The Student Council established the Policy and Procedure Review Committee last year to review the Business and Finance Committee’s (BFC) bylaws in order to address issues regarding the allocation of funding to affinity groups.
The committee is responsible for conducting an in-depth review of all the policies, procedures, constitutions and bylaws of each committee to ensure that they are all up-to-date and in line with Kenyon’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution. The Policy and Procedure Review committee consists of Student Council’s Vice President for Academic Affairs Delaney Gallagher ’23, Director of Operations Giulia Cancro ’22, Vice President for Business and Finance Rocco Danese ’23, Committee on Diversity and Inclusion Chairperson Bijan Khaghani ’23, Sophomore Class President Luke Kim ’24, Vice President for Student Life Ubongabasi Asuquo ’23 and an administrative advisor, Dean of Students Robin Hart Ruthenbeck.
“We need to apply the same energy to everything else because if you’re going to do institutional change you need to commit that effort to everything, rather than targeting one specific thing as the topic comes up, we want to get ahead of stuff,” said Student Council President Micah Smith ’22.
One of the bylaws that raised significant concern and prompted the need for revisions stated that the BFC could not allocate funds to student groups to satisfy food requests. While this bylaw was in place mostly to prevent student groups such as Greek organizations from requesting money for activities such as pizza parties, it also prevented the BFC from being able to allocate funds to affinity groups who wished to host cultural tastings or other events in which food would be a central component.
The Policy and Procedure Review Committee began revising the BFC’s bylaws last spring, but they will not implement the other committees’ bylaws until the revisions are complete. After all the revisions are made, they will be recommended to the campus community for feedback, and final adjustments will be made in response to that feedback. The Policy and Procedure Review Committee most recently finished revising Article 2 in order to clarify the specific roles of Student Council officers, and is currently working to review and revise remaining articles.
“At [the Policy and Procedure Review Committee] we are problem solvers,” Gallagher said. “We take the mindset that if we do not like how something works then we have to have a solution to fix it, and not just point it out, as it is solely up to us to change it.”
In an effort to ensure fairness and equality on a larger scale, the Student Council is also encouraging affinity groups to become a part of the up-and-coming Affinity Group Collective. The collective will be applying to Kenyon’s anti-racism fund in hopes of receiving extra funding for campus-wide events as well programming for students of color, such as mental health resources.
The first draft of all bylaw and policy revisions is set to be presented to the Student Council Executive Committee on Feb. 10, 2022, and the completion of the final draft is planned for Feb. 27.