GRANVILLE KAYNOR ’21
Sunday’s Student Government Association meeting revealed a lot about Trinity College’s new strategic plan–its strengths and challenges. During the meeting, Dean Sonia Cardenas, dean of academic affairs and strategic initiatives, passed out copies of (“Summit”) the strategic plan. She discussed the plan’s three main goals: creating a new curriculum and learning opportunities, continuing to engage with the Hartford community, and overall sustainability.
Dean Cardenas discussed concrete ideas such as the the possibility of implementing a 32 credit system rather than a 36, in order to provide time for skills more pertinent to job/ life skills. This also involves including experiential activities in degree requirements such as internships, studying abroad, and community work.
She also pointed out that she understood students were concerned about how they could make a direct impact given the vagueness of the plan’s goals. Dean Cardenas mentioned that Trinity’s student body president Emily Clayton had also expressed this particular concern. Many students in addition to President Claytor believe that the plan is removed from them and left them asking questions like “What can we do”?
Dean Cardenas suggested that there would be numerous opportunities for students to participate and have their voices heard, including at a December 5th event in the Cave where students can volunteer to participate and make their priorities known. She then said something pretty powerful about the need for engagement throughout the student body so everyone takes responsibility for making this a better college.
There was also an issue addressed by a student who was extremely concerned with the first year orientation program. Specifically, she thought the theater performances about race relations and the LGBT community were outrageously inappropriate. Dean Cardenas said that strengthening orientation was part of the strategic plan, and the rest of the student government during the meeting agreed that the first year orientation program needs to vastly improve to make students feel as though they are in a safe and inclusive environment.