As the start of the school year draws closer, Trinity University is busy implementing plans that involve significant changes to on-campus residency and learning for Fall 2020.
As the public health crisis in Texas and San Antonio continues to escalate, particularly among those aged 20-29, our healthcare system in Bexar County is under extreme stress. Looking at the data through an equity lens, we also understand that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous populations, and we must consider how our plans will affect the most vulnerable in our community.
Working with epidemiologists, public health experts, and representatives from across campus, the University arrived at key indicators that signaled a need to reduce the numbers of students living and learning in person. This reduction will take place by:
- Limiting lower campus residence halls to single rooms only. First-year students, new transfer students, international students, and U.S. overseas students will have the opportunity to live on campus to ensure the best possible academic foundation for success.
- De-densifying facilities by restricting those who will be allowed to live and learn on campus. Students living in San Antonio or Bexar County will have the option to attend in-person classes and use campus facilities. This includes students living in City Vista Apartments.
- Transitioning some courses to “Tiger flex”—or hybrid—teaching methods, and others to online-only platforms. The hallmark of a Trinity education is the mentorship that characterizes teaching and learning at the University. With support from Academic Affairs and The Collaborative for Learning and Teaching, faculty are spending the summer preparing for these shifts and developing cross-functional course materials that are engaging on any platform.
- Amending the Academic Calendar for Fall 2020. Adjustments are meant to support the First-Year Experience for new students, while limiting the amount of virus exposure from travel during Thanksgiving break. Notable changes include hosting classes on Labor Day and fast-forwarding the last day of in-person instruction to Nov. 20.
In all of its decisions, Trinity’s guiding approach has been to treat the University as if it were a small “town” where community members live, work, learn and play. In Town Trinity, students, faculty, and staff are expected to be responsible citizens. All members of the Trinity community have been asked to sign the ProtecTU health pledge.
Even as we proceed with great optimism, we must also be pragmatic and honest about the risks and challenges we face. Throughout the fall semester and beyond, Trinity will remain flexible and react to changing conditions, with frequent updates to campus via our COVID-19 website.