PulseProfessors weigh in on COVID policies

To keep themselves safe, professors teach from home.
Victoria HenrettySeptember 30, 2020573 min
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graphic by Gabrielle Rodriguez

Trinity’s COVID policies were formed to maintain the safety of our community, which has been a long journey with a lot of deliberation. At the forefront of these conversations are how do we keep at-risk people safe? Professors weigh in with their experience with COVID-19 and Trinity’s new policies.

Dr. Bruce Holl Chair of Modern Languages and Literature

How COVID impacted you? “I’m near the age by the end of this start next semester will be on the age over 65. I miss seeing the students and I’ve had to adapt my pedagogy teaching techniques, to the circumstances.”

How do you feel about social distancing? How are you following it? “Yes, I have not been to campus since March 17. In my personal life, I rarely go out on social distance, I always wear a mask.”

How do you feel about Trinity’s response to COVID-19? “Feel that Trinity has made a strong response. The administration faces many decisions, and do not have a good solution for it. They certainly have consulted with people throughout. I mean, I’ve had a lot of input as the chair of the largest department.

Do you feel supported by the university? “I do. Again, I’m fortunate, I’m department chair, and every step of the way, you have a little bit more access. I hope individually faculty members feel that way.”

How do you feel our safety measures compare to other universities? “I think because we’re smaller, we’ve done a better job of enforcing, for lack of a better word, the policies, or, you know, staying on top of the policies of social distancing.”

Dr. Richard Reed Professor of Anthropology an

How COVID impacted you? “It’s kicked me out of the classroom and forced me off campus, which has been really difficult. Because it’s, you know, it’s its interactions with students that drives the kind of college experience that we have at Trinity.”

How do you feel about social distancing? How are you following it? “And I’m sitting on a farm in northern Wisconsin. We’ve got our garden, our bread, and we’ve got a freezer full of meat, and we only go off-farm once in a while…”

How do you feel about Trinity’s response to COVID-19? “I think all around, I’ve been really impressed at their flexibility. And their ability to be like on their feet in terms of making plans and changing plans. It’s been an extremely difficult process because no one can predict from week to week, what’s going to happen.”

Do you feel supported by the university? “I feel like they’ve done a good job, keeping me informed. keeping me safe, and allowing my own decisions in terms of how I wanted to go about engaging with students and other faculty.”

How do you feel our safety measures compare to other universities? “Trinity is really working hard to build a culture of safety around COVID. It’s, there are a whole range of issues. There’s faculty salaries, there’s their new hires, and there’s departmental budgets. All three been cut. And my concern is that the university will, will try to maintain those cuts in the post”

Dr. Erwin Cook Professor of Classical Studies

How COVID impacted you? “I came in last March from Costa Rica, about two days before the lockdown started. And I’ve left the house maybe half a dozen times since.”

How do you feel about Trinity’s response to COVID-19? “I’m really proud about how we’ve all handled this. I mean, the administration down to the staff, the faculty, and especially the students.”

Do you feel supported by the university? “They’ve gone out of their way to allow us to have classes on campus if we want to teach remotely if we need to. And if I can just jump back on students again, and they have been so understanding…”

How do you feel our safety measures compare to other universities? “Lord, I’ve got some friends at Madison, I just my heart goes out to them, they had to shut down for two weeks, then they’re now they’re feuding with local government over whether they should just shut the whole shebang down and send everybody home. I think Trinity should be extremely proud of themselves that we’ve been able to manage and not have to ask even addressing these questions. So yeah, no, I think we need to give ourselves a gold star.”

Victoria Henretty

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