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volunteer-studentsI just received my latest copy of Trinity magazine, and was thrilled to see the article about the 40th anniversary Friends of the Library Book Sale. Although I did not have much association with this great book sale (which was in its infancy when I was an 8T4 student), many of my Trinity friends worked in the library and helped out with the book sale.

I wanted to point out that the picture you have online captioned: “Trinity student book sale volunteers celebrate a job well done (1989)” I believe has the incorrect date. My friend Shari Beck is in the picture, far right, and she and I were students at U of T from 1980-1984, and then moved to Vancouver after 1984. So that picture must have been taken sometime in those four years, but certainly not 1989 (by then, Shari was living in Cincinnati). I also recognize the fourth girl from the left, Naomi (Hunter) Thomson, who was a year ahead of us and thus graduated in 1983. So I think you can narrow down the picture to having been taken in 1981, 1982 or 1983.

Incidentally, after looking at the picture again and again, I finally recognized that it is ME who is in the orange shirt in the middle of the picture. We’ve all grown so much I didn’t even recognize myself at first!

Always enjoy your magazine— in print (I read it at bedtime).


– Claudia Morawetz ’84

Editors’ Note: Our apologies for the error, Claudia. Thank you for setting us straight, and for sharing more detail about the photo.


I was excited to see that the alumni magazine chose to talk about Trinity’s latest equity initiatives in the piece, “Trinity’s Students: What Are They Thinking?” Such an article provides the opportunity for Trinity alumni to become more knowledgeable on trans issues. (If you did not have an opportunity to read this article, a transgender person is someone whose gender is different than the gender they were assigned at birth. A nonbinary trans person is someone whose gender does not fit in the male-female gender binary, meaning their gender is neither male nor female, or it is a mix of the two.)

I was quoted in the article saying numbers games do not work for equity issues because they tend to affect those who are in the minority. I would clarify that statement to this: numbers games do not work when the inclusion of the minority is contingent on the approval of the majority. While there are not a lot of trans people, that fact should not be used to devalue our right to be treated with dignity and respect. Whether it is at Trinity College or it is in the Canadian Senate, people have said the inclusion of a small number of trans people comes at the expense of the cisgender people, or people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Although I do not see how trans people’s safe and equitable access to employment, washrooms, or healthcare even remotely impacts cis people, transphobic fear-mongering is an unfortunate reality.

1spacesWith this context in mind, I got nervous when I saw the article use the following statistic: “50% prefer gendered areas in residence. The other 50% prefer non-gendered or are indifferent.” It made the inclusion of nonbinary people, in this case whether to have all-gender residence spaces at Trinity, dependent on the comfort levels of the people surveyed. Furthermore, the article repeatedly used male and female stick figures in its infographics, a decision that ironically erases non-binary trans students in an article on gender identities.

Trans inclusion is a process that requires active engagement and opportunities to learn and grow. I hope this letter serves as one such opportunity.

Thank you,

– Haley O’Shaughnessy ’16

Editors’ Note: Thank you for your thoughtful letter, Haley. We agree that there is an opportunity for more learning here, and we welcome it. We appreciate your perspective and will keep it in mind as we continue to cover this issue for the Trinity community.


What a treat to read the new eTrinity, in fact I read it on iBooks on my phone! I recall the surprise when I introduced computers into Trinity shortly after I became Provost in 1986. I brought a couple over from my lab in the Medical Sciences Building together with a printer for use in the Provost’s Office. I think it is true to say that not everyone embraced the idea immediately but within a year or two we had an academic don named Gilbert Verghese (who is still our IT coordinator) working part-time to help people with problems with their computers and help set up their email. It caught on rapidly.

Congratulations on your new venture.

– Robert Painter

Editors’ Note: We’re so pleased that you’re enjoying the Trinity magazine website, Robert!


In response to “Family Ties,” p.6, Summer 2015 issue:

ignatieff2I’m crouching at the entrance to a churchyard in a village in Ukraine, two hours south of Kiev. It’s 1997 and I’m kneeling because the old lady beside me is so bent and small that I need to get down close in order to hear what she has to say. In a thin, weak voice, she tells Lina, my translator, that she remembers us. It’s hard to believe her at first, because no one in the family has been here for at least 70 years. We had an estate in the village from the 1860s till 1917 and the brick steps of the church that my great-grandfather built is just visible in the background of the photo. In the churchyard, I find the grave of my father’s brother; in the crypt, I come across the graves of my great-grandfather and great-grandmother. I am the first member of the family to return since 1917. The old lady clasps my hands. She is sure she remembers us. She was a child then and she came to the back door of the big house with gooseberries in her apron and she handed them over to the cook who made them into jam. When she mentions the jam—the taste of it on the cook’s wooden spoon at the back door of the big house 80 years ago— she begins to cry.

– Michael Ignatieff ’69

Editors’ Note: Michael Ignatieff’s family papers— including this photograph— are in the Trinity Archives

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