Trinity Golf finishes strong at Detrick Invitational



The Trinity College Men’s Golf Team started their 2014 fall season out strong with an excellent performance at the Bill Detrick Golf Invitational.  Twelve schools gathered at the Indian Hill Country Club last weekend to compete in a tournament named after the former long-time coach of the Trinity Men’s Golf team who retired two years ago.  The Bantam’s performed a cut above the rest, entering two teams in the tournament both A and B squads rounding out the total number of teams in competition to thirteen.  Respectively, the A and B squads took home 1st and 2nd, a much better position than fellow NESCAC school Wesleyan, which barely managed a 12th place finish.

William Burchill ’15 led the team with a consistent performance, shooting a 72 both days on the course.  The consistency was key as Burchill trailed Worcester State’s Jackson Davis by one stroke for first place after the first round, but Davis fell from a 71 to an 82 in the second round, eventually falling to the 13th spot in the tournament.  Other top- ten Bantam performances came from three members of the A-team and one from the B.  Jeff Durkin ’16 placed second at 146 (73 and 73), Nick Buenaventura ’15 shot a 149 (75 and 74) taking the fourth spot, Tom Romano ’16  clinched fifth with a 150 (75 and 75) and Don Hunt ’15 brought home seventh place with a result of 151 (76 and 75).  These impressive individual performances brought the A and B teams to team scores of 590 and 616, a good distance away from third place Nichols College which could only pull together a score of 622.

A strong start to the fall season by the upperclassmen is a positive indicator of how the season and year will progress.  Back in the spring the Bantams took home the third-place trophy from the NESCAC Tournament, finishing behind Williams and Middlebury.  With most of the core talent returning from last season the Trinity Men’s Golf Team is a contender for the first place spot this year.

Matthew Greason ’03 begins his second season as the Trinity College Head Golf Coach in 2014-15, doubling as the Men’s Ice Hockey Coach as well.  He has big shoes to fill following Bill Detrick but has already began to prove himself as a coach out on the links with this incredible season opening performance this year a solid season last year.

In related news off the course, the Men’s Golf team has received praise for high academic acheivment.  Specifically, Trinity College golf captain Greg Palmer ’15 and Nick Buenaventura ’15 were selected as NCAA Division III Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholars, while William Burchill ’15 and Alex Lynch were named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Academic Team.  Burchill also repeated on the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team. These accolades serve as a reminder of the duality of all Trinity scholar athletes, even while maintaining rigorous practicing schedules they do not let their classes fall by the wayside.

The Bantam Golfers will be a team to follow this year as they are a favorite in the conference. Tahey will be competing in the Williams Invitational this weekend, looking for a top-three finish.

Equestrian club continues to develop and compete



While sports like football, basketball and hockey often dominate the world of collegiate sports, on Trinity’s campus there is a team that competes in something that is arguably far more difficult than any of these sports: The Trinity College equestrian team.  While it is still a club sport rather than varsity, the team has a coach, trains diligently and meticulously and competes with some of Connecticut’s biggest schools in the sport of show riding.

Each year the team attracts anywhere between 14-18 Trinity students.  Many of whom have little to no experience, while others, like Mallory Taylor ’15 and Brooke Moore ’15 have been riding since they were young.  Taylor fell into the sport while attending summer camp, while Moore began riding at the age of seven with her mother.  Both have been a part of the Trinity equestrian team since they were freshman and have seen the club grow significantly during their time here.  In 2011, the team began training at Oak Meadow Farms in East Windsor, CT.  That was when Oak Meadow’s head trainer Amy Kriwitsky joined the club as Trinity’s newest coach.

“She [Kriwitsky] has definitly grown the team a lot in the last five years.”  Taylor explained.  “She has really encouraged us to get out there to find new talent around campus.”

In a given year, the team will show in more than ten competitions around the state.  They participate in events with the likes of UConn, Yale, Wesleyan, Sacred Heart and Post University.  At an equestrian event, each rider will either ride in the flat class or the fence class.  In flatting, the rider shows the horse strictly on the ground while fencing includes different levels of jumps.  The host school hires a judge and each rider is awarded points for their performance.  Throughout a season, a team or rider may be eligible to compete in regional shows.  The top two regional riders or teams can advance to zone competitions and then advance to National competitions.

Last year, veteran rider Jennifer Dorfmann ’14 was invited to compete at Nationals in Harrisburg, PA.

Although the team is a Trinity club sport, they have improved over the last five years to the point that they are able to compete with and beat Division I New England Schools like Yale and UConn.  Coach Kriwitsky is a UConn Equestrian alumni and has played arguably the largest role in the squad’s recent success and growth.  However, the team is still looking to improve and develop further.

“I think the biggest thing were hoping to accomplish is competing and showing together more as a team rather than as individual riders.” Moore said.  “It’s a lot of fun and we form special bonds.  We’re hoping that the girls in the club can continue to identify more as a team.”

The team’s next competition is on Oct. 4.  With continued emphasis on finding new talent and training hard together as a team, there is little to stop Trinity Equestrian from becoming the next big varsity sport on campus.

Joan Rivers deserves the praise she has been given



The year is 1961, the place, Greenwich Village. A young woman, with a kind face and blond hair set in high curls around her face, has just finished delivering around ten minutes of stand-up comedy at the revered “Bitter End” night club on Bleecker St. Her name is Joan Molinsky (she would later go by another name). This is the beginning of a career that will span 56 years.

When we think about Joan Rivers, we see her in our mind’s eye: a visual comedian, and in the second half of her life, warped by plastic surgery. But how many of us can truthfully say that we knew who she was? Or what she was really like?

She was an actress, first and foremost. Indeed this is what she always considered her profession to be—acting. While that might seem strange, Rivers played a role her entire life, that of a fiery and unapologetic woman who was so absurdly confident in herself that she made it her life’s ambition to hurt other people with her comedy.

And the character did hurt—many celebrities can say that they felt bullied by Joan Rivers at one point or another throughout the years. That being said, she was a clever woman who saw comedy for what it is, a means to overcome tragedy, sadness, and of course, our own shortcomings. Her comedy often came in two parts. First came the façade, then hidden underneath that veneer was the truth of the matter. If you were famous enough to earn this—if your infamy was such that it would catch the attention of this withered woman in a designer coat and elicit a really mean joke, then surely you had made it in the world. Those who felt bullied were missing the actual point rather spectacularly. Singer/songwriter Cher once said that if she were to stay in Rivers’ monologues for the rest of her life, it meant that she was still relevant.

Speaking from the feminist point of view, Joan Rivers lived in a time when being a comedian was a right reserved almost exclusively for men. Indeed she was making jokes that stereotyped women. She was a parody artist, turning the concept of housewifery on its head, and then giving it a swift kick for good measure.

In her stand-up she touched on topics that are still taboo in comedy, and many of them got her into mountains of trouble. The message that she was trying to convey to women was, at its root, a truth about feminism—a woman should be allowed to do whatever a man can do. That is what she strove for. In fact, she did it far better and far earlier than was ever thought socially acceptable for anyone in her generation

As a woman herself, removed from the character, Joan Rivers was unhappy throughout the majority of her life. Conversely, she overcame her problems with laughter and charity. After the suicide of her husband in 1987, Rivers became a supporter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, later serving as an honorary board member. She was among the earliest and most influential gay rights advocates of the twentieth century. She was also a supporter of the nonprofit organization God’s Love We Deliver, which supplied AIDS victims with meals, often delivering food personally.

In the end, Rivers was beloved by the same people she often spoofed. She in turn loved them back and envied them. It is clear, however, that she could never find much love for herself.

To say that she was not a “groundbreaking feminist”, a champion of the arts, and a fiercely funny woman is legitimately ignorant and such comments are especially cruel in the days and weeks after her death. What can be said about her is this, she was a tragic figure. If you cannot laugh with her, then it is your job to cry for her. She was a woman, and you have the choice to take her for what she is. We will never see anyone like her again.

As Joan Rivers herself once said, “Comedy is to make everybody laugh, and deal with things. If we didn’t laugh, where the hell would we all be?”

Women’s Volleyball prepares for Amherst and Williams



The Trinity Women’s Volleyball team has had a very strong start to their 2014 season, boasting an overall record of 6-2 and a 3-1 record at home. The team has already participated in two tournaments. At the Brandeis Invitational, the Bants’ earned victories in all of their games, beating Coast Guard (3-1), Emerson (3-2) and Emmanuel (Mass.) (3-2). Less than a week later the team hosted their annual tournament, the Trinity Invitational. Trinity soundly defeated both Westfield (Mass.) (3-0) and Brandeis (3-0), then came out on top with a 3-2 win over Western New England College. Unfortunately the ladies fell short in their final game of the tournament, losing to WPI (3-1). The ladies only other loss this season came between tournaments on September 9th to Western Connecticut (3-0).

Trinity Volleyball Head Coach Jen Bowman will enter her 11th season as head coach for the Bantams, and is assisted by Alexandra Beatty and Peter Maneggia. The 2014 squad is led by Tri Captains Barb Massa ’15, Kate Giddens ’16 and Hunter Drews ’16. Massa serves as the team’s only senior this year, as Giddens and Drews, both two year starters, were elected captains as juniors. The entire team is made up of only fourteen players this year, and so far all of the classes have contributed to the Bantams winning record. Claudia Varner ’18 leads the first years in digs with 35, Randhi Whitman ’17 has racked up 59 digs thus far, and Giddens leads the juniors with 93 but is followed closely by Katie Stueber ’16 who has garnered 86. Massa has contributed with seven kills to date.

With at least twelve matches to go in a season consisting of more than twenty, it is hard to predict exactly how far Trinity will go this season. Last season, the Bantams came up short in the NESCAC Quarterfinals to Bowdoin, who ended up defeating them 3-2 in a heartbreaking match. Bowdoin ended up making it to the finals only to lose to number one seeded Williams. Trinity finished the 2013 season with a record of 15-12. The squad also said goodbye to one of its most memorable and accomplished players Hannah Brickley ’14. Not only was Brickley selected as Volleyball First Team Academic All- American (the graduate carried over a 4.0 GPA during her time spent at Trinity), she also was a four year starter who led Trinity in kills with 355, attacks with 1,151, and digs with 372 and added 20 aces and 46 blocks (3rd on team) with a .220 hitting percentage (2nd on team) in 2013. While it will be difficult to ever fill Brickley’s shoes, the team is full of capable players this year that will step up or already have.

Next Friday, Trinity will take on Amherst at home; the match currently is slated for an 8:00p.m. start time. The Bantams do not get any sort of a break after Amherst, as they play 2014 NESCAC champions Williams at home the next day on Saturday, at noon.

Recent Ferguson protests have not been entirely productive



One month after an unarmed Michael Brown was shot, approximately 35 protesters attempted to block a portion of a Missouri highway. Late Wednesday afternoon, Interstate 70 near Ferguson, Missouri, less than five miles from the location of the shooting, was partly barred with demonstrators. The dozens in the road planned to gather for four and a half hours, the same amount of time Brown’s body laid in the street following the fatal altercation.

The aim of the protesters was to increase pressure on Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, to elect a special prosecutor to manage an investigation of Brown’s death. Many already oppose the current attorney, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch, due to his family ties with the St. Louis police department. Last week, when Nixon terminated the executive order that put Missouri in a state of emergency, he also indicated that he had no power to assign a special prosecutor in place of McCulloch. Since the investigation has begun, McCulloch has decided to present evidence to a grand jury rather than arresting Officer Wilson, the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.

When first reading about McCulloch’s apparent ties to law enforcement, I was puzzled as to why his replacement was met with hesitation. If one looks objectively at the Missouri laws concerning prosecutors and possible conflict of interests or bias though, there exists no solid basis to replace McCulloch. For example, when researching his ties with law enforcement, the law outlines the situation in which the prosecutor is a family member of the potential defendant or officer. Since no evidence has been presented to indicate that McCulloch is related to Officer Wilson, there is no reason to elect a special prosecutor.

I also find it slightly frustrating when the civil rights movement is given as a reason to elect another prosecutor. While civil rights is an important social issue, if one considers the situation impartially, they will acknowledge that there is no Missouri statute that cites a history of racial tension as reason to disqualify a prosecutor from a particular case. If McCulloch opponents are still ardent that he is prejudiced, they should have expressed that opinion when he was running for office. There are still ways for McCulloch to be removed, either through recusal or through the Missouri court system. To remove him solely due to the protests would contradict the democratic process.

The demonstration was described as peaceful, that was, until what seemed to be an unnecessary amount of police officers arrived. The crowd accredited their tension and annoyance to this. While there were only about 35 protestors, there were 100 officers from three different law agencies. As strains between the two groups increased, a small group of demonstrators began to throw small items such as bricks, stones, glass bottles, and water bottles at the law enforcement officers.

Police proceeded to arrest 35 protestors, most for unlawful assembly and some for assaulting officers. A Ferguson native commented after the arrests, “they’re absolutely too aggressive,” in reference to the officers who greatly outnumbered the activists. Participants in the protest were also upset because organizers were under the impression, after meeting with law enforcement officials earlier in the week, that they were allowed to convene on certain parts of the highway. Following Wednesday’s events, Eric Vickers, a lead organizer who is the chief of staff for State Senator Jamilah Nasheed and an active participant in Michael Brown protests, indicated that the demonstrators would reconvene and cause another disturbance to bring attention to the issue.

Many of the obstacles demonstrators have dealt with leads to the question, are the demonstrators going about promoting their cause in an effective way? Even prior to Wednesday’s events, several black leaders questioned how causing an inconvenience for a large number of commuters, who do not have a say in the case and were not willing participants in the demonstration, would promote their cause. Members of the N.A.A.C.P. and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network chose not to participate in the highway blockade. When organizers were asked about the effectiveness of the protest, they responded by saying the disruption was a “small sacrifice” for their purpose of seeking justice for Michael Brown. Their reasoning was based on the impression that the inconvenience they caused would lead to discomfort, which would then compel more to take notice of the purpose of the civil disobedience.

Activists for Brown may not need to cause any more inconveniences for attention, though. The same day the highway blockade took place, a video that shows the reactions of witnesses immediately following the shooting was aired on CNN. The short clip, taken on a cell phone, displays two construction workers’ responses after watching an unarmed Michael Brown suffer from fatal gunshots. While there is a lot of other evidence in the case, some legal analysts are calling it a possible game changer. First, the men in the video are not natives of Ferguson and are white. While race should not matter, it has played a huge role in this case.

The grand jury is made up of nine whites and three African-Americans, so some believe a majority of the jury will be more able to relate to the witnesses because of their race. Another important detail of the video is that it displays the immediate reactions of witnesses because most accounts that were provided were given at least an hour after the death. While other witnesses have said before that Brown’s hands were up in a sign of surrender, the fact that the bystanders in the video said the same thing immediately following the gunfire, legitimatizes others’ accounts.

As the grand jury continues to be presented evidence, and the media closely follows the case, it will be interesting to see if the organizers of the past protests decide to form more in opposition.


Charges against Rice raise questions about NFL policies



Just one week ago, football enthusiasts and casual sports fans alike were glued to their televisions after a shocking breakthrough in the supposedly closed case of Ray Rice’s aggravated assault. The Baltimore Ravens running back had been previously charged with aggravated assault against his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, at an Atlantic City casino. Charges were dropped after Rice agreed to attend counseling, and the National Football League (NFL) suspended him for two games. The NFL fan base was split on the issue of whether this was sufficient punishment—several Internet memes poked fun at the NFL’s disciplinary system, saying that if a player were to choose one rule to break, domestic abuse would be the best one. Why? Historically, players accused of such violence and degrading acts saw very minor repercussions from the NFL.

As time passed after the date marking his original suspension, Ray Rice faded into the background and other stories began redirecting the attention of the media.

Just days after the start of football season, however, celebrity news website TMZ released a horrifying video of Rice and Palmer alone in an elevator. The video shows Rice winding up and punching Palmer in the face, full force. She drops to the ground immediately, and Rice ends up dragging her limp, unconscious body out of the elevator. The video caused an uproar, and the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract. Shortly thereafter, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell smartly chose to suspend Rice indefinitely, saying that the video changed matters and that he had not known the extent of the crime beforehand because he had never seen the footage.

Sadly, these auxiliary consequences have come far too late. In a recent poll by ESPN, 55 percent of interviewees thought that Roger Goodell was lying when he said he had never seen the elevator footage. Would it be a surprise? The NFL has a long history of providing millions of Americans with incredible games and events. Sadly, it also has a history of handling domestic violence and abuse with such minimal competency that the issue seems to almost not matter at all to the organization.

Following Rice’s time in the spotlight, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy’s previous criminal record was called upon as further evidence of the NFL’s complete and utter failure to deal with such serious matters. Prior to the Panthers’ decision to deactivate Hardy during his case’s legal proceedings, released an article on Friday, Sept. 12 titled, “If there were a Greg Hardy video, would Greg Hardy be playing Sunday?” The question is a valid one. While each situation may have slight distinctions, how different can the two crimes be?

Sadly, these are not the first such stories to come into the mainstream press, especially not the first ones from the NFL. Jerry Jones, owner, president, and general manager of the most valuable NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys, was accused of sexual assault just a few days ago. Ray McDonald, defensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse against his 10-week pregnant fiancée. Earlier this year, former NFL star Darren Sharper was accused of having drugged and raped numerous women all over the United States. Each of these shameful stories occurred in the past nine months. Countless others can be found easily, each of them more upsetting than the next. According to, the NFL’s relative arrest rate for domestic violence is 55.4 percent, and domestic violence arrests account for 48 percent of the total number of NFL arrests for violent crimes.

The questioning title of the Sports Illustrated article poses a real and serious query to the NFL, and to the public: is domestic violence getting the attention it deserves? Or is it ignored until depressing, horrifying stories, images, and videos are blasted across the Internet and onto televisions, forcing people to witness the disregard for human life that comes with any form of domestic or sexual abuse?

When asked his opinion on the Rice video, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees explained, “Everyone deserves to be held accountable for their actions because certainly that is the expectation for players.” Shouldn’t that be the same mindset everyone has about these types of issues? Domestic abuse and sexual violence are preventable, and yet day after day people are bombarded with stories about terrible, heartbreaking crimes such as those committed by the aforementioned professional athletes. The conversation must not stop with Roger Goodell and the NFL, however. It is the responsibility of each and every able-bodied American to try to put an end to such terrible actions. President Berger-Sweeney has started the Sexual Assault Response Team, and numerous groups on campus are doing their part to keep people working toward ending this epidemic of domestic and sexual violence. Inside the bubble of Trinity College it is all too easy to let headlines and news stories fade to the background and take the backseat to Yik Yak and late-night dorm gossip. As the next generation of adults and leaders, however, this needs to change. The sad truth is that it will seem distant and inconsequential until it enters one’s own life, and by then the damage is done.

Despite fall in rankings, Trinity still has many strengths



The U.S. News college rankings were released last week. Trinity placed 45th in national liberal arts colleges. This is a significant drop from last year’s ranking of 36th. For some, the drop could be a source of panic because of the potential repercussions that it signifies.  It could mean that Trinity is becoming much less attractive to prospective students. For current students, the drop may affect the chances of applying to graduate school. It may even affect the job prospects that students have after graduation. While I agree that rankings are something we should be aware of, I think we should focus less on the negative aspects of Trinity and instead focus more on the many positive aspects of the school.

Trinity has maintained an intimate faculty to student ratio of 9:1. I think this is one of the key hallmarks of a great liberal arts college—the ability to actually get to know your professor instead of just being another face in the crowd. A majority of Trinity’s classes, approximately 60 percent, have fewer than twenty students and only two percent of classes have 50 or more students.  Classes with 50 or more students are most likely introductory level courses. More times than not, if the student remains with that particular subject, they will go on to get to know the professor better over the course of the next four years. Another positive aspect of our school is the fact that Trinity has a 91 percent retention rate, which means that 91 percent of students from the first-year class return their sophomore year. So while Trinity may not be number one in the rankings, it’s still number one in the hearts of those students who return after their first year.

Furthermore, Trinity has made many improvements over the years, such as enhancing campus safety. The number of burglaries on campus dropped from 24 in 2010 to eight in 2012 and the number of cars stolen on campus went from 10 in 2010 to two in 2012.

Even with these positive attributes, it is hard to deny the facts and reasons why Trinity has by dropped swiftly in the span of one year. Joanne Berger-Sweeney mentioned that Trinity’s ranking has changed by 23 points over the past 10 years. President Berger-Sweeney stated that Trinity has falled in the  rankings because there has been a decrease in the scores that the U.S. News Report uses to assess faculty resources, selectivity of students, levels of alumni donation, and how highly guidance school counselors rated Trinity.

In terms of how much alumni give back to the school, it makes sense if there is a fluctuation over the years due to a fluctuating economy at large—there will be some bad years and then there will be some that are good. If alumni do not give back each year, it may not necessarily be a matter of the alumni choosing to stop donating to Trinity, but rather it may be related to other external circumstances. The primary thing to do in this case is to remind the alumni of the reasons why they loved going to Trinity as a way to inspire gift giving. I think that hosting events such as reunions and Homecoming will work well to this end.

As for the other factors, I think time will make a large difference. On the subject of student selectivity, yes, Trinity may not be as selective as other schools, but I choose to see this as something positive rather than something negative.

In 2013, Trinity had an acceptance rate of 31.8 percent, but why should that be something bad? I like to think that prospective students should be given the chance to prove themselves in a more realistic capacity because test scores and grades do not always accurately predict a student’s potential success. The focus should be more on what the individual student hopes to achieve while in college. So yes, while Trinity has a higher acceptance rate than some other schools, it just means that there is greater diversity enriching our campus. The benefits of this go beyond the classroom and can actually provide more opportunities for people to grow.

I am not trying to downplay the fact that Trinity’s rankings have dropped. It is indeed a big deal. However, I think that when potential students visit, they will be able to see all the great things that Trinity has to offer. When current students apply to graduate school or look for employment, I think they will be able to talk about what they have learned at Trinity, not just academically but the ways in which they have grown holistically as well. In the long run, that is ultimately more important than the ranking of a school. As I said earlier, I think with time, Trinity will be able to rise in the rankings again due to the new leadership and the changes the school plans to make.


Cinestudio Review: “Get On Up: the James Brown story”

TRIP SLAYMAKER ’18                                                                                                                                                                                                  CONTRIBUTING WRITER

To those who are not familiar with the American Funk musician James Brown, “Get On Up” is here to tell you that you actually are. He is sampled in contemporary songs more than any other musician in history, his music is universally known as the first of its kind, and his sweaty, bedazzled, wavy-haired visage is seared into the minds of every person who has ever looked into the history of music.

“Get On Up” is based on the life of Brown, and is directed by Oscar veteran, Tate Taylor (director of “The Help”). On its surface the film appears to be a standard issue “rise to fame” type movie wherein the main character goes from rags to riches, but must remember to keep his moral obligations along the way. Only here, Brown doesn’t keep any of those.

To begin, James Brown (Chadwick Boseman) is shown growing up in what can only be called abject poverty. He lives in a shack with his mother, (Viola Davis), and his abusive father. From here, Brown works so desperately to escape from his anonymity and loneliness that he begins to push away friends and family along his rather formulaic journey. Fame is his guiding light, and he will smash through whatever obstacles come his way.

Once signed to a record, James’s band becomes more of a support staff. Here is where the real depth of the character begins to show. James Brown loses his friends, and lets it happen for his career. In fact, the rest of the movie is almost entirely composed of various vignettes of Brown’s sacrifices—his bandmates, his best friend (Nelsan Ellis), and even his family. The film demonstrates how fame and the desire for success can prevail above one’s morals and happiness.

The uniqueness of the movie is found in the shifting and dancing of events ooccurring in the twentieth century. Despite this, the film never loses focus from James Brown and his life. Brown hardly notices the event too. He travels to Vietnam, meets the president, and quells riots, but in the end, all that matters to him is the Funk. Funk moves through the movie like the “force” through Star Wars, and Brown recognizes that if anything gets in the way of his career in Funk he might as well turn in his cape and curlers. In the long run, this destroys him. It really is the tragic story of how a man gave everything for his art and received only loneliness in return. He did everything for his career, his improvement as an artist and he sought nothing more than perfection in return. Brown’s dilemma is a riveting one, and one that is rarely seen in movies: “What if the main character made only wrong choices, and they never got fixed?”

Taylor directs an artful, and fascinating movie, but the real power here comes from the acting. Boseman, who plays James Brown, has bypassed character acting and moved into the realm of “becoming” his character. And the results are so convincing that it is sometimes difficult to make out where character and actor meet. He dances like the man himself, and makes us concerned about the risk of spontaneous combustion. Viola Davis, who plays James Brown’s mother, and Octavia Spencer are always flawless, and there is no exception here.

If there are drawbacks, they are minor; the movie gets bogged down in sentimentality and hallucination scenes. There are monologues in which Brown breaks the fourth wall and this can be a little jarring. Some scenes are just downright puzzling: one features a bout of domestic violence while all parties involved are dressed as Santa Claus. In another, Brown’s music is so intoxicating that it makes a couple want to get up and dance. In short, what the movie has in acting prowess, it loses a little in soul.

That said, Boseman is spectacular. He dances, sings (in Brown’s voice), and generally wows the viewers. He is reason enough to see the movie. “Get On Up” is a spectacle not to be missed by music fans, or acting fans, or a great many types of fans, really.


Interview with Museum Curator, Professor FitzGerald

POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15                                                                                                                                                                                                   ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Professor Michael FitzGerald of Trinity’s Art History Department, a distinguished Picasso scholar curated a recent show at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona titled: “Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions.” The exhibition that ran from April to June 2014 received extremely good reviews and was successful in showcasing the widespread influence that Pablo Picasso has had on contemporary art. The Tripod was privileged to have the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with Professor FitzGerald, via email:

PS: What made you interested in Picasso in the first place?

MF: I was a graduate student at Columbia in 1980 when the Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective of Picasso’s work.  It was a revelation because it included many works he had kept in his personal collection. I decided to make Picasso’s sculpture the subject of my dissertation.

