Opinion: Our crowded campus

Jody Michael

Jody Michael

Jody Michael is a junior broadcast journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

How was your first week of classes? Were they bad? Hopefully you didn’t embarrass yourself as badly as PARTA did.

First, the back-story: this year, PARTA changed its Front Campus bus route to also service the Music and Speech Center before heading back to the Student Center. That might not sound much different, but it adds almost an entire extra mile to the route.

Knowing this, and knowing that Kent Campus is experiencing record enrollment, you might think to yourself, “This might cause more students on the bus and longer wait times; PARTA should add an extra bus or two to the route before it becomes a problem.”

Unfortunately, PARTA isn’t very smart. So anyone who has been relying on the Front Campus or Stadium routes to get around campus suddenly have a much longer travel time. I drive from Rootstown to Summit East and take the bus to campus; it was once a tolerable 30-minute ordeal but now takes nearly 50 minutes.

It’s safe to say our campus’ increasing population exposed PARTA’s complete failure of foresight. Did PARTA not think this could cause a problem? Hey students, more than $45 of your tuition each semester goes to transportation services; shouldn’t those services not be so lousy?

If PARTA would need more funding before it can add another bus to the route, then why hasn’t that happened? Our tuition keeps increasing anyways; what’s a few more bucks?

Or maybe President Lefton could take a break from enjoying the $170,000 he accrued in bonuses this summer and use it to throw PARTA a bone. Why is the university paying Lefton more while at the same time charging students more? Doesn’t this strike you as completely ridiculous?

Kent State sure didn’t take much time to prepare for the enrollment increase. Even with the dorms too full to fit everyone, the university architect has made zero plans to construct new residence halls, but apparently we can afford to install more intramural recreation fields and a freaking clock tower.

At least Dining Services is making some strides: Bowman Hall could have its own eatery by the end of the semester. Also, we have a food truck to compensate for the lack of dining spots at front campus, which makes me wonder why I twice saw the truck sitting along the esplanade last week, quite far from front campus.

By the way, a message to all new students: You do realize the Hub isn’t the only place on campus to get food, don’t you? The lines last week were absolutely insane; it felt like a zoo in there. Try going downstairs to Damon’s or upstairs to Kent Market 2, my personal favorite.

Or you can try the great dining spots at Eastway, Prentice Hall, the Michael Schwartz Center, the rec center and Tri-Towers. Trust me, the lines there are way shorter. All of those places are within very reasonable walking distance, or you could take a quick bus ride. Oh, wait.