus stations or large public areas. Random and sporadic terrorist attacks are a tragic part of Israel’s reality. Just a few days after my visit, on Jan. 21, 2015, 12 people were brutally attacked on a Tel Aviv bus by a terrorist. Back at Trinity in the midst of the quiet beauty of our campus, it felt almost surreal to know that I walked in the same neighborhood as the terrorist and his victims and may have seen people who were wounded in that attack.
The terrorist attacks in the Paris Charlie Hebdo killings and the anti-Semitic murders at the kosher supermarket- all occurred during the time of my visit. Undoubtedly, I felt the security concerns affected my composure at times. On the other hand, my paranoia would fade away in the face of the regularity of ordinary life in Tel Aviv. Interacting with average citizens, I was inspired by their commitment to keeping life as normal as possible and by their loyalty to their country. They treat their attackers at their hospitals, even after the attack, they provide aid and assistance to their neighbors affected by wars, and they send their citizens all over the world on rescue missions. From the perspective of Israeli citizens and through my lens, it is clear that everyday life must go on. The Israelis live with dire security concerns and yet they insist on maintaining as normal of a life as possible. They refuse to bow to terrorism. My most recent visit enabled me to identify with an average Israeli citizen, which I believe is an important part of shaping my position and connection to the country.
ELIZABETH VALENZUELA ’17
Imagine a chartered bus filled with over 30 American students. They are chattering loudly and excitedly about their journey ahead. They come from every corner of the United States and varying ethnic and religious backgrounds as well. Although these students may seem very different from the outset, what they have in common is their leadership at their respective universities. From positions in Student Government to roles as Resident Assistants, these students are the movers and shakers on their campuses. These thirty plus also share a common destination: Jerusalem.
These students were brought together by the David Project, a non-profit organization that positively shapes campus opinion on Israel by educating, training and empowering student leaders. One of the ways in which the David Project educates its student leaders is by inviting them to participate in “Israel Uncovered,” a ten day trip that brings Jewish and non-Jewish students to Israel and exposes them to its dynamic and complex society. In January I had the opportunity to participate in this trip and learn about Israel’s history, people, culture and religions. As a result of my involvement in the Charleston House of Interfaith Cooperation – an organization that promotes dialogue and relationship-building between people of different religious backgrounds and worldviews – I was most impacted by the examples of interfaith cooperation that I witnessed while in Israel.
Our group’s bus driver, medic and tour guide alone were a diverse trio through whom I learned about the different religions that co-exist in Israel. Our bus driver, Moshe, was a kind older man of few words. He was a devout Muslim. Our medic, Sully, was a Druze gentleman. The Druze religion is a blend of Islamic monotheism with Greek philosophy and Hindu influences. It is unique in that outsiders are barred from joining it. Our tour guide, Yoav, was a lively Jewish Israeli. These three gentlemen introduced me to Israel’s religious diversity and demonstrated the importance of interfaith cooperation in our daily lives.
As my trip continued, I began to personally experience moments and interactions such as the one described above. My awareness to these was especially heightened in Jerusalem – a city that is split into four quarters: the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. Whether these interactions came in the form of the conversations I had with fellow Catholics at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or the celebration of Shabbat dinner with a young Jewish family or the lessons I learned while listening to the narrative of a Palestinian-Israeli man, these moments reaffirmed for me the difference that can be made when we share our narratives, listen to the narratives of others and attempt to understand their worldviews.
In a world that is wrought by lack of understanding between people of different religious backgrounds, I felt inspired by the moments I witnessed and participated in because they gave me hope for a more peaceful tomorrow. One of the outcomes of my experience in Israel has been Avi Peace Shabbat, which took place on Feb. 22. A collaborative event between the House of Peace and Hillel, it created a space for open dialogue about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Over seventy students attended this event and engaged in this dialogue, helping to build bridges of interfaith cooperation on Trinity’s campus.
