Trumbull Notes 9-12-16

September 13, 2016

Now that shopping period is coming to a close, I hope all  of you have a schedule with which you are very happy.  I also hope all of you have had some time to relax and enjoy the great weather we have had.

The wonderful weather will last for a while longer.  As it does join us for sailing or kayaking on Long Island sound, for TrumBall in our courtyard, for a bonfire in our courtyard this Thursday evening and for our fall festival known as Rumble in Trumbull. Oh, yes…. and participate in Trumbull IMs. 

Mid-terms and then snow will come soon enough!  Enjoy all this while you can.

Some cheers and some thanks:

Debbie Rueb is back in Trumbull after a brief absence.  Welcome back!  Yeah!  Thanks to Deb Bellmore who is responsible for ordering the new, sturdier than last year’s, red Adirondak chairs for our courtyard.  I see that they and the hammocks are being put to good use.  Deb Bellmore also was behind our Buttery furniture re-covering. (I hope you notice that the couch and chairs there look much better than they did last year.)  Thanks to Diego Fernandez-Pages and Colin Burke for leading our TCC this year.  Thanks to Mila Rostain, Sarah Seymour and Swen Vanderbush for leading our IMs this year (and to everyone who has come out for them.)  Thanks to Leah Jehan and Dean Chandhoke for making it through orientation safe and sound themselves and, importantly, for making sure all  your schedules are signed and in. Thanks to Christina Wethington and Bernadette Janis for bring back Romantic Fridays to the Trumbull Dining hall and for all the work done for the opening Freshman Dinner.

Finally, I offer a special thanks to our all of our Freshman Counselors who, first of all, are the best FroCos in all of Yale College and who, also are the hardest working, most on duty, Fro-Cos in the college. I haven’t missed that.  I am deeply grateful to all of you.

Some community concerns:

I want to flag a few concerns that some members of our community have raised with me in person or via email. These are issues to which we all should attend.   Here they are:

Smoking (of all sorts!) is prohibited in all buildings of Trumbull.  Some sorts of smoking are illegal in the Connecticut. Be mindful of those you surround you.  Be mindful of your own liability.  (Yale Police and New Haven Police do visit Trumbull).  Be mindful of your own health.   I like to respect people’s privacy but know that  I do visit when I must.  To add urgency to this know that we have several community members who face health issues that make it particularly important that they not be exposed to second hand smoke.   

 Another issue about which some of you have expressed dismay is the appearance of trash in the courtyard.  We have a beautiful courtyard. The weather is great.  We’ve added extra chairs so that people can enjoy our space.   Make the effort to put your trash in the proper cans.

Finally, I have a couple of requests from our wonderful and hard-working dining staff:  #1 Please arrive for meals (especially dinner) at least 15 minutes prior to the dining hall closing (7:15 during the weekdays; 6:45 on weekends.) We have a large dining staff who have particular and often evening and weekend hours they work.   They also have families with whom they like to spend time and obligations of their own.  By selecting our food on time and returning dishes before the dining hall officially closes, they can end their shifts on time and go home on time.

#2 The second request is one I repeat often.  Try not to take dishes from the dining hall; and, importantly, promptly return any dishes that have been removed.

We have 400 students.  If each person takes one cup out of the dining hall and doesn’t return it – that’s 400 missing cups which typically end up residing in bathrooms and suites.  (Of course, some of us are multiple cup moochers).   It’s expensive for our dining hall.  Our managers would rather spend money on food than new dishes.  Moreover, as we all know well (at least those of you who are sophomores, juniors and seniors know) the result can be that there simply aren’t cups (or bowls) to put out.

Family Nights in the dining hall.

In the past we’ve had Family Nights every Sunday evening in the Trumbull dining hall – inviting all our off campus Trumbullians back to join us for dinner on us. We’re continuing this tradition this year.  So if you live off campus you are invited to the dining hall on Sunday evenings to join in the Trumbull.  Check in at the desk where they have a list of all your names and can check you off as you enter.

One important note, though. We have many, many more off campus people this year than in years past.  You may not know this but the college has a budget that is completely separate from that of the dining hall. We, in the college, cover the cost of each dinner.    So we do have to watch our budget as the year goes on.   We may need to tweak this policy later in the year.  I just wanted to give you all a “heads up” on that but know that we do love our off-campus folks. We’ll do our best. I promise.

Trumbull Freshman-Sophomore Bonfire (also known as a Bond Fire), this Thursday, Sept. 15th, Trumbull main courtyard.

Come joint this TCC sponsored event.  The weather will be good (I trust).  There will be food.  Our TCC representatives have gone through fire-training-safety just for you.

Fire Drills (will be coming up)

You really do have to leave your rooms and come outside.  Really!

Sailing and Kayaking, Sept. 17th and Sept. 24th

There is still time to space for a few more people to sign up for our Trumbull sailing trip on this coming Saturday, Sept. 17th.  The kayak trip on Sept. 24th is full but you may add your name to the wait list.  We’ll accommodate as many people as we can and take it’s popularity into account going forward.

Pottery Studio:  The first hosted “open hours” in our pottery studio will occur tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 13th  6:30-8:30.  No skill is required.  All levels are welcome.  Some of you will know what you’re making and will make it.  Some of you may create something you were not planning to create.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s supposed to be fun.

We’re happy to report that we have talented folks staffing our pottery studio this year.  Nick Kraus ( our graduate affiliate and Emma.Green ( will be our pottery studio hosts.  There will continue to be open hours from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Tuesday.  Come check it out.

TrumBall:  Sept. 24th

On the evening of Sept. 24th Trumball will occur.  A tent and dance floor and food and a DJ will appear in our courtyard.   It’s fun.  Save the date. 

Trum-Events coming up in October

Family Weekend.  Oct. 7th to the 9th.  Trumbull will host an reception in the Trumbull House for your families

Not going home for Oct. break?  Well, then… join me and Associate Head Polner on a Connecticut Farm Trip and Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 22:  October break begins on Oct. 20th and it ends early on the 25th.  Many of you will leave campus but we also know that many of you will stay put due to issues of travel distances,  expense, and/or work to be done.  For those who are staying put, Yale Dining has offered us a great opportunity.  They will host a farm trip and include up to 25 Trumbullians on Sat. Oct. 22nd.  They will take us to a local farm (leaving via bus from Commons) where we will be treated to a brunch. Then we will travel to another farm and will be able to pick some produce.  We’ll bring that produce back to campus and use it as part of a meal which we will dream up.  Watch for a sign up sheet in the Trumbull Office.

A first Trumbull Tea:  On Tuesday, Oct. 25th, we’ll host a New Yorker writer and author Mark Singer as a Tea Guest.    He has recently released a book entitled Trump and Me (and we’ve ordered copies which should arrive this week in case you want to read it beforehand).  We’ll also provide copies of some of his articles to read ahead of time.

A second Trumbull Tea:  On Thursday, Oct. 27th we’ll host another Tea with guests Jim Waller and Tibi Galis who will discuss the work of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation.  James Waller has written a book and we’ll make copies of it available to you as well:  Becoming Evil:  How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing.  Jim Waller also has written an upcoming book entitled Confronting and Engaging Our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide.