Section: Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editors

To the editors:

The second half of last year was filled with constant student complaints about transparency — or lack thereof — in the College’s administration. We saw lapses in transparency surrounding many issues, ranging in severity from the closing of the Cove and the moving of Sendoff to questions about the Title IX process. By the end of the year the message from students was clear: We need transparency and we need our voices to be heard.

Given all of this, one could understand why, in the recent Collegian story “Campus Senate Brief” (9/8/2016), comments from an interview with Meredith Bonham struck me. To quote, “Vice President of Student Affairs Meredith Bonham ’92 said this [the disintegration of Campus Senate] was because the exact function of Senate wasn’t clear. Bonham thinks this is largely because many aspects of Senate are now outdated — the College created the Senate during a time when there were fewer administrative positions. Over the years, as the College created new positions, the role of Senate began to diminish.”

The Campus Senate used to be a body of students, faculty and staff alike, in which major issues could be discussed and debated before moving to democratic votes. Some quick research into the history of the Senate will show that it used to be a major presence on campus: a force for good and a voice of the whole community. Bonham actually admits that hired administrators have replaced the democratic body. Let that thought sink in for a minute.

We need to make up our minds as a community — students and faculty alike. Are we okay with the convenience (and higher price tag) that comes with hiring administrators to make decisions for us? Or, do we want to take back our influence in the governing of this campus and ensure that the authority of the Campus Senate is reinstated?

Evan Cree Gee ’18 is a political science major from Norfolk, Mass. Contact him at geee@kenyon.edu. He is off-campus this semester.

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