Life at Kenyon is made of, made for, and made by our remarkable community of students. The College plays a supporting role, providing resources, facilities, and expertise. Select a category for more information and related links.

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There is one option for banking in Gambier, the People's Bank of Gambier, located next to Wiggin Street Coffee. The People's Bank has options for students that include checking and savings accounts, however they require a Social Security number to open an account. There is also an automated teller machine (ATM) for First-Knox National Bank at the Kenyon bookstore although the bank itself is located in Mount Vernon. Representatives from First-Knox will be on campus during international pre-orientation to help you set up accounts without having a Social Security number.

There are ATMs located outside the bookstore, in front of the People's Bank and at the Lowry Center. If you use an ATM other than your own bank's, there is a service fee. Be careful not to overdraw your account — if you spend more than you have, you will be charged a $30 overdraft fee. 

Writing a check

If you arrange to have a checkbook, be sure to write the figure in words and draw a line so that your check can't be altered ($10 to $1000, for example).

Climate and clothing

The climate is characterized by hot, muggy summers and cold, dry winters. It will snow in winter (with occasional blizzards, freezing rain and ice storms), so make sure to bring a heavy winter coat, boots, gloves, hats and scarves. It's also a good idea to bring a waterproof jacket and rain boots for navigating muddy paths and the thunderstorms of spring and summer. The temperature can range from -20° C to 30° C (-4° F to 86° F), and winter wind chills can make it feel colder.

Kenyon students are known for their unique sense of fashion, which varies from casual to formal depending on the individual's preference. Most students do not dress formally for class. Around campus and in the class room, most students wear things like t-shirts, jeans, trousers/slacks, shorts, sweat shirts, warm-up suits, blouses, skirts, sneakers and loafers (casual shoes). There are a few clothing stores in Mount Vernon (the nearest town) if you need to purchase anything after you arrive.

It is wise to bring formal attire and a business casual outfit for special occasions. You may also want to bring your national costume, if applicable, to wear for special events.

Dining and cooking

Peirce Dining Hall is the only dining hall/cafeteria on campus. The food in Peirce is provided by AVI Foodsystems, Inc. Information about dining hours and menus is updated regularly on the AVI website.

AVI also provides for a small snack station in the Lowry Center called XTraction. It sells freshly made sushi, fruit smoothies, sandwiches and other healthy items every day. The snack station is not covered by tuition so you will have to pay out of pocket or with your K-card money. You can also use your K-card or cash to eat at other places in Gambier and Mount Vernon at your own expense.


Measurements for recipes in the United States are in terms of volume rather than weight for dry and liquid ingredients. The standards of measurement such as "teaspoon" or "cup" refer to cooking utensils you can buy at any supermarket - the terms do not refer to the common household teaspoon or cup.


The following list includes some commonly recognized U.S. holidays. On holidays marked with an asterisk (*), most non-essential government offices are closed. The U.S. Post Office and banks, and many businesses, are mostly like closed as well. The Office of Campus Safety at Kenyon is always open as are local fire and police stations. The Kenyon academic calendar provides information about when classes are canceled. 

Holiday Date Holiday Date
New Year's Day* January 1 Mother's Day 2nd Sunday in May
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day* 3rd Monday in Jan. Memorial Day* Last Monday in June
Groundhog Day February 2 Flag Day June 14
Valentine's Day February 14 Father's Day 3rd Sunday in June
President's Day* 3rd Monday in Feb. Independence Day* July 4
St. Patrick's Day March 17 Labor Day* 1st Monday in Sept.
April Fool's Day April 1 Columbus Day 2nd Monday in Oct.
Easter Sunday in spring (varies) Halloween October 31

Housing and laundry

A fully residential college, Kenyon houses all students on campus in a variety of housing options from traditional residence halls to College-owned apartments and houses. Most first-year students live in residence halls grouped together at the northern end of campus. The typical first-year room is a double, with a few singles and triples. All Kenyon residences are smoke-free environments.

