President Sean Decatur made a blog post this past Monday that provided an excellent recap of both the nature of visual arts at Kenyon and one of the goals of the 2020 Plan, namely more open communication between the administration and the College. He unfortunately failed to communicate the future of the gallery beyond the 2016 concession for next year’s seniors. The very real possibility remains that after 2016 the Gund Gallery will not host a full senior exhibition.
In an issue of to what extent the College exists to serve the students, compromise is not necessary and an advisory board is not needed, as Decatur suggests. The decision of preserving the status quo, which satisfies both faculty and students but displeases a small minority of the college, does not need belabored and vetted through a board; it is a decision that can be made quickly and by one figure, as Decatur did by ensuring the show for next year’s seniors.
The senior exhibition does not propose to consume the entirety of the Gund Gallery as non-student exhibitions threaten to do if certain initiatives are passed. The administration exists to serve as well as lead the College; and the desires of the student body and faculty body, certainly not the two least significant bodies on the Hill, are clear. Decatur should lead the fight to secure what has always been the student’s gallery.