On Monday, the Kenyon Alumni Student Collective (KASC) announced the creation of the 43022 campaign, a way for Kenyon alumni and students to donate directly to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s (ODEI) Student Success Fund. All money donated to the fund from April 25 through April 30 will be matched by other donors.
According to the Student Success Fund’s website, donations will go toward helping students with things like course materials, travel expenses, professional attire, graduate school placement exams and application fees. All students in need of financial assistance are eligible to apply.
A group of alumni founded KASC in the summer of 2020 as a way to address and combat institutional racism on campus. In February 2021, the group advocated for changes in the Business and Finance Committee’s funding allocation process for student organizations, which it felt failed to sufficiently compensate affinity groups for students who are Black, Indigenous and people of color. The new pathway for alumni donations is part of KASC’s three-part plan released in February, which aimed to lower the cost of textbooks and other course materials for students, as well as increase ODEI’s yearly budget, which has since been raised from $10,000 to $50,000 for next school year.
Since the fall, ODEI has been working with KASC to explore possibilities for increasing its funding for student support, as well as collaborating with the Office of Annual Giving to discuss ways to increase funding with alumni donations. In an Instagram post, KASC wrote that although ODEI has a budget of $50,000 for next semester, there are students still in need of funding for the remaining weeks of the spring semester. All donations will go directly towards aiding these students.
“During this academic year, as in most previous years, the need from students is greater than the funds budgeted for this purpose,” Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chris Kennerly wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Kennerly acknowledged the help of KASC and the Office of Annual Giving. “I am grateful to Michael Kengmana ’14, Jul Tancredi ’12, and other representatives from KASC for aligning their efforts with Molly Gutridge ’99 and Annual Giving to support our students who make requests to the Student Success Fund,” he said.
As of Wednesday, the campaign had reached $1,550 out of its $5,000 goal. Individuals interested in donating can do so here.