Hello, All, Returning student housing applications for the 2023-24 school year are opening tomorrow! Please note some key information below:

  1. We have a website [trnty.edu/returningstudenthousing] where you can look for more information about the process and get tips and tricks for the upcoming housing process.
  2. The process is a little different than last year. We are allowing students to select their own suite through a room draw process. You can find more details online!
  3. Tibstra apartments and Alumni Hall six-person suites are the first suites to get placed. The deadline to submit a housing request for these suites is MONDAY, April 3rd at 12pm. If you do not get into one of these suites, you will have a chance to reapply for a three-person or four-person suite in Alumni.
  4. For the room draw process, there is no preference given for requests submitted first, just applications that are submitted by the due date.

Check out the website and reach out to your Area Director with any questions! Have a great week!


Happy New Year! We are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to campus for in-person classes and community at Trinity. It will be good to be together. As our country experiences a surge in Covid cases, we continue to pray for all members of the Trinity community as we plan and pray for a safe return to campus. As promised, please read below for a few important Covid updates as we start the semester together. We’ll continue to provide updates throughout the coming days and weeks regarding the general return to campus – this email is focused on Covid.

Get your booster

We strongly encourage you to get the booster vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as you are eligible. Our strong desire is for you to be healthy and fully able to engage your Trinity experience next semester. Please, once you get the booster, upload your updated vaccine information to the student portal.

Upload your vaccine info

Also upload your vaccine information to the student portal if you get vaccinated for the first time. We know many students who’ve gotten vaccinated throughout the fall for various reasons, so if that’s you – please let us know by uploading your information to the portal.

Get a COVID test before you return to campus

We continue in the spring semester with our current policy of weekly testing for unvaccinated individuals, as mandated by the state of Illinois. During the surge in cases, we will hold to a strong expectation of compliance with this policy. At this time, one way to care for the well-being of our campus community is for all students, faculty, and staff – regardless of vaccination status – to get a COVID test within 72 hours before returning to campus. We strongly encourage each member of our community to plan for this as a way of looking out for the health of us all. However, residential students and winter student-athletes are REQUIRED to test before arrival and have received additional information from Area Directors and Head Coaches about the spring 2022 expectations and move back dates.

New quarantine and isolation timelines

We will follow the updated CDC guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation. For the most part – if you are fully vaccinated (including a booster when applicable), then you may be able to have a shorter quarantine or isolation. The bottom line, for now, is that you must be fully vaccinated (including boosted when applicable) to benefit from this new CDC & Illinois Department of Public Health shortened time guideline.   See PDF for details.

Mask up

Please refresh your mask stock and bring some high-quality masks with you. And for the next few weeks as we navigate this season, please take extra care to wear your masks properly over your mouth and nose. And, we ask that when you are around staff and other service providers who are on the front lines, you take extra care to love your neighbor and wear your masks. For example, please wear a mask in and out of the dining hall and only take them off when eating or drinking at your seat.

Remote learning/activities

There may be occasions where a specific class, activity, or sport needs to “go remote” or “pause” for a session or a few days to support a staff member, faculty member, or a significant number of students being out with Covid. The plan is to navigate those situations on a case-by-case basis. If this happens and you are impacted, you’ll receive notice from the faculty or staff member in charge of that event, class, etc. regarding what to do. We also remind you to check in with supervisors in off-campus internships, work, etc. on this topic as those settings may also experience similar realities. We truly hope and pray for minimal disruptions to your academic success.

Know that we pray for you regularly and are so grateful that you are part of the Trinity community. It will be good to be together again. I encourage you to return to campus with hope for the good that God is working in the Trinity community and with joy for the gift of life together.

If you have any remaining questions after receiving this email, please don’t hesitate to reach out via reply. If I can’t answer the question – I’ll be sure to point you to someone who can!

With gratitude for each of you,

VP Starkenburg

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Phase 5: Impact on Trinity Covenant of Care and COVID Policies

As of June 11, 2021, Trinity will operate in line with Illinois Phase 5, which removes many restrictions but retains the guidelines represented below.

As we navigate this next season, we invite our community to demonstrate personal integrity, trust, and care for one another. For example, with regard to distancing indoors – we will create experiences where people may physically distance themselves if they need to or desire to. At the same time, we are lifting pandemic-related capacity limits for campus spaces. And, we encourage vaccination and will be collecting vaccination records to help us understand our population and plan for an engaging and healthy fall in a residential community, but we will not be checking records as people enter buildings. How wonderful that we get another opportunity and dynamic to live into the Christian community.

Students or parents with specific concerns or questions related to student safety, health, or well-being should call Student Life at 708-239-4704 or email studentlife@trnty.edu.

General Guidelines as of July 12, 2021

For traditional undergraduate students who are unvaccinated

  • Unvaccinated traditional undergraduate residential students and all unvaccinated student athletes must provide proof of being COVID-free upon arrival to campus (negative test result within the previous 72 hours; proof of positive test dated between previous 10-90 days prior to arrival; or negative test upon arrival on campus – these will be available on campus at no cost – arrival test schedule will be made available closer to arrival dates).
  • All unvaccinated traditional undergraduate students will be required to take regular COVID tests, paid for by Trinity. Students in high-transmission-risk academic and athletic activities will be tested twice per week. All other students will be tested once per week.
  • Unvaccinated students who complete the testing program will not be required to wear a mask during program or sport activities such as rehearsals, practices, performances, competition or training. However, these unvaccinated students being tested twice per week will be required to wear masks in all other locations on campus.

For graduate and adult undergraduate program students who are unvaccinated:

  • Graduate students and adult undergraduate program students are expected to follow all guidelines regarding masking, distancing, vaccination record uploading and symptom reporting, however, due to their limited time on campus and in campus facilities, they will not have to test regularly if unvaccinated.

For All Students

  • Trinity encourages all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated. Classes and activities will be held at full room capacity. Our goal is full campus experience, and this is only possible through full vaccination.
  • Vaccinated students will not be required to wear masks throughout campus.
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear masks properly over their nose and mouth and to maintain social distance indoors. In addition to being a CDC and IDPH guideline, this is for the safety of our immune-compromised and others unable to be vaccinated for health reasons.
  • If you are vaccinated, please upload your proof of vaccination as soon as possible to your student portal.  All students planning to be enrolled for fall 2021 should upload by August 1 at the latest. If you have any questions or concerns with this deadline, please email COVIDVaccineRecords@trnty.edu (Students who register after August 1 may upload their documentation during registration.)
  • If you are not planning to be vaccinated, you are required to declare your unvaccinated status before the start of the academic year. The declaration form will be available in your student portal. We will notify all students once this form is live.
  • Trinity will no longer be providing remote learning options, except for students in rare health/disability circumstances or students for whom international travel is disrupted. Requests for remote learning must be made in advance using this form. Please include all requested documentation when submitting the form. Requests for fall remote learning are due by July 25, 2021, and will be reviewed and responded to by August 15, 2021.
  • Students who are in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 exposure or illness will follow pre-pandemic attendance and make-up work policies. In some, but not all, cases, remote learning will be available for students who are in isolation or quarantine. COVID testing will be readily available on campus for prompt assessment and triage. Unvaccinated students in quarantine on campus will be charged a fee for services.

If you have not yet become vaccinated, we encourage you to do so immediately. Note that policies may change if conditions change. We very much look forward to welcoming you back fully to campus.


Vaccinated individuals are now able to be on campus without a mask. You will need to have a vaccination record on file as a student to enjoy this privilege. Please follow the directions below to submit your COVID vaccination records. This can be done NOW, even if you are not returning to campus until fall. This applies to all students in all programs while on campus. If you are participating in off-campus programs or off-campus internships this summer, you are required to follow the policies of your site. Also, please respect those who still choose to wear a mask for a variety of reasons.

