Starting today, Kenyon’s Board of Trustees will convene in New York City to address a variety of issues — some old, some new and more pressing. Regardless of the subjects, they all have one thing in common: money.
Kenyon feels the issue of scarcity a bit more keenly than its better-endowed peer institutions, and it would be foolish to act on the more superfluous aspects of the master plan that would beggar the College of the funds it has. Another goal of this meeting is to plan for the next capital campaign, the last one — We are Kenyon — having raised more than $240 million for the College between 2007 and 2011. What should the next campaign spend its money on?
We urge the trustees to prioritize Kenyon’s economic accessibility, both for those looking to migrate to the Hill and those already on it. While a beautiful campus, full of modern amenities and extras, may attract more applications, we imagine that a school with a more generous financial-aid program would have the same effect, and upon more of the kinds of students we’d like to enroll.
We hope the board uses its resources to assist students with things they have little sway over, for example in the vein of the commendable Summer Internship Stipend Fund which, among other things, provides for students in need of professional attire. If the College feels a financial pinch, we hope it will be from giving out more aid awards or increasing the Student Activities budget for funding events that will enrich the community, rather than from putting a ballroom in the Kenyon Inn.
Lastly, the Collegian encourages the trustees to be more transparent in their goings-on. Likely only a minority of students are aware of the meeting taking place over the next few days, in spite of the fact that many decisions made there will greatly affect them. It would behoove the board to establish a relationship with the community, so as to lessen the feeling that important changes made to Kenyon are being handed down from above.