Were you too wrapped up in your coffee-grabbing, copy-making whirlwind of a summer internship to check your Kenyon email? Not to worry! The Thrill has got you HELLA covered. Slap your dorm buddies five, throw a couple frisbees in the quad and sink back into college life the old fashioned way – by diving into the drama of our collective Kenyon existence headfirst and without remorse. Check out the biggest summer headlines after the jump!
Mark Ellis Retires
Effective July 8, Mark Ellis retired from his position as Kenyon’s Vice President for Communications. In addition to his work managing Kenyon’s communications team, Ellis served as executive editor for the College Alumni Bulletin. Students may remember him best for his semi-frequent email news bulletins. Kenyon’s official press release captured Ellis’s own sentiments regarding his retirement:
“Working in the service of Kenyon College is a great honor. No college enjoys better leadership, a finer faculty or a more dedicated and hardworking staff. And I take considerable pride in the performance of my hard-charging colleagues in the Office of Communications. I will miss this place.”
The full press release was sent to students via email on June 7th, 2016.
Governor Kasich Shakes Things Up at the Airport
Is Port Columbus your home away from home? Is she the woman you seek in your darkest hour, the mother who opens her loving arms to you when you have nowhere left to turn? Well, the time has come to start calling that sweet, sweet lady of the night by a new name. Back in June, Governor John Kasich signed a bill which officially renamed the airport “John Glenn International Airport.” This name change honors former senator and astronaut John Herschel Glenn Jr., whose contributions to NASA and his home state of Ohio have been numerous. Stressing about the potential airport code change? Not to worry – the Columbus airport will still be referred to as “CMH.”
Patrick Gilligan Retires
On June 14th, Vice President of Student Affairs Meredith Bonham sent out an email announcing the retirement of Patrick Gilligan, Director of Counseling Services, effective on June 22nd. Patrick served 17 years as the director, and was loved and appreciated by students and faculty alike.
“With a calming presence and a singular focus on the needs of others, he has responded to calls both day and night to provide compassionate support and guidance, often at times of personal crisis. It is no exaggeration to say that Patrick has literally saved lives,” Bonham said in the announcement.
Counselors Nikki Keller and Mike Durham will serve as interim co-directors until another director is appointed.
Decatur Talks Consent
President Decatur participated in a conversation about sexual misconduct on college campuses on PBS’s “Point Taken” on July 1st. He also penned an essay for the Huffington Post about the same topic. In it, he writes, “Colleges and universities do have the responsibility to ensure that all students are safe, are treated equally and fairly and have the opportunity to pursue their education. The work on campus to fight against bias, discrimination and sexual assault should not be merely operational in nature. Rather, that work should be grounded in the notion that phenomena such as bias, discrimination and sexual assault are contrary to the values of an ethical, civil society, and that we should be producing graduates who understand and practice these values.”
These conversations throughout the summer seem to be setting the tone for more discussions this fall on a campus-wide level. “If one of the root causes behind sexual assault on campuses is failure of some students to see other students as full human citizens of that campus or of the broader society … that’s something that is deeply connected to inequities on gender,” Decatur said.
Campus Construction Continues
On July 21st, a Kenyon News Bulletin was sent out outlining the recent construction and changes that will affect campus this semester. The most noticeable change will be the demolition of the “Old Bank Building” which houses the Black Box Theater, which will occur in late August. The administration is currently working with the Dance, Drama and Film Department on a new Black Box Theater which will be housed on the north end of campus. The new building will be fully accessible and include restrooms, though there is currently no estimate of when this building will be complete and available for student use.
In addition, there will be construction starting in August in the lot behind Farr Hall (the former home of the Cove) where two new “townhouses” will be built to house sixteen students total. The construction is expected to take a year to complete.
You can view construction site plans here: http://www.kenyon.edu/middle-path/story/village-plans-proceed/.
Gear Up for Even More Tree Removal
If you came to Kenyon for the trees, you may be running out of luck. On June 29th it was announced that upwards of 45 trees will be removed from campus because of an emerald ash borer infection. The removal began July 11th, with trees in high-traffic area targeted for removal first.
The deadly infection, which was first noticed during a spring tree inspection, essentially deprives trees of nutrients and results in its death in three to five years. The dying trees will be turned into wood chips and used as mulch across campus. In addition, the school grounds crew is working to determine the location of replacement trees, which will include a variety of maples and oaks.
So Long, Chef Meagan
Chef Meagan Stewart, who was in charge of most Peirce Dining Hall operations, posted a picture to the Peirce Hall Instagram on July 10th of a wedding celebration with a cryptic caption thanking Peirce and Kenyon students for the last seven years. A week later, she announced on Facebook that she will be leaving Kenyon in the fall for a position at a nearby country club.
Chef Meagan also stated that she is excited for the future and told students to be on the lookout for her food truck, which she hopes to operate in early 2017. If you feel you will miss her presence on Kenyon’s food-related social media, she invites students to connect with her on her new Facebook page, “Meagan Stewart.”
Kenyon Selects Title IX Auditor
Kenyon hired Rebecca Leitman Veidlinger to “undertake a comprehensive review of the college’s Title IX and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) policies and Kenyon’s practices under those policies during the past academic year. Veidlinger has a history of specialized practice of issues involving Title IX. Ted Mason, both a professor and Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, played a central role in finding the best fit for the policy review. Mason says “Rebecca seemed to us to have the requisite experience, the skill and the commitment to do this job well and in a timely manner.” According to the Kenyon News Bulletin, Veidlinger has begun her work with the campus committee, which will intensify as the new semester begins. “Findings from Veidlinger’s report are expected to be shared with the campus community by the end of the fall semester.” Further information can be found in the News Archives on the Kenyon College website.