Following advertisements for four local apartment complexes in the Connection, a Kent State Office of Student Media publication, Residence Services Director Betsy Joseph said she is concerned first-year students and their families may be walking into a tough situation.
New students who are not commuting from their parent’s home must participate in Kent State’s two-year board and dining plan. This means any student approaching Kent State with an inability to commute from a parent’s address needs to live on campus for at least 24 months.
The Connection, which is published every May in conjunction with Destination Kent State, notes it’s a publication “for parents and families of first-year students at Kent State University.” This year, the Connection features advertisements for four apartment complexes — Pebble Brook, University Edge, Campus Pointe and University Oaks — and one smaller advertisement for KentCribs.com. This could potentially mislead students who want to sign a lease with any of those four complexes but would also be required to fulfill their 24-month boarding plan with KSU.
“My reservations are that I don’t want to confuse new students and their parents,” Joseph said. “I don’t want freshman who aren’t eligible to live off-campus to inadvertently sign a lease for somewhere they’re not permitted to live because they saw something in a publication that was directed toward freshmen.”
Joseph says she has raised concern with the Office of Student Media, and she understands that the Connection — which receives funding only through advertisements — has a right to print all advertisements.
“[The Office of Student Media] needs to generate revenue, and the apartment complexes are good sources for buying ads,” Joseph said. “I understand why everybody does what they do, but from where I sit, I think it would have been better if we weren’t advertising with housing for freshmen that aren’t eligible to live there. But it’s [the Office of Student Media’s] right to do that.”
Lori Cantor, manager for the Office of Student Media, said the Connection needs funding from advertisements, and with so many new apartment complexes being built, accepting advertisements for these apartment complexes is a viable, sustainable option. She also said she supports Kent State’s two-year boarding policy and hopes that apartment complexes will make sure that students understand their obligation to the university.
“I think it’s a good thing that students are required to live on campus those first two years,” Cantor said. “That’s a big step from living at home and going to high school to moving to a campus. We think we’re offering a valuable product by having all of this information for freshman in one location, and we need the financial support from our advertisers to do so.”
Both Cantor and Joseph understand that each apartment complex is only trying to get its name in front of students as early as possible and that they’re not trying to dupe anyone. Cantor said she will ask those apartment complexes if they would make a notation in their respective ad that apartments are only available to junior-level students and over, but she can’t guarantee that they will.
Joseph said any student living in an apartment complex who is required to live on campus will have a hold put on their student account until they are in compliance with the policy.
Contact Ryan Lewis at [email protected]