Note that faculty and staff are also participating in this process.

Thank you!
VP Starkenburg

All students are encouraged to submit their COVID Vaccination records.  If you have been vaccinated please follow the steps below.

Students can upload the official CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card in their student portal.

  • Johnson & Johnson vaccines- This single-dose vaccine can be reported, and an image of the CDC Vaccination Record Card can be uploaded immediately upon receipt.
  • Moderna and Pfizer vaccines- These two-dose vaccines can be reported, and the vaccination record uploaded after both vaccination doses have been administered.


Back to For Students section

Trinity community,

Baby TrolldaWe’ve had an uptick in COVID cases this last week. There is also an uptick in Cook County COVID numbers. In addition, many folks traveled or gathered over Easter break.

For these reasons, and in light of our strong desire to host an in person commencement and to continue moving toward more in person activity…

  • Please respond to emails from COVIDTesting@trnty.edu and get tested if you are selected.
  • Please monitor your symptoms and honestly RED SCREEN and stay home/in your room should you have any symptoms of COVID.
  • Get vaccinated. On MONDAY, vaccines open up to anyone over 16 in Illinois. We’ll continue to provide information and resources, but all major pharmacies are vaccinating in the area, so check their websites.

These action steps make a big difference and demonstrate our care for others in our community and beyond. We are getting closer and closer to being together again!

Thank you kindly,
VP Starkenburg

P.S. In the coming days, we’ll be handing out more FREE T-shirts with the BABY TROLLDA in random locations on campus – Watch for where and how!

Back to For Students section

Dear Students:

Today, many of you (i.e., the Traditional Undergraduate students) began registering for your Fall 2021 classes; others will do so as the week progresses.  This, along with your recent Advising Day faculty advisor appointments, gives us all the opportunity to think about the next academic year in earnest, even as we finish this one strong.

In addition to selecting your courses and mapping your schedule, you might be wondering what the educational and campus life will look like in the Fall.  That is the purpose of this (relatively) brief email.

We are planning for a full return to campus in the Fall 2021 semester.

We believe, based upon various health experts and agencies, that by the Fall, COVID will be more of an inconvenience than a dominant force.  As more people are vaccinated (just last week, the State of Illinois opened eligibility to employees of higher education as a group) and as more people have had COVID, our ability to control and manage the virus will be very different.  Moreover, all of us have read of the “non-viral COVID” impacts to our society – things like rising mental health challenges and anxieties related to loneliness and isolation – and recognize the importance of being with and around other people.  We are not meant to be alone, as the Book of Genesis reminds us – and as the last year has reinforced for us.  Plus, we now have readily available rapid testing which is another significant enhancement to our shared life together.

At Trinity, one of the important ways in which this return to (new) normalcy will be demonstrated is in the reinstitution of our longstanding Residential Housing Policy – a policy which was suspended for this academic year.  This policy (found on Page 32 of the Student Handbook) shapes an important part of the kind of comprehensive educational experience (living and learning together) that Trinity delivers best.  Even in this current semester, having more students on campus has been both wonderful and educationally rich.  Sometimes we do not fully appreciate what we have until it is taken away; that, surely, is true of the collegiate experience over this last year.  We want to get back to what we enjoyed pre-COVID and, hopefully, do so in even better and more encouraging ways for one another.

Of course, there are some in the community who for various reasons need alternate arrangements – whether for the means of educational deliver or housing situations.  And you may have additional questions.  To those ends, please note the following:

  • While our default returns to in-person learning, we will also grant exceptions to this under limited circumstances which the Provost’s Office will communicate to you separately in the near future.  (Note that you will not have any “in-person” or “remote” selection to make in your course registration process for Fall 2021.)
  • Immediately after Easter, the Office of Student Life will provide you with email updates on topics such as housing sign-up information and exemptions, lounge policies, guest policies, visitation policies, and meal plan policies for the 2021-22 academic year.

For now, as you start to register for your Fall classes, know that we look forward to being physically back together as a community in the new academic year.

