Recently, the Thrill staff noticed something about our P.O. Box assignments. We’d always assumed the boxes were assigned strictly alphabetically and by class year, but we discovered that all of us have box mates of the same sex. So we checked with Cathy Kempton, who maintains student records in the Office of Housing and Residential Life. Are Kenyon’s P.O. Boxes in fact assigned according to sex?
It turns out that roommates and box mates used to be one and the same, but that this pairing sometimes led to problems. Presumably, if you hated your roommate, you did not also want to hate your box mate (Ed. Or want your evil roommate to steal your mail). Though eventually discarded, the roommate box mate pairings were where the single-sex boxes stem from, and because Kenyon used to have no coed rooms, there were no coed P.O. boxes. Once the College started assigning P.O. Boxes alphabetically instead of by roommate, the sex distinction was maintained.
The only other factor is whether two students have highly similar names. If there are, for example, a Caitlin Smith and a Kaitlin Smith in an incoming class, they would be split up to avoid needless postal service confusion.
Do you have a same-sex box mate? Do you ever leave each other little notes? What do you think Ohio law has to say about your same-sex P.O. box union?