July 14, 2020
Kenyon has updated its plans for returning to campus, offering in-person and remote instruction. Read more here.
Life on campus may look and feel a little different this year, as it has throughout the world during this pandemic — but your on-campus residential experience will nevertheless be one that is as full as ever of energy, inspiration, compassion and community.
First-years and sophomores will be in residence for the fall semester; we would like to invite everyone to campus for the spring, but if conditions do not improve juniors and seniors will be invited. We will reserve space on campus each semester for international students, regardless of class year, and for other students with exceptional circumstances.
If you are coming to campus this fall: You likely have questions about what your day-to-day life on campus will entail and how you will stay safe. Promoting the health and well-being of our campus community will be done, in part, by modifying spaces and enhancing public health and cleaning protocols. But it also will require your commitment to supporting a healthy culture in which you contribute to your own well-being and the well-being of others.
If you are not returning to campus this fall but your items from the spring semester are in College storage: We are happy to ship those items to you. We have contacted all students with remaining items; if you have not requested shipping, items identified as yours will be stored for the semester.
Details on residential life, dining and more are listed below; if you have a question not addressed on our website, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenyon will conduct a phased move-in, with assigned dates and time slots. Students will be able to reserve a move-in time slot in early August. Move-in dates are as follows:
Upon their arrival to campus, all students must first check in at the Kenyon Athletic Center’s Toan Track (enter through the glass doors on Meadow Lane). There, they will receive a self-administered COVID-19 test. Once the test is complete, the student will go to the Multi-Activity Court (MAC) to finalize documents, pick up their room key, and receive orientation and other relevant information. Students and the person accompanying them (if applicable) may then proceed to the student’s assigned residence hall for move-in. Except when in a student’s residence hall room, face coverings will be required at all times while indoors.
Within their first 14 days on campus, all students will be administered a total of 3 COVID tests (including the test administered at move-in). Until the results of the first test are known (approximately 48-72 hours), students are asked to self-quarantine by limiting their movement around campus and especially their contact with others. All meals will be available as pre-prepared and packaged from Peirce Dining Hall. Students whose results are confirmed to be positive will be isolated, with their care managed and contacts traced by Knox Public Health (KPH).
One guest/family member can assist with move-in. Guests will not be tested for COVID-19, as is consistent with our guidelines for visitors, but they will be asked to do a health/symptom assessment and to take their temperature prior to arrival. They must also wear a face covering and, to the greatest extent possible, limit contact with other individuals on campus. In order to promote health and well-being, we are not allowing guests — including family members — who are not Kenyon students to stay overnight in our residence halls. A list of lodging options in the area is available here.
Because students may be in residence for only one term, students should plan to take their belongings at the end of the semester or arrange to store them at their own expense. In addition, students may need to relocate in the event they test positive for COVID, or if the College needs to send students home. For all these reasons, we strongly encourage students to consider carefully what they are bringing to campus, and to pack as lightly as possible.
If you plan to have a vehicle on campus this term, please register your vehicle within 24 hours of arriving on campus; an online registration form and more information on parking permits is available here.
First-years will receive their housing assignments during the week of Aug. 3, 2020, as will upperclass students returning this fall who qualify for ADA accommodations and program house assignments. General housing selection for the fall term will begin Friday, Aug. 7, spanning a few days; your specific time slot will be emailed to you prior to your selection day. For the 2020–21 year, theme and division housing will not be an option due to the de-densification of residences. All ADA housing accommodations will remain in place, in addition to assignments within program houses. Housing assignments will last for one semester; you must take all belongings with you at the end of the semester or store them at your own expense. (Local storage options include PakMail and Summer Break Storage.)
For the 2020–21 year, the College has secured additional housing off campus to supplement its campus offerings. This ensures that all students will have their own room, while retaining ample quarantine and isolation housing. The Comfort Inn, a 60-room hotel that will operate as a Kenyon College residence hall, is located in neighboring Mount Vernon, in close proximity to Kenyon’s Wright Center and the Knox Area Transit. The McIlvaine apartments (formerly reserved for faculty and staff) will now also be available for additional student housing in Gambier. The College has dedicated housing for quarantine and isolation, which will be managed in close cooperation with Knox Public Health.
The Comfort Inn will operate as a Kenyon College residence hall for the 2020–21 academic year. All rooms have private bathrooms. Students will have WiFi, and coin-operated laundry is available to residents. The College is devising a plan for professional staff to reside at the Comfort Inn to serve as resources for students. The Inn’s only occupants during this period will be Kenyon students and professional staff.