PS: Can you tell us briefly of your previous exhibitions and research interests?

MF: While I was completing my dissertation, I spent months researching the collection of what became the Picasso Museum in Paris. That was my first substantial exposure to working museums.  As I began to publish on Picasso, I was invited by MoMA and other museums to contribute towards, and curate exhibitions. The first major show I completed was an exhibition for the Wadsworth Atheneum in 2001.  It was devoted to issues of artistic practice and presented a selection of Picasso’s paintings and drawings depicting the artist’s studio. After nearly ten years of preparation, I completed a much larger exhibition for the Whitney Museum of American Art, Picasso and American Art (2005-06).  It presented nearly a century of American Artists’ involvement with Picasso’s work and travelled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center.

PS: How did you get involved with the Museu Picasso for this exhibition?

MF: The director of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona saw Picasso and American Art and invited me to curate a sort of “Part 2”—an exhibition devoted to contemporary artists’ interest in Picasso’s work.  That was wonderful, but I wanted to make sure that this focus would make a satisfying exhibition.  Since the Whitney is a museum of “American Art,” I had been restricted to artists working in the U.S.  I felt, however, that an exhibition devoted to contemporary art would have to be global.  At first, I wasn’t sure that I would find enough interesting artists to compose a worthwhile show.  I spent two years searching, and decided it would be possible.

PS: What are the main arguments that you raised through the exhibition and how did its structure contribute towards them?

MF: This may surprise people who do not follow contemporary art, but it is popular among critics these days to ridicule Picasso as overrated and claim that his work is no longer relevant to art today.  I didn’t set out to challenge that view, I just wanted to see if it was true.  As I searched around the world, I was amazed by the quantity and quality of the work I encountered: artists in India, Australia, Sudan, China, Brazil, Argentina, as well as in Europe and the US. The list seemed to be endless. My mission became the presentation of this diverse work to the broad audience a museum addresses.

The role of the curator is especially complicated when dealing with contemporary art.  Some curators believe that they should impose their ideas on the work in the exhibition.  I take the opposite view.  I try my best to reflect the ideas of the artists.  To a certain extent some manipulation is unavoidable. Post-Picasso included the work of forty artists from twenty-five countries, so it is impossible to present every work in a separate context.  I tried to establish categories that would capture how artists were responding to Picasso’s work.  As I studied this very diverse work, five emerged.  Two were his two most widely discussed paintings (Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937), and three were periods of his art: Blue and Rose Period (1901-05), Surrealism (1920s and 30s) and the last decade of his work (1960s-73). Each of the categories was represented by a gallery in the exhibition, and each addressed particular issues in Picasso’s work and contemporary art.                                                                      For me, the most satisfying contribution of the exhibition was the African artists we included, artists from South Africa, Benin, Ivory Coast, and Sudan.  They were really talking back to Picasso.  They made the point that while many artists consider Picasso a central figure, they don’t necessarily feel reverential and may be very critical.

In Barcelona, the exhibition was surrounded by separate galleries displaying the museum’s great collection of Picasso’s work, so viewers had the chance to witness a fantastic dialogue between the art of contemporary artists and “the master.”

PS: Can you tell us briefly about the American artists represented in the exhibition, and how you would compare their dialogue with Picasso, to other dialogues that artists from other nations opened up with him? Does this reveal or address anything unique to American contemporary art?

MF: The situation of U.S. artists is different, mainly because of the Museum of Modern Art.  For at least fifty years after its founding in 1929, MoMA proclaimed Picasso the greatest artist of the twentieth century, and it acquired the greatest collection of his work anywhere in the world.

Especially until the 1990s, many artists felt that MoMA was more interested in historical artists (especially Picasso) than in contemporary art, so many developed antagonistic relationships with the museum and its figurehead.                                                                                                                      One thing that I found was that the attitude is often very different among artists on other continents.  I learned to my considerable surprise that many artists, particularly those in Africa, Asia, and South America, view Picasso as the crucial link to traditions of modernism and the network that now joins artists around the world.  More than any other artist, he is the central figure to address to construct a global presence.

PS: What were the challenges you faced as a curator, and how did you overcome them?

MF: The search for artists lasted several years, and for a long time I doubted it would be successful.  Canvassing the world was certainly aided by the internet, but more important were the recommendations of artists.  Once I made contact with Ibrahim el-Salahi (Sudan), he recommended Dia al-Azzawi (Iraq).  The Turkish artist Bedri Baykam led me to Gavin Jantzes (South Africa).  I first saw the work of Daniel Boyd (a young artist of Aboriginal descent) while in Sydney.

A visit to Atul Dodiya on the periphery of Mumbai not only taught me a great deal about contemporary India, but also cemented a friendship.  In some cases, I worked with an artist for more than a year to choose and obtain the right painting or sculpture.  Travel was essential to meet artists, select work solicit loans from individuals or institutions.  Without the owner’s agreement, there cannot be an exhibition.                                                 One of the pleasures of preparing the show was teaching two seminars on the subject to students at Trinity.  It was great to see how the students’ interest developed as they were introduced to these artists, and our discussions helped shape my ideas.  One class even got to visit Bedri Baykam when he had a show in New York.

PS: How similar was the exhibition to what you may have originally envisioned?

MF: Since I started with a nearly blank slate, the final exhibition was a huge surprise.  Frankly, there were a few paintings we sorely missed.  That is the reality of curating an exhibition: a photograph won’t do.  You have to have the actual object, and realities of physical condition, transportation, personal cooperation, and cost are always factors.

This exhibition was, however, the most satisfying and fun exhibition that I have ever curated.  The press was extensive and very positive.  We even got the front page of the leading newspaper in Barcelona, La Vanguardia—not the front of the art section but the first section.

What really made the exhibition worthwhile for me was not only that I learned so much about artists I had never heard of, but, more importantly, that the artists were extremely happy with the presentation of their work on the walls of the museum.  Many came to our opening, and we toured the exhibition so that each could speak about the work on view.

Perhaps the most moving was Faith Ringgold, a senior African-American artist.  She told how her painting, Die (1967) about civil rights in the US in the 1960s had been rejected by every museum she had attempted to give it to. She described how she had used Guernica as a model for her work, and how overjoyed she was to see “Die” hanging in the Picasso Museum of Barcelona.

PS: If there is one thing  that you realized over the course of curating this exhibition that you would like to share with us, what is it?

MF: To look beyond stereotypes—about Picasso or any other subject.  Everything becomes vastly more interesting when we open our minds.

Trendy Trinity: inside the coolest rooms on campus



Most students have only been here for a week, yet some have already made their dorm rooms feel like home. When first arriving in a Trinity dorm, there is a sudden sense of bland sadness due to the ugliness of the rooms that seems to overwhelm even the brightest of sprits. Though it may seem like a daunting task, transforming your dorm room from a standard white cube into a space that reflects your personality can really boost your morale. Your room is where you begin and end each day. It’s a sacred place where you should feel safe and able to escape the pressures of Trinity. Surprisingly, it takes only little effort and a small budget to make your room feel like home.

Raquel Bedford ’16 is living in Doonesbury for the second year. Bedford, an English major, loves the intimacy of Doonesbury and the sense of community she feels with the students who live in the dorm. The residents of Doonesbury volunteer their time to do community service projects. Because Bedford’s life is so busy, she likes her room to be clean and simple, yet reflect her personality. Bedford is lucky in that she lives in a very large single with her own private bathroom. Her room has beautiful hardwood floors in a rustic and luxurious maple color. There is no rug in the room, because the floor brings so much character to the room. Bedford understands the strength in embracing architectural elements in interior design. Her room is on the first floor and gets great natural sunlight that penetrates the window frame from Vernon Street.

Raquel chose to keep things simple. She based everything in her room on a simple color scheme. Sticking to a limited palette really makes a room feel thought-out. Bedford chose the color green. Her bedding has a geometric pattern. Using bedding that has a pattern or design adds complexity. Everyone is stuck with a bed in their room, but adding pillows and exciting bedding can turn a bed into a sitting area that functions like a couch would in a living room. Raquel framed a mood board and brought a framed picture that has the color green it. Instead of hanging them, they were left on the floor by a hemp basket of blankets and hats that added a bohemian, lofty feel. The walls are rather bare except for two posters. On one wall is a large poster of Harlem in the 1920s and on the opposing wall, above the bed, Raquel framed an inspirational quote with cutouts of green leaves. Having a few powerful posters can say as much as having a fully covered wall.

Michelle Long ’15 kept everything blue in her Crescent street townhouse. Long has both the communal space on the first floor that she shares with her roommates, and her own personal space that can function solely as a bedroom. Long’s favorite color is blue and its not only visually appealing, but very relaxing as well. Long uses several shades of blue to add more variation to her room, yet remain in the same palette. Her room has a beach-like feel due to the color choice, but also due to the lamp and driftwood bookshelf that were purchased at T.J. Maxx. Her room would make as much sense overlooking the Atlantic Ocean as it does the sea of construction on Crescent Street. Long has no posters or wall hangings to speak of. She opted for a minimal approach by framing pictures of her mother, father, brother, and her sorority’s composite picture.

In contrast to the sleek and clean walls of Long’s room are the walls in Abbey Schlangen’s ’16 Jarvis suite. Abbey shares her suite with her teammates and best friends. Abbey and her roommates have been friends for years so they share an impressive amount of memories. The walls of her common room are covered with balloons, streamers and an inspirational quote that Abbey cut out of magazine paper and put on the wall. On one wall is a friendly piñata that has become somewhat of a mascot for the room.  Those who live in Jarvis are lucky enough to have a great window frame that opens to the best views on campus. Over the fireplace is a large Trinity flag and a selection of sticky notes that document inside jokes and funny quotes from over the years.

Abbey’s room has something that you cannot buy in a PB Teen catalogue and it’s called personality. Her bedroom and common room are decorated only with things that have meaning. Using personal photos and inside jokes to decorate really makes a room come to life and cost barely anything.

In her bedroom, Abbey sleeps under a German flag to represent her family’s heritage, a flag from New Hampshire, the state where she grew up, and a rainbow flag to show her support of the gay community and her passion as an ally. Her room is also filled with letters, small paintings, and beautiful photos of her family and friends, many of which she took herself.

No matter which route you take, these three women have created wonderful templates for transforming a drab dorm room into a flourishing home away from home.

Take a trip to West Hartford for some Thai and Tex-Mex





In our never-ending search to find the perfect brunch place in the Hartford area we, the Bonappetempts, found ourselves at the restaurant East West Grille. This off-the-beaten-path and overlooked Thai/Tex-Mex inspired diner looks festive and fun. Though we were originally sad that we were cheating on Quaker Diner, we entered with empty stomachs and full hearts, willing to bring you the honest truth. The first promising sign about the restaurant was the plush gardens on the outside where the owners grow their own vegetables. Second, when we made our way inside, we found that this little gem was indeed packed! We were seated within 10 minutes in a booth partially hidden by cozy curtains. We decided to order off the Brunch menu, so we cannot comment on how their lunch and dinner menus are, though we are anxious to try them in the future.

Since we had never been there before and after much debate, we ordered three things to share from three different cuisines. We decided on Eggs Benedict, Huevos Rancheros, and Banh Bao (pork-filled steamed buns). They took an interesting spin on the classic Eggs Benedict by adding tomato and onion, but also having the option to add avocado. In addition each meal was served with perfectly seasoned home fries and mixed greens, ensuring each guest went home with a full tummy. The Huevos Rancheros was especially good and was our personal favorite. The eggs were cooked to our liking and the tomatillo salsa was just the right amount of spicy. The Banh Bao tasted very authentic and came with delicious Chinese sausage.

In general, we were not very pleased with the service.

Although the servers were very kind, they were slow and often forgot our requests. We waited for water until our check came and we asked for hollandaise sauce on the side, but it came on the Eggs Benedict.

Though the service was relatively poor, we enjoyed the bright yet quaint décor. Its small town vibes are offset by the presence of Asian elements, which include paper lanterns above the windows and woven hats above seating. As if we had stepped back in time, the diner encouraged people to sit at the counter and talk to their neighbor, an experience that is not often found in our technological era.

In general, this restaurant puts a Thai twist on the traditional, old-fashioned diner. We suggest that if you go for brunch, you venture to try the Thai and Tex-Mex inspired dishes instead of the American brunch options. However, those of you still looking for a toast and bacon breakfast, can enjoy the avocado toast phenomenon with an assortment of Thai teas.

Overall here’s the bottom line: the service may not be fantastic, and the food is decent, but the atmosphere will give you a reason to come back for more.

Stay hungry!

Uber arrives in Hartford and partners with Trinity




On Aug. 26, all Trinity students, both new and returning, received an email from the SGA president, which announced Trinity College’s newly formed partnership with Uber. The email said that Uber will now be a part of Trinity’s transportation services. It is Uber’s first time in both Trinity and Hartford. He also added that with the promotion code “TrinColl”, students will be able to receive discounts on their first rides.

Uber has become an exremely competitive transportation service in recent years. It is a ridesharing service, easily accessible through its smartphone app. Founded in 2009, Uber is now available in over 205 cities across 45 countries and 6 continents around the world. Initially, Uber only hired drivers with full-size luxury cars, but in 2012, it began offering smaller vehicles, which lowered the transportation fees. Since then, it has attracted a wider range of customers, including 22 colleges that have formed partnerships with the company. Uber proudly offers “safe and affordable” services to college students around the country.

To use Uber, customers have to first download the smartphone application, which is available for both iPhones and Androids. After setting their locations, customers can request a driver who will then accept it. Then, just by entering the address or name of their destinations, customers can access the route and the estimated time of arrival. Moreover, the customers’ payment information can be saved on the app to use later with just a click of a button. Uber’s cashless payment method saves its customers the trouble of digging through one’s wallet as one does in traditional taxi services.

The same process can connect Trinity students to their preferred drivers: download the app or sign up using In addition, as SGA president John Frank mentioned, Trinity students can use various promotion codes to get discounts and free rides. Primarily, using the promotion code TrinColl will guarantee discounts on the students’ first rides. 

However, there are other promotion codes eligible for discounts and free rides. A few students around campus serve as student campus representatives for Uber.

From these campus representatives, Trinity students can use the representatives’ personal codes that would give students free rides up to $30. For every student that uses the representative’s invite code, the representative receives $5 account credit and $5 cash.

Uber’s arrival to Trinity has provided not only more transportation services but also more student job positions.

To become a campus representative, one can apply through the Uber blog.

Maggie Elias ’17, a Trinity College student representative for Uber, explained, “I use Uber so much, so [Uber] might have seen that. They were launching in Connecticut, and they sent me an email [to apply for a student representative], so I applied for the position.” Elias also explained how Uber allows customers to build personal relationships with the drivers, providing a safer and more welcoming environment. Further, according to Elias, driving for Uber is more profitable than driving a traditional taxi; drivers get to keep 80% of the money they made, thus making it more profitable for the drivers as well.

She plans on further advertising Uber’s availability in Hartford through the Student Government Association and posters around campus.

Besides promotion codes for Trinity students, Uber has other benefits. First of all, it is an on-demand service. With a click of a button, students can get a ride without having to wait indefinitely or trying to catch a cab outside. Also, using Uber, students will know exactly who the driver is each time and can request the same driver each time. Because Uber provides information on the driver, students can hold drivers accountable if the ride gets to be too expensive or if they leave their belongings in the car. Uber is becoming another way for students to connect with the greater Hartford community.

Will Petricone ’18 says, “I used Uber a lot before I came to Trinity, and after hearing that it has partnered with Trinity, I used it to go places around Hartford.”

“It is both convenient and cheap. The drivers are friendlier, and I feel comfortable being driven by someone who I know has gone through a rigorous process for background checks and will be held accountable for anything that happens. I am very excited that Trinity has partnered with Uber and even offers promotion codes for discounts and free rides.”

Berger-Sweeney announces new sexual misconduct task force



On Aug. 29, President Berger-Sweeney sent out an email introducing her task force on the prevention of sexual misconduct. 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. For her, working to prevent sexual misconduct is “more than a matter of law; it is a moral imperative.” The program includes the implementation of a task force of individuals who will be trained in both preventing and responding to incidents of sexual misconduct. In addition to the task force, President Berger-Sweeney has taken measures to ensure that Trinity students are better educated on the subject of sexual misconduct. While they cannot hope to eliminate sexual assault altogether, it is their goal to decrease the number of incidents while ensuring that those who are affected receive proper attention.

President Berger-Sweeney’s task force includes a wide range of highly-trained individuals who are active members in campus life. The current members of the task force are Fred Alford, Dean of Students, David Andres, Special Assistant to the President, Christopher Card, Associate Dean of Students, Beth Iacampo, Director of Human Resources, Mary Jo Keating, Secretary of the College and Vice President for College Relations, Laura, Lockwood, Director of Women and Gender Resource Action Center, Robert Lukaskiewicz, Associate Dean of Students, Tom Mitzel, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Paul Mutone, Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer, Francisco Ortiz, Director of Campus Safety, Mike Renwick, Director of Athletics, and Karla Spurlock-Evans, Dean of Multicultural Affairs, Senior Diversity Officer, and Title IX Coordinator. Task force member, Laura Lockwood, spoke for the force, stating that “at Trinity, we are committed to educating students about preventing sexual misconduct and ensuring we provide the full support they need should sexual misconduct occur.”

However, it was also a part of President Berger-Sweeney’s plan to guarantee that Trinity students would start the 2014-2015 term with the knowledge necessary to protect both themselves and their fellow students. This year, students were shown the extensive sexual assault video, Not Anymore, produced by Student Success. All students were required to view Not Anymore, with the exception of sophomores, who viewed a similar video entitled Every Choice Matters last year. Not Anymore included a pre-test that challenged students’ knowledge on their knowledge of basic information and statistics regarding sexual misconduct. For example, 20% of women will be sexually assaulted in college. And 33% percent of those assaults take place in the presence of a bystander who could have intervened. Following the test, Not Anymore included testimonials and scenes regarding consent, rape culture, bystander intervention, alcohol, dating violence, healthy relationships, sexual harassment and stalking. Students then took a post-test to see how much they had learned from the program. And while we griped about the small chunk of time taken from our summer, we certainly will not complain if the warning signs or the intervention tactics introduced help us rescue a friend from a dangerous situation.

Upon coming onto campus, all freshmen were shown the hour-long play, Speak About It. College-aged actors stood up and shared a variety of sexual experiences as well as general perspectives on sex and sexual orientation. These bold statements exposed students to the idea of speaking openly with one another about sex. This came into play when the actors later stressed the importance of asking for consent. Promoting the phrase, “consent is sexy,” they showed scenarios where people checked in with their partners without killing the mood.

They encouraged students to ensure that everyone is on the same page so that they can both enjoy the experience. Another important aspect of the presentation was the demonstration of ways for bystanders to intervene in potential assaults.

They introduced the idea of checking up with your friends before they leave a party with someone, particularly if they look like they’ve had a little too much to drink. Some of the strategies involved inviting your intoxicated friend to go somewhere with you, or pointing out to your slightly-more-sober friend that the girl they’re about to take back to their dorm is “seriously wasted”. Though intentionally uncomfortable at times, Speak About It gave students tools to check up on and watch out for one another.

Will President Berger-Sweeney’s plan have any effect? Lockwood says, “an hour-and-a-half video is not going to eliminate sexual assault or upend campus culture,” however, “it will provide a foundation for students to build on. The key is to make sure that bystanders are stepping in to prevent the incidents that are easily preventable, and that if assault does occur, the victims feel safe enough to speak out and are provided the care that they need once they do. Lockwood notes that “third party reports of sexual assault have risen, which is a positive step.”

In the long run, President Berger-Sweeney’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct should help create a safer, more supportive environment amongst members of all genders and gender identities here at Trinity.

Trinity students and Hartford youth develop apps for the city



Trinity is an urban college, and our location in Hartford affords us a unique opportunity to engage with the community. Whether it’s Do-It Day or community service organizations, Trinity has repeatedly made efforts to get out into Connecticut’s capital to serve and to learn.

Over this past summer, however, two Trinity students decided to take the old paradigm a step further, and actively contributed to the infrastructure and accessibility of the city, touching the lives of everyone from local high school students to the mayor. Christine Boyle ’15, and Kenneth Thomas ’17, along with Professor Ralph Morelli, embarked on a project for the summer in which they taught local high school students about a computer program known as “App Inventor”, a simple drag-and-drop programming language, to create apps.

The results were six useful apps created by Boyle and Thomas, with help from a group of 20 high school students which are now in use across Hartford, everywhere from on the street to the mayor’s office.

The project came about as a result of an SF Grant given to Ralph Morelli, a computer science professor here at Trinity. With the money, Professor Morelli, Boyle, and Thomas created a curriculum known as “Mobile Computer Science Principles “, which dealt in the design of apps for tablets, mobile phones, and other portable electronics. The curriculum launched in several high schools around the Hartford area, funded by Trinity, the city of Hartford, and the SF Grant money, and met with success.

Twenty “interns” volunteered to spend six weeks of their summer coding apps at the behest of different organizations around Hartford. Interestingly, the project started out as pure volunteering, with Boyle, Kenneth, and their band of teachers and students contacting organizations to see what they needed. By the end, however, they had made a name for themselves, and organizations were actively seeking out their help, and giving them detailed orders for their app designs. The volunteer project had become something entirely different, almost a software company in its own right.  The job was demanding; interns and lead developers alike were putting in full nine-to-four days, and there were often guest speakers and college admissions representatives present to meet the interns and watch the project unfold. People from IBM and other tech companies visited, and the creator of “App Inventor” even Skyped in for a guest lecture.

Not only had the developers impressed their clients, they had also turned out some equally impressive products. As mentioned, there were six apps developed by this team, each for a different organization, and each with its own unique purpose:

Under the purview of Thomas, two different apps were produced for youth services, and one for a local theater:

App 1.  This is a catalog of youth services offered in Hartford, with search functionality, and contact information for all of the different organizations.

App 2. RiseUp, a Hartford youth empowerment organization, requested an app to detail their programs, include contact information, as well as services offered by the organization.  Interestingly, the first two apps were originally supposed to be one, but RiseUp felt that their app required different parameters.

App 3. The last of the apps produced under Thomas, TheaterWorks was designed for a playhouse in downtown Hartford. The app featured an interactive seating map, as well as the theater’s full website, with a full complement of social media plugins.

Boyle took the lead on two of the other apps.

App 4.  “Hartford Area Tour”, sponsored by the Old State House downtown, organizes Hartford by neighborhood, then creates tours for clients based on a survey of interests. It is analogous to a “Pandora” for the city of Hartford.

App 5. “Rewards 4 YOU” was designed on behalf of the Hartford Public Library, for use in the “YouMedia” space of the library, an up-and-coming youth department.

The app would allow visitors to scan a code posted on the wall, and for each day a scan was done, a point would be added to a library account in the name of the visitors. Points can be cashed in for prizes, ranging from headphones to candy and flashdrives. The hope of the program is to encourage usage of the youth areas of the library, and increase usage of the library overall.

The final app’s development was spearheaded by one of the local high school teachers who adopted the “Mobile Computer Science Principles” curriculum, Joe Kess. This app is arguably the most influential of all.

App 6. The mayor of Hartford himself contracted this final app, which was designed to replace the information kiosk in City Hall. The app has maps of the convoluted interior of the building, as well as a directory with voice-recognition software, which allows people to look up where they might go with a particular question or issue. The app then gives detailed directions to whatever location is pertinent to the client’s request. Should a visitor so desire, the app also has a function that will send a text or voice message directly to the mayor, putting him in somewhat better contact with his constituents.

These apps, in addition to being highly sought-after, have also met with acclaim. The mayor and many newspeople attended Boyle and Thomas’ final presentation, and the apps are being used to this day.

Many students have taken their studies into the real world, and effected tremendous good in the lives of people across the world. Such initiative being taken at Trinity has certainly been helpful: Hartford’s schools gained an interesting new curriculum, twenty young men and women gained valuable working experience and a potential career path, and numerous organizations around Hartford gained valuable apps, some of which are helping the public facilities of Hartford, a benefit that everyone in Hartford can enjoy.

Today, sexual assault education is more relevant than ever before



If you haven’t already seen the footage of Ray Rice’s assault on his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, I recommend saving yourself the time. Personally, it was particularly disturbing to watch and even worse to reflect upon.

For those who have not followed the story, Rice was initially charged with assault back in May for knocking Palmer unconscious. He was able to avoid trial by becoming enrolled into a pre-trail intervention program for first-time offenders, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Following the offense, the National Football League, the governing body of all league matters, disciplined Rice for a mere two games for the 2014 season, fining him a total of $529,000 of his $7 million for the year.

This led to a call to action from the public, considering 45% of the NFL fan base is comprised of women and clearly the punishment handed down to Rice was inadequate.

The final blow to the league’s image came this past Monday when TMZ Sports obtained footage of the events that transpired. The video showed Rice striking Palmer, knocking her unconscious and then proceeding to drag her limp body off of the elevator.

Following the release of the video, the Ravens decided that they had seen all they needed to terminate the contract of their star running back. The league too proceeded to enact harsher penalties for Rice, suspending him indefinitely without pay.

Prior to the league’s punishment, the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell felt compelled to give a statement on the matter, saying, “ My disciplinary decision led the public to question our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”

But the damage was already done. Despite changing the league’s policy on sexual assault and domestic violence offenders following the public outrage, the league looked soft in addressing a serious sexual assault matter by enacting a simple two game suspension, as opposed to the much stricter penalties that player’s are subject to for smoking marijuana.

Simply put, the NFL was implying to players and fans that hitting a woman was a much less egregious act than choosing to smoke pot.

Luckily, in Goodell’s error I find a championing point for the newest president of Trinity College, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, in her short tenure so far.This was the first year that Trinity had required every single student to watch the video entitled Not Anymore that educated and brought awareness to sexual assault and domestic violence.

As I went through the video, I was astounded as to how well the video portrayed the information in addition to how the video was produced in a way to require students to pay attention and stay involved with the video.

Imagine if the NFL required all of their players to complete the same video, who knows how many players might second guess their actions when they hear some of the terrible stories and statistics given in Not Anymore.

