Community, collaboration and lockdown: Q&A with Senior Student Morgan Galea

By Morgan Galea (student)

Each year Trinity appoints a Senior Student to act as a representative of our residential student body. Here, this year's Senior Student, Morgan Galea, gives us a run down on his goals and highlights, and shares what it's like living at Trinity during lockdown.

Morgan Galea Trinity College Senior Student

What year did you join Trinity?

I was lucky enough to be offered a residential spot in 2018. I'm currently in my third year at Trinity and the University of Melbourne, studying a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance and Marketing. My degree allows me to explore all the key areas of operating a business, from financial statements to marketing strategies.

What initially attracted you to Trinity?

The biggest influence that led to me applying to Trinity was the impression left on me from open day. My parents and I were guided around the campus by two very friendly Trinitarians. They showed us around and explained all the exciting and historic nuances that make Trinity College so special.

Not only did Trinity seem appealing to me, but it also resonated strongly with Mum and Dad, as we were blown away by the knowledge and friendliness of our tour guides.

Why did you decide to run for Senior Student?

In my first two years at college, I was heavily involved in many of Trinity's extracurricular activities, from being a Student Coordinator (SC) of one of the biggest fresher corridors, to involvement in college productions (performing as well as back stage). Through my involvement with these initiatives, I felt I had a pretty holistic perspective of the college that would serve me in good stead as being a well-rounded representative of the student body.

What have been your highlights so far as Senior Student?

Honestly I have enjoyed every minute of being Senior Student, but having the opportunity to meet all the freshers and welcome them into our community through a fun-filled O-Week is definitely the biggest highlight for me.

Another major highlight of the role is working with teams such as the Trinity College Associated Clubs (TCAC) and Student Coordinators, as well as the Residential College team and staff.

When I ran for Senior Student, I consulted many of my peers and developed a strategic plan for 2020, which included key policies that I would implement in some capacity. Through the support and consultation of the TCAC and Residential College team, I have successfully been able to implement most of these initiatives. The initiative I am most proud of is the implementation and transparency of the new room point and allocation system, acknowledging all residents’ contributions to the community.

Furthermore, I view having a functional and positive relationship between the Residential College team and the student body (especially student leaders) as something crucial for collaborative and effective decision making, and overall college culture.

Through the dedicated work of both student leaders and staff, I am confident that by the end of the year, this relationship will be the strongest it has ever been and will serve future student leaders in good stead so they can carry out their roles to the best of their ability.

In this leadership role, I also know that all the late-night planning, healthy debate and team bonding has forged some strong friendships that will continue far beyond my time at Trinity.

What do you plan to focus on for the rest of the year?

One of the biggest challenges facing our community is how we can include and engage the 200+ Trinity students who are no longer living on campus due to COVID-19. We are living in a very abnormal setting – both for the students at college and those at home – and while some of us may be surrounded by friends or family, feelings of isolation, loneliness, boredom, captivity, stress and anxiety can still manifest and affect us all in different ways. Therefore, the TCAC and wellbeing support staff are thinking critically and creatively about how to ensure the wellbeing of all Trinitarians, on and off campus, is maintained and monitored during these pressing times.

Overall, what do you enjoy most about living at Trinity?

The positive culture Trinity harbours is a big driving factor that makes the college so special and homely. This strong sense of community centred around inclusivity is defining when we talk about our culture here at Trinity. Whether it be dinner conversations at formal hall or pulling up a chair and studying in the library with someone different, I have always felt like Trinity is place where differences are celebrated and inclusivity thrives.

What's it like living at Trinity during the COVID-19 lockdown? 

I honestly have been blown away by the initiatives, innovation and support all the residents have being showing each other in Trinity College’s first-ever lockdown. From running college game shows (Trinity Survivor being a personal favourite), Zoom meetings, corridor Uber Eats dinners, El Corono, coffee deliveries, setting up an essential products shop and conducting morning fitness sessions, just to name a few things, everyone has put in a huge effort to make the most of the fragmented year.

09 Apr 2020