Frequently Asked Questions
Answered by Ellie Hansen, '10; Analise Gonzalez, '11; and Whitty Montgomery '12
Have a question about Orientation at Kenyon? Wondering what life at Kenyon will be like? Not sure what to bring to campus? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll make sure your questions are answered!
- Orientation Questions
- Academics, Course Registration, and Placement Testing
- Life in Gambier
- Learning the Lingo
- "When do I find out about..?" Questions
- Parent Questions
When is Orientation?
Orientation begins on Saturday, August 24th and concludes on Wednesday, August 28th. Students should plan to check in at Gund Commons between 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 24. If you want to avoid long lines, come later--check-in is a snap later in the afternoon after the lines dwindle. If you can't make it until after 5:00, we'll wait for you at Gund Commons--no worries.
What is a UCC?
UCC stands for Upperclass Counselor. Every student is paired with a UCC and typically four or five new students. Their purpose for a UCC is to be a resource regarding scheduling classes, getting adjusted to Kenyon, finding a niche in the social scene, and anything and everything else you can think of! Our UCCs will be present at almost all of the Orientation events and are vital to helping students get acquainted with Kenyon. They also remain a helpful mentor throughout the first year, not just during Orientation. You'll receive more information fromyour UCC in July and August.
How will we be matched with our faculty advisor?
You will be matched with your faculty advisor based on the Personal Data Form, which you will have submitted online. Your academic interests are the primary factor in deciding what department your advisor will come from, but as far as the specific advisor you get, it depends a great deal on the ideal advisor you describe in your form. Also, your faculty advisor assignment is not completely static. If you don't click with your advisor, or are rethinking your academic interests, you can change your advisor later in the year to a professor that suits you better.
What constitutes "appropriate dress" for Convocation?
There is no need to go out and purchase a tux for this event! However, this is the bookend to your graduation ceremony and you may want to dress similarly. Think dressy casual: skirts/blouses and casual dresses for girls, khakis and polos/button downs for guys.
I am going to be working on campus next year. Where do I find about the jobs available and how to apply?
At registration, you will be given information regarding student employment. You should bring a driver's license or passport and a birth certificate or social security card to process the federal forms for employment. There will be representatives present to direct you to the place to apply for student employment. To speed up the process, you can fill out your I-9 forms prior to Orientation (click here). Be sure to still bring your forms of identification with you to campus.
What should I bring with me and what will be provided?
We have a packing list that should help guide you (click here). Things that are already present in your room: blinds, a desk, a chair, a trashcan, a bed (extra-long twin), a dresser, a closet, a mirror, and some form of a bookcase.
I'm flying, so I can't bring all of my stuff with me. Can I ship my items to campus?
Yes, you can ship some items to campus through your PO Box number, which you will receive in the mail with your housing assignment. The full policy for shipping items can be seen here.
What classes will there be placement tests for? Does AP credit take care of any of the placement tests?
There will be placement tests for French, Latin, German, and Spanish during Orientation. If you scored a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP test or a 540 on the SAT II, you are exempt from the language placement exams in French, German, and Spanish. These exams allow you to skip the intensive-first year language courses and meet your language requirement for graduation. For more information on language requrements, visit the Registrar's Web page.
All students who plan to take Chemistry during their first year MUST take a Chemistry placement exam, regardless of AP scores. This exam takes place online and has some flexibility regarding when it can be done. If you are unsure regarding what math class you should take at Kenyon, you can take the Math Readiness Exam. If you would like to test out of Music 101 (Basic Musicianship) and place into Music Theory (121-122), you must take the music theory placement test. There is no official placement test for Biology. If you received a 5 on the AP Biology test, you can test out of the introductory Biology course. If you have experience with Biology but no AP score, you can consult with the department head about skipping the introductory course.
More information about language testing requirements will be included in the complete Orientation schedule.
When do we register for classes?
During Orientation, your UCC and Faculty Advisor will assist you in choosing classes. Even if you don't have a clear idea of what you want to major in, your Faculty Advisor and UCC will help you work towards completing requirements and dabbling in different areas of interest. After filling out your registration materials with the help of your Faculty Advisor, you will register for classes online on the evening of Tuesday, August 27. For now, we advise you to take a look online and start writing down classes you're interested in!
What if I don't know what I want to major in?
No worries! You can use your first year as a time to explore and try things that you think you might be interested in, and still fulfill a few of your distribution requirements. If you have some ideas about what you might be interested in, poke around on our departmental pages. You can also take a look at the Registrar's Web page to see what courses will be offered in the fall.
