Our cup isn’t running over

SKS editors

The first issue of the Summer Stater sees us reporting on a very important matter close to student hearts and pockets: An increase in tuition fees. But along with this, we’re also looking at the plans for the new-and-improved Kent State (at least cosmetically).

Last year, a state budget approved by Ohio lawmakers allowed state-funded universities to increase tuition in subsequent years by as much as 3.5 percent. So guess how much our tuition goes up this fall? 3.5 percent.

While this increase in tuition is inversely proportionate to the approximately 4 percent cut in state funding to the university, this mathematical equation just means one thing: Students will be poorer this fall.

President Lestor Lefton will not suffer the same fate. His raise, also ironically 3.5 percent, as we have reported, has also been approved by the Board of Trustees, and secures him his entire bonus as per the terms of his contract.

The good news? No reports on any decrease in federal student aid. The bad news? No increase in it either.

The moral of the story here: Students will graduate with more debt than ever before while this college’s president makes more money every year.

President Obama is advocating for more people to pursue higher education. The question is, how does a student afford to go to a school if tuition goes up every year? Is anyone giving thought to students who aren’t eligible for financial aid? The equation above certainly indicates that not many people are thinking of the student at all.

We wouldn’t even want to complain if the burden on students were a little lightened in a bad economy. And perhaps if a certain university president diverted some of his allocated riches our way, we may even have stopped complaining for a short while.

It does appear that we may need a Robin Hood-like figure to balance this allocation of riches. None, however, is looming here that we can see.

Enrollment has gone up. Kent State is seeing more students come in than ever before. More and more people are returning to education when they lose their jobs. But those starting along the road to a career are currently mired in debt and money problems.

It would be nice to see people in positions of power (read President Lefton) make some more moves toward spreading some of his wealth into the students who help him stay where he is. The fact is we make him look good. It may be nice to be rewarded for that, not to mention scholarships and endowments to students would always be appreciated.

In the meantime, other than the anticipation of poverty in the fall, we’ve decided to enjoy this summer and we hope you will too. Watch the World Cup, berate BP for the oil spill and stay away from the construction over in Risman Plaza. It’s going to be a long verbal summer for us. Stay with us.

The above is the consensus of the Summer Kent Stater editorial board.