Welcome back to Trumbull to all. And, a very special welcome back to our sophomores who not only had to leave abruptly last spring (along with everyone else) but also were not allowed to enroll in person in the fall. We missed you! We’re happy you are back.
Whereas our seniors and juniors are already used to all the pandemic-changes in the college, they will be new to our sophomores. Although there are vaccines and the promise that we will get back to normal perhaps by next fall, we still have to be very careful. You’ve all signed the compact and, I’m sure, heard and read the rules many times. Do stay six feet apart in our common areas after you finish arrival quarantine. Do wear your masks at all times when you aren’t in your private spaces. And, it’s really hard but it is also really important not to gather in groups that cross-cut pods and are larger than 8 people. We didn’t have cases in the college proper in the fall but other colleges did, we did off-campus and at least two clusters did occur last semester.
This semester if you are planning a small get together please know that you will have to register it and provide the host’s name and phone number. Know that if our PHC, Tyler Kellenberger, or our peer PHEPS, or the Dean or I or (and most likely given last semester’s experience) your fellow students report that a gathering has happened that’s too large, I’ll call the host and simply ask that it be broken up. If things get out of hand, security will do the same.
Who knew just a year ago that we’d even have to think about such things?
And this semester don’t even think about hosting a big gathering! If such a gathering does spontaneously occur, the right thing to do is simply to leave the location. And, if you are the host, email me for help breaking it up if needed. (Let Tyler Kellenberger (firstname.lastname@example.org) know too but it will be either me or security who breaks it up.)
(Believe me, once we’re done with the pandemic I’m going to host big gatherings myself and I’m sure our TCC will do the same.)
Remember that you are not to leave the state without permission. (Emergencies happen: Ask for permission if you experience an emergency.) Also keep in mind that people from outside the state will not be allowed to visit you on campus. People who are not Yale students and family members may not be aware of this rule and, of course, it would be awkward if they just show up. Let people who might visit know.
CoVID Sympathy – for those who received arrival test inconclusive results & for those who don’t have all their belongings back yet
A number of our students have gotten word that their arrival tests come back “inconclusive.” They have had to test again in Dwight Hall this weekend and remain in quarantine in their rooms longer than other folks. I’m really sorry this happened. Know that you’re not alone. It’s not too common but last semester it happened to me (on my first test). It happened to our Dean. And, it happened to one of our FroCos. They say to make sure you blow your nose well before testing to avoid this – but, honestly, I thought I’d followed the rules just fine and it still happened to me. Bear with us. The testing folks are working hard.
(Late each afternoon all those tests are driven to Boston for processing and they do get the results to us pretty quickly.)
Some of you have not received all your stored belongings back. I’ve asked each of you to send a report of what’s missing to Summer Conferences & Events and copy Maddison Capobianco on your report (and me too). Here are the two addresses: email@example.com;
Unfortunately, missing items has been the biggest snag in all the CoVID planning and execution of plans. I think it was just too big and too rushed a job last spring when all had to leave. Almost all items have reappeared but not without some pain in the process. We’ll stay on it.
One missing set of things from an arrival and a few things I can return to you if you identify yourselves and tell me where you are.
One of our Trumbullians is missing a hard-clear- plastic case of toiletries about a foot in length which he fears may have been mixed in with another person’s things during move in. If such a case appears in your room or suite, let me know and I’ll get it back to the right individual.
I also have a succulent plant in a metal container that I’ve been caring for (it’s easy to care for a succulent!) since last March. If the owner identifies him or herself and tells me what room s/he is in, it will appear outside your door. And I have a bottle with sentimental value which was a gift from a grandmother to one of our students who asked me to rescue it after spring break last year. If the owner lets me know what room she is in, it too will appear in front of your door.
Finally, I have a Yale cap (blue/gray with a small American flag) which one of our first-years left during one of our first-year dinners in the backyard of the house (at the table that was furthest away from the house). You’re probably remote now. If that person (it’s one of three men who sat at that table) identifies himself and provides a home address, I’ll mail that cap to him.
We’ll not have spring break (which makes be sad). But, we will have break days!
Remember that professors are not supposed to have a test right after a break day or have a big assignment due right after a break day.
If you tell me what you’d like me to do in the college for those break days (special food or a socially distanced event) I’ll follow your advice. Otherwise I’ll come up with some way to make those days special myself. (I really am wide open for suggestions.)
Warmly, Head Clark