The Office of Admissions continued to hold in-person tours last week during the College’s moderate alert level, despite announcing it would stop tours during the quiet period.
The College resumed in-person tours this month for the first time since March.
Last week’s tours sparked a flurry of comments on Twitter from students expressing concern. People questioned the safety risks these tours could pose for on-campus students and employees.
In response, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Diane Anci explained that keeping these pre-scheduled tours official might allow the Office to better monitor visitors’ whereabouts on campus and enforce the College’s COVID-19 safety procedures.
“We have an open campus — there’s no main gate you’re going through [when you arrive at Kenyon],” Anci said. “It will be safer to retain the visits that are already on the books, as opposed to cancelling them and then having those people come on their own anyway.” Because of this, admissions did not allow prospective students to schedule new tours, nor show up for an unscheduled visit during the moderate alert period.
Whether prospective families were made aware of the College’s moderate alert status before arriving for visits is unclear. Anci did say, however, that she did not know of any last-minute cancellations, and that Kenyon’s COVID-19 Dashboard is accessible to the public. The Dashboard does not include the College’s alert status.
Anci also emphasized that admissions officers, rather than student tour guides, will lead in-person tours, as officers have less contact with the wider student body. Athletic visits, on the other hand — which also continued last week — will be led by the teams’ coaches.
Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation Jill McCartney believes that coaches’ contact with prospective students, who are not part of the Kenyon community, would not be cause for concern.
“Our coaches aren’t meeting with student-athletes directly,” McCartney said. “They don’t meet in spaces inside. Their only contact with our current students is on fields.” She added that indoor sports, such as volleyball, were an exception to this.
Whether the Office will reopen registration for additional visits now that the recent quiet period has concluded remains to be seen.