Students Comment On The Closing Of Vernon Street

January 24, 1995

To The Editor:

Each election year, the media floods the airwaves with reasons why each American of legal age should exercise his right to vote. The most compelling of all these reasons is the fact that if one does not vote, he may someday lose the right to do so.

I believe it would be tragic to wake up one morning and be told that I was no longer allowed to vote because I had not done so in three years. Despite this tragedy, it seems only logical that this loss would be through fault of my own. Such is the case with the closing of Vernon Street.

I have overheard, been involved in, and initiated conversations concerning the closing of Vernon Street. The overwhelming sentiment seems to be that the closing creates a more closed and separated campus. I agree. However, when discussing this decision, one must take caution when placing blame for this separation.

The overwhelming sentiment seems to be that the closing creates a more closed and separated campus. I agree. However, when discussing this decision, one must take caution when placing blame for this separation. In my three semesters at Trinity, I have been into the city of Hartford less then a dozen times. I would suspect many students on this campus have been there less. Trinity has always, at least to me, seemed like a very self contained campus. With fraternity parries every weekend, late nights every night, and the local bars, why would a student want to leave Camp Trin Trin?

The simple answer is that he would not want to leave. Since I have been here, the students of this college have therefore we could not legally articulate what we want· ed. The sentiments, however, were there and they were clear: as students, we wanted our college to start taking responsibility for what was happening on campus. We were angry and frustrated that time after time, when these incidents happen on campus, we are told that as students, we need to treat each other better and that we must start reaching out to one another and be more civil. As for the administration, to my knowledge, there isn’t the same level of critical reflection to look into what the college must do to ensure that it is fostering an environment that is welcoming to Trinity students from all walks of life. We celebrate the Trinity students who are doing phenomenal work-whether that is students who win national competitions or students who are recognized for their school isolated themselves from the surrounding community including the inner-city. We have not had a reason to seek entertainment elsewhere. Perhaps, Trinity is becoming more closed because that is what the students want. Much like the man who didn’t “ Rock the Vote,” and lost his right to do so, perhaps we have given up our right to maintain an open campus.

The problem with this closed campus attitude is fast becoming a major issue. As we could always find entertainment on campus, we had no need to leave. However, in the semesters ahead, Trinity may be faced with new obstacles which are certain to hinder our once self contained campus. For the record, none of the following decisions have been made, and the conclusions drawn from them are mere speculation.

If the fraternity and sorority systems are phased out, then there will be a serious decrease in the amount of on campus parties. Along the same lines, if late nights are permanently banned, we will find an even less number of parties. The fact is, if these proposals go through, we will need to go of campus.

We are all guilty of not utilizing our surroundings. Unfortunately, this neglect is going to catch up to us soon. Perhaps the campus is becoming more closed, but it is through our own fault. I urge students to go into Hartford more often and experience what it has to offer. It may be all that is left.

The decision to close Vernon Street was not one made in haste or ignorance. This idea has been on the books for years. It seems that no one on this campus asked questions, made comments, or tried to find out more about this decision until after it had already been made.

As a member of the Student Government Association, I have been told by faculty, administration, and trustees that only pro-active movements have the ability to change minds and ideas on the Trinity campus.

We must remember, this is our campus and the decisions made directly affect us; why should we not directly affect the decisions.


Michael Nardelli ’97

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