Students schedule credit-hour-fee protest, sit-in at University Library for Thursday
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Another student protest and sit-in have been scheduled in response to Kent State’s new $440-credit-hour fee for Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. outside University Library and on its second floor, said John Liptak, junior theatre studies major and spokesman for a group protesting the new fee.
“I’m thinking, conservatively, somewhere between 250 and 500 [people will show up],” Liptak said. “The intent of the protest is to let the faculty and everyone else on campus know what the issue is.”
The new fee, implemented by the Board of Trustees at its March meeting, will charge students $440 for each credit hour they register after 17 hours.
At press time, 346 people were attending the Facebook event for the protest, “Official Protest Against KSU’s Credit Hour Fee.” 1,547 people had been invited.
“More and more people are getting to know about [this issue] now,” Liptak said. “It’s becoming much larger. This affects everyone. This isn’t just a tiny issue.”
Liptak said Channel 3 News, Channel 5 News and Channel 19 News have all expressed interest in covering the protest. Liptak said he has also been in contact with CNN, MSNBC, ABC and CBS about the event.
“This is going to be done correctly; it’s going to be done logically,” Liptak said. “There’s not going to be fighting. There’s not going to be rioting. It’s going to be a very peaceful protest. At the same time, we’re going to make sure our message is heard.”
Rachel Meyer, junior theatre studies major and a leader of the group protesting the credit-hour charge, said the protest was organized as a result of student response to the Internet petition earlier in the week.
“People were pretty much begging for it,” Meyer said. “There were lots and lots of people saying they wanted to have a physical protest.”
In addition to the plans for physical protests, a physical petition has been making its way around campus, Meyer said.
“We have a petition going around the Student Center,” Meyer said. “We’re turning it in to [President Lester Lefton] in two weeks.”
Liptak said he does not expect to see immediate change after the protest, but he wants to inform the university about the new fee.
“I hope to promote awareness,” Liptak said. “We want Lefton to know we’re handling this as adults.”