Music Department puts on final music ensembles

Students in ensembles come from variety of backgrounds, final exhibitions will showcase talent

as seen in The Trinitonian on 04.15.2011

A number of final music concerts and events will be taking place on campus over the next few weeks, as the spring semester comes to an end.

A new event called “The Celebration of Women’s Voices” will take place at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall. It features Trinity’s women’s chorus, with collaboration from the drama department. Additionally, there will be faculty and student performers, poetry readings and artwork displayed in the hallways.

Gary B. Seighman, assistant professor of music and the director of choral activities at Trinity, described the upcoming events.

“This coming Tuesday we have the Spring Choral Concert, which is different this year because we are having it in the foyer of the Dicke Art Building. All of the choirs will be involved and performing on different levels of the atrium,” Seighman said.

Seighman, who conducts three choral ensembles and leads rehearsals, said that there is a mix of students with various interests who are brought together by choir.

“I love the fact that Trinity’s choirs are made of people of every academic major. We have students who are leaders of numerous organizations on campus, student athletes and members of Greek organizations,” Seighman said. “When we rehearse, even though people have such a wide variety of interests, this is something they share.”

Seighman, who has been at Trinity for two years, said there are over 100 students involved in chorus among the three choral ensembles.

“Most students who are involved in music at Trinity have been for the vast majority of their time here. They value something there – rehearsals are not a break, and they work hard as in any class,” Seighman said. “I think it is about expressing yourself in a way you enjoy and are able to, and many students are highly passionate about it.”

Junior Christina Tannert, Seighman’s assistant and a music education major, plays the bassoon with the band and orchestra in addition to playing the handbells and singing in the choir. Tannert is the president of the music education group Trinity Collegiate Texas Music Educators.

“Our music education program is one of the best in the state, perhaps in the country. I have always wanted to teach choir, but I still want to do private lessons on the bassoon. I am now in a practicum for middle school, where I get to observe and work with kids weekly,” Tannert said.

Senior Katie Burchfield, a music performance major, is the president of the music group Trinity University Chamber Ensemble. The organization is student-run and sponsored by the music department.

“TUCHE was created to be a networking association. It is a place where any and all musicians can come together and form groups, ideas and pieces they want to play with. It provides performance opportunities for students who may not have the opportunity otherwise,” Burchfield said.

The organization, which was created less than three years ago, has a solid group of 15 musicians who have various musical interests and styles.

“We definitely have an eclectic mix of musicians. TUCHE is very much an umbrella organization with a bunch of different groups within it. We have one member trio of a French horn, oboe and piano. We also have guitar players who play both original songs and covers. I personally like to do jazz and sing songs from the 1930s,” Burchfield said.

TUCHE’s final concert will be from 3 to 4 p.m. on April 29 in Coates.

At 5 p.m. tomorrow in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall there will be a performance by the chamber group of instruments. The Trinity University Jazz Ensemble will have its final performance at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Blue Star Brewery on S. Alamo St.

There will be an orchestra concert at 7:30 p.m. on Monday in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall.

Also, the Trinity University Handbell Ensemble will have their final concert on April 26.

Creative Entrepreneurship Organization shows off business-savvy students

Student opportunists start own companies with CEO's 3 Day startup

as seen in The Trinitonian on 09.23.2011

What was previously known on Trinity’s campus as the “E Club,” short for Entrepreneurship Club, now goes by CEO: The Creative Entrepreneurship Organization, headed by art and finance major, senior Leon Dacbert.

Dacbert said that the organization, which was established in the fall of last year, changed its name to CEO to be more memorable and catchy to read.

“We want to more effectively get the message across that this organization is trying to be creative in anything and everything,” Dacbert said. “Our goal is to bring the entire campus community together and make something by building an environment for creativity between disciplines. We’re teaching each other what can’t be taught in a textbook.”

A unique aspect about this entrepreneurship club is that not only is it open for anyone to join, but a wide range of interests between members in the club is encouraged.

“This idea is having people with different perspectives on the world putting their heads together in the club. For example, if there’s someone in our club who wants to make a website but doesn’t know how, we connect them with a programmer interested in entrepreneurship,” said Dacbert. “Right now we’re trying to get more departments involved and cover all the bases because entrepreneurship plays into all different areas. Our objective is to appeal to the entire campus.”

Dr. Luz-Cristal S. Glangchai, Associate Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at Trinity, is the faculty advisor for CEO. Glangchai also runs 3DS, or 3 Day Startup, which is an entrepreneurship education program that is exactly what it sounds like: starting tech companies over the course of three days.

“I helped a student group start 3DS at University of Texas at Austin and brought it to Trinity last year. I am passionate about the entrepreneurship program at Trinity because I had the same opportunities when I was in college and I started a company myself largely due to the entrepreneurship courses I took. Having access to mentors through the organization is a really great benefit,” Glangchai said.

3DS is a big event that CEO participates in regularly. The club also brings in biweekly speakers of all different backgrounds who have been successful in entrepreneurship in San Antonio.

“The whole concept of the organization is the next generation of entrepreneurs, and the purpose of these speakers is to learn from their experience. When you think of creativity, it’s not just business,” said Glangchai. “This is a place for people interested in innovation in general, a place to meet and network with entrepreneurs who tell you about what led them to start a company and what successes and failures they’ve had.”

Junior accounting major Chase Bartlett, who is an officer of CEO, explained that the club is intended to feel more like a lecture series in a less formal setting.

“We meet every other Wednesday, and so far it’s pretty much been Q&As with entrepreneurs throughout the area. It is more intimate than something that would take place in Laurie,” Bartlett said.

CEO’s upcoming speaker will be Nick Longo, who hails from Long Island and is a self proclaimed, “Entrepreneur. Pioneer. Founder. CEO.” The session will take place this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Tehuacana room.

“We want to connect the interests of students with entrepreneurs who can help, and CEO is a great way to do that,” said Bartlett. “It gives you face-to-face interactions with people doing what you want to do. A club like this is unique in that it offers something besides your run-of-the-mill education—something more valid than the treadmill that is life—and shows you how you can create your own job.”

Greeks and rushees get ready for Bid Day

An inside look at going Greek

as seen in The Trinitonian on 01.13.2012

Never fear, rushees. A breakdown of the bidding process is here. This is everything you need to know about going Greek.

RSVP: 1/13

In order to continue rushing, all female rushees must come by Heidi Lounge and RSPV for at least two Greek organizations that they wish to continue informally rushing.

Silence: 1/23-1/27

Silence is a period of time in which members of a Greek organization may not make any contact whatsoever with rushees due to another fraternity or sorority’s event during that time. Each silence usually only lasts about 6 hours per event. However, once a rushee prefs (see definition Pref Day below), silence only applies to those organizations that the rushee preffed. Between January 23 and January 27 (until Bid Day commences), Greek members may not communicate with a rushee that preffed their organization at all.

Pref Day: 1/24

This is the day that all rushees trek over to Heidi Lounge to submit which Greek organization(s) for which they would like to be considered for acceptance, and in what order. It is vital to your Greek future that you know how this works—whichever Greek organization you put down as number one is the one that gets the chance to accept you first. However, if your number one choice does not offer you a bid, your number two organization cannot penalize you for not choosing them first. Thus, you will have an equally good chance of getting into your number two choice. You have the option to “suicide,” meaning submit only one organization for acceptance, but you can also write down every sorority/fraternity at Trinity if that is your wish.

Greek 101: 1/26

Any rushee that plans to accept a bid to a Greek organization is required to attend this information session. The purpose of Greek 101 is to give rushees a comprehensive idea of what they need to do to accept a bid on Bid Day.

Bid Day: 1/27

This is one of the most exciting days of the year for rushees and actives. In the afternoon, rushees that are accepted into a sorority or fraternity will race up to accept their bids and then go directly to the fountain to celebrate. Rushees who are not accepted into a Greek organization will receive a phone call to notify them.

Rules & Regulations for accepting a bid:

To accept a bid, a rushee must be enrolled in at least 12 hours at Trinity, must have completed one semester as a full time student (or be a transfer student with at least a sophomore standing) and must have at least a 2.3 cumulative GPA. For student athletes, the required GPA is 2.5.

NMO: New Member Orientation

NMO is the period of time between a rushee’s bid acceptance on Bid Day to join a sorority or fraternity and their formal initiation into the organization. Depending on the organization, NMO lasts anywhere from three to five weeks. All orientation programs have a nine hours hands-off period during the school week. The purpose of NMO is to educate new members about the organization they have just become a part of and create an opportunity for new members to form bonds with both each other and active members.

Concert For The Cure

as seen in The Trinitonian on 01.20.2012

Tomorrow, January 21 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cowboys Dancehall will host the 7th Annual Concert for the Cure. The highlight of the event will be a live performance by Texas Country singer Kyle Park with the Aaron Einhouse Band opening the show.

All ticket sale proceeds for the event go to the American Cancer Society camp for children who are or have suffered from cancer. You can still by tickets at Coates from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, at or at the door.

Senior urban studies and Spanish double major Evin White, who is the co-chair for the event along with Brittany Hjalmquist, has been in charge of raising the $20,000 necessary just to put on the concert.

“We’ve been making payments for this event all through the year, so we totally sustain ourselves,” said White. “We had all kinds of little fundraisers, donations from individual families and a huge t-shirt campaign. A lot of people are under some misconception of how we raised it, but [Hjalmquist] and I raised its existence.”

The event is sponsored by Trinity organizations including Gamma Chi Delta Sorority, Chi Beta Epsilon Sorority, ASR and the Student Programming Board, who donated $1500 apiece toward the cause. This year in particular will be meaningful for those close to Concert for the Cure because it is expected that they will hit the $100,000 donation mark after giving a total of $85,000 to Camp Discovery over the past 7 years.

“Our money goes directly to that camp—actually for kids with cancer—which is why it’s such a big deal,” said White. “This year my sorority has been hit hard with the disease, so I am glad to have played a role in helping and really giving back to people.”

Junior Brittany Hjalmquist, a business and history double major co-chairing the event with White, explained that she is admittedly not the most up to date Texas Country Music individual.

“I am from Colorado, so I hadn’t exactly heard of Kyle Park until we knew he would be headlining the event,” said Hjalmquist. “But now, Kyle Park is all I listen to in my room now. The owner of Cowboys said that Kyle (Park) is really excited about the cause, which is great because at the end of the day it’s like you’re on the same team and you want your (team) to be just as enthusiastic as you are.”

Senior Kate Fulkerson, President of Gamma Chi Delta Sorority and a political science major, described her role in this year’s Concert for the Cure.

“I pretty much just oversee the Concert for the Cure Committee and support them to make sure everything is on track,” said Fulkerson. “After getting bigger and bigger every year, this is the year where we can really say that Concert for the Cure is self-sustaining—an institution and event in itself. For me, it’s the perfect year to be a part of it. Being President (of my sorority) is awesome enough, but I am more proud of what we do together as an organization.”

The first Concert for the Cure took place in 2005 and was a small fundraising event held in the Webster Gym. Conceived largely by ’08 Trinity graduate Amy Walton, the event began as a philanthropic effort close to the heart—Walton herself was afflicted with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in her youth.

“That is why Camp Discovery is so near and dear to us—because the member that founded Concert for the Cure went there when she had childhood cancer,” said Fulkerson. “In less than 7 years we have sent more than 100 kids to that camp who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to go.”

Today at 2:20 p.m. there will be a Concert for the Cure day on the Esplanade with free cake and give-a-ways. There will also be a group photo op if you wear your Concert for the Cure t-shirt from any year. Additionally, a free guitar signed by Kyle Park will be given away at the concert itself.

Greek Organizations Unite for Campus-Wide Charity Event

Fraternities and sororities support San Antonio homeless men and women

as seen in The Trinitonian on 10.07.2011

“Greeks Do Good,” a new event uniting Trinity Greeks and Greek alumni for a cause, will take place tomorrow, October 8, as part of Alumni Weekend. The key objective of this event is to rally Greeks and ex-Greeks of all ages to participate in an inner-Greek competition to serve a greater purpose of benefitting the community together.

“Greeks Do Good” is dedicated to collecting items and donations that will be given to Haven for Hope, a private non-profit organization dedicated to transforming and supporting homeless men, women and children in San Antonio.

The idea behind “Greeks Do Good” is that Greeks and Greek alums alike will work together to win a contest and thus a prize: which Greek organization can collect the most?

Greeks will begin collecting donations tonight at the Welcome Event for Alumni. From 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday during the alumni football game, contributions towards the service project will also be accepted on Prassel Lawn.

Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life, Briana McGlamory, who was Greek herself as a student at Trinity, elaborated on the event.

“We’ve never had an event like this, and we’re excited to get current Greek students and alumni interacting,” McGlamory said. “Alumni are definitely big contributors to this service project. The event should give Greeks the chance to hang out and socialize with Greek friends.”

A Skybox Reception will take place after the event from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Lightner Tea Room so that Greeks and their alumni can mingle over a drink at the cash bar while watching the football game.

“‘Greeks Do Good’ is being funded by Trinity’s Programming Board, along with donations from Greek Council,” said McGlamory. “The Greek Alumni Advisory Council is co-sponsoring this Greek alumni event, and this is also where the idea for the project stemmed from. Justin Renfrew-Hill, a Kappa alumnus and GAC member, presented the idea to us, as he was in charge of the service event for alumni weekend. From that we came up with the service project for Haven for Hope.”

The Facebook event, McGlamory said, already has 114 people RSVP’d to attend the event.

“I’ve been the communicator between GAC and current students. I’m helping students organize their fundraising collections and boxes, and I’ll be a key facilitator all weekend. It will be my responsibility to bring the donations to Haven for Hope,” said McGlamory.

Dr. Raphael Moffett, Director of Campus and Community Involvement, expressed his hopes for the event.

“I think alumni in general do a great job connecting with each other, but there needs to be more bridges built to connect alumni with current students, and we are trying to do that with this event,” Moffett said. “Something like this provides an opportunity for fraternities and sororities to really live out one of the core values of the Greek Community, which is service. ‘Greeks Do Good’ also provides an opportunity to network so that alumni can get to know current students before they graduate.”

Moffett explained that he has been solidifying the logistics for the event, primarily reaching out to alumni and working closely with GAC’s representatives on the details of the project.

“In the future I would love to say that it will happen on alumni weekend again because that would be an ideal fit,” said Moffett. “An event like this will happen annually, but not necessarily on alumni weekend. There’s always tweaks to be made for next year, so we will need to see when that would work best.”

Junior Megan Cubbler, an accounting and finance major, mixer chair for Spurs Sorority, and Greek Council Standards Chair, explained how Greeks are preparing for the event.

“Every sorority and fraternity randomly drew a piece of paper that had an item on it, such as socks or men’s’ underwear,” Cubbler said. “Each club will collectively gather as many articles of this item in a box, and whoever has the most items wins a prize.”

Blind Trinity Alumna Gets her Wish Granted

Renae Goettel ’08, born blind, diagnosed with Senior Loken Syndrome and cancer, reflects on her time at Trinity

as seen in The Trinitonian on 04.27.2012

View the article in The Trinitonian.

Renae Goettel, who graduated from Trinity with a double major in communication and sociology in 2008, was both Trinity’s first blind student to graduate and a first generation college degree graduate in her family. Now 27 years old, Goettel speaks about conquering her life-threatening health issues, her experience with Make-A Wish-Foundation, and what keeps her motivated today.

Q: What health complications have you dealt with in your past?

GOETTEL: “I was born blind, and when I was 10 years old I was finally diagnosed with Senior Loken Syndrome, which is really rare—one person in the country a year is born with it. Not much was known about the disease, but as a result I had a complete kidney failure and was put on dialysis for 15 months, 10 hours a day. In June of ’99 my mom donated her kidney to me, but the year after that I had a ton of complications. I had about 20 surgeries and was in the hospital for 100 days straight, and was also diagnosed with cancer the year following the transplant.”

Q: What was your Make-A-Wish experience like?

GOETTEL: “I wanted to meet Sean Elliott, who formerly played for the San Antonio Spurs, because I love the Spurs and sports in general. He actually had a kidney transplant right after I did. We really connected—he was friendly, genuine and made me feel so comfortable. His family and I became really good friends while I was at Trinity. He and his wife took me out to dinner, helped me with my laundry, invited me to Spurs games and even drove me to my kidney doctor appointments. He was really supportive through my time at Trinity, and our friendship was great.”

Q: You recently gave a speech this past March to thousands of people at the 2012 Make-A-Wish Gala. What was that like?

