Section: News

Board levels the housing playing field

Board levels the housing playing field

By Sam Colt and Henri Gendreau

Kenyon’s Board of Trustees approved a number of measures at their winter meeting, held last Friday in San Francisco, including an initiative that would subsidize apartment-style housing for seniors receiving need-based financial aid, according to a College press release issued Monday.

“The initiative was sparked after conversations trustees had with students more than a year ago about issues of diversity and equalizing housing opportunities,” the College’s statement read. “Trustees provided $150,000 to cover a credit for a room charge equal to the difference between a double-occupancy residence hall room rate and a double-occupancy apartment room rate.”

One of those students was Conrad Jacober ’15, who met with trustees last fall to discuss the plan. “This is fantastic.” Jacober said. “Anything that puts students from lower class families closer to on par with students from wealthier families is a good thing and is something to be celebrated.”

“I think it’s great,” Rachel Rhee ’15 said. “It allows more people to have the opportunity to live in those new apartments.” “Previously, the International House was dominated by non-internationals because they had no financial aid to live there,” she added.

“The student body should be pleased,” Board Chairman Barry Schwartz ’70 said, in a phone interview with the Collegian. Schwartz had previously expressed concern over the Board’s ability to travel to San Francisco due to widespread bad weather, but said the meeting had “very good attendance” nonetheless.

The main goal of the winter meeting, according to Schwartz, was to pass the annual budget. Trustees agreed to lower the tuition growth rate from 3.75 percent to 3.65 percent, a measure designed to slow the rising cost of a Kenyon education over the next five years.

The Board also voted to increase total financial aid by 5.8 percent to a total of $28,312,000, a measure “designed to attract more low-and middle-income students.” The move comes after President Sean Decatur attended a White House summit last month geared toward providing low-income students access to higher education.

Decatur, who attended the meeting, described the evolution of his 20/20 plan for the College. “A vision is emerging of the Kenyon of 2020 as an institution that puts academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition at its core,” he told the trustees. Decatur stressed the need for the liberal arts education to produce “creative leaders and innovators in a range of fields.”

In addition, the Board provided $75,000 to the Summer Internship Stipend Fund that Kenyon launched this year, which started with $30,000, as well as financial support to the Kenyon Institute, which saw the first summer program for adults last year, into 2015.

Trustees also endorsed a plan by the Philander Chase Corporation, which seeks to conserve the rural nature of the community, to convert the Tomahawk Golf Course into a nature preserve cemetery, the College’s statement said. The Board also saw the departure of one trustee and the arrival of another. James Parker ’81, president of Parker Plastics, will replace David Trautman of Granville, Ohio.



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