Our View: Allerton demolition may be bad news for Kent State families, international students

DKS Editors

Residents of the Allerton Apartments on campus, which include families and international students, will have to find a new home by 2015 at the latest. The university has decided to tear down the apartment complex due to the high price it would cost them to renovate the living space to students’ expectations.

Although Allerton Apartment manager Brian Hellwig has said they would offer new housing assistance to current residents, what happens to those who are perfectly fine with living there? In a way, the university is serving an eviction notice to these residents and informing them six months in advance to find new housing in the surrounding Kent community.

Kent State’s director of Residence Services Betsy Joseph has said the university needs to focus on what they consider their “primary mission,” which is to house freshmen and sophomores. So what happens to the ever-increasing number of international students coming to Kent State’s campus? Shouldn’t Kent State still have the responsibility of providing them housing so they can acclimate to their foreign surroundings comfortably? And the students with families: What if they can’t find a quiet, cheaper apartment to live in while attending school? A lot of the community apartments on the lower end of the rent spectrum are filled with single college kids who want to party and play their loud music into the wee hours of the morning. It’s not exactly the ideal living space for young children.

In recent semesters, the university has experienced overcrowding in dorms and has had to semi-permanently move freshmen and sophomores into study lounges in order to accommodate the rising number of students coming to Kent State.

Our public university is digging itself into a hole. If those in charge continue to bring in more students each semester in order to fund President Lester Lefton’s need for an aesthetically pleasing campus, they should be able to set aside some of that money in order to renovate or rebuild dormitories to house the increasing number of students. People paying for an education here deserve to get their money’s worth, and that doesn’t involve living in a study lounge.

We hope the university can take into account the lives of the students they are rearranging by demolishing Allerton. Kent State and Residence Services has a responsibility to assist these families and students in every way possible through the transition into affordable, comfortable and reliable housing. The students paying to attend and live at Kent State deserve top priority on the budget list.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.