The lost-and-found emails to the whole student body need to stop. I enjoy widely shared gossip as much as anyone; however, the last known location of your left sock is not something that the rest of the Kenyon student body needs to hear about or help you solve.
I know that sounds harsh, so let me clarify: I don’t blame you for that allstu email you sent (despite pledging you never would) because you couldn’t find your [insert item] that is of great physical and sentimental value to you. I don’t blame you because you were not given a clear alternative solution. I mean, sure, if this was a regular place, you might retrace your steps or simply assume that your missing item has been permanently stolen, but at Kenyon you are not wrong to think that some kind soul might have retrieved your item as a favor.
Ultimately, aside from our collective inability to leave an NCA with the coat that we came in with, the barrage of lost-and-found emails are a natural result of the lack of a system currently in place to deal with missing items. I think that creating a site similar to the Kenyon Facebook Marketplace would be useful, but until a standard lost and found is created, I propose we use the following system.
If you find an item:
-If the item found is valuable (electronics, headphones, a single AirPod, phone, wallet, keys, K-card, glasses, jewelry, etc.), bring it to the Office of Campus Safety.
-If an item found is not obviously valuable and is found within a building, then either leave the item where it is, or see if the building has a lost and found. If the building has a lost and found, you may bring the item there.
-If an item is not obviously valuable, but could be damaged by the elements and has been found outside (book, journal, planner, etc.), bring the item to the library.
-If an item is not obviously valuable, will likely not be irrevocably damaged by the elements and is found outside (scarf, hat, glove, water bottle, school supplies, etc.), you can either leave the item where you found it, or leave the item along the edge of Middle Path. Someone is bound to find it, and if it damages the aesthetics of our gloriously inaccessible Middle Path, we might get a lost-and-found box!
-If an item has a name on it, then you can choose to email the individual by searching their name in the Kenyon directory, NOT by sending an allstu email.
If you lose an item:
-Retrace your steps, and ask in buildings you were in if there is a lost and found
-If the item is valuable, check with Campus Safety. You may want to check again in a couple of days in case it wasn’t brought in immediately.
-Post on Yik Yak about it. Yik Yak is already such a mess; I feel comfortable having it infested with lost-and-found posts.
-Make a missing sign and hang copies up around campus
How to avoid one of the most frequent lost-and-found crises: losing a jacket at a party:
-Wear a jacket that is not black, or add a distinguishing feature (e.g., neon tape).
-Be careful when you grab a random jacket — confirm it is in fact your jacket before leaving the scene of the party.
-Do not keep valuables in the pocket of a jacket you are planning to throw into a pile of other jackets.
-If you do take someone’s jacket, bring it back to the site of the party you took it from within the next 24 hours. Ideally, someone will do the same with your jacket.
-Go ahead and use Yik Yak.
-Worst case scenario, you’ll likely see the culprit in your jacket at some point, so you can make a scene then.
-Although Campus Safety is home to Kenyon’s official lost and found, it fulfills a variety of essential services on campus and should not be needlessly tasked with sorting through everyone’s items. Additionally, the Campus Safety office is out of the way for many students who stumble upon lost items. Therefore, not all items should be taken there.
-Technically the library is not responsible for everything in paper form or lost items across campus. However, since we do not have an alternative centralized lost-and-found location, I argue that the library is the next-most appropriate place for lost books and journals to be kept while they wait to be found. If any English department building would like to take on this responsibility instead, I will happily print an update.
-The only person responsible for their items is the owner of the item. If you find something but don’t have the ability to bring it somewhere, you can leave it. If you lose something and can’t find it, that does not mean you should message everyone.
Hannah Sussman ’25 is the opinions editor at the Collegian. She is a sociology major from Glencoe, Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.