Section: Editorial

Residences are homes, not experiments

Our story “Sisterhood residents voice housing concerns” covers the difficulties that members of Sisterhood currently face after moving from their suite in Caples to R-17, more commonly known as “Old Snowden.” Students within the organization have said they feel disrespected and largely out of the loop when it comes to what they can and cannot do in their own residence.

Administrators, to their credit, seem to want to fix this situation, and admitted to having played a role in the miscommunication between themselves and the residents. However, the real miscommunication is not between students and the administration, but between the Offices of Residential Life and Student Engagement. At a 100-percent residential institution, these kinds of mistakes cannot happen.

The administration had all the information regarding the usage permissions in Old Snowden. The buck can’t stop at “miscommunication,” even when dealing with separate departments. Administrators cannot ensure that every student is happy in their dorms, but they must ensure that what they tell students they’ll get is what they will get.

If the administration chooses to take control over both where and how students live, they also choose to shoulder the responsibility of giving students stable home lives for the four years they spend at Kenyon. According to Vice President for Student Affairs Meredith Harper Bonham ’92, piloting a new residential space like this one is an administrative “learning opportunity.” Still, no student and no person wants to feel like their living arrangement is someone else’s experiment. We recognize that creating a safe and positive residential experience is a tough job that always involves compromise. But nonetheless, the residents of Sisterhood theme housing are voicing valid concerns about their living space in Old Snowden, and we urge the administration to address those concerns with the seriousness that they deserve.

The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief Cameron Messinides ’19 and Devon Musgrave-Johnson ’19, managing editor Grant Miner ’19 and executive director Matt Mandel ’19. You can contact them at messinidesc@kenyon.edu, musgravejohnsond @kenyon.edu, minerg@kenyon.edu and mandelm@kenyon.edu, respectively.

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