CARLY GOROFF ’17
This winter I was lucky enough to have the chance to go to Israel on a birthright trip. For those who may not know, birthright is the opportunity for Jewish teenagers and young adults to travel to Israel on a 10-day trip – packed with activities, cultural events, and lots and lots of sightseeing. The itinerary included trips to Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, the Negev Desert, and many other sights up and down the country. I was so amazed by the sheer beauty of Israel and the kindness and acceptance the Israelis showed towards us. Israel welcomed us with open arms as we spent ten beautiful days in the Holy Land.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was hiking up Masada. We climbed up the rock plateau to see an incredible ancient fortification that Herod the Great built as his palace. Later, the fortification was used during the First Jewish-Roman War by rebels fighting against the Romans. The war ended during Siege of Masada with the mass suicide of all of the rebels. The history and beauty of Masada is unparalleled; situated between the Dead Sea and the Jordanian border, the view from atop was breathtaking and made the long hike up and down totally worth it. The remnants of the palace and fortification are still in relatively good condition and make for a fascinating tour of the top, flat part of the plateau.
Another part of the trip I really enjoyed was experiencing all the different foods from Israeli and Jewish culture. As Israel’s national food, hummus was served at just about every meal. I consumed more hummus in those ten days than I have in my entire life! In addition, Israel boasts a delicious cuisine that includes falafel and shawarma, essentially pita stuffed with hummus, deep-fried chickpea balls, schnitzel, or lamb and an array of different condiments and toppings. So yummy!
Also, I definitely miss the fresh fruit juices served at every street corner. From pomegranate to apple, these hand-pressed juices were delicious and refreshing.
GREGORY OCHIAGHA ’18
I went to Israel with a program called “Start South” to create a large-scale arts festival for southern Israel. As a non-Jew, I must admit that I didn’t know much about this country before the trip. All I knew was what the western media told me. I didn’t expect to fall in love with Israel, but I did unequivocally.
My favorite moment would have to be when our group went to a large school center. We did many workshops with the kids there. I’m part of the Documentary/New Media group so I was going around taking pictures of everything, including the kids. The kids were hilarious, they didn’t say picture, they said “selfie” even when they meant picture. So, the boys would all get in groups asking me for “selfie!” and I obeyed, of course.
And then there was this one boy who kept following me around, speaking Hebrew to me. I took a picture of him but he kept following me around. I tried to ask him what he wanted, so he called a teacher over. She had a bit of an accent, so at first I thought she just said he “wants a picture.” Just as I was about to take another picture of the boy, she shook her head and said, “with you! He wants picture with you!” He just stole my whole heart, right then and there.
Regardless of whether you are Pro-Israel or Anti-Israel, please know all the facts. I’ve fallen absolutely in love with this country, and it’s people and it’s food. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very complicated one, and it is a typical habit for Americans to pick a side. But sometimes, there isn’t really a good guy or a bad guy. The situation in Gaza is terrible and I pity the people there. But the Israeli people, specifically the people of Sderot, are victims of this conflict as well. The children here are gorgeous, the people here are kind and they all want peace.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
I have to guiltily make a confession regarding my ignorance on the subject of Black History Month. Although I have not grown up in America, I cannot (especially as a senior) use my foreignness as an excuse for this.
For the past three years here at Trinity, I have been invited to or heard of events on campus in celebration of this month, but neither did I ever attend any of these, nor did I even make the effort to look up the significance of this celebration. My logic for this seemed fairly straight forward- ‘I am not black, so what could I possibly have to celebrate on this month?’ This stemmed from my baseless assumption that the occasion was simply to do with the ‘abolishment of slavery, the extension of civil rights, and other legal accomplishments’ that I couldn’t culturally connect to. Ultimately, just the way I tend to be skeptical of the ‘Hallmark holidays,’ I would also end up questioning the purpose of delegating a month towards celebrating a specific history.
Following an insightful conversation with one of my roommates just this past weekend, as we approach the end of Black History Month- I have come to finally realize that the existence of this month is especially crucial for people like me. Black History Month did emerge as a way to address and clarify the often misunderstood and tangled up history of the African diaspora, about 50 years after slavery was abolished in America. That said, the month in contemporary times is also meant to celebrate the numerous contributions that African-Americans have made to and continue to make to society at large. These are contributions that have positively impacted us all, but undoubtedly also include ones that we overlook in our daily lives. In this regard, this month can, and should be celebrated by people from all backgrounds.
In thinking about African-American contributions to society, the first two fields that come to mind include sports, and music. While African Americans have achieved numerous athletic milestones within or while representing America, the community has also been instrumental in the development of music genres ranging from the blues to jazz to reggae, and to hip-hop. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and Muhammad Ali, amongst many others have all made a lasting impression in the nations as well as in the world.
