Section: Editorial

Staff Editorial: Middle Path should be a place for connection

It’s hard to go a day at Kenyon without walking on Middle Path. As the main artery of our little campus, students, professors and even the occasional dog use the walkway to get nearly everywhere they need to go. The rows of trees and buildings that surround us on either side make for the perfect cover of an admissions brochure, with community members dotted along the 3,534-foot stretch.

But take one step onto Middle Path and it becomes clear that few students pause to acknowledge one another, much less to stop and take in the scenery. Many walk past one another, gazes averted, absorbed in phones or tuned out with headphones. There is a sense of detachment that has emerged on Middle Path, despite, before the pandemic, there once existing an unspoken rule against using technology on the pathway. 

Almost no student on the Hill knew a pre-COVID Kenyon, but we have the chance to redefine our Kenyon experience. Believe us: We know that Kenyon students are busy, rushing from labs to TA sessions to practice to jobs to mountains of homework. Sometimes a passing period is all the time we have to respond to a parental text, or a playlist is the only thing propelling us forward. 

Still, as Kenyon’s community continues to evolve, we should commit ourselves to the close-knit bonds that defined our campus before the pandemic. Our conversations and connections are the lifeblood of the College. We all chose to make rural Ohio our home for four years; we owe it to each other to forge meaningful relationships, which can start with a simple Middle Path ‘hello.’

We should all try to slip our phones into our back pockets and put our headphones back into our backpacks. We’re not saying that you need to stop and smell the metaphorical roses or even wave at every person you know every time you go to class. But, the next time you walk down Middle Path, take the time to say hello to someone you know or watch the squirrels scampering on the lawn. Kenyon will be better off for it.

Sincerely,

Katie, Annalia and Audrey

This editorial was written by editors-in-chief Katie Sparvero ’25 and Audrey Baker ’25 and managing editor Annalia Fiore ’25. You can contact them at sparvero1@kenyon.edu, baker10@kenyon.edu and fiore1@kenyon.edu, respectively. 

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