How can I get involved in clubs and other student organizations? There will be an activities fair in early September. At this time, campus groups will set up tables and you'll have an opportunity to check out the many (over 100) clubs we offer! This is also a great time to sign up for volunteering opportunities or auditioning for a capella groups if you're interested.
Should I bring a bike to campus?
Bikes are an excellent mode of transportation at Kenyon. Our campus really isn't that big, but it is generally hilly. A bike really speeds things up and lets you get to those morning classes on time! You need to register your bike and you should definitely bring a lock. There are many places you can store your bike, but you should be warned that if you leave your bike laying around unlocked, it could be borrowed by someone running late at some point. Bikes are also great to have if you want to bike on the Kokosing Gap Trail!
What about bringing a car?
First off, Kenyon is a walking campus. Most everything is accessible from Middle Path. However, we all at some point need to get to Walmart or Columbus. You can bring a car to campus, but parking is very limited. If are not bringing a car, or are not able to get a pass, fear not. Just this year, Kenyon became a part of U Car Share. This program allows you rent a car (available on campus) for an hourly or daily rate. Also, once you are here, you can use the campus listserv, allstu, to get rides from your fellow classmates. With the shuttle, U Car Share, and allstu, you'll be able to get where you need to go.
Should I bring a computer to Kenyon? If so, should I bring a desktop or a laptop?
It is recommended to bring a computer to campus. Although we have plenty of computer labs, they are sometimes used by classes or are generally just really busy! What is helpful is that we have personal and public network drives available to students. That means you can save something to either of those drives and access them from anywhere on campus or off-campus. Personal drives are obviously for individuals and are password protected, whereas the public drives are where some professors put class resources up and things of that nature. As far as the desktop vs. laptop, it really doesn't matter. Laptops are more convenient, particularly with almost the entire campus having wi-fi. Laptops are also good for less obvious things, like crowding around to watch a movie or working on homework outside or in a friend's room. More info can be found at http://lbis.kenyon.edu.
Will my cell phone work at Kenyon?
If you have Verizon or AT&T, it definitely will. Other companies are less likely to work here. You will also have a phone in your residence hall room, which does not have voicemail. If you have a phone from a company that doesn't work here, and your contract isn't up, you should invest in a calling card for short calls home. They are inexpensive and easy to use and will tide you over until you can change companies. Also, if you are calling another campus phone from your room's phone, it is free. As a general rule: Verizon works better in most buildings than AT&T does. AT&T service can sometimes be spotty; however, don't switch to Verizon if your family is on AT&T- it will work fine most of the time!
What are local banking options in Gambier?
During Orientation The People's Bank of Gambier (the best and only bank in Gambier) will have representatives available to discuss banking options with students and parents. There are some banks in Mount Vernon, which is five minutes away, and there are ATMs available on-campus, though most banks will charge an extra fee when an ATM other than their own is used.
How can I do laundry on campus? Laundry facilities are generally quite ample for first-years. There are several washers and dryers in McBride Residence Hall, Mather Residence Hall, and Gund Residence Hall. Residents of Lewis, Norton, and Gund will all do their laundry in Gund. Washers cost $2.00 a load and dryers cost $1.50 for 45 minutes. There is also a laundromat below the bookstore, which has the same prices. You can use your k-card or quarters to pay for laundry in the dorms, and you can use quarters in the laundromat. Many students do their laundry on Sunday, so you may need to find a "slow" time when you can do yours! Also, you will need to provide your own detergent and dryer sheets.
For students who are very busy, or who generally really dislike doing laundry (don't we all?), there is a new student-run service called Laundry Luv that washes, dries, and delivers clothes for you! You can find out more about Laundry Luv through their website, http://www.laundryluv.com/ or on the Kenyon website, http://www.kenyon.edu/x51183.
Is Ohio weather really as awful as it sounds?
Ohio weather is more fickle than heinous. We certainly get all the season. Autumn is beautiful to see the leaves changing colors as you walk down middle path. It does get pretty cold here in the winter, and we usually do have quite a bit of snow, rain, and sleet. The most invaluable pair of items to bring to account for this: a good pair of snow or rain boots and an umbrella. Trudging to class in the mornings isn't so bad if your feet are dry and warm. In all truthfulness, though, the school does a great job with snow removal and you just have to leave a little earlier for class and dress warmly to ensure a happy winter. While you're trekking through snow, just think of late April when it's absolutely gorgeous!
What happens if I get hurt or sick? Do I have to just go to the hospital?