GOETTEL: “It is an annual event, and I got to speak for the Seattle chapter of Make-A-Wish, the same chapter that granted my wish. It is the biggest fundraising event of the year, and they try and find a story that’s really touching and shows how Make-A-Wish impacts someone’s life. Getting to have that connection with Sean really did touch my life, and I felt lucky to be selected to speak. Everything I said really came from the heart, but I was surprised at how not nervous I was because the goal to raise at that event was 1.3 million, which we made!”

Q: How has running impacted your life?

GOETTEL: “I recently joined a local gym with a personal trainer and started running. At first I could hardly run half a mile, but a year later I’ve run three 5-K’s and two half marathons. My first full marathon will be in June. I feel like I’m in the best health of my life, and my kidney doctor is amazed at how healthy I am. It’s great to find something I enjoy and an avenue to relieve stress. It’s definitely a challenge to run in big races, though, because they can get really crowded—it just takes a lot of trust on my part that my running partner will help look out for me.”

Q: What was it like working as a sports reporter for The Trinitonian while you were at Trinity?

GOETTEL: “I don’t know if people were shocked or concerned by it, but I had a really good experience doing it. At first it might have seemed kind of weird, because people wouldn’t ever expect me to report on a game I couldn’t see. But I enjoyed sports, and I got to work with a number of Trinity coaches who were absolutely amazing, welcoming and supportive.”

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from Trinity?

GOETTEL: “I worked for the Spurs for two years after graduation, but left there to work for the Communication Department at Trinity for about 6 months writing content for academic web pages. After moving home recently, I reached out to Make-A-Wish in Seattle and became a wish granting volunteer. I actually just accepted a new position at a benefits consulting company in downtown Seattle.”

Q: What’s the driving force that continually pushes you to preserve?

GOETTEL: “It is a little bit surreal—I had everything against me. No one in my family went to college, and none of them were born blind like me. I think it is just part of my personally to work even harder when I am challenged. When someone tells me that no one has ever done something before, that only gives me more motivation to do it. I wanted to earn a college degree to show that I am capable and worthy of a real job. Though it was awful to have gone through what I have in such a short period of time, I love being able to give back and share my story, and finding the good in something difficult.”

Earth Week Promotes sustainability in a modern society

Students celebrate creating a green planet

as seen in The Trinitonian on 04.20.2012

This past week marked the commencement of Trinity’s first ever Earth Week, filled with a number of environmentally friendly events and activities. Earth Week was sponsored by Campus Planning and Sustainability Facilities Services, Students Organized for Sustainability (SOS), and Trinity University Community Gardening Club (TUGC).

Beginning on Monday, April 16, highlighted events included the Trinity Trash Hill in the Coates Parking Lot, an Earth Day Lecture, the S.O.S. Earth Day Festival and the Art Exhibit: Exposing Connectivity Through Waste. Earth Week concludes with tomorrow and Sunday’s “Zero Waste at the Ballgame,” where there will be a student-coordinated effort to make the Trinity baseball series a “zero waste” event.

On Tuesday of this week, David E. Shi, President Emeritus of Furman University, presented an Earth Day Lecture titled, “Taking the Long View: Adapting to a Sustainable Future.” He expressed that it was important to use Earth Day to examine where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and how much farther we need to go to become a truly sustainable society.

“It is hard to strive to live in a better world when you are paralyzed by fear,” Shi said. “This is not to make you feel guilty about the earth’s future, it is more to get you to refresh your priorities.”

He explained that today, the context of Earth Day has changed since the first one on April 22, 1970. Shi said he himself was a college freshman at the time, and the environmental pollution was widespread with thick smog, toxic chemicals, pesticides, and raw sewage.

“A new generation of complicated problems has emerged that are less visible, more complex and more daunting,” said Shi. “We are now talking about adapting to realities of climate change and litigating the effects—depending on the choices we make over the next century, we have the ability to either hasten or slow these effects. We must begin challenging new realities with the impact of 7 billion people on this planet, all eager to have a higher quality of life.”

While Shi admitted “Sustainability” is not a graceful or precise term, he found the word to invoke a compelling premise—that our current way of doing things is unsustainable. He reasoned that the term involves thinking and behaving with the future in mind, promoting both the health of the environment and human society.

“Think about what sustains you, what fulfills you on an individual level—is it simply air, food and shelter, or is it more than that—like the beauty of nature?” asked Shi. “We are at a critical juncture, a tipping point, and these challenges are urgent but not readily solved. Greening the world begins with greening your own worlds, and you have the power to change the world to some degree.”

Dr. Judith Norman, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, shared her thoughts on the creation of Trinity’s first ever Earth Week.

“I’m so excited to see an issue that really cuts across the spectrum politically,” Norman said. “Everyone unanimously sees that this is a huge problem and how public these issues are. Personally, I am interested as an academic and as a citizen.”

Norman explained she thinks the biggest environmental issue today is the outcome of the Supreme Court’s ‘Citizens United’ case in 2010, which held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting political expenditures by corporations and unions.

“That’s the worst thing that has ever happened to the planet,” said Norman. “You count on the government to regulate standards, but it is being severely compromised by unlimited corporate funds. Citizens United has blocked the ability of the government to make corporations to clean up—they will pollute because they want to do things as cheaply as possible. We have got to put more regulatory peace into the government.”

Senior Jane Wilberding, an Urban Studies and Business double major, spoke about her experience with this year’s Earth Week as a member of both S.O.S. and TUGC.

“If anybody was wondering about the trash heaps on campus earlier in the week, we were collecting Trinity trash from everywhere except the dining hall,” Wilberding said.

“Basically, every student produces a pound of trash daily, excluding food. Looking at what’s in the trash, it is probably 80% recyclable, and I think people who took the time to inspect it and respond to it realized how much we waste on campus.”

Wilberding added that Earth Week is a great step in the right direction for Trinity in creating increased environmental awareness.

“I think the purpose of Earth Week is to promote environmental stewardship. Even though Trinity is a small college, we have been taking a lot of initiatives to create a more green campus. We recently established an environmental studies department at Trinity, and the S.O.S. club just got funding from ASR to work on more projects, so I think it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Wilberding.

Junior Mitch Hagney, an international environmental studies major, also commented on his involvement with Earth Week as a founder of TUGC and the future president of S.O.S.

“I think we are becoming competitive with activitist universities, and we have enough students working together to focus on activist campaigns—this shows how important these issues are,” Hagney said. “To me, the creation of Earth Week shows that environmentalism is a core concern and issue, and it is a testament to student interest that this is happening for the first time ever.”

Hagney expressed that in his opinion, Earth Week is intended to make students aware of the small ways to be more sustainable, and to engage and make individuals more environmentally responsible.

“The most important thing for someone who wants to be more environmentally responsible is to be cognizant of how much water they’re using when there’s a drought,” said Hagney. “We all need to be aware of how much energy we’re using, and pay more attention politically as well. S.O.S. is currently working on future initiatives that will push the campus to become more environmentally conscious, with prospective projects such as solar panels, hydroponic gardening, a chicken coop, and hopefully a negotiation with Aramark to make 20% of the food consumed at Trinity local.”

New Game “Honor Bound” Sweeps Trinity’s Campus

Senior’s communication honors thesis pits students against each other with a $5pp prize on the line

as seen in The Trinitonian on 03.23.2012

Today marks the launch date of “Honor Bound,” a Trinity campus game theory project created by senior Laura Schluckebier. The game, which is centered on teams collecting clues and solving puzzles found in real world spaces, will last for one week, concluding Friday, March 30th.

“As part of my Honors Thesis, I created an alternate reality game design that is played in real world spaces rather than on a console,” Schluckebier said. “The people are the players, and the game playground is the real world. The game is open to anybody, and to play you can find clues online and hidden around Trinity campus. Throughout the week, you can collect more clues to get more points, and you’ll have the chance to win the $500 prize.”

Schluckebier, who is a communication and classics double major, explained that the plot of the game focuses on answering questions about campus organizations in order to ultimately determine who has stolen the Trinity honor codes that hang in Northrup. ASR is fully funding her project, as part of its purpose is to increase awareness of student organizations.

“So far, I have 33 teams signed up,” Schluckebier said. “The team who receives the most points wins the $500 prize, and I will be tracking how people play and interact, updating the point leader boards on the main game website. I designed the game by synthesizing research of different alternate reality game designs such as Why So Serious, the online marketing strategy for ‘The Dark Night.’ I would consider my project a success if the participating individuals get actual entertainment value out of it and if the programs I’m promoting actually get promoted.”

Dr. Jennifer Henderson, associate professor and chair of the department of communication, is one of Schluckebier’s advisors for her Honors Thesis course. Henderson expressed that the outcome of the project will really show whether the new idea of casual transmedia games Schluckebier that has constructed has the ability to be applied to promote media productions in the future.

“This is an exciting project because it takes ideas of gaming and theories of advertising and combines them in a new way that can be implemented in the real world,” Henderson said. “Most alternate reality games are used for media promotions, and are very complex and difficult to get people engaged in because they are so time consuming. As a campus wide project, this is a great case study that can be applied to larger publics and populations to see if these ideas play out in practice.”

Senior Lyndsey Johnson, who has a double major in communication and art, is in the same Honors Thesis course as Schluckebier and has helped Schluckebier promote her project by creating promotional posters and graphics.

“We kind of help guide each other and bounce ideas off each other, and I’ve helped her a lot with the more logistical stuff,” Johnson said. “[Schluckebier] has been trying to reach out to certain people, so I’ve helped her with finding contacts as well. I think the project is a great way to get people to interact with each other within the Trinity community. [Schluckebier] has set up a pretty good incentive—I mean, college students want money!—but I believe once people start playing, they will find that it is a fun game to play with their friends and will only get more interesting as they go on.”

Registration for “Honor Bound” ends the 26th, but it is best to register by today. You can register at: The url for the game site is All clue answers should be emailed directly to The winner of the game will be announced next Friday, the 30th, followed by an ice cream reception.

Men’s Conference Examines the Role of Gender

Second annual conference focuses on “Cracking the Bro Code”

as seen in The Trinitonian on 03.02.2012

This past Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Trinity faculty and students gathered to discuss a very specific topic: men and masculinity. The event was the 2nd Annual Men’s Conference, spearheaded by Dr. Raphael Moffett, director of Campus and Community Involvement.

“The conference is really a developmental opportunity for guys on campus to get necessary information at this stage of collegiate life, because guys typically don’t get the campus support they need,” Moffett said. “Unique challenges and opportunities are presented to them, which are often not addressed early enough to help them become positive contributors on campus.”

95 Trinity students attended the conference this year, which is an increase in numbers from the 1st Men’s Conference held last February. While the target audience was men, some women were also present to take an active role in the discussion.

“When I came to Trinity to interview for my job in 2009, I saw the Body Image Program and how beneficial that was for women on campus,” Moffett said. “I looked but couldn’t find something that was comparable for guys. The idea stemmed from research done on college-aged men.”

This year’s conference began with a series of speakers and ended with large group discussion, Q&A and small group reflection exercises. Its theme was centered on developmental issues and opportunities for men.

“We kept it very niched this year,” Moffett said. “We allowed different academic departments to sponsor students to go so that it would be more palatable for students to participate and get involved. The focus was on discovering different modes of masculinity for men and how each individual has his own definition of what it means to be a man. We explored who they need to be for themselves in order to sidestep pitfalls and become equipped to be positive contributors.”

Highlights included a professor from UT who presented a session on pornography and men’s violence at the conference, illuminating how images play out for men in general. Additionally, there was an alumni panel that contributed with a discussion about how the Trinity experience was for them, also giving professional advice to current students about what to expect after graduation.

“I think that the conference this year got a little closer to what I ultimately want it to become,” Moffett said. “We want to make sure we are hitting on critical areas, and the theme should drive what we do for the conference every year. And while it’s easy to target large groups of students, like guys in fraternity life and sports, guys not associated with those things need this information too. Next year we will be doing some different kinds of marketing so that more students not involved in those groups can also get the support they need.”

Junior Zach Lucas, a Chinese Studies major, has attended both last year’s and this year’s conference. Lucas said he went this year because he enjoyed the conference the previous year.

“What I took away from this year’s conference is that not everybody has the same idea of what it means to be a man, and that’s okay,” Lucas said. “I think defining this was helpful to get different viewpoints. Everyone interested in the topic definitely got something out of it, so I think it is an event that benefits anyone who would consider going.”

Senior Matt Hawley, who is a computer science major, also had a reaction to the conference this past Saturday.

“I mainly went to see what other people thought,” Hawley said. “I have my own ideas about how men should act, I just wanted to get other people’s perspectives. I really thought the content was good; I was definitely on board with what they talked about. One guy talked about the porn industry, explaining that people often don’t think looking at porn is a big deal. But the main point of the topic is that when men look at porn it tends to distance themselves from their intimate relationships, which I though was very interesting.”

Hawley added that he expected the conference to involve more small group work in conjunction with the lectures.

“Because the conference is new, they are really exploring different kinds of options for its direction. The reality is, if you didn’t make it mandatory for certain groups, not as many people would show up—which is a huge struggle. But I still think it’s a great conference, and the information provided needs to become more known. It made me think critically and analytically about myself and others, and forced me to look at my life somewhat differently than if I hadn’t attended.”

Alumni Spotlight: Natalie Geistman, ‘11

Recent graduate finds calling at the National Western Art Foundation

as seen in The Trinitonian on 02.24.2012

Natalie Geistman, who graduated from Trinity last year with a bachelor of science in business accounting and economics, describes what postgraduate life is really like in San Antonio and how she got her job.

Q: Where do you work, and what does your job description entail?

Geistman: “I just started this past Tuesday at the National Western Art Foundation. My job title is Administrative Assistant. It’s not a glamorous title, but it’s kind of a catch-all kind of job. I do administrative stuff and run operations to help in opening up the museum. I do paperwork, go to board meetings, work events—a little bit of everything.”

Q: How did you get this job, and how is it relevant to your major?

Geistman: “It’s not really relevant to my major at all. I met the executive director of the museum I now work for through my mom, actually. She was doing an executive search as a headhunter to find a director while I was working for her, so I essentially got this job by networking. I didn’t have to go through any application or interviewing process for my job—I was the fourth employee that’s been hired and the museum hasn’t even opened yet.”

Q: What does your job as Administrative Assistant mean to you?

Geistman: “In essence, this is the kind of place that I want to be working. I knew I didn’t want to do accounting when I was looking for jobs, but I had no idea what I actually did want to do. I wasn’t looking for specific type job, so I guess I was just kind of testing the waters. I think of it as a stepping stone.”

Q: Why did you decide to stay in San Antonio and how did you start out looking for jobs?

Geistman: “I did look for jobs in other places, but I was mainly looking in San Antonio. I even applied for a job in California. The reason I wanted to stay in San Antonio is because I really like the city once you get outside the Trinity bubble, and the economy here and in Texas didn’t take as big of a hit as other places have.

Q: What was the most difficult part about finding a job directly after college?

Geistman: “It took me about eight months to find a job mostly because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. In my mind, I just thought once you graduate college you just get a job and start working. But in reality, one of the biggest things people look for is experience. It was also hard because the first thing people look at is your major when you’re fresh out of school, and I wasn’t applying to places very relevant to what I studied in school.”

Q: What is life after college like?

Geistman: “Almost all my friends are still in school, but I want to experience a non-college lifestyle, so it was weird at first. It’s different now that most of the things I do have nothing to do with Trinity. But I work 9-5 every weekday, so it’s definitely nice to have free time on the weekends.”

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for Trinity students nearing graduation?

Geistman: “Just remember that it’s important to network and make connections. I limited myself a bit by saying I wanted to stay in San Antonio, so I also think it’s important to keep an open mind about where you work. Even if you don’t like the way a job description sounds, don’t be scared to try it because it could be a lot cooler than it sounds—you have to work your way up somehow.”

First-Year Student Wins Writing Competition

Paige Roth discusses her award-winning play, “The Price of Gas”

as seen in The Trinitonian on 02.17.2012

Introducing a Q&A with Trinity freshman Paige Roth, a published playwright, poet and essayist. Roth recently wrote a winning play that won her the 2011 Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Competition, earning her a trip to the 2012 Young Playwrights Conference in New York City. Her one act play, titled “The Price of Gas,” was performed off-broadway in New York City by professional actors and has been produced three different times. Roth is from a city near Denver, Colorado and is currently undecided about her major.

Q: So, what brought you to Trinity?

Roth: My college counselor used to work in admissions at Trinity, and he raved about the school. So I visited Trinity, and absolutely fell in love. I obviously have very different things I am interested in, since I have an interest in playwriting but also am considering veterinary school. I chose Trinity because I can do anything I want and it won’t close any doors for me. Coincidentally, two of my best friends from high school also came to Trinity.

Q: What got you into playwriting?

