On Sunday, Sept. 25, Student Council met to discuss student access to abortion services and contraceptives, the new First-Year Class Committee, the Business and Finance Committee’s (BFC) supplemental hearings for student organizations and two new clubs on campus: Students Demand Action Kenyon and the Multicultural Identities Organization.
The Safety and Wellness Committee met with Kenyon’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA) Club and Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chris Kennerly to discuss safe access to contraceptives and abortions. The student success fund will be available to support students seeking abortion services, transportation or lodging. This fund can be accessed through the Cox Health and Counseling Center, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) or the Office for Civil Rights. Emergency contraceptives such as Plan B are free and available at the Health Center as well.
The First-Year Class Committee was elected last week. The committee was introduced this Sunday; it comprises Class President Christiane Betfarhad ’26, First-Year Senate Representative Cooper Bertschi ’26, Gund Hall Representative Tristan Lewis-Schurter ’26, Lewis Hall Representative Aidan Cullen ’26, McBride Hall Representative William Margeson ’26, Mather Hall Representative Brooke Heis ’26 and Norton Hall Representative Busy Aiken ’26.
Vice President of Finance and Business Melissa Nixon ’23 said that the BFC has reevaluated their current budget and will be holding an additional supplemental hearing on Oct. 10. The BFC will also use funding that comes from previous semesters’ unallocated funds in order to open further opportunities to clubs. Nixon noted that the BFC will prioritize campus contributions and activities that promote student engagement, while material requests that can be deferred to next semester likely will be.
“Please be cognizant of the fact that we’re making tough decisions. We don’t have that much money, and we’re trying to stretch it as far as possible,” Nixon said.
Safety and Wellness Committee Chair Madelin Vandeberg ’25 encouraged students to receive their free flu vaccine at the Health Center. She also said that Campus Safety is working on increasing lighting by the Mods to help students feel safer. In the meantime, students can use the Rave Guardian app on walks around campus if they feel unsafe.
Campus Safety will also streamline the process of transporting students around campus. As frequent transports occupied a lot of officers’ time last semester, they will now drop students off at specific locations, including Peirce Dining Hall, the Lowry Center and North campus housing such as McBride Hall and the New Apartments.
The Council also unanimously voted to approve two new student organizations: Students Demand Action Kenyon, an organization focused on gun violence prevention, and the Multicultural Identities Organization, which will focus on providing a safe space and community for students of multi-racial, multicultural, and adoptee identities.
Founder of Students Demand Action Darcy Miller ’25 said, “The stats speak for themselves, and the news speaks for itself. What we have right now is not working. It needs to be changed, and change can start here.”
The Office of Communications spoke with the Council about increasing effective modes of communication on campus, such as using different forms of social media. “We want to make sure that people don’t feel like they’re drifting in the sea of everything going on at Kenyon,” News Director David Hoyt said. Dean of Students Brian Janssen added that the Division of Student Affairs will begin holding spaces for students to discuss their experiences at Kenyon in order to facilitate conversations between administrators and the student body.
The next Student Council meeting will be held this Sunday at 7:00 p.m in Chalmers 302. All students are welcome to attend either in person or remotely.
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