To the Editor,

I was dismayed to learn of the College administration’s recent refusal to support student training in how to safely administer Narcan. In seeking such training, Mikayla Connolly ’23 and others demonstrated genuine concern for their classmates’ well-being and a real commitment to the community ethic that we supposedly value here at Kenyon. But the administration tried to shut the students down.

The administration’s decision is particularly strange, given that Narcan is safe, easily administered and has no serious side effects. Indeed, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved its sale as an over-the-counter drug. At first, I thought the College’s decision might be for fear of legal liability. Yet a look at Section 2305.23 of the Ohio Revised Code made it clear that that “emergency care” is covered under Ohio Good Samaritan laws. So, I fear that it was optics rather than legal reasons — or student health — that motivated the administration’s decision. If so, that is very worrisome. If we truly believe in community, we should do everything we can to support those who are trying to protect their neighbors. Not only would it be the decent thing to do, it might just save some lives. 


Stephen E. Van Holde

Professor of Political Science


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