It would at least be a step in the right direction for preventing cases of domestic violence and violence towards women, especially considering the NFL has seen ten cases of players being involved in these instances since the start of the 2013 season.

Fortunately for Trinity, Berger-Sweeney has chosen to be proactive in raising awareness towards these issues, as opposed to Goodell who waited for an incident to catch the media’s eye before he made any sort of effort to inform people  of what had happened and prevent players from engaging in such disgusting acts.

Of course, the video may not prevent such an incident from occurring on campus, but it surely is an attempt at avoiding it.


How the Bantam came to be



In the moments prior to this year’s Convocation ceremony, I was flipping through the event program and I arrived at a page that explained the origin of Trinity’s mascot. As I read the story behind the Bantam, I found it both surprising and meaningful. And I’d like to share the story here for those who don’t know it.

“Trinity’s familiar mascot, the Bantam, owes it origin to the Honorable Joseph Buffington, Class of 1875, a distinguished federal judge and trustee of the College. He was noted as an exceptional after-dinner speaker, and his reply to the toast for Trinity at the spring 1899 annual dinner in Pittsburgh of the Princeton Alumni Association of Western Pennsylvania was a historic moment for the College.

‘They tell me that Trinity is in great company to-night [sic],” he noted. “That old John Harvard with the self-satisfied serenity which he generally carries in his clothes, is here; that old Eli Yale with his equal serenity of self-satisfaction has for this evening, at least, stopped telling everyone where he hails from… and is going to spend a real modest evening; that the big tiger [is] good humored now that he is feasted [:] all unite to form an awe-inspiring collegiate trio. In the presence of these mighty chanticleers of the collegiate barnyard, I presume the Trinity bantam should feel outclassed… But I tell you, my fellow chanticleers, that the Trinity bantam has been brought up… on different principles, and the most marked outcome of his collegiate training is the fostering of a habit which leads him to size things from his own standpoint and not have somebody else size them for him. The Trinity Bantam ever feels that whatever company is fit for him to be at, he is entirely fit to be there…’”

Judge Buffington describes an institution that values spunk over status. For him, courage and confidence are more valuable assets than objective success. This attitude, articulated 139 years ago, rings true today. American culture, especially American collegiate culture, is dominated by a preoccupation with status. People want to know where they stand in the pecking order. I especially found this to be the case in my high school. My peers and I were very preoccupied with our class rankings, our resumes, our personal status, and so on. And as my high school classmates and I began the college admissions process, the notion of status intensified. Many of us lusted after a handful of elite schools where we believed the grass didn’t just seem greener, it was greener. To be denied admission to one of those places is to be less than.

Buffington’s toast is a cure for that attitude. For the Bantam, success comes from within, not from without. As such, the bird’s size and status are irrelevant. Judge Buffington’s Bantam affirms our inextirpable ability to determine our own self-worth. As an individual goes through life, he could forever compare himself to the chanticleers of the world and be made to feel inferior. Or rather he could be in the way of the Bantam and “size things from his own standpoint and not have somebody else size them for him.” I won’t comment on the extent to which Trinity students embody or don’t embody this attitude, but I will say that Judge Buffington’s toast beautifully articulates a principle upon which institutions of higher learner can and should be built.

Trinity men’s soccer opens 2014 season with 1-1 tie

Justin Fortier ’18


In their first NESCAC game of the year, the Trinity Men’s Soccer team put on an impressive showing.  On the road at Hamilton, the team spent their night at a hotel so they would be freshly rested for their 1 p.m. game.  The result was a 1-1 draw that could not be broken, even with the two periods of extra time.  The 110 minutes were exhausting, and the field conditions were soggy from a light rain.  The Bantams fought hard against the Continentals but could not recreate the 1-0 win they had last year.

After a scoreless first half, the Bantams managed to put one in the back of the net in the 57th minute.

A quick counter attack gave forward Cody Savonen ’17 the space he needed to beat the Hamilton keeper.   Savonen’s one-on-one was created by a pass from Alex Bednarik ’18.   In a matter of a few seconds the ball had made it from Trinity’s defensive third to the back of Hamilton’s net.

The center defenders for Trinity played excellent defense all game, preventing quality scoring opportunities from developing in the first half.

Unfortunately, they could not defend against the counterattack from Hamilton in the 65th minute when forward Dan Kraynak, who had received the ball off a goal post rebound from Alec Talesnia’s shot, was able to put the ball in the back of the net, giving Hamilton the equalizer.

The rest of the game remained scoreless with a few flares of excitement as both teams had great chances in the last minutes of regulation time.  Hamilton believed they had pulled ahead 2-1 with two minutes remaining on the clock. However, the player was ruled off-sides and the two teams were forced to battle it out for the next 20 minutes of added time.

While both teams looked solid out on the field it is difficult to project where their seasons will go.  Both teams were in the bottom half of the NESCAC last year, with Trinity and Hamilton finishing at positions 9 and 8 respectively.  The Bantams have had an influx of new talent for head coach Mike Pilger to work with that could pull the team to a winning record.  Fourteen new players have joined the men’s squad, which is almost half the team, and Pilger notes “that group will dictate what our team becomes.”

Three days before the Hamilton match, the Bantams easily beat out-of-conference Rivier 2-0, with goals from Tim Shea ’15 and Tobias Gimand ’17. The Bantams took 26 shots and put 12 on goal compared to Rivier’s three shots with only two on net.  While this is not a NESCAC quality team it gave the men’s team an opportunity to begin to feel out their strengths and weaknesses in a competition setting.  Coach Mike Pilger is optimistic about this year’s team and is hoping to escape the peaks and valleys cycle that has been a theme of the men’s team.

It will be a while before the men play a league game at home, but on Sept. 20 Trinity will face Colby College, the weakest school in men’s soccer last year.

The Trinity men’s soccer team should be a great team to watch this year as they are introduacing many new players on the pitch.

Women’s soccer falls to 1-1 after losing to Hamilton

Elizabeth Caporale ’16


This past weekend, Trinity women’s soccer made the trek up to Clinton, NY to take on Hamilton in their first NESCAC contest of the season.  The team, which is led by seniors Maggie Crowe ’15, Karyn Barrett ’15, McKenzie Jones ’15 and Elisa Dolan ’15 suffered a tough 3-2 loss to the Continentals, giving them a 0-0-1 record within the NESCAC and a 1-0-1 record overall. Despite the recent loss, the Bantams began the season with a victory, defeating their first opponent, Saint Joseph’s College 5-0. The ladies have no time to dwell on their latest misfortune however, considering the Manhattanville College squad will be making its way down to Hartford on Sept. 9 for Trinity’s third game of the season. The Valiants currently have an overall record of 1-0-2, having lost their first two games to Saint Joseph’s and Western New England College, while narrowly defeating Ramapo College (Mahwah, NJ) this past weekend.

Of course it takes an entire team and coaching staff to come out of any contest with a victory, however this season, there are several players to keep an eye on. Goalkeeper Monica DiFiori ‘16 has proven that she is a defensive force to be reckoned with, sporting a goals against average of 1.50, while Dolan currently leads the team in scoring with two goals. Other players contributing to the bantams scoring include Barrett, Tori Dunn ’18, Laura Nee ’17, Nicole Stauffer ’17 and Kelsey Thomas ’16.  The coaching staff plays a part in the success of most every team, and this is certainly the case for Trinity. Head coach Michael Smith continues to bring a wealth of experience to the Bantams season after season. He will enter his eighteenth year as head coach. Leigh Howard, a former Bantam herself, will return as assistant coach for her third year. Senior Tri-Captains Maggie Crowe, Elisa Dolan and McKenzie Jones lead the 2014 squad. Trinity women’s soccer plays a fifteen game season.  Preseason begins in late August, along with most other fall sports, regular season play will conclude with an Oct. 28 contest against the Lord Jeffs up at Amherst.

Last year, the Bantams had one of their most successful seasons to date, finishing fourth in the NESCAC, sixth in New England and 23rd in the nation. The squad began last season with an eight game winning streak, something that had not been accomplished since 1981, and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.

Will 2014 bring success for the Bantams? With thirteen games to go, it’s too early to make any sort of accurate prediction, but there is no doubt that this squad has great talent and experience this year.

Trinity’s orientation strategy should be reconsidered


The opening days at Trinity College for the new class of 2018 were filled to the gills with pre-scheduled meetings and activities designed to equip incoming Bantams with skills they would need to tackle college life, as well as allow them to mix, meet, and mingle as a class before veteran college students arrived days later.

The first day was a whirlwind of excitement that began with moving-in and ended with a beautiful Convocation ceremony. Once parents departed, Orientation activities began. A medley of meetings, required events, and social gatherings generated excitement. The road through Orientation 2014 was paved with good intention, but the execution failed to live up to the hopes of the student body and, more likely, the administration.

No freshman really knew what to expect from Trinity. No one knew where Vernon Social was, how to add/drop classes, what a book loan was, or how to approach the dozens of new, exciting, and uncomfortable situations they will face over the next four years. Orientation is a rare chance the administration has to get the attention of the new class and impart important wisdom to students.

Freshmen were pulled out of their comfort zones and thrown into multiple hours of lectures each and every day of Orientation. This was followed by a required meal with an RA or mentor, and a long night of wandering campus trying to find a party or attempting to make friends at the Freshman Carnival. Each of these events held significance and value, for the students who actually attended without swiping their ID and then sneaking out a nearby exit. The core issue with this year’s Freshman Orientation was that students were so exhausted, so saturated with information, and so unengaged that they opted out and took any chance possible to hide away in their dorm rooms and nap or watch Netflix. Can anyone blame them? On any given day, a Trinity freshman in Orientation would be expected to balance multiple hours of meetings with hopes to explore Ferris Athletic Center, the need to visit the Health Center or Registrar, dorm or hall bonding activities, meals, social time to meet classmates, and sleep. It’s funny that in the midst of the flurry of activity, requirements and restrictions about Orientation activities, students were told to relax, make friends, try new things, and make choices about what they wanted to do.

One of the most suprising lessons I realized was the idea that, yes, class is optional. Upon hearing Michael Weber speak in the Koeppel Community Sports Center was full of silly anecdotes, explaining that college students really aren’t required to be students, and everyone present at the meeting sat up a little straighter and listened a little more attentively.

It’s true that attendance is required for a desirable grade. But, in reality, college students have the freedom to make the choice on their own about whether they care. Why not put that into practice during Orientation weekend? The best way to learn is by doing, hence the emphasis on participating in undergraduate research, trying new programs, going out of your way for new experiences. Why not start off with such an important lesson? Why not trust the newest generation of Bantams to uphold the values they are expected to embody while at Trinity?

A potential redesign focused on making students feel trusted to be adults and responsible to learn what they felt was important, the administration would see a much higher level of engagement and compliance. Certainly there are particular meetings that must be attended by all members of the school community, such as the Speak About It workshop and the Campus Safety presentation. Other lectures, however, though informative, were repetitive and not incredibly eye-opening. For next fall, the administration could rank these mandatory meetings in categories, and allow students to choose which seminars suit them the best so that each student is exposed to important information about life at Trinity College, but no student feels bored, disconnected, or inclined to swipe his or her ID and sneak out the back. A student who feels particularly anxious about keeping up with a rigorous course schedule could choose to attend a meeting about academic success and balancing activities with schoolwork, another could sit in on a student panel about extracurriculars, while even another student could attend a seminar about health and wellness resources at Trinity.

College is a learning experience for every student, but not everyone takes the same courses, and not everyone needs to learn the same things. It is a unifying experience that is also incredibly individual. Freshman Orientation should mirror this defining aspect of college life. Being able to design one’s Orientation schedule, incoming Trinity students would get the information they need while getting a much appreciated jump start on learning how to make choices independently and thoughtfully, the way they will need to once Orientation ends.


Recent praise for Joan Rivers ignores her imperfect character


Joan Rivers died last Thursday, Sept. 4 at the age of 81. She was a comedian, known for having a relentlessly harsh sense of humor. At the wake of her death, there was a clear polarity.

Many people revered her and would miss her contribution to pop culture. Others were glad that the ‘Wicked Witch’ from Brooklyn was finally dead.

I initially didn’t think much about Rivers’ death. But soon, I got extremely heated when the media began portraying her as some saint, which is usually what happens to celebrities when they pass. Joan Rivers was not a saint.

Cruelty should not be excused simply because a person died, but this seems to be the case with Rivers. No, Time Magazine, Joan Rivers was not a “groundbreaking feminist icon.” Least we forget the less than classy show, “The Fashion Police,” where Ms. Rivers judged other women solely based on their appearance. Rivers even went as far as to call our First Lady, Michelle Obama, a “tranny.” Not to say that there is anything wrong with being a transvestite, but the implication is that the first lady should be viewed as a ‘manly’ woman rather than a powerful, assertive woman.

Joan Rivers has objectified her own gender, and was a sexist to her own sex. No one can deny the work ethic that Joan Rivers had, and yes she overcame obstacles to achieve what she did, but in terms of her comedic delivery, there was nothing feminist about it.

Sady Doyle, a writer for Buzzfeed, praised Joan Rivers stating that “for five decades, she made a career out of being everything we teach women not to be: superficial, rude, bitter, angry, selfish.” I would argue that these are very negative attributes for anyone to have, male or female. If we aren’t teaching the men of our society the same thing, we should. Immediately. You do not need to bring someone down to be funny. More specifically, you don’t have to tell the world that “Palestinians deserve to die,” as River recently did before her death. It doesn’t sound like a very humorous punch line to me.

However, the question does arise as to why a comedic character with these qualities appeals to the masses. This article was initially meant to criticize Joan River’s career, but the one question on my mind was why had people been putting up with her for fifty years? This is obviously a patriarchal society we live in, and women have it rough (I apologize if that’s too much of an understatement). Rivers must have had a hard time trying to make a name for herself in the world of comedy. Most male comedians don’t have to play such an over exaggerated character to appease the audience. While Kevin Hart likes to play the loud, short black guy and Ricky Gervais can be a mean guy himself, these character performances aren’t embedded into every single one of their jokes. Joan Rivers always had to be in character, on and off stage, on and off the camera, because she did not have the luxury to not be in character at all times.

She was not the only female comedian who was also essentially trapped in a persona. Both Mindy Kaling, from The Office and The Mindy Project, and Lena Dunham, of Girls, are always cast as the oblivious narcissists. Often women who are slightly larger are portrayed as the “spunky fat girl,” and often keep acting out the label in real life. Notice that none of these characteristics are considered particularly positive or flattering for the woman playing them.

In 1986, Joan Rivers was the first woman to ever host a late-night talk show. But the show was a complete failure because no one wanted to see a nice Joan Rivers. The audience only wanted to see that character she had been stuck with playing. With the cancellation of the show, her husband took his own life, and Rivers considered doing the same. Learning that the masses only wanted to see the spiteful version of herself was a lesson she did not forget.

But does this mean she is forgiven? She has made a living out of bullying others.

And yes, that was what America wanted from her, but she was the one that chose to continue.

While I personally cannot excuse her for every harsh thing she has said, I do understand the argument that confined her into playing that spiteful character. She wanted to be a comedian in a society that prefers negative, self-deprecating representations of women.

And if Joan Rivers career has done nothing else, I am glad that her death has sparked that conversation.


Field Hockey starts season hot with two shutout wins

Peter Prendergast ’16


The Trinity College field hockey team boasts a 2-0 overall record this week after shutting out both out-of-conference UMass Dartmouth 9-0 and NESCAC opponent Hamilton College by a score of 6-0.  Trinity finished their 2013 campaign with an 8-7 overall record and are looking to compete as a top contender in the conference.

On September 4, the Bantams welcomed UMass Dartmouth for their 2014 season and home opener.  Trinity got off to an early lead just over five minutes into the game as forward Kelcie Finn ’18 bested the U keeper off a penalty corner from defenders Elizabeth Caporale ’16 and co-captain Sophie Doering ’15.  Just three minutes later, forward Olivia Tapsall ’16 found the back of the net after receiving a pass from Sydney Doolittle ’17.  Trinity maintained a 2-0 lead until the final ten minutes of a half when a surge of goals left them leading 6-0.  The offensive rush began when forward Casey Quinn ’17, assisted by Finn, beat the Corsairs’ keeper at the 26:21 mark.  Two minutes later, Doering scored her first of the game, with help from Caporale and Mia Olsen ’17.  Forward Brenna Hobin ’18 continued the drive with an unassisted goal followed by Finn with her second goal of the game.

In the second half, Finn struck again, completing her hat trick with another unassisted goal that again beat UMass’s Allison Burke in net.  At just before the 60-minute mark, Tapsall scored her second goal of the game after receiving a pass from Samantha Sandler ’17.  The final goal of the game came at 61:11 as Clare Lyne ’17, assisted by Tapsall, managed to shoot one past Burke.  The final whistle blew as the Bantams took a 9-0 victory, their first win of the season.  Goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick ’16 recorded a win as she played over 53 minutes of the contest.

On Sept. 6 the Bantams traveled to Hamilton College for their first NESCAC action of the season.  Finn remained a dominant force for the Trinity offense against Hamilton as the first two Bantam goals came off of her stick, with help from Olsen, Doering, Caporale and Tapsall.  At 18:24, Nikki Rivera ’16 one timed a pass from Finn, beating Hamilton keeper, Victoria Trentini.

Trinity remained dominant in the second half as Finn again scored two goals in a row, the first coming unassisted at 46:50 and the second coming minutes later off a pass from Olsen.  Finn currently leads the Bantam scorers with seven goals and three assists.  Fitzpatrick played a full seventy minutes against Hamilton, recording her second shutout victory.  She saved all three of Hamilton’s shots on net.

On Sept. 13, the Bantams will travel to Williamstown, MA to face the Williams College Purple Cows, another competitive NESCAC rival.  Four days later, Sept. 7, the team will welcome Wellesley College, their second non-conference competition of the season.  The Bantams are certainly off to a great start this season as they have outscored their opponents 15-0 in two contests.  They will no doubt be a top team within the NESCAC as they are on track to surpass their 6th place finish a year ago.  With a mixture of new talent and veteran leadership, little stands in the way of this being one of Trinity’s strongest field hockey squads in recent memory.

Scarcity of 24-hour parking on campus angers students


Receiving two parking tickets within a two-day time span has made me aware of an inexcusable scarcity of 24-hour student parking on.

I live in Jarvis so my primary criticism is centered on Summit Street parking. Here, there are two parking lots with the capacity for roughly 60 cars. This number, though, pales in comparison to the triple-digit number of spots that line the west side of the road. However, in both cases these spots are restricted to students between 5AM and 7PM during the week, amounting to 160 spots.

Right now you’re probably thinking, ‘Gauthier, you lazy expletive, there are plenty of 24-hour spots in North and Vernon Place, get  up and walk instead.’

In rebuttal, I want to remind my haters that parking on a relatively insular, urban campus is zero-sum. The High Rise lot (for the time being) is entirely closed. I pray that any non-legacy admit could guess where High Rise students are parking instead. So, by displacing the roughly 40 High Rise spots and subtracting that number from the combined 85 spots between North and Vernon Place, the availability of spaces in other lots will become increasingly difficult to come by.

The two 24-hour lots with the highest capacity are Ferris Broad St. (80 spots) and Crescent (60 spots).

The Ferris lots are more a collective bone thrown our way by administration than a legitimate student parking option.

On any given weekday, one is more likely to find coaches, trainers, and various other athletic faculty members’ cars than those of students surrounding Ferris. It seems a cruel joke that the majority of the dorms nearest Ferris are either for first-year students, who can’t have cars or, in the case of the Crescent Townhouses, have their own designated lots.

Crescent has been handed a stinking heap of well-deserved criticism since its inception. Even though demolishing a large section of low-rent housing to build luxury townhouses for students is certainly legal, I doubt I’m alone in viewing Crescent Street as a slip n’ slide towards socioeconomic segregation. At the very least, its development can’t be considered beneficial to town-grown relations.

Crescent Street residents still benefit from a decent-sized lot directly behind their townhouses, which I will not argue is undeserved; these students pay thousands for the privilege. Even they, however, should take issue with the relative size of their special lot. There are 22 townhouses, each housing eight to nine students. There are 60 spots. At most, approximately one-third of all Crescent residents can park in the designated lot at any given time (not even counting South Campus residents who park somewhere besides Summit Street during the week).

Even on Crescent Street, Trinity’s own Park Avenue, money can’t buy an assured parking spot for the Rover. Every day, two-thirds of these students must knock elbows with us regulars to avoid a tow fee. In this way, the school’s irrational distribution of twenty-four-hour parking should be of campus-wide concern.

Furthermore, Trinity is quick to boast of its student-to-faculty ratio, which, according to the website is 9:1. Purely proportionately, the ratio of student-to-faculty spots should mirror this figure, but that’s unrealistic. Considering freshmen are not allowed to have cars, the original ratio should be initially revised to 6.75:1. Not every remaining student has a car on campus, so the ratio can be cut in half to 3.37:1.

This should be the ratio of 24-hour parking spots on campus to those allotted to the faculty during school hours.

The definitive number of twenty-four-hour parking spots – according to the school – is 448. If this is the case, there should be 121 faculty spots (assuming every faculty member drives alone to work).

The lots behind Jarvis encompass about half of this theoretical figure. According to my earlier estimate, Summit Street alone offers 161 spots.

While there is no official count of student-restricted spots, one can safely assume that between the remaining 19 lots reserved for faculty, that count far exceeds the mathematically prescribed 121, tipping the scales in favor of the faculty.

I’m not writing with the presumption that a five-digit tuition bill should afford students parking privileges greater than faculty. Nor am I placing undue blame on the faculty. My concern is administrative.

On Trinity’s end, the simplest solution is a reduction of faculty parking. Each faculty lot that becomes a student lot would help to slowly correct the ratio. Opening Summit, alone, would account for the relative shortage of Crescent Street parking.

The backwards distribution of on-campus student parking is an injustice. When students are “allowed” to pay hundreds for a parking pass only to be pitted against each every weekday, the whole process serves only as a means of profit for the school.


President Berger-Sweeney brings new hope to Trinity


This past March, Trinity made institutional history with the instatement of the college’s first African American and first female president, Joanne Berger-Sweeney. Her illustrious curriculum vitae echoes her accomplishments as a teacher, scholar, neuroscientist and administrator. Many wait with bated breath to see how the new president will influence Trinity.

I crossed paths with her for the first time during Venture Trinity. This is only my second week at Trinity and I have noticed that our busy President has taken the time to send out weekly emails. The first impression students on campus have of the new President is that “she is surprisingly short,” and her smile can brighten up the room.

Her years of experience and sincerity are echoed in all of her speeches. This capacity for public speaking is crucial for attracting donators to invest in an institution that helps shape students into athletes, engineers, senators, filmmakers and bankers.

Part of a president’s role is to help raise funds that will allow the college to grow. Funding is crucial to widening the educational sphere and I believe the  President will be able to help expand Trinity’s network of connections. Past experience speaks volumes about a person and the same is true for our president.

Most people share a vision of ‘wanting to make a difference in the world’ during their life, and President Berger-Sweeney is certainly someone who has fulfilled this goal. During her role as the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, she introduced programs and implemented changes which enhanced the educational system. Within four years there was a 10 percent increase in ethnicity diversity of the faculty at Tufts University.

One of the main focuses of an admission office is often to increase the diversity of the student population, not typically to diversify faculty. However, I personally believe that faculty diversity exposes students to different ideas and ways of learning taught by a variety of scholars who bring unique experiences to the table. Through having an overall diverse community, we learn tolerance and gain respect for other cultures.

To that end, President Berger-Sweeney also introduced the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. This implementation suggests the importance of diversifying the student body in its truest sense. A rich community benefits the growth of students and helps create forerunners in numerous fields. Many students from various corners of the world enter college anxious and tools like these empower them. President Berger-Sweeney is engaged and has a vibrancy that will transform Trinity College.

Over the past few months, colleges all over have been tackling the disturbing occurrences of sexual assault on campus. President Berger-Sweeney is a proactive member of society that is focused on tackling the issue of sexual assault. She has reached out to students, faculty and staff to prioritize necessary changes. A leader can only succeed if they listen and we have a leader who does.

I wouldn’t simply define President Berger-Sweeney as just a leader, but also a family person. Trinity College is an institution that values tradition and the new president will not only honor but also create new traditions.

President Berger-Sweeney is an avid reader who has developed and polished her thinking through thought-provoking philosophies of numerous authors. A book she highly recommends is, “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf. This dramatic feminist fiction explores a world for phenomenal women who have no limitations. I think it is symbolic of our visionary president. She has a strong personality and is someone who didn’t shy away when her advisor at John Hopkins told her that she is not fit for neurobiology, but rather switched advisors and continued on her path.

Berger-Sweeney embodies the attitude of a fighter and that is the optimistic attitude a president must have.During the term of former President Jones, the college underwent major construction and connected with the Hartford community. We need to spread the Bantam spirit worldwide.

I cannot predict what changes President Berger-Sweeney will make in her coming years. But I can say that I am extremely excited and optimistic about the future of the College.


Ebola continues its spread across parts of West Africa



For the past three months, the world has watched as West Africa suffers the largest Ebola outbreak in the history of the disease. The current outbreak was first detected in March of this year and it continues to this day. According to the World Health Organization, the virus had affected 3,685 individuals and claimed 1,841 lives as of Aug. 31. And the disease continues to spread. The outbreak currently affects Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

The second-worst Ebola outbreak occured in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the outbreak of 1976, there were 602 cases and 431 deaths as a result of the disease. As one compares the statistics of that outbreak to the current one, the magnitude of the crisis in West Africa becomes more clear.

The news has been flooded with headlines about the movements of Ebola, but many don’t know much about the disease itself. Ebola is a filovirus that causes hemorrhagic fever. It is fatal in 60-90 percent of cases. The disease is not airborne. Ebola is spread thorough the direct contact of bodily fluids. According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms commonly appear eight to ten days after one is exposed to the virus.

