Friday, February 23, 2018

Campus Social Culture Centered Around The Mill

MATIAS PRIBOR ’16

STAFF WRITER

The Mill on Vernon Street is one of Trinity’s most central entertainment and social hangouts. But there is not much selection on Vernon, nor on any other part of campus when it comes to music venues. The limited nature of party space at Trinity precludes the often exclusive selection process of fraternity houses, – where interested students can attend their own house’s parties. Becoming a member at one of Trinity’s fraternities is a nuanced process, and for students who do not belong to fraternities or student groups that host parties, having fun on the weekend often means going to the Mill.

Rather than focusing on limitations of the Trinity social scene, as so many others have done, its important to highlight one of the school’s truly inclusive and fun night life options.
Over the past week The Mill sponsored events at local Trinity watering hole The Tap as well as a Latin Night “fiesta” at their house venue on Vernon Street. Those who are familiar with Trinity’s social past understand that at one point in its history Vernon Street was once the site of the school’s predominantly Greek social scene. While the past is the past and many of these beautiful buildings have assumed academic function (Office of Study Away, Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, etc.), the house that The Mill occupies stands alone as one of the few areas on Vernon Street, apart from the fraternities and Vernon Social, where inclusive social gathering occurs. Again, this is not to disparage other social organizations on Vernon, like La Voz Latina or Umoja House, but frankly they do not offer the same kind of wholly inclusive experience that is found at The Mill. The Mill has a spectrum of contact among students that works to respond to their acts of expression through painting, music, etc., and is a representation of their sense of welcoming that is at times found at a premium at Trinity.

The attendance at this week’s “Tropical Night” at The Tap and “Latin Night” at The Mill – as well as countless other concerts and art exhibitions they sponsor – demonstrate that there is a school wide appreciation for music, particularly “live” music. While some of the fraternities offer party opportunities with music/art – the Kenny Mehler band is a favorite – there are no other houses on Vernon that provide the same opportunities with the same inclusiveness that The Mill does.
The Mill serves beer to students who are of legal age, and for students who find themselves in want of a scene where social interaction, artistic inclusion, and relaxed alcohol consumption can be found, visiting The Mill on the days of their events can satisfy that desire.

Historically imposed limitations on the Trinity social scene – such as the conversion of social (fraternity) houses into academic buildings – should not discourage students from attending the events that The Mill hosts. Students should be excited by The Mill’s commitment to inclusion and artistry, and can always look forward to a night of arts, music, and fun.

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