In the news

“The Long Walk building[s] along the western edge of the Trinity College campus has been, since its construction in the 1870s, the public face of the school, and it is now undergoing a face lift. Actually, it’s more like a forehead lift. Routine maintenance on the roof of [the] Long Walk revealed water damage and deterioration, according to Sally Katz, Trinity’s director of facilities. Similar problems were found in some of the dormers that line the roof like so many doghouses. Before anything let go, Trinity erected chain-link fencing to keep people away from [the] Long Walk's high Victorian, Collegiate Gothic stone facades. The fencing creates a new traffic pattern has been dubbed by one of Trinity’s deans as the ‘wrong walk.’ Repairs are beginning, and Katz estimates the work will take about two years, during which the building[s] will be covered with scaffolding. For the Trinity community, this is a little like going to Paris to see Notre Dame and finding it covered with scaffolds and tarps. Students will not only be put out by the new routing, they'll also lose sight of a familiar face on campus. [The] Long Walk is Trinity’s very identity in slate and stone - the building that signifies the college in ways that are unique to the institution. Indeed, [the] Long Walk is a landmark in the history of college architecture.”

“Trinity’s Monumental Cornerstone”
Hartford Courant, November 13, 2005

“When you first participate in a ‘Rebuilding Together’ event, you are surprised at the number of volunteers from colleges, high schools, and businesses around town … You may recognize your neighbor, a teacher from the High School, or a member of your church congregation, for East Hartford is now a recognized affiliate of this wonderful program … Each year for the past 25 years across this USA, Rebuilding Together is responsible for completing over 70,000 projects through the efforts of over 2 million volunteers … Over on Ensign Street off of Main, Anson Mooney and a crew of students from Trinity College are busily unpacking Anson’s truck and trying to divide up the many jobs. Beatrice, the homeowner, welcomes everyone and thanks all of us … While we work on painting the kitchen ceiling as well as the top part of the kitchen cabinets, the Trinity students are talking about New Orleans and how that devastation has affected them … I like to hear their young minds and how they think, they are so optimistic in the face of sheer adversity. It is also very touching to see Anson instruct each student in a different skill, such as screen-making or mounting glass in a window pane. Although, we did place two of the larger broken windows in Main Street Hardware where they will be professionally re-done, our work continued … That family’s home on Ensign Street is a little more loved, thanks to all of the work our Trinity students finished this day.”

“Rebuilding Together restores that community feeling”
East Hartford Gazette,
November 11, 2005

“One day late last month, Nancy Birch Wagner was teaching her Trinity College seminar on ‘The Myth of Faust and Mephistopheles’ when the discussion turned to crossroads, which often figure into Satanic folk myths. Impulsively, Wagner asked the class if anyone had seen the film ‘Crossroads.’ One freshman, Joanna Hill, raised her hand and said, ‘My dad made that film.’ Out of that exchange comes an unexpected event. On Wednesday, Nov. 9 Hill’s father, veteran film director Walter Hill, will present ‘Crossroads’ at Cinestudio on the college’s Hartford campus. After the movie, he will answer questions from the audience. … The screening is presented as part of the class curriculum, but the class consists of only 15 students … Wagner, dean of international programs and graduate studies at the college, says the primary focus of her undergraduate seminar is Goethe’s ‘Faust’ but that other Faustian books and films, including ‘Crossroads’ are studied. The concepts of crossroads, she says, is a common motif in Satan-themed stories.”

“Chance Allusion Brings Film Director To Trinity”
Hartford Courant, November 8, 2005

“In December 1972, Kiel Auditorium was swathed in holiday bunting, and 50 debutantes swathed in satin and lace waited to be called to bow before the Veiled Prophet, his mysterious majesty. Even the debs on the outer edge of the privileged circle, the ones such as Lucy Ferriss whose family had the pedigree but not the business clout necessary to elevate her to the special-maid category, could not help but be excited by their deep curtsey before the berobed head of the ruling social order. Ferriss was particularly mellow; she’d eaten a dozen marijuana brownies before the ball to silence her own questions about participating in an elitist event she felt was ill-considered in the midst of the Vietnam War. But then something totally unchoreographed punctuated the courtly proceedings and her drug-induced reverie. Flying past the extravagance of security measures, swinging down to the stage on a rope that gave way and dropped her 30 feet to the dais, interloper Gena Scott, 24, a member of a civil rights protest group called ACTION, swooped down on the prophet and snatched his veil…’I was ashamed that a member of my own race and sex had denuded the Prophet. I was ashamed of myself for sitting silent on the stage while someone brave and authentic took action,’ she writes in her memoir and history, ‘Unveiling the Prophet.’ Ferriss, now a writer in residence at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., undertook the book in 1999, still trying to understand the claim that the institution of the Veiled Prophet laid on her family’s thinking and that of the city’s white upper class.”