Early symptoms include headache, fever, and aches. Then more severe symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting begin. In the final stages of the disease, the severe hemorrhaging begins. Patients lose blood through vomit or urine. Perhaps most frightening of all, blood may begin to seep from a victim’s eyes.

The ultimate cause of death is organ failure. As the victim’s blood vessels begin to leak fluid, the body’s blood pressure falls so low that the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs cease to function.

Officials of the WHO have stated that this is a “containable” disease. Because the virus is not airborne, containment measures can be much more effective. This attribute of the disease makes it less of a threat in highly developed countries with organized and sophisticated medical response programs.

For example, individuals in the United States should not worry significantly about contracting the virus because it has not spread to American soil and, if it did, it is likely that the government would be able to effectively contain it. However, in West Africa, healthcare resources are scarce and unreliable. It has not been successfully contained in West Africa due to what the WHO called “severely compromise healthcare systems.”

Many African governments are struggling to take effective measures to combat the virus. Several nations have attempted quarantines with limited success. On Aug. 20, the Liberian government placed the township of West Point under quarantine for a period of 21 days.

Three weeks is the maximum incubation period for the virus. The quarantine only lasted for ten days, but during that time the residents of the neighborhood suffered under the isolation. West Point, an already severely impoverished area, had limited access to food and other basic necessities during the quarantine period. Many inhabitants in the isolation zone said that they were more afraid of starvation than they were of Ebola.

The most recent governmental effort comes from the Sierra Leonean government which announced this week that it will institute a national quarantine from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21. During this three-day period, health workers will be going from house to house with the intent of discovering Ebola patients who remain outside of clinics. Government officials said that many efforts to stop the spread of the virus have been unsuccessful because many people are harboring—sometimes even hiding—patients at home.

Many families don’t want their infected loved ones to leave home and enter a clinic. Unfortunately, this behavior leads to repeated close contact with the victim, and therefore with the virus, within homes. The Unicef representative in Sierra Leone said that “the fight against Ebola will not be won in the Ebola clinic. By the house-to-house campaign, you try to stop transmission at the family level.”

Members of Doctors Without Borders, many of whom are in the thick of the worst infection zones, have said we are losing the fight against Ebola right now because international aid efforts have been too slow and too weak. The WHO estimates that the Ebola virus might affect as many as 20,000 people before it is brought under control.

During a press conference in August, the director general of the WHO, Margaret Chan, declared the outbreak a “global emergency.” In her address, she called for widespread international cooperation and unity in fighting the disease and said that the countries that are currently affected, “simply don’t have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this scale on their own.”

The WHO announced a “road map” for stopping the transmission of the disease over the next nine months. The plan is expected to cost at least 500 million dollars. The plan calls for 750 international and 12,000 local health workers to devote their time solely to Ebola disease control.

As of now, there is no vaccine for Ebola and no known cure. Several vaccines are currently under development, but none have entered trials yet.


New meal plan policy will leave Trinity students out in the cold



This Spring semester, all Trinity students received an unexpected email on April 14 titled “New Trinity College Policy Regarding Meal Plans.” With these new meal plans, all students with the exception of those that live off campus and that belong to St. Anthony Hall, Psi Upsilon, and Alpha Delta Phi are required to purchase a meal plan. Freshmen may opt to be on the Freshman plan for $2,220—juniors and sophomores get stuck paying $300 more on the Unlimited or Flex plan, and seniors can opt to pay $1,750 per semester for their meal plans.

These new meal plans are not only taking away such opportunities from students, but are also taking more money out of our pockets. They are consolidating us into one small dining facility as well as presenting an exclusionary atmosphere on campus that is unhealthy for our community.

When one Trinity student emailed the Director of Business Operations here at Trinity, Alan Saur, she asked why these changes were being implemented. Mr. Saur’s response was as follows:

“There are several reasons why this change will go into effect.  One is consistent with a philosophy long held at Trinity (and at many other schools as well.  Most all of the NESCAC schools—those we consider our direct peers—have, for many years, already mandated the policy that Trinity will just now adopt).  The coming together of students for meals is an important component in a student’s college experience, both academically and socially, and these are environments which we hope to continually enhance and improve.  Mealtimes provide opportunities for groups of students from varied and possibly opposing backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, values, experiences, and beliefs to gather together and exchange ideas and viewpoints in an informal atmosphere not found in other types of settings.”

It is true that many other NESCAC schools have required meal plans, however, they are vastly different than the plans that Trinity students are being offered next year. For example, at Tufts University and Bowdoin College, there are certain on-campus housing locations that are exempt from the meal plans. At Bowdoin, these are the College Apartments. These are considered on campus residence halls, similar to the Crescent Townhouses. At Williams, the system requires all those living on campus to purchase a meal plan; however, there is a ten meal per week plan that is $300 cheaper per year than any of the plans we are being offered; not to mention, these other schools have a much wider variety of meal plans than what Trinity is offering starting next year. As a junior, I only have two choices next year, in contrast with juniors at Williams College who have an additional choice. All of those plans give Williams students access into any on-campus dining facility. Bottom line, Mr. Saur’s point to adopting a policy that is already mandated in peer schools is simply not correct because Trinity’s new meal plans are vastly more restrictive.

The second piece Mr. Saur pointed out was that mealtimes provide an opportunity to get to know other students. Meal times are indeed an important part of one’s learning experience, but restricting them to Mather Hall will present a number of problems. Mather is simply not big enough to accommodate the whole student body and is the least preferred dining facility on campus. Demand can simply not be kept up with if all students are dining in Mather. Secondly, Mather does not provide a very intimate and fostering environment to create conversation. Mather is loud, disorganized, and has long waiting times for foods that are undercooked due to demand such as sandwiches, the Umani station, and the omelet bar in the morning. Would it not be more beneficial for students to improve their life skills through sharing a kitchen with eight other people in a Crescent Townhouse where everyone must cook and clean? Sharing an eating space and cooking for oneself and others are vastly more important life skills that learning patience in the omelet bar with five minutes until class.

Also to Mr. Saur’s point about students coming together from varied backgrounds to share meals, it perplexes me that members of the fraternities mentioned prior are not required to participate in the meal plan if there is more to it than simply eating. Are these students somehow not required or expected to meet others in the dining facility because they have their own exclusive club amongst themselves? Cultural houses that are also on campus, such as La Eracra, Umoja House, and the AASA house all have fully functional kitchens, yet the students that live in these houses are required to eat at on-campus dining facilities. This idea that certain fraternities are somehow special or different and are exempt from, according to Mr. Saur, sharing viewpoints and perspectives over meals, treads on some seriously dangerous ground and could be and is being seen as discriminatory against certain groups of students.

This answer provided by Mr. Saur raises some serious questions about the priorities of Trinity College. It did not provide a clear and solid foundation of why these meal plans are being required of us. It is imperative that we show Mr. Saur and the other who were involved in this decision that Trinity students would like a real and honest explanation for the changes made.


The Cave: Massive failings in administration-student dialogue



Recently, the issues of the closing of The Cave and the effects on Chartwells workers have been hot topics garnering campus-wide discussion. In an effort to get solid information about the actual situation and express my extreme discontent with the situation portrayed by the information that has been circulating, I emailed a number of the College’s administrators. Ultimately, I met with Trinity’s Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer Paul Mutone and later spoke with SGA Vice President and President-elect Josh Frank ’16. These discussions illuminated a major problem with the dialogue between the student body and the administration over the current situation. This is an aspect of campus life that requires considerable attention if Trinity is to grow as an educational institution and a community.

In my meeting with Mr. Mutone, I learned that the Chartwells layoffs and closing of the Cave are actually two separate situations. The Cave is being replaced by another dining service to be erected in a new facility on Crescent Street (relatively like the Cave but with more dining options) which will also house the bookstore; the layoffs and cutbacks in hours which will lead to five or six workers losing healthcare and benefits and possibly two layoffs are due to the College trying to reduce the rate of tuition increases over the next few years, as costs are getting out of hand. The Cave is planned to close by the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year, and Chartwells to shift operations both upstairs to a continuous-service Mather Hall and the soon-to-be-erected facility on Crescent Street.

Mutone explained that as a part of this initiative to reduce the College’s tuition increases, Chartwells had to manage no increase in operating costs, and Chartwells concluded that labor was what had to give. This “tightening of the belt” across campus also includes cutbacks being made by Aramark, which manages landscaping, and the hiring of fewer professors than are retiring.

No one disagrees that the costs of higher education are getting out of hand, however what was explained to me as a college-wide “tightening of the belt” by Mutone seems to be executed unfairly. He did explain that the administration had “targeted a reduction of $400,000 in administration budget reductions, still being determined” and “Comparative surveys… show Trinity to be on the low end of administrative staffing.” However, asking those who, by and large, are less fortunate than most people on this campus to tighten the belt (even if the College is tightening it as a whole) seems wrong, especially as we construct a new dining facility on Crescent Street. The dichotomy is troubling. It does not seem “civically responsible” nor “socially useful”—two of the values espoused in Trinity’s mission—and is certainly contrary to the values with which I grew up.

In my meeting with Mutone, I brought up the seeming lack of communication between the administration and the student body with respect to these massive changes to campus life. He explained to me that, while there had perhaps not been enough communication, there were two voting student representatives on the Planning and Budget Council (PBC), the forum at which many of these changes were initially proposed, who should have taken part in the dialogue between the administration and the student body. Moreover, he said, a group of students was gathered to meet with Toby Chenette (District Manager for Chartwells) and discuss the changes. Unfortunately, only one student ever showed up to this meeting. While perhaps not adequate, these were two avenues through which Mutone said student input was solicited and a dialogue should have occurred.

Josh Frank was one of the students who served on PBC (with current SGA President Ambar Paulino). After meeting with Mutone, I spoke with Frank about his role on PBC. He explained that these proposed changes (cuts to workers, closing of the Cave, and meal plan changes) were discussed at these meetings, but he had been given strict instructions by Mutone that he could not disseminate any of the information discussed to the student body—he was not to “leak” any of the proposed changes. Frank made it clear that he staunchly opposed these changes, and voiced what I think many students agree with: they would be extremely unpopular with the student body.

Frank explained further that the SGA was asked to assemble a group of students to meet with Chenette, but he and Paulino were under the impression that the proposed changes were not going to be brought up again, and Chenette had said this group was being assembled to see how students felt about Mather, not the controversial proposed changes to the campus dining services. He acknowledged that only one student attended, but that he and Paulino had been willing to assemble another committee. Frank emphasized that part of the reason he ran for SGA president was the feeling that sometimes “students aren’t really taken too seriously.”

Mutone simply responded that this account of events was, “Totally false and I would have other members of the committee talk to you about that.” Paulino did not respond to a request for comment.

Clearly, there is a massive rift in communication between the administration and the student body on this topic. Not only is this evident in the dearth of information which was available to students and the widespread lack of any cohesive communication about the extensive changes to campus dining, but also in the two extremely different accounts of how these changes were envisioned, enacted, and communicated to the student body. In such a situation devoid of information grows rumor, as it always has—the Greeks mythologized this phenomenon with the goddess Ossa (literally “Rumor”). As a student, this divide disheartens me: such a rift and lack of transparency strikes at the heart of the campus community. I dearly hope that, moving forward, there will be better lines of communication opened between the administration and the student body.

Our generation needs to stop burying our heads in our iPhones



It’s a gorgeous day.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the sundresses are out in full force.  You’re about to walk by a friend, or maybe a cute girl, looking for a handshake or maybe you’ll toss in a playful line hoping to make her laugh.  Little do you know, you’re about to get the 21st century version of the stiff arm: head down and eyes buried in his or her phone, completely oblivious to the world.  You wonder what could be so important or urgent for a 20-year old to be staring into a screen on a beautiful spring day.  Oh, but of course, the reasons are vast and justified.  Maybe somebody “liked” their Instagram photo, or maybe a friend fired off a funny Snapchat, or maybe the person was simply texting their mom or dad.

Regardless of the reasons for “head-down syndrome,” the name I’ve given this problem, it is fairly embarrassing, annoying and somewhat insulting. Sometimes I imagine a person with severe “head-down syndrome” in an NHL game getting absolutely demolished by the likes of Niklas Kronwall or a Scott Stevens reincarnation.  Now, that would surely keep a person’s phone in their pocket for the duration of their five-minute walk to class.  Unfortunately, this is not how the world works, but there is a simple solution to this epidemic.  The solution consists of no bone-shattering hits, physical pain, or mental anguish.  Instead, it’s as simple as taking ten seconds to think about what you’re doing.  You’re a human at Trinity College, not iPhone University for the Antisocial.  Communicate with your fellow Bantams, even if it’s just looking at people you don’t know.  Learn how to approach people and learn how to be approached by others.  You’re not going to figure out much about life, nor will you learn much about yourself if you live with your head immersed in a phone.

On a daily basis, the only time I feel disappointed is when I see twenty people with their heads down on the Lower Long Walk heading off to class.  I even get mad at myself when I find my hand subconsciously reaching for my phone while walking around campus.  Usually, I call myself a joke and immediately stick that piece of garbage right back into my pocket. See, I am no exception to this problem, although I’d wager that I’d catch you with your head down before you can spot me zeroed in on my phone.

Throughout human evolution, we as a species have gradually distanced ourselves further and further from each other and from our initial purposes.  Hunting and gathering has been traded in for a Sunday at Stop & Shop, walking has turned into driving, and communication has gone from person-to-person to keypad-to-keypad.  Although I harbor no ill feelings towards people who suffer from “head-down syndrome”, I genuinely hope those reading this will think about this subject matter and encourage a few more people to pick up their heads.  Live life with the people you are surrounded by at any given moment, and if you’re quietly walking by yourself, try thinking just for the sake of thinking instead of hiding from others with your head down.  Pick up your heads, jokes.

Students campaign to keep Rebecca Beebe at Trinity College



Having taken three of Professor Rebecca Beebe’s courses, I have been an avid supporter of the group of students who, for the past four months, have been working to keep Dr. Rebecca Beebe at Trinity College.

These students, ranging from senior anthropology majors to newly matriculated first-year students, continue their passionate campaign despite several obstacles. I have been a strong supporter of these students’ efforts to ensure that Professor Beebe, an adjunct anthropology professor whose classes are among the most popular at Trinity, will return to teach in the fall.

It all started when Annie Arnzen ’14, an anthropology major, discovered that Professor Rebecca Beebe would not return to teach in the fall of 2014. Despite the fact that the absence of Professor Beebe in the classroom bears no direct effect on Annie, who will soon graduate, knowing that Beebe would not continue in such a capacity inspired her to see what could be done to retain a professor who Arnzen, and many others, hold in high regard.

I never recognized the impact this adjunct professor had on my college experience until I engaged Annie Arnzen in a conversation about Rebecca Beebe. Talking with her about Professor Beebe often, Annie recounted the way Professor Beebe learned the name of each student in her classes—something I now recognize as a simple expression of her passion for teaching.

Annie tells me of the first time she had a class with Professor Beebe, a course entitled ‘Anthropology of Violence’ in the spring of 2012, and how she had her photo taken while holding a paper with her name written on it. By the next class, Professor Beebe knew everyone’s name. “From the first day, she changed my standard for the professor—student interaction, exemplifying the way a dynamic professor could engage and inspire a classroom,” she states, recounting a plethora of similar instances. “Acknowledging my passion for anthropology and community action, she assisted me in finding a Hartford-based internship, and developing my senior thesis,” Arnzen adds with deft subtlety. However, Annie Arnzen is not alone. Over one hundred other students, many of whom have sent letters to the Dean of Students office voicing their support of Professor Beebe, share in this sentiment.

Kanzy El Dafrawy ’16, a student from Cairo, Egypt shares a similar narrative. Kanzy describes her experience with Rebecca Beebe, “It was her dedication to each individual in our class, the extra time she spent explaining concepts, the attention she gave my mother when she visited from Cairo this winter, the dinner she invited me to in her home with her four year old son.”

El Dafrawy, a member of the Women’s Squash team, has dedicated a great deal of time to this effort, collecting hundreds of student signatures and building an online petition to spread the word of their push to retain a professor. “It was in her own way of relating to me which gave me a new perspective on myself, my journey, and what I would choose to do with my life during and after Trinity,” El Dafrawy says. While the reality of finding a solution has become a significant challenge for this coalition of students, their energy has yet to falter.

As an anthropology major, I have seen the shifts within the department as professors depart and return from sabbatical with adjuncts filling in as needed. As tenured faculty in the anthropology department return, this natural cycle of lecturer changes has resulted in a vanished need for adjunct professors. This discovery led several anthropology majors to begin a fact-finding mission to invent a creative way to keep Professor Beebe at Trinity. With the full support of the anthropology department, who recognize the increasing importance of anthropology in the corporate world, these students quickly discovered the complexity with which an institution hires a full-time professor. While there appears to be a universal acceptance and appreciation of Professor Beebe as an outstanding educator and empowering mentor, several obstacles still exist in order for her to return in the fall. What was once a push for Professor Beebe to remain within the anthropology department has now become an impassioned effort to establish an inter-disciplinary position for her, allocating funds from other departments to help finance the position. The creativity of identifying such inter-disciplinary collaborations among the largest hurdles faced.

Maggie Lenahan ’14, also an anthropology major, is deeply involved in this creative search. Lenahan, who has only taken one course with Professor Beebe, is clearly committed to this effort – devoting time to meeting with a myriad of department heads, various deans, and administrators. Lenahan expressed to me that “Rebecca Beebe stands for what a small liberal arts professor can contribute to the student body.” However, for Maggie it is not just about keeping a good professor, it’s about taking charge of one’s education. She tells me that, “This movement also illustrates the voice that we, as student investors in Trinity, can have in our education and community.” The goal, it now seems, is to be inventive. To identify departments with some spare change that would be willing to help create such a position, with the hope of allocating funds differently in subsequent years.

Maggie Lenahan describes their current state: “In these final weeks we acknowledge that there are significant time constraints, but we feel strongly that changes can still occur. The power of the student voice can be loud, and it is loud, especially at a small liberal arts institution like Trinity. We want ideas. We want creative thoughts, financial support, and energy or commitment that can contribute to our efforts. We have come so far and we want this to continue. With the support of numerous faculty, various deans, students and alumni, we are confident that we can secure a position for Rebecca Beebe so that she may return to teach at Trinity in the fall of 2014.”

As the eleventh hour quickly approaches, this coalition of students continue to identify and surpass the ingenuity of the administration, taking charge of their financial commitment to this school and identifying spare dollars in the budget to fund this unique position—to allow an outstanding educator to remain at an outstanding liberal arts institution.

For the seniors, including myself, who have worked so diligently, our hope is that as we graduate and move on, Professor Rebecca Beebe will remain, continuing to contribute to the academic and social excellence at Trinity College and energize yet another set of students.


Jones sits down with The Tripod to reflect on his time at Trinity



Ten years ago on July 1, 2004, James F. Jones, Jr. became the 21st president of Trinity College. For the next ten years the College would go through drastic changes and confront its greatest challenges.

Starting in February of this year, President Jones and I met four times to reflect on the last ten years of his time at Trinity and what he hopes to leave behind as he prepares to retire on July 1, 2014, allowing his successor the current Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney to take the reins. Each of our discussions focused on one topic relevant to the Trinity community and the content in this story is entirely based on President Jones’ opinions, thoughts and reflections during his ten years at the College.


Before Jones arrived on campus in 2004, Trinity lacked a proper Advancement operation for the last four decades. While the most recent campaign prior to Jones’ arrival ended in 2001 and raised $175 million dollars, Trinity still had more money to raise. There is no specific reason as to why Trinity did not have a proper Advancement operation in place before 2004. In 2005, Jones and the Vice-President of College Advancement Ron Joyce began to outline a fundraising plan with the intention of not only fundraising, but also creating relations with donors, or “friendraising,” as Jones calls it. The College’s three goals for fundraising were and still are to maintain excellent faculty, improve campus infrastructure and attract more talented and promising students. Given that Trinity’s Endowment (currently at $422.5 million) is smaller than those of our peer schools, the College needs to raise additional funds for financial aid. Jones notes that the Board of Trustees’ main priority is to be able to spend an additional $2 million per year on financial aid dollars for students of need and so that no student has to leave Trinity because of financial constraints. “This is the number one priority for the College right now and it should continue with the next president,” says Jones.

In 2006, the College launched two parallel fundraising campaigns, the Cornerstone Campaign and the Legacy Campaign. The goal of the Cornerstone Campaign was for gifts that would have an immediate impact on campus, while the Legacy Campaign aimed to honor estate planning. Both campaigns were expected to raise $375 million: the Cornerstone Campaign had a goal of $300 million and the Legacy Campaign’s goal was $75 million. Before 2008, the College’s Endowment stood at $447 million, the highest in Trinity’s history. Both Jones and the Advancement Office were shocked at the generosity of the donor base, a feeling that would continue even during the Recession. When the global downturn happened in September of 2008, the Endowment plummeted to its lowest level at $286 million and as donors looked at their portfolios, the final total of the combined campaigns fell slightly short at $369 million. “If the Recession hadn’t happened, the Endowment would be somewhere north of $600 million today,” says Jones. Compared to the past four alumni networks that Jones has worked with in his time at Kalamazoo College, Southern Methodist University, Washington University and Columbia University, Trinity’s alumni base has been the most generous. While there was a year’s stagnation in new gifts, donors kept their pledges to the Annual Fund and continued to give at an unprecedented rate, according to Jones. At the highest point of the Cornerstone Campaign, 47% of alumni had made a pledge. But financial support was not the only way that alumni have contributed to the College during the Recession. In the thick of the Recession, the College did a survey of alumni asking if they would assist the Career Development Office with recruiting and networking. The response was that 52% said they would; the national average is 10%.

But one fact that continues to perplex Jones is that Trinity has one of the wealthiest alumni per capita bases in the country, yet the College’s endowment does not represent that. In September 2012, The Alumni Factor, a college ranking service based on alumni success, produced a report citing Trinity as having the fourth highest percentage of millionaire graduates in the country, with approximately 26% of alumni reporting their worth at over $1 million. For the last ten years, Jones has made the case to alumni that the College needs everyone’s support and believes that the Advancement Office and president-elect will continue this trend.

For those concerned about how the changes to the Greek system will impact donations, the worst is over. According to Jones and data from The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) that the College used, schools that close Greek letter organizations do initially see a decline in donations. Overly dedicated males to their fraternities either lower or terminate their financial support to the College. Within three to four years, though, non-Greek males and females make up the amount of donations lost to Greek males. Trinity followed a similar pattern after announcing proposed changes to Greek life with a dip in donations last year, but year to date the College is doing very well, according to Jones.

Over the past ten years, the campus has seen major infrastructural changes including the Gates Quadrangle, the Vernon Social Center and the Crescent Street Townhouses. The one that Jones is the most proud of is the $33 million Long Walk renovations. Famed English architect William Burges, who was terrified of sailing, never stepped foot in America and the only work he ever did in the U.S. is the Long Walk. The entire Long Walk was taken offline for 15 months which involved relocating five academic departments and 278 beds, a “logistical nightmare” as Jones calls it. But it was the passion of the architects and the 140 workers on site each day that Jones is grateful for. At one point during the renovations, Jones stopped by a room in Seabury where he found the chief architect lying on the floor in a mess of architectural tape saying that this is the only time he will be able to touch anything that Burges designed.


“We take teaching very seriously here,” says Jones about the faculty at the College. If there is one thing President Jones is not worried about leaving behind, it is the faculty. His one wish for the faculty as he departs is that they will be as gracious to his successor as they have been to him. Throughout our discussion, Jones constantly praised the faculty, gushed about the work they do, and referred to them as “blessed human beings.” Trinity is home to some of the world’s greatest scholars within their fields. In 2008, professor of History and 1966 alum Samuel Kassow published Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, a book on the Warsaw Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. The New Republic reviewed the book, as “This may well be the most important book about history that anyone will ever read.” Another faculty member, historian, journalist and professor of South Asian history Vijay Prashad has published 15 books and is quite present in the media, especially in his sparring of words with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Jones says that faculty members love Trinity because the pedagogical model is every scholar’s dream. “The idea of lecturing to 400 people with a microphone is sterile” says Jones. With the student to faculty ratio at 10:1, faculty can develop an intimate scholarly relationship with their students. Jones, who somehow manages to teach a class called “The Emergence of the Modern Mind” in his crowded schedule, caps the class at 12 and says that he can tell after the first paper which students have comma problems.

Jones refers to the faculty as not only first-rate professors, but also highly accomplished scholars. In 2004, the College had serious financial issues to grapple with, but Jones did not want faculty research to suffer. When Jones agreed to join Trinity as its 21st president, the longest serving Chair of the Board of Trustees and a 1968 alum, Paul Raether, said that he would give Jones $200,000 each year that he served as President. The first thing Jones did was divert $175,000 each year to faculty development and now faculty research has soared on campus. Respectfully, Jones emphasized that he cannot take praise for what Raether has done.

While the faculty may excel in the classroom, they also care profoundly about their students outside of the classroom according to Jones. During the economic downturn, Jones had to freeze salary increases and cut benefits, but not a soul on the faculty complained. Instead, the faculty vowed that no student would have to leave Trinity because of financial troubles. “Morally we had to protect these students” says Jones. A faculty-run financial aid program raised thousands of dollars towards this goal and to the best of Jones’ knowledge, not a single student left Trinity because he or she could not afford it.

While Jones has been supportive of Trinity’s professors, they have not always been as kind to him. In April 2009, the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of American Business and Economic Enterprise, Gerald Gunderson, reported Jones to the Connecticut Attorney General’s office for reportedly misusing funds from the Shelby Cullom Davis endowment. Gunderson believed that Jones was using the fund to finance international scholarships, while Gunderson felt that this went against the original purpose of the endowment. The battle quickly became public and made the pages of the Wall Street Journal. In notes submitted to the AG, Gunderson claimed that Jones called him a scoundrel and threatened to not reappoint him. Ultimately, the College reimbursed the endowment of approximately $200,000 that it had spent on the scholarship program. More recently, in late December 2013, Jones and Dean of Faculty Thomas Mitzel published a letter denouncing the American Studies Association’s (ASA) academic boycott of Israel. This letter angered 21 faculty members who proceeded to publish a response criticizing Jones’s and Mitzel’s letter. Over winter vacation, many students read the faculty letter via Facebook. Jones told me that while this group of faculty opposed his letter, many faculty wrote on the faculty online discussion group supporting Jones’ letter. Regarding these attacks, Jones says that they were perfectly collegial and based on a serious difference of opinion. When neophyte college presidents call Jones for advice on whether or not they should accept a presidential position, he always tells them one thing: “If you don’t have the skin of a rhinoceros, you better not take the job because every now and then, someone at your school may launch attacks against you. The presidency is not a popularity contest.” Jones has never wished to silence any criticism from the faculty, even when it becomes a public battle. “If others believe that you are not preserving the integrity of the institution, they should be allowed to say so,” Jones says.


