When students packed up to go on spring break, they only expected to be gone for two weeks. Now, home indefinitely, many are wondering what will be done with the belongings they left on campus.
Over 1,000 students elected to make the trip to campus the week of March 17 to move out of their rooms. However, for those who could not make the trip due to varying circumstances, their belongings remain on campus. These students were given the option to either have all of their belongings shipped to them or to return in May to retrieve them.
Following the College’s decision to postpone Commencement—originally scheduled for May 16—May is looking less and less likely as a possible date for students to return. Additionally, with all of Ohio under a stay-at-home order until May 1, the packing, shipment and storage of student belongings have come to a halt.
According to President Decatur, if students noted that they had left essential items, such as medications, technology or class materials, those items have already been shipped to them. “I’m hoping for the most part they’ve received those or they’re somewhere in transit,” he said in an interview with the Collegian.
Some students have expressed concerns about illicit items that they may have in their rooms, such as alcohol or illegal drugs. According to the College’s frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, Kenyon has implemented an amnesty policy in regards to these items. If underage students are found to have alcohol or if a misdemeanor amount of marijuana or paraphernalia is found in a student’s residence, they will not be charged with a Student Handbook violation, although the items will be confiscated.
However, it is unclear when students will be reunited with the rest of their belongings. Decatur explained that before belongings can be packed, shipped and stored, there are many factors to take into account. “In thinking of this we are always trying to keep two different things in mind at the same time,” he said. “One is the state of things in Ohio, and then what things look like in the rest of the country—because obviously, even if things are opened up here in Ohio, if folks can’t get here then that’s an issue.”
With new restrictions being put in place and news breaking about COVID-19 every day, Kenyon hopes students will be understanding as they try to get belongings returned to them. “We understand students’ desire to be reunited with their belongings as quickly as possible,” the FAQ reads, “and appreciate their understanding as we navigate this process as well as restrictions imposed by the State of Ohio.”