Roth: What originally got me into playwriting was my interest in poetry, prose and non-fiction writing. My English teacher invited me to become a member of the playwriting club at my high school, and I eventually became the president of the club. I began producing plays at my school and started writing for professional theatre in Denver. In total, I’ve written six plays.

Q: How did you win this award, and what was your work ethic behind the play you wrote?

Roth: I wrote that play the summer of my junior year in high school. It took two weeks for me to write, but for a year and a half I kept tweaking it and reworking it. I submitted it to the competition last January, found out I won in May, and got to travel to New York for the conference this past January.

Q: What is the play about?

Roth: Technically, “The Price of Gas” is only a one-act play, which is 50 pages and takes about 45 minutes to read through. It started out as two separate plays initially, one being a sort of creepy sci-fi play and the other a quaint little love story. I basically morphed the two plays together, and directed it at my high school.

Q: How was your experience in NYC?

Roth: It was one of the very few life experiences that exceeds every expectation. I was put in a suite with other super-talented writers, and got to workshop with professional playwrights literally in the middle of Times Square. My play got a staged reading at the Cherry Lane Theatre by professional actors, who were phenomenal. I was completely humbled by the number of talented people I got to work with there.

Q: Are you going to continue writing plays in the future?

Roth: I think I want to minor in creative writing, but I do all my writing on the side anyway. I guess it’s something I love so much that I don’t ever want it to be something I feel like I “have” to do—I’m always going to keep it up. There is nothing more satisfying than being in a room with a bunch of other creative people who all share the same goal. Lately, I’ve been working on a musical!

Q: Have you ever tried acting?

Roth: Yes, I do not like acting, although I think it is incredible! I like to stay safely behind the scenes—I just love the creative writing aspect of it. I’d say my biggest problem with my own acting is I talk really fast, and can’t dance. Once I wore Birkenstocks to an audition and lost my shoe. So yeah, I stick to doing my own little thing now.

Facebook impacts campus discourse

Faculty, students weigh in on the effects of social media at Trinity

as seen in The Trinitonian on 02.10.2012

Facebook and other social media have no doubt changed many aspects of our lives in the past six years or less. But does Facebook have an effect on campus discourse at Trinity?

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students David Tuttle explained his viewpoint on Facebook’s influence.

“The beauty of Facebook is you maintain your connections with friends and acquaintances, and you’re not going to lose touch of even the smaller characters in your life because of it,” Tuttle Said.” As you get older, that’s even more practical. But there are simple guidelines of good taste in civility, knowing what people have access to—asking, ‘What would my employer or my family say’ before posting something.”

Tuttle added that he sees many more benefits than disadvantages that emerge from the advancement of the Internet.

“Electronics can embolden some people who are otherwise shy, but on the other hand, they have changed the way people communicate in general,” Tuttle said. “Sometimes you have to be disciplined with checking your email, Facebooking and Tweeting--but I don’t see the quality of interactions between students and staff at Trinity being worsened for having these things.”

In more general terms, Tuttle discussed his perspective on campus discourse.

“I feel strongly about free speech on college campuses because it’s part of a learning experience,” Tuttle said. “I tend to think any discourse is good discourse. However, you don’t want it to come at other people’s expense, but you also don’t want to send communication underground.”

On the other hand, Tuttle expressed that he sees few advantages to anonymous college gossip sites and other forums.

“I don’t think there’s any benefit to discourse when it’s under that cloak of anonymity,” Tuttle said. “So much of it is mean spirited. The appeal is in the shock factor—people do it for the humor, but real people get affected.”

Dr. Jennifer Henderson, Associate Professor and Chair of Communication, weighed in on the topic at hand.

“I think Facebook has let more faculty, students and staff know about what’s going on at Trinity—whether that be groups or events, or class assignments,” Henderson said.

“It keeps more people in the loop, and in general opened up more opportunities. While I don’t friend students, I think many perceive Facebook to be a forum for discussing things among friends, and are more honest in that forum than if they were to post something with their name attached to a University blog. What’s unique about Facebook is it builds communication and connections, but it has the power of exclusion too.”

Henderson, who teaches “Media, Culture, and Technology” as a course, said she has noticed a recent effort towards personal interactions.

“It is easier in all kinds of media not to have to speak to people face-to-face, but I’ve started to see a pushing back against that trend where people missed the human interaction,” Henderson said. “There is a movement toward making more time for the people that matter most. I think this is a result of Facebook reaching an extreme in people’s lives, so now it’s being pushed back on.”

Alfred MacDonald, who attended Trinity from fall 2008 to fall 2009, is the creator and head administrator of the popular Facebook group for Trinity students, “Overheard At Trinity.” Established in the spring of 2009, MacDonald explained that the purpose of the group is to have a place to unwind with humor.

“The idea is that school can be stressful, and you want a place to unload all the ridiculous things you hear throughout the day,” MacDonald said. “Given how small the campus is, you have the opportunity to overhear things. You also want it to be relatively safe to post these things. With anonymous quotes, what’s the harm about it? It’s basically a place for friends to laugh with you about the daily happenings of our lives.”

MacDonald said he never imagined “Overheard At Trinity” would have as many group members as it does today: 962.

“I thought it was going to be like twenty of my friends posting raunchy jokes,” MacDonald said. “That’s still what it is now, but on a much larger scale. One aspect of the reason it grew so much is that it has the air of exclusivity, but it’s really not like that at all. I never conceived that I would log onto Facebook and see up to 50 add requests at a time, sometimes even because of just one comment that’s been posted on the group page.”

MacDonald, who graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word in the fall of 2011 with a bachelors degree in philosophy and prelaw, said that Facebook has connected us more than anything.

“I don’t think it creates more controversy, I think it’s just accelerated the speed of information,” said MacDonald. “Often people instantly know more about what others are referencing thanks to Facebook because people post the most significant parts of their lives in their statuses. From Facebook, dozens of takeaways can be made in the span of minutes, and as a result, we really are much closer to others than we would have been 10 years ago. Ultimately, I think Facebook is largely good—that’s my verdict.”

Black History Month

Black Student Union gears up for a celebration of Black History Month

as seen in The Trinitonian on 02.03.2012

This February, Trinity will host a number of events to honor Black History Month, including the Soul Food Extravaganza, Mocha Life and the Black History Month Banquet. There will also be educational speakers and church gatherings.

Dr. Carey Latimore, who teaches courses in African American History, The Old South and Free Blacks, described his perspective on Black History Month.

“It is a time to commemorate a history that has left an indubitable mark on history, a time set apart so people can give it justice—even if it is too short of a period,” Latimore said. “This month gives us greater opportunities to celebrate and to respect the contributions of black culture to society.”

Latimore explained that San Antonio has a 6% African American population, which is larger than most.

“It is very important in a city like San Antonio to take the opportunity to learn and become immersed in aspects of black culture,” Latimore said. “The history of African Americans is not always a topic that’s at the forefront, so I find it valuable to set off time in February to talk about it in class.”

Senior Roha Teferra, who is on the planning committee for Mocha Life and an urban studies and Spanish double major, added her thoughts.

“Black History Month is a reminder to be aware of and to educate others about the contributions of African Americans and the challenges they still face today,” Teferra said. “For me, it’s important to think about these contributions people have made that make so many opportunities possible now.”

Alumni Spotlight: Haley Mathis

as seen in The Trinitonian on 01.27.2012

Haley Mathis, class of 2011, who majored in philosophy and was the managing editor of The Trinitonian her senior year, hasn’t moved far from Trinity since she graduated—and she loves it!

“I work for Trinity University Press,” said Mathis. “When I graduated, I was nervous at first about what kind of job I wanted. But publishing just popped up on when I was searching for jobs, and from there it worked out perfectly.”

TU Press publishes a selection of distinguished books that contribute largely to culture and knowledge in regional, environmental and literary subjects. Mathis explained that her job at TU Press involves taking the first glance through submissions and forwarding on the work that meets publishing standards and criteria.

“I love the Trinity community and feel,” said Mathis. “It’s fun to walk around campus and still know half of the people. The transition has been easy, and it’s great to work for a small office—everyone is willing to teach you something new anytime!”

Mathis said that her education at Trinity helped prepare her for life after college. She expressed that her thesis trained her how to focus on big projects, and majoring in philosophy taught her how to think logically.

“The kind of liberal arts education and major I received made it so I could do virtually anything with my degree,” said Mathis. “One of the most important things that Trinity taught me was how to write—you have to do that every day in every single job.”

Mathis said that going to Career Services for assistance with her cover letter and resume helped secure her first job out of college. She added that as an undergraduate, you should take the opportunity to talk to professors about your interests in careers or graduate schools because they can usually point you in the right direction.

“There are rules you don’t know, business etiquette for what you present to potential employers and how you present it,” said Mathis. “Career Services gave me ideas of interview questions to be prepared for. One of the career counselors also reminded me that as long as you’re working—even if it seems crappy at the time—it shows that you’re a hard worker on your resume. So if you have a job that might not be ideal, just doing something helps.”

Through her job at TU Press Mathis was given the option to take one class at Trinity a semester, and she chose Philosophy of Music. Mathis said that her biggest lifestyle changes after graduating have been in her sleep schedule and her amount of free time to get out and see the city.

“All the things I love about college are still a part of my life, but now I get a paycheck,” said Mathis. “Maybe I can give hope to all the people like me who had no idea what I wanted to do in college. I had never considered working in publishing before, but I realized that there are so many jobs out there I never even knew existed.”

Course offers insight to refugees

Class peaks students’ interests about San Antonio’s newest members

as seen in The Trinitonian on 12.02.2011

This past semester marked the first time Trinity has ever offered a course focused on the study of and interactions with local refugees.

Titled, “Refugees: Local, National and Global Perspectives,” the class is a cross-fertilization of anthropology, sociology and urban studies concepts. The course is taught by Dr. Tahir H. Naqvi, an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology and a scholar of refugees.

“Most San Antonians and Trinity students are not aware that San Antonio has the largest refugee population in the state,” said Naqvi. “This is really kind of a sophisticated urban social research class in which we’re trying to understand the politics of refugee care. We spend a lot of time learning how humanitarian relief for refugees is part of a very powerful need to reduce suffering in the world. One goal of the class is to have students in a sense ‘unpack’ the assumptions behind this kind of work and to gain a critical perspective so that one is able to understand the role of power in rehabilitation.”

Naqvi said the class began with more philosophical and theoretical material, first asking, “What IS a refugee,” by its legal definitions. After these concepts were established, the class then moved on to working with a host of agencies that Naqvi personally developed partnerships with over the past year.

“We started by discussing the forces by which communities must leave home and seek refuge in a second country or even a third country,” said Naqvi. “The process works at a global, national and local level. We looked at how refugees can get caught up and move through these different scales. It was about trying to understand how these organizations fit into larger question about refugee survival and their sense of belonging in America.”

Naqvi said that students in the class worked on broad thematic areas such as the nonprofits and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) Catholic Charities and Head Start. Students also focused on topics including refugee health and refugee youth.

“I have not taught this course before, so it was ambitious and experimental—a bit of a lab,” said Naqvi. “When I made this class, I wanted its primary focus to be on scholarship, and I made a point of letting each partner know that. By dividing students between different NGOs, we learned something valuable in that how powerful this network is and how everyone who works with refugees in San Antonio is connected. Ultimately, everyone in the class came from a different perspective and together we learned how institutions fit into a larger narrative about American assimilation.”

Leigh Ainsworth, a senior international studies major, plans to study in Hong Kong after she graduates and work with refugees there. She spoke about her experience in the class.

“I am interested in immigration issues, and this class was a good basis to learn about refugee resettlement, especially with its fieldwork component,” said Ainsworth. “We did a lot of work at the main office of the organization getting a feel for what they do and how they work together to help refugees resettle. It was interesting to see the dynamic of some refugees’ excitement about starting life in America, but sometimes expectations don’t match reality. Yes, it is The American Dream, but you have to work hard to achieve it.”

Junior Sana Husain, an anthropology major, added her feedback on the class.

“This course gave me academic background on and also hands on experience with refugees,” said Husain. “I have a personal connection to the subject matter, as I have friends that are refugees. The fieldwork was about observing and volunteering—part of it was just getting in there and participating. I was exposed to many different aspects of the process, and feel that I gained a good idea of what resettlement looks like as a result.”

Philosophy professor retires after 53 years

Lawrence Kimmel reflects on his time at Trinity and looks forward to retirement

as seen in The Trinitonian on 12.02.2011

View the article in The Trinitonian.

Dr. Lawrence Kimmel, an esteemed professor of philosophy of culture, existentialism and ethics, will retire at the end of this semester after teaching for 53 years in higher education.

Throughout his 76 years, Kimmel has had scholar residence in both Princeton and Oxford, written two plays for public television and published more than 70 essays.

“This has been a wonderful place to teach with excellent students and faculty, and Trinity has been very supportive [of me],” said Kimmel. “I’ve been here for 45 years, so I’ve seen lots of changes—I remember when there was just an open field out where the library and Laurie Auditorium are now.”

Among his many accomplishments, Kimmel has flown fighter attack aircrafts, climbed mountains, owned horses, traveled to various continents and lectured at universities all over the world, to name a few.

“I’ve been to war, worked at a whole lot of different things, but when I came back from Korea with an undergraduate degree in chemistry I wanted to do something else, so I started studying classical literature,” said Kimmel. “I wanted a broader spectrum of things. I did a lot of reading, and eventually came to philosophy.”

Kimmel described his fascination with seeing new generations of students pass through Trinity and their effect on him.

“Students keep you spiritually young, which makes teaching a pleasure,” said Kimmel. “They have a different set of curiosities and bring a kind of acute awareness to life. One of the benefits of undergraduate teaching is that you absorb their energies and learn from [them].”

Kimmel said that he has absolutely no regrets of his life here or in academia, adding that he would recommend it to anyone so inclined.

“Universities are places you still have leisure to be productive in lots of different ways,” said Kimmel. “The great thing about philosophy is that you don’t have to know anything—it comes from 2 Greek words that literally mean love of wisdom—not knowing, loving. In philosophy you have that singular leisure to delve deeper into the grain of human sensibilities and think about things that really matter.”

Kimmel said the thing he will miss most about teaching is his interactions with students in the classroom.

“I’ve been at [it] for a long, long time,” said Kimmel. “I try never to teach the same course twice. I have found that if you construct a context in which you can discuss things with a certain sense of openness to the range of differences among minds and temperaments—if you take away the pain of failure with anybody—that’s sort of the trick in good academic discussions. You make it clear that it’s all right to risk being a fool.”

Kimmel plans to return to his beautiful 4,000 square foot adobe house in the mountains of northern New Mexico in his retirement, with his library of 10,000 volumes. He hopes to continue writing, to possibly complete a book of poetry, and is also interested in pursuing photography, sculpting and painting.

“I’d love to be out free climbing and fall into space when my heart gives out—that would be a nice image—but retirement is going to be pretty much an intellectual end game [for me],” said Kimmel. “I thought about retiring at 55, then 65 and then 75, but I couldn’t give it up—there was too much excitement in the classroom, too many things to research and write on. My colleagues still don’t believe I should [retire].”

Kimmel concluded his thoughts on retirement, explaining that with it he feels like he’s cutting out a piece of himself. He added he is unsure of how he will respond to getting up in the morning and not going to lecture.

“I plan to live forever—why not?” said Kimmel. “But it’s been harder than I thought it would be to decide to retire. Teaching has been so much a part of my life that I fully realize what I’m giving up. I hope to find something to replace [it]. When you have a loss you find something new, that’s what life’s about. I think there are people that do walk away with some sense of ease, but that’s not the case with me.”

Trinity For Change brings activism

A student involvement fair for social issues comes to campus

as seen in The Trinitonian on 11.18.2011

Friday, November 11 in the Coates University Center marked the first time Trinity hosted the campus-wide event, “Trinity For Change.” Conceived and organized by senior Amy Cover, and with the help of several student organizations, the event addressed a number of current social issues and focused on ways we as individuals can actively combat these issues to make a difference.

“The idea was to get everyone in one place and have their voices heard collectively, because it seems that oftentimes the causes on campus can be fragmented,” said Cover. “We wanted people to learn about issues they may not already know about, and have different booths convey a social issue with a resolution to combat that specific issue. With this event anyone had the opportunity to get involved and do something to make a real change.”

The event was sponsored by SPURS Sorority, Trinity Diversity Connection, TUVAC and TU Amnesty. Social issues tackled included farmer suicides, relationships with the handicapped, malnourished children in East Africa, liberty in North Korea and the humanitarian crisis.