“After 10 years here, our best students are as impressive as any that I have known,” says Jones about the students at Trinity College. Students at Trinity have the opportunity to have a first rate intellectual experience. At the College, this has included doing graduate level work with faculty, writing senior theses and presenting at national conferences. Most recently in the 2013-14 academic year, neuroscience students attended and some even presented their own research at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans and the North East Undergraduate/Graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON). Since 2007, 26 students have won the prestigious Fulbright scholarship and the College has been named a top-producing U.S. Student Fulbright institution three times during Jones’ presidency in 2009, 2012, and 2013. According to the Director of Urban Programs and Fellowships at the Center for Urban and Global Studies Anne Lundberg, President Jones has been very supportive of devoting resources to the Fulbright program. Jones describes Fulbright winners as “wonderful examples of students who are vitally involved in the life of the mind.”

But one aspect on campus that interferes in academics is the growing party culture. Many students who love their academics but dislike the Trinity social scene have cited that as the reason that they transfer and the Charter Committee’s goal is to target this bifurcation. In particular, transfers are extremely dissatisfied with the lack of intellectual life outside of the classroom. Regarding the balance of studying and partying, in a 2011 survey on academic excellence conducted by the Office of Institutional Research, Trinity students reported spending 1-5 fewer hours a week studying compared to the peer schools in the survey. Trinity students clocked in 6 hours a week of partying compared to 4 hours a week at peer schools. While there have been increases in studying over the last few years prior to the survey, the hours are still low compared to peer schools. This same 2011 survey on academic excellence concluded that Trinity students are more likely to work towards the goal of making money and are less likely to pursue intellectual, artistic or social activism work. This is supported by more data in the survey highlighting that Trinity students are more likely to pursue MBAs rather than PhDs.

Jones’ approach to changing this mentality is by focusing on a campaign of raising more financial aid dollars. Currently, 44.2% of Trinity students receive some form of financial aid whether it is need based or a grant. Recently, the College held a reception for a specific group of high achieving students on financial aid, the Summit Scholars, or climate changers as Jones calls them. “The faculty are so verbal about these Summit Scholars, they love them” says Jones. Currently, there are only 56 scholars, but Jones proposed that the ethos on campus would change to a more cerebral and intellectually passionate one if there were 200 scholars. According to Jones, the main difference between students on financial aid and full paying students is the sense of entitlement and that students on financial aid tend to not take their education for granted. To stress, Jones is not saying that full paying students are lazy and not every student on financial aid takes advantage of their time here. But because of the College’s over reliance on tuition income, we admit fewer climate-changing students and have to admit more full paying students. He says that the foundation stones have been laid to change the general ethos on campus, and that between now and the College’s 200th birthday, the Trustees and Administration will join hands to do a campaign focused on financial aid.

Putting aside academic challenges, the College has had its share of racial, homophobic and gender related discriminatory issues. “The one thing we owe each other 24/7 is to treat each other with common courtesy and decency” says Jones. In the spring of 2011, a male Caucasian student threw a beer at Juan Hernandez’s ’13 car, a sophomore at the time, and called him a racial slur. The incident prompted an on-campus race rally with a turnout of approximately 200 people. In this case, the male student was expelled and Jones says that he has zero tolerance for random, discriminatory events. This is a case where Jones stresses that students should trust that the judicial system will do the right thing. In the fall of 2011, a bag of feces was left on the steps of the Queer Resource Center and the incident was treated as a hate crime given the context. More recently, The Princeton Review ranked the College as the 13th unfriendliest institution to LGBTQ students. The College was also ranked as 6th for minimal class and racial interaction. In March 2010, James Hughes of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning conducted a survey on women based on 206 responses. The top three issues for women on campus were issues of sexual assault/harassment/date rape, equality to men inside and outside the classroom and discrimination in education and employment. In the free response section of the survey, the overwhelming majority of comments were related to being sexually harassed and discriminated against, particularly at fraternities. Jones backed up this notion by stating that there is a fair amount of discrimination that occurs at fraternity parties and that he worries about the interrelationships on campus: “I’ve got to think about all of you (as he points at me), not just the bros.” One of the ways to combat discrimination is for the faculty and administration to teach tolerance and acceptance of difference whenever they get the chance. According to Jones, colleges help students develop toolboxes with the skills that they will need after graduating. A tool that Trinity aims to give its students is to be prejudice free. “Schools need to be as close to perfection as they can get, because the world you inhabit is not,” says Jones.


During Jones’ ten years, he has arguably had two major scandals: the 2012 social policy and the handling and investigation into the March 4, 2012 assault on Trinity student Chris Kenny ’14.

Ahead of the faculty retreat in October 2011, the faculty planning committee requested that Jones write a paper on the current state of academics and social life at the College. The paper, entitled “To Reweave the Helices: Trinity’s DNA by Our Two-Hundredth Birthday,” (also known as the White Paper) eventually turned into a proposal for what the College’s academic and social settings would look like in 2023. “I would never have been arrogant enough to have written it on my own,” says Jones, as he cites that this is not the kind of thing that presidents do. He credits the White Paper as one of the toughest assignments of his career and one that he is very proud of. The reaction to the White Paper was varied, and the one issue that every reader centered on was the proposed abolition of the Greek system. Jones says that he does not regret including this aspect in the White Paper and that he would keep it in there despite the fiery reaction from both students and alumni involved in Greek life. “What makes one’s loyalty to a fraternity greater than their loyalty to the College? The diploma has nothing to do with the fraternity,” Jones says.

For the academic helix, Jones made numerous suggestions that he says could become a reality if the student body continues to improve. He writes, “The reputation of a first-rate institution of higher learning rests solely at the end of the day upon one thing and one thing only: academic excellence.” When more students begin to go above and beyond, these changes will naturally occur. One of the proposals was that the College reschedule more classes to meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and that each Friday should be a test day in order to prevent the weekend from starting on Thursday night. The goal of this change would be to show students that academics come before partying. He also recommended that each senior student should be required to do a senior project, capstone or thesis with the final presentations on the first day of Senior Week. Senior Week traditionally has been purely social, but having the first day of the week be marked by the culmination of a rigorous academic project would reinforce the tone that academics come before partying.

For the social helix, Jones suggested that by 2023, the College would be better off freeing itself from anti-meritocratic systems like fraternities and sororities and that we should promote a more inclusive rather than exclusive culture. He did note that the fraternities do carry a burden when it comes to hosting social events for students, which is why the school has invested in more social options. Chair elect of the Board of Trustees Cornelia Parsons-Thornburgh ’80 donated money for four theme houses post-Recession, which Jones calls one of the most generous things he has ever seen, the Vernon Social Center was remodeled this year and phase three of the Crescent Street renovation will include more common areas. The Mill is an example of a highly successful social outlet run completely by students. Throughout our conversations, Jones stressed that his goal was not to turn Trinity into a convent or monastery, but rather that the social excesses need to be curbed. Most notably, in 2008 Alexander Okano ’11 dove into a pool at Psi Upsilon’s annual Tropical themed party which resulted in him being paralyzed from the chest down, and just 18 months later in April 2010, Andrew Cappello ’14 suffered brain and spinal injuries during an initiation period called “Hell Week” at the Sigma Nu fraternity. Trinity banned Sigma Nu from campus and the national fraternity suspended it.

But personal injury incidents are not the only things that have resulted from Greek life. A 2008 survey on healthy behaviors from the Office of Institutional Research and Planning found that Greek males and females can drink twice as much as their non-Greek peers while maintaining the same GPA level. Generally, drinking and partying more leads to a lower GPA, but at Trinity, the reverse is true. For example, the survey cited that Greek males with above a 3.5 GPA have an average of 20 drinks a week, while non-Greek males with this GPA have 11 drinks per week. One question that arises from these numbers is do students choose less rigorous and more qualitative classes as opposed to quantitative classes in order to maintain a level of partying? Jones answered this question by acknowledging that if one’s interest is to get drunk, they most likely will not go towards chemistry, but he did mention that his comments are not statistically proven. Anecdotally, though, Jones’ comments may or may not be supported. According to the presidents of Kappa Sigma, Zeta Omega Eta, Cleo and Pi Kappa Alpha, the majority of their members choose qualitative majors. On the other hand, the fraternity St. Anthony Hall says that its members are approximately 60% qualitative and 40% quantitative, fraternity Alpha Chi Ro says that 60-70% of its members choose quantitative majors, while the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma says that its members represent a wide range of majors. Fraternities Psi Upsilon and Alpha Delta Phi and sorority The Ivy Society could not be reached for comment on this story.

There are positive aspects of the Greek community though, most notably in donations. According to a 2005 report from the College, fraternity alumni are “somewhat more likely” than other graduates to donate. Additionally, a 2007 report by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Washington, D.C. stated that fraternity and sorority alumni are more likely to donate to their alma maters.

While many may view these changes as Trinity specific, there are numerous colleges across the country grappling with the same problems. In February 2014, The Atlantic published a lengthy story on the dark power of fraternities after a yearlong investigation into how fraternities now serve as a liability to colleges. The article cited numerous lawsuits against colleges and fraternities for issues regarding sexual assault, personal injury, battery, fall from heights and hazing. Recently on March 9, 2014, one of the country’s largest and oldest fraternities Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) announced that all of its chapters would end pledging and take up a more cerebral selection process.

Ultimately, the final decision on Greek Letter Organizations came from the Board of Trustees, not President Jones. In 1992, the Trustees voted for reforms to the Greek system, including a co-educational mandate. The Board did not implement these changes, but Jones says now that he sees no signs of the Board weakening its resolve on the proposed changes, including a GPA requirement, eliminating a pledging period and having a co-ed mandate. Jones noted that the suggestion to end pledging came from a Trustee who is one of the most vocal fraternity supporters. The goal of the co-ed mandate is that if females are in fraternities, this would curb the current less than positive aspects. Recently, the Student Government Association (SGA) conducted a campus wide vote on repealing the co-ed mandate. Out of 1,283 votes, 82% voted to repeal the co-ed mandate. When asked about these results, Jones said that there are no signs of wavering and that the Board most likely will not go back on their decision regardless of the situation. The current status of Greek Letter Organizations is that they will be allowed to exist provided that they follow the rules laid out in the social policy.

On March 4, 2012, Chris Kenny ’14 was attacked on the edge of campus in the wee hours of the morning from individuals who came by car. Kenny was badly injured and many, including the College, blamed the surrounding neighborhood. Dean of Students Fred Alford wrote in a campus wide email that the assailants were not Trinity students, and in the initial police report, Kenny claimed that the attackers were “Spanish.” But in the days after the assault, rumors began to circulate that Trinity students were the assailants. Both Jones and the College apologized in the aftermath for making an assumption and began an investigation with Kenny’s parents and the Hartford Police Department (HPD). Two months after the incident, the Hartford Courant obtained internal College reports stating that a witness identified the attackers as “’preppy-looking white males’ accompanied by three females ‘believed to be of college age.” The Courant’s article also had a quote from a Trinity security source, which was passed on to HPD, saying that students approached Campus Safety following the event with information that other students attacked Kenny because of an incident he had earlier that day with a student.

Two years after the incident, the questions remain unanswered. No arrests have been made in the case and Jones could not comment on this given that the investigation is still ongoing. While the victim’s mother Cecily Kenny would not comment publicly on this story, she did write two posts ten months ago in the comments section of a May 2013 Bloomberg article on the College. In her comments, she stated that HPD has ruled out Trinity students as suspects in the assault and that the lead detective in the case has openly stated this. HPD could not be reached for comment on this story. She requested that the College release a statement on the new findings. While Dean Alford acknowledged in an email that he received her request, he wrote: “We could not accommodate her request because we could not, and still cannot, rule out anyone.” With conflicting reports and details, the case continues to remain an unsolved mystery.

For his parting words, Jones has two tips for college presidents: take care of yourself and your family physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and appoint vice-presidents and deans of the highest caliber. “You can’t do it all on your own, you’ll make a mockery of the whole thing,” says Jones. In the past, Jones has always moved onto another deanship or presidency, but Trinity is his final stop. As he packs up and moves South for retirement with his wife Jan and leaves behind some incredible friends, as he says, Jones hopes that people will say that Trinity is appreciatively better off now than ten years ago.

Disney’s latest film “Frozen” takes a modern spin on fairy tales



Recently, everyone has become acquainted with the newest Disney movie “Frozen” this year through its hit song, “Let It Go,” which won the Academy Award for Best Song and garnered a lot of attention after Tony Award winner Idina Menzel’s (a.k.a. Adele Dazeem) rather eventful performance of the song at the Oscars. However, this week was my first time actually watching the film that the song has made famous.

The tale of “Frozen” is set in the fairytale kingdom of Arendelle, where the two princesses Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) live. Elsa possesses a magical ability to create ice and snow while Anna is without special abilities and is born a normal child. When Elsa accidentally injures Anna with her powers, she goes into self-imposed exile, and the two spend the next few years of their childhood apart.

As they move into their adolescence and eventually adulthood, guests come from far and wide when the time comes for Elsa to be crowned queen of Arendelle, including Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) from the Southern Isles. Though Hans proposes to Anna at the coronation, Elsa refuses to giver her blessing out of spite and fear that Hans might be using Anna for something. She then unleashes her powers and plunges Arendelle into an unrelenting winter.

Elsa flees from Arendelle, building an ice fortress high in the mountains where she lives in complete isolation from everyone in the kingdom. However, Elsa unknowingly brings a snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad), who she had created earlier in her childhood with Anna. Anna decides to set out on a quest to return her sister to Arendelle. Accompanied by Olaf, a mountain man named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven, Anna travels up the North Mountain in search of Elsa.

When Anna and Kristoff reach the fortress, Elsa refuses to return with them. Though Anna pleads with her sister, Elsa becomes enraged and again releases her unchecked powers. A beam of Elsa’s ice powers strikes Anna in the heart, causing a streak of her hair to turn white. Kristoff believes something to be gravely wrong and brings Anna to the trolls. The trolls deduce that Anna’s heart has been frozen, and that only an act of pure love can cure her.

Meanwhile, Hans who has been left in charge of Arendelle under Anna’s suggestion, has also led an expedition to return Elsa to the kingdom. In the ensuing conflict, Elsa is captured and brought back to the kingdom. When Anna and Kristoff reach Arendelle, Anna pleads with Hans to kiss her and undo Elsa’s curse. However, Hans reveals that he does not actually love her and had only planned to marry her in order to take control of Arendelle. Without any “true love” to undo the spell, Anna continues to freeze.

A battle then ensues between Hans and Elsa. Just as Hans is about to deliver a fatal blow, Anna throws herself in front of her sister and freezes solid. Though Elsa is saved, Anna appears to be dead. However, just as Elsa begins to mourn, Anna thaws. It appears that her own act of pure love for her sister has undone the spell.

In the end, Hans is exiled from Arendelle. The two sisters reconcile, and Anna and Kristoff fall in love. Elsa assumes her position as queen and learns to control her abilities: she undoes the winter in Arendelle, though she gives Olaf the snowman his own cloud of flurries to follow him around to help him survive the summer.

The creation of “Frozen” seems to represent a marked divergence from the traditional Disney princess story. In “Frozen,” the “damsel in distress” does not wait to be saved by her “prince charming.” It is not the love of the prince that undoes Elsa’s spell. Anna discovers that she had the power to undo the spell all long. I don’t have much to say in the way of critique. As a film, “Frozen” is pretty much everything I thought and expected it to be. However, I’m glad to see that Disney has updated its films for modern audiences of young men and women, who need to see these empowering messages supported in the media. “Frozen” is proof that Disney has come a long way from the days of “Cinderella” and “Snow White.”




“Dirty South” concert headlines 2014 Spring Weekend events



Beginning on Friday April, 25, a long list of Spring Weekend events began to take place, starting with the Spring Weekend Carnival which occurred on the Long Walk Quad and lasted the majority of the afternoon.

“There was a great turnout to the Carnival as students flocked to the quad to socialize and begin their Spring Weekend festivities. We were able to get our wristbands for the concert the next day and the Carnival also featured free fried foods such as corndogs, funnel cakes and fried oreos,” said Michael Lofreze ’16.

Another student, William Harrison ’16, said it was probably one of the highlights of his weekend, “It was the perfect day to be outside relaxing on the Quad. There was a great student presence and the activities and free food made it that much more enjoyable.”

In addition to the fried food being made available, there was also cotton candy, candy art, snow cones and a non-alcoholic Tiki Bar. The activities included a moonbounce, inflatable obstacle course, sumo wrestling, dunk tank, water slide and human foosball. Students were also able to collect novelties such as a caricature, photo can coozie, sand art and wax hands.

In addition, students were able to purchase a Spring Weekend t-shirt or purchase a Spring Weekend towel, which helped support the Senior Class’ fundraising efforts.

The quad began to empty around 4pm as some students traveled to the Entrepreneurship Competition in the Washington Room to support their peers and others decided to take a break from the festivities.

That night featured a number of events that provided some variety in the evening. The Fred hosted a cookout and concert at 8:00 p.m. that featured Action Item and Trinity’s The Boulevard.

“I was very impressed with the turnout! People seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves. Performing with the Boulevard was an amazing experience! I love to sing and feel the energy of the audience. Action Item killed it as well! I was so happy we got them for the concert. They are some of my close friends and a talented group. Their set was really entertaining,” said Malcolm Moon ’15, one of the coordinators for the concert.

Alpha Delta Phi hosted a concert along with Trinity College Barnyard Entertainment in their conjoining parking lot with St. Anthony Hall, which began at 9:00 p.m. and featured the musical acts of Pierce Fulton and Dave Edwards.

“The concert was great. There was great attendance and the performances from Pierce Fulton and Dave Edwards were both fantastic. It started to rain in the middle of the concert, but it only seemed to make the crowd go crazier,” said Madeleine Melly ’16.

The Vernon Social Programming Board also held a “Vegas Night” in the Social Center which began at 9:00 p.m. Food was catered by Goldberg’s and there was an electronic bingo game with prizes from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. There was also a magician and Hypnotist show at 11:00 p.m. 

The headlining event of the weekend was the Spring Weekend Concert which featured Dirty South. The event had originally been scheduled to take place on the LSC Quad, but due to weather conditions on Saturday, the concert was moved inside to the Koeppel Sports Center. Doors opened to the concert beginning at 2:00 p.m. Students were required to show their IDs in order to receive their wristbands, which they could get at designated times on Friday and Saturday. Each student was allowed two guests.

At 5:00 p.m., Mather Hall opened for dinner and no meal was needed as Chartwells provided all the food for free.

The Mill also held a concert later that evening. “We were so thrilled with our turnout, despite the rain and location change. West End Blend, a 14-peice, local Hartford band drew a huge crowd, and the Freelance Whales, with alumni Chuck Criss ’07, were amazing. It was fun to see so many people come support live music on campus,” said Rae Rossetti ’15, one of the coordinators of the event.

The Vernon Social Programming Board hosted “Food & Fun at Vernon Social!” beginning at 9:00 p.m. Similar to the previous night, all the food was catered by Goldbergs. Students were able to create wire art, spin art trucker hats, personalized street signs or take home some memories in the photo booth.

“All in all, the weekend was a lot of fun. The activities were perfectly spaced out and despite the bad weather on Saturday, the concerts both days were a blast,” said Paul Clemente ’16.

The weekend must have been a success as there was limited activity around campus on Sunday. However, the timing of Spring Weekend was not the most convenient, as students need to prepare for finals coming up in a week.

“Miss Miles” celebrates Trinidad’s history and captivates spectators



The stage lights were dimmed and the music began, “Fire Fire in Yuh Wire Wire…” There she was, dressed in a stunning red dress,  high black heels and dolled up hair, Jean Miles has finally arrived. Last Thursday marked the opening of the play, “Miss Miles: Woman of the World” at Austin Arts Center’s Garmany Hall. Written and directed by renowned playwright and director Tony Hall, “Miss Miles” features the award-winning actress Cecilia Salazar as Trinidadian activist, singer, fashionista and public servant, Gene Miles. The play first premiered in Port of Spain’s Little Carib Theater in 2011 and was critically acclaimed as one of the most celebrated plays of the year. Now three years later, Hall has brought the same remarkable play to our campus for an encore performance.

The one-person play traces the life of middle-class woman, Jean Miles from childhood to adulthood. As a child, she attends St. Joseph’s Convent and questions her Catholic religion. After the opening scene, Miles, dressed in a white button down shirt and light blue school uniform skirt, plays with the other children from the neighborhood. Like any young child, she plays with flowers and irritates her parents with her curiosities and absurd questions. In the next stage of her life, the audience learns about her new position working as a civil servant in the Ministry of Petroleum, Mines, Industry and Commerce. She appears to be bored of her job and enjoys dancing and singing to calypso music when she is not typewriting. Her narration of humorous anecdotes includes wild antics in the workplace such as her coworker throwing a typewriter. She also mimics speaking French during her visit to the neighboring island of Martinique during a business meeting. Throughout the play, the catchy hook, “Fire Fire in Yuh Wire Wire…” is used as the theme to illustrate Miss Miles’ fiery character and revelations about government corruption.

In the 1960s, the Trinidadian government hired Lockjoint, a foreign company meant to improve the sewage system in the country. During this period, all of the country’s gas stations were controlled by the central government. It was discovered that the government took several bribes in return for permitting Lockjoint to enter the lucrative business in the country. This incident was a critical movement in the country’s history because it was one of the first major instances of corruption in the government post-independence. Notably, it was also a period of transition and national unity after British colonialism. Jean Miles’ anticorruption campaigns strengthened and unified people as a result of a common cause. She contested politicians’ morality in public service while shining a light of the inner workings of the government.   

Salazar’s outstanding execution of her portrayal of Jean Miles gave viewers the opportunity to understand and relate to the heroine. Her sass, humor and fashion sense captivated audiences around the world. Her multidimensional character depicts “the plight of people who stand for political diligence and have a greater respect for people who are willing to risk their lives to do so,” stated Raquel Beckford ’14. What makes “Miss Miles: Woman of the World” so alluring is the dichotomy of her character and ability to challenge government standards. She is both serious yet humorous, relatable yet intimidating. She stands for equal rights in civic service and reminds government of their duty to its citizens. Despite the seriousness of the politican scandal, her lighthearted humor makes her a relatable character. She is a colourful and flamboyant personality. She seemed to be full of compassion for the underdog, often taking up causes based on principle and putting herself in the forefront of protest. Throughout the play, spectators root for her to expose the corrupt government officials.

Viewers leave with a sense of comfort, inspiration and female empowerment. “Miss Miles: Woman of the World” shows us it is possible to challenge authorities and to do it with style, grace and, of course, a sprinkle of sass.


Shimmel ’14, Barker ’14 win Entrepreneurship Competition


Staff Writer

Fantasy football has become a growing fad among American culture, so much so that even such shows like “The League” on FX, whose humor is centered around fantasy football, have become popular. However, there is still a large demographic that has no idea as to what fantasy football exactly entails. Jake Shimmel ’14 and Alex Barker ’14, winners of the first Entrepreneurship Competition, know plenty of people like this. That is why they designed the next big thing in fantasy football with their new startup company, Underdog. This new service is all about getting people who might not know, or care, about football into the fantasy arena.

While most Trinity Students were out on the quad this Saturday, Underdog and three other startup companies put on their “business best” and pitched their dreams to a packed crowd in the Washington Room. These young men and women had a difficult task: convince a team of veteran entrepreneurs, along with all of us in the crowd, that their idea was worth ten thousand dollars of investment money from the school. These four teams were the finalists of the competition that began in September. Opening the events was George Bell, an experienced entrepreneur and father of two current Trinity students. Despite having extensive success leading companies such as Upromise, Excite@Home, and founding what is now NBC Sports, Bell talked largely about how his story was packed with failures.  Bell warned the finalists of the cold truth: that most of them would be walking away as losers. The important thing, Bell said, was that they remembered that the competition was just an excuse to jump start their ideas. Not receiving the investment from Trinity did not mean that their ideas were not worthwhile.

Up until Underdog’s name was pulled from the winner’s envelope, it was not clear who was going to win. The three other teams that made it to the final round presented wildly different products. There was the Dream Team, made up of Will Gleysteen ’14, Dave Bell ’14, and Sonjay Singh ’15, who designed a new social network based around filling the gaps presented by LinkedIn. With teammate Dave Bell looking on, Gleysteen and Singh handled getting grilled by the judges with ease.

Next up was coAPPerate, chaired by Nate Nurmi ’14, who designed an interface that attempts to bring a variety of social apps into the same streamlined system. Despite his partner, John DiPietro ’15, being unable to attend, Nurmi made his case and weathered a battery of questions from the judges. While all the teams made impassioned appeals, Nurmi understood that his competition was stiff. Before the event began, The Tripod asked Nurmi why he thought he was going to win. “I’m not sure I will,” he said. “”Honestly. Some people have really good ideas here.”

Not all of the pitches involved social media. KGG Solutions, made up of Gwen Schoch ’14, Gillian Burkett ’14, and Vlad Burca ’14, designed a counter insurgency advisory system that would help members of the military better understand and execute their missions at the platoon level. KGG definitely had the most ambitious business plan, and wanted Trinity’s help to start a venture they saw as something with enough potential to be bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars within just a few years.

