Jan. 4: Trinity Reopens, Services & Classes Online

Dear students and colleagues,

I hope you are enjoying this holiday break, getting rest and staying safe and healthy.  I am writing to review what’s going to happen when Trinity reopens for business on January 4.  Please read this message completely.

Nationwide, the coronavirus surge continues, due largely to increased travel and group gatherings at Thanksgiving, and health experts expect another surge as a result of the Christmas and holiday travel/gatherings as well.  Consequently, the most important thing that everyone can do right now is to stay home as much as you can, avoid groups and wear your mask everywhere.  In essence, we need a break for everyone to quarantine as far away from other people as possible!

For that reason, while Trinity will return to business on January 4 with Winter Term classes, orientations and other work, Trinity’s work will continue to be largely remote through January 24.  This means that all Winter Term courses will be online, and almost all services will be delivered virtually.  Most of our offices will remain closed to physical business through January 24 except for those essential services that require a staff member to be present (e.g., various financial transactions, opening mail for checks, applications and credentials, handling various enrollment services documents that cannot be handled online; essential services include security, facilities, mail room).  Please note that per Mayor Bowser’s order, the library is closed through January 24, but library services are available online.

Realizing that some students rely on the library for wifi access, please note that our great Technology Services team upgraded outdoor wifi capacity recently, so while our buildings will not be open through January 24, if you need connectivity you may come to campus and get wifi access in your car on the parking lots at Cuvilly, Kerby and the Trinity Center.  Please be prepared to show your ID to access the campus parking lots.

Staff will work virtually through January 24, and I ask all supervisors to be sure that your web pages are updated and current with contact information and instructions for virtual services.   Staff and faculty may be present in individual offices if necessary, but should not receive visitors or take appointments in-person, please do all appointments online.  In shared office spaces, if presence is needed for certain work, no more than two staff should be present in open space, and always with masks and distancing.  For the most part, unless your work urgently requires your presence, please plan to work from home through January 24.

If you have traveled over the holidays, or if you have been in a large gathering, we urge you to (a) plan on a 14 day quarantine from the date of your return from travel or the date of the gathering, and (b) get tested.  As always, if you have a positive test please report that to Dr. Newsome-Williams in Health Services and she will provide additional instructions.

Everyone should continue daily monitoring for symptoms and get tested if you have symptoms.

1.  Winter Term Classes Start on January 4 and All Are Virtual:  If you are taking or teaching a Winter Term class, please note that all of those classes are online and you should not plan on coming to campus.  Please check the Academic Calendar for other dates that affect your class schedule.

2.  Mayor Bowser’s Order Through January 24:  Mayor Bowser has issued a new order limiting in-person business through January 24.

3.  Winter Graduations:   will proceed virtually on January 13-14 and further instructions will be coming about those events.

4.  Return to Residence:  Per Dr. Gerlach’s directions to resident students, return to residence will be by appointment starting on Saturday, January 9.

I will be providing additional information and guidance as we resume the Spring 2021 semester.  Our goal is to make sure that every student keeps making progress toward your degree while also making sure that everyone remains safe and healthy!!  Trinity, we can do this!  You did beautifully in 2020 and we will persist in 2021 with the firm hope that the pandemic will end as the vaccine becomes widely available.  More on that early in the new year.

Please enjoy the rest of the holidays, be careful and stay safe.

With best wishes in the season,

President Pat McGuire

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