Dining with the dean brings discussion, interaction with Lamar Hylton


Lamar Hylton joined Emanuel Jackson and Antwaun Nettles during the dining with the dean event on Monday, March 18.

Lauren Sasala

After four years attending Kent State, Antwaun Nettles, a senior public health major, had never met the dean of students.

Nettles said because Kent State is a public university with many students, he thinks there is more of a focus on the deans of specific colleges rather than the dean of students.

“I think a lot of students have never met the dean, let alone even know the dean’s name,” Nettles said.

Lamar Hylton, the dean of students, wants to change this.

Hylton chatted with students during the semesterly “dining with the dean” event on Monday.

A few times each semester, Hylton hosts a dining session where students are invited to join him for lunch in the Schwebel Room on the third floor of the Student Center.

Hylton said an event like this is his preferred form of interaction with students.

“I really wanted to find a way to connect with students in a way that was not them coming to my office because there’s something about that dynamic that can be kind of intimidating for some people,” Hylton said.

During the lunch students are welcome to ask questions, discuss issues on campus and get to know the dean a little better.

Nettles said the lunch gave him an opportunity to feel connected, and he plans to go to the next one.

Emanuel Jackson, a senior communications studies major, said it’s important for him to attend events like the lunch and take advantage of the opportunity.

“We don’t get to have many times where we can sit down with administrators,” Jackson said.

Hylton began hosting these lunches a year ago. He said anywhere from three to 10 students attend each one while some people come as a student organization, and other students join as individuals.

“I don’t necessarily think about the quantity more than I think about the conversation and interaction with the students,” Hylton said. “I want the students to leave feeling like they got what they came for, and I would hope to leave understanding the student experience a bit better.”

Jackson said Monday’s session was his third or fourth time attending the dining with the dean session.  

“Find some time in your schedule, definitely come,” Jackson said. “The information that he offers is really valuable and the experience itself is valuable. I feel like you can only receive great things out of it.”

The last dining with the dean event will be April 25 from noon to 1 p.m. Any student wishing to participate should RSVP at [email protected].

Lauren Sasala covers administration. Contact her at [email protected].