Notes from Ransom Hall: A Higher Ed Blog

Valuing Every Voice

Sean Decatur
September 5, 2017

The details of how President Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will impact campuses like ours are still unknown. One thing remains clear: All who travel along Middle Path belong here at Kenyon and are valued members of our community. The recent administrative action does not change that.

This is not an issue that impacts a few classmates and colleagues, but rather affects the community and institution as a whole and that reverberates with family and friends farther flung. All of us who have an opinion on this critical issue must speak out now. Together with other presidents in the Five Colleges of Ohio consortium, I have urged Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman to seek a permanent solution ensuring DACA students can continue to have a place in our classrooms and communities. I encourage you to call your elected officials and raise your own voices.

This community is strengthened by its diversity. We must ensure that all voices carry equal weight in our classrooms and across campus, and that all students and employees feel safe contributing to our community. While it is likely that no two individuals came to Kenyon in quite the same way, we all worked hard to be here. We also share a commitment to fostering a vibrant, resilient community: to respecting one another, to listening thoughtfully and carefully to those with differing viewpoints, and to working together to build a better world for those who follow in our footsteps. In challenging times, this crucial work becomes even more important.

We will work tirelessly, as we always do, to ensure that everyone who earned their way to our community is able to thrive here and in the communities they make their own after. I encourage any student or employee affected directly or indirectly by the repeal of DACA program to seek guidance and support: the Center for Global Engagement, the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Health and Counseling Center offer a range of resources to Kenyon community members.

This is work we must do together.