Trumbulletin 3-25-20

March 25, 2020

To all:  We miss you.  Stay safe, keep in touch with family and friends who care about you. Know that our whole Trumbull team, Dean Chandhoke, Leah Jehan, Deborah Bellmore, Debbie Rueb, our dining team, our custodial team, and me too, are still working.  Get in touch with us as you need.  Get in touch just simply to be in touch. Get in touch just to tell us a story or two about spring break, what you are doing now, how classes are going, or just to gripe about something.  Get in touch if we can help with anything. 

You’re now spread across the globe, in different time zones and in many different living circumstances.  We’re still a community. Some of you are in more comfortable quarters than you had here; some of you are in less comfortable situations. Some of you have taken on extra responsibilities at home for young siblings and older family members; some are more the focus of care by others and, of course, some of you have stepped up both caring for others and seeking support as well.   Some of your areas are quarantined; some not.  Some families are facing truly challenging financial situations; others are O.K.   The virus may have hit some of you; I hope most are spared. 

My job entails being responsive to you all.  Please do write ( and let me know how things are going; I’ll respond. I’ll do what I can to be helpful from afar. Tell me if you’d like me to call you.  Just send an email with your phone number and I’ll do that. 

Please keep one another in mind.  We’ve forged social ties. I’m aware of some ways in which our Trumbullians have really reached out to care for one another both in the past and in the current situation.  I’ve been impressed.  You know one another; you know many of the challenges your friends face.  Do reach out to one another just as you do if we were all still here in Trumbull. 

Trumbull (and other Yale) jobs

Many of you had (and still have) Yale jobs. Some can work remotely; others not so much.  For some of you, Debbie Rueb and I are your supervisors.  For some of you Dean Chandhoke is your supervisor.  Others work in various departments, labs and institutions on the campus.  Know that you will be paid.  Get in touch with your supervisors if they have not already been in touch with you about your job. 

What it’s like here in Trumbull

This past Sunday evening, all was really quiet here. It still is.  On Sunday, I kept thinking, this would have been the day when all of you re-appeared in the college, many hugs would have been taking place in the dining hall, people would be talking about what they did over break, and the work they did (and did not) get done over break.  

All has changed.  Our courtyard is empty, suites are locked up, the dining hall chairs are up on the tables with just a narrow passage way to the open server.   It is now Trumbull’s dining hall staff who are serving the very few students who remain on campus.  Students come in one by one, staying socially distant from one another.  Our (amazing) dining staff, have donned masks and gloves, and wield and use spray containers of disinfectant and carefully set out bags of food to be picked up twice a day (for lunch & then for dinner + breakfast).  I so appreciate what they are doing. Despite their masks I can detect the staff members’ smiles (and I can definitely see the crinkles around their eyes that go with those smiles).  I am so grateful for what they are doing.  Our custodial staff is working hard too to keep the spaces being used clean.  A Yale team of people working together with our facilities manager have kept all suite and rooms locked (including ones left open as people left campus.)  A team of workers have come together to pack your essential items and get them to you. 

Meanwhile we really miss you.   Our Dean Chandhoke is still here and working remotely to assist you with academic issues that arise.  Our Operations Manager, Deborah Bellmore, is working remotely to stay on top of travel issues that arose for those who were still on campus.  For first year students, your FroCos are, as you know, still awesome and still remotely available to you.  I’m here.  You can email me ( about any issue you wish and you can set up a phone call and/or Zoom meeting with me anytime.  Many of you have done that already and I’ll respond to everyone. Debbie Rueb and Leah Jehan are still working remotely as well.

I more than welcome emails that just let me know where you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing.  Often what happens in our offices and in common spaces is that we simply catch up with one another and chat.  We can still do that. We’re still a community.

For those of you who have requested essential belongings

The team working and retrieving these things started on Old Campus and then worked through all the colleges one by one.  Trumbull was in the middle of the list.  Those of you on Old Campus ought to have received notifications of shipment of your items already and I hope you actually have some of those items by now.  For those of you in Trumbull proper, know that the team notified me that they completed this process yesterday, March 24th.  You should receive notification of shipment of these items (from UPS, I believe) soon.  I was told that they did their very best to locate all essential items following your direction regarding where the items were in your rooms.  I know they did not find every item; if they did not find your item you should receive a notification of that.

For our First Years - Old Campus

You may have heard that Yale has moved some graduate students (who had been living in Yale housing) onto Old Campus to allow them to socially isolate and not share bathrooms.  Items in those relevant rooms were packed and moved to storage.  This is true but know that no Trumbull rooms were used.   All doors are locked throughout Bingham and Trumbull.

For Trumbull Seniors

I just (moments ago) heard that commencement will not occur as usual this May.  (But you will graduate!)  This time was to have been the joyful conclusion of your Yale careers and a time for celebrating all you’ve done.  At one of our final gatherings prior to spring break one of you simply noted that it might be the final gathering for seniors.  As we were scrambling to deal with many issues then I just had not thought about this.  Now I’ve had plenty of time to think about it.  It saddens me but also makes me determined to, in time, figure out ways to celebrate all of you.  The university promises to do the same. 

For now, know that I’m open to whatever you think we might do to celebrate all of you from a distance.  You’re a smart, creative group.  Send me ideas. 

Regarding Mellon Forum

I love Mellon Forum; I’m sad that we can’t gather in the House dining and living rooms now.  But to those who haven’t presented, please let me know if you’d like to do so.  We can do Zoom-Mellons.   

And, if you’d just like a Zoom-Mellon-Distanced-Dinner/Wine (bring your own!) meeting, let me know that too.  We’ll arrange it.  Think of this in terms of what you’d like to do.  I’ll follow suggestions.

For those (very few) of you still in Trumbull

I just put some empty vases outside the back door.  The daffodils are in full bloom in our courtyard with no one to admire them.  Pick up a vase and pick yourself a bouquet for your room if you’d like.  (Next up will be the tulips – feel free to take some of those as well.)

Want some extra granola bars, packages of nuts for a snack, or some paper goods?   Just let me know.  I’ll prepare a care package with your name on it and let you know when it’s ready for pick up.  Also, let me know if you need a book to read – I have some in the house (of varying literary value) and you’re welcome to one.  Just ask, I’ll send you titles.  If you want to order a book on line, that too is O.K.  I’ll cover the cost – just let me know and I’ll save the receipts.   

Margaret Clark
Head, Trumbull College