For those unfortunate colds or bumps and bruises, we have the Health Center on campus which is open to students when they need it. Students do not even need to make an appointment, as long as they don't mind a bit of a wait, and when they are not feeling so well they can drop in and get the care they need. For more serious cases, students may be sent to the hospital, depending on the nature of the illness or injury. The Knox Community Hospital is about 5 minutes away, and is easily accessible to those who need it. For more information, check out our Health and Counseling Center website.
What about mental health issues?
Kenyon has a great Counseling Center on campus. They are helpful and understanding and you can make an appointment with them regardless of severity of your situation. Even if you just need to vent, you will have the opportunity to talk to the counselors. Counseling fees are included in your tuition, as well. The Counseling Center is a wonderful resource for all students. For more information, check out our Health and Counseling Center website.
Are there minority support groups on campus? Are they active? Are they popular?
Yes! We have the Unity House which promotes acceptance, tolerance, and understanding of all sexual orientations and preferences. We also have Snowden Multicultural Center, which serves as a resource and facility for multicultural programming, including celebrations, discussions, films, performances, lectures, and special meals. The center contains a library with a diverse collection of books, videos, and other materials. A group that meets at Snowden is the Black Student Union, BSU. All of these groups are very active on campus. These are not the only multicultural groups on campus, either! For a full listing check here. For more information about other groups on campus, visit the Student Activities page.
Here are some Kenyon-specific words or phrases you may want to familiarize yourself with:
1. K-card (n.) -- The K-card is your Kenyon ID. It gives you access to all of the residence halls, so students carry it everywhere. It is linked to an optional account that you can add money to as often as you wish. It works at many locations throughout campus, such as the KAC's café, the Kenyon Inn, the Gambier Grill, the Village Market, and the Gambier Deli. Students generally use this card to buy their books from the bookstore and to grab a quick bite to eat around campus. This card also acts as your library card.
Hey, don't forget your K-card. You'll get locked out!
2. Uccling (n.) -- [uck-ling] Uccling is the name given any first-year student in an Upperclass Counselor's group.
I can't wait to get to know my ucclings!
3. allstu (n.) -- Any e-mail sent to email@example.com, which can be read by those who have subscribed to the allstu or who read the archives. Use the allstu to share info about a campus event, a hilarious youtube clip, an intriguing news article, or to find your phone that you lost last night.
Did you see that allstu with the new Justin Bieber music video? It was so cool!
4. CA (n.) -- At most schools you hear about the RA, residential advisor, but here at Kenyon we have CAs, community advisors. This is because your CA helps you adjust to the community of Gambier and learn how to be a part of Kenyon. They're a great resource during your adjustment to life as a college student.
I have to go back to the dorm because my CA ordered pizza for us!
5. Middle Path (n.) -- I know what you are thinking, "I know what Middle Path is. It's just the gravel path that runs the length of campus." And you are right...kind of. Middle Path is something bigger than that. It's where you run into friends, unsuccessfully avoid awkward moments, let your cell phone just keep vibrating, take the time to appreciate the beauty of Kenyon. It's where you acknowledge your place in the Kenyon family.
I just love the spring when flowers line Middle Path.
6. The Hill (n.)- The affectionate name students have given our elevated locale. Just as a side note, Philander Chase chose to build Kenyon up on "the hill" to protect his students from the "sin and avarice" of the bustling metropolis of Mount Vernon.
When I go home, it is hard to explain life on the Hill. Kenyon is not near Uganda!
7. The Cove (n.)- Short for The Pirate's Cove, this was the name of the popular restaurant in Gambier, now known as The Gambier Grill. It seems old habits die hard, though--some in the village get kind of bent out of shape when one refers to The Gambier Grill as The Cove. You'll figure it out. Some students also refer to it as The Grill.
I can't wait to order some food from The Cove later.
8. dis-list (n.)- Short for "distribution list," this is how student organizations keep you updated. At the Activities Fair (Saturday, September 3), you will be able to sign up for countless dis-lists and your inbox will be filled with information about upcoming events and membership. This isn't to say you shouldn't sign up for as many as possible, because information is one thing you can never have too much of.
ECO club's dis-list has 150 people!
9. Middle Ground (n.)- The restaurant/ coffee shop formerly located on Wiggin St. where Wiggin Street Coffee stands. It was a favorite hang-out spot on campus among students, faculty, and Gambier residents. Though it closed during Summer 2012, Middle Ground will surely live on in Kenyon lore. I really wish Middle Ground was open so I could get a chai milkshake right now!
10. Phling (n.)- Also known as Philander's Phebruary Phling, Phling is a gigantic prom-like social gathering that used to happen every February at Kenyon. The tradition went on hiatus in 2012. Man, I really miss getting gussied up for Phling!