Black innovators and inventors have also made significant contributions over the years. To list a few- Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was the first physician to successfully perform an open-heart surgery, Dr. Earl Shaw was the co-inventor of a laser device for radiation therapy for cancer patients, Garrett Morgan invented the the first traffic signal, Sarah Broome invented the ironing board, J.A. Burr invented the lawn mower, and the list goes on.
While it does seem like a stretch to connect race to achievements that do not explicitly have much to do with ethnic backgrounds- I think it is essential to acknowledge and celebrate these in the context of Black History Month.
Given the unfortunate stigmas and stereotypes that media has created, specifically linking African Americans to violent behavior, this month provides the opportunity for everyone to realize and celebrate the positive and truthfully inspiring side to the African diaspora. Instead of feeding into existing racial disparities by questioning the purpose of this month, why not simply partake in it? I think that any such occassion should be seen as an opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to come together, instead of furthering apart.
Ultimately, Black History Month is not an exclusive celebration, and shouldn’t be regarded as such.
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
Technological advancements and society’s trend towards a continued reliance on the internet and cyberspace has recently been accompanied by a growing concern about using this medium for a new breed of modern warfare. The wars that were once waged on land with weapons and physical defenses have now been transformed into virtual encounters. And cyberspace is the new terrain where various political leaders and countries have chosen to fight. Ever since the dawn of cyberspace different leaders have attempted to manipulate this network in order to place attacks on opposing groups.
The most publicized incident of cyber warfare occurred recently with the North Korean attack on Sony pictures. This incident sparked a series of controversies and eventually led President Obama to accuse North Korea of ordering a destructive attack against America. This was the first timesthat the United States has ever explicitly charged another government with mounting a cyberattack on American targets. However, this conflict with North Korea would not be the last of its kind.
A recently disclosed National Security Agency document revealed that Iranian officials have discovered new evidence that the United States was preparing cyberattacks on their networks. It then went on to explain that Iranian retaliation in response has escalated and marked the beginning of an era of computer competition between the United States and Iran.
The document also revealed that the three waves of attacks against the United States by Iran began in August 2012. The attacks targeted the websites of of large banks, which included the likes of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. These attacks consisted of a flooding of the bank’s website with data in an effort to overload them and subsequently make it impossible for customers to access their accounts. This is just the beginning of America’s fear of the extent of cyber warfare, as officials have become increasingly alarmed by the successes of Iran’s new “cybercorps.”
Admiral Michael Rogers, the N.S.A’s new director, has taken a firm stance on the issue and declared that his first task in his new position will be to deter these cyber attacks. He hopes to deter countries like China, Iran, and Russia from waging cyberwar by making it relatively expensive to do so. Plans for how exactly he will attempt to do this have yet to be disclosed. The Obama administration has also recently grown hesitant over releasing the names of countries that they believe to responsible for such attacks in the hopes of deterring them.
While the threat of cyberwarfare is frightening, especially due to the unknown potential damage that could result, it has a history in the United States starting in the 2000s. Most notably in June 2007, the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s unclassified email account was hacked by unknown foreign intruders as part of a larger series of attacks to access and exploit the Pentagon’s networks.
The uncharted waters of engaging in cyberwarfare are certainly intimidating. However, the United States has a unique capacity for dealing with unknown situations. This capacity for resilience and resourcefulness is distinctly American and will help government officials face what unknown challenges lie ahead.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
Three innocent Americans were murdered earlier this week. Two of the victims were a recently married couple attending dental school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, while the third was the wife’s younger sister, and freshman at the same university. They were shot in the head in their condominium complex by one of their neighbors, supposedly over a parking dispute. While this alone renders the crime worth condemning given its brutality, the specificities of the case- concerning the identity of the victims, their perpetrator and the question of motive, have opened up a ‘war of narratives.’
The three students- Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21 and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were Muslims of Arab descent, while their murderer, Craig Hicks was a middle-aged white man. It wasn’t long before the victims’ family, and many others appealed to the police that this was not just a murder case, but also a hate crime. The Mohammad sisters’ father also attested that just a few days earlier Yusor and Deah had complained to him about how Hicks had threatened them and made them feel uncomfortable. It is not a novel fact that Islamophobic tendencies have been spreading rampantly across the world, and have often manifested themselves in violent incidents against innocent people. For the most part, media’s portrayal of such incidents has been undeniably inadequate, particularly in contrast to when people of Islamic backgrounds are the alleged perpetrators. To consider a counterfactual situation, where a Muslim may have been the murderer, the crime would potentially have even been framed as an act of terrorism. Particularly in light of this fact, I think it is definitely worthwhile for every American to consider the idea of this incident being a hate crime. If not a hate crime toward a religious minority- it is still a hate crime of sorts toward the fabric of equality, and human rights that this nation was founded upon. Hicks’ identification as a new atheist does not make it easy to refute this narrative. Yet, the judiciaries claim that they are still to find evidence pertaining to Hicks crime being stimulated by hate- the murder of three Muslim students is not enough. The most disturbing part about this claim is that it accepts that three individuals were shot dead, simply over a casual parking dispute and no other reason. Quite frankly it is a warning call when someone is killed over parking.
