Katie Cerulle ’22
The COVID-19 virus is sweeping the Trinity College campus this week as 47 have recently tested positive. As Trinity’s alert system appears to draw near code red, the student body attempts to react to new policies and provisions provided by the school. These new guidelines include: no in-person classes, the library being completely closed, no leaving campus for any reason other than those that are approved on a case-by-case basis, no forming groups of any kind indoors or out, no students from off-campus housing allowed in on-campus housing or vice versa and a few others. These limitations being as drastic and ever-changing as they are, many students have differing emotions towards Trinity’s progression to code orange.
Dana Parker ’22 explained that except for the library being closed, her life has remained relatively stable since the switch to code orange. While she is taking four classes and a lab, only one of her classes has taken a shift from in-person to completely remote. For Parker, her academic life has not plundered as the College shifted online. The one thing that has changed in her opinion, however, is the campus climate and tension between different student groups. Students are scared of many different outcomes during this time, and fear can transform into animosity towards one’s peers as students make different decisions on how to personally handle the code switch.
Theodore Komjathy ’24 feels transitioning into code orange brings being sent home closer to reality. Having the case count skyrocket to 45 over the course of two days sets a possible trend that could end in evacuation from campus. Additionally, the constant change to his athletic schedule deprives him of the ability to consistently progress with the team. This season holds more weight for Teddy as his senior high school season was scratched, but the possibility of normalcy is fleeting as the color system progresses closer to red.
Nick Fitzpatrick ’22 tells the Tripod that he is grateful to members of Trinity College faculty and the testing center for handling these numerous outbreaks with the utmost diligence and concern for student health and safety. Despite his positive disposition towards the school, he is upset with the reality of having all of his four classes being conducted completely virtually. One of the main reasons he came back to campus for the semester was so that he could resume some in-person learning. Being in this new orange territory has negated in-person events until at least Friday, Oct. 16, and potentially longer.
Caleb Prescott ’22 discussed Trinity’s impact on the greater Hartford community. He highlights the disservice that we have done to our surrounding neighborhoods by continuing the spread of the coronavirus. By coming onto campus from numerous different states, spreading the virus among the student body and residents of Hartford, and potentially vacating the area to go home, students leave the area with Trinity’s mess to clean. Prescott explained that it is particularly unfair to families in the direct community that must deal with the ignorance and selfishness of some students on campus.
Lastly, Anders Klass ’22 illuminates the idea that many students attending Trinity College are independent thinkers who choose to engage themselves academically, athletically, and socially. The code system places restrictions on the student body that make many feel disconnected from any sort of decision making. He highlights that the school should attempt to improve the code system by implementing an aspect of administrative transparency. Specifically, Klass expressed a wish for the administration to help students understand the innerworkings of the decision making process and how Trinity jumps from one color alert to the next.
Additionally, Klass stated that as many students return home as they test positive or have the potential to, they risk spreading the virus to many other communities. He argued that those who leave campus have a certain responsibility to the community, in that “students who return home must be diligent with who they come into contact with.”