October 24, 2012
Dear Members of the Trinity Community,
Last week we announced
the unanimous decision of the Trustees to move forward with a
comprehensive plan to build our social community at Trinity. In the
days since that announcement we have heard from many students, alumni,
parents, and faculty regarding the initiatives and, in particular, the
co-education mandate. We wish to be clear that we want Greek life at
Trinity College to succeed and uphold the traditions that have had a
positive effect on the community. The Board of Trustees’ vote was not
one to abolish the Greek system. We voted to reinvigorate the
co-education mandate that was originally approved in 1992 and only
partially adhered to in the time since. Accordingly, the Trustees have
empowered the College to establish an implementation committee to
oversee the full set of recommendations, including the co-ed mandate.
This committee will have broad discretion in overseeing the plan. They
will work closely with students, faculty, and administrators to develop a
social environment that speaks to the spirit of our collegiate mission
by leveling the playing field to provide equal access to our
co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities. Accordingly, the
committee will focus on providing that the rules and standards are clear
and transparent and fairly administered. We desire all organizations
to thrive at Trinity College.
The proposed house system is not in
any way intended to replace the social houses, including fraternities
and sororities, that currently exist on campus. These college houses,
which will consist of existing dormitories, will be residential
living/learning environments intended to support the academic life of
the college by providing closer interaction with deans and faculty who
are focused on smaller clusters of students.
committee will also be focused on making social life more robust on
campus, which will relieve some of the pressure on current fraternities
to provide a late-night social scene. We will begin with converting the
Vernon Social Center into an 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. vibrant student
hub, and then we will target vacant properties the college owns for
further development into additional social houses. Vernon Social is
planned for a September 2013 ribbon cutting. With the opening of new
residential housing on Crescent Street, also in the fall of 2013, we
have another opportunity to expand social activity to the other side of
the campus. These apartment-style buildings will have lounges,
kitchens, and eventually retail outlets.
We will announce shortly
the composition of the implementation committee and will move forward
to reach out to those in our community most affected by these
initiatives. We understand that there are many questions that will need
to be addressed on an individual basis to ensure the standards are
administered fairly and thoughtfully.
We invite you to
participate in a 10:00 a.m. meeting on Saturday, November 3 of
Homecoming Weekend in the Washington Room in Mather Hall. We will
review the plan, respond to your questions, and update you on its
We appreciate your patience as we continue to travel a path forward to a better social and academic future for our college.
With best regards,
|James F. Jones, Jr.
President and Trinity College
Professor in the Humanitiess
|Paul E. Raether ’68, P’93, ’96, ’01|
Trinity College Board of Trustees