Letter from President Decatur to Campus Community
Dear Members of the Kenyon Community,
Over the past 24 hours, the Kenyon community has been made sensitive to issues regarding sexual misconduct. I and no other College administrator can comment on any student conduct case of any type. To do so violates the rights of privacy, and would, in turn, multiply the pain felt by everyone involved. This may seem to some that the College is hiding behind the law, but I believe that this is simply the right thing to do.
But I must speak out clearly on the larger issue of sexual assault. Some may react with skepticism when a college president mentions “zero tolerance” for sexual assault and “fairness” regarding the procedures to address policy violations. But I do not express those sentiments lightly. I speak for all of us at Kenyon when I say that sexual assault is absolutely unacceptable, here or anywhere. Each Kenyon student has the right to pursue their education, growth and development without obstacles created by sexual assault, and each student is guaranteed a fair and equitable process for a resolution. I embrace this moral and legal obligation, and my colleagues do as well. The law dictates that we do so; but more importantly, we do so because of our values and our commitment to the safety and welfare of our students.
The Title IX and Violence against Women Act policy developed during the 2014-15 academic year was created through intentional consultation and input from all members of the campus community and was approved by the Campus Senate, the Faculty, and the Kenyon College Board of Trustees. The policy is available online for all to review (kenyon.edu/title-ix-policy), and I encourage you to do so. If you have questions about the policy, please reach out to Andrea Goldblum, civil rights and Title IX coordinator. If you need help and support, please reach out to the sexual misconduct advisors or the Health and Counseling Center.
The dialogue and education efforts that began with the development of this policy last year are not yet done, and moving us forward will require work and commitment from all of us to build a fair, safe and equitable campus.
Sean Decatur, President