- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Psychology
- Gender: F
- High School: Wootton
- Transfer Student: N
I like the campus a lot. It is very open and pretty, especially South campus. The athletic center is very good - it has a range of things to do and it's still new, so all the facilities are state-of-the-art. I like the size - I don't know everyone who goes here; it's always nice to meet new people who happen to be acquainted with friends or people who are completely outside your circle. Fortunately, the small campus gives Kenyon a more community feel - there are less cliques and more openness than at my high school, which had about 700 more people crowded into a smaller space. I think I would change the administration. Although I do not know them very well (or perhaps because I don't), I find it hard to connect and agree with things that they do. I do not feel respected by the President of Kenyon and some of the Deans. People Nugent has hired seem to view college students as young children. I feel a huge disconnect between the administration and the students. I also feel like there is some disconnect between the staff and the administration. This does not create an aura of trust. Kenyon may have problems accepting change, but this is not necessarily a bad thing - the administration, however, seems to think it is. Any project they want to initiate that the students do not is blamed on our inability to change, even if the students have a legitimate argument. For example, the administration has felt pressure from parents to put in swipe cards to get into the dorms and possibly the academic buildings. They claim that it is for our safety; it could prevent bomb threats and incidents like Virginia Tech (VT had swipe cards, however). Obviously, swipe cards are not going to prevent bombs or bomb threats. Kenyon residents hold doors open for other people, which could give someone with a bomb access. Swipe cards are definitely not going to protect students from bombs placed outside the building, either. The moral here is that if someone wants to gain access to a building for good or ill, they will. Swipe cards are easily stolen, lost, or bypassed. This is logic, not inability to accept change. -the swipe card issue may be more about liability than anything else. If something does happen, Kenyon leaves itself vulnerable to attack if it does not have swipe cards. This is a logical reason, even if the people who attack are not being logical. If the administration would just admit this, I think Kenyon students would be less annoyed. At the moment, we feel lied to and belittled. Overall, I do not think Kenyon students are happy with the administration. We believe they are taking Kenyon to a place we don't want to go - we want to remain unique, but it is hard when the charm of Kenyon is being wiped out by modern-style buildings, conservatism, and an era of mistrust. However, I may be a little annoyed because the tuition is so high, which I (perhaps mistakenly) blame on the administration. If I am on campus, I usually am in an academic building or one of the study lounges. I also like to go to the garden at the Brown Family Environmental Center when it is warm out, which has wireless internet access, so I can do work and be outdoors. Gambier is mostly Kenyon - there is access to food, books, school supplies, mail, etc., but unfortunately to buy more exotic things (like non-Kenyon clothing), we must travel to Mount Vernon (a five-minute drive). I prefer this, though, because it means that I am not tempted to buy too much and going to pick up something simple like an air freshener turns into a road trip with your friends.
Professors you have had in class, and even some you haven't, know your name. In small classes, it is fairly simple to remember everyone, but in larger classes you have to make an effort to connect. Fortunately, the largest class is about 100 people, and most are much less (about a fifth the size). So far, the classes have all been educational, which is essential since I am here to learn. :) They have not always been fun (especially the beginning classes that you need to advance in the field, but are not what you are interested in), but I have learned a lot. Professors usually find a way to make classes relevant and encourage student participation, especially taking advantage of office hours. Kenyon students know how to have fun outside class, but I have also had many academic discussions about class topics, politics, current events, or an article from the New York Times. Although most students are excited to show off their knowledge and be successful, there is not much competition between students. Students are more supporting with each other, though they may be competitive with themselves. I am majoring in psychology. I love my adviser and I am excited to take more upper-level courses next year. I like requirements that you need to take classes in all disciplines (Art, Natural Science, Social Science, Humanities), but I am not fond of the depth requirements. Instead of trying a lot of everything, Kenyon prefers that you take one unit in one department in each of the four disciplines before graduating. This is difficult for me, since I am taking a lot of natural science courses and do not have much time left to complete my major, take the courses I am interested in, and finish art credits. Overall, I think classes are aimed at learning for its own sake, but at the same time this prepares you for fields you are interested in.
Kenyon is mostly white, but I don't think this has a huge effect on diversity. I have met rich kids, middle-class kids, and poor kids from all over the country - in most cases, I have not found that their race was a defining feature in their character or sense of self. Most of my friends are international students, so even though they are light-skinned, I have learned a lot about diverse cultures, from Chinese to Romanian. Most students wear what they are comfortable with wearing - I have seen skirts, Uggs, leggings, skinny jeans, t-shirts, baggy pants, worn-out sweaters, jeans, sweatpants, boots, sandals, and more. For the most part, only kids who put time into their wardrobe put time into noticing what other people are wearing. Most people do not care enough to judge other people based on their clothes, unless they smell. Since Kenyon is small, students from all age groups, all grades, all ethnicities, etc. interact in class, in their dorms, and extracurricular activities. I can usually find people to eat with at any meal, even though they are not the same people each time. A lot of students come from the East Coast and most students are liberal-middle, politically. Most students do not have a life-long goal of becoming really rich, although some may dream. Kenyon is very generous with financial aid, but because tuition is so expensive and Kenyon only has a limited amount of money to give, there seems to be a huge pay gap that is a small reflection of what is happening in the economy nationwide. Middle-class families who make too much money to qualify for financial aid can't afford to come to Kenyon, so there are generally more rich or poor students than middle class students.
The Best Things
you don't conflict with the administration often/small-town and community feel
The Worst Things