Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Monday, December 12, 2005


On Saturday night there was an incident near the Trinity campus. 4 young men climbed out of their car and jumped a student walking alone. The attack occurred almost exactly where I had left off my classmate 2 nights earlier. This whole business scares the hell out of me.What I want to know is, why doesn't it scare anyone else? We're sitting on a powder keg at the college, and people are, through apathy and arrogance, inadvertantly throwing matches.

We get letters from the university president when a student is robbed or attacked, but no comment when incidents of racial profiling happen almost daily on or near the campus. Students complain about the "bad neighborhood" surrounding the school (by which they mean Black or Latino), but nobody volunteers to personally help solve the problem with some positive interaction. Town-gown relations have never been worse. How about accepting more local kids into the school? How about dreaming up some way to have social contact with your neighbors right outside your gates? Trinity students are rumored locally to be arrogant , preppy, and superior-acting. Guess what, people, some rumors are self-fulfilling.

I have vivid memories of the Watts riots in the '60s. I was stupid enough to drive down to LA from San Francisco to see for my own eyes what was going on. Unlike Watts, when our neighborhood goes up in flames, we'll go with it. The apathy of the school, and especially the students, to the problem is maddening to me. This is the second time I've warned about the wolf (the first time didn't even draw a comment), and he's getting hungrier.

Later- I hope.


Anonymous colleen said...

It took me awhile to "get" the so-lo pun!

I try to stay away from cities for the most part. Hartford is the hardest part of my 81 to 84 to Mass Pike ride home.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Brett said...

You're completely right Bill. Trinity really seems to have a policy of ignore and ignore. They warn students, but do very little to solve the problem. So what kind of programs might help the situation?

6:46 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Although I'm sure that more of a concerted effort is warranted, I took a course called "Writing Broad Street Stories" with Professor Peltier a few semesters back and one of the requirements for this class was (so politically correctly coined) 'community learning.' It was a somewhat well-intentioned undertaking, however, and each member of the class chose an area of interest and a local venue in which to carry out her (all female class, by chance) community learning (service?).

I worked at The Hartford Courant's "Metrobridge" newspaper - which is the equivalent of Hartford Public High Schools' monthly magazine / newsletter. The kids that work there - the contributing writers - were all volunteers; all came after school; found their own ways there and home; most were there twice a week, every week, and ALL were either black or Hispanic. And also, they were ALL great kids. Great kids in a crappy place - crappy school system, crappy neighborhoods, crappy city (or parts of).

The magazine is run by Ken Krayske, himself a bit of a renegade, on a small stipend. He's a bit eccentric - doesn't believe in driving a car in the city when he can walk or take his bike; doesn't believe in wasting time on today's television programming, and is always somehow at odds with the establishment of The Hartford Courant - and the 'establishment' in general. But he's a good man.

I learned a lot about the neighborhoods surrounding Trinity - about the people and the diverse cultures that congregate within these city limits. I'll tell you what - this truly was one of the best courses I've taken at Trinity.
It should be a requirement of all Trinity students - might help build some character that many seem to be lacking in many respects.

In all fairness, however, I must admit that not only would I never want to live in Hartford - though my grandmother (God rest her soul) lived a good part of her life in this city and loved every moment of it - nor would I even remotely entertain the idea of raising my kids here.

Perhaps that makes me no better than any other that walks these halls of academia here at Trinity College... but I feel that cities (by their very nature) breed violence and are just not conducive to the life I've been fortunate enough to have, which has not been wealthy by any means, but has certainly been patient and kind in ways a city never could be.

11:55 PM  

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