Guest Column: Student body needs to step forward for Silver Oaks

Erik Clarke

On July 21st of this year, Capstone Development Corp. — a student housing

developer notified the seniors of the Silver Oaks Place community

that they would be evicted as of Oct. 1 and would need to

find new residences.

This is an unrealistic timetable for senior citizens to find new residences.

They live on fixed incomes, many are unable to get around efficiently, and

lack the general resources needed to move from a place that they have called

home. These are people in need of advocates. These are human beings being

forced from their homes. These are people who need our help.

Since this outrageous incident occurred, the seniors have received the

help of the Kent City Council, Civil Rights Attorney Avery Friedman,

non-profit organizations, and the community of the City of Kent, but where

is the student body?

We are a part of this community. These seniors may as well be our

grandparents. They may as well be family. For too long has the city of Kent and

the Kent State student body acted autonomously. We are all a part

of this community and I believe that we are a family in Kent. I, for one, do

not let people attack my family.

Stand with these seniors and speak out. Let’s stand together, in unity, for

our rights and the rights of our community members. When under attack, I

choose to defend my home and defend my family — will you?

I am calling on our Undergraduate Student Government to stand beside these

citizens and follow the example of our city council by passing a resolution

supporting the Silver Oaks community. This is not a partisan issue, this is

an issue of civil rights, so USG is able and should be ethically required to

speak out.

I am also calling on the student body and challenging us all to stand up,

speaking out, and fight for our rights and the rights of our Kent family.

It’s time for a change in resident-student relations, for the sake of unity

and community building. It’s time for a real change and I will not stop

until we reach that change with integrity. Stand with me, Kent State students, and

let’s work together to make a real difference in the lives of these seniors.

Call on USG and your peers to speak out on this important issue.

Erik Clarke is a freshman international relations major. Contact him at [email protected].