Interview with Matt Hellman, Executive Director for New Directions Shelter

Earlier this week, the Thrill had the privilege of speaking to Matt Hellman, executive director for New Directions, the domestic abuse shelter of Knox County (and husband of Housing and ResLife director Jill Engel-Hellman). Our discussion with Matt is featured in honor of Take Back the Night Week, in order to shed light on resources for survivors of assault and abuse in and around Knox County.
Can you explain the mission of New Directions, and give a short overview of what you do?
  • The mission of New Directions is to work with the Knox County community to promote healthy and loving relationships.  New Directions offers safe housing to persons escaping domestic violence, a 24-hour hotline, legal advocacy, sexual assault services and community education.  More information is available at  The hotline number is (740) 397-4357.
How long have you served as director of New Directions?
  • New Directions’ first and only executive director, Mary Hendrickson, passed away unexpectedly on June 7, 2014.  I was hired by New Directions’ Board of Directors and started six weeks ago on August 19th.

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Kenyon Finally Has A Carpool System!

No, not this kind of carpool. Unless you're a terrible driver (via

No, not this kind of carpool. Unless you’re a terrible driver (via

Sick of trying to bum rides off your hapless, car-owning friends? Well, fear not — an enterprising group of Environmental Studies scholars have put together a carpool system specifically for Kenyon. The Thrill spoke to Catherine Dwyer ’14, one of the students in the ENVS Seminar that created Rideshare, about the project — check it out below!
Q — What is Rideshare?
A — Rideshare is a free, easy forum where users can post or find rides to the airport, Chipotle, home for break, wherever. It can either be accessed from here:
Q –How did it come about?
A — Students in the Senior Environmental Studies seminar expressed interest in creating a rideshare as part of our final project.  People had been voicing frustrations with the new allstu format (a Google group rather than the listserv), and how it had made it more difficult to use allstu to find rides.The rideshare is now hosted on Kenyon ENVS’s new website:, which a group of students in the Senior Seminar designed. The website consolidates a lot of the environmentally-focused projects and activities that take place within the Kenyon community.

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Michael “Trixie” Kengama ’14 On The Importance of Dialogue (And The Purpose Of All Those Posters)

Last week, campus was covered in posters and chalk messages that posed point-blank questions about a variety of social and ethical issues. A few days later, Michael “Trixie” Kengama ’14 sent an email describing the intention behind the posters and inviting the campus to discuss them in an open forum. On April 8, Kengmama — whose personal narrative “I’m A Sexist, Homophobic Racist” was published on the Thrill in February — sat down to give the us further insight.

So, I guess the obvious question to start with is, why? What was this about — was there a mission statement, so to speak?

I guess the biggest thing was about promoting substantial dialogue. A lot of the people who I initially started engaging with have been very frustrated, especially over the course of [this] year, whether it be through the administration or even just seeing things that have happened amongst the student body. I think one example was after the white sheet incident, regardless of what people thought – because it was a wider range of opinions on it. But it was interesting how there was a meeting in the Black Student Union lounge for anyone who wanted to come and discuss it, and it was a good discussion, but one of the things that came up was the people in the discussion were the people you would expect to be there. They were racial and sexual minorities, or people who really cared about those issues. And that’s always the case, that’s always how it is. It’s  people who are really interested or directly affected by it. Obviously it’s important to have the space where people can talk like that, but… it’s something we really don’t address, that because it doesn’t really come out. The minorities are always more resident so there’s this kind of facade of ,”Yes, we’re talking about these issues,” but no, it’s really a very small minority that’s talking about these issues. It’s just that these kinds of issues have a lot of power that makes it seem like it’s a majority. There’s a lot of apathy.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump!

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Interview With Leopoldo López, ’93 Alum, From His Jail Cell

On Friday, we published a letter from Kenyon alumna Sue Corral ’93, imploring current Kenyon students to support the efforts of Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo López ’93. Now, Corral is sharing an interview conducted by Roberto Giusti with López in his jail cell, originally published in El Universal, Caracas — read it in full below.


“In the solitude of my cell, innocence is my best companion.”

“Those who think that the regime is falling or faltering because of the economic situation are wrong…I assume responsibility for calling people to the streets. If necessary, I would do it again,” said Lopez.

Sue Corral ’93 was kind enough to give us a copy of this interview with Leopoldo López ’93 from his prison cell in Venezuela on March 16th, translated by Antonio Sarmiento at Marabotto Translations. The interview is transcribed after the jump:  Continue reading

Interview with Maysoon Zayid, “I Got 99 Problems…Palsy Is Just One”


Actress, comedian, and activist Maysoon Zayid visited campus last week to perform a comedy routine called “I got 99 problems … palsy is just one.” Zayid is the co-founder and co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival, and runs the scholarship and wellness program, Maysoon’s Kids. Zayid, who has cerebral palsy, also participated in a discussion about race, ethnicity and disability before her show. Below are some of her thoughts from an interview conducted by Collegian News Editor Madeleine Thompson ’15.

Do you think comedy is the best way to get the word out about protecting the rights of the disabled community?

I really truly am not trying to spread a message. I’m a writer and I’m a comic so it all comes back to writing. … I’ve been writing for my entire life and the story I’m telling is my story. And I think that I’m strongest at doing comedy, so I guess it’s my preferred method, but I don’t think it’s necessarily the best method. … I think [spoken word] is the worst way to mainstream the disabled. That would make me just hate our people.

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