GILLIAN REINHARD ’20
Trinity participated in an important week for celebrating diversity in many forms on campus. Apr. 10- Apr. 14 was celebrated as “International Week,” a time of various events to encourage diversity on campus. Currently, the International House (iHouse) hosts many programs throughout the year to highlight the value of international diversity on campus. As international students at Trinity hail from over 54 countries, it is extremely important to celebrate and recognize diversity on campus. The iHouse sponsored a variety of special events for all students on campus to participate in. Apr. 10 and Apr. 11 saw the hosting of Polish Easter and an American barbecue on Vernon Street. On Apr. 12, students were treated to a performance from the Samba Ensemble outside of Austin Arts Center. Students had the opportunity to participate in international-themed trivia at Vernon Social. A screening of the Hayao Miyazaki film “Spirited Away” at Cinestudio was shown on Thursday. The week concluded with an International Talent Show in the Washington Room. The show, attended by a large number of students, featured performances from around the world. International Week, one of iHouse’s biggest events of the year, concluded successfully, with many students appreciative of the opportunities offered to them to celebrate international diversity.
Additionally, several students on campus participated in the “Day of Silence” on Thursday, Apr. 14. The event was organized by Encouraging Respect of Sexuality (EROS). To raise awareness of discrimination faced by those who identify as LGBT+, members of the Trinity community took a vow of silence in solidarity. In the afternoon, the vow of silence was broken at a rally on the Cave patio. The rally included speakers such as Director of the Women and Gender Resource Action Center Laura Lockwood and Mayor of Hartford Luke Bronin. Both provided valuable insight into the discrimination shown to members of the LGBT+ community.
The celebration was brought to Trinity at an important time. The college has had several instances of on-campus homophobia as recently as this year. In 2013, Trinity was ranked 13th by the Princeton Review for “Most Homophobic Colleges.” While the College has since left the top twenty, discrimination against LGBT+ students remains a crucial issue on campus. In a letter to the community explaining the Day of Silence, EROS stressed the importance of a day to celebrate diversity of sexuality at Trinity. “Our efforts to build a stronger Trinity community resulted in our removal from the list of the most homophobic colleges, a feat we celebrate proudly. However, this is not enough. Members of the LGBT+ community still face discrimination on campus, in our country, and around the world, and we need to work even harder to support these communities that are too often silenced.” The Day of Silence culminated in a celebration, the Night of Noise, at Cleo over the weekend. Students interested in participating in LGBT+ activism are encouraged to contact EROS.
The topic of diversity at Trinity is often controversial. Through events such as International Week and the Day of Silence, however, the College continues its commitment to keeping the campus safe for all students. As a statement from the Multicultural Affairs Office reads, “The responsibility for achieving Trinity’s goals rests with all of us. We all share responsibility for making Trinity a more diverse community that is both welcoming and supportive of others.”