AVI Foodsytems needs a serious update if Kenyon wants to continue using its dining hall as a draw for prospective students. AVI is understaffed and lines are long. Students with food allergies are having allergic reactions to meals that were improperly labeled. Students with Celiac Disease, affected by foods they were told were gluten-free, are running out of options.
We need a flexible meal plan. None of the Five Colleges of Ohio, our peer schools, require students to pay for 21 meals a week. Students with severe food allergies or specific dietary restrictions might choose to go to Oberlin, which allows students to pay less for fewer meals a week, over Kenyon, which rarely allows students to go off the meal plan.
We should not have to pay for meals that make us sick, just as we should not have to pay for meals we don’t want. Kenyon is an institution intended to prepare students for their futures. Students who wish to provide for themselves should be permitted to do so without being financially penalized: People who already pay extra fees to live in apartments must still pay for a full meal plan, even when their apartments have kitchens.
The administration should have more faith in our capabilities. Adjust the meal plan, and stop punishing students who cannot consume the meals for which they must pay.
“The Kenyon community” is a phrase thrown around so often it could be the College’s motto.
But moving forward with a plan to test restricting residence hall access is a huge blow to that sense of community.
Limiting access to only Kenyon students makes sense as a safety measure. Limiting access exclusively to residents will mean that student visitors will have to be met by a resident of that building if they want to visit after 10 p.m., which undermines the Kenyon community.
But even more important than that, the policy fails to address the main issue it intends to address: It is easy for students or strangers to wait outside until someone lets them in. As a reason for the new policy, the College cited an alleged incident last spring in which a sexual assault occurred after a potential non-student gained access to a residence hall.
How would the new policy prevent this from happening in the future? Where is the data to support this program, seeing as the College has not publicly cited specific increases in crime tied to students entering dorms that are not their own? Will the College even be able to prove whether or not this new system will increase student safety?
We urge the College to cancel this plan or provide data to support it. Students, do not let yourselves be locked out.