We remain, whether at a distance or in proximity, a Romans 12:12 people.

Kurt D. Dykstra, President

Back to COVID-19 page


COVID Testing is going very well at the new testing center on campus, with no positive tests in our samples so far. Your efforts to mask up, keep distance, screen your symptoms every day is working. Keep it up!

Emails went out again to students today for testing slots next week. I hope you are hearing from students that it is a really easy process and takes just a few minutes to get tested. Testing is the MOST effective when everyone participates. Be sure to follow directions if you get an email from COVIDTesting@trnty.edu.

A few questions have come up from students regarding the COVID Testing program:

Do I need to red screen if I am getting tested?

You should only red screen if you are being tested due to illness or exposure. If you are being tested out of precaution, you do not red screen. #CampusClear buttons are updated to reflect this.

Do I test if I’ve been vaccinated?

Yes, for now we’ve been advised by the Illinois Department of Public Health to test even if an individual is vaccinated.

Who is getting selected to test?

We are starting with residential students, working alphabetically down the list. You may be a random selection from the residential population OR you may be part of a major or program that is testing, starting with traditional undergraduates. Regardless, you’ll get an email the week before, follow directions and sign up for a slot. If you absolutely can’t make it work, then let the COVID Testing Center know, and they will work you into the next week’s appointments.

Why should I get tested? 

  • Random, mass screening helps to identify people who do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) but are COVID positive. Finding asymptomatic cases STOPS the spread of COVID
  • We don’t want to get blindsided if COVID cases begin to increase.
  • To win freebies! Freebies?  Yes Freebies! For every 25% of those who follow up weekly with the notification to test a prize will be given.  25% = 1 prize, 50% = 2 prizes, 100% = 4 free prizes!
  • We will be able to reduce restrictions as we increase testing – more to come on that next week!

A point of information about COVID Care:

If you do get ill and have to miss class, your professor may ask for a screen shot of your red screen OR your release email from COVIDCare@trnty.edu.

VP Starkenburg

Back to For Students section

Dear Trinity Community:

I email you at the end of this week with very important information that impacts our life together and your Trinity Experience.  Please carefully read what follows below.

After living in a COVID world for a year, all of us want to get back to “normal” as quickly as we can.  I am thrilled with our success in dialing up our on-campus, in-person experiences this semester.

We want to keep moving in this direction into the future – and today we are announcing an important additional step that helps us keep moving toward a future that is stronger, more “normal,” and more safely in-person:.

Starting Monday, Trinity  will be conducting free COVID testing on campus for students, faculty and staff.

This is an important component of our COVID Response Plan for Spring 2021, as we continue to enhance and increase in-person events and look toward an in-person commencement ceremony in May.

We are partnering with Abbott Labs, a world-leading diagnostic company, to provide Trinity with highly accurate, very reputable, and rapid result COVID tests.  We have been working on this for months and are thrilled to have Abbott as the supplier of our rapid COVID tests.  This is a Trinity-based initiative, staffed by our excellent Campus Health Coordinators.

Here’s what you need to know about testing:

WHO does this effect:      Students first, and, eventually, faculty and staff.  Yes, all of us.

WHY are we doing this:   The short answer is that rapid testing allows us to respond to COVID more quickly.  The more complete answer is that, because we want to eventually return to “normal” even if COVID is not entirely vanquished, we need to have readily available testing as yet another available arrow in our quiver.  Testing moves us further in the direction of being back together as our Trinity Community earnestly desires to be together.

WHAT is my part in all of this:  Beginning today, every week various members of the Trinity community will be notified that they are required to be tested for free in our on-campus testing facility.  The Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen test is highly reputable, easy (a self-initiated nasal swab in each nostril), with quick results.  It is quick and easy for members of our community to take the test – and quick and easy to get the test results.