As the votes were tallied, the tense mood was broken by CTImprov, a professional improv comedy troupe. CTImprov was just the right amount of silly needed to lighten the spirits of everyone who had come in from the beautiful day to support their friends in the competition.

At the end of the day, it was Shimmel and Barker of Underdog that went home with the big check. The panel of three judges grilled Underdog particularly hard after following their six-minute presentation. The two men explained that a big way for fantasy sports to evolve is bringing people who have never tried it into the fold. Their system, built around football at the college level, has users choose the winners of matches rather than predict how individual players will fare in games. This simplified version of Fantasy Football is meant to get people like me involved with my friends in the fantasy experience, without having to learn the confusing point systems involved in the traditional game. With the $10,000, Shimmel and Barker hoped to have a testable version of their fantasy game combined with a mobile application in the near future.

Mike Newkirk ’14, a senior at Trinity who attended the event, said that he thought Shimmel and Barker walked home with the prize because they tailored their business directly to the competition’s limited nature.

Shimmel and Barker have a fantastic start to a budding business and will surely put the $10,000 to good use.

Bantam Multi-Sport Athlete of the Week: Y’osa Nosamiefan ’17

By Brian Nance ’16, Staff Writer

“My most exciting track moment at Trinity so far has to be the speech that Coach Mason gave our 4×4 relay squad right before breaking the Trinity College record. I cannot recall exactly what he said, I just know that it was enough for us to dig deep and perform,” says Y’osa Nosamiefan ’17.

Digging deep and performing is exactly what these Bantams did. Earlier this season, at the 2014 David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University, the men’s track and field 4×400 relay team beat Trinity’s 4×400 school record with a time of 3:23.56. On that relay team is the six foot two inch freshman, Y’osa Nosamiefan. Y’osa has proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the NESCAC and will continue to be in his many years to come. 

 In his rookie season alone, Y’osa has consistently finished as one of the top contenders in the majority of the events that he competes in.

You may already be a bit familiar with Y’osa as the track standout who also contributed to the football team’s success in the fall. On the field, Y’osa wears number 16 and locks down receivers as cornerback.

 On the track, he participates in various events including the long jump, the 55-meter dash, the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash. Y’osa elaborates on how he handles being a two sport athlete, “Being on two separate teams here at Trinity is a bit challenging, it can be difficult to balance the in-season of one team and the off-season of the other. I feel, however, that the track team with the leadership of Coach Suitor and Coach Mason are very receptive to new members.”

 A Boston native, Y’osa grew up mainly playing soccer and running track until he began his tenure at Boston College High School. 

 He started track in the fifth grade and it was in high school that he chose to play football instead of soccer due to their conflicting seasons.  Reminiscing on his beginning track days, Y’osa states, “I always enjoyed running, but I really fell in love with long jump because when jumping, I am basically competing against myself. I can go at my own pace. My older brother also jumped with me in high school so we would always compete against each other.”

 Y’osa has already earned his title as one of the best long jumpers in the NESCAC as he was recently recognized as amongst the top jumpers competing for this year’s league championship crown. We can look forward to continued success from Y’osa because this is merely the conclusion of his first season.

 Be sure to support the men and women’s track teams as they head to Springfield College on May 2 to compete in the New England Division III Championship.  Additionally, Y’osa hopes to lead the Bantams to the NCAA Division III National Championship on May 22 at Ohio Wesleyan University.  The athletic performances of Y’osa Nosamiefan in football as well as track have certainly been remarkable this year.


Trinity Baseball wins back-to-back games in walk-off fashion

By Peter Prendergast

The Trinity College Baseball team enjoyed a pair of walk-off victories on April 27, as they won both games of their double header against Brandeis University. 

Brandeis got on the board first in the top of the second inning, as Conor Doyle hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring Kyle Brenner across the plate from third base. Trinity trailed by one run until the bottom of the seventh inning.  Chris Leach ’17 reached first base on an error and advanced to second.  Leach made it to third off a sacrifice hit by Colton Dana ’17 and came home off an RBI single from Connor Sullivan ’15. 

 In the next inning, Brandeis took the lead again as Ryan Tettemer scored off an RBI double from Brian Ing. 

Down by one in the bottom of the eighth, Trinity’s Brian Wolfe ’15 blasted a solo home run over the left field wall, tying the game at 2-2.  The game moved on through a scoreless ninth, into extra innings. 

 In the top of the tenth inning, the Bantams retired three straight batters to head into the final half inning.  Daniel Pidgeon ’15 led off with a single to right field.  Wolfe followed with a pop up to shortstop and Leach struck out. 

With two outs in the inning, Pidgeon stole second base and advanced to third off a single from Colton Dana.  Connor Sullivan ’15 brought Pidgeon home with a walk off single up the middle to win the game. 

 Peter Burrows ’14 pitched 8.1 innings, letting up two runs on seven hits as well as recording five strikeouts. David O’Brien was the relief pitcher in the eighth, striking out two batters and letting up no runs and no hits.  Sullivan led offensively for the Bantams as he got four hits and two RBI’s.

 Game two remained scoreless until the bottom of the second when Sullivan brought Wolfe home on an RBI double.  In the fourth inning, Brandeis’ Kyle Brenner doubled to bring home Greg Heinemen from second.  The next batter, Dominic Schwartz, singled up the middle to bring home Tom McCarthy from third base and Connor Doyle followed with a sacrifice fly to right to bring Brenner home for the third run of the inning. 

 Trailing by two in the bottom of the sixth, Matt Mortimer ’16 hit a two run double to bring Pidgeon and Scott Huley ’16 across the plate to tie the game at three.  In the final inning, Sullivan reached first base on a fielding error by the Brandeis second baseman. 

 Dylan Callahan ’16 came in to pinch the run and reached second on a single from Nick DiBenedetto ’17.  The next batter, Evan Abraham ’15, reached first on an error.  With the bases loaded, Nicholas Pezzella ’17 singled to bring home the winning run from third base. 

 Ryan Carr ’14 pitched a complete game for Trinity, recording three runs on seven hits and four strikeouts.  Pezzella and Mortimer led the offense with two hits a piece and a combined for three RBI’s.

 The Bantams are currently ranked 5th in the NESCAC East Division, with a 4-8 conference record and a 15-16 overall record.  Looking ahead, the team’s last two games are scheduled for May 3, against Wesleyan.  The Bantams are hoping to upset the conference leading Cardinals, to potentially tie Colby in the division standings as well as break 500 on the season.  The final games will be played at Wesleyan at 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 

Softball enjoys a winning streak and looks towards final game

by Drew Ragosta ’17, Staff Writer

The Trinity Women’s Softball team has been on a hot streak since the middle of April. Coming off back-to-back losses against Tufts University on April 12, Trinity took on Bates College at their home field on April 14. The Bantams took little time to defeat the Bobcats, winning by a score of 12-3 in only five innings of play, snapping their four game conference-losing streak. Pitcher Hannah King ’16 earned her fifth win of the season, in which she struck out four batters and allowed only three runs. Tri-captain Abigail Ostrom ’14 and Erica Correa ’16 had phenomenal offensive performances for the Bantams, recording a combined seven RBI’s, including a two-run homerun from Correa. Elizabeth McQuaid ’16 also had a strong showing, batting leadoff for the Bantams where she hit a triple and two singles.

 Later that week on April 18, the Bantams were matched up against Colby College for their first game of a three game series, again being played in Hartford. Hannah King ’16 led Trinity to a 7-1 victory as a result of her sensational performance on the mound, allowing three hits and one earned run. Olivia Berry ’14 recorded an RBI with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, Abigail Ostrom ’14 recorded an RBI single, which was her second single and RBI of the afternoon. Three runs of scoring in the sixth inning ultimately led the Bantams to victory.

Just a day later, Trinity played a double header versus the Mules on April 19. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Erica Correa ’16 hit a sacrifice flyball, scoring the runner Abigail Ostrom ’14 from third base. With the bases empty and a score of 1-0 in the fifth inning, Claire Propseri ’14 hit a homerun giving Trinity a 2-0 lead. The team did not look back as the game ended a 2-0 victory. Hannah King pitched a complete game shutout for Trinity.

 Later in the afternoon for the second game of the doubleheader, the Bantams were yet again clicking on all cylinders. Christina Galese ’14 opened the game with a solo homerun in the first inning, followed by a two RBI single from Sarah Reynolds ’16. The Bantams held a 3-0 until the sixth inning, when Christina Galese ’14 hit a double, scoring runners Bianca Brenz ’16 and Miranda Riendeau-Card ’15. The stellar pitching from Lily Jewell ’17 helped the Bantams secure a 5-0 defeat over the Mules, capping off a three game series sweep.

 The Bantams had a double header against Western New England on April 22, falling in the first game by a close score of 5-3. However, they were victorious by a score of 10-0 in the second game of the double header, in only five innings!

On Saturday, the Bantams battled it out against Wesleyan with a close game of 2-1, Bantams winning. With an outstanding job pitching by Hannah King ’16, only giving Wesleyan two hits and one run home during the Cardinal’s rally period in the fourth inning. Trinity played Wesleyan again that night. The pressure was mounting for the Cardinals and Trinity was on fire to win again with another close score of 18-11. Senior Abby Ostrom went 3-for-4 with 5 RBI and two runs. The fire didn’t stop with Erica Correa ’16 slamming a home run and a double. Trinity has won seven of their last eight games and currently holds a 7-5 record against NESCAC opponents.

The Bantams will be playing their final game of the season at Worcester State on April 28.

Day of Silence is a chance to examine Trinity LGBT experience



According to the Princeton Review, as of 2013, Trinity College is the 13th most gay-unfriendly college in the United States. Thirteenth! Before then, Trinity had not made the top 20 list. But in the course of one year, we jumped to the not-so-low 13th spot.

The Princeton Review’s annual survey asked 126,000 students at 378 top colleges and universities to rate their school on dozens of topics and report on their experiences with them. Therefore, students amongst our small, tight-knit community must have either personally felt unwelcomed or excluded based on their sexuality or witnessed homophobia on our campus. Not only have people must have experienced or witnessed this homophobia often enough to note it in the survey in the first place, but these experiences also have to have been mentioned more frequently or to a more severe level than 365 other colleges and universities.

The National Day of Silence/Night of Noise is quickly approaching. It takes place this Thursday, April 24. Beginning at 8 a.m., The Day of Silence is a 24-hour period where students all over the country take a vow of silence to honor and represent the silencing that LGBT students often feel every single day. The Night of Noise directly follows the Day of Silence in which participants come together to break the past 24 hours of silence and celebrate not just each person’s individuality, but also our acceptance of all and unity as a community.

In honor of this upcoming event, each one of us, as a member of this tiny school and community, should take a step back and reflect on this issue. With the acceptance and recognition of gay marriage and rights taking place throughout this country every day, do we want to be moving in the complete opposite direction? Do we want our beloved Trinity community to hold the reputation of being so extremely homophobic and unaccepting of those who are not exactly the same as the majority?

I’m not sure about you, but I definitely do not want to be known for that. That is not something we should be proud of. I can say that if had I known about this ranking prior to making my college decision, I may have chosen a school other than Trinity. I expected our community to be better than that. Are we that closed minded that we cannot accept someone who has a different sexuality than you or that may be questioning their gender? Does that make them any less of a person? No. Those same people got accepted to Trinity like you, sit in the same classroom as you do, major in the same thing as you do, and probably enjoy most of the same extracurricular activities as you do.

The National Day of Silence may not be for everyone. I’m going to try to participate, but I know it’s going to be a struggle since I cannot refrain from talking for more than maybe 10 minutes maximum at a time. But, that’s not going to stop me from acknowledging and reflecting on this growing issue right in front of us.

Whether silently or not, take the day to think about how we can change this awful ranking and reputation. I am ashamed of how often “gay” or another homophobic word slips out of my or someone else’s mouth without even realizing it or meaning it in the correct context. Think about this, and the next time you want to throw out such a word, choose something else. You don’t know who is around you, what someone is going through, or who you could be offending. Whether you mean to or not, you may be a part of that homophobic reputation. Watch what you say. Call someone else out if they are saying or acting in an offensive way towards the LGBT community as well. Be open-minded and accepting. Remember that each and every one of us is human and just want to be accepted and loved. It is none of our business who another person loves and nor should it matter. A person’s sexuality is his or her own choice. It is not anyone else’s place to judge or interfere. It is irrelevant whether you agree or not with their choices and wants. It is not your place. Let each person be themselves. Make an effort to welcome and include each person for who they truly are. Stand up to those who may be giving this campus that homophobic reputation. And please, please, please make a genuine effort to remove Trinity from that ranking. It is sad, embarrassing, and shameful. We are better than that.


A senior’s memory of her grandfather teaches a lasting lesson



I put my Barbie dolls in a brown, cardboard box and handed it to my mother. I was excited and ready to be a grown up. Of course, I was only twelve at the time. The sunlight entered the empty room from the large windows and I could see the dust on the floor. I took a deep breath and ran out the room, eager to move into my new house.

I packed the last of my clothes into the suitcase. I had to sit on the other suitcase to zip it up because it was filled to the brim. My mother watched me from the other end of the room as her eyes filled with tears. Six years later, I was moving, but this time to the United States to attend Trinity. I remember that night clearly. My favorite Indian food was being made at home. My last home cooked meal. The scent of the spices was so tempting, so overwhelming. I took a deep breath, hugged my mother, and ran out of the room to eat some delicious shrimp biryani.

Now, with less than a month left for graduation, I cannot even imagine how I am going to shut the door on my empty dorm room and drive away with my parents, literally into a new phase of my life. The sight of the empty room will be unsettling, and a rare sight to see. It’s safe to say  that there are clothes everywhere. On the day, I might just take a deep breath and run out of the room, eager to move into my new life. Or, I might walk away slowly and wonder where the past four years of my life went.

My first day at Trinity, I was terrified. I suddenly lost all my confidence and wanted to run back to my room. Then I took a deep breath and remembered the one man who had taught me all about confidence. I was immediately transported back to July of 2010.

The sound of the waves was soothing. The flickering colors of the sunset were magical. This was the most relaxed I had been in a long time. I knew that it was not going to last long, so I savored every minute of it. Going on a family trip with eight other people was hectic. There was hardly ever a minute of peace. We were not exactly doing these trips to see the world, although it was a bonus. It was more so to spend time with our loving grandparents. All of us were scattered around the world, and these summer holidays were when we were able to give each other our undivided attention.

Just a few minutes later, I could hear my two cousins, Rahul and Janvi, chattering away with my Nana (my grandfather). They were stroking his hair and his skin, commenting on how soft both were. Once I saw the look on his face, I could not stop laughing. He looked petrified of the kids and then this smile broke on his face. It brought tears to my eyes. He loved us so much and would do anything for us. Rahul and Janvi continued the charade for another few minutes until my aunt had to drag them away from him. He came over and stood next to me, and five minutes into our conversation, he spotted another Indian family. The rest of my family shot me a look from a few feet away. We all knew what this meant.

He walked up to the other Indian family and started talking to them, as if they were a part of our family. He did this all the time. In Switzerland, on a boat, he met a German man and his family. His opening line was that he looked like Tom Cruise. It did not matter where the person was from or who he was, he always found a way to talk to them. Rahul, Janvi, and I used to get so exasperated. We used to be so humiliated when he did that. We would look at each other and nervously laugh. He met everyone with kindness. However, if he was upset, he would voice his opinions without thinking twice. His anger was frightening.

The entire conversation with the other Indian family lasted almost thirty minutes. All I could think of was how he had managed to talk to complete strangers for such a long time in the middle of the ocean. I listened to him with fascination. At dinner, he spoke to the waiter for fifteen minutes about his hometown. Whilst going to our cabins, he started talking to a man in the elevator. There was really no stopping him. He spoke to everyone with genuine interest. Later that night, I went onto the deck. I wanted to savor every minute of the tranquility and the sea. A few minutes later, my Nana joined me and we sat in silence. I was really going to miss him when I went back to university. He was such an amusing man with no hatred in his heart. I was curious, and I asked him why he spoke to all those people and how he managed to do it without hesitation. He told me that we all live in our own bubble and get so involved in our own lives that we forget about the people around us. They are here in this world too, and they all have interesting stories about their lives. We should seize every opportunity we have to meet new people and learn. He said that learning is not simply studying. It is about understanding the world we live in as well. And what better way can one learn about the world than by talking to people from around the world?

Later that night, I could not sleep. I kept tossing and turning, thinking about what he had said. I was confident, but not to his level. I hesitated when meeting new people. Eventually, I would break a barrier with them but would not always know how to continue the conversation. I kept thinking about how much I had missed out on and how much I could have learnt had I just had some more confidence. It was more so about embracing the moment. We never know when we would ever return to such an amazing place.

The next morning during breakfast, I had my opportunity. My Nana started talking to some people whilst him and I were waiting for our eggs. It was now or never. Somewhere within me, I found some bravery and started talking. Once I started talking, I realized that it really was not so difficult. My Nana looked at me with pride and started laughing. My mother, on the other side of the room, looked up at me and smiled. When I returned to the table, no one could really believe it. They all teased me for being so strange about it before. No matter how much I admitted I was wrong, they did not let it go. It did not bother me though, I had finally done it. I had opened up myself to a new story, to new people, and had broadened my horizons. It was all thanks to this amazing man, who taught me to never close myself off from the world. He taught me to live life to the fullest without hesitation. Mistakes are the only way we learn. It teaches us to stand taller and stronger, and sometimes being humiliated pushes us in the right place. I will forever be grateful to my Nana, for teaching me how to live life with a smile on your face. He always said a little confidence goes a long way. No matter how scared I am about the next step in life, confidence will take me far. I don’t doubt that for a second.




College’s new meal plan policy will not benefit students or staff



Here at Trinity College, we attempt to foster a sense of community by looking out for each other. However, the proposed changes for the next academic year will do the exact opposite. Trinity has plans in place to close The Cave by next January and the administration has already started to reduce the hours that The Bistro is open on the weekends. The school is considering a decrease in the hours of operation for two of the three sit-in dining halls. If we, the student body, allow these changes to happen, it will financially cripple many of the people working there and severely damage our college experience.

While talking with my peers about Trinity’s plans to close The Cave and The Bistro, the first question is almost always, “Are they going to extend Mather’s hours?” The answer: “kind of.” According to papers distributed by Trinity’s administration about two weeks ago, Mather will continue to open at 7:30 a.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, Mather will operate from 10:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., “limited services will be offered.” Closing down The Cave and Bistro will only exacerbate problems like Mather’s inability to seat everyone comfortably at lunch. Finding a table during lunch on any given day is hard enough. Mather is not suited to serve the entire student body at the same time. With Mather only opening for an extra three hours per day, twenty-one hours per week, what will happen to all the staff that is seen as excess?

This semester, Mather, The Cave, and The Bistro employ 2,115 hours of labor per week, 821 hours of labor per week and 670.5 hours of labor per week respectively. By spring of 2015, Mather, The Cave, and The Bistro will employ 2004 hours of labor per week, ZERO hours of labor per week, and 539.5 hours per week, respectively. The only additional hours will be the new store on Crescent Street. This store will employ 698.5 hours of labor per week. This leads to a total net loss of 364.5 hours of labor per week. The proposed changes will cut hours by almost 10 percent. This massive decrease in total hours of labor will directly hurt dining staff employees’ ability to financially support themselves. The proposed changes look to reduce the amount of people that work 40 hours a week this semester by 18. The changes also look to reduce the amount of workers that receive benefits by 14, or by 13 percent of the workers receiving benefits in the three main dining halls.

This isn’t the first time that Chartwells has made workers’ living conditions unbearable. At the University of Miami, Chartwells employees won a three-year struggle against the British conglomerate. At the University of Miami and many other schools, Chartwells has a history of mistreating workers and reducing costs by cutting hours and benefits. After the University of Miami workers won their case, one of their representatives said, “We love working at U.M. and taking care of the students, faculty and staff here. Now, we can begin to afford to take care of our own families too.” Many of the workers at The Cave and The Bistro echo this message. They love interacting with students every day, but they also want to be able to pay their rent and take care of their families.

Overlooking the financial devastation to these workers who will lose hours and benefits, this plan will save money for Trinity. Trinity has to balance the budget in order to provide the wide variety of services they offer, such as financial aid. Still, I would ask them to reconsider. Chartwells’ history of saving money by cutting workers’ benefits and hours does not create any substantial economic gains for the schools in which they operate, because they end up charging higher fees. As illustrated in their proposed changes for next year, the first part of their plan is in place. I have no desire to see that plan executed here at Trinity.

The new meal plan policy for next year requires almost every student to sign up for one of the limited meal plans. As of the fall semester in 2015, the only students allowed to attend Trinity without purchasing a meal plan are those enrolled in Trinity’s authorized eating clubs or students living off campus.  As a rising junior, I will have the option to purchase the Mather Unlimited or the 15 Flex Plan; both are $2,550 per semester. The Mather Unlimited plan comes with $100 Chartwells dollars while the 15 Flex plan comes with 15 meals per week and $300 Chartwells dollars. These new policies represent the school’s effort to force students into doing what the administration believes is best, rather than allowing students to exercise their own judgment. Trinity administration needs to discontinue these plans before they harm their own long-term goals.

No matter how hard the school tries to force inter-student bonding, it is not something that can be forced. Through extended orientation programs, the new first-year program, or many other first-year activities, it is impossible to create genuine connections between students. Students must be able to do this on their own.

During my freshman year, a lot of spontaneous, sincere bonding happened while I was hanging out with acquaintances in The Cave or The Bistro. Sitting down together for a few hours and sharing a meal with friends created a sense of community among us that would not have happened without this late-night space. Without these experiences, many of my best friends and I would not have become as close as we are today. Friendship cannot be forced. At any time, you can walk into The Cave or The Bistro and witness a group of students simply hanging out. Having this space is a valuable asset to the Trinity community. My favorite bonding program that Trinity runs is the Quest program. Going onto the Appalachian Trail with no one but fellow students forges bonds between incoming freshmen and the upperclassmen leaders. These connections could not have been created from silly games like “Two Truths and a Lie,” forced picnics on the quad, or any other pre-planned orientation programs. Students will inevitably dislike most of the orientation events that are required.  One of the challenges of being a first-year student is finding a place where you can get to know the people you find interesting.  This is what the school needs to encourage more of, not reduce. Both The Bistro and The Cave facilitate student bonding and at this college, we need to protect them.

The Bistro and Cave are valuable assets to this school and they enable a lot of friendly, loving people to pay their bills. In no way will these proposed changes benefit the students of Trinity College. By closing The Cave and reducing The Bistro’s hours, students will have less access to food on the meal plan while still being required to purchase a meal plan.

The financial ramifications to members of the Trinity community, like the loss of financial aid, will be crushing. The dining service employees feeding all of us treat us with respect and love. They deserve better than what Trinity and Chartwells are doing to them. The school is prioritizing balancing the budget over looking out for members of the Trinity community. We need to rearrange their priorities.

Missouri shooting raises questions about gun control legislation



On Sunday, April 13, three people were fatally shot in Kansas City, Missouri: 69-year-old William Lewis Corporon, his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, and 53-year-old Terri LaManno. These shootings took place outside a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home, because the shooter, Frazier Glenn Cross (also known as Glenn Miller), was targeting Jewish people.

The people Miller killed on Sunday, however, were not even Jewish. It seems hard to believe that this man served over 20 years in the military as a Green Beret. Not surprisingly, he was discharged from the army due to propagating racist thoughts. So who was this man who took three innocent lives with no regret?

Glenn Miller’s racist tendencies span decades. In 1980, he formed a Klan called the Carolina Knights and he believed that “the white race [was] dying out. That’s what concern[ed] [him]. Future generations are going to be a bunch of mix-breeded, kinky-headed, slant-eyed, fur-headed mongrels with bubble lips,” he said in The Washington Post. Miller is a husband and a father of four children who used his pension from the military to spread his racist beliefs. It was not long before this led him into trouble with the government, and, in 1987, he was sentenced to six months in prison, but he ended up fleeing and a manhunt was started that led to the FBI discovering him in Missouri. In 1988, to lessen his federal charges, he testified against fourteen of his members and as a result his sentence was reduced to three years. Strangely, he tried getting an appointment in the US House of Representatives in 2006 and in the Senate in 2010. But, he did not get far with these aspirations. One of his platforms stated, “We’ve sat back and allowed the Jews to take over our government, our banks and our media. America is no longer ours. America belongs to the Jews who rule it and to the mud people who multiply in it.” He is expected to appear in court on Thursday, April 24.

Personally, I cannot come to grips with how people develop such racist tendencies. Starting with Hitler, who massacred over six million people, what legitimate reason can a person have for taking so many lives? What about Glenn Miller, who robbed those three people of their lives? The young boy will never get to grow up and have a family of his own.

What saddens me even more is the number of people with such beliefs who are still out there. At this time, there are over 1,274 radical groups that exist in the country and that number does not seem to be decreasing. And so, I wonder why? If someone wants to have such beliefs, that is up to them, but to force it onto others in such a violent manner is another thing entirely. At the end of the day, I keep coming back to the same thought of what it takes to warp someone’s mind to the extent that they think it’s okay to kill others for their cause.

Is it a change that occurs in childhood, the teenage years, or one that happens in adulthood? What can be done to stop such a transformation?

Not only do these questions plague my mind, but I also think about whether things would have turned out differently had Glenn Miller been imprisoned for more than three years. And then there is the gun issue.

I am not a gun advocate and believe that there is no reason a person should have multiple weapons in their home. For that reason, it puzzles me why so many people are against laws being instituted that can help limit who can get a gun. These laws can help to stop men, such as Glenn Miller (who has a known history of hate against Jewish people) from having access to weapons. The list keeps growing of people who end up being murdered needlessly. The Tucson shooting in 2011, the 2012 Aurora shooting, and the shootings that have taken place on a Kansas City highway since March are all examples of gun violence. Luckily, none of the victims from the highway shootings died and the man, Mohammad Whitaker, believed to be responsible was apprehended on April 18. Not surprising is the fact that the police found a lot of ammunition in his home. Again, when will this endless cycle of violence end?