After the first year, a greater variety of housing options become available. You can live a residence hall or in a modern apartment with its own kitchen. You can choose a coed or a single-sex floor. You can live in a "program house" (like the environmental center) or get a group together for "theme housing." More information is available through the Office of Residential Life.

Housing during breaks

Kenyon halls of residence close during the winter, spring and summer breaks, however, international students may remain in campus housing since it is not always possible to return home. There is a fee to stay during the summer. Arrangements for housing during breaks must be made in advance through the Office of Residential Life. 

Host families may be able to accommodate you at various times for dinner, the entire weekend or something in between. Host families want to help you have a great Kenyon experience, but please remember that the host family program is voluntary and be respectful of your host family's time and personal obligations. Although many host families invite students to participate in holiday activities, they may sometimes spend holidays with their own families.


Most residential buildings have a laundry room, but you will need to bring or purchase your own laundry detergent and you will have to pay for both the washing machines and dryers. There are two ways to pay for laundry: 1) Quarters ($0.25), which can be bought at the bookstore or the bank or received as change from vending machines; 2) K-card, which can be swiped only if you have money on it. A full load is $2.25 in the washing machine and $1.50 in the dryer.

The laundry room for the first year quad is located at Gund Residence Hall. McBride and Mather have their own laundry rooms in the basements.

Spiritual and religious life

If faith is important to you, you'll discover many opportunities to develop your spiritual life at Kenyon. You'll find a variety of activities supporting a diversity of faiths, from formal religious services to support for humanitarian interest groups including activities that support Kenyon's Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim community members.

The vitality of the College's spiritual and religious life springs from you and others in the community: students, faculty and administrators - your commitments, your questions and your interest. Guided by the ideal of mutual respect and tolerance, they seek to create opportunities for spiritual exploration and to support religious organizations that bring people together.

Information about spiritual and religious life and religious services is available online. The Kenyon Interfaith Partnership welcomes student participation and expansion to include other spiritual and religious traditions not yet represented. 

Student clubs and organizations

There are approximately 120 student organizations and clubs at Kenyon, including many cultural groups. There is something for everyone - and if there is something you would like to see at Kenyon that doesn't exist, you can start it! Students find being involved in organizations helpful in developing close friendships, exploring areas that might become future career tracks and managing their time better. When in doubt, get involved!

International Society at Kenyon (ISAK)

The International Society at Kenyon aims to be the voice of international students on campus, to address international student issues, and to raise awareness about global and cross-cultural issues through programs and events.


Computers are available at several places on campus including the library, Peirce Hall, Ascension Hall, Gund Commons, Samuel Mather Hall and the science quad. To access specific computer programs for academic purposes, you should speak to your professor; different computers have different programs. If you have your own computer, Kenyon has the rights to many programs that might be useful for you to install. Kenyon has a wireless network that is available on campus to all community members.

You can contact Kenyon's Helpline with any questions: by phone at 740-427-5700 or by email at

Email Accounts

As a Kenyon student, you will receive an email account, which will be used by the College administration, faculty and other students to contact you. You should know your username and password and check your email regularly - important information will come to you frequently by email. If you forget your password, you can contact Helpline for help resetting it. It is possible to forward your Kenyon email to another (personal) email account, but please check to make sure that you have room in your inbox to receive important Kenyon messages. If you email someone from a personal email account, be sure to sign your email with your full name so that the recipient will know who sent the message.


K-cards are widely used around campus to access the Lowry Center, open residence hall exterior doors and check books out of the library. You should always carry it with you.

You can use K-cards to pay for laundry and as debit cards in the Kenyon bookstore, Village Market, Lowry Center, Gambier Grill, Kenyon Inn, Village Inn (VI) and at the CVS pharmacy in Mount Vernon. You are not allowed to buy alcohol or cigarettes with your K-card.

Each term, some of your financial aid money (if you have it) will be put on your K-card by the Accounting Office unless you ask them not to do so; you can choose to receive this money by check if you would prefer not to have it on your K-card.