EDITORIAL: 5 things to watch this semester

Editorial Board

2019 is sure to be a year of big changes and big news here at Kent State. As an editorial board, we wanted to give our readers a rundown of what to watch out for this semester.

Here’s what we feel is most important:

Presidential search

Arguably the biggest piece of news to follow this semester will be the selection of Kent State’s next president. Current president Beverly Warren will step down from her position on July 1. It has yet to be determined whether Warren’s successor will be found through an open or closed search; it will be led by executive search firm Russell Reynolds. Faculty from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication signed a statement, released Dec. 17, calling for an open search — we stand with them. Last fall, The Kent Stater ran a column urging the university to keep the search open and bring finalists to campus. Kent State’s campus has gone through big changes, both external and internal, during Warren’s tenure as president, and whoever steps in for her will have big shoes to fill.

AAUP Strike

Kent State’s tenured and tenure-track faculty union have yet to agree on a new deal, meaning that Melissa Zullo, the president of the AAUP-KSU chapter, may declare a strike after giving 10 days’ notice to the university. While a strike is listed as a “last resort” on the AAUP-KSU website, it’s still a possibility. If a strike does occur, tenured and tenure-track professors wouldn’t teach classes or hold office hours, administer tests or exams, attend committee meetings or participate in any other regular duties. With the disruption that comes with a strike, the potential for replacement faculty and picket lines, it would be difficult to image that an environment of learning could be fostered. 


The longest government shutdown in history. It goes further than government employees not receiving paychecks and being off work. Some students are unable to get financial aid through FAFSA. Some colleges such as the College of Communication and Information are reaching out to students in need. Those who are struggling with food insecurity could be in an even worse position as some are receiving food stamps weeks early and told to budget carefully, since the future of this aid during the shutdown is uncertain. The Trump administration is providing food stamps to poor Americans in February, but no solution is in place if the shutdown continues through March.


It’s easy to let ongoing issues like addiction fall to the wayside. But as addiction continues to wreak havoc on our communities, it’s important to stay informed. Take a look at our cover today, the issue isn’t just heroin. Meth use is increasing nationwide and our story takes a closer look at Summit and Portage counties, places that most of us are very familiar with. Addiction is always around, there’s no way to get around it. It’s an ever-evolving beast, never keeping the same appearance for long.


As always, Kent State has some unexpected and sometimes exciting news. Whether that be the announcement of entertainers for FlashFest, something in relation to dining or new construction, Kent State is a campus that is in a perpetual state of change. The look and feel of Kent’s campus will be very different 15 weeks from now, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Go to a basketball game, … and spend some time lying in the grass on the student green once the weather turns. Whether or not you’re graduating in May, enjoy the ride.