Kent State movin’ on up

Mike Crissman

Last week news broke that Kent State currently has eight more students than the University of Cincinnati, making our school the second largest university in Ohio behind Ohio State. This fall, enrollment is up 7.56 percent from last year. There are 41,365 students attending KSU, regional campuses included. The future of our school is bright and promising. Then again, so is the present.

Kent State is on the up and up. Besides having a huge spike in enrollment over the past few years, our campus has had a major facelift. Just this past year the university completed more than $200 million in renovations, with more planned in the near future.

Risman Plaza looks much better this year after being completely redone this summer (the old fountain was an eye sore). The same goes for the newly renovated campus library; it’s visually appealing. The new pieces of art throughout campus, however, are a little weird and random. Though, most art is.

I applaud the administration’s efforts to make walking to and from classes on campus a more enjoyable experience for students. However, they’ve got to curb their enthusiasm a bit as they’ve become a little renovation crazy as of late (i.e. the proposed clock tower).

Lester Lefton may get a lot of flak for his high salary and expensive “business” trips to Europe, but since becoming president of the school in 2006 he has successfully helped usher Kent State through a recession into a new era of worldwide notoriety and academic acclaim.

Our school is increasingly becoming known for more than the May 4 shootings that, by the way, happened more than 40 years ago. Whenever I hear people reference the old school phrase “Kent read, Kent write, Kent State” I just smile and shake my head. Little do they know, our school now has some of the best academic programs around.

U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Kent State the 183rd best college in the country, while the Times Higher Education, a magazine in London, ranked us 196th in the world. Just like Ron Burgundy, it’s kind of a big deal.

All these things bode well for Kent State and its students. As our school continues to improve, our degrees will look better to future employers.

Every time one Kent State alum (Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison) helmet-to-helmet tackles and concusses another (Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Cribbs) — like what happened last weekend — Kent State gets a little more famous.

Every time Kent State commercials with alum Mark Mothersbaugh (co-founder of the band Devo and music composer for various movies and TV shows, including “Rugrats”) are shown on national TV, our school gets a little more famous.

One day it’ll be me, you or one of your friends that helps bring a little more fame to our school. They’ll say, “Hey you know Mike Crissman, the movie critic from the Chicago Sun Times? Yeah, he went to Kent State.”

Or something like that.

Attaining the title of second biggest school in Ohio is no small feat. We’re a big school that is quickly becoming one of the top tier institutions of learning in the country. For the most part, clock tower idea notwithstanding, Kent State is in good hands. The administration has done more good than bad for its 41,365 students.

So keep your chins up, all you Golden Flashes. You can safely be proud of your school. Kent State’s a great college, and don’t you forget it.

Contact Mike Crissman at [email protected].