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.

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 have a question not addressed on our website, email

For the 2020–21 year, the College has secured additional housing for isolation of students with positive test results. This housing will be managed in close cooperation with Knox Public Health, which serves as the lead agency when any resident of Knox County tests positive for COVID-19. Isolation housing accommodations include the McIlvaine apartments (formerly reserved for faculty and staff), two houses in Gambier and the Comfort Inn, a 60-room hotel located in neighboring Mount Vernon. The Inn’s only occupants during the 2020–21 year will be Kenyon students and professional staff.

If you are a student and you receive a positive test result, call Campus Safety (740-427-5000) and let the dispatcher know that you have received a positive COVID-19 test result. This call will set in motion the care process and isolation protocols that Student Affairs has developed for this academic year. In the meantime, the laboratory EverlyWell will have sent notification of the positive diagnosis to Knox Public Health and to the Cox Health & Counseling Center. Additionally, a physician from EverlyWell will attempt to contact you by phone to answer any medical questions you may have. 

After you call Campus Safety, several steps will be quickly taken:

1. Campus Safety will assist you in moving to isolation housing. Plan to take what you will need for two weeks, including chargers and medications. Once you are packed, Campus Safety will transport you to isolation housing. Until you have been transported to isolation housing, please remain in your room and minimize contact with others.

2. The Student Affairs staff member on call will reach out to you by phone. (Please be sure your voicemail is set up, and that you answer your phone when they call.) The Dean of Students will subsequently notify your faculty that you will be attending class remotely and, if symptomatic, that you may be absent.

3. You will be sent a link to a form that you should fill out as soon as possible. Among other things, this form will enable Student Affairs to arrange for your meal delivery, facilitated through AVI and Residential Life. (Two hours’ advance notice will be required to coordinate meal delivery, so if you receive a diagnosis at 11:30 a.m., your first delivered meal would be dinner.) 

Because Knox Public Health (KPH) is the agency responsible for monitoring positive cases in Knox County, they will contact those in isolation housing to perform daily symptom checks, provide medical supplies, etc. and assume management of overall care. They also will work with you to trace your contacts, and your cooperation is vital to contain the spread of coronavirus. (It also is required as part of the 2020–21 Student Conduct Addendum.) KPH determines when you may be released from isolation. They will provide you a letter via email that confirms release from isolation. Once the letter is shared with the College, you can be transported back to campus and return to your classes in-person.

KPH will give you a release of information form; you must sign it in order for KPH to be able to speak with your family. We encourage you to reach out to your family, too, to let them know about your condition.

In order to manage the risks associated with travel and of bringing the community together for the first time, we have set in place a number of specific expectations until Sept. 4. During this period of time, and in order to minimize contact within the Kenyon community, students are required to limit movement around campus to essential activities only. Students will be able to attend classes (while masked), minimally interact with individuals while observing 6-foot physical distancing, and obtain meals from the dining hall to be eaten outside or in their rooms. There will be no in-person, extracurricular activities or small gatherings, no guests in residence hall rooms, the KAC will be closed, and students may not eat inside Peirce Dining Hall. After Sept. 4, students will be permitted to dine within the facility, and extracurricular activities may take place in person as long as participants observe public health directives for small gatherings. 

Should conditions warrant, especially if there is a rise in cases on campus or locally, the College may need to implement another “quiet period."

When the College is not observing a quiet period, students may:

• Eat their pre-packaged meals in Peirce Dining Hall

• Have one guest in their room. Only Kenyon students and staff are allowed in residence halls.

• (Starting Sept. 7) Use the KAC, following new operational guidelines

• Resume in-person extracurricular activities, following student organization guidelines 

• Gather in small groups (10 people or fewer), with face coverings and physical distancing. Please note that residence hall lounges will be restricted to residents of that hall, except for lounges designated as study spaces.

Students must continue to observe 6-foot physical distancing and wear face coverings everywhere indoors (except while alone in their room) and in trafficked areas outdoors regardless of whether the College is in a quiet period.

While the College is observing a quiet period, students may not engage in in-person extracurricular activities. The Office of Student Engagement, in collaboration with Student Council, has developed guidelines for in-person extracurricular activities for times when the College is not observing a quiet period. These guidelines, which may be reevaluated as the fall progresses, allow for:

• In-person meetings with 10 or fewer people, appropriate distancing and face coverings

• Hybrid meetings with 10 or fewer people, appropriate distancing and face coverings

• “Phase One” activities for club sports

When planning extracurricular activities, please refer to the campuswide events and gatherings guidelines as well as the Student Handbook, Student Organization Handbook and COVID-19 specific guidelines and directives. Organizations may need to re-purpose allocated funds to work within new restrictions; contact the Business and Finance Committee (BFC) of Student Council for guidance. 

Off-campus travel may be allowed in very selective circumstances; email for guidance and approval. For guidance and approval regarding “Phase Two” activities for club sports, email

In-person activities where appropriate distancing cannot be observed, or without face coverings, or with more than 10 participants are not allowed at any time. 

We recognize that these new guidelines and the dislocation of our community may present questions and challenges regarding extracurricular activities. When in doubt, please contact the Office of Student Engagement and/or Student Council.

Peirce Dining Hall will have some modifications this fall that may at first glance seem unfamiliar. In close cooperation with our AVI partners, Peirce is being retrofitted to allow for students to obtain food in takeout containers.  Students with special meal accommodations will pick up their food in the Atrium. Prior to Sept. 4,  students must pick up their meals from Peirce Dining Hall and eat in their rooms or outside while physically distanced from others. 

After Sept. 4, students will be permitted to eat in Peirce at tables spread throughout the building. Tables will have strict capacity requirements and clear barriers atop them to promote safety and social distancing. Due to limited seating, we encourage students to be considerate of the time spent in Peirce to allow other students to sit down. We also will have outdoor dining available for those who would prefer to sit there. Most dishware and utensils will be disposable, as physical distancing in the dishroom for AVI staff is a challenge. 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. Peirce also will have extended hours this fall in order to de-densify meal times.

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.

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 they must wear face coverings while doing so). Please note that residence hall lounges are restricted to residents of that hall, except for lounges designated as study spaces. Students 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.

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.