Section: Editorial

Staff Editorial: Kenyon’s choice to test students after Thanksgiving shows the power of student advocacy

On Nov. 5, the College announced that they will test all students upon their return to campus following Thanksgiving break. In addition, the campus will move temporarily to Campus Activity Level 3, mandating takeout dining and limited student gatherings. We wholeheartedly support this decision, and thank the College for taking this preemptive step to protect our community from COVID-19. 

In addition to these post-Thanksgiving restrictions, Kenyon will be administering COVID-19 booster shots to students on Wednesday, Nov. 17, prior to their departure for the break. Although the booster will not fully take effect until the return of classes, it will further ease students’ stress as they know they are better protected against the virus. 

Under these restrictions, the College will minimize potential exposure to the virus as students await test results that week. This is likely to quell anxieties during a time in which students will already be preoccupied with final exams and papers; the last thing they will want to worry about is contracting COVID-19. 

Several weeks ago after fall break, we wrote a staff editorial urging Kenyon to require testing following Thanksgiving. With students traveling across the country, and in some cases around the world to gather with their families, the likelihood of an individual or multiple individuals bringing the virus back to campus is quite likely. Additionally, despite the decrease in cases on campus and in Knox County in the last several weeks, the County’s transmission rate remains high and its vaccination rate low. 

We have experienced the power of student voices throughout this entire semester; because of student advocacy, the College enforced baseline testing at the beginning of the semester to mitigate spread, reopened the Craft Center after student outcry and created a Commencement ceremony for December graduates. Now, Kenyon is enforcing mandatory testing after Thanksgiving break. All of these changes were made possible due to the hard work and dedication from students who made their voices heard.

The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief  Jordy Fee-Platt ’22 and  Linnea Mumma ’22, managing editor Amanda Pyne ’22 and executive director Joe Wint ’22. You can contact them at feeplatt1@kenyon.edu, mumma1@kenyon.edu, pyne1@kenyon.edu and wint1@kenyon.edu, respectively.

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