Section: Editorial

Staff editorial: Reporting on Campus Safety allegations

This week’s article “At Safety Office, a growing discontent” about allegations of unrest within the Office of Campus Safety includes quotes from several anonymous sources. The Collegian generally strives to employ on-the-record informants willing to be identified by name and title, since we believe in providing our readers as much information as possible and since greater identification affords greater accountability.

However, in keeping with guidelines set forth by the Society for Professional Journalists, we do offer anonymity to reliable sources when those sources could come to harm if identified. The author of the anonymous letters — sent to the Collegian and to President Sean Decatur, Dean of Students Hank Toutain, Provost Joe Klesner and Ombudsperson Carrie Knell last spring — and others quoted anonymously in the article felt they could not speak freely because of fear for their jobs and what they described as an atmosphere of intimidation and favoritism within Safety. The complaints directed at Safety’s management reach a level of seriousness beyond petty gossip or unfounded personal attacks, and we felt an obligation to give voice to these concerns.

Kenyon’s small environment is not always conducive to people speaking openly and honestly. Given this sometimes-stifling atmosphere, we consider it our duty to shed light on abuses and to catalyze discourse on important campus matters. We are anxious to hear the results of Safety’s external review. As several former and current officers have alleged, it does not seem that the College’s internal complaint resolution system is sufficient to address the types of problems that multiple officers say plague Safety. A lack of equitable treatment seems to permeate the office. The College must bring in outside professionals to conduct a thorough audit of the department.These professionals should interview all officers individually and prepare a report outlining what needs improvement. We implore the College to investigate this matter. This conversation cannot end now.


Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at