To the Editors:

Your Nov. 20, 2014 staff editorial “New master plan has the wrong priorities” misunderstands the purpose of a campus master plan. While increasing financial aid and promoting economic diversity are important goals for Kenyon and should be highlighted, there is no need to present the master plan as being in opposition to these goals.

While Kenyon can vigorously debate what the priorities of the master plan should be, it’s unjustifiable to say at such an early point that a plan full of preliminary designs has the wrong priorities. As President Decatur himself says in the same issue’s news article on the matter (“Master plan sparks discussion”), the plan is a “menu” of options. It’s highly likely that some of the more popular and urgent items, such as making Ascension Hall accessible, would be funded first, and that some, like the remodeling of the Kenyon Inn, would be funded later, or dropped.

Finally, it is to some degree true that Kenyon needs to spend money on new facilities in order to remain competitive. This does not mean that “if we build it they will come” is sufficient reason to justify any and every building project, but why would a prospective student interested in drama want to come to Kenyon if she or he saw that we hadn’t built a new theater or new first-year housing since the ’70s, regardless of how much financial aid she or he received?


David Hoyt ’14

Former member of the Master Plan Steering Committee


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