Oct. 27, 11:00 a.m. — You may have opened this week’s issue of the Collegian to see there is no Village Record (VR) this week. This isn’t because we didn’t publish it — it’s because there was nothing to report. The document Campus Safety shared with us listed no new incidents.
The VR is just not what it used to be.
Earlier this year, the Collegian published an editorial noting that the VR would now only list incidents that the Clery Act required the College to disclose. We understand that the College has to comply with the Clery Act and other regulations, though we don’t think this means the VR should only include what is required to be there. Our interactions with some administrators early in the semester were positive and resulted in our editors gaining more access than what we were initially given. We compromised and were subsequently provided with more reportable incidents and more detailed descriptions.
But it’s hard to resist lamenting what we lost after we saw we had nothing to publish for the VR this week.
In prior years, the Village Record was a snapshot of Kenyon life — not some sanitized version carefully prepared and edited by an image-obsessed administration. It depicted us as we really are. It was messy, but it was us. The VR featured the expected bevy of alcohol and drug violations, vandalism and illnesses. Yet, it was valuable because it showcased the weird and inexplicable moments that make Kenyon our beloved alma mater.
On April 21, 2014, the VR featured an entry that read: “Toilet paper found to be placed in front of door in Mather Residence Hall. Pineapple found upon re-examination.” This kind of oddity doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the Clery Act, so it’s simply not in the new VR. It also included more relevant information, such as a Feb. 28. 2016 entry that read: “Lit lamppost lying on the ground by Gund Commons. Reported to Maintenance.” This may not be as outlandish as some other entries, but is an insight we no longer have into Kenyon life.
The VR became a different space this year. Gone are the head-scratching moments of strangeness, replaced by simpler, more mundane, less informative occurrences. These are still useful insights, but they pale in comparison to the former VR’s colorful moments perfectly captured in a few sentences.
We mourn this loss. Village Record, you are missed.