All members of the Kenyon community (students, faculty and staff) are expected to adhere to the directives and restrictions created in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently will be critical to the success of an in-person semester. We have all practiced these basic public health protocols in our own home communities — and now we all must put them into practice in our Kenyon home.

Navigating this new campus culture, with its myriad new expectations and restrictions, will not be easy for any of us; these directives in many ways feel antithetical to who we are as a close-knit community. However, following these directives will help us protect not only ourselves, but others in our community, at Kenyon and throughout Knox County. The directives and restrictions may limit the location, size, and overall ability to hold campus events and social gatherings. As the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, State of Ohio and Knox County Health Department evolve, so will the directives and restrictions.

Failure to adhere to directives and restrictions by members of the Kenyon community will result in disciplinary action through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities or Human Resources.

The following guidelines do not apply to in-person Kenyon classes, which follow the Responsible Restart Ohio guidelines.

General Safety Protocols for Events

The Event Advisory Committee (EAC) has worked with Kenyon Senior Staff and Knox Public Health (KPH) to devise safety protocols for events at every campus alert level. Please note that all attendee limitations and safety protocols are subject to change as federal, state and local guidelines evolve. The Event Advisory Committee is available to answer questions and consult on proposals as follows:

Moderate Alert (Campus Quiet Periods)

Organized events of any size will not be allowed on campus. Grab and Go type events may be allowed with approval from the EAC. Please email events@kenyon.edu for more information.

Low Alert

Organized events of 10 or fewer attendees will be allowed, provided standard COVID-19 safety protocols are followed (see below). Grab and Go type events will be allowed, but operational meetings should be held virtually.

The current safety protocols for in-person events with 10 or fewer attendees include:

  • All attendees are expected to conduct symptom/temperature checks before attending the event, and anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must stay home.

  • Attendees and staff must wear face coverings at all times (except when eating or presenting) and maintain a safe social distance (6 feet).

  • The space reserved/utilized for the event must be able to accommodate safe social distancing (6 feet) for the proposed number of attendees. (Please visit Kenyon Reservations/EMS for room-by-room details.)

  • Frequent hand washing/sanitizing should be encouraged.

  • Food and beverages can only be provided in individual “grab & go” type packages or by a licensed food vendor.

  • At least one Compliance Officer (professional staff or student) must be in attendance; student Compliance Officers count as attendees.

A select number of events with up to 50 attendees will be allowed, pending approval by the EAC. The goal of having larger events is to build community and augment engagement across campus. That cap will be the same whether the event is held indoors or outdoors (allowing for a simple transition if a weather call moves an outside event inside. Please remember to book a back-up venue on Kenyon Reservations/EMS in case of a weather call). This number excludes any professional staff/students working the event and all performers (if applicable). The number of larger events allowed is currently limited to 3 per week and is subject to change. Events will be approved based on their broad appeal to multiple audiences, as well as meeting all safety criteria.

Proposals for events attended by 11-50 people must be reviewed by the EAC and approved by KPH (submit here). Please submit proposals at least 10 working days before the proposed event. Submitting a proposal does not guarantee approval. A member of the EAC will contact you with approval or a reason why the event was not approved.

Events with 11-50 attendees must follow the current safety protocols for events with 10 or fewer attendees (see above), as well as the following additional safety protocols:

  • There must be at least one professional staff member serving as Compliance Officer for events with 11-25 attendees, and at least 2 for attendance of 26-50; professional staff Compliance Officers do not count as attendees.

  • On-site registration (if applicable), entry and exit times, etc. should be staggered to avoid crowding.

  • Attendees may not congregate before or after the event.

  • Immediate, cohabiting family members may sit together, socially distanced from other individuals/family groups.

  • Outdoor spaces must accommodate safe pathways for attendees to access unoccupied, social-distanced spaces.

Gathering-specific Directives & Restrictions

Official College Events

Official college events are defined as programs with a pre-arranged structure, agenda and proposed outcome, that are not athletics or performing arts, and are organized by the Office of Campus Events, a college department/center, or an affiliated organization such as the Kenyon Review. All proposed official college events will require approval from the Office of Campus Events or Senior Staff.

The number of participants in official college events will be capped at the State of Ohio/Knox County Health Department maximum gathering size (currently 10 people). All public health directives and protocols, such as social distancing and wearing masks, will remain in place, but speakers will not be required to wear face coverings while presenting. A representative from the sponsoring group needs to be present to enforce safety protocols. (The representative’s contact information should be provided to Campus Safety prior to the event.) Any food, beverages, or utensils provided at an event cannot be shared. 

Student Organization Reservations

All student organization reservations will be subject to the same definitions, directives, and restrictions as official college events, except that they will require approval from the Office of Student Engagement in consultation with the Office of Campus Events.

