Trinity Suspends In-Person Student Summer Programs, Research, Employment in Response to COVID-19

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Brendan W. Clark ’21


Trinity has announced in an email that all in-person summer programs, research, and student employment are suspended. The decision comes prior to a scheduled vote of the faculty on the question of holding summer courses virtually scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. 

Despite “some preliminary signs that strict social distancing measures are having a positive impact in slowing the spread of the virus,” Acting Dean of the Faculty Sonia Cardenas and Vice President for Financial Affairs Dan Hitchell indicated that we “cannot yet know when we will be able to resume full in-person operations.” 

The College indicated that it has become “increasingly clear that, from a health and safety perspective, we cannot plan for a ‘typical’ summer on campus.” Further, Trinity indicated that no new requests for summer housing will be accommodated. Despite the suspension, Cardenas and Hitchell added that Trinity is “working to ensure that in-person classes, research, and student employment will be replaced with remote options wherever feasible.” 

The Tripod spoke with Dean of Students Joe DiChristina, who indicated that the College recognizes “that some of our students will not be able to depart campus because of travel restrictions or other personal needs.” DiChristina added that Trinity will “provide housing for students currently on campus and who need to remain on campus.” While plans for meals with Chartwells are not yet in place, DiChristina added they are “being made.”

The faculty of the College are scheduled to vote on a motion from the College’s Curriculum Committee on Tuesday, Apr. 14 that would permit the offering of online courses for the summer term. Current Trinity policy does not permit the offering of fully online courses, with partial remote instruction for the spring 2020 semester permitted because of the Emergency Academic Framework approved by the faculty last month. If the Committee’s resolution is approved, summer courses would become the first fully online courses accepted for Trinity credit by the faculty.

The closure has not, according to the email, stymied the “continued fulfillment” of Trinity’s “academic mission and the enduring value of our college.” Trinity’s summer partner programs, including the Hartford Youth Scholars and the Dream Camp, will also be notified of the change according to the email. 

Trinity had previously suspended in-person classes on campus on Mar. 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Tripod reached out to Director of College Events and Conferences Meg Fitzsimmons for clarification on additional public summer programming at Trinity, including the status of the College’s annual Summer Chamber Music Series and Plumb Memorial Carillon Recital Series. Fitzsimmons was not immediately available for comment. 


Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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