While Hicks is already charged with triple homicide guaranteeing that he will be spending the rest of his life in prison, charging him for hate crime would have changed the nature of his sentence. Hick’s wife claimed that her husband tended to have a parking obsession, and did have a generally angry nature that was likely to have driven this incident. This lends towards the all too familiar justification that it was his mental state that led to this crime. We may wonder whether the same gunshots would have been fired if the people Hicks got in an argument with were not Muslim, or did not distinctly identify with any specific religion. But this also questions new atheist moralities, which leads to a whole separate narrative.
Ultimately, the fact of the matter is that America lost three innocent citizens, and their perpetrator did not get away with it. Does this truly mean justice was served? I am not sure. While I am not really a strong proponent for either of the two narratives addressing whether this was a hate crime or not, I do think this crime is yet another invitation for this nation to reconsider its gun laws, the dangers of media’s misrepresentations of certain communities, and ultimately the meaning of equality. In the mean time, definitely do not risk your life over a parking disagreement!
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
Some of the most prominent diseases that older people have to fight – heart disease, diabetes, age-related degenerative diseases and other disorders – may meet their match in the coming decade with the development of stem cell therapies. And when it comes time to enter the ring, research shows you may want to place your bets on female stem cells to pack the stronger punch.
“We always knew women were awesome,” said Doris Taylor, director of Regenerative Medicine Research at the Texas Heart Institute. “Now we have the science to back it up.”
In 2007 the first discovery on the strength of female stem cells was revealed. Female stem cells, derived from animal muscle tissue, generated more muscle fiber and survived better when repairing injured muscle than male cells.
A study conducted by Dr. Taylor and her team, published last year in the Texas Heat Institute Journal, broadened research to humans ages 20 to 70, harvesting stem cells from the blood and bone marrow. The same is true in people; female stem cells were “stronger” than their male counterparts.
Female stem cell strength refers to their number and the fact that “they are more potent than cells derived from males the same age,” said Dr. Taylor. “At a given age women will have more stem cells present, in the blood at least, and as we age, women retain more potent stem cells for a longer period of time.”
The team’s current theory points to the need for reduced blood levels of inflammation during pregnancy as one reason why female stem cells may have an advantage.
The quality and quantity of female stem cells may bring a new dimension of efficacy to stem cell therapies to treat disease. “The data on stem cells is very hopeful,” said Paula Johnson, director of the Mary Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “This may help us understand sex differences on a cellular level.”
Stem cell therapies use stem cells’ inherent ability to differentiate into other specialized cells, such as skin, bone or muscle. They can be used to treat a wide variety of disorders because they are “capable of moving through all developmental stages to become functional tissue,” said Justin Brown, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Penn State.
However, their ability to repair damaged organs eventually diminishes because they “are limited in the number of times they can divide and the rate at which they divide slows as we age,” he said.
This inhibits stem cells’ natural ability to replace or rejuvenate specialized cells damaged by the wear and tear on internal organs. The basic premises of stem cell therapies is to counteract this by harvesting stem cells from bone marrow, fat or heart muscle and then injecting them at the sight of injury to repair and replace damaged cells.
“And if endogenous stem cell repair works a lot better in women, why not figure out what that is and make it available for male colleagues,” said Dr. Taylor. “In theory, if someone had a heart attack and we wanted to do cell therapy, we would want to give them the most potent cells available. We could give them female stem cells or figure out what is in the cells that makes them better.”
As the field of medicine continues to advance, the possiblities for stem cell therapy are endless. Moving forward, information about the differences and vitalities between stem cells becomes imperative for creating the most efficacious treatments. So while the traditional presumption may assume males are inherently stronger, females take the cake in hardness and brawn at the cellular level.