I am not saying that having tougher gun laws will be the thing that will stop people with radical beliefs, such as Glenn Miller, from killing others. But it could act as a step towards halting the ways in which these people seek to harm others.

The death of the three people in Kansas City was nonsensical and I can only hope that the family members of William Lewis Corporon, Reat Griffin Underwood, and Terri LaManno can one day find some form of peace after this senseless tragedy.


At Trinity and around the world: Humans of Trinity College



On April 6, Marisa Tornello ’15 embarked on a project that would take the Trinity campus by storm. That is the day she created the Facebook page “Humans of Trinity College.”

In the summer of 2010, a New Yorker named Brandon began his own journey of photographing people all over the city and created a blog that now has almost four million followers. Alongside each picture Brandon includes a snippet of the conversation he has with the person he photographs.

One day, Marisa came across a post on Humans of New York that pictured a homeless man. To summarize the caption, the man had been jailed after he was accused of murdering his wife and daughter. When he was freed, he was unable to recollect his life and became homeless. Marisa thought about the New Yorker habit of ignoring the homeless and the stories that all the people around her had to tell. Then, she began to think about all the stories that the people on the Trinity campus around her had to tell.

This year as a junior at Trinity, Marisa began to feel disconnected from the campus that surrounded her. As a Staten Island native, Marisa says, “In New York City there are millions of people that pass by each other. At Trinity, we are such a small campus, but we still have that same disconnect. We shouldn’t be strangers to each other on this campus.”

For Marisa’s 21st birthday, earlier this month, her parents bought her the camera of her dreams and her hopes of starting the page became a reality. The first day, Marisa, who has social anxiety, passed twenty people she wanted to photograph but was too nervous to approach them. Now she snaps photographs of students daily and says that the project has helped her to get over her anxiety.

“I needed a reason to find Trinity beautiful. I thought if I sought out the beauty in each person it would help. And it has. We have to attempt to find the good in things. We’re all holding really beautiful things inside of us that we’re really hoping to express to the world.”

With each photograph Marisa takes, she truly is capturing a moment of each student’s life and Trinity’s history. Whether it is a close up picture of a barista in Peter B’s, an action shot of a hula-hooper on the main quad, or a scenic shot of a couple on the Long Walk, Marisa is connecting Trinity students, one photograph at a time.

“Humans of Trinity College” has 763 likes to date and is growing everyday. Marisa’s future goals include photographing professors, who have been at Trinity for years and have seen it change and grow, and delving into the individual stories of the students.

“I’m not brave enough yet to ask people about their own stories. But it’d be great to get to that level of comfort with each other.”

But, even by simply taking a picture, Marisa is individualizing Trinity.

“A picture is so telling of a person. The way someone smiles, or stands, or tilts a little bit, or squints their eyes. A picture says a thousand words.”

Catherine Hultgren ’14 on life and travel while studying abroad



When I was 18 years old I decided to study abroad during high school. I had waited until the last minute to apply to programs, so when I applied to School Year Abroad Spain, the program was already full. Instead of just outright declining me, they asked me if I would like to go to China instead. Being the adventurous 18-year-old that I was, I didn’t have to even think about it and accepted right away. Since my time as a high-schooler living with a host family in Beijing, Chinese culture and language has become part of who I was. When Trinity decided to start a program at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, I decided not only that I was going to go abroad, but also that I was going to spend my whole junior year there. I needed major credits for Chinese and Asian studies anyways, and the whole adventure sounded absolutely superb.

None of my close friends went to China on the program with me in the fall, and I was only friends with a few boys from the Trinity program. I couldn’t rely on them to hangout with me all the time, so the first week was rather lonely. I remember going to the Art District alone and exploring all the galleries. I thought it was incredible, but watching other people exploring with their friends made me realize I was alone in a foreign country. I decided to make an effort socializing with the kids in my classes at Fudan. Since Fudan is such an international school, I made friends from all over the world. By the end of my first semester, my three best girl friends were from France, Belgium, and Germany, and through them I met my boyfriend who was also German.

The semester was going great when I decided to take a trip with my friends up to Beijing. They had never been there before so we were planning on doing the touristy things like hike the Great Wall, tour the Forbidden City and spend an afternoon in Tiananmen Square. The first day we hit up Tiananmen Square, where we went to see Mao’s Mausoleum. We got into a big disagreement over whether or not the body inside was Mao’s actual body or if it was wax. To this day I still don’t know if I actually believe it is him.

After this, I decided to go alone and pay a visit to my host dad from my year in high school. We had been texting since my arrival in China and he had been trying to get me to take the train up to Beijing for a while to visit him and my host mom. When I arrived at my old apartment, I saw the dining room table set for two. I was confused but just assumed my host mom wasn’t going to be eating. I then began to look for her in our apartment, when I came across an altar with incense and a giant picture of my host mom. She had passed away, and no one had told me! I was devastated, not because no one had told me, but because while she had been sick I hadn’t even known to make an effort to call. I decided to cancel the rest of my tourist excursions with my friends and stay the weekend with my host dad. By the time I came back to Shanghai, I was confused and depressed in a foreign country. But luckily for me, I didn’t have to deal with it alone. All my friends were there for me.

Time went by and my Beijing experience began to have less of an impact on my daily life. I focused on trying to see as much of Shanghai as I possibly could. I had many favorite adventures abroad. I spent one weekend hiking Yellow Mountain in rural China. Another time, my boyfriend and I tried as many restaurants out of the Shanghai Time Out magazine without going completely broke, and I tried making Chinese friends so I could practice all the Mandarin I was learning in the classroom. After my first semester, I knew Shanghai like the back of my hand and my Chinese had improved tremendously.

Once my second semester came, some of my new friends had stayed and some had left. One of my best friends was coming on the program from Trinity along with a good friend of hers. The whole dynamic changed and this semester proved to be as enriching as the first one. My friends, Kate Burke ’14 and Sade Parham ’14, and I would explore the ins and outs of Shanghai. I would take them to some of the places I had discovered in the fall or the three of us would try somewhere new. We would have tea on top of some of the tallest buildings in the world, or have picnics in parks with views of the skyline. We would always get amused taking the subway places because Chinese people would stare at us like we were aliens; after all we were two blondes and an African American who could all speak Chinese.

When the semester came to a close, I was sick of Shanghai. I was craving cheese and steak and other products that were harder to find in China. At the same time though, I wasn’t ready to go back to Trinity. My friend Natalia Diehl, who was from Paris, convinced me that my time studying abroad shouldn’t end just yet and so I applied to go to Paris for my senior fall.

Paris was a far cry from Shanghai. My apartment was smaller, my money got me almost nowhere compared to China (I was living like a king on almost nothing), and the Paris skies were actually blue—pollution free with real clouds. The experience was like coming home, since the Parisian culture is so much more similar to American culture than China’s culture. If I hadn’t gone to China first, I am not sure whether or not I would have had trouble adapting to Paris. But because I had gone there before, I adapted to Paris almost instantly. I spent the weekends hanging out with friends from Trinity, friends I had met in China or taking the three-hour train to visit my boyfriend in Southern Germany. All in all, I must say I enjoyed my life in Shanghai more, because it was more unique and different. At the same time, having that experience in Paris allowed me to see a whole new side of the world, and I wouldn’t trade my Paris experience for anything.

Trendy Trinity: A look back at 1969 through The Trinity Ivy



I was waiting for the now deceased printer to warm up in The Trinity Tripod office when I came across some old books. I soon realized that what was before me was a discarded stack of about fifteen Ivy yearbooks from years ranging from 1960 to 2004. As I waited for the printer to work, I began to flip through them, beginning with the most recent one from 2004. Luckily for me, the printer was especially temperamental that day, allowing me to have time to turn the pages of the many years of Trinity history before me. The more recent the yearbook, the more it felt like a standard collection of official photographs chronicling departments, fraternities, sports teams, and other associations on campus. But as I traveled back in time through the pages of the Ivy, I noticed that the number of picture captions and staged photographs dropped drastically. The year books seemed to become time capsules, not only of student life at Trinity, but also of style.

Of all the year books in the printer room, none captured my nostalgic imagination quite like the Ivy from 1969. I casually flipped through and then stumbled upon an image of a student in a plaid blazer and turtleneck. He sported wayfarer sunglasses and a ribbon watch. His hand was raised and his mouth was opened to reveal a large, gapped-tooth smile. Though there was no caption to describe him, not even his name or year, I felt I knew this man. I could only imagine what class he just came from, what part of campus he was walking over toward, who he was going to see, and why he was smiling underneath the elms.

I soon realized that the Ivy from 1969 was less of a yearbook and more of a collection of photographs that casually and nonchalantly documented the spirit and style of 1969. It is easy to forget that all who are old were once young. Too often do we think of past American history as an era that we are affected by but not connected to. The 1960s, especially 1969, was a time of great social, political, and sartorial turmoil and triumphs. In the pages were those times in Hartford, Connecticut. The only images that I had of the era are those popularized in Life magazine or from the pop culture canon. Sure, I knew the old pictures of my parents and their parents, but how rare it was to see a bygone era showing the way that Trinity students lived through it.

Many in the fashion industry always say that people used to dress better, classier, and with more refinement. Though this will always be true through the inaccurate waves of nostalgia, the golden age of collegiate style was certainly in the 1960s in New England. Without a translation or an interpretation, the Ivy showed me unfiltered fashion from a decade I so much admired. I loved the way men had such a polished and uniform look to them. The large pictures of men in class all wearing khakis and oxfords have an elegance and masculine sophistication that is lacking in today’s generation of preppies. Whether it was on the basketball court or on fraternity pick-up night, there was such a sense of regalia. Ironically, uniforms can inspire freedom. When one has an outfit set out for them—whether an official uniform or just a clear style of the times—they are free to live their lives, be rowdy and have fun because there is no need to fuss over what to wear.

The women in the Ivy from 1969 capture a style and sex appeal that I’m sure most of our generation wouldn’t be able to understand. It seems as if every woman wanted to be Brigitte Bardot: long hair, strong eye, and a short shift dress. The shift dress is a look I think should make a comeback. Though seemingly more conservative than a body hugging tube dress made of cotton, the body is able to move underneath the fabric, and thus the suggestion of sexuality is always present. It’s both hidden and hinted at, making these women seem discoverable as well as conservative and classy female academics.

The past style of students is clear. It can be seen only after the turn of a few pages, but what is great is the humanization of our past at Trinity. On the pages is the real 1960s apart from history books, pop culture, highbrow art, and advertisements. The facial expressions shown and activities being enjoyed, from sports, to studying, to dancing, to flirting, to drinking, and even lying on the quad in April’s warmth are all still very alive at Trinity today more than forty years later. I urge all of you to go out and find an Ivy or two and flip through them. I promise that you too will be taken by the fashion, similarities, and history. And, of course, the Ivies raise a larger question: what will future generations think of us when they stumble on our photographs and imagine what life was like, way back in 2014?

The Mill starts recording studio club

It is without a doubt that everyone enjoys listening to  good music. Whether it’s electric dance music (EDM), Hip-Hop, or alternative, music makes any event a little more relaxed and entertaining. Just ask Gio Quattrochi ’16, Ebban Maeda ’16, Austen Julien ’16, and David Klestadt ’16 who are all members of The Mill’s newest Recording Club. They are the engineers who sit in on recording sessions and ensure that the volume is in the proper setting along with cueing artists to begin and stop recording. This is a “hard and specific job” since not all students are knowledgeable about what goes into a recording session or know how to use “Logic,” which is their music software program. Once songs are recorded, they go through a series of edits by the producer and are made into a finished product. The Mill’s Recording Club has allowed students to combine their passion for music along with expanding their knowledge about the business side of the music industry.

This past semester with grants from the SGA, The Mill was able to construct a state-of-the-art professional recording studio to help artists record music. Recently, a cappella groups such as the Quirks and the Trintones have utilized the studio to record their songs. “We hope to produce a CD with a compilation of all songs recorded,” stated Quattrochi, one of the managers of the studio. With the initial stages of studio development, they hope to increase student usage and awareness of the studio. He also hopes to get professors and administration engaged by sending their students to the studio to do class projects and learn how to professional produce a track.  

During Quattrochi’s spring semester as a freshmen, he had to produce a podcast project for an assignment in his world music class. One of the major roadblocks he encountered in completeting the project was the fact that there was not a place on campus available to students to record music. That was when the idea of a recording studio popped into his mind. A fully equipped recording studio would be a great fit on campus for many artists and performers who wish to record their music and explore ways to professionally edit their songs. Now a year later, his vision has become a reality for him and his three friends, who share a passion for musical creations and the birth of The Mill’s studio.

“I modeled our recording studio after Drexel’s program, Mad Dragon Records,” explained Quattrochi. Like many other college campuses, students have access to a recording studio. So after 190 years since Trinity’s founding, we have an official, student-run and organized recording studio. It is open to the entire campus, even to students with minimal to no musical experience.

Along with recording and producing tracks for on campus talent, Quattrochi is exploring the business side of the music industry. With the decline of CD sales, as a result of music piracy, artists have used tours and music festivals as a way to generate more revenue for themselves and record labels. The Mill’s recording studio will help students produce music to reach larger audiences beyond the borders of our campus. Furthermore, it is also a way for artists to generate publicity and notoriety for themselves with their recorded songs. The promotion of their music will allow artists with aspirations of hitting the mainstream to have a larger  fan base.   

College campuses are overflowing with fresh and unique talent, but no one will know about them unless they self-promote their music. The next step for the Recording Club is to hopefully form a legitimate record label, where they can publish and copyright music. The business of music has dramatically changed in a rather short period of time. However, the establishment of The Mill’s recording studio will give students exposure to the multifaceted layers of the recording process to the finished product.         

“It is inevitable to have an art community. It is also inevitable that people want to hear and support music they like,” affirmed Quattrochi. The issue is not the talent that is available on campus but rather getting the community to know where the talent is and who is creating music that is original and catches people’s attention and of course, ears.

Chartwells’ food changes stir concern within student body





The past few weeks have been full of food-related changes at Trinity College after Chartwells Dining Services announced meal plan alterations and the new Kitchen Truck on Vernon Street. Along with these formal new statements from the College’s official food provider, a variety of rumors about the closure of the popular Cave and Bistro dining options have also spurred debate and concern throughout the student body.

On Thursday, April 10, the Kitchen Truck made its first appearance on campus from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Vernon Street. The Truck accepted Bantam Bucks, Dining Dollars, and cash, making the experience somewhat reminiscent of the famous “Late-Night Bistro” dining option which was available last year.

Some of the food served at the Kitchen Truck included pulled pork sandwiches, mac and cheese, and “The King”—a sandwich made of cinnamon swirl bread with peanut butter, Nutella, and bananas on the inside.

“I could not even dream up a better food combination than the BBQ pulled pork sandwhich I had from the food truck on Vernon! We need to have these more often,” says Katie Adams ’14.

The more striking change Chartwells introduced is regarding student meal plans. Beginning next fall, all students living on campus, including seniors, will be required to be on a meal plan. In the past, seniors have not had to be on a meal plan, and students living in cooking units did not have to register for a plan either.

The only students who will not have to register for a meal plan beginning in fall 2014 will be members of Trinity’s authorized eating clubs, which include St. Anthony’s Hall, Alpha Delta Phi, and Psi Upsilon. The Crescent Street townhouses are not considered off campus housing according to Chartwells’ new meal plan policy.

For the majority of students who will thus be enrolled in a plan, they have the option to choose either the “Mather Unlimited Plan” or “15 Flex Plan.” The Mather Unlimited Plan is just what it sounds like – unlimited meals at mather, along with 100 Chartwells dollars to use at the Bistro, the Cave, or the C Store. The 15 Flex Plan offers 15 meals at any dining option on campus, as well as 300 Chartwells dollars. Seniors can enroll in a “Senior Plan,” which offers 10 meals a week and 400 Chartwells dollars.

The only students who will not have to register for a meal plan beginning in fall 2015 will be members of Trinity’s authorized eating clubs, which include St. Anthony’s Hall, Alpha Delta Phi, and Psi Upsilon. The Crescent Street townhouses are not considered off campus according to Chartwells’ new meal plan policy.

For the majority of students who will thus be enrolled in a meal plan, they have the option to choose either the “Mather Unlimited Plan” or the “15 Flex Plan.” The Mather Unlimited Plan is just what it sounds like—unlimited meals at Mather, along with 100 Chartwells dollars to use at the Bistro, the Cave, or the C Store. The 15 Flex Plan offers 15 meals at any dining option on campus, as well as 300 Chartwells dollars. Seniors can enroll in a “Senior Plan,” which offers 10 meals a week and 400 Chartwells Dollars.

On top of the Kitchen Truck and meal plan changes, there have also been rumors circulating that the Cave will be shut down and that the Bistro will be closed during the weekends because of financial reasons. Some students have speculated that these changes are the result of the widespread popularity of Goldberg’s. With Goldberg’s as an option, more students might be choosing non-Chartwells food.

If the Cave is closed and the Bistro begins running on limited hours, Mather will become the only full-service dining location on Trinity’s campus.

There have also been rumors that Chartwells will be opening a new, small dining location on Crescent street to service the student population that resides in the newly-built townhouses.

Students do not know what form this Crescent option will take, but it is assumed that it will be similar to the C-Store that opened in Vernon Social Center at the beginning of this school year.

Some students on campus have expressed major concerns with these new changes. Claudia Trafton ’16 created an online survey for Trinity students to comment on the new meal plan, which she intends to show to the Manager of Dining Services Tony Chennette.

Andrew Fishman ’16 launched a petition to “Save the Cave” shortly after hearing that the dining location would be shut down. He has argued that the planned changes would put many Chartwells employees out of work or reduce them to part-time workers with limited benefits. He has tabled outside Mather to express his concern about Chartwells’ decisions.

The email detailing the new meal policy did not explain why the new changes would be going into effect. As a result, many students have expressed a desire for an explanation regarding the recent change in dining options.

Students perform in “Spelling Bee”



“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” filled the Jones’ living room with singing, laughter and passion. The play, which revolves around complex emotions in a light-hearted tone, covered issues such as the acceptance of defeat, the aspirations of youth, pubescent erections, and complicated words well above this Contributing Writer’s comprehension.

“It’s great,” President Jones says about the play, even before it began. The cast has been rehearsing in his house for the week leading up to the show, and the President had the inside scoop. The intimate “theater” held a few dozen audience members, most of whom were students and alumni. Framed between a hanging Persian carpet and a painting that was once displayed in the Wadsworth Museum, the stage and cast brought vivacity and spirit to a room that can at times feel sterile.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”is a perfect play for the small space. With a limited cast size, interactive audience roles, and only a few props necessary to create a believable set, the play, which is directed by Gerald Moshell, matched the grand Jones residence. Besides the actors’ costumes, a desk, an unplugged microphone, and some stools were all that was needed to make the audience believe that we were in a Putnam County Gymnasium.

“It’s intimate for the performers and the audience, and most people coming to our little show here have probably never seen a play or musical in such close quarters,” Moshell says. “You can go to the Bushnell and be hundreds of feet away from the stage and have to take out your binoculars to see what someone’s facial expressions are, and you know, you don’t have to do that here.” In the close and personal settings all of the talented performers showcased their skills.

The current student and alumni cast played uproarious characters that varied from a girl whose best friend is the dictionary, a Vice-Principle with a short temper, and an enthusiastic boy scout who is learning about the pros and cons of random boners. They are all in the gymnasium for one reason, to decide the Putnam County Spelling Bee champion. The occasional voice crack and missed note only highlighted the otherwise beautiful harmonies and stellar acting. What middle schooler does everything perfectly anyway?

All of the characters in this play are misfits, and they would not be considered part of the “popular” crew.

“If you’re not the most athletic or the most good looking kid, or if you’re smart, you tend to be a little shunned,” Mr. Moshell says,” and this kind of glorifies those who take a different path than the normal path that many kids do at that age take to become popular. These kids don’t care so much about 

being popular.”

Current students and alumni did a spectacular job of capturing their roles as children and adults.

Marisa Tornello, ’14, plays Olive Ostrovsky, a word lover who has made friends with the dictionary, while her parents have been absent throughout her childhood. Rachel Rossetti, ’16, plays Marcy Park, the ultimate overachiever who has never had any option other than success. Jamie Ballan, ’16, plays Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, who is the youngest participant, and is driven to success by her desire to make her two fathers proud.

Davis Kim ’15 plays William Barfée, who has a host of health problems and is not accustomed to people being kind to him. Austin Tewksbury ’13 plays Leaf Coneybear, who was second alternate at his qualifier and delights in his own wandering mind.

Luke Hickox ’16 plays Chip Tolentino, who is the reigning Putnam Country champion and is going through some changes that are brought on by puberty.  

There are three adult characters who are played by Marie Christner ’15, Jay Fazzino ’14, and Corey Throwbridge ’13. Respectively, they play Rona Lisa Perrity, who is the hosted and local realitor, Vice-Principle Douglas Panch, who is a man that is frustrated with life and also pronounces the words for the spellers, and Mitch Mahoney, who is the bee’s “Comfort Councilor,” which is part of his mandated community service, and is position such an unruly person looks unfit for.

On Friday night, three guest volunteer spellers, Jan Jones, the President’s wife, John Michael Mason ’12, and A.J. Ballard ’16 gave it their best shot at winning the Spelling Bee Trophy. Unfortunately for them, some of the words were far too difficult and would be nearly impossible for anyone who had not rehearsed. Some of the complex words included, “syzygy,” “agouti,” “phylactery,” “lugubrious,” and “tittup,”—even spellcheck does not know that the last one is a properly spelled word.

After learning and then quickly forgetting the spellings of these words and their definitions, the audience turned their focus on the stage. Superbly directed, choreographed, and preformed, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” was praised by all who attended the showings.

Garnering a standing ovation and words of admiration, spectators who attended the play were smiling while they exited the President’s residence opening night.





AASA hosts Eliot Chang for a night of comedy



This past Saturday night, the Asian American Student Association (AASA) presented Comedy Night with Eliot Chang at Mather Hall. The event was a huge success, with members of AASA having to run out a grab extra chairs as students gathered for an evening of laughter.

Chang, who has been a featured performer on Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, and Showtime, has been traveling to different colleges on the East Coast and all over the country for his “#Scandalous Comedy Tour.” The show was divided into two sections: the first half consisted of Chang’s standup routine and the second half was centered on Chang’s “Asians in the Media” question and answer workshop.

His routine started out with general jokes centered around the sexual context of dating and relationships. Chang made a very natural transition into interracial relationships, which opened up the floor to his jokes based on race.

Chang continued to receive hearty laughs from the crowd as he tastefully poked fun at different accents among the Asian community, like Japanese, and broadened his teasing to aspects of the Asian community in general.

Chang then proceeded to joke about topics that ranged  from general complaints and commentary about modern technology, like the iPhone and Facebook, to more personal subjects like veganism and homosexuality. While his topics touched on controversial issues, Chang was able to keep the mood light and humorous by keeping his comments respectful. He made it clear that he was not attacking anyone. Audience members commented on his very casual, but captivating stage presence as Chang shifted gears from his standup routine into the second half of the event.

The second half of the night consisted of a question and answer session, which opened up a dialogue between the students in a fun and safe environment. Chang started the workshop off by asking the crowd how they thought Asians are portrayed in the media and why some Asians may be afraid to portray cultural pride.

The discussion was to educate the audience and make sure everyone left with a greater awareness about the choices they make and how people may identify culture based on appearance. To do this, Chang explained, you need to learn about your culture, history, and language and then make educated decisions about who you are and what your own culture means for you.

Chang continued to make the crowd laugh and knew how to hold the audience’s attention.

This event was unique in its ability to turn a cultural workshop into a humorous and interactive conversation about typically sensitive topics. Chang used humor to talk about difficult topics like racism, emphasizing the importance of laughter and tolerance throughout the his routine and the workshop.

David Jung ’14, co-president of ASAA, commented on Chang’s tactics, stating “What I thought was awesome was the text messaging he had set up so people could text him anonymously, and also his jokes were nicks and picks of different races – everyone was laughing the entire time.”

The combination of the comedy show before hand, which warmed up the crowd and created a relaxed and lighthearted atmosphere, and the cultural workshop afterwards made this a unique event centered around awareness. The senistive discourse offered realistic solutions to current problems as Chang was able to keep the audience engaged and aware.

These events are vital in helping students have a greater understanding of different cultures and how stereotypes are constructed in the media. Co-president of AASA, Conona Hunah ’14 explained, saying, “We brought him in because we want to educate people to refrain from saying racial slurs against students, especially Asians on campus through comedy and we’d like to create a more tolerant culture on campus where everyone recognizes each other’s differences and appreciate such differences.” After the show, Chang commented on the audiences’ receptiveness and ability to laugh and talk freely about the controversial topics, saying they were a cool crowd.  Chang’s impression of the audience and their reactions is a hopeful indication that Trinity students are becoming more open-mided.  Hopefully, the positive reception encourages everyone in the Trinity community to attend more cultural and educational events in the future. 









Men and Women’s Crew look ahead to ECAC Championship

Peter Prendergast ’16


This spring, both the Trinity College Men’s and Women’s crew teams have competed and continue to compete in a number of races, spanning from New England Small School Athletic Conference (NESCAC) matchups, to nationwide events.

The women’s rowing team’s first regatta of the season came on April 6 as they traveled to Malden River to compete in a four-team race. In Trinity’s heat, the first varsity eight sailed past the Hamilton College Continentals, beating them by nearly 30 seconds. The team finished with a time of 7:04.6 while Hamilton finished with 7:33.5. In the first round, Tufts also advanced as they beat Mt. Holyoke by 10 seconds. In the Grand Final, the Bantams starting eight won again, beating Tufts by a time 7:11.3 to 7:18.5. Mt. Holyoke bested Hamilton in the petite final by 5 seconds. The number two boat also found success as they dusted Hamilton in the first round, beating them by over 34 seconds. They went on to beat Tufts in the Grand Final with a time 7:09.6 to the Jumbos’ 7:49.1. The third varsity boat won their race against Tufts, with a time of 7:35.7. The women’s’ freshmen boat also won, defeating Mt. Holyoke with a time of 7:24.4, giving the Bantams a sweep of all seven of their races, concluding their first regatta with ultimate success.

