Where are you, Trustees?
During their fall meeting, the Board of Trustees tried something new: the student-trustee lunch, which brought trustees and interested students together for an open conversation. President Sean Decatur said the Board has attempted this pairing in the past, but this year finally marked the successful union of the two bodies. Many students appreciated the opportunity to see trustees in person and speak candidly with them about their experiences. (Other students felt some trustees were more interested in talking about themselves and their opinions than engaging in conversations with students.)
We hoped to have a similar opportunity. The Collegian had a lunch planned with several trustees so we could ask our own questions. Ultimately, only one of the three trustees with whom we were scheduled to meet — including the Chair of the Board — actually showed up.
Increasing communication between the board that governs the College and the students that attend it is critical for the success of Kenyon, and arranging meetings is the first step.
But all parties have to show up for the conversation.
Tuition spikes forget family incomes
The Board of Trustees is predicting a 3 to 4 percent increase in tuition for the upcoming year — dismaying but unsurprising news. This change is consistent with the College’s trend of increasing the price tag for a Kenyon education every year to keep up with growing expenses.
We recognize that our paltry endowment, inflation and rising operational costs, among other things, contribute to these increases. But higher and higher tuition fees are simply unfair to Kenyon students and families. We are already one of the most expensive colleges in the state, and the price creeps slowly higher every year. This puts strains on families — especially those that may not qualify for a financial aid, but for whom the price tag is still a steep one.
Can the College not work to see if there are ways to cut costs, rather than just trying to rake in more revenue from families? Streamline a bloated administration, or examine ways to reduce utilities costs. There must be another way.