Meetings

Meetings are defined as programs pertaining to the continued operations of the group(s) involved, with a fixed start and end time. Meetings should be held virtually when possible. In-person and hybrid meetings must limit the number of in-person participants to the maximum capacity posted for the room where the meeting is being held or to a maximum of five (5) people, whichever is smaller. While inconvenient and more restrictive than current Ohio state orders, this limitation is necessary to prioritize the use of larger spaces for classes, studying, etc. For in-person participants, social distancing rules and face covering expectations will remain in place.

NOTE: Meetings cannot be held in residential spaces until further notice, nor in Peirce Dining Hall. Any food, beverages or utensils provided at a meeting cannot be shared.

Office Hours

We recognize the importance of office hours as an important function of the learning experience at Kenyon and, as such, they should be allowed to take place while adhering to social distancing and face covering guidelines. However, faculty and staff members should consider “virtual” office hours to be the default expectation for faculty-student meetings for the foreseeable future, and should only hold virtual office hours during “quiet periods.”

Varsity Athletics and Club Sports (Games, Practices, Try-Outs)

Varsity athletics and club sports events are defined as programs sponsored by and/or officially recognized by a college center, with a pre-arranged structure, agenda and proposed outcome that require special safety considerations/exceptions in order to achieve that outcome. All such programs will be subject to the same directives and restrictions as official college events, with the exceptions of the maximum allowable gathering size (if the team/club size is larger) and approval from the Office of Student Engagement (for club sports), plus any additional guidelines provided by their respective governing bodies (e.g., NCAA). In the absence of a governing body, Senior Staff reserves the right to develop additional guidelines. For varsity sports, a coach or other staff member must be present for all practices and meetings with student-athletes.

Performing Arts (Performances, Rehearsals, Auditions)

Performing arts events are defined as programs in theater, dance, music, and performance art sponsored by and/or officially recognized by a college center, with a pre-arranged structure, agenda and proposed outcome that require special safety considerations/exceptions in order to achieve that outcome. All such programs will be subject to the same directives and restrictions as official college events, with the exceptions of the maximum allowable gathering size (if the group size is larger) and approval from the Office of Campus Events, plus any additional guidelines provided by their respective governing bodies (e.g., Actors’ Equity). In the absence of a governing body, Senior Staff reserves the right to develop additional guidelines. A faculty advisor or other staff member must be present at all performances, rehearsals, auditions and meetings. Any group that includes non-Kenyon community members must be reviewed/approved by the provost.

Protests

Protests, defined as planned, unstructured programs with an outcome focused on political, social or economic change will be allowed out-of-doors and will be subject to the same directives and restrictions as official college events (with special emphasis on the wearing of face coverings except when formally presenting). Internal protests refer to protests sponsored by groups or organizations officially recognized by Kenyon. External protests refer to protests by an individual or group not recognized by or not affiliated with the college and are prohibited on campus property. Protests should follow the College’s protest policy.

Religious Services

Religious services may be held outdoors. Attendees should follow the guidelines about social distancing and face coverings stated above. Attendance will be limited to 25 persons. Indoor religious services may be held provided they are capped at no more than 10 people, and that 6-foot social distancing, mask wearing and other guidelines are followed.

Community and External Client Events

With only essential visitors allowed on campus, including the Wright Center, Lowry Center, etc. (e.g., delivery and repair personnel, etc.), community and external client events are not permitted. Exceptions may be made during the academic year and, especially, between semesters, if approved by the Chief of Staff. 

Registered Social Events with Alcohol

Registered social events with alcohol are defined as planned gatherings with alcohol hosted by recognized student organizations. Registered social events with alcohol are prohibited due to the limitations of room availability and difficulty in maintaining safety protocols.

Social Events

Social events are defined as planned, unstructured gatherings with or without alcohol hosted in designated public spaces. Social events are prohibited due to the limitations of room availability and difficulty in maintaining safety protocols.

Student Social Gatherings 

Student social gatherings are defined as unstructured gatherings held in residential spaces. Each student will be allowed to have one guest student in their assigned space only, except in “quiet periods,” when no guests are allowed. Residence hall lounges will be restricted to residents of that hall and to the occupancy limits of those lounges, not to exceed 10 people.

Enforcement and Sanctions

The directives and restrictions listed above are being implemented to create an environment that limits exposure to/potential spread of COVID-19. Members of the Kenyon community who fail to adhere to the directives and restrictions will face allegations of violating provisions of the Students, Staff and Faculty Handbooks — whichever is applicable.

Students

Failure to adhere to these directives and restrictions will result in formal allegations of violating the Student Handbook. Violations of these provisions will result in sanctions of up to and including deferred suspension or suspension from the College.

Student Organizations

Failure to adhere to these directives and restrictions will result in formal allegations of violating the Student Handbook. Violations of these provisions will result in sanctions of up to and including probation or suspension of the student organization. 

Faculty and Staff

Willful violation of security rules or failure to observe safety rules as described in this document or in the “Return to Campus Protocols” could endanger your coworkers, our students, and the public and may result in discipline, up to and including termination.

Updated: February 17, 2021