Opinon: Kent State has its blemishes

Jody Michael

Jody Michael

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

Why did I decide to come to Kent State? Its proximity to my home in Rootstown (seven miles away) actually was not enough of an incentive. Once I knew I would study journalism, my first tour of the renovated Franklin Hall after it reopened in 2007 sealed the deal.

Franklin Hall is incredible and perhaps the nicest building on campus. Every piece of equipment is state-of-the-art. It truly has everything a journalism student needs to prepare for a career.

My brother, on the other hand, is an architectural studies student here at Kent State. The difference in his program’s facilities is quite stark in contrast.

As you might know, the Kent State College of Architecture and Environmental Design is growing in enrollment to the extent that it does not fully fit inside Taylor Hall. It also occupies Tri-Towers and the M.A.C. Center annex.

The architectural studies program’s studio is in the M.A.C. Center annex. The M.A.C. Center, of course, is a gym. Hence, the studio was originally part of the gym.

My brother has shown me the studio a few times this semester. Two particular things caught my eye; you can decide which one is worse.

First of all, not enough classrooms exist, so some classes meet in open corners of the studio. Hopefully these classes never need a screen projector for PowerPoint presentations.

Secondly, walking past each student’s desk I notice lots of people chain lock their chairs to their desks. This happens because the studio does not have enough chairs for everyone, and so students lock theirs so nobody steals it. In fact, my brother was without a chair until my dad recently replaced an office chair and gave him the old one.

How sad is it that we cannot even assure these students, many of whom spend entire nights working on projects, that they will be able to sit in a chair while they work?

Besides, is that not a very simple problem to fix? Just buy enough chairs for everyone and that solves the problem! I know our university is facing huge deficits, but that is somehow not stopping us from spending millions of dollars renovating Risman Plaza.

I had no problem with the Risman Plaza renovation; it is a vast improvement over what had been there. My problem is with what seems to be some bad prioritizing.

Am I supposed to believe the university was not able to give the architecture program a little money to buy chairs? Then again, are university officials even aware of this chair shortage?

I do not consider President Lefton to be completely out of touch with the students — after all, he eats lunch at Einstein Bros. Bagels. Nonetheless, this is something he should never let happen, especially after cashing a $97,470 bonus this summer.

Lefton’s administration feels expensive renovations like Risman Plaza are important recruitment assets for future students. Could we please take care of our current students first?