“Many Trinity students are involved in and care about diverse social issues present in the community and the world, but sometimes it can be difficult for each individual person to know what he or she can do about these issues,” said Cover. “Our purpose was to create a united gathering in one space and time where we could raise awareness that you can be a change in the world.”

Cover worked closely with senior Britney Corbett, Chinese and International Business double major and President of SPURS sorority.

“Amy came to me with the idea this past summer,” said Corbett. “Personally I feel that there are a lot of very active students on campus doing great things in great organizations, so our goal was to bridge the gap. We wanted people who are interested in making a difference but may not be aware of how they can do so to have the opportunity to learn new ways to get involved.”

Cover also had help in organizing the event from the social activism coordinator of Trinity Diversity Connection Jasdeep Singh. Singh is a sophomore political science major.

“One of the biggest things for me besides my job and being an activist was the fact that we got to promote causes that are important to us but maybe the rest of campus wouldn’t have heard on their own,” said Singh.

Singh mentioned one booth represented at the event was the non-profit company Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children promoting “Two Degrees.”

“Their booth was a program that they are trying to bring on campus,” said Singh. “By simply buying one nutrition bar, the company supports malnutritioned children in east Africa. I thought that was such a great cause and I would not have heard about it if it had not been for Trinity For Change.”

LGBTQ community honors hate crime

Sunday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance bows heads to those who have stood up against adversaries

as seen in The Trinitonian on 11.18.2011

This coming Sunday Trinity will host the Transgender Day of Remembrance for the first time in a visible way at the Parker Chapel Courtyard with an Interfaith Prayer Vigil at 6 pm. The event, which brings attention to anti-Transgender violence, shares ownership between Trinity’s Student Diversity Alliance and the United Methodist Student Movement.

John Dean Domingue, a junior art and sociology double major, is the social activism coordinator of SDA and spearheaded the event. Domingue is also the south central Texas regional coordinator for GetEQUAL TX, which is an organization that unites and empowers the LGBTQ community take action and fight back against discrimination.

“The event’s purpose is to honor victims of hate crimes in the past year, especially—people who have died for expressing gender in a way others have reacted with hatred to,” said Domingue. “There were at least seven anti-Transgender murders in the past year. We want to draw attention to this issue in the Trinity community and inspire people to take action and hold others accountable.”

The event deliberately coincides with a significant day, which is the 13th Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“This day is recognized around the world, and there will be several events in San Antonio to honor it,” said Domingue. “Our event is set up like a prayer service, with three main speakers and student musicians in between speeches.

This year SDA wanted to do much more on campus in terms of visibility compared to the past, because part of our mission is to include all parts of the LGBTQ community. We’ve recognize anti-Transgender violence before, but never anything at this scale.”

Domingue added that SDA’s efforts are to increase activity and knowledge of people at Trinity on these issues, becoming a more inclusive organization to cover all aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity. The United Methodist Student Union is a religious student organization allying with SDA in the event.

“John approached the UMSU of which I am co-president,” said Bethany Dawson, a senior biology major. “Trinity is a campus that prides itself on being an ally, and we wanted to show that there are Christians on campus who support the LGBTQ community, so we jumped on board.”

Dawson explained that the UMSU has been doing everything they can to help with the event, and trying to include students from other local campuses to take an active part.

“We have been attending SDA meetings in order to help with this event,” said Dawson. “Our group believes this is a huge deal and we want to show our support in every way that we can.”

Dr. Cynara Medina, a visiting assistant professor at Trinity in the Department of Communication, spoke her feelings about the event.

“I’m a lesbian myself, and I feel that the Transgendered community is marginalized even within the LGBTQ community,” said Medina. “We need to know more about these issues, and events like this are a great start. I’m glad our school is getting involved to be more inclusive for everybody because I like to think of Trinity as a safe and welcoming place for all students.”

Medina added that bringing more consciousness of these issues to campus sends a positive message to the community, referencing her own process of coming out and the misunderstanding, alienation and greater chance for abuse that can come about as a result.

“I have been involved in these issues before, as a grad student,” said Medina. “We went to City Hall to speak our minds on gay marriage in the state of Ohio. I was part of that movement and I hope to be more active here at Trinity in the issues that interest me.”

Twain reborn through drama

Professor Kearl reflects on Emmy-winning actor’s performance

as seen in The Trinitonian on 11.11.2011

This past Sunday evening in Laurie Auditorium, Trinity received Emmy and Tony award winning actor Hal Holbrook in his one-man show Mark Twain Tonight! Presented by ARTS San Antonio and the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, the production has enjoyed three separate runs on Broadway.

Dr. Michael Kearl, an avid Twain aficionado, said the last time he saw Holbrook perform at Trinity was more than 20 years ago.

“I remember The Trinitonian interviewed with [Holbrook] back then,” said Kearl. “He had four to five hours of makeup prep [for the performance], and now it’s down to two because he doesn’t have to put a white wig on anymore. Holbrook is now 86 playing Twain, who died at age 76. It’s interesting that he has been Twain longer than Twain himself.”

Holbrook offers witty, scathing commentary using only Twain’s writings in his performance, remarking on topics that are just as relevant today as they were more than a century ago.

“What makes Twain great is that what he had to say is still so relevant in 2011,” said Kearl. “I would say one major theme [addressed in the performance] is that politicians are just as ignorant as they were 106 years ago. Another is that, despite all our technologies, it is amazing how consistent the human condition is.”

One interesting observation Kearl made was the general lack of a younger audience present in the crowd.

“I noticed a number of buses from retirement communities outside of Laurie,” said Kearl. “It was definitely an older generation crowd, which leads me to worry about whether or not Twain will be remembered in twenty years. It’s too bad for those who missed it because it was probably Trinity’s last visit my Mark Twain as reincarnated through Hal.”

Jesus walks among us

Messiah look-alike models for religious art

as seen in The Trinitonian on 11.11.2011

Sophomore Joshua Pedrick, a religion major, has recently found a hobby in modeling for local artists. Pedrick, who sings in both The Trinitones and the choir and is involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, says he thrust himself into modeling by a curious set of circumstances. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Pedrick’s appearance is what some might describe as his physical resemblance to Jesus.

“It turned out that a man I know had been a model for some art classes taught by a painter off campus, and this guy was a nude model,” said Pedrick. “I have not done that, because I’m not entirely comfortable with it as of yet, but what I’ve done for [that same painter] is gone in and done some work with him, posing fully clothed for a couple hours at a time for artists to draw and sketch.”

Pedrick said that over the past year he has been growing his hair out to donate to Locks of Love. He also has a beard, which he said is “merely aesthetic—for decoration.” Pedrick added that the painter, who teaches at Inspire Community Fine Art Center, has started using his shots for religious art and hopes to do some longer, more in depth shots in the future.

“I think it’s fun, and I get paid by the hour, but I probably won’t do it as a career,” said Pedrick. “I enjoy art in general and I do what I can to take part in the artistic process. Every artist has different technique and style that they bring to the table, so it is amazing to see what people end up creating.”

Pedrick explained that he usually starts off choosing a pose and holding each pose for two minutes for experienced artists to do several very rough sketches. He said he has to stay in some poses for up to 20 minutes at a time.

“One time towards the end of the day I was asked to do a few poses while in action,” said Pedrick. “I did what I thought was going to be a really easy pose, which was pretending like I was picking up my back-pack. I had my hand on my knee, putting all of my weight on my wrist, and after about three minutes it was just killing me. You live and you learn.”

Pedrick said that the demand for models of visual art is much greater for nude models because it allows for more artistic options.

“I am pretty bold in general, so any tension or awkwardness dissipated pretty quickly after the first time I modeled,” said Pedrick. “It is much more relaxed and casual than I expected for visual art, with people coming and going. I get breaks to stretch out between poses.”

Pedrick said his first reaction to people commenting on his resemblance to a biblical character was that he wasn’t very surprised.

“I thought it was kind of funny, and I understand because I have long hair and a beard,” said Pedrick. “I also wear these sandals all the time that look biblical. It’s pretty common for people to pick out—I guess I do look fairly similar. One sweet little old lady went so far as to say I looked like Ashton Kutcher, which was a surprise.”

Pedrick comes from a Christian background and grew up overseas in Norway and Australia, attending high school in Houston.

“In theory, if my life emulated Jesus as much as my face and hair did, I’d be a happy camper!”

Creating new classics

Trinity ensemble performs new music, adding variety to the traditional

as seen in The Trinitonian on 11.04.2011

The next large ensemble concert of the semester will be the Trinity University Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concert this coming Sunday, November 6, at 3 p.m. in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall. Coordinating the 60-member winds and percussion ensemble is associate professor of music education Dr. James Worman.

“It is a little different in that we’re doing a piece that’s just been written,” Worman said. “Usually ensembles explore pieces that have been in the repertoire for years and years, but it is exciting to undertake a something like this with no real point of reference on it. The piece itself is fairly challenging, and has been harder to get ready than most.”

The ensemble will be the premiere of a new work by Indian-American composer, Asha Srinivasan. Currently an assistant professor of music at Lawrence University, Srinivasan has been involved with music since she was 6 years-old and draws her inspiration from her own Western musical training and Indian heritage.

“[Srinivasan] is going to be present as a special guest for the concert, and her work is the centerpiece of the entire performance,” Worman said. “There will be an expert conducting one of the pieces, Dr. R. Mark Rogers. Additionally, we have invited University President Ahlburg, who was born in Australia, to come and celebrate his homeland with the works of Percy Grainger who is also a native to Australia.”

The Wind Ensemble, which comprises of 60 members, is represented by students of more than 20 different majors and performs a variety of works including traditional marches and distinctive contemporary pieces.

“To encourage composers to write new pieces for band, lots of organizations create consortiums with numerous colleges contributing to one project,” Worman said. “In this case, 10 campuses contributed money to put this piece together. I was invited to be a part of this consortium, and because I am always looking for new and interesting pieces, I thought that [Srinivasan’s] nonwestern ideas and experiences with Indian music would bring a fresh voice to band.”

Worman added that the ensemble on Sunday will incorporate new, contemporary pieces with a new angle that calls on all the different sections throughout the performance.

“There is nothing else like it, and while sometimes people aren’t quite sure if they like it or not at first, this is how any art moves forward,” Worman said. “When you say the word band, you first think marching or military. What I try to do with my programming is show as many different kinds of music that bands can play so people’s perceptions are broadened by what a band can be. Ultimately, everyone has a shot at the spotlight in this concert.”

Another upcoming musical highlight of the semester is the 18th annual Trinity University Christmas Concert on Friday, December 2 in Laurie Auditorium. For this event, the Trinity Symphony Orchestra will team up with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Combined Choirs and Trinity Handbell Ensemble.

Music Professor Dr. Kenneth Greene, Conductor and director of the 60-member Trinity Symphony Orchestra, explained the event in more detail.

“This concert is free and open to the public, annually drawing over 2,000 audience members,” Greene said. “The program this year will feature the combined talents of nearly 200 of the University’s singers and instrumentalists.”

Greene said the Christmas concert will include traditional holiday favorites such as It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Polar Express medley, For Unto Us a Child is Born from Handel’s Messiah, Greensleeves, and a festive arrangement of Jingle Bells.

“For this concert, the director of each ensemble jointly plans a completely new concert each year,” Greene said. “The only carryover is the traditional sing-a-long of Joy to the World, which closes the concert. Each director decides upon the music by length, difficulty and aesthetic merit of each musical work, and how each contributes to the overall flow of the concert. Additionally, each director also chooses pieces that will provide stimulating learning experiences for the students, with a balance among different styles of music.“

Sophomore Aaron Rosenblatt, a violinist in the Symphony Orchestra, described his excitement for the upcoming concert.

“I participated in it last year and it was a lot of fun—there was a great amount of public support,” said Rosenblatt. “It was also nice to play for a big audience, get the community involved and show everyone what we’ve been working on. Each year our repertoire is complete different in style and sound, which challenges our group in a different way.”

Rubio’s music in Greek classic wins big

Trinity’s up-and-coming musician makes a name for himself in the San Antonio theatre scene

as seen in The Trinitonian on 11.04.2011

Senior Marcus Rubio, a music composition major, recently gained recognition this past October for his musical direction in the Trinity production of “The Bacchae.” At the 21st annual Alamo Theatre Arts Council Globe Awards, Rubio won best original musical score for his work, which was performed last February at Trinity.

“The score is a mix of hip-hop beats and glam rock with avant-garde instrumentation—it’s basically a crazy hodge-podge of ideas,” Rubio said. “I found out only a week before [the awards] that I had potentially been nominated, so it was unexpected and exciting. I showed up to The Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, and all I knew was that ‘The Bacchae’ was winning for something.”

The ATAC Globe Awards is a citywide non-profit organization that recognizes and celebrates achievements in production and performance of San Antonio theatre artists.

“I have been doing music all four years I’ve been at Trinity, and I was involved in the pit orchestra freshman year, but I hadn’t ever written the music for a play before—it had been a goal of mine to write a musical,” Rubio said. “[Dr.] Kyle (Gillette, who directed ‘The Bacchae’) approached me about the musical, and I wound up taking the gig and writing a bunch of songs for it.”

Rubio described a pivotal moment in his life that caused him to realize he could make a career with his music.

“When I was 15 I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to record an album, ‘My Head Blew Up and Turned into the Sky,’” Rubio said. “It was not necessarily good, but it was a big deal for me because I learned so much about composing and songwriting production. A well-known local musician took me on and charged a minimal rate for recording session time to write a silly group of songs a 15 year-old boy might write. My mom paid for most of it, and I used my allowance to help pay the rest.”

Rubio said that one of his favorite gigs he has done at Trinity is “The Bacchae,” adding that he is particularly proud of his sonata. He said that he enjoys working with the Human Communication and Theatre department greatly, and he would not be opposed to doing another musical.

“I play a bunch of different stuff, but guitar is my primary instrument because I’m more adept at that,” Rubio said. “I’d say I might be even better at working with electronic music programs on my laptop than guitar—that’s how I generate a lot of my ideas.”

Rubio said his plans for the future include going to graduate school for composition or electronic composition of some kind. He is primarily considering schools on the east coast, such as Princeton, Brown and Brooklyn College.

Halloween howls from Susanna Hall in haunted hall

Swashbucklers provide alcohol-free, frightening fun

as seen in The Trinitonian on 10.28.2011

Tonight and only tonight, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Susanna, is the annual Swashbuckler Haunted Hall. This frightfully fun event, which has been put on yearly by the Swashbucklers since 2006, has an average turnout of about 250 people from the Trinity community.

Spearheading the event is Jacob Hugentobler, a junior majoring in history and education. Hugentobler, a Swashbuckler Fountaineer, explained the process for planning the event.

“We start officially planning it about two weeks ahead of time, once we have a date set [for Haunted Hall],” Hugentobler said. “We plan a time to go shopping at Wal-Mart a couple of days before. This year we’re going to start setting up around 6 hours before the show at about 1:30 p.m.”

Hugentobler described a few of the themes chosen for the Haunted Hall, including Paranormal Activity 3, a zombie apocalypse, an insane asylum, a screaming room, a butcher shop and clowns from outer space.

“Some of the themes we traditionally do because we know they work well,” Hugentobler said. “Almost everyone who is helping build the Haunted Hall is also acting in it, either as a tour guide or otherwise, because we’re a community hall and we try to help each other out.”

Hugentobler added that the TU Players, or the theatre club, are also assisting the Swashbucklers with the event. He encouraged everyone to attend the Res Life party and Rocky Horror Show after the Haunted Hall ends tonight.

“A lot of first years want to see the Haunted Hall because they’ve never seen it before, but we hope everybody comes because it’s not the same every year,” Hugentobler said. “The show technically ends at 9:30 p.m., but if there’s people still showing up and waiting in line at that time, we will likely continue to act so that everyone gets a chance to see it.”

Elisa Reyna, a junior English major who is a liaison for Swashbucklers, described her experience decorating and acting in the Haunted Hall last Halloween.

“It was really fun and we had a lot of people come through,” Reyna said. “There was a ton of participation in it—we decorated eight dorm rooms in the Swashbuckler hall and completely remodeled them using cardboard. I remember in our first act last year Matt Stigler had a prosthetic leg, and we played it up to where the butcher cuts off his leg. It was quite gruesome and surprising.”

Reyna said that the main purpose of the Haunted Hall is to scare people, because the more frightening it is the more legitimate it seems.

“To get any amount of scared people from a low budget Haunted Hall such as ours is good,” said Reyna. “I think it’s awesome that we have the opportunity to put on an event like this because it’s neat to see your friends acting in it and it brings the Trinity community together.”

Junior Abigail Leery, a classics, history and international affairs major, said that she has volunteered her room in Susanna for the Haunted Hall tonight.

