Section: Editorial

Staff editorial: Kenyon’s unsung heroes kept us safe and raised morale this fall

As we have said time and time again this semester, Kenyon’s tight-knit community is one of its most defining features. This kinship extends to all aspects of life on the Hill — whether it be when we strike up a conversation with our dorm’s custodians or when we discuss the pasta topping of the day with Steve in the Fusion line. This bond between community members has been integral to this semester’s success. 

This semester has been difficult for all of us, and we would like to dedicate our penultimate staff editorial of the semester to thanking the AVI workers, custodial staff, maintenance workers, community advisors (CAs) and other Kenyon staff members who kept campus operating  despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. 

If you had told us one year ago that Kenyon employees would have to risk their health to keep the campus  operating smoothly, we would have been extremely doubtful. But that’s what happened. Kenyon employees put themselves at risk for the sake of keeping the community safe and ensuring that students could have an in-person education. These heroes showed up to work every day and helped keep campus as safe as possible, and it is to them that we owe the most thanks. 

But these employees did not merely serve the community during this difficult time — they went above and beyond to make campus life more than simply manageable. AVI employees, for instance, were able to navigate COVID-19 restrictions while also instituting what became both a staple and a beacon of hope for on-campus students: Late Night Peirce. Likewise, CAs — who accepted their positions for the semester despite the risks of being on campus — created new programming for their residents in order to boost morale. Meanwhile, custodial staff worked extra hours to make sure residence halls and classrooms were regularly sanitized to protect our health. 

Our list of thanks extends to countless others, including professors who worked hard to develop hybrid classes and administrators who devised safe campus procedures. While we cannot predict what next semester will be like, we know that Kenyon employees will work to ensure our health and safety, no matter the cost. And for that we are endlessly grateful. 

The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief  Mae Hunt ’21 and  Evey Weisblat ’21, managing editor Sophie Krichevsky ’21 and executive director Elizabeth Stanley ’21. You can contact them at hunt1@kenyon.edu, weisblat1@kenyon.edu, krichevsky1@kenyon.edu and stanley2@kenyon.edu, respectively.

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