Update from President Kurt Dykstra, March 14, 2020

Dear Trinity Students:

In this ever-changing situation and in light of the notification that you received just after noon today (which is reprinted in its entirety below) I write to update you of news that we learned today, how that news impacts the Trinity campus community, and to again urge you, if you have not already done so, to vacate campus.

Here is the email message that was sent to the campus community today at approximately 12:20 p.m.:

Trinity Community,

In accordance with federal law and in service to the well-being of the Trinity Christian College community, I am writing to notify you that today we have learned of a confirmed case of COVID-19 associated with a Christian organization located in Crestwood. At this time, there are no known cases of the coronavirus among any Trinity students, faculty or staff. Excellent guidance regarding how to protect yourself is available at the CDC’s website. Please join us in praying for our brothers and sisters who are directly impacted by this development.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and we will continue to provide campus updates throughout the day today as we have been in recent days.

Peace be with you,
Becky Starkenburg

Students, let me be blunt:  It is time to go home.  That means today if you are able.  This is not a time for impromptu social gatherings, parties, or group outings during newly found “free time” this weekend and early next week.  We set a residence hall closure deadline of Wednesday, March 18 at 5 p.m. so that students who have to make challenging travel arrangements (e.g., flights, etc.) had time to make those arrangements.

News like that sent a few minutes ago (and reprinted above) could accelerate.  This is a virus.  Your best way to avoid becoming infected – and infecting others – is through social distancing.  Read this informed report from the executive director of Ariadne Labs in Boston (which was passed along to me first by one of our long-time science faculty members) entitled, “Social Distancing:  This is not a Snow Day.”  https://www.ariadnelabs.org/resources/articles/news/social-distancing-this-is-not-a-snow-day/

Again, Students:  it is time for you to go home.

As a reminder, if you have a difficult situation where you need to remain living at Trinity even after Wednesday, please let us know so that we can serve you.  Of course, this applies especially to our international students and other students with extenuating circumstances.  Please also review these words that Vice President for Student Life Becky Starkenburg shared yesterday on how to make such requests:

All students who have submitted requests using this form for housing during the coming period of time will be contacted. We know that some of you are still on the fence about your housing needs. We encourage you to make a request as soon as possible so that we can begin a dialogue with you about options – even if you are still looking for options. Earlier requests will allow Student Life staff to help you and think about what this might look like.

Students, I urge you for your own health and for the health of those around you, please head home as soon as possible.  Please also pray for your fellow students, for your faculty and staff, for your families, and for those around the world who are ill with this virus.  Romans 12:12.

Let us be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

Kurt D. Dykstra, President

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