Encapsulating the class of 2022 in a time capsule

New student org TUASA to collect and preserve material for future time capsules

Trinity University Archives Student Advocates (TUASA) is a new student organization on campus that is working with the Coates Library Archives to increase documentation depicting the student experience from all angles. Along with this goal, they were given the responsibility of collecting items from the senior class of 2022 to put in a time capsule that will be opened in 2042, the 20th anniversary of the class’s graduation.
Abra Schnur, Trinity University Archivist, discussed how TUASA began through the help of senior Alden Ekman. Under her advice, TUASA has officially been in operation for a year.

“They [TUASA] outreach to students about the importance of archiving their experience as it’s happening here, and then they identify material as well. So maybe they know of an event happening, or they see fliers out on campus or stuff,” Schnur said. “They are that sort of community liaison, seeking what’s happening, what’s important, what do we need to have represented in the archives? And then they help sort of try to bring that material [to the archives].”

Zoe Grout, a senior English major and president of TUASA, talked about the importance of archives in relation to the time capsule and what she hopes others will gain from the time capsule.

“We hope that future archivists and historians, if they ever try to figure out what Trinity was like in the early 2020s, like during the pandemic, […] we want people to be able to understand what it was actually like and to have like a wide range of perspectives from that class of 2022 to totally understand what was going on,” Grout said.

Due to COVID, the classes of 2020 and 2021 do not have time capsules, but TUASA and alumni relations will be working toward gathering information and documents to supplement the lack of records from that time period. Schnur said she expects there to be waves of harvesting COVID-19 information: First, the collection of official COVID and COVID-related records and documents, then, the accounts of staff and faculty and how they adjusted to zoom and finally, the submission of alumni records like photos, journals, etc.

Ever Whitlock, sophomore history and ancient Mediterranean studies double major and TUASA secretary, talked about items that TUASA is looking for for the 2022 time capsule.

“Some of the things that we’re trying to get for the capsule are flyers and stuff like that from different events and clubs. [Also], we are looking for pictures, for example, [pictures] from last year — what is commonly known as the snow apocalypse,” Whitlock said.

For more in-depth information, the TUASA website outlines more specifically the items and documents they are looking to gather for the ‘22 time capsule. TUASA will be hosting two collection events for seniors to drop off their items and/or reflections in the library lobby from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13 and Wednesday, May 4. Students are also allowed to drop off their materials in the Library archives in Room 208 on weekdays from 12-4 p.m.