“Serendipity Leads To ‘Crossroads’”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 6, 2005
Hartford Courant, November 6, 2005

“If Samuel Alito Jr. is elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court, he would become the fifth Roman Catholic justice on the bench, marking the first Catholic majority in history at a time of heightened debate on abortion, same-sex marriage and religious liberties. A fifth Catholic on the court also would mark a milestone in U.S. religious history, illustrating the increasing diversity of faith in a nation whose founding fathers were predominantly Protestant … Catholic Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia are known to oppose abortion rights, but Anthony Kennedy, also Catholic, voted to uphold the Roe v. Wade decision. Newly appointed Justice John Roberts is the fourth Catholic presently on the bench. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer are Jewish; Justices David Souter and John Paul Stevens are Protestant. ‘To the degree that justices do their job of applying the Constitution to cases, the religious makeup should make no difference,’ said David Machacek, [visiting assistant professor of public policy] at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. ‘The real issue is how their faith shapes the way they interpret the Constitution.’”

“Alito confirmation would be milestone for Supreme Court”
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA), November 6, 2005


“Robin L. Sheppard got her information from word of mouth and a few minutes spent perusing Mountain Lakes High School’s Web site.  Sheppard, associate athletic director at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., liked what she heard and saw regarding the Group I school and Title IX. ‘Mountain Lakes is doing well with compliance,’ Sheppard said during a recent lecture sponsored by the American Association of University Women. ‘Those in the athletic department here should be giving workshops.’ Although a ‘great situation’ exists at Mountain Lakes, Sheppard, whose program was entitled ‘Are We There Yet? Girls and Women in Sports,’ 20 percent of colleges and universities still are not meeting the requirements. ‘Today, there are thousands of women playing on unsatisfactory fields with inadequate equipment and coaches,’ Sheppard said. ‘There’s a great situation at Mountain Lakes but check out the colleges.’ Title IX, which became law in 1972, stated: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

”Mountain Lakes enjoys program about Title IX”
Daily Record (NJ), November, 5 2005

Vijay Prashad denounced multiculturalism as modern racism Thursday night during an Asian American Heritage Month event. The professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., explained to about 100 people how multicultural ideas failed to serve humanity. Although he was sponsored by Asian American Kaleidoscope Month, his message did not apply only to Asian American students … he said that colorblindness - consciously looking beyond a person's race or ethnicity - is disregarding that person's history. He said people are not blank slates and cannot be treated that way. Multiculturalism divides people into cultures and only shows the conservative elements of cultures. He also explained that these two ideas do not work together. ‘How can you celebrate cultures when you don't have history?’ he asked. He described the ‘model-minority’ myth and how it affects people of all cultures, saying this myth makes Asian and Jewish cultures superior, strips white people of any culture and implies that black people have a lower level of culture. He said people use the myth to become chauvinistic about their cultures and say they are proud to be black or Chinese. He also challenged the perception of Asians and other minorities as being geniuses and well educated.”

“Speaker stresses that culture cannot be erased”
The Independent Alligator (FL), November 4, 2005


“Urban planner Sam Seidel, a 39-year-old candidate for Cambridge City Council, hopes to unseat an incumbent in next week’s elections—no small order in a city with low political turnover. In entering this race, the progressive Democrat is willing to accept all the help he can get. … He says one of his greatest concerns is the relationship between the city and its universities. Despite the cultural and economic contributions that Harvard offers its neighbors, Seidel says he believes that the University’s effect on the city is not beneficent. Even so, he says Cambridge and its universities depend on each other … Seidel says that achieving the proper balance in this relationship requires ‘a complicated dance’ because of Harvard’s facilities and the constraints they place on the geographically small city. As a nonprofit tax-exempt institution, Harvard uses public resources—like roads and sewage channels—with no legal requirement to pay for them. The University makes a voluntary annual payment to the city in lieu of taxes, but politicians frequently call on Harvard to contribute more. ... He says institutions like Columbia University in New York City or Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., offer examples of the positive impact that a university can have on its surrounding community. As an urban planner, Seidel says he believes that Harvard should share responsibility for creating affordable housing in Cambridge—partly because it is in the school’s own interest to do so.”

“Seidel: Urban Planning Focus”
The Harvard Crimson, November 3, 2005

“As director of Hillel at Trinity College in Hartford, Lisa Kassow had her hands full to overflowing. ‘I had to do everything,’ recalls Kassow. ‘I was planning, coordinating and facilitating programs, acting as administrator, serving as liaison to the college, recruiting students, grant writing, newsletter writing, fundraising … and then I was here with my family every Friday night.’ Clearly, it was too much for one person which, coincidentally, was the sum total of Trinity’s Hillel staff. Enter the Hillel Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps (JCSC) n a one-year fellowship that enables recent college graduates to work with Hillel houses on campuses all across North America, helping students connect with their Jewish identities.’ I was thinking about how best to share this job in a most effective way,’ says Kassow, ‘and I loved the idea of this program because it offers the chance to work with someone who is pretty much a peer of the students and, therefore, can relate to them on their level. The JCSC Fellow can do the kind of from-the-ground-up interpersonal outreach that can be challenging for me in light of all the other things I have to do. Besides, it’s just great to have a young person reaching out to other young people.’ Trinity Hillel took part in the program for the first time last year n an experience that proved so successful, Kassow decided to sign up once again. Katie Bloomquist arrived in August.”

