If you were sexually assaulted or had friends or family who were sexually assaulted at Kenyon, it was likely hard to make sense of it all at the time.
For survivors, early on, right after the trauma of an assault, the experience is raw, chaotic and the stakes are high. Your confidence might be shaken and you and the community may be busy considering what to do, whether your account of the incident is true or false and whether to adjudicate. You’re in the thick of it, and all you may really want at that point is to be left alone to figure a way out of your situation.
What has become clear this past week is that Kenyon alumni collectively have a unique point of view about the issue of sexual assault on campus and that some of them are now ready to speak up. In large part, I suspect it’s because they have distance from the school in a way that current members of the community don’t. That distance can start to help you heal and/or find clarity about what happened, what it means, what you may have wanted to do or hear, but didn’t. That time away from college may finally make you feel ready to share your story.
It’s important for alumni to share their feelings and thoughts with the school administration and other private groups. But it’s also valuable to for them to share with a wider audience of other alumni and current students looking for support and perhaps the confidence to share a story of their own.
By way of example, Michael Hayes and his sister Chelsie were brave enough to post about their experience last Monday—https://mjakobhayes.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/to-kenyon-college-for-failing-my-little-sister/ — and so I mustered up the courage to create a closed Facebook group that, within three short days now has more than 1,100 members. Without Michael and Chelsie bravely choosing to publish their thoughts to everyone, the rest of us might not have had the courage to organize.
And so we started this blog and we are looking forward to what becomes of it.
If you’re interested in writing for Kenyon Alumni for Title IX’s public blog, please stick to our guidelines:
Stay on topic.
Posts should be about sexual assault and violence at Kenyon. These accounts of your experiences can be positive or negative, pessimistic or optimistic — we promise not to edit for tone or voice.
Authors of posts can be anonymous.
You can request to stay anonymous when you email or have people send us submissions on your behalf.
No naming names.
Authors decide whether they would like to remain anonymous, but all contributions will be lightly edited so that no real names or descriptions of others that could possibly identify real people are shared.
Are you open to connecting with readers who want to reach out?
If you’re open to being contacted by people who read your story please make that clear along with your submission. Thanks in advance if you decide to do this — it will mean a lot to others.
Our team of Kenyon alumni editors look forward to hearing from you. Please email:
Lisa Jensen ‘86
Hilary Lowbridge ‘99
Dana Arneson ‘02
Brant Russell ‘02
Alexis Pace ‘04
Anna Bloom ‘04
Jessica Tanner Mills ‘04
McKinley Sherrod ‘14
Michael Hayes ‘14