April 2021 Community Survey Results

April 2021 Community Survey Results

We took a survey of the Trinity campus community in early April 2021.  These are the results of the survey:

Q2: Is the Spring 2021 semester the same, better or worse than you expected?

The results are in the graphic at the top of this blog.  Some of the representative comments:


This semester I have honestly felt like I’m dragging myself to get to the finish line. Theres time that i have felt overwhelmed with so many assignments to do. I also miss being on campus and interacting with other people.

While there are some communication issues sometimes trying to find office hours with some professors, I think having classes online as a commuter student has been really helpful because I’ve been able to organize myself better and have a better sleep schedule in order to focus on my classes and assignments.

Last semester was very stressful and I thought that it was because I was getting closer to the end of my program so I thought it was going to be the same this semester but the professors have done a great job on breaking the assignments up where it doesn’t overwhelm their students.

I have been working nonstop this entire semester with no break. This easter “break” that was only Thursday and Friday, weekends don’t count, did nothing. Professors have lost understanding. The world might be returning back to “normal” but things are not normal and they should not be. The virus is still out there and the effects are still the same if not more. Please adjust the calendar for spring 2022 to include more breaks

Professors are giving a lot of work..

Professor is flexible and class is engaging.


Students are engaged with me and their classmates. I used the chat box, break out rooms, and “reactions” more effectively this semester.

With the experience of last spring, then summer and fall, I was able to re-organize my classes in a way that both the students and i could cover the course objectives, without overdoing the workload. I had an advantage in that almost all of my classes were already 8-week hybrid classes, so it was just a matter of carefully defining what clearly needed to be discussed in a group setting. The administrative functions were easier to transfer to remote work once we mastered Zoom and were able to connect with our office computers.

Spring is always a more challenging semester. And students are definitely burned out. Having a bit less fun in class than usual, and very much feeling the lack of spring break!

Things are going very well. My students are doing great. I have a higher percentage of students attending weekly live zoom sessions and doing well in my classes.

Students have slowly but surely come to accept the ZOOM environment as an acutal learning environment and not only a “stop-gap” medium.

I teach two in-person classes which are going exceptionally well. Those unable to come to campus dropped out early in the semester, so the students who continue with the course are extremely motivated, conscientious and hardworking. Attendance and achievement are excellent. For my two fully virtual classes, engagement is sometimes a challenge. Students prefer to keep their cameras off, and some are reluctant to share. Many of the students have reported feeling extremely stressed, anxious, and/or overwhelmed.

The students seem to be having a more difficult time this semester, particularly first year students.

The semester has been as I expected but I am ready to get back on campus to be able to really engage with students.


I am getting more organized with working from home and work and I love the hybrid. I am much less stressed with the hybrid model for working from home and at the office I really do not like having to wear masks and would like to wait til we don’t need them before having to wear it during class or all day in the office
I expected to go well and it appears to be going that way. I see more students in or around the building wearing masks. I am glad to see them out and I am also glad that they are protecting themselves because it makes me feel protected.
Fewer problems and issues emerging than in the fall – we seem to be hitting a stride.

Q3:  Vaccine Status

Question #3 asked a number of items of personal information, including vaccine status.  Below is the overall response on vaccine status which is not particularly surprising — 67% of faculty report that they are already vaccinated, and 58% of staff, but perhaps reflecting younger ages and the way the vaccine has rolled out, only 30% of students so far are vaccinated, with 36% planning on getting it before fall.  Of some concern are the 14% of students who way

So we took a closer look at the student responses by academic unit:
We will be working with each student population to address concerns about the vaccine and to encourage getting it before the start of the fall semester.

Q3:  Finances, Family Responsibilities, Impact of Covid-19

Question 3 also asks for personal information about financial concerns, family duties and the impact of Covid-19 on families and friends.  Students are very concerned about finances, and also have many family duties.  And an astonishing 30% of students report that they have had a close family member or friend die of Covid-19.

We are very concerned about the conditions of all members of our campus community and their families, and we know that the toll of the pandemic has been very heavy for many.  As we plan to move into a period for reopening the campus in the fall, we are also very aware of the need for more financial support for students, and more emotional and mental health support more broadly.  We are considering ways to deliver more services among all who need support.

For students, we do continue to have our Emergency Assistance Grants and also we have new funding for Covid-relief grants to students in extreme need.   We have extended some of the latter support to students in great need while we have been awaiting additional clarifications from the federal government about the distribution of the funds, and we will provide more information when we have it.

Q4: Expectations for Returning to Campus

We asked about the expectations of students, faculty and staff for returning to campus in the fall.  Agreement is very high for wearing masks, keeping 6-foot distances, keeping classes under 25 persons, continuing flexibility for staff and using zoom for many meetings to reduce in-person time and travel.

The big area of disagreement is about requiring the vaccine.  In all cohorts — students, faculty, staff — there is no majority in favor of requiring the vaccine.  The most pronounced agreement is among faculty where 48% believe we should require it, compared to only 30% of students and 35% of staff.

As of now, in April 2021, we are reluctant to impose a campus-wide requirement on the vaccine.  Instead, we prefer for everyone to get it on a voluntary basis, and we will help those who are reluctant to work through that hesitancy.

We may need to require the vaccine for certain circumstances, e.g., participation in athletics or clinicals for nurses and others in healthcare settings.  As of now, we are also not sure about DC requirements going forward, so some of this may change as the summer unfolds.

Q5:  Evaluations of Campus Services and Related Topics

We asked for simple evaluations of various services and experiences during the pandemic semesters.  The differences between faculty (53 responses)and student (137 responses) responses are notable in a few areas, see graphs below:
We are evaluating these responses in order to improve services in the areas of weakness or dissatisfaction, and improving upon those that are strong but can always improve.  We are also optimistic that easing of the pandemic restrictions will improve experiences with residence life and dining services which have necessarily been constrained this year.

Q6: What changes should we keep that we made during the pandemic?

Interesting results!  Who knew just one year ago that we could all agree on the desirability of digital signatures?  The chart above reflects the top four choices of students, faculty and staff on the list of changes we made during the pandemic that the majority think we should keep going forward.  Online office hours also rate very high among both faculty and students, as well as asynchronous teaching and learning.  No surprise here, the staff like flexible work days!

Students want parking fees eliminated, and yes, we will not require parking fees in Fall 2021 though we do ask all students to register their cars for safety reasons.

Not getting much love on the survey?  Restrictions on campus visitors.  Yes, we know this is a pain, but during Covid-19 we found it to be necessary.  We will be evaluating this policy as we look toward the fall.  Much depends on both the city’s rules for density and also whether our campus can be safe through widespread practices for safety including getting vaccinated!!