Dear Kenyon Students:
The undersigned professors encourage you to vote in the upcoming special election on May 7. The election has no candidates, only local issues, including the emergency tax levy to support the Mount Vernon City School District (which includes Wiggin Street Elementary School.) As Kenyon students, you have both the legal and moral standing to vote in local elections. You live in this community for most of the year, for four years. You volunteer at the schools, the hospital, the fire department and other institutions. Your tuition and room and board fees support much of the Gambier and Mount Vernon economy. You spend dollars at local businesses and pay local sales taxes. You are stakeholders in local issues.
The issues related to the school levy ballot are very clear. They are not partisan or ideological. Devastating cuts to academic and extracurricular programs will be enacted if this levy fails, including the cancellation of all extracurricular sports, music and clubs. Because many people choose where they live and work based on the quality of the local schools, cuts of this magnitude would influence the entire community, including Kenyon students. Volunteer opportunities may become more limited if the community declines. Businesses may close or shorten hours. And, most directly, Kenyon College will find it more difficult to recruit and retain the very best faculty members and other employees. The quality of your Kenyon education, the culture of the Kenyon campus and the value of your Kenyon degree are closely connected to the quality of the local schools.
Please go to the polls on May 7.
Mary Jane Cowles
Jennifer L. Johnson