11. Summer Send-Off (n.)- Sponsored by Social Board, everyone spends a Friday afternoon and evening outside listening to bands, enjoying activities such as inflatable games, and scarfing down the free food that abounds. This day is near and dear to the students of Kenyon and tends to be the most fun and laid back day of the year.
I'm finally going to beat you on a race through the inflateable obstacle course at Send-Off this year.
12. Comps (n.)- the most dreaded word in the Kenyon vernacular, it is short for Comprehensive Examinations. This is the end-all for Seniors. Each department painstakingly crafts their comps to maximize the fear and stress of each student...okay, well, maybe not THAT extreme. You won't have to worry about comps for a few years, but be respectful and understanding for those Seniors being tortured by them.
Sorry I don't have a social life, I'm too busy finishing comps.
13. North Campus (n.) and South Campus (n.)-- The two different sections of campus separated by the Gates of Hell. North Campus contains downtown Gambier, the First-year quad area, Caples & Watson Residences, New Apartments, McBride & Mather, the art buildings, the health center, Snowden Multicultural Center, SAO, SCA, and Career Development Center. South Campus contains Old Kenyon, Leonard, Hanna, Taft Apartments, Acland Apartments, Morgan Apartments, Rosse, Ascension, and the science quad.
I'm heading to North to pick up my package at the bookstore. OR I really want to go South Campus this weekend for the bon fire and movie screening.
14. VI (n.) -- The Village Inn. Owned by the same people who own Middle Ground, The Village Inn is a slightly nicer restaurant complete with a bar and a beautiful patio. This is the place to go when you want a nice meal with friends or family.
Let's go to the VI on Friday night- I love their Penne Gaskin!
15. Common Hour (n.)-- It occurs every Tuesday and Thursday when classes are in session, from 11:10am to 12:00pm. No classes are scheduled during this time, which is popular for lectures, meetings, etc.
This week's common hour discussion looks really interesting.
16. The Verne (n.) -- The affectionate name for Mount Vernon. You save yourself that extra syllable and prove to everyone how "in the know" you are.
Let's go to The Verne to go to Henry's for some Indian food.
17. Upper and Lower Demp (n.) -- Dempsey Hall, the newer seating addition to the dining hall. It has contemporary seating with both round tables and rectangular tables. Dempsey Hall has two seating sections: the main floor and the basement.
We couldn't find a table in Upper Demp, but we got a big round table in Lower Demp.
18. AT (n.) -- All introduction and intermediate language courses have classes with an Apprentice Teacher outisde of class. AT can refer to both the student teacher and the review session. ATs are students at an advanced level in the language. Intro students meet with their AT four times a week, while intermediate students meet with their AT once a week. These sessions review grammar, vocab, etc. and help the students become more comfortable speaking the language among their peers.
Last night, our AT taught us a fun song to remember when to use accents! OR
I hope that in AT we will finally figure out how to conjugate this verb!
19. Bullseye (n.) -- A room in upper Old Kenyon with a large circular window. There are four rooms in Old Kenyon with these windows, but students usually use this term to refer to one of the triples in front of Old Kenyon. The Bullseyes on the east side of Old Kenyon are part of AD Division, while the ones on the west side are part of Beta Division. These rooms are often used as gathering/party spaces. Ask any Kenyon alum: this tradition goes way back...
John said something was going on in the AD Bullseye tonight, and I think that we should check it out!
20. Philo (n.) -- Philomathesian hall on the second floor of Ascension. It is a large classroom and group meeting space. The room is historic complete with stained glass windows. Many students say that you MUST take a class in this room. It's probably because they feel like they are at Hogwarts.
Are you going to the class meeting in Philo?
Building Abbreviations (aka: Alphabet soup!)
BFEC (n.) -- [b-feck] Brown Family Environmental Center. It has an old farmhouse, beautiful butterfly garden, and tons of wildlife. It also has a network of trails that are great to run or to hike on. It is the perfect place to go to look at the stars, or just get off campus for an hour or so.
We should go hike the BFEC trails tomorrow!
CDO (n.)--Career Development Office. They'll help you with finding an externship while you are at Kenyon. An externship is a 3-5 day shadowing experience in the occupation of your choice. They also help you prepare for life after Kenyon through remuse help and idea help. They even will help you find a job on campus.
I am going to go to the CDO to get help with my resume.
KAC (n.)--[kack] Kenyon Athletic Center. Warning: College professors and administrators do not like it to be called the "kack;" rather, they call it the K.A.C.
Brosef, let's go pump some iron at the KAC.
SAO (n.)--Student Activities Office, home to student organizations, social board, greek life, and many other aspects of extracurricular life. (Plus, every Wednesday is Free Popcorn Wednesday at the SAO!)
