Statement of Policy by the Black Students of Kenyon College

Kenyon College''s administration has always espoused the values of a traditional liberal arts education, but they have too often place more emphasis on the aspect of tradition rather than the idea of a liberal arts education. They take pride in the fact that in the past they have introduced many new ideas in the field of education such as the Advanced Placement Program, the Honors Curriculum, and a new, revised general curriculum which partially abolished required courses and was designed to provide a more liberal education for the student. Next year the women's coordinate college will be opened and another new dimension will be added to Kenyon. These new innovations are worth accomplishments but there are still inadequacies present in our educational system. The changes that have been made are not equal to the changes that are necessary for Kenyon to live up to the ideals of a liberal arts education as expressing the Kenyon College Catalogue:

"Kenyon College believes that the small college affords a special kind of liberal education and unique opportunities for growth. Traditionally the small college has had the three-fold purpose of developing as fully as possible the intellectual powers, the taste, and moral judgment of its students." (p.5)

We submit to you that in order to continue in the tradition of a liberal arts college, with the emphasis on a liberal education not tradition, that Kenyon must now recognize the fact that the Black man exists and has substance. It is not enough to merely admit the Black student to the college. What is also needed is the admission of the Black man's culture.

"Kenyon's emphasis has been and is human. The student's goals, his social and political choices, even his use of technical and material resources, all depend ultimately on values which are determined by his individual taste, and moral judgments. The strength and soundness of this taste and this moral judgment are in turn contingent upon the extent of his acquaintance with human nature and human experience. The development of this acquaintance depends in large measure upon a continuing process of relation his special interest to the concerns of others, on awareness of other's points of view, and on the sense of a common purpose." (p.6)

Thus by not allowing the Black students to bring along his Black culture Kenyon College is not only cheating the Black student, but the White one as well. It is failing in its function as a liberal institution to provide the students with a chance to gain an "awareness of others' points of view, and ... (a) sense of purpose."

In order for Kenyon College to continue in the tradition of the liberal arts program it is now necessary for the administration to realize that they are face with an immediate problem which threatens the very idea of liberal arts. It is necessary for the administration, the faculty, and the student body to act now to try to resolve this problem. There is a need for the college to implement a program which would:

1. provide to rearrange the priorities of scholarship money so that more Black students, male and female, can attend Kenyon College. Presently it seems that the college is working on a quota system.

2. actively seek out qualified Black professors and encourage them to come to Kenyon College. If the college was unable to hire a permanent professor, perhaps an exchange program could be set up next year with another college or university which would permit a Black professor to come to Kenyon next fall.

3. provide room in the present curriculum for studies in Black culture. This would included Black history, Black literature, Black philosophy and Black political philosophy. Of course, these courses will be open to the entire student body.

These are proposals which should be effected in the 1969-70 academic year. It is not a matter of being able to do something, but a matter of actually doing something. It is not a matter of talk and discussion, but a matter of action. It is an IMMEDIATE problem which seeks IMMEDIATE attention and solutions.

R. Edward Pope
Roland D. Parson, Jr.
Keith A. O'Donnell
Eugene Peterson
Gary L. Hayes
Tommie L. Frye, Jr.
Jarrett Burton
Thomas Luten
Loyal Smith
James A. Holliman, Jr.

(Hand delivered to the President's Office, Kenyon College by Mr. R. Edward Pope on January 30, 1969)

Black Students @ Kenyon in the 1970s



Kenyon in the 1970s