Our View: Spring 2013 in review

DKS Editors

It’s been a semester of ups and downs at Kent State, and we at the Daily Kent Stater have followed and reported the news every day. We’re looking back on the semester and reflecting on some of the major news stories that defined the Spring 2013 semester.

GoDaddy.com Bowl

The Kent State football team had a historic season that ended in its participation in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Although the Flashes were unable to defeat the Arkansas State Red Wolves, we loved that the whole university came together to support the team and show some school spirit.


The end of spring break brought saddening news to the Kent State campus as the hashtag #prayersforJage began to trend on Twitter. JJ Marino, along with four other Kent State students, was involved in a car accident on the group’s way back from spring break. Marino was life-flighted from the scene and later pronounced dead at the hospital. The other men were sent home after being treated for minor injuries. Memorials and candlelight vigils were held the week following his death, and an online donation site helped to raise money for Marino’s family.

Board raises room and board rates, awards Lefton bonus

At its March meeting, the Kent State Board of Trustees voted to increase room and board rates by 3.9 percent and award President Lester Lefton his full performance bonus of $104,450. While Lefton’s numerous contributions to the school cannot be ignored, students weren’t exactly happy to hear about Lefton’s bonus in the same breath as an increased room and board rate.

Presidential house

Lefton’s home on Elizabeth Court was sold to a new owner, who now leases the property to Kent State. Lefton continues to reside in the home, though he no longer receives his housing stipend of $65,000 from the university. We speculate that Lefton selling his home was a pre-emptive move toward his retirement, though we were told The Board has been looking to create a presidential home for some time.

Lefton retires

Lefton announced he will be retiring when his contract for the year 2013-14 expires on July 1, 2014. In his six years of presidency, Lefton has done a lot for this university — from increasing graduation rates to campus-wide renovations and downtown developments — and although he may not be the most popular among students at times, Kent State is going to have a tough time finding a president to fill his shoes.

College Fest — just kidding

Following last year’s College Fest riots, police planned for the worst this year, but nothing happened. Severe warnings from police and the university toward potential partygoers and College Avenue residents deterred the party from happening. Police patrolled the street all day, looking sort of ridiculous on a street filled with nothing but a few residents sitting on their porches.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.