Should you choose to bring a personal vehicle, the Comfort Inn offers ample parking spaces, and you will receive designated parking on Kenyon’s campus in South 1. Students will continue to have free access to the Knox Area Transit shuttle, which regularly runs between downtown Mount Vernon and Kenyon’s Gambier campus. (More information, including the shuttle schedule, is available here.) The Kokosing Gap Trail also is easily accessible directly behind the hotel.
Peirce Dining Hall will have some modifications this fall that may at first glance seem unfamiliar. (For example, the servery “scramble” will be on hiatus this year.) The servery will be controlled for limited flow, and most dishware and utensils will be disposable, as physical distancing in the dishroom for AVI staff is a challenge. Most stations will be staffed for service, rather than self-service. Only Kenyon students will be permitted to eat in Peirce Hall, which will be designated for dining only (no meetings or studying). Students must wear face coverings until seated. In accordance with state regulations, tables will be placed 6 feet apart. Peirce also will have extended hours this fall in order to de-densify meal times.
In addition to servery access, students will have access to pre-packaged meals from Peirce. All Kenyon students in residence will continue to participate in the College’s meal plan. If you are in isolation housing, food will be delivered to you.
Please note: During the first few days when students are on campus (while awaiting the results of their COVID test, approximately 48-72 hours), students must pick up their meals from Peirce Dining Hall and eat in their rooms or outside while physically distanced from others. Following that initial 48-72 hour period, students will continue to pick up their pre-prepared meals in to-go containers, but they will also be permitted to dine in Peirce (including under a tent located just outside the building).
Residence halls were designed to build community — which presents us with a challenge this upcoming year as we seek to promote public health and well-being. Lounge spaces within traditional residence halls will be configured differently this year to allow for physical distancing. Community kitchens will not be available for use for the foreseeable future. Laundry rooms will be outfitted with hand washing or sanitizing supplies and will have guidelines posted for physical distancing. We encourage you to navigate hallways with care, being sure to maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and your fellow residents.
Enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented in all shared spaces, and you may be asked to wipe down some spaces after use. Every shared bathroom, lounge and community kitchen will have a maximum occupancy sign.
Regarding visitors: Students may visit friends in other residences (and the College recommends they wear face coverings while doing so). You will be limited to a ratio of one guest (who is a Kenyon student) per resident. Overnight guests are allowed under these guidelines: They must be a Kenyon student (no external visitors); the number of people in your room must not exceed the ratio of one guest per resident.
Kenyon students are expected to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others and wear face coverings when on campus, except when in their own residence hall rooms.
Restrooms in traditional residence halls will be sanitized twice daily (morning/afternoon), and deep-cleaned at least one time per day, including weekend days. Disinfecting wipes will be provided to allow for students to wipe down surfaces.
Given the low occupancy numbers in apartments, students assigned to those spaces will be provided with supplies and have responsibility for cleaning their restrooms regularly. The increased need for cleaning across campus necessitates these changes in cleaning protocols. Restrooms in apartment areas will continue to be deep-cleaned by custodial staff over the Winter Break period.
Knox Public Health (KPH) serves as the lead agency when any resident of Knox County tests positive for the virus. Working in close partnership with KPH, the College has identified and secured isolation housing should students become ill with COVID-19. During the initial testing period after students arrive on campus, and potentially at other times of the semester, students may be required to self-quarantine while they await test results.
Medical care will be coordinated by KPH in concert with Cox Health and Counseling Center staff for students who are directed to isolation housing or who are asked to self-quarantine in their rooms due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Students in isolation housing or who are self-quarantining may have food delivered to them. Students will need to meet KPH’s standard of wellness in order to return to normal campus access. The Dean of Students will work with students to notify faculty in order to minimize course disruption as much as possible.
To protect our community, including our local neighbors, students in residence must agree to remain in Knox County for all nonessential travel. We also ask that students limit their travel within the county as much as possible.
Students will need to vacate their residence halls by noon Wednesday, Nov. 25. Housing assignments will last for only one semester; you must take all belongings with you at the end of the semester or store them at your own expense. (Local storage options include PakMail and Summer Break Storage.) If you would like to leave your vehicle on campus between the fall and spring terms, please be sure to move your vehicle to the South 3 lot before you depart campus.
We understand some students may be unable to return home due to exceptional circumstances; those students may apply to remain in residence between Nov. 25 and the start of the spring term. More information will be provided later this fall.