Throughout the pandemic, the Kenyon administration has returned to a particular mantra: “We are all in this together.” There is truth in this; in order to keep the entire Gambier community safe, each of us must do everything in our power to protect ourselves from the virus.
But in recent days, the issue of transparency regarding COVID-19’s presence (or lack thereof) on campus brings this notion into question; if the College is not giving the community the full picture, can we really be “all in this together”?
Senior staff insist the COVID-19 Dashboard provides information that is fully accurate and up to date, but the anonymous tip the Collegian received this week suggests otherwise.
Though we understand that the College does not want to cause panic, at this point, the pandemic has been part of daily life for six months — panic is nothing new. We also understand that, due to privacy laws, there are some details the College cannot reveal. But instead of keeping the community calm, the lack of concrete information regarding COVID-19 at Kenyon has had the opposite effect: Students are fearful, and have more questions than ever. The Dashboard merely gives the appearance of transparency rather than providing actual answers.
We understand the need to protect patients’ privacy, and would never ask that the College release anyone’s name or personal information because of a test result. However, there are ways to keep the community better informed by providing more details and minimizing the use of confusing language. Do not just tell us that a case is “unusual.” Tell us why.
Many college and university administrations have failed to protect their students, faculty and staff during the pandemic. But we believe Kenyon has an opportunity to avoid similar missteps — as long as the administration can commit to not leaving our community in the dark.
We at the Collegian call on Kenyon’s senior staff to, quite simply, do better. After all, we are all in this together.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.