Letter from the Editors
Welcome to the seventh issue of the Collegian Magazine.
Students and faculty often talk about the “Kenyon bubble.” The term implies that life at Kenyon is somehow isolated and, crucially, safe from from the trials of “real life” that take place off the Hill. When the Magazine first appeared in 2014, it explored distinctly Gambier politics. Now, one year after the election of Donald Trump, it has become especially clear that Kenyon politics are inseparable from national politics. In this issue, we see Gambier as a small stage on which national issues play out.
Recent shootings in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Texas, and Orlando, Florida have not gone unnoticed at Kenyon. The administration has been actively preparing campus for the possibility of an active shooter event here on the Hill. Our feature story “Kenyon in the Crosshairs” chronicles what would happen on campus during the 20 minutes it would take law enforcement to arrive.
This summer, Evan McLaren ’08 became the executive director of Richard Spencer’s white nationalist lobbying organization. “When a White Nationalist Ran the Observer” follows McLaren’s time at Kenyon. Few who knew him as students were surprised to see where he is now.
On campus today, professors must decide for themselves whether to share their personal beliefs. “Taking Sides” looks at the line each professor toes.
Back in 2014, three students banded together to make Kenyon commit to becoming carbon neutral. After months of research and a successful pitch to the Board of Trustees, President Sean Decatur signed the pledge in 2016. Now, with the first deadline fast approaching, Kenyon must put out its first formalized plan for how it will accomplish this. “The Path to Carbon Neutrality” looks at the people who are working every day to make carbon neutrality a reality.
We continue to examine Kenyon’s relationship with Knox County, this time by following the conversation surrounding Mount Vernon’s annual Dan Emmett Music and Arts Festival. “Mount Vernon’s Blackface Minstrel” looks at the ongoing debate over the festival’s namesake; should the festival change its name, cease to exist, or become an opportunity to learn history?
This issue’s photo essay by Eryn Powell documents student celebrations of cultural identity through cooking. And, in our contest-winning creative essay, Taylor Hazan imagines the cultural traditions of moths. She writes, “It’s a miracle in itself that moth culture exists at all.”
The Magazine turns four this year. Since its founding, it has twice been a finalist for the Associated Collegiate Press’ Pacemaker Award for student magazines. Our most recent victory came from last semester’s issue. Thank you to our advisor Bryan Burrough whose timely and calm advice makes this magazine possible. Thank you to all of our photographers, copy editors, designers, illustrators, and writers. Most of all, thank you dear reader for picking this up today.
Griffin Burrough & Frances Saux
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