Kenyon Nation has a new neighborhood, and it’s called Switchboard.
Switchboard is an online communication platform with the potential to become a vibrant, virtual village square — a marketplace for goods and services, a nexus for jobs and internships, and a transportation hub. Alumni, faculty, parents, staff and students are urged to participate in the digital community crossroads that turns on an axis of “asks” and “offers.”
Students can ask for and alumni can offer an internship in New York City, a place to live in Brooklyn, a car to get there and advice on what to wear on the first day in the office. Alumni can ask for and a Kenyon professor can offer a rental home for Reunion Weekend. The organizers of the annual Earth Day Festival can pitch the healthy-living extravaganza on Switchboard.
Lost dog? Ask for help on Switchboard. Need a handyman? Get recommendations on Switchboard. Heading to San Francisco and looking for a great Italian restaurant? A Marina District foodie may respond on Switchboard. Need help pitching your science fiction manuscript to a publisher? You know what to do. In the hunt for a time machine? You’re out of luck unless you’re looking for a 1967 Ford Mustang and, if so, visit Switchboard.
This platform is a Kenyon-friendly cousin to familiar digital classified advertising sites and is intended to open new channels of communication, linking all corners of the Kenyon community. Everyone on the Kenyon email system can sign up at switchboard.kenyon.edu to become a part of Switchboard. Your Kenyon password gets you in the game. Sign up with Google to link your accounts.
The Kenyon Switchboard has nine categories to help organize asks and offers: advice, events, goods, hosting and housing, internships, jobs, lost and found, rides and, if those don’t meet your needs, “other.”
Switchboard is a clean, simple and searchable tool to reduce the torrent of email traffic that bedevils some in the Kenyon community. Along with the online calendar, Switchboard, in full flower, will supersede what the all-employee email stream has been doing since the early 1990s. The all-employee email is an endangered species at Kenyon, approaching obsolescence as a way to share information about campus-related activities, commerce and events.
To learn more about Switchboard, join President Sean Decatur and Scott Baker ’94, associate vice president for alumni and parent engagement, for a Common Hour presentation Thursday, August 20, at 11:10 a.m. in the Olin Auditorium. Read more about Switchboard, including answers to some frequently asked questions.