Section: News

Office of Student Engagement proposes changes to Handbook

Following a lengthy two-year revision process, the Office of Student Engagement is now seeking student input on the completed draft of both the Student Handbook and Student Organization Handbook and will present their proposed changes at the Student Council meeting on May 10, where members of Student Council will have a chance to make additional revisions.

In a Student-Info email sent on Thursday, Vice President of Student Affairs Meredith Harper Bonham ’92 detailed the changes in the newest handbooks drafts, which include a clarification of community and College expectations, an updated Student Conduct Review section, a revision of the alcohol policy and the inclusion of Student Council’s input for future revisions. Bonham stressed that it was important to organize the Handbook into a more readable format with much of the same information being transferred over. Areas in need of further clarification were revised accordingly.

Student Conduct Review

One of the primary differences between this version of the Handbook and the previous is the cohesive list of student restrictions located in the Student Conduct Review section. The current draft includes a 16-point list of prohibited actions, including academic dishonesty, misuse of alcohol and illegal drugs, violent behavior and misuse of property. (All 16 violations can be found from pages 7-12 of the revised Handbook underneath the section labeled “Prohibited and Restricted Conduct.”)

Additionally, the new section on Student Conduct violations gives a much more detailed explanation of the appeal process. Whereas much of the information regarding the logistics of the appeal hearing remains the same, information regarding student participation in a new Appeals Board has been added.

“The Appeals Board consists of three members: the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee, and two members of the Student Conduct Review Board who did not serve in the original hearing. Of the two Student Conduct Review Board Members serving on the Appeals Board, at least one must be a student,” the proposed Handbook reads.

The proposed draft also extends the amount of time students have to submit an appeal, writing that the letter must be filed within five business days of written notification to the respondent.

Social Events with Alcohol

The Student Organization Handbook has also been revised, and includes the party policies that were once featured in the Student Handbook. Now located in this version of the Organizations Handbook are the expectations of social host event organizations, which are the same as those found in the online training resources packet given to all student hosts prior to a social event.

One significant change is the BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) option that was created in order to make party-hosting available to all student organizations. BYOB events are required to follow guidelines outlined in the Handbook, such as having a guest list of no more than 100 attendees, all of whom must provide their names and birthdays, a limit on the alcohol each guest is allowed to bring, requiring guests to check in with door workers at only one entrance and labeling all alcoholic beverages with the names of the attendees.

Finally, located on page 27 of the Student Organization Handbook is a chart detailing the number of workers required to supervise the numbers of attendees, as well as the type and permitted locations of a given social event.

Early Bird Funds

Also added to the new Handbook is a section providing information on the Early Bird Funds, which are offered to “registered student organizations sponsoring all-campus programming during the first six weeks of each semester.” Organizations planning to apply for the funds must submit the request at least a week in advance, and must make it clear that the activity is occurring during the first six weeks of the semester, is open to the entire campus, and is an alcohol-free event beginning at 9 p.m. or later.

Kenyon Reservations

The new Handbook also includes updated information on reserving a space at Kenyon for a social event. Students are instructed to follow the link found on page 16 of the Handbook and to select a date and time that they wish to reserve a space. They can then find the space that is the best fit and send in the final request form.

Student Feedback

Finally, Bonham emphasized that they are seeking student contribution in order to finalize the information found in the draft of this Handbook. The Student Council has never been given the power to offer their insight into finalized administrative policies featured in the Handbook. Because of this recent change, Bonham discussed how she hopes students will take advantage of this opportunity.

“The draft documents will be discussed at Sunday’s final Student Council meeting on May 10 at 7:00 pm EDT,” Bonham wrote in the email. “For a fuller discussion with all interested students, we are collaborating with Student Council to hold a virtual forum on Thursday, May 14 at 5:00 pm EDT, and encourage you to attend. Invitations to both meetings will be sent out in the coming days. You are also invited to provide us with your feedback via THIS FORM by no later than May 22.”

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