We'd better get to the SAO by 4 to sign up for this Friday's $2 Movie in Mount Vernon.
SAC (n.)-- Student Affairs Center, home to the Dean of Students, Orientation, Multicultural Affairs, and Judicial Affairs. It is located on the lower level of Gund Commons.
I am going to go to the SAC to apply to be a UCC.
Smather (n.)--Sam Mather Hall, home to the psychology and neuroscience departments. Not to be confused with Mather Residence Hall.
I gotta go help a psychology major with research in Smather.
Squad (n.)-- Not frequently used, but when it is used, you know the speaker is really cool. Squad is one of the lesser known nicknames for the Science Quad -- Sam Mather, Higley, Tomsich, and Hayes.
She has been in the squad for hours dissecting those Manduca worms!
When do I get my Kenyon e-mail address?
You should get it around mid-to-late June. These dates aren't set in stone and the number of times you ask about it is not proportional to how much faster we can get them to you.
When do I find out who my roommate is and where we are living?
You will find out more about your roommate assignments in early July in a mailing from the Office of Housing and Residential Life.
When is my paperwork due?
Your New Student Forms need to be completed by May 31 (this includes your housing form, personal data sheet, music questionnaire, and other important forms). Some forms, such as the medical health history, need to be submitted by July 15th. Login using your myapp username and password, which can be found in your admit letter. If you've lost your password, email Terri Huvler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When do upperclassmen return to campus?
Unless they have permission to arrive on campus early (athletes, UCCs, etc.), upperclassmen may not move in their rooms until Tuesday, August 27. Please do not attempt to move in early (even if your roommate is an approved early arrival) or you will be subject to college judicial action.
Is there programming for parents during the Student Orientation?
Yes! While there are some events on the evening of Saturday, August 24, most are held on the first full day of Orientation (Sunday, August 25). At the Parent Orientation session (Sunday morning), parents are given important information regarding the college transition for families, as well as the college's resources, and they are also given an opportunity to meet many key administrators. Convocation, also held on the first day, is a wonderful program open to parents. Parents are also given the option of meeting their son or daughter's faculty advisor before departing campus around 5:00 pm on Sunday.
Should parents spend the night?
After Sunday, there really isn't anything for parents to do. As previously mentioned, we have some programming for parents on Saturday evening and Sunday, but after that our focus in entirely on introducing new students to life at Kenyon. Typically, parents spend Saturday night only and leave Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m.
Is there Health insurance for my child? What kind of mental and physical health care service is provided?
We have a phenomenal staff in our Health and Counseling center. Basic details regarding the Health and Counseling center are provided above in the "Life at Kenyon" section, but you should also take the time to check out the Health and Counseling center website.
What can the college disclose to me about my son or daughter?
The short answer is: not very much without the signature of your son or daughter. The official, and detailed answer can be found here.
For a sample FERPA form, click here.
Why can't you tell me more? What is the college's philosophy when working with my son or daughter?
In general, our philosophy at Kenyon is to treat students as adults. Thus, we feel that each student has the primary responsibility for the quality of his or her educational and residential experience and for meeting the College's academic and social expectations. It is the student's responsibility to initiate and maintain communication with parents or guardians. This is especially true when problems arise--for example, when circumstances may affect a student's ability to maintain good academic or social standing, to remain enrolled, or to meet the requirements for graduation.
We strive to help students fashion a rich and rewarding experience at Kenyon, one that fosters their ability to take responsibility for their own lives and their own surroundings. When you as a parent call a staff member about a concern regarding your student, please recognize that because of our commitment to encourage student responsibility and accountability, we will usually want to involve the student in the conversation. We will also want to be certain that your son or daughter has attempted to address the matter directly and thoroughly through the many resources available at the College.
Who can I contact regarding student billing issues?
If you have questions about student billing, please contact Rhonda Crunkilton, Student Accounts Manager, at (740) 427-5178 or email@example.com.
Can you provide more information about a tuition payment plan?
Kenyon does not have an internally administered payment plan. However, if you prefer to pay tuition and other fees in equal monthly installments during the year, Kenyon offers this convenience through TuitionPay, a payment plan administered by Sallie Mae.
Why pay monthly?
- Manageable interest free monthly payments
- Lower your overall education costs by borrowing less and saving on interest costs
- Your education funds remain in your interest-bearing accounts longer
- Tuition Protection Coverage - in the event of the death of the bill-payer, the student's education will be protected.
For additional information about the TuitionPay plan and how to enroll, visit their interactive website at http://tuitionpay.salliemae.com.