“Though nothing can bring back the hour/ Of splendour in the grass,/ of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find/ Strength in what remains behind”
I’m a man of simple pleasures. Sunshine, somewhere to lie down, a team of men in white playing cricket within 100 metres of me and being in the centre of town surrounded by people. Maybe music or a football, or calzone sandwich. I don’t think I ask for much.
But recently, with the summer concerts taking place in college park and our access to the crisp, leafy green blocked by white walls and men in high-vis, I feel stripped of my bare necessities.
We Trinity students aren’t afforded many luxuries: our café was turned into a bank, we don’t have a student centre and the topic of microwaves is a hot-button issue in the scintillatingworld of student politics. But what we do have is a little patch of green in the midst of the city. Somewhere utterly lovely for eating lunch, meeting friends, or getting blurry at 3pm.
Maybe it’s spite, but I’m not going to take this lying down, I won’t stand for it either, and I won’t stop not standing until I’m back lying down in sunglasses, nodding to someone from my 1st-year lab group, because that’s what the Pav means to me.
Don’t get me wrong; the concerts have been great, providing some top-notch acts in a convenient location all while generating sweet revenue for the Provost to wallpaper his dog with. Undoubtedly there is a lot of good the college could do with that money, like investing in College facilities or building a second, even bigger bank in the Arts Building.
With a wrist-banding system in place, students were still able to access the Pavilion bar, or, as me and the fellas like to call it, the worst part. Because the heart and soul lies not at the heart of the Pav but in its surroundings.
The benches that line that path to it which gives support to the lunch eaters and the grass-averse; the shade from the trees on the south end, a refuge for melanin-challenged; the little rise outside the Moyne Institute for watching some Americans who are very good at frisbee; and the calming tranquillity of the open expanse of green, draped like a fine bear-skin rug across college. The concerts unfortunately deny us access to all of these wonderful things.
The impressive white stage, complete with a Wok-‘n’-Roll food stand, loomed over the west-end of the park, surrounded by white barriers and gateways that funnelled people in and out without trampling the cricket crease. Yet there lies patches outside the crease that could be repurposed for sunbathing and other forms of general grass-based loitering.
The concert stage only occupies about a third of the park anyway so all it would take is a few more security guards and a sliver of grass could be set aside out for the students that frequent this park year-round
Many have already flocked to the bar to catch a glimpse of the dreamy northerners they call Two Door Cinema Club, no doubt increasing sales for the bar, and DUCAC by extension. If a capacity regulated area of the grass was opened up it would be profitable for Trinity through alcohol sales alone, nevermind the benefit for those students stuck in Dublin for the summer.
I don’t mean to vilify College too much. We’re all doing our best here and I certainly won’t throw stones given my glass house. But I fear I’m losing touch with what made me fall in love with this college: getting off work at 2pm, making four, tall, cylindrical, new friends and needing to peel yourself off the grass at sundown like the waste-refuse you are.
I certainly don’t blame Trinity for trying to make money either, just like Method Man said “Cash rules everything around me/C.R.E.A.M, get the money/Dollar dollar bill, y’all”, so too does cash rule everything in this country’s universities and increasing money through new methods like this can generally be regarded as a “smart move”.
And so, with this year’s concerts now done and their seeming a successful first venture in using College Park as a venue, all I simply ask is that, should the concerts happen next year and I hope they do, the college authorities think just a little bit more about the feelings they hurt on their quest for loads and loads of money.