To members of the Kenyon College community,
Since June, many of you have shared your concerns about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the actions that more than 20 states have taken to restrict access to reproductive health care, including here in Ohio. Like many of you, we are dismayed at this erosion of women’s and gender-based rights and are concerned about what the reversal of nearly 50 years of legal precedent may mean for the future of rights to contraception, same-sex marriage, gender equality and more.
Kenyon is committed to supporting, to the fullest extent possible, the right of individuals to make their own medical decisions and to providing equal access to educational and professional opportunities. While much on the legal and political landscape remains uncertain, we want to make you aware of the resources that are currently available to the Kenyon community.
Starting this fall, the Cox Health and Counseling Center will expand its sexual health education programs to empower students to make decisions that align with their personal beliefs and values. Access to contraception will continue as before, and emergency contraception will now be free of charge for all students.
Kenyon also has a Student Success Fund that offers financial assistance to students for a range of circumstances. Students may apply for these funds if they are experiencing hardship of any kind, whether or not they qualify for other forms of financial aid.
Finally, the College offers a variety of confidential resources to help community members navigate personal challenges. These include the Cox Health and Counseling Center for students, the Employee Assistance Program for employees, and the College chaplains for any member of the Kenyon community.
We are actively exploring other ways to support employees who may be facing new barriers to medical advice and care. We understand that it is critical that anyone experiencing a reproductive health crisis receives guidance from medical experts and others closely tracking the laws not only in Ohio but across the nation.
We also recognize that the legal landscape, with state laws and regulations changing almost every day, presents very real risks for individuals seeking to access reproductive health care and institutions seeking to support their right to do so. There are no easy solutions; changes to health benefits, leave policies and other assistance programs could compromise individuals’ privacy and could put colleagues at risk. In setting policies in this environment, we have a responsibility to act with care, concern and caution.
Kenyon is committed to women’s rights and gender equality and understands that to include autonomy over one’s body and freedom to travel across state boundaries. Furthermore, we recognize that the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision and subsequent legislation threaten our mission to provide equal access to the educational and professional opportunities Kenyon affords to all members of our community, regardless of gender identity. The measures described here are our first steps in redoubling our commitment to Kenyon’s students, staff and faculty as we continue to look for ways to support our community within the limits of the law.
Kenyon College Senior Staff
Jeff Bowman, Acting President
Diane Anci, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Todd Burson, Vice President for Finance
Colleen Garland, Vice President for Advancement
Tom Giblin, Chair of the Faculty and Professor of Physics
Ron Griggs, Vice President for Library and Information Services
Sheryl Hemkin, Acting Provost and Professor of Chemistry
Drew Kerkhoff, Associate Provost and Professor of Biology
Celestino Limas, Vice President for Student Affairs
Rich Lovering, Vice President and General Counsel
Janet Lape Marsden, Vice President for Communications
Ted Mason, Senior Advisor to the President, Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Professor of English
Susan Morse, Chief of Staff
Wendy Singer, Associate Provost and Professor of History
Ian Smith, Vice President for Facilities, Planning and Sustainability