Section: Editorial

Staff Editorial: The College must rethink private event policy

The brothers of Alpha Delta Phi (ADs) have Ganter-Price Hall, Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKEs) and Delta Tau Delta (Delts) have their lodges, Beta Theta Pi (Betas) have the Temple and Phi Kappa Tau (Phi Taus) have a designated eight-person North Campus Apartment. Sororities have… well, nothing, which directly inhibits equitable access to private events.

Besides division housing in South Campus dormitories, sororities do not have access to gathering spaces like fraternities do. Sororities have had to utilize public commons, such as the basement of Old Kenyon Residence Hall, to host public and private events. With Colburn no longer available due to the renovation of Bexley Hall, these spaces have become increasingly hard to get. Beyond this, there are strict limitations that come with these College-owned spaces which limit the sort of events sororities and other student organizations are able to hold. The implications of this have become clear as the end of the semester approaches and with it, formal event season. 

Sororities have struggled to find spaces at which to celebrate the end of the semester. Zeta Alpha Pi (Zeta) was able to secure a reservation of the Ganter, but Theta Delta Phi (Theta) will be hosting their winter formal in Weaver Cottage. Epsilon Delta Mu’s (EDM) event will take place in a North Campus Apartment. While these spaces will suffice, these sororities will be unable to host the amount of guests that fraternities can for their formals. Most fraternities do not need to reach out to the administration to reserve College spaces or to pack a member’s apartment beyond capacity. 

Further, spaces reserved through the College are much more restricted and monitored in their activities. For example, since Theta is hosting their formal as a private function with alcohol, their only option is to register it as a BYOB Event. BYOB Events are riddled with regulations that take away from the relaxed and celebratory atmosphere organizations hope to have. Guest lists, complete with birth dates of all invited, must be submitted and approved by the Office of Student Engagement days in advance. Although it is not an “all campus,” members of Theta must work the door and mark guests’ hands upon entry. As the name suggests, Theta is not even allowed to provide alcohol to guests under this designation. Each guest may only bring a six pack of beer or a 750 mL bottle of wine, which they must hand over to the registered Theta bartender. This whole process certainly takes away from the enjoyment of what a formal could be, and very unfairly. Delt and Beta, with their off-campus properties, can easily host large, private parties with little to no oversight from the College.  

We urge the College to consider the inequities here and work with sororities to address them. If sororities are forced to reserve public spaces (which are very limited) to host private events because they do not have their own, then the College must revise its regulations surrounding private events with alcohol. It is not an outlandish request for an organization of adults to be able to hold private events serving alcohol they purchased — especially if they can hold an all campus doing just that.

Sincerely,

Salvatore, Amelia and Reid

The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief Amelia Carnell ’23 and Salvatore Macchione ’23 and executive director Reid Stautberg ’23. You can contact them at carnell1@kenyon.edu, macchione1@kenyon.edu, stautberg1@kenyon.edu, respectively. 

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