Academy members compete, search for campus improvements

Kent State associate counsel Michael Pfahl speaks to a group of students in the provost leadership academy, Monday, March 31, 2014. The group brought Pfahl in to discuss their project that would bring a fitness trail to Kent State, featuring different exercise stations to promote a unique way to get healthy.

Drew Jones

Members of Kent State’s Provost’s Leadership Academy are competing to propose various plans seeking to improve campus.

“The Leadership Academy is just a group of freshman, and we try to better the campus somehow,” said Marisa Ritchey, sophomore visual journalism major and member of the academy.

The academy has been separated into several groups, with each group coming up with a different idea to try to implement on campus.

“There are five different groups, and they all have something different going on,” Ritchey said. “There’s around eight or nine people in each group, and we meet up every Monday in the Student Center.”

Ritchey’s group’s plan would add personal care products to the various markets on campus.

“My group is trying to get toiletries in the markets so you can buy them with your meal plan money,” she said.

Ritchey said the idea came to her group while they were figuring out ways students could eliminate extra meal plan money.  

“At the end of the year, the university takes your unspent meal plan money,” Ritchey said. “You end up [having] so much meal plan money left; I still have over $800 to spend, and we have around five weeks left.”

Ritchey recently sent out a survey regarding her group’s proposal to many Kent State students to find out their opinions on the matter.  

Many students said they think Ritchey’s proposal is a good idea.

“It makes sense,” junior accounting major Chaz Colucy said.  “That would really come in handy. You would think the school would have done that already.”

Junior French literature, culture and translation major Benjamin Masserey said he also thinks it would be a good idea.

“I would definitely like that idea,” Masserey said. “You run out of items like that every once in a while. It would be convenient to have those type of things in an on-campus market.”

Other groups’ ideas include building a bridge over Summit Street, dimming the lights in residence halls during the evenings and limiting the use of plastic bags.

Abbi Dummermuth, a freshman interior design major and member of the academy, is the in the group proposing the bridge over Summit Street. She said the idea will most likely be held for the time being.

“We’ve talked to the city engineer about it, and he said because of some roundabouts that they are putting in, it’s not that possible right now, but we’re somewhat predicating this for the future,” Dummermuth said. “We have to get a lot of government funding, state and federal funding and city funding. Hopefully it can get started during the summer.”

Provost Todd Diacon will select the winning group’s idea at the end of this semester.

Contact Drew Jones at [email protected].