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Wellness and Fire Department Gain Division Housing

By Maddy Jacobs

For the first time, Greek life is not synonymous with division housing on the Kenyon campus. After a long tenancy in themed housing, students who are a part of Wellness and the College Township Fire Department have received division-housing status through the Board of Division Housing.

Division housing allows long-standing student organizations the opportunity to establish semi-permanent housing on campus rather than reapplying for themed housing every year. A themed house must have completed five consecutive years of themed housing and must be on good terms with the Office of Housing and Residential Life to be eligible for division housing, according to the Campus Senate’s recently passed Division Housing Statute.

Interim Director of Housing and Residential Life Matt Troutman said division housing comes with a lot of responsibility but forms an important aspect of the Kenyon community. He added that division housing helps educate the community about students’ interests. “We want people to be together, but we also want them to integrate their interests with others,” he said. “It’s important for people to be independently involved, but also to give back to the community.”

The College Township Fire Department’s presence in division housing is not purely social, according to Charlie Miller ’13, an EMT-basic and volunteer firefighter. Their location and proximity to one another is vital to their jobs as EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and firefighters.

Stephanie Goldkopf ’13 said she is grateful for the permanence and legitimacy that Wellness division housing provides for her on campus. “We’re similar to Greeks in the way that we’re trying to promote our own goals and ideas,” she said. “The community aspect really is beneficial.”

In the application process, the Board of Division Housing meets with the students of themed housing to discuss their situation and choose a location.

Wellness housing has filled 16 spots for students and secured the ninth floor of Caples Residence Hall as its division housing location. “We chose Caples because it’s strictly upperclassmen housing, so it’s nice to have suite space and singles,” Goldkopf said.

Volunteer firefighters and EMT-certified students living in division housing this year are occupying the Wilson Apartments and a few rooms in Farr Hall. Miller spoke to the communal aspect of Division housing. “An important part of our job is trusting the person you’re working with,” Miller said. “There is a great sense ofcamaraderie among the fire department students that I don’t think would be as strong if we were scattered across campus.”

Miller also said that division housing benefits the Kenyon community even more than it does the students who live in the housing themselves. “Our division housing was chosen to give us proximity to the fire station, so we can respond to emergencies quickly and safely,” he said. “Our housing is really about keeping everyone safe.”

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