Not another ode to the fountain

Zachary Lutz

I am, by nature, a contemplative being. There are things I focus on that weigh on my mind for days on end: moral issues, person to person interrelations and all things that generally come to rest under one philosophical umbrella. But I can’t say that Kent State, or more specifically, a fountain, has ever been one of those things.

I’d like to say that after three years of trying sometimes and learning here and there the academics and whatnot, that Kent State, as a landmark, has impressed upon me something greater. But in truth as I’m coaching myself now into doing this type of thinking, Kent State simply exists in my own background. It’s a place both apart and a part of me, an institution that will hold its ground even when my mind is elsewhere. I’ve lived down the street for my entire life. I’ve watched many of the campus buildings rise and fall, students take action, daffodils bloom and musicians strum alone on campus. I’ve ridden my bike across sidewalks, watched the buses hum around on their routes and climbed atop the Zamboni excrement at the ice arena. And in all its fluidity for change, Kent State has remained a place to do these things again and again. So the dear fountain has been removed, but it is only one transient fragment of a bigger idea.

When I graduated from Ravenna High School, it seemed like attending Kent State was some type of settlement that I had reached after being denied entry into every other college on the face of this earth. To people my age, the real achievement was packing your bags and shipping out to some random college with a strangely regal-sounding name. It took a little growing to realize my roots had spread thickly beneath Kent State, and that I had subconsciously made the decision to attend the university independent from whatever bias had potentially formed. It’s this type of separation that I mean to express when I hear mention of the loss of the fountain.

The real absurdity, however, lies within this one anecdote: at around 4 p.m. on January 4, 2010, 2,250 students and otherwise interested people banded together in one hopeful advocacy to save the fountain on Facebook. As you might have guessed, it wasn’t entirely successful. We’ve become a generation who doesn’t want to accept the abstract concept of ‘boredom’ and our inability to define the word, and it’s now lauded and overused slot in our vocabulary. If they plan to renovate the campus, that main artery of activity where I’ve sat and thought and waited on countless buses, then I propose a campus wide renovation: our generation is tired of nothing already. The fountain is gone, but opportunity has the ability to form from that ocean of dirt a wide chasm of aspirations.

Zachary Lutz is a sophomore English major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].