WHEN do you need to get tested:  Starting initially with students, if you receive a Trinity Testing Notification email from COVIDTesting@trnty.edu, you are required to follow the instructions and get tested.  Students may be randomly selected or they may be selected based on recent travel or activity, potential exposure, or participation with a campus team or group. Please attempt to sign up for a time that does not fall during class. If you must sign up during class, we ask that you get permission from your professor to test. Questions should be directed to COVIDTesting@trnty.edu

WHERE do I do this:  Testing will be done at the 6555 Building on the far North Side of campus (right at the main entrance to campus from College Drive/Route 83).  Students should come at their appointed time, and follow signage directions. The test itself only takes a couple of minutes.

WHEN do I get results from the test: Students will receive an email from COVIDTesting@trnty.edu with their results, usually within the same day that they are tested.  If the test result is positive, a member of the COVID Care team will reach out to the student within 24 hours. Students are expected to follow all guidance from the COVID Care team and participate fully in contact tracing following a COVID+ result.

*    *    *    *

All of us have experienced inconveniences from COVID.  Many of us have had COVID and know how this virus can really disrupt the lives of our families, our friends, and this campus.  Adding this additional layer of protection, is a welcome and exciting part of our being In It Together – this semester, and beyond.

Look for additional information in short order about our new campus COVID testing system.

Thanks for reading – and for doing your part to keep us safe and together.

Romans 12:12,

Kurt D. Dykstra, President

Back to COVID-19 page

Trinity Community,

I am writing today to announce that we will be following the most recent CDC and IDPH guidance regarding vaccines. What does this mean for you?

1. Close Covid-19 contact

Individuals who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine due to exposure if they are asymptomatic (have no signs of illness) beginning the first two weeks after their last vaccine dose (the number of doses depends on the manufacturer). This “get out of quarantine” window is 15- 90 days after the last dose. We will continue to monitor CDC updates and live in hope that this will be extended in the future.

2. Covenant of Care and safety precautions

At this time, individuals who are fully vaccinated are and will be expected to follow the Covenant of Care (including wearing masks, distancing), self-monitor symptoms and complete #CampusClear daily.

3. Signs of illness

Individuals who are fully vaccinated who are symptomatic or showing any signs of illness should still stay home and red screen. Though the news about the vaccines is VERY promising and exciting for our future together, it is possible to get COVID even after vaccinated, so we ask vaccinated folks to self-monitor and stay home to keep illness out of the community. This helps those NOT vaccinated stay healthy too until herd immunity can be reached.

If you are vaccinated and are contact traced by COVID Care, you will be asked to show evidence of your vaccine doses. In future weeks, we will be developing a system for students, faculty and staff to upload vaccine records for us to have on file. We will send out information once those systems are ready.

Many have asked if we will be requiring the COVID vaccine. Trinity’s plan is to await guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the entity that manages our other vaccination requirements before issuing any policies.

Please note that all other state required vaccinations/immunizations for students should be recorded and submitted through our normal pre-COVID processes at this time.

VP Starkenburg

Back to For Students section


This week we are sharing 3 important announcements/updates around Trinity’s COVID Care process.

Today (1 of 3)– here’s a human touch:

Have you met the Campus Health Coordinators?

Dr. Mary LoGalbo has been serving as our primary Campus Health Coordinator (CHC) on the COVID Care team since August. Last semester, we added Marie Walczak, RN, on a part-time basis to supplement Dr. Mary’s work on days when the Nursing department academic load is heavier. Mary and Marie are now joined by Alice Gottschalk, who is a licensed registered nurse with a BSN as full-time Campus Health Coordinator.

The CHCs coordinate your care and instruction regarding symptoms, illness, community spread as it pertains to the pandemic, but refer all members of our community to local health providers for direct medical care. Since late October, this team (along with the other invaluable members of COVID Care who coordinate other aspects of quarantine, isolation, return to work, athletics and school) have guided 345 unique individuals through the COVID care process. They reach out to students following a red screen. If they do, please respond. They are compassionate and concerned with your wellbeing and the wellbeing of this community!

Peace to you,

VP Starkenburg

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