Eleanna Davos ’20
For the last year we have had our own personal ghost town at Trinity, which goes by the name of Vernon Social. Last spring, we received the news that Goldberg’s would not be renewing their contract with Trinity and would permanently close come the end of the year. It’s with little surprise that we, Trinity students, received almost no information about what the school would be doing next to fill the vacancy. Vernon Social, to begin with, was lacking the “social” aspect of its title, the area was a combination of old felt couches, with questionable stains, you know the ones I’m talking about. It’s like the chairs that you find in your grandma’s basement, and a caged-off area where Goldberg’s used to be…RIP.
Aside from weekly Thursday trivia, entertainment and activities are depressingly and underwhelmingly lacking in Vernon to say the least. For some reason the bar is only open on Thursday and not any day of the week and weekend, which makes absolutely no sense. Why don’t they open the bar more often? Why not host a weekly movie night and open the bar and concessions? I’ll give credit to the student organizations that attempt to lure people to their events with food. Even those events have around 15 people sitting awkwardly trying to eat their food as fast as possible to get the hell out of there.
I live in Vernon, and for the 70k+ a year we pay, the dorm building is unkempt and honestly pretty nasty. There are actual holes in the ceiling in the bathroom and mold in the rooms to the point where I have purchased TWO three-hundred-dollar air purifiers to help circulate some semblance of clean air into my room. Often times, I rush my shower out of fear that a rat or mouse may decide to accompany me in my stall: why is it that UMass, Roger Williams, and many other schools, whose tuition is much lower, have living conditions that make ours look like a half-way home? Not to mention that we have had door sweeps and rat traps placed into all dorm rooms to help fight the seemingly never-ending rat epidemic on Trinity’s campus. And before the administration decides to say it’s our fault for eating in the dorm rooms or having open containers of food, the reason we have rats in the building is due to the open pipes and holes in the walls, and windows that easily allow our “fellow Trinity community” to enter our buildings.
But the issue of how the president chooses to spend Trinity’s funds is a topic for another day, and another article. Let me get back on track to the issue at hand, which has to do with funding and how the school provides the baseline necessary entertainment to its students. S.A.I.L. has known about Goldberg’s closing for almost a year, and while I applaud their small effort to bring food trucks to Vernon Street on weekend nights, many students don’t like the idea of food being served from a truck with limited to no health inspection and health safety regulations, not to mention their lack of understanding of dietary and allergy restrictions. These food trucks are also only available Friday and Saturday night, which leave 5 days unattended. Goldberg’s at least provided food services seven days a week for lunch and dinner, which made it a great and convenient option if you lived in High Rise, Hansen or Vernon-and wanted some classic American grill food. In the last year, Trinity could have easily gotten a new sub-letter to open up business in the fully equipped and ready-to-go kitchen area in Vernon. Instead, we get a new foosball table and a ping-pong table in the middle of January to help fix the issue. So everyone get in line, because in groups of four we no longer need to be bored during the week!
It’s really not a hard task to accomplish. I would think Trinity’s administration would love an easy win like this. Instead of worrying about Trinity’s involvement in the community, why not start within Trinity and deal with the pertinent issues that require attention and still need to be fixed within our walls?