City councilman attends USG meeting

Megan Tomkins

Kent City councilman Robin Turner spoke at Wednesday’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) meeting to address the ongoing housing conflicts at Silver Oaks Place.

Turner asked students to protest the sudden eviction of Silver Oaks residents, since the potential property buyer hopes to create student housing instead.

The property is currently a 55 and older living complex, and residents were notified in July that they had to leave by Oct. 1.

“I have an issue with having [the seniors] community ripped apart,” he said. “We understand there is a need for student housing … Kent State University is a big contributor to our community.”

Although Turner said he sees the importance of student housing, he said evicting seniors from the Kent community would be detrimental.

“Seniors are a big contribution to us just as students are,” he said.

Maj Ragain, a poetry-writing professor at the university, also asked students to protest. He said his mother is one of the seniors being evicted.

“This is a family being torn apart for business reasons with money at the base of it,” Ragain said. “[The seniors] are fighting and I’m going to fight for them.”

Turner asked USG to become involved and to help get other students involved as well.

“We are trying to seek a solution,” he said. “Have senior housing stay where it is needed … We’re hopeful you’ll speak to the president of your university and trustees.”

Turner offered an example of what students could do to help the Silver Oaks community.

“We need a march from Silver Oaks to the Student center,” Turner said. “We need this to be nationalized.”

Contact Megan Tomkins at [email protected].