Section: News

A sobering policy, for some

Drop that beer.

A new policy under the Student Activities Office (SAO) requires all campus organizations to host at least one alcohol-free, open-campus event, provide a service to the entire campus or a create a “product of value” each semester.

Prior to this academic year, all campus student organizations were required to send representatives to various leadership training events throughout the semester, including party training, Career Development Office workshops and training to become a certified Kenyon driver. Sam Filkins, assistant director of student activities for leadership, said these events “were not meeting the needs of the students and not meeting the needs of the organizations.”

“I think that people didn’t place value in the previous requirement, and it was more of a hassle to try to find somebody to go,” Filkins said.

With the new policy, campus organizations must submit a campus contribution form each semester demonstrating they have met these requirements. The Student Life Committee and the SAO will review the forms.

The publications produced by literary magazines; all-campus, alcohol-free events hosted by Greek organizations and small group meetings facilitated by peer counseling organizations will all qualify in fulfilling this requirement.

For some campus groups, the new policy will not alter their typical programming. “As a Greek organization, a lot of our events already qualify as … contributions under the new campus policy,” Alpha Sigma Tau president Sruthi Rao ’16 said.

Some campus organizations, such as club sports with off-campus tournaments, will have to find new ways to fulfill this requirement to maintain active club status. Filkins said off-campus events are valuable for participants, but if organizations “could do something on-campus, to showcase what they do, then it benefits everybody.”

Organization presidents must still attend four leadership events per year, one at the beginning and end of each semester. However, Filkins recognized that “sometimes the president gets pegged to go to a lot of mandatory meetings,” and the new policy limits the number of required events in an effort to lighten this burden.   

The policy change has already had an impact. Last spring, the SAO hosted three of 14 Weaver Wednesdays  — themed event nights at Weaver Cottage — but this fall, each Weaver Wednesday will be hosted by student organizations completing their contribution for the semester.

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