“Luckily they tear it all down the same night they put everything up, and it only takes about 30 minutes,” said Leery. “We have a budget through Res Life because we’re a community hall, so we really appreciate that for helping us put on the Haunted Hall. I’m excited because this is a fun way for everyone to get involved, and depending on how you respond to haunted houses, you’re either going to think it’s funny because you recognize people, scary because it’s a haunted house or both.”

Dollars and sense: College student money-savers

Resourceful students create small business to earn cash and give tips on how to keep bank accounts out of the red

as seen in The Trinitonian on 10.21.2011

As the semester moves along, Trinity students are growing increasingly concerned about the current state of their declining meal-plans and Tigerbucks accounts. Luckily, there are some easy ways to get resourceful that are available to every student.

Alumnus Natalie Geistman, who graduated in 2011, described her creative moneymaking idea that resulted in her own on-campus business while attending Trinity.

“My idea started when I realized that some of the people on my hall freshman year didn’t even know how to do their own laundry. I’ve been doing my own laundry since 4th grade, so I began charging students double what the laundry machines cost on campus to do their laundry for them,” said Geistman.

Geistman said that not only did her on-campus laundry business generate spending money for her, but it also helped motivate her to do schoolwork while waiting for the laundry to finish.

“I made about $30 a week doing students’ laundry. I started out doing laundry for people I knew, and by word of mouth people began coming to me asking me to do their laundry. I also made a Facebook page for my business,” said Geistman.

Geistman added that she knew many students who took their laundry to the Olmos Park Wash And Fold near campus, but her prices were much cheaper and her work more efficient.

“Even though the Wash And Fold gives students a discount, the laundering service ends up costing something around $40 for a few loads of laundry, which is ridiculous,” said Geistman. “I also would feel nervous leaving my clothes there overnight at risk of someone mixing up my things or losing garments, especially because they use the same machines that are open to everyone who does their laundry there.”

Geistman named a few additional ways college students can make some quick cash, including signing up to to apply as a babysitter, selling clothing and accessories to Plato’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange and even selling your own plasma. She added that you could get paid up to $60 a week by selling your plasma.

“My mindset was that I was only at Trinity for a fellowship, and I wouldn’t have been able to attend Trinity otherwise—I was lucky to be there,” said Geistman. “My grandpa was a farmer and I felt bad taking money from my parents, so I looked for a way to generate money to pay for my extra expenses.

Senior Jane Wilberding, an urban studies and business major, described her money-saving techniques at Trinity.

“I stay aware by reading LeeRoy Daily News and Events every day, and I also read the upcoming events listed in The Current and The Trinitonian,” said Wilberding. “I find that the more you walk around campus, the more involved you become and the more you see things going on all over Trinity. This creates a chain effect in a way, because you end up networking and meeting people you otherwise never would have met.”

Wilberding said that many events on campus advertise free food, and attending these events is both a great way to not only save dine money and become more active in the Trinity community.

“I think attending on-campus events like this is beneficial for everyone, because the whole point of the event is to be together and enjoy it as a community,” said Wilberding. “Not only are you learning more about whatever organization is hosting the event, but you are also saving money you would potentially be using for food.”

Wilberding said her favorite food-related on-campus events include the Queso and Salsa Cookoff in Mabee, the Chocolate Festival and the Halloween Day food hosted by facilities services in the basement of Prassel.

“I’ve never missed a Nacho Hour since I’ve been at Trinity—I schedule my classes around it!” said Wilberding. “I’ve never really had any scheduling issues, but if I did, I’d work around it. I just go to a lot of events that are heavily advertised around campus. Also, keep an eye out for places off-campus that take Tigerbucks, because they often give discounts to students.”

Senior Amy Cover, an urban studies major, also voiced some practical tips and quick economical tricks.

“I sell my textbooks on the internet, usually through Amazon,” said Cover. “I also used to tutor for money, but I don’t think the organization exists anymore. You can, however, work at the writing center, and there are many other opportunities for pay available through Trinity. I got paid $9 an hour lifeguarding at Trinity’s outdoor pool this past summer. I also believe the Phone-A-Thon and campus tours pay well for Trinity students.”

Cover added that buying vegetarian foods and drinking water instead of fountain or bottled drinks are two simple yet effective ways to save money if you’re running low on funds.

“In general, I just try to get the best bang for my buck and be as frugal as possible. I try not to spend money that I don’t necessarily need to be spending—if you can cut up old t-shirts for rags instead of buying rags, then why would you buy them?” said Cover.

Professor Wallace Presents Art Show: POSTDIMENSIONALMAN

as seen in The Trinitonian on 09.30.2011

“POSTDIMENSIONALMAN,” an installation conceived and created by Trinity’s own Randy Wallace, studio manager for the Art Department, is currently displayed in Dicke Art Building’s Michael and Noemi Neidorff Art Gallery.

Upon entering the exhibit, it is clear that Wallace has transformed the gallery into an entirely different space with a completely unique feel. Several distinctive elements contribute to this impression.

“I wanted to create a fictional domicile with an exterior yard inside the space itself. I anticipate people to take away from it the feeling of an anonymous place that still has very raw elements to it,” Wallace said. “For example, I used black tape instead of hiding the mechanism for framing. I also created structural cues that hint towards another dimension of the exhibit—so that people may ask, ‘is something back there?’”

A key individual piece within Wallace’s exhibit is a hovering cicada specimen in a jar surrounded by a black background. Wallace said this symbolizes an infinite reach to eternal darkness. He hopes spectators will take the conceptual leap to emptiness. Another notable work is a digital photograph in the center of the exhibit, depicting two opposing scenes in Portland, Wallace explained that he means to contrast an urban versus natural life, and the state of disrepair this causes.

“This was a great opportunity and a wonderful experience to share,” Wallace said. “We built this in three-and-a-half weeks. It always materializes differently than you expect, and at some point it takes on its own identity.”

Wallace added that he is more interested in the possibilities than the definites. His work is purposefully cryptic, and he does not clearly explain his motiviations. He leaves parts ambiguous so that there is a great deal of room for interpretation.

“I feel that part of the exchange is saying: this is my offering, and it is your task to foster discussion and response. My goal is to get spectators to explore the objects more explicitly. In my work, each concept contributes to a whole, but can work independently as well,” Wallace said.

The exhibition runs 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. now through Nov. 19 and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., free of charge.

Religious diversity sparks discussion

Jewish community celebrates Yom Kippur and Judaism on campus

as seen in The Trinitonian on 09.30.2011

While Trinity celebrates and commemorates major religious holidays by cancelling classes, students of minority faiths are sometimes forced to decide between school and religion.

Dr. Claudia Stokes, Associate Professor of the English department, is a faculty advisor of the Jewish Students Association. Stokes raised her children Jewish and explained that she takes her responsibilities as a Jew very seriously as an inheritor of a tradition thousands of years old.

Stokes said Jewish students at Trinity tend to be more secular than orthodox, principally as a result of the difficulty in upholding the Orthodox Jewish tradition.

“The requirements of an orthodox Jewish life include a kosher kitchen, a separate dining area and access to services without driving. Judaism is different from many religions—it is not just a belief system, it is an ethnicity and a culture,” Stokes said. “For many Jewish students at Trinity, balancing academic and religious responsibilities can be difficult. While Trinity doesn’t have all the resources to support very religious Jewish students, faculty and staff, I think Trinity is aware of the situation and is seeking to address it.”

Non-Orthodox Jewish students customarily celebrate the main Jewish holidays including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as well as Passover, Hanukkah and Tisha B’av. It is currently the busiest time of the year for Jewish holidays, as it is now the month of Tishri. In this month, there are a total of 13 days of special religious significance, 7 of them being holidays on which work is technically not permitted.

“I grew up in a part of the world where school was cancelled for every major and even some minor Jewish holidays—in New York City, it was woven into the normal movements of life,” said Stokes. “I know that Saint Mary’s Hall recognizes Jewish holidays even though they are an Episcopalian school. Although Trinity is now more sensitive to these issues, I think it needs to become part of the public discourse.”

Trinity continues to schedule meetings and events on Jewish holidays. For example, this year’s alumni weekend will take place during Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews, and thus many Jewish students and alumni will have to decide between reuniting with old friends and observing the holy day by fasting and attending synagogue services.

“While a school named Trinity is not likely to attract Jewish students in particular, I think Trinity has a richly diverse student body,” said Stokes. “I feel that it is important for us to fold in a range of religious traditions more into the fabric of our institution, and at the very least this would make a significant contribution to the cultural education of our students.”

Associate professor of engineering science Dr. Jack Leifer, raised Jewish himself, shared his viewpoint on the issue.

“The statistics say that Trinity is about 4% Jewish, which is pretty high being down here in the south. While it is true that the level and intensity of commitment is lower here compared to northern areas of the country, I believe this is because Jewish culture is so prevalent up there—some neighborhoods can be up to 40% Jewish,” Leifer said.

Leifer added that even though this year’s alumni weekend conflicts with Yom Kippur, he was pleased to see a formal apology on Trinity’s alumni website and a promise that something like this would not happen again.

“I’m happy that Trinity is such an open and diverse institution that really recognizes and celebrates all faiths. There are so many different religions on lunar calendars with shifting celebrations that schools do have to take extra care in order to make sure major conflicts don’t happen,” said Leifer. “I think our school is sensitive to these issues, and while I think there are certain religions that are more visible than others on our campus, Trinity constantly makes an effort to respect and accommodate all religious needs.”

Sophomore Miriam Lavenda, a Spanish and religion major and Vice President of the Jewish Students Association, expressed what JSA offers students who practice Judaism.

“You don’t have to be Jewish to join. We want to raise awareness and spread the word to anyone interested in Judaism. In college, I think it’s important to have a community of people who celebrate the same things that you do,” Lavenda said.

JSA currently has a group of approximately 50 students who attend services and celebrate holidays together.

“More or less, if you go to Trinity you are probably not orthodox. We don’t get a lot of Jewish holidays off school, so we have to work around that,” said Lavenda. “As far as the upcoming alumni weekend, I think many Jewish students and alumni will have to choose one or the other. Personally, both are important to me, so I’m going to try to do both.”

Hidden Gems: An Art Tour through Northrup with Professor Elizabeth Ward

Students walk through Northrup every day rushing to make it to class on time. Few stop to notice the collection of artwork we have on display.

as seen in The Trinitonian on 09.16.2011

1. Robert Rauschenberg, Darryl Pottorf: “Quattro Mani Marrakech I, II, V1”, 2000

a. Located in Northrup, 4th Floor in President’s area

According to Dr. Sarah Burke of the Modern Languages & Literatures Department, the Rauschenbergs are very valuable but not placed discernably so. They are rumored to be worth over a million dollars. If you look closely, you can see the hidden bicycle theme within the three paintings.

2. John Virtue: “Landscape No. 152”, c. 1993

a. Located in Northrup, 3rd Floor lobby

“You can see the graphic black and white textures—the drips, the layers, the contrast and the energy. It is very abstract but you can pull out the pieces if you take a step back,” said Ward.

3. Walter Darby Bannard: “China Spring”, 1970

a. Located in Northrup, 2nd Floor lobby

“This is an abstract expressionistic piece. It has many layers of rolling and spattered paint techniques, which gives it almost a camo feel,” said Ward.

4. Robert Natkin: “Bern Series”

a. Located in Northrup, Main Lobby

“This is a huge, museum-sized painting. It is contemporary in the spirit of what many Trinity artists are interested in, and it’s nice to see that we’re not afraid to put up large pieces such as this,” said Ward.

5. Kate Ritson: “The World’s Writing Systems”, 2004

a. Located in Northrup, Main Lobby

“Ritson designed her artwork for this particular space. She also created the sculpture on level one of Coates Library,” said Ward. Ritson, who she herself was a Trinity art professor, installed each 50-pound limestone tablet, which exhibits symbols and letters from every known alphabet of the world.

6. Rolando Briseño: “Learning Tree”

a. Located in Northrup, Main Lobby

“This work was also made for this specific space,” said Ward. The sculpture is a 25-foot bronze tree set in front of a cascading waterfall.

7. Karin Davie: “Before You, Before Me”, 1994

a. Located in Northrup, Main Lobby

“I really enjoy the visual motion in the shape of the canvas. It is well-placed in this space of transition,” said Ward.

Facebook tumbling behind Tumblr?

Students expand their social media options

as seen in The Trinitonian on 09.16.2011

If you’re sick and tired of Facebook and Twitter already, you might want to check out a newly emerging social media platform: Tumblr. According to Business Insider, Tumblr ranks as the 10th largest social network; Reuters reveals that Tumblr has an 85% retention rate, compared with Twitter’s 40%. What makes Tumblr unique is that it’s a simple blogging platform any beginner blogger can use, yet it also has higher capacities for the experienced blogger.

Junior Don Dimick, a communication major, said that Tumblr provides a second layer to many shorter form social networking sites, such as Twitter or Facebook, allowing users more freedom over their personal space.

“Tumblr is simple and easy to use, while still being as powerful if not more so than other services. I really can't think of another social networking site with something as great and simple as Tumblr's dashboard,” Dimick said. “I like using it as a stream of information I find interesting. For students doing longer form research, it’s a great way to keep track of resources all while being transparent and receiving feedback.”

According to Dimick, the balance between form and freedom is what sets Tumblr apart from the rest. While the creative control given to the user is vast, Tumblr’s unique format still manages to make things simple for the content creator to easily express their thoughts.

“I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fleshing out ideas, expressing themselves creatively or even just love showing off what they find on the Internet,” said Dimick.

“If you have ever written an especially good status update and people liking it and commenting on it has made your day I think Tumblr is a great logical step for you.”

Junior and psychology major Nousha Parkhill explained that she uses Tumblr purely for entertainment.

“There are endless things to look at and you can follow other Tumblrs that post things matching your interests. After a while your dashboard starts to reflect things like your favorite shows, music, and jokes that are posted by other people who have those same interests,” Parkhill said. “It requires minimal effort to be entertained—all you have to do is scroll down and you're sure to come across something funny, meaningful or relatable.”

Parkhill also mentioned a distinctive quality of Tumblr: the option to participate in a variety of ways. You can post photographs, comics, gifs, videos, music—virtually anything. And you do not even have to post original work. The point of reblogging is to share something someone else posted so that it circulates around on Tumblr and gains popularity.

“If you like to write, you can write. It can be anonymous or you can make a name for yourself as a professional blogger,” said Parkhill. I personally like to 'like' posts I find awesome or funny, which saves them to a folder. Then when I’m bored or having an off day I go through this folder, which is virtually a growing compilation of things that at one time made me laugh or smile - instant mood booster.”

Parkhill confessed that she spends more time on Tumblr than Facebook now, as it has more to offer in terms of entertainment for her.

“Facebook is obviously more useful for keeping up with friends and Facebook stalking, but that eventually gets boring,” said Parkhill. “It's great to be able to share your work and receive feedback on Tumblr. Especially if you're just experimenting with these things, it's nice to just share it in a semi-anonymous way with the public.”

Dr. Jennifer Henderson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, agreed that Tumblr allows more options in general for creativity in comparison to other popular social networking sites.

“Artists and people who enjoy modifying social media expressions more often go for sites like Tumblr because they allow users to participate easily while also connecting to a much wider audience,” Henderson said. “Social media is part of a larger movement of the participatory culture of growing up online, and this allows us more potential to have our voices heard and give us immediate feedback on these creative ideas bubbling up.”

Community garden blossoms behind Storch

Students’ green thumbs promote self-sufficiency and environmentalism

as seen in The Trinitonian on 09.09.2011

The newly established Trinity University Community Garden Club will have its first planting day Saturday, Sept. 10 in the beds behind Storch. Officially created late last semester, this is the club’s first major project.

The club was conceived by a small group of Trinity students who noticed a calling for it on campus and a general interest in the concept by the student body, faculty and staff. Junior Katie Banick, who is one of the students involved in the club’s formation, explained how it began.

“Mitch Hagney, who is studying abroad now, is the one who really started (the club). We wanted students to be able to plant and grow their own food, and we wanted it student run and lead. The idea is that there is nobody in charge and it’s completely a group effort,” Banick said.

The Community Garden Club will choose approximately 4-6 plants from a list of approved plants provided by Facilites Services consisting of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The club anticipates funding from the Environmental Studies Department and ASR for gardening tools, soil and seeds.

“This fall is a good time to see what interest is on campus, and so far there’s a lot of interest. Since this is really a group effort, we don’t want it to fall on any one person. We’re looking for people with experience to teach others about growing your own food, similar to the green and local food initiative that is happening everywhere right now,” said Banick.

