News brief: 10/30


Photo credit: Kate Nuelle

graphic by Kate Nuelle.

University sees a spike in cases

Two weeks following students’ first and only three-day weekend, Trinity is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, peaking at 12 reported cases and currently at nine.

Of the nine current cases, two are employees and seven are students — five living off-campus and two on-campus. Two students are in on-campus isolation and one is in quarantine.

Compared to other U.S. universities, Trinity has continued to fare well with a low overall positivity rate throughout the fall semester. Of the 3,596 employees and students to have participated in surveillance and baseline testing, only 20 have produced positive results to-date; currently 68 are awaiting their testing results.

The Nerve Center, Trinity’s task force dedicated to monitoring local COVID-19 trends and making suggestions to university administrators, will continue to monitor campus cases throughout the remainder of the semester and Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

Search committee for Dean of Students and Associate Vice President announced to community

Following the announcement of David Tuttle’s, vice president for Student Life and Dean of Students, upcoming retirement in May 2021, the search committee for his replacement has been brought together.

“The search committee will meet next week to develop the position profile and a statement of responsibilities and qualifications sought in the new AVP/DoS. When the position profile has been posted, [students] will receive a notice inviting you to submit nominations,” wrote Sheryl Tynes, vice president for Student Life, in an email to students.

Committee co-chairs are Alex Serna-Wallender, university Chaplain, and Michael Soto, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and professor of English. Soto also served as co-chair of the search committee for the university Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion, announced on Oct. 11 to be Courtney Balderas-Jacob.

Along with the co-chairs, committee members include student leaders, faculty and staff from departments across campus. Members were appointed by Tynes, who consulted with Danny Anderson, university president, Deneese Jones, vice president for Academic Affairs, and Student Life leaders.

Office of Residential Life announces spring 2021 housing plans

Following a survey sent in early October asking students’ spring housing plans, the Office of Residential Life has announced that the housing application will be open to all students from Oct. 28-Nov. 30. Housing assignments will be announced on Dec. 9, as well as possible waitlist information.

No class year is guaranteed housing or special prioritization. Instead, the housing application includes new questions asking students about their involvement in faculty-led research, athletic team affiliation, learning community participation and level of precaution regarding COVID-19.

The university plans to maintain its current model of two students to a suite, but is considering offering traditional double-occupancy.

Due to limited capacity and heightened planning, students will be penalized for canceling housing assignments after Nov. 30. Students will be issued a $200 penalty if they cancel after Dec. 1 and a $400 penalty if they cancel after Dec. 9 unless waitlisted; waitlisted students will incur a $200 penalty if canceling a housing assignment after Dec. 9.

This fall, first-years, international students, and students expressing financial need were prioritized, and the university’s three-year residency requirement was put on hold due to residence hall occupancy limitations.

Students provided with Title IX trainings

Approximately one month after the announcement of new Title IX regulations, students have been assigned virtual training courses to educate them on Title IX rights and protections, sexual violence and healthy relationships.

Students have been assigned different course programming based on whether they are a new, continuing, or graduate student. All students are required to complete a thirty-minute Trinity-specific training.

Training is being administered through Safe Colleges, the same program used by the university to distribute COVID-19 health and safety training over the summer. The deadline for Title IX training completion is Dec. 1.