  “Connecticut Hillels benefit from JCSC Fellows”
Jewish Ledger, November 2, 2005

“Barry Kosmin, Ph.D. … has just been funded with a five-year, $2.8 million grant at Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut) to establish the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) to further the study of secularism. FREE INQUIRY: What is secularism, and who are the secularists? BARRY KOSMIN: This is the very question we shall be studying and researching as the focus of our work at ISSSC. FI: You head the new Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture. Secularism—are you and your colleagues for it or against it? KOSMIN: We are serious academics, not polemicists. Our job is to study and explain, not missionize. With its program of education, research, and public activities, ISSSC aims to see that secular ideas and phenomena are clearly understood so that people can make informed choices. FI: Who is paying for your institute, and why? KOSMIN: The Posen Foundation, which has a considerable track record in funding intellectual endeavors in several countries. It funded the American Religious Identification Survey in 2001, one the main findings of which was the doubling in the number of the “no religion” population since 1990. FI: Is secularism a dirty word? Some television commentators have tried to convince us that it is. KOSMIN: It’s not just an anathema to certain American television commentators with a polemical penchant but also in the Islamic Republic of Iran. With enemies like that ...”

“Kosmin Interview — The Subjects Are Secular”
Free Inquiry, October/November 2005

“Nearly 50 years ago, Rosa Parks was removed from a city bus by a Montgomery, Ala., police officer. Her arrest sparked a successful 381-day bus boycott by African Americans in that Southern city, a turning point in the civil rights movement’s struggle to end legal segregation. But Rosa Parks’ story is in danger of becoming a safe and distant myth, especially the way it has been taught in our schools. And worse, the way we view Mrs. Parks and the famous boycott may lead us to ignore the contributions of lesser-known women and men who have found the courage to challenge legal, institutionalized racism in cities across America, including Hartford … Robert Allen was a white student at Trinity College. Instead of starting his studies in the fall of 1963, he was in a Georgia jail, charged with ‘incitement to insurrection.’ The state’s sedition law did not allow for bail, and the penalty was death for those found guilty. Allen had been registering black voters with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the Bible belt town of Americus. He was arrested after the police broke up a march that followed a church meeting. By November, after protests by students and community leaders, federal court action freed Allen. The court cited a violation of the 1957 Civil Rights Act and called the arrest an abuse of police power. Like Rosa Parks, these local heroes made conscious decisions to risk their own security by challenging injustice. If we know their stories, they can inspire us to do the same.”

 “Rosa Parks: Just One Face Of Resistance” (Op-Ed)
 Hartford Courant, October 26, 2005

 “At a time when deep divisions between religious and secular thinking have created a cultural chasm in America, and in response to a major population study that revealed an astonishing rise in the number of Americans identifying themselves as having no religion, Trinity College in Harford has established an innovative institute that aims to increase understanding of the sources, nature, and contemporary significance of secular values … ‘Issues involving a clash of religious and secular values are now at the center of public debate in the United States and around the world,’ says Mark Silk, director of the Greenberg Center, who is also heading up the public values program. While several American universities have inaugurated special centers designed to examine the increased role of religion in contemporary society, says Silk, ‘So far as I know, Trinity is the first to establish an academic institute devoted to investigating the secular side. It is a remarkable opportunity for us.’ In part, the new Institute is a direct response to what sociologist and demographer Barry Kosmin calls “the unexpected major findings” of the American Religious Identification Survey, or ARIS 2001, which Kosmin conducted, together with the late Egon Mayer and Ariela Keysar … [T]he rise in the “no religion” population is only one reason for the creation of the Institute. ‘It also involves a recognition that the topic of ‘values,’ which seems to focus on the relationship of religion and secularity, increasingly affects the national public debate in politics, on all kinds of social issues and even science policy.’ Kosmin is careful to note, however, that the Institute does not intend to take sides in that debate. ‘The Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture is an academic enterprise that seeks to bring light rather than heat to such debates,’ he explains. ‘Its work will involve research, public activities and curriculum development. Efforts will be made to look beyond the “Judeo-Christian world” and investigate the situation among Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim groups and societies.’”

“Trinity introduces Institute for Study of Secularism”
Jewish Ledger, October 20, 2005


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