The current location of the garden will likely be transferred in the spring to the original site where it was planned. Initially arranged for the area behind Herndon between Calvert and Coates, the space had to be relocated by Facilities Services due to extensive construction in that area on campus. Junior Katie Duffy weighed in about the change in the garden’s location.

“We are going to focus on efficiency within the smaller space and then expand to the jogging path in the future. Because fruits grow on trees, they are not as efficient to plant the first year in, so this semester we’re doing vegetables and herbs. Later on we hope to produce more flowers, produce and agriculture,” Duffy said.

Duffy explained that the club will have a system for members to tend to the garden, and a minimum requirement of hours worked on the garden per person. In addition to planning major planting days, club members will also organize a watering schedule to make sure the plants are watered enough.

“While right now we are concentrating on agriculture, in the future we have an idea of beautifying the space and creating a place for Trinity students to go to enjoy nature. I think this is a significant opportunity for students to recognize their obligations for the environment,” said Duffy.

The club plans to have a party at the end of the semester in which members cook up their own food they’ve planted and eat it together. Senior Jane Wilberding, who also helped initiate the club, said if the garden provides enough harvesting over time, the club will donate food to the Food Bank.

“We want to bring hype about local and organic foods and teach people what goes into that,” said Wilberding. “There is a difference between saying something is organic and actually doing it, and it is more rewarding when you put all the work into it yourself. I am most excited about seeing how the Trinity community can come and enjoy the fruits of our labor together.”

Professor provides tips to feng-shui, your way

as seen in The Trinitonian on 08.26.2011

Practically everyone knows that attempting to study in your room is one of the biggest rookie mistakes you can make in college. But did you know that you could Fengshui your room to better grades, and better yet a more prosperous life?

First, you must ask the burning question: What the heck is Fengshui? It’s not a philosophy, nor a science. It ain’t a religion either. So what does that leave? Dr. Stephen Field, an associate professor in the department of modern languages and literatures, weighs in.

“The word Fengshui consists of two Chinese characters: ‘Feng’ means wind and ‘Shui’ means water. Fengshui controls the flow of Qi (pronounced ‘chi’), which essentially means energy or life force when translated,” said Field. “Chinese believe all living things are made up with this force Qi, which flows through everything. Ultimately, through Fengshui you want to catch Qi and hold it near you, which will in turn bring good fortune.”

What does this mean to us average folk simply trying to bring some luck into our living spaces? Field, who is one of the first scholars in the world to study Fengshui, has written and translated numerous books on the subject. As the editor of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fengshui,” Field knows a thing or two about properly Fengshuing a room.

“Straight flows are bad, because they strip the Qi out of your environment—which is something you want. The front door should not face the back door, since that would mean that Qi is being swept right out of the room by the wind. Your body should also not be in line with the door when you sleep because you do not want the wind blowing on you.

Additionally, you must separate your study from sleeping space somehow, perhaps by draping a curtain or using a screen. When you’re in bed you should not be thinking about study,” said Field.

The easiest way to begin your Fengshui makeover starts with getting rid of clutter, which also gets in the way of the flow of Qi. Because you and your roommate define what is in place, you determine if there is good or bad Fengshui.

“You can also properly arrange your room according to your elemental Qi, which is personalized by your birth year and sex. However, this is not always possible with a roommate, as your Qi flow directions could clash. Each person has four lucky directions and four unlucky directions, and you sometimes cannot rearrange your room to fit your birth year. But if, for example, your direction calls for your bed to be in front of the door, you can improvise and block Qi flow because where you sleep is most important,” said Field.

The idea is to work together with your roommate so that you both are living in a space where you feel good. You don’t have to stop at your room, either—you can arrange things on your desk according to your elemental Qi, or theoretically even a city.

“Your elemental Qi is like a battery; you must charge it like any other device. When you leave your home, you can’t always control having good Fengshui, so you need to come back home and be recharged. Really you have to think of it psychologically, because the worst thing is to be living in a space where you feel uncomfortable,” said Field.

Fengshui originates from ancient Chinese practices of burying the dead. They believed that one’s spirit was still alive in the spirit world, and Qi influences one’s spiritual life. When an ancestor’s spirit was properly fengshuied, good Qi began to flow and in turn good luck would come to the living relatives to help keep the family alive.

According to Field, “Fengshui is an art. It is an aesthetic worldview, and from our perspective that means putting something on a wall that makes you feel good. Many people in China believe you can arrange a space so that it is properly fengshuied, and like traditional art, this does something for you.”

Field himself seems to be living proof of the luck Fengshui can bring. Within two years of fengshuing his house for the first time, he received an email from his high school sweetheart whom he had not seen in 20 years, and they were married 6 months later.

Tragedy Shakespeare and student shows kick off season

Department of Communication and Theater prepares for fall 2011 line-up

as seen in The Trinitonian on 09.02.2011

Coming this fall semester, the Department of Human Communication and Theatre brings a number of unique plays and events to the Trinity community. Faculty-directed plays on the main stage in Stieren Theatre include “Tragedy: a tragedy” and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. There will also be four student-run and performed lab shows, in addition to two special events presented by the Department of Human Communication and Theatre.

“Tragedy: a tragedy” is the first main stage show, which is directed by Assistant Professor of Human Communication and Theatre Dr. Kyle Gillette and runs from September 30 to October 8. Written by Will Eno, the play puts a satirical spin on the question of existence. What begins as a parody of the news media develops into an examination of deeper issues in today’s society and how we perceive disaster.

The second play in Stieren Theatre is Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” which runs from November 11 through November 19. Directed By Assistant Professor of Human Communication and Theatre Dr. Susanna Morrow, this classic comedy mixes humor with heartache, illustrating how in the end love makes fools of us all.

From September 14 to September 23, a famous group in the theatre world called “The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richard” will be at Stieren Theatre, which makes Trinity the second university in the U.S. to host them. They will be teaching in residence while here, doing workshops in classes, and even giving three performances of each of their shows with free admission.

This semester’s second special event presented by the Department of Human Communication and Theatre is “Alumni Showcase.” This is a one time only event, which takes place on October 8. The event will honor Eugene Mckinney, a former Trinity professor who recently past away last December. Written by Mckinney, “A Different Drummer” was the first show ever produced in Ruth Taylor (which is now called Stieren), and will be directed and performed by Trinity alumni in a reader’s theatre production of the original play.

Lecturer stresses importance of noise-control in hospitals

Ilene Busch-Vishniac presents her findings on effects of loud noise on recovering patients

as seen in The Trinitonian on 05.08.2011

Ilene Busch-Vishniac, professor of mechanical engineering and provost and academic vice-president of McMaster University, gave a lecture in Laurie Auditorium this past Monday. The lecture was titled, “Noise Control in Hospitals (Or Ssssshhhhh! I’m trying to Heal!)” and was part of the Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series.

The lecture concentrated on information collected and studies done by Busch-Vishniac and colleagues during her time as a professor and dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

“For patients, noise is the number one complaint in hospitals, which means it is worse than hospital food. That’s saying a lot,” Busch-Vishniac said. “There is statistical evidence from all over the world that sound has been increasing in hospitals since the 1960s, and today in a typical pediatric care unit, you can’t tell the difference between night and day by noise.”

Busch-Vishniac explained that in the data she has collected, the noise level in hospitals today significantly exceeds the current hospital noise guidelines set by the World Health Organization, the goal of which is to define a noise level that will not cause any damage to humans.

“Because the noise level is higher, people who work in hospitals then have to speak more loudly, and patients must speak more loudly to visitors. This makes a more stressful environment for everyone. The bottom line is we have a serious problem as documented by complaints of hospital patients, staff and visitors,” Busch-Vishniac said.

Busch-Vishniac explained that while there is no actual evidence that noise causes problems with healing in humans, there are still suggestions. A study was done that proved that rats in a noisy environment took longer to heal from surgery compared to rats in a quiet environment. Also, studies have shown that patients ask for pain medications less when their room is quieter.

Jack Leifer, associate professor of engineering science, completed his masters and Ph.D. with Busch-Vishniac at the University of Texas at Austin, and views her as a role model and mentor.

“I know [Busch-Vishniac] has done very interesting work that is applicable to almost everyone,” Leifer said. “Because her work touches so many of us, and because I knew what a wonderful speaker she was, I thought she would be a good person to bring to campus.”

Leifer explained Busch-Vishniac’s point by describing the three basic points of noise control: the source, the path and the recipient of the sound.

“By putting absorbent materials on the walls and ceilings in hospital rooms, [Busch-Vishniac] was saying we can eliminate all other paths of sound except for the direct path. The other paths can be a large portion of the sound you hear, so treating and changing this pathway significantly reduces the sound,” Leifer said.

Leifer said that now there is an antibacterial fabric available that can go over fiberglass and be used in hospitals to reduce sound. Hypothetically, he said, it is a much cheaper solution than controlling sound by the source or the recipient.

Senior Paurakh Rajbhandary, an engineering science and physics major, introduced Busch-Vishniac to the audience on Monday.

“Noise control can be a very helpful and important thing in hospitals where there are many things going on all the time; [it is] essentially where people live and die. Dr. Busch-Vishniac proved this. However it does not have to be limited to hospitals – it can be applied to many different places, such as offices,” Rajbhandary said.

Rajbhandary expressed that he agreed with Busch-Vishniac’s proposed method in solving the noise issue.

“The way Dr. Busch-Vishniac tackled the problem is the most practical approach. We do not want to interfere with the source because a doctor could be saying something important or saving someone’s life,” Rajbhandary said. “We also would not want to obstruct the receiver if someone is in pain. Modifying the noise by the path is the optimal way.”

Junior Lauren Phillips also weighed in on the lecture.

“I agree that noise is a major problem in hospitals, but I don’t think it is the only one. I think the whole environment is something that could be improved on,” Phillips said.

Phillips said she could not even remember the last time she had been in a hospital. Her family favors healing with herbal and organic medicines, and she finds that a home environment provides a better healing atmosphere.

“The thing that surprised me most is the quote Dr. Busch-Vishniac used in her lecture. The quote, by Florence Nightingale, said, ‘Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care which can be inflicted either on the sick or the well,’” Phillips said.

faculty and staff put on "vagina monologues" at trinity

women's history month committee sponsors event to raise awareness about v-day, help rape crisis center

as seen in the trinitonian on 04.01.2011

Trinity hosted a benefit performance of “The Vagina Monologues” this past Monday night in Stieren Theater to raise awareness of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women. Funds from the performance went primarily to the San Antonio Rape Crisis Center, which offers services to rape survivors and their families.

Sponsored by Women’s History Month Committee and the Department of Speech and Drama, this year’s “The Vagina Monologues” came together when Susanna Morrow asked a group of women faculty members if they would be interested and willing to participate.

16 female Trinity faculty and staff members participated in the performance, presenting monologues with titles such as “My Angry Vagina,” “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could,” and “My Vagina was My Village.” These monologues addressed various female-related topics, which touched on everything from birth to rape, lesbianism, transgender sexuality and pubic hair.

“The Vagina Monologues” is based on an original play by Eve Ensler. The play was derived from a series of interviews that Ensler conducted with hundreds of women. As a cornerstone of the V-Day movement, “The Vagina Monologues” serves primarily to celebrate the vagina. Every year Ensler creates a different highlight monologue that receives ten percent of the proceeds, and this year’s was dedicated to Haiti.

Trinity faculty member Jennifer Browne, who performed in the event, described her experience working for the cause with the directors, Susanna Morrow, assistant professor of speech and drama; Susan Gilliam, instructor of speech and drama; and Rachel Joseph, instructor of English and other women.

“The directors did a fantastic job of creating a rollercoaster between laughing and crying. By creating that arc they brought the audience to a point and then moved smoothly to another place, producing a collective moment,” Browne said.

Browne said that as a group, the performers only officially practiced once before performing on stage.

“We mostly practiced on our own, so it was hilarious and wonderful to see how [the other performers] made these voices on the page come alive. I was so impressed with my colleagues, by how brave and beautiful they were,” Browne said.

Browne said that humor was an important tool in getting the audience comfortable with opening up to the more difficult messages addressed in the performance.

“This show was for men as much as it was for women. We are so uncomfortable talking honestly and openly about our bodies, which contributes to the objectification of women today. But when you’re laughing, you can relax, stop resisting and look directly at women’s bodies,” Browne said.

“The Vagina Monologues” sold over 400 tickets among Trinity students and members of the community.

“I was wowed and thrilled so many students came. All of us on stage felt that the audience made the performance come alive, and there was a great energy that moved people to laugh and cry and shout profanity all at once,” Browne said.

Rita Urquijo-Ruiz, associate professor of modern languages and literatures, also performed at the event and explained how grateful she was for the concerted effort that Trinity students, faculty and staff made in advertising and putting together the performance.

“We are so thankful to everyone for coming out and being a part of this event. This is one of the most successful low-budget productions I’ve seen at Trinity, and we are very proud of the work we did,” Urquijo-Ruiz said. “The response to ‘The Vagina Monologues’ really demonstrated the need for events like this in the future.”

Urquijo-Ruiz added that the harsh reality of the event’s purpose helped the performers prepare.

“I love a big audience, but some [of the performers] were intimidated at first. We talked about the power of an event like this, how in this day and age there is so much violence,” Urquijo-Ruiz said. “The purpose was to teach us to invite laughter into difficult situations. After the performance, I think everyone walked away with something positive from it.”

First year Nicole Mundt found the event both entertaining and directed toward a good cause.

“’The Vagina Monologues’ was really entertaining and downright hysterical. I didn’t expect to laugh that hard, but I was laughing the entire time. I also didn’t expect to see so many people show up, but there were hardly any empty seats,” Mundt said. “The faculty involved did a great job and helped raise money for a serious cause in a fun way.”

Staff member gets CVA

Edwin Blanton, coordinator for community service, certified in volunteer administration

as seen in The Trinitonian on 04.13.2012

Edwin Blanton, the Coordinator for Community Service and Engagement in Campus and Community Involvement at Trinity, successfully received “Certified in Volunteer Administration” credential on March 6 from the non-profit Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.

A select 1,100 individuals in the world have attained this credential, and it is the only one in the field of volunteerism that is recognized internationally. To achieve this, Blanton went through a complex application process that involved over a year of preparation and work. Blanton spoke on his experience with this yearlong process and how it feels to now have this highly sought-after credential.

Q: What did you have to do in order to apply for CVA approval?

BLANTON: “You have to apply to be part of the program. An exam was involved, one which is offered only once a year that I took in May, and I had until December to submit a portfolio for review. The exam had a two-hour limit, and covered things such as terminology in volunteer management. The portfolio went through my philosophy on volunteer management and ethics and a case study of a volunteer program I had implemented. All that went to a committee that reviews the portfolio.”

Q: What was the most difficult part for you?

BLANTON: “I think the portfolio was not overly challenging, in that it wasn’t as big of a stress for me compared to the exam. It was more or less a time commitment. It was actually reading and studying for the exam that was the most difficult, because I have never thought of myself as a great test-taker.”

Q: Who determines whether you earn CVA approval?

BLANTON: “The portfolio is sent to the council for CVA that’s comprised of a lot of professionals, many from very large volunteer organizations.”

Q: Why did you personally want to earn CVA credential?

BLANTON: “I’ve supervised volunteers for being elite volunteers to professional, and trained PeaceCorps volunteers—the one thing I didn’t have yet was CVA credential. I really wanted to have that. Very few people actually have it—only a handful of people in the San Antonio region. I really believe in volunteerism and having effectiveness in the world, which is why I aspired for this.”

Q: What can you actually do with this praiseworthy credential?

BLANTON: “More or less, I can put it after my name. It speaks mostly to our community partners—non-profits and community agencies I work with. It just gives that extra little star to say this person has a good understanding of volunteer administration.”

Q: What got you interested in volunteerism. Have you always had a passion for it?

BLANTON: “I was a business undergraduate, but got my masters in public administration to focus more on the nonprofit world and volunteerism. What drove me towards that goes back to how my parents raised me—with a strong work ethic and attitude that we all need to give something back to the world. I realized my true calling wasn’t business, and ever since then my life has revolved around volunteerism.”

Q: What does it mean to you to achieve this award?

BLANTON: “It was a goal that I’ve had, and I am really glad I did receive the certification. It was an affirmation that I do understand volunteer administration. I had to put a lot of time into it, but I believe you can always put a lot on your plate and do it well if you try to effectively manage your time.”

Alumni start vine house christian commune in san antonio

former swashbuckler and other trinity students live in a modern0day commune, sharing housing, food and expenses

as seen in The Trinitonian on 10.22.2010

View the article in The Trinitonian.