On April 13, the men’s team competed in a five-team race at WPI, alongside Bates, Rochester and Wellesley. The varsity eight won by a hair in their heat as they finished with a time of 6:43.6, just beating out Wellesley who came in at 6:43.86. Trinity’s second varsity boat came in second as they finished just two seconds behind Bates, with a time of 6:57.52. The third varsity eight also finished second with a time of 7:12.13. The novice boat beat Wellesley with a time of 6:58.1.

On the other side of the boat bay, the men began their season by sending their first varsity boat to the San Diego Crew Classic in San Diego, California on April 6. In their preliminary heat, the Bantams posted a time of 6:13.89, coming in fifth out of five teams. In the petite final, the team finished again in fifth with a time of 6:22.42. Michigan won the petite final with a winning time of 6:11.95.

The following week, on April 13, the men’s crew team competed at the Knecht Cup on Mercer Lake in West Windsor New Jersey. In their first heat, the varsity eight placed third out of five teams, with a time of 6:05.19. They went on to finish second in the petite final with a time of 6:14.81. The second boat came in second in their preliminary race, with a time of 6:23.27. They advanced to the grand final, where they came in 6th. The third varsity eight placed 5th in the Grand Finals. The freshman boat came in third in their first heat, posting a time of 6:29.06. In the semi final, they came in 4th out of six boats in their heat, sending them to the petite finals, where they came in first out of six schools, posting a winning time of 6:36.92.

On April 19, the team competed in a six-school event on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts, hosted by WPI. The varsity eight came in third place with 5:57.65. The second and third boats both came in first with times of 6:03.78 and 6:19.95, respectively. The novice boat lost to Ithaca by a hair, with a time of 6:22.69. On the same day, the women’s crew team competed in Worcester as well, winning all four of their races.

Both teams have worked diligently this season to compete with some of the top regional schools. The coxswain for the men’s third varsity boat commented on the progress of the two teams over the course of the semester and her excitement for the rest of the season, “Both the men’s and the women’s teams have made huge strides since the fall. Each day, we’re making improvements on and off the water to refine technique and power. We know that by working together we can achieve success at ECACs, (Eastern College Athletic Conference) our championship race coming up in three weeks.

Last year, Trinity brought home the ECAC combined team points trophy and both the men’s and women’s teams won the conference title. The women’s team is looking ahead to the NCAA finals, where they placed third out of fifteen teams a year ago. Because of their clear improvement and hard work this season, they have been seeded as the number one team in the Division III tournament, which will be held the week of May 30, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Both the men’s and women’s team are predicted to continue their success on the water with the weeks to come.

Brown ’06 talks about his love for modern and black literature



On Thursday, April 17, 2014 David Sterling Brown ’06 delivered the Annual Ann Plato Lecture in the Reese Room of the Smith House. His lecture entitled (Early) Modern Literature: Crossing the Color-Line Then and Now, focused on how he came to intertwine his love for two different genres of literature: early modern literature and African-American literature.

To preface his lecture, he recognized a number of role models that had led him in the direction he is currently taking. He recalled that, in many ways, his sister was his first teacher, as she stood by his side throughout his childhood. His passion for African American history started with his paternal grandmother who shared stories of her days sharecropping in “Jim Crow” Mississippi.

He decided to break up his lecture into five different segments, as to mimic a five-act play. The first segment of his lecture focused on articulating what modern literature is and what it means.

He talked about his love for early modern literature and black history and literature and how instead of talking about them as separate genres, they should be united and discussed together.

He moved onto the second part of his lecture in which he focused on the different themes that arose from the mixture of African-American literature and early modern literature. By looking at Shakespeare with a critical eye towards how he portrayed black characters, one is able to see that Shakespeare contributed to the stereotypes of the African American race. When Mr. Brown’s class attended Shakespeare’s Macbeth in New York City, they were able to notice that many of the black characters were aggressive and violent in their manner.

In the third segment of his lecture, he discussed how his course creation became a demonstration of his scholarly self. “Like many students who enter early modern classrooms all across the country I, David Sterling Brown, never encountered an instructor of color who taught and got excited about early modern literature until I became that person,” he said. “And even when that transformation occurred and I joined the club, I learned that within early modern studies there are only a handful of scholars of color.”

He provided an anecdote that helped to contribute to finding his true calling. The first he found in his second semester of freshman year. He had decided to take a 20th century African-American literature class. However, upon attending the class he was shocked to discover that the teacher was white.

Nonetheless, this helped Mr. Brown understand the mistake he had made in misjudging her, he was able to recognize the incorrectness of his bias. This helped him destroy any color or race barriers that he had previously held, eventually leading him to take on Shakespeare after realizing that, “no color or race barriers should block us from our passions.”

In the fourth part of his lecture, he discussed the effort to include and diversify the scholarly ranks of modern literature in order to help increase student interest in early modern studies.

He used the following quote from Professor Ayanna Thompson to help get the message across, “If the [early modern] field were to support the inclusion of race studies more systematically and consistently, then our ranks may diversify more rapidly and thoroughly. I find it incredibly depressing that I can name most of the Shakespeareans of color despite the fact that our professional organizations are relatively large. On the most simplistic level, this means that we need to encourage our undergraduates and graduates who are interested in both Shakespeare studies and race studies to pursue a career in academia.”

Mr. Brown finds that by intertwining early modern literature with African-American literature, one is able to find many parallels between the two and discuss the texts simultaneously. The topics that arise from these discussions include misogyny, power, class, gender, race, homosexuality and death.

In the final portion of his lecture, Mr. Brown discussed his dissertation entitled, “ Placing Parents on the Early Modern Stage” in which he focuses on parental authority in early modern plays. He finds that in many plays he is able to see the various sources of parental authority and see how that authority affects children. For example, Shakespeare’s Hamlet showed how parental debt can affect a child.

Mr. Brown finished his lecture by stating that his course needs further exploration. By combining Shakespeare with African-American literature, it allows for discussions to be productive but also innovative.

Mr. Brown is the first ever alumnus to become the Ann Plato Fellow after he graduated in 2006 with a B.A. in English Literature. He is currently working towards his PhD. at NYU.

Community gathers to show support for sexual assault victims



This past Thursday, April 17 members of the Trinity community came together and braved 45-degree weather to take part in Trinity’s 13th annual “Take Back the Night” event.  Huddled together on the Cave patio, shivering in the cold wind, students, faculty, and staff alike rallied together to support survivors, end rape, and acknowledge that “It Happens Here (at Trinity).”  There has been a sharp increase in reports of sexual assault on Trinity’s campus and there have been 22 reports this school year alone. “Take Back the Night” was an effort by students to help bring an end this violence on campus.

As Emcee Oludare Bernard explained early in the evening, Take Back the Night is “an international event uniting communities to end sexual violence against people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds.”  Striving for optimum clarity, Bernard went over basic facts in his introduction, defining sexual assault as “any intentional sexual touching without effective consent.”  He explained, “you need to ask questions every step of the way and get an enthusiastic ‘yes’ in response. If you don’t, stop!”  Bernard explained that one in four college women will be the victim of sexual assault during her four years at school, and 85 percent of these women will never tell anyone. In one of the most moving moments of the night, Bernard asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they knew or were related to a survivor of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking.  More than half of the audience raised a hand. 

Take Back the Night was spearheaded by WGRAC, SECS, the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and other Trinity teams, clubs, and organizations. One of the major goals of Trinity’s Take Back the Night is to educate students about sexual assault.  Following Bernard’s introduction, Laura Lockwood, WGRAC Director and Coordinator of SART, and fellow SART member and Title IX Coordinator, Dean Spurlock-Evans, took to the stage.  Lockwood explained SART’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.  Lockwood 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 members of SART and Dean Spurlock-Evans were followed by Associate Head Football Coach, Lew Acquarulo, who spoke of his experiences as a fraternity brother and member of the football team at Union College in upstate New York.  Coach Acquarulo remembers raging fraternity parties that ended in brothers leading intoxicated women into the basement to have sex with them—or rather, rape them.  He didn’t fully realize the horror of what was going on until after he graduated. Coach Acquarulo then spoke directly to the men in the audience saying, “I know you feel like the accused.”  He continued to reiterate, “most rapists are men, but most men are not rapists.” Coach Acquarulo encouraged students to be active bystanders, saying that if we encourage the men on campus to look out for each other in making sure that they don’t harm anyone or do anything they’ll regret, we will likely see more men in attendance at events like Take Back the Night. 

Coach Acquarlulo was followed by Peter Ganem ’15 who read the anonymous testimony of a former Trinity student and survivor of sexual assault.  The student wrote of fantastic mentors at Trinity who helped her stay strong after her attack.  The student went on to complete her senior neuroscience thesis on physical changes in the brain following sexual assault. The study found that survivors of sexual assault experience increased PTSD, attention deficit, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.  The student explained that these psychological and physiological effects of rape and sexual assault make it incredibly difficult for many survivors to continue with school. She wrote, “A woman should not have to give up her dreams of an education because of a senseless act of violence.” 

After his reading, Ganem spoke of Trinity’s new Male Ambassador Program, which will be working closely with WGRAC and SART to educate Trinity men about sexual assault, and encourage them to be active bystanders. 

Ganem exited the stage as the audience gave a warm welcome to the first musical performers of the night.  The Trinity Gospel Choir took the stage to sing a beautiful song, which they dedicated to any and all survivors of sexual assault.

Following the Gospel choir, Victoria and Roe from New Beginnings performed readings from “Phenomenal Women,” by Maya Angelo and an additional poem dedicated to survivors of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence. 

The crowd favorite of the night was undoubtedly the Shondaa Steppers who gave an energetic performance, starting with a single stepper, who was later joined by the group in unison, which later transitioned into a round form.  The enthusiastic crowd clapped and cheered on their friends.

The Shondaa steppers were followed by a far more somber moment from Mercy Ward ’15 who read an anonymous testimony from a student who was drugged and raped repeatedly during her time at Trinity.  “This happened to me on my own campus by a fellow student,” the student wrote.  The student spoke of her attempts to deny and repress the memory of her attack for over two years as she was haunted by nightmares and her grades dropped.  She said, “It was consuming my life, and I felt like I was slipping away.”  Despite the horror of what happened to her on campus, the student wrote of the wonderfully supportive community she found during her time at Trinity.  She said, with help from the Trinity community, “I came to think of myself not as a victim, but as a survivor.”

Next, co-coordinator of SECS, Mia Schulman ’14, took to the stage and spoke of rape culture on both Trinity’s campus and beyond.  Schulman said rape culture was evidenced through rape jokes, slut shaming, and even Robin Thicke’s chart topper “Blurred Lines”.  Schulman claimed that rape culture is perpetuated largely through ignorance and lack of education and she said, “most people, even rapists, don’t know what rape is”. This is a sad fact that Schulman hopes to change through education and by combating rape culture. 

Following Schulman’s speech, Bernard took to the stage to discuss three ways to be an active bystander.  Bernard encouraged students to (1.) directly address the situation, (2.) distract the potential attacker or potential victim, or (3.) delegate another individual to help intervene. “We can all do our part.  We can all do something.  This is how we change the rape culture at Trinity,” Bernard concluded. 

Undoubtedly the most heart wrenching moment of the night was when Nicole Lukac ’15 spoke of her experience as a First Year student when she was sexual assaulted after the infamous Tropical party. Lukac conveyed her experiences with self-harm, PTSD, and panic attacks following the assault.  She said walking into Mather became virtually impossible for her as the fear of seeing her attacker dominated her life. With help from friends and support from the counseling center, Lukac reported the assault to the school and was slowly became able to come to terms with her fears. Regardless of the outcome of the hearing, she was able to confront her attacker face-to-face and made her realize for the first time that she is a survivor and someone who has demonstrated incredible strength and courage in the face of unimaginable hardship. Lukac left the stage to a standing ovation and resounding applause from a teary-eyed audience.

Lukac’s testimony was followed by Miles Bristow ’14 who delivered a beautiful poem about rape culture and survivors of sexual assault at Trinity and in the larger community. 

Events on the Cave patio concluded with the Elemental Movement dance group, which performed to resounding applause and cheers from the audience.  “Elemental Movement was so much fun to watch and they were a great addition to the program,” said Ryan Miller ’17.  “It was really nice to see so many campus groups supporting the event.”

Following Elemental Movement and a beautiful poem from Jocelyn Redding ’16, participants in Take Back the Night began a somber march to Northam Arch, where Mercy Ward ’15, Mia Schulman ‘14, Nicole Lukac ’14, Ana Medina ’16 and others lit a candle in honor of survivors. Soon after, members of Trinity’s female a cappella groups, the Quirks and the Trinitones, closed out the night with a beautiful and inspiring rendition of Sara Barielles’s “Brave.” The night concluded with the message that by speaking up and respecting survivors, we can change the slogan “It happens here” to “It used to happen here.”


don’t know what rape is”. This is a sad fact that Schulman hopes to change through education and by combating rape culture. 

Following Schulman’s speech, Bernard took to the stage to discuss three ways to be an active bystander.  Bernard encouraged students to (1.) directly address the situation, (2.) distract the potential attacker or potential victim, or (3.) delegate another individual to help intervene. “We can all do our part.  We can all do something.  This is how we change the rape culture at Trinity,” Bernard concluded. 

Undoubtedly the most heart wrenching moment of the night was when Nicole Lukac ’15 spoke of her experience as a First Year student when she was sexual assaulted after the infamous Tropical party. Lukac conveyed her experiences with self-harm, PTSD, and panic attacks following the assault.  She said walking into Mather became virtually impossible for her as the fear of seeing her attacker dominated her life. With help from friends and support from the counseling center, Lukac reported the assault to the school and was slowly became able to come to terms with her fears. Regardless of the outcome of the hearing, she was able to confront her attacker face-to-face and made her realize for the first time that she is a survivor and someone who has demonstrated incredible strength and courage in the face of unimaginable hardship. Lukac left the stage to a standing ovation and resounding applause from a teary-eyed audience.

Lukac’s testimony was followed by Miles Bristow ’14 who delivered a beautiful poem about rape culture and survivors of sexual assault at Trinity and in the larger community. 

Events on the Cave patio concluded with the Elemental Movement dance group, which performed to resounding applause and cheers from the audience.  “Elemental Movement was so much fun to watch and they were a great addition to the program,” said Ryan Miller ’17.  “It was really nice to see so many campus groups supporting the event.”

Following Elemental Movement and a beautiful poem from Jocelyn Redding ’16, participants in Take Back the Night began a somber march to Northam Arch, where Mercy Ward ’15, Mia Schulman ‘14, Nicole Lukac ’14, Ana Medina ’16 and others lit a candle in honor of survivors. Soon after, members of Trinity’s female a cappella groups, the Quirks and the Trinitones, closed out the night with a beautiful and inspiring rendition of Sara Barielles’s “Brave.” The night concluded with the message that by speaking up and respecting survivors, we can change the slogan “It happens here” to “It used to happen here.”

“Wolf of Wall Street” entertains audiences but lacks substance



When I first saw the trailer for Martin Scorcese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” I thought to myself, “Is Leonardo DiCaprio starring in a spin-off of ‘The Great Gatsby?” It seemed that Leo was now only capable of playing unhinged millionaires, a role he comfortably embodies. However, my theory shortly died after the first two minutes of the film in which I was introduced to the rogue Wall Street trader, Jordan Belfort—a far cry from the dapper and sophisticated Jay Gatsby.

DiCaprio approached Scorsese himself to create the film as their fifth collaboration after reading “The Wolf of Wall Street”—Jordan Belfort’s brutally honest account of his rise to fame and fortune and his ultimate downfall.

Belfort is easily one of the most dislikeable leading characters that film has seen in a while: rude, callous, misogynistic, filthy, and deluded. In some ways, watching his lewd antics unfold onscreen is the ultimate test to the viewer: can you handle three hours of unwavering debauchery or will you walk out?

We are first introduced to our leading man as a pre-Wall-Street, starry-eyed hopeful. Belfort arrives in the finance world hoping to be an honest stock-broker while maintaining his role as a caring fiancé. However, as the market crashes on “Black Monday,” the universe forces Belfort to reconsider his path and his morals. He realizes that he can manipulate the system through a progression from penny stocks to blue chips to IPOs. He exploits this arrangement so much to the point that by the age of 26, he is sitting on $49 million. Henceforward, Belfort’s life becomes a cocaine and Quaalude-fueled party—complete with hookers, yachts, mansions, and the kind of deadly charisma that does not let you know when to quit.

Of course, Belfort’s rise to riches involves the help of others. The brokerage of “Stratton Oakmont” was co-founded with the help of his partner, Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), a fictional character based on Belfort’s real life business partner, Danny Porush. As disgusting as Belfort acts, Azoff takes the cake in terms of bad taste. Shameless, disdainful, and a suck-up, Jonah Hill hits a particularly cringe-worthy high in his career with this character.

 Along with his best friend Azoff, the Wolf’s life is tainted with the involvement of other dubious characters. His wife, Naomi (Margot Robbie), dubbed the so-called “Duchess of Bay Ridge,” is possibly the only individual who is more manipulative than the Wolf himself. Her weapon of choice is sex (or the ability to withhold it).

I will not lie, the “Wolf of Wall Street” is fun to watch. Despite the glorification of sex, drugs, and a brutally honest portrayal of every modern sin known to man, there is something so watchable about this smorgasbord. Like the mountains of cocaine that coat the film, there is an insanely addictive quality about the flashiness, self-indulgence, and excess of the lives of such horrible people.

The film is also undoubtedly a Scorsese. With sweeping camera shots, a first person narrative, and sharp writing, there is evidence of Scorsese’s influential hand everywhere. At the ripe age of 71, I commend the man for dealing with such brash and inflammatory material with the spirit of a 20-year-old frat brother. “The Wolf of Wall Street” is perhaps Scorsese’s most humorous and provocative film yet. That being said, “Wolf” is by no means Scorsese’s best. In my personal opinion, “The Departed” still stands out as his beacon of cinematic excellence. While the “Wolf of Wall Street” is an unrelenting tour de force, there is little substance inside it. This may seem like an obvious critique for a movie that prides itself on its unapologetic portrayal of fraudulence and American opportunism, but there really is something so soulless about its interpretation. Maybe this criticism is drawn from the film’s ending, or lack thereof. Belfort’s life is thrust into a gaping black hole, but he still manages to come out on top. Even the real Jordan Belfort earned approximately $1 million out of the movie deal, meaning that the guy is still technically a millionaire. Perhaps it is our idealistic desire to see bad people put in their place, but there is something slightly unsatisfying about “Wolf of Wall Street” that leaves a lingering bad taste in one’s mouth. Would I see it again? Probably. Would I take away anything new? Probably not.

Bantam Multi-Sport Athlete of the Week: Chanel Erasmus ’15

Brian Nance ’16


Did you know that our women’s rowing team is ranked number one in the entire country for division three rowing? Needless to say, our Lady Bants have been putting in work this season while climbing both the regional and national leaderboards. A CRCA/USRowing preseason coaches poll that came out in March had the Bantams 16 points out of first place while being tied with Bates and two places behind powerhouse Williams. However, despite the fact that Williams has won nine division championships in the past twelve years, this year looks extremely promising for Trinity as they have both the talent and mindset to get the job done.

You may already be familiar with Junior Chanel Erasmus due to the fact that she just helped to bring back yet another squash national championship to Trinity. Or you may have also seen her on stage because she has been a part of three thesis productions. You also may know about Chanel because of her involvement in myriad campus activities. But did you also know that the South African squash star is also on our women’s rowing team? Well she is, and she’s looking to add another championship to her resume. Erasmus began rowing when the woman’s rowing coach, Wesley Ng, emailed her after squash season when one of the rowers in the novice boat got injured and the team needed a rower to fill in in order to have a novice boat for the New England and ECAC Championships. Within a week of learning how to row, Chanel and her boat finished in second place at the New England Championships. “My most exciting moment for rowing has to be winning ECACs and my boat beating Williams for the first time in a very long time. That victory also came just a short two weeks after I started rowing. I feel as though I am still going to be telling that story when I’m in my eighties,” Erasmus said.

Chanel credits most of her love for the sport to her teammates. “The Trinity Women’s rowing team is literally the hardest working team I have ever come across and I have been lucky enough to experience that hard work on the squash team too. I appreciate hard working and driven people and that’s exactly what this team has. They truly are an inspiration to me, to push myself as hard as I can every single day,” in the words of Chanel. Additionally, Erasmus said that she loves being the only international rower on the team, because her teammates often try to imitate her accent and joke around with her about it. She says that she loves every single one of her teammates and she feels inspired every time she is around them.

Squash might be her top priority, but with the end of rowing season coming soon, Chanel Erasmus ’15 is most focused on continuing to give her best effort so that her team can win the New England Championships, ECAC Invitational, and hopefully the Division III National Championship Regatta held in late May in Indianapolis, Illinois.

Trinity Men’s Golf team continues success in the spring season

JT Mehr ’16


After an incredibly cold and long winter season in New England, the Trinity Men’s Golf team was finally able to hit the links at the end of March. The Bantams had a successful fall season for the most part and they are looking to build off of that. The fall season included a victory at the Trinity Invitational, with a field of nine teams, a second place finish in the NESCAC Championship tournament at Brunswick Golf Club in Maine, along with a second place finish in the Hudson Fall National Classic at Croton-on-Hudson, New York, and a third place finish in the Williams Invitational. These results from the fall bode well for the team in their upcoming matches.

For their annual Spring Break trip, the Bantams travelled to Pinehurst Country Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina about an hour outside of Raleigh. Pinehurst Country Club consists of eight separate courses, most notably No. 2, which is the site of the 2014 U.S. Open Championship. Playing at one of the best golf resorts in the nation was certainly a privilege for the team, as first year player Mark Boynton ’17 remarked, “It was probably the most fun I’ve had in my competitive golf career… the rough was very thick, the greens were running incredibly fast, and the relatively cold and windy weather conditions made it all the more challenging.” He went on to say, “No. 2 was undoubtedly one of the hardest courses I have ever played, especially with temperatures in the mid 30s to low 40s.” The Bantams only competed in one match in North Carolina where they battled against the Amherst College Lord Jeff’s in a match play scoring on March 17. Mark Boynton ’17 and Jake Yanulis ’15 both won their matches 3 and 2 for the Bantams. Despite the strong efforts from Boynton and Yanulis, four different Amherst pairs were victorious, giving the Lord Jeffs a 4-1 triumph over the Bantams.

Returning to Hartford after the unique Spring Break trip, the Bantams competed in the Manhattanville/NYU Invitational on April 12 and 13 in Bloomfield, New Jersey held at Forest Hill Field Club. It was a par 71 course, playing about 6600 yards long. With 12 teams in the field, the Bantams finished in fifth place, behind NESCAC rivals Williams and Middlebury College. Jeff Durkin ’16 and Nick Buenaventura ’15 led the way for Trinity, opening the first round with a score of 77 and 76, and concluding with a score of 74 and 75, respectively.

This past weekend the Bantams travelled to Williamstown, Massachusetts to play in the Williams Spring Invitational, held at the historic Taconic Golf Club. Greg Palmer ’15 won the tournament outright by a margin of five strokes. Palmer shot a 68 in the first round of play on Saturday, giving him a lead of six strokes. On Sunday, Palmer recorded a final round score of 74, allowing him to finish the tournament cumulatively at even par. Cam O’Connell ’17 finished in 21st place, shooting a 78 in both rounds of play. The Bantams finished in 4th place as a team, behind the likes of Williams, Middlebury and Hamilton.

The Bantams will travel to Middlebury, Vermont this weekend to play in the NESCAC Championship tournament. The post-season expectations have been set very high for this year’s team.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


VIP Days welcome prospective members of the Class of 2018



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trinity alum gives annual Hall Clement Lecture on HIV/AIDS



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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


Students overwhelmingly oppose Greek coeducational mandate



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Seniors express nostalgia as their Trinity careers come to a close



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Chartwells policies may lead to widespread employee layoffs



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Together, we can save The Cave.


Men’s Tennis continues success against NESCAC opponents

by JT Mehr, Sports Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women’s Lacrosse remains on top with win over Middlebury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Women’s Lacrosse remains on top with win over Middlebury

Women’s Lacrosse remains on top with win over Middlebury

Trinity Bantam Athlete of the Week: William DeLaMater ’15

by Brian Nance ’16, Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trinity students participate in “RoboWaiter” competition

Undocumented students host discussion on immigration law

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Relay for Life supports fight against cancer




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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trendy Trinity: Georgie Wynn ’16 shares her favorite things



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

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

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

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

Malaysian airplane disappearance shows uncertainties of flight



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trinity hosts its Ninth Annual International Hip-Hop Festival



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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Trinity students fundraise for philanthropic work in Kenya



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Canning lawsuit highlights the fraility of familial relationships



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

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

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

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

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

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


Trivia on Vernon: An alternative and fun Thursday night option



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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


Elemental Movement Dance Crew fuses various dance genres



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

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

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

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

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


Talib Kweli headlines Trinity’s International Hip-Hop Festival



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Women’s Tennis starts season strong, tops NESCAC standings

JT Mehr ’16


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drew Ragosta ’17


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

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

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

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

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

Trinity Baseball wins one in doubleheader against Bowdoin

Peter Prendergast ’16


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women’s Softball improves record with three game win streak

Elizabeth Caporale ’16


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trinity Men’s Lacrosse falls to Bowdoin in NESCAC matchup

JT Mehr ’16


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

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

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

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

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

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

Trinity’s new Housing System and the Fred

Forrest Robinette ’16

Managing Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honor Council conduct cases highlight plagiarism and vandalism


Contributing Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trinity welcomes President elect Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Serena Elavia ’14

Senior Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“American Hustle” suffers from unfocused plot and characters



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Latin Dance Club brings new and exciting cultural opportunities

Kristina Xie ’16

Arts Editor 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Planned Parenthood interns offer active bystander training



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People evaluate their peers on the basis of their clothing style



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

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

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

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

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

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




CDC disrespects women by deeming their dress inappropriate



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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