Four recent Trinity graduates have established what is known as the Vine House Intentional Christian Community. It is comprised of two main houses near each other in a close-knit neighborhood in southeast San Antonio. The lifestyle of these four alumni is focused on staying close to each other and to God by sharing responsibilities, possessions and resources.

Elena Serna, Philip Gates and Alex Wallender graduated in May 2008 and became the initial residents of the Vine House. Sarah Cullinan, class of ’10, and Rachael Ramirez, the most recent addition from Trinity, also live in the Vine House. Serna, Gates, Wallender and Cullinan lived on campus from their first year to graduation and are the founding fathers of the Swashbucklers, a substance-free residence hall.

Gates explained the fundamental concepts behind the Vine House.

“The initial folks living here all shared common interests and a common faith background. As individuals, we believed that living in an intentional community was a natural step because we wanted to stay plugged into the greater San Antonio community.”

An intentional community is typically centered around teamwork and a shared spiritual, social and political vision. Residents of the Vine House have consistent prayer in the morning, eat dinner together every weekday and share cars. With a Christian faith centrality, worship service is led by one person in the house every month.

“In an intentional community,” said Serna, “the dynamics of the house change with each person that comes in or out, and it changes how we function.”

Serna described how morning prayer had to be at 5 a.m. for a period of time because Wallender was a teacher and left very early in the morning.

“We modify our lives to include everybody,” said Serna.

The Vine House also hosts various people throughout the year, mostly for no more than a few months.

“Philip and I knew someone from college who had gotten sick and was homeless at the time, so we invited (the person) in for a few months,” Wallender said. “Because we have space, energy and resources, it is easier for us to host people than those who live more traditionally.”

The Vine House hosts neighborhood-wide events or meals to facilitate neighborly kinship. In addition to sharing meals and cars, inhabitants of the Vine House share a garden and chickens. The residents also share a bank account for house finances and food, each paying a percentage of their income.

“It’s a shared responsibility,” Gates said. “One person does the shopping, one person pays rent and utilities, one person cooks, one person cleans up and so on. We try to live simply by sharing many possessions and resources. $2,000 a month covers all the costs of six people living here.”

Gates explained that the main reason for living in an intentional community is not just to save money or make life easier.

“It’s really about relationships, getting to know each other and sharing a common life. Beautiful things grow out of it. Living simply and economically frees us up to do what we want—plug into our work lives, garden, become closer to each other and closer to God.”

Within their particular neighborhood, Wallender said that there are about 15 households within a four-block radius, which are all very close-knit. Residents range from recently graduated, like those in the Vine House, to people their grandparents’ age.

“The older families in the neighborhood have their own traditions and celebrations,” said Wallender. “They were very gracious and invited us to join them.”

The background of their neighborhood has a history of strong communal ties. Many families home-schooled their children and many families advocated immigration issues in the 1980s.

“Part of the draw of this area was the older community in these blocks,” Wallender said. “They knew how to do community well, and how to share resources and life together.”

Many families in the area also attend church at the local Mennonite Church.

“The theory (of intentional community) is through the history of the church. It brought about a revival of living together and doing things together,” Gates said.

Some of the founders had previously lived in a similar style to that of an intentional community, but formulating it and experiencing it for themselves shaped what they wanted theirs to be like, Gates explained, and was essentially where a lot of the seeds were planted.

While the Vine House clearly illustrates a unique way of living together with a purpose, there is a much broader movement toward intentional Christian communities. Serna hopes that more people will discover the benefits of intentional communities and become active in them.

“We want to be more than housemates to each other and we had to make that for ourselves. People are autonomous, but we wanted to support each other as best as we could by creating a kind of ‘family,’” Serna said. “For students who want to do this, the first step is owning it, talking about it and finding others who want to do it too.”

Concert for the cure combats cancer at cowboys

Gamma sorority brings josh abbott band to headline this year's concert for charity

as seen in The Trinitonian on 01.28.2011

View the article in The Trinitonian.

The Gamma Chi Delta sorority raised approximately $40,000 towards the American Cancer Society last Saturday at Cowboys Dancehall. It was the Gamma’s sixth annual Concert for the Cure event, which donates all proceeds to Camp Discovery.

Camp Discovery is a summer camp for children diagnosed with cancer. The Concert for the Cure Foundation created by the Gamma sorority has raised money to provide these children with the opportunity to attend Camp Discovery free of charge.

The Josh Abbott Band headlined the event and openers included the Aaron Einhouse Band and Paul Easton. Co-chairs Alissa Howard and Emily King planned the event with the support of co-sponsors, a corporate sponsor and the Gamma sorority.

Senior Alissa Howard has been involved in Concert for the Cure and general fundraising since her first year at Trinity.

“I remember when Concert for the Cure started out in the gym. Then it moved to Mabee, and now it has grown to host full venues,” Howard said. “I organized t-shirt and ticket sales, designed the t-shirts and taught myself how to create and manage a website.”

For this year’s concert, the goal was to make a profit of $30,000. By midnight on the night of the concert, the event had already raised a total of $35,000. Donations came from sorority rush events, parent and alumni letters, fundraisers hosted at Tycoon Flats, a $10,000 corporate sponsorship from Genzyme Oncology and a $1,000 donation from Trinity’s Greek Council. A special deal for t-shirts helped pay for the required $13,000 deposit that was due Saturday morning in order to host the concert.

“Basically, it was hard for us in the second semester. A lot of the money didn’t come through—we had problems with ASR funding the buses this year and it was tough for some of the co-sponsors to come up with the money. Essentially, it was money we were counting on that we didn’t have,” Howard said.

All ticket revenue from the concert was donated towards the cause. The only profit Cowboys Dancehall made that night was from drink sales.

“Cowboys was great because they donated the venue, security, and from a production standpoint, they brought in the community with their own advertising and marketing. Their connections with local media got people to come out,” Howard said.

Senior and president of the Gamma sorority Emilie Dore was also involved with this year’s Concert for the Cure.

“The Concert for the Cure Foundation is a separate on-profit, tax-exempt organization that is patented with the state of Texas. Amy Walton, who was a Gamma and is an alum us of Trinity, is the CEO,” Dore said.

In addition to support from Trinity, the headlining band offered their support for the cause.

“The Josh Abbott Band said that our event was the biggest turnout they’ve ever had. They were really nice and they were the first band to ever really talk to us about where the money we raised is going,” Dore said. “They even let us go on stage, and we got to meet (the band) before the concert.”

Junior Raelle Smiley was the press release chair for the event. Smiley said that the idea of Concert for the Cure is close to the heart of the Gamma sorority.

“Amy Walton, who graduated in 2005 and was a Gamma, had leukemia. She is older sister to Megan Walton, who is currently attending Trinity and also a Gamma,” Smiley said. “The proceeds of Concert for the Cure go to Camp Discovery because Amy worked there and she now heads the foundation. It gives everyone in Gamma Chi Delta a sense of pride to have a well-known and successful philanthropy that has grown so much in six years,” Smiley said.

Body image program successful nationwide

over 13,000 college-aged members in program

as seen in The Trinitonian on 09.03.2010

View the article in The Trinitonian.

What exactly is the “thin ideal?” Most would say something along the lines of a “model-size, slim and pretty girl.” But the more important question that Carolyn Becker’s Reflection Body Image Program has answered is how to avoid the obsession with the thin ideal standard of female beauty—a leading contributor of body dissatisfaction among women.

“The Body Image Program started and grew organically,” explained Becker.

She said that in early 2000 there were decades of failed research in eating disorders, but she would enter the field anyway.

“The program began as a sorority member’s student thesis, who wanted to do work in eating disorders prevention,” Becker said.

The undergraduate paired with Becker to conduct research investigating a program derived from studies at the Oregon Research Institute.

The widespread success of Becker’s Body Image Program began when an alumna of Tri Delta Women’s Sorority heard Becker give a presentation on her findings and established program. In 2005 they made a connection, negotiated and now the Reflections Body Image Program has over 13,000 college-aged members nationwide.

Tri Delta’s marketing director Stacy Gillard said that “participant data showed a significant reduction in eating disorder risk factors,” which is reflected in Becker’s research. Their website shows that eight months after the program, 53% of women who had participated at one school no longer felt strongly that their weight influenced how they felt about themselves as a person.

Since 2005, Trinity sororities have formally adopted the body image program into their annual New Member Orientation. According to Gillard, “Sorority members (at Trinity) believed the program had fundamentally altered the way that Trinity sororities interacted with one another by creating a more cohesive community of women on campus.” By partnering with Tri Delta, Becker polited the Reflections Body Image Program in 12 chapters. This helped implement the program on college campuses nationwide.

Lisa Smith has worked for eight years as overseer of the academy that trains sorority women to run the program. Smith described the process of four iterations that sorority women run through—once as a peer leader, and then three times as mock participants.

“It’s all hands-on, experiential training,” Smith said. She added, “I think a truly important part of the success of the program is because it is peer led. Also, it’s not about eating disorders; it’s about improving body image and focusing on all different aspects of ‘health.’”

Becker expressed that this program would not exist in the first place without the help of Trinity’s local sororities. “Representing over 30% of the female student body, the solid structure of sororities at Trinity gave them the power to create change,” said Becker.

“The sororities’ involvement is not an indictment. This program’s focus on women’s empowerment fits well with why sororities came into existence in the first place,” Becker stressed.

As a program that has contributed substantially to publications on cognitive dissonance-based eating disorder prevention, the Reflections Body Image Program has also won major awards and brought much excitement due to its proven effectiveness.

Smith expressed her excitement about the program’s success.

“I am not surprised at the positive results of the research studies or how much sorority members enjoy the program,” Smith said, “but I couldn’t have imagined that by 2010 we would have 85 campuses involved!”

“It is really interesting to learn how much excitement there is about the program. I couldn’t have dreamed this would happen,” Becker said.

As for the future of the Reflections Body Image Program, Gillard said that their goal is to have 20,000 members participate in the program within fie years and continue their outreach efforts to more Tri Delta chapters and other campuses across the country.

With the success of Becker’s female body image program, Dr. Raphael Moffett, director of Campus and Community Involvement and the chair for the Men’s Conference Committee, began considering a male equivalent version of the program.

“After looking at the phenomenal results of Becker’s program and the positive self image that has resulted from it,” said Moffett. “We realized there wasn’t one concentrated effort like this for males on this campus.”

Moffett explained how last spring he conducted focus groups with male Greeks, athletes, first years and other student groups.

“The key themes that grew out of those focus groups were health and wellness, alcohol and drugs, violence prevention, relationships, and general male identity exploration,” Moffett said.

The planning began this summer when Moffett and Josh Beebe, the coordinator for Greek Life and Student Affairs, co-chair for the Men’s Conference Committee who works with a large contingency of men on campus, sat down and considered ways to benefit and challenge males at Trinity.

The program will be a one-day conference with nine different workshops in addition to keynote speakers. Moffett said, “This program is based completely on what male students want to talk about. If it is successful this year we are open to partnering with other departments on campus and finding the resources to expand the program.”

The male conference will be held on Saturday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with a reception from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. All males are welcome. Feel free to contact Dr. Moffett for questions.

This year, as part of the national expansion of the Reflections Body Image Program, Tri Delta is holding a video competition for Fat Talk Free Week, which is Oct. 18-22. The winning group will win a $1,000 gift card to Best Buy. The challenge is to come up with the most creative video that spreads the Fat Talk Free image, which can be downloaded from the End Fat Talk Facebook page.

pulitzer-prize winning biologist gives decoursey lecture

author of "the ants" and pioneer of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology spoke to students about conservation and preservation

as seen in The Trinitonian on 10.29.2010

Well-known biologist and professor Edward O. Wilson delivered his lecture, “Biodiversity and the Future of Life,” as part of the DeCoursey Lecture series at 7:30 p.m. on Monday in Laurie Auditorium.

The lecture focused on what he called, “Wilson’s Law,” which encompasses the idea that if we can save the diversity of life, we can automatically save our physical environment because the former cannot be done without the latter.

As the founder of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, Wilson has written more than 20 books and published over 400 articles. He is the recipient of many prominent prizes, including the National Medal of Science and two Pulitzer Prizes.

He has received much recognition for his work in conservation, and today he is one of the world’s most distinguished biologists. He has been ranked by Time Magazine as one of the top 25 most influential people in the world.

Wilson began the lecture by stressing the importance of biodiversity and the effect humans have on the natural world. He expressed, however, that though our society has begun an effort to preserve our world, we have only turned things “pastel green.”

He said that our focus is solely on saving the physical environment—attempting to battle pollution, the decline of water and the loss of irreplaceable resources. He prescribes that we, in addition, pay more attention to maintaining our living environment, concentrating on biodiversity and the totality of ecosystems on earth.

“If you save the living environment, you automatically save the physical environment, but if you only save the physical, you ultimately lose both,” Wilson said. “This bottleneck effect is a result of a lack of self understanding of what we are…and later generations will have to pay.”

Wilson went on to discuss that the number of species known to us—a gross underestimate—as about 90% of species remain undiscovered.

“We don’t know to the nearest magnitude how many species are on this planet. There could be as many as 10 million species out there, or possibly even 100 million,” Wilson said.

Wilson said that we often don’t know which animals we are making extinct.

“Human activity is eroding biodiversity at an accelerated rate,” Wilson warned. “We are losing large numbers of species without even knowing they exist, and we will feel their absence.”

Though Wilson expressed concern about the future of our earth, he was also optimistic. He introduced unique yet significant focuses of study that will make a difference in conserving biodiversity. He believes the essential problem of our century is achieving sustainability and conservation-worthy goals that count in the long term.

“We can’t afford to do nothing,” Wilson said.

Junior Amy Cover, an urban studies and Spanish double major, described her thoughts.

“I liked his central point that the biggest challenge and goal of our generation is to alleviate poverty while protecting the natural environment,” Cover said. “The two factors are so interrelated but often get studied and analyzed separately.”

Cover believes that Wilson’s call to action for preserving biodiversity should be taken with as much intensity as religious activity, something that is brought about by ethical decisions.

“Every species has a niche that it lives in, so the more territory you damage, the more you are taking away from all those organisms’ niches. Once their niche is destroyed, they can’t fit into the ecosystem and the species ultimately becomes extinct,” Cover said.

Junior Rick Simpson, a biology major and executive member of the biology club, also had a response to Wilson’s lecture.

“I thought that his lecture was very entertaining and good for the general public, not only biology scholars, and it had a really great turnout,” Simpson said. “Dr. Wilson showed that we are morally obligated to save life on this planet, and (it) is largely an ethical issue.”

As an executive member of the biology club, Simpson organized two events to build hype for Dr. Wilson’s lecture, including a discussion of Wilson’s major papers for the biology club and a movie night showing one of his documentaries.

Troy G. Murphy, professor of biology, attended the lecture and found inspiration in Wilson’s message.

“Because so much remains unknown, there is extraordinary potential to discover useful things that can be found in the natural world,” Murphy said. “Dr. Wilson inspired the audience by describing the unknown kingdoms of modern city-based society where there is little opportunity to see nature.”

Murphy understood Wilson’s proposition as a call to action for conservation, exposing the ethical necessity of protecting biodiversity.

Wilson finished his lecture by declaring that we make this year the year of biodiversity.

Wilson concluded, “For those problems that can be solved, the technology and resources exist, and the benefits for our planet are beyond calculation.”

Trinity club sports increase in number, face funding cuts

students upset about decreases in funding; some clubs dissolve, others become inactive

as seen in The Trinitonian on 02.04.2011

An increase in the number of club sports teams at Trinity has made it difficult for some clubs to acquire the funding necessary for their club to survive. IN the past, there have been as few as four club sports teams represented at Trinity, but recently the number has risen to as many as ten.

Trinity’s current club sports teams include both men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s volleyball, equestrian, ultimate Frisbee, tennis, fencing and women’s water polo.

The women’s lacrosse team president and co-captain senior Wendy Hernandez described the process of obtaining funding as a multi-staged and complex process.

“The process is just very long in order to get money,” Hernandez said. “Basically, there are too many steps not only to obtain funding in the first place, but also to just have access to the funds once you get them. It would be easier if the process was more direct.”

Hernandez said that to have access to the club’s funds, you must fill out an additional form and submit it to the club sports director. The money will then be put in the club’s account, which only authorized people can access and who must fill out a detailed report about the nature of the request.

“You have to be really organized and know the exact amount that you need ahead of time. For example, to pay a referee, you need all his information, including his Social Security number and how many games he refereed,” Hernandez said.

Expenses for the women’s lacrosse team include league dies of $550, tournament fees, referee fees of up to $2,000, and athletic equipment. Costs that are paid out of pocket and are not covered by dues include travel costs, hotels and food.

“We get $825 from the school per year. We appealed for more but the funding didn’t increase. The club sports department is trying to get more money for club sports, but it is difficult because the money is split up in so many ways,” Hernandez said.

Sophomore Grace Keesling, co-captain of the women’s club water polo team, said that the club is not active this year largely due to a budget cut.

“We got the biggest cut of all club sports this year and we already had the biggest dues. Carolyn Keener (coordinator of intramural and club sports) did not think we were organized because we did not have a club president at the time of the budget meetings, but we had organized practices,” Keesling said.

Club water polo expenses include replacing equipment such as goals and caps, which run as much as $900 per team set. The team fundraised in the fall semester to try to get their league fees covered, but ultimately decided as a group to take this year off in order to practice, recruit and fundraise.

“We have struggled to try and make ends meet with respect to the funding provided to us and we are not competing this year for internal developmental purposes,” Keesling said. “We are looking to organize ourselves—get more people interested, get a solid roster, and fundraise. We plan on coming out as a full, strong team next fall,” said Keesling.

Last spring, sophomore Katie Banick was the vice president of the newly formed cycling club. Last semester, however, the club disbanded due to a lack of funding, Banick said.

“As far as I know, in January of 2010, (the) club sports (department) had already allocated funds, about $200 (to the cycling club). Michael McCormick, the President at the time, had to pay for some supplies out of his own pocket, but we did not have any dues for the club,” Banick said.

Approximately 25 people were in the cycling club, including faculty, staff and students. However, to maintain the club, Banick said that quite a bit of out-of-pocket spending was necessary.

“(McCormick and I) finally agreed that to keep a quality club we’d need a lot more money. In cycling, it is rather hard to budget a whole team, and we were interested in providing some need-based items for members,” Banick said.

As the vice president of a new club last spring, Banick said she understood the club sports director’s hesitance to invest more funding in the cycling club compared to already established sports clubs. However Banick had hoped for more overall support.

“I understand that it’s very challenging for (the club sports department) to give out appropriate funds to clubs, but I do wish we had been given a fair shot at becoming successful here,” Banick said. “(McCormick) and I felt that there was a lot of student interest in cycling, and we were eager to keep that on campus. Without an official club, it’s very hard to do. Our club wasn’t even given a whole semester to really test the waters,” Banick said.

Intramural and club sports coordinator Caroline Keener described the situation in which the club sports department found itself in terms of funding.

“(The water polo club) didn’t have a full member roster, so we were unsure if they were going to make the season when they came into the funding meeting,” Keener said. “As far as the cycling club, we love to give new clubs chances but we cant give one club a lot of money that is just starting up and then they fail.”

Keener said that they want more money to fund but they couldn’t acquire additional funding to help the clubs.

Keener said the amount of money the club sports department receives has actually increased in recent years because the department prudently budgets the intramural account.

The budgeting process for club sports involved looking at the past history, dues and organization of each club.

“We are interesting in giving club sports more attention, and the club sports department works very hard,” Keener said. “We are intrinsically motivated to succeed and our ultimate goal is to get as much funding to student athletes as we can.”

Alumnus disguised as trinity mascot proposes to girlfriend

former football player proposes to long-time trinity girlfriend at alumni weekend football game

as seen in The Trinitonian on 11.05.2010

The Trinity Tiger mascot for the Alumni Weekend’s football game on Oct. 23 was doing more than just its routine act. Shaun Irchirl, class of ’08 and former football player, dressed as Trinity’s own tiger mascot when he proposed to Kira Noreiga, also class of ’08, on the football field before the game against DePauw University.

Irchirl’s original idea for proposing involved a fake raffle at half-time that would result in Noreiga winning and coming down to the field to collect her reward, a surprise proposal from her boyfriend of six years.

However, due to the number of events scheduled for halftime at the Alumni Weekend’s game, the athletic office didn’t have time to fit in the raffle. So, Irchirl kept brainstorming and eventually came up with the idea of the tiger outfit, which he thought added an element of surprise.

Irchirl wanted his proposal to connect to Trinity somehow, as this is the place where they met over six years ago. They met the day that Noreiga moved into the freshman dorms, and continued dating throughout their four years at Trinity.

His proposal at the Alumni Weekend football game was fitting not only because Irchirl was a football player at Trinity, but also because many of his fellow graduates were able to witness his surprise proposal.

Irchirl’s proposal plans were extensive, involving family, friends, Noreiga’s co-workers and even the Trinity cheerleaders. He got Noreiga’s family members to come to the game, as well as a few close friends from Houston. Irchirl worked with Stacey Lenderman, the office manager for the athletic department to set up the proposal.

“Before the game, I was sweating and very nervous. I told (Noreiga) that I was going down to the pre-game pep-talk, and after the warm-ups I ran down to the restroom,” Irchirl said. “(Lenderman) had (the mascot) by the restroom under the stands, so I hopped into it in the men’s restroom. Some guy gave me a look like, ‘So you’re the one in the tiger outfit,’ and I thought, ‘For now I guess!’”

Noreiga said that before the game, Lenderman, whom she worked with at the athletic office when she attended Trinity, mentioned taking a few pictures together for alumni weekend.

“It didn’t seem out of the ordinary at all,” Noreiga said. “(Lenderman) motioned for her daughter and I to come down to the track before the game and take pictures of the mascot, and people were taking real pictures of the mascot like it was normal.”

The cheerleaders were all standing behind the mascot, and Noreiga said that they suddenly unfolded a banner that read, “Will You Marry Me?” right after Irchirl took off the tiger head and got down on one knee.

“At first I was really confused,” Noreiga said, “but then I saw that it was Shaun and he got down on one knee. He said, ‘I met you here six years ago. Now I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

Noreiga said that she was speechless, but as soon as she realized what was happening Irchirl put the ring on her finger and hugged her.

Then the commentator of the game came on the loudspeaker and announced, “She said yes! She’s marrying a true tiger!”

Noreiga said that she was crying hysterically at one point, along with one of her close friends from Seattle.

“My face said it all. I am usually pretty hard to surprise, so to pull this off was huge, I had no clue and I was in total shock,” Noreiga said.

She said that she and Irchirl had talked about getting engaged soon, but did not discuss when or how in detail. The only hint that he gave her, she said, was that she would never see it coming.

Noreiga added that once the crowd understood that the mascot was a Trinity alumnus proposing to his girlfriend, everyone started cheering and clapping.

“Everywhere we went that weekend, people kept coming up and congratulating us,” Noreiga said.

Stacey Lenderman, cheer sponsor at Trinity, asked the cheerleaders to make a sign that said, “Will You Marry Me?” and hold it up at the game. Sophomore cheerleader Victoria Gonzalez explained her role in Irchirl’s proposal.

“We didn’t know who it was for, but we were told to hold the sign open after the mascot took off his head,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez thought it was a very creative idea and said it showed he had spent a lot of time thinking about the proposal.

“(Noreiga) looked like she really enjoyed it—she was surprised at first and wasn’t expecting it, but then tears started flowing. The whole thing was really cute,” Gonzalez said.

Now that they are engaged, Irchirl and Noreiga have to adjust to temporarily living in two separate cities. Noreiga said that in 2008 she got a job in Austin, while Irchirl went back to Houston to coach middle school football.

“It is hard, but my job is consulting, so I have many clients in Houston and I am there almost every week,” Noreiga said.

With plans still somewhat in the air, they know that they want to be in the same city, they’re just not sure whether it will be Austin or Houston yet.

“We hope the wedding will be sometime late next year or early 2012, but as far as details, the rest is all up to her,” Irchirl said.

Hellogoodbye headlines welcome back concert

Lead singer forrest kline divulges band's quirks, pastimes

as seen in the trinitonian on 08.27.2010

Q&A with Forrest Kline, lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of tonight’s featured band Hellogoodbye. Don’t miss the concert at 8 p.m. after the Student Involvement Fair on Trinity’s football field.

Q: What is the significance of the name of your band?

FK: Well we came up with the name Hellogoodbye so long ago. It was the name of our band when we were in high school and just recording music on (the) computer. We didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it but I think it has a nice sound.

Q: What is the craziest/weirdest thing a fan’s ever done?

FK: There was this one girl who found out where I lived. She was crazy. She would tell people we hung out which isn’t true. One Halloween I was with my girlfriend and this girl egged my house because she was upset that I didn’t like her. It was pretty weird.

Q: How did Hellogoodbye’s current band members end up together?

FK: It’s cool because it’s mostly people who I grew up with. Joe plays the keyboard, I didn’t know him but he was in a band called The Early November and we picked him up. Travis plays bass. I’ve known him since high school and he has always been a friend. We just got a new drummer Mike who we knew through other bands.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?

FK: Del Taco. It’s only in California and Arizona. It’s like Taco Bell basically but better. I also like In-N-Out.

Q: Do you like doing big gigs or do you prefer playing for a small group of friends?

FK: I have a studio in my garage so we can practice, we just get together and jam. We grew up playing shows where it was basically 25 of our friends there and it seemed like a lot at the time. I’d probably say it is more fun to do smaller gigs but also more scary because everyone is right there and there aren’t really barricades or anything to separate yourself from the audience.

Q: What’s your favorite song?

FK: “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. But as the theme song for that show “Big Love” on HBO, it kind of ruined it for me with the whole polygamy thing.

Q: What bands do you listen to?

FK: I grew up listening to oldies. In the fourth grade, I would listen to oldies radio. I still really enjoy ‘50s and ‘60s music. I like the Beach Boys, the Zombies, the Beatles and Weezer.

Q: Who is your celebrity crush?

FK: I have only had one celebrity crush my whole life, but I don’t have it anymore. In the 9th grade, I liked Katie Holmes because I watched “Dawson’s Creek,” but now she’s super weird. I can’t deal with the whole Tom Cruise/scientology thing.

Q: Does Hellogoodbye have any current or upcoming projects/ventures/appearances?

FK: Well, we haven’t put out a record in a long time—we will probably have one out in October. We had some legal problems before. We are going on tour in the Philippines soon, but I’m a little scared we might get kidnapped. Also we are touring the US and Canada right after our gig in San Antonio. We are supporting 3Oh!3. It’s cool because on our days off we are booking a bunch of house shows.

Q: So is there a band member who is notorious for getting all the girls?

FK: Yeah, that would be Andy Richards. He is a Brit. With the accent, the hair and the looks, he’s got the power. Sadly he won’t be able to make it to San Antonio, thought.

Q: What websites do you frequent?

FK: I check my email like 300 times a day. I’m also the only one who gets on the band’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. I also get Netflix and I like reading the posts on [the blog] “What Would Tyler Durden Do?”

Q: Do you have any tattoos or know of any that other members have?

FK: I don’t have any, but Travis has a crop circle on his forearm and Joe has a promise ring on his forearm.

Q: Is there anything else you want your fans to know?

FK: That we are down to hang in San Antonio!

Rotaract organizes christmas service project among others

the rotaract club, sponsored by rotary international, is small but effective

as seen in the trinitonian on 12.03.2010

More than 75 underprivileged children will have a very merry Christmas this year as a result of the Angel Tree program supported by Rotaract.

If you haven’t noticed the opportunity in the library yet, any and all Trinity students, faculty and staff can be an angel for a child at Christmas. The Rotaract Club at Trinity, which is sponsored by Rotary International, has participated in the Angel Tree program for 10 years.

The Rotaract Club is a voluntary service organization in which students can help the community through various service projects. The projects are organized to meet the interests of the club’s members, and in recent years, projects have included constructing a playground for children with autism, letter writing campaigns and volunteering for the food pantry.

Michael Kearl, professor of sociology and anthropology has been the faculty sponsor for Rotaract for the past 12 years. His wife, Joan Kearl, is the downtown representative of The Rotary Club of San Antonio. Earl’s grandfather was also involved in service.

“It is heartening how this campus has contributed (to the Angel Tree program). The wants of each local disadvantaged child are put on the angels, and clothing sizes are usually written on them,” Kearl said. “It is often not toys, but shoes and socks that these children ask for. There are some pretty basic things on these lists.”

Rotaract members can also qualify for an annual $30,000 abroad scholarship, known as the 2012-2013 Ambassadorial Scholarship, which is an academic year scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students. While the scholar is abroad, he or she serves as a goodwill ambassador to the host country.

“I would like to see a Trinity student get the scholarship. It has gone to a UTSA student a couple of times in recent years,” said Kearl.

Junior Ashley Green, one of four officers for Rotaract, described what the club does in more detail.

“The neat thing about Rotaract is that it is international, and meetings are open to any Rotaract member. We have lots of freedom to choose what projects we’re interested in and at the same time we have many contacts with our Rotary Club,” Green said.

Rotaract meetings are generally small and meet every other Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Storch Memorial building.

“Right now, we have about 30 people on the (Rotaract) mailing list. I like our smaller group size, because we ultimately decide what we get involved in. In that respect, we differ from TUVAC in that we pick our own projects,” Green said.

Green said that so far, Rotaract has done about 100 total hours of service this semester alone.

“We haven’t had as many service projects as usual because we have so many members abroad this semester. My favorite project since I joined Rotaract freshman year is volunteering for the food pantry, where we put food on the table for two weeks for families with people who have been laid off,” Green said. “We are able to help hand out food, meet people and talk about what they are going through.”

First year Nupur Agrawal is an international student from England involved in Rotaract.

“I have been involved in service for more than eight years back home, so when I came to Trinity and saw a Rotaract Club, I joined it. We do fantastic work and are involved in some amazing projects,” Agrawal said.

Members of Rotaract come from various backgrounds and have different majors, but Agrawal said that members share the same qualities.

“We gain happiness by helping people. Rotaract is a group of people motivated by the urge to make a difference. All of our projects aren’t necessarily huge, but we always get excited to do something like making a family’s Christmas better,” Agrawal said.

For Agrawal, Rotaract provides her with a connection back home in England.

“Since I knew no one in the state when I came here, it made me feel more secure and comfortable having something that I’ve done since I was 10,” Agrawal said.

Trinity students, faculty, and staff can still pick an angel card off the tree today that is on the main floor of the library under the stairs. Gifts will be bagged on Dec. 6.

Trinity Jazz Band performs at the blue star brewery

jazz ensemble makes blue star an annual event, with modifications

as seen in The Trinitonian on 11.19.2010

Lost baby pictures found after 23 years behind susanna desk

Trinity alum receives surprise Facebook message about long lost photos

as seen in The Trinitonian on 9.3.2010

View the article in The Trinitonian.

Krista Hoerig Marx, a class of ’89 Trinity graduate, received a blast from the past this summer when she checked her Facebook while sitting on the beach during her vacation in Port Aransas. What Marx found was a message with the subject titled, “Photos.” Immediately, she said, she thought of the two precious photographs that had dropped behind her desk in Susanna Residence Hall 23 years ago and could not be retrieved.

As a junior, Marx lived in Susanna’s upperclassmen dorm number 222. Above her desk she had a collage of pictures on the wall, including two especially dear photographs, both of which were the only copies that existed.

“My aunt let me borrow them. One day I was cleaning and moving some things around, when the pictures fell off the wall and back behind the desk,” said Marx.

The desks in Susanna, up until this year, were built into the wall and could not be moved.

“It was so narrow behind that desk. So I tore off a piece of paper, wrote a note and slipped it behind the desk with the inaccessible pictures,” Marx said. “I said a little prayer, and hoped that someday someone might accidentally find them.”

The note Marx wrote explained the importance of the pictures and gave an address to mail them to her should they ever be found. Not until 23 years later, however, did renovations in Susanna cause the cherished photographs to be uncovered.

Marx said that the Trinity maintenance group contacted her.

“I didn’t really think (the pictures) would ever show up,” she said, “but when I saw the message about ‘Photos,’ I instantly knew that my pictures had been discovered. My heart got all giddy and excited.”

“My first reaction was to scream. I did a happy dance, but it was about thirty minutes before I saw anybody else I knew,” Marx said.

Upon meeting up with her friends soon after, she regaled everyone she saw with her incredible story.

Finally back in her possession, Marx can again display her irreplaceable childhood pictures. She described, “one (photograph) is (of) my brother and I when he was one and I was three and a half years old. The other was taken in 1969, and show me when I was about two.”

Marx said that the craziest thing was that the photographs were in perfect condition when they were mailed back to her this summer.

“It is like they were put in a time capsule,” she said. “The other crazy thing is the note itself. It looks like I could have written it yesterday—my handwriting is exactly the same!”

Since graduating from Trinity, Marx has been working on a masters degree at Texas State University. Also, as a Curriculum Instructional Specialist, she nurtures and supports an elementary school of 750 children.

“This incredible experience seems to show networking at its finest,” said Marx. “I’m just hoping that (my aunt) will forget that I still have those photos that I took from her so long ago.”