Field trips funded by student-run business

Kathryn McGonagle

Geological Society members sell coffee, snacks to raise money

Members of the Kent State Geological Society work at a coffee table on the third floor of McGilvrey Hall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every weekday. They’re not getting paid for their time, or earning credit, but collecting money for scholarships to go to mandatory field camps.

“The coffee table helps raise money for those that can’t afford it,” said Sara Newton, Kent State Geological Society member.

All the funds from selling coffee, pop, snacks and even rocks are applied toward scholarships to help contribute money for geology students’ summer field camps. Field camps can cost upwards of $3,000.

The table serves hot coffee, a plethora of pop, snacks, t-shirts with geology related quips and rocks.

KSGS president Tara Jonelle said the coffee table doesn’t just raise money, but benefits the students in many ways, like getting to relate to the professors.

“You get to really know the professors,” she said. “They are more than just people that lecture at you.”

Jonelle said the coffee table not only allows students to talk and relate to one another, but they have a chance to expose others to geology and learn about other disciplines.

“You get to meet students and professors not only from our department but from geography and other departments,” Jonelle said. “There’s more to this department than just academics.”

The KSGS was founded in 1949 with the mission to bring students together and benefit geology majors and non-geology majors alike. KSGS has about 40 members this semester, all of who aren’t geology majors.

Dan Pratt, vice president of KSGS said the organization brings people together with a common interest in earth science.

“Besides being a place for students to come together, it’s a place to strengthen solidarity,” Pratt said.

Dan Peacock, also a KSGS member, said the coffee table was a great place for geology majors to collaborate on homework together.

“We’ll have students come and ask us homework questions because we’ve all taken the same classes,” Peacock said.

Newton said the coffee table adds to the student organization because aside from raising money, but is being used it as a catalyst to educate students about the organization.

Jonelle said the KSGS many times goes unnoticed because of its remoteness from the other sciences.

“We’re on the fringe of the physical sciences,” she said.

Jonelle said she was introduced to the geology department through KSGS, which helped her find a place at Kent State.

“You kind of mentor people through the process of being an undergrad,” she said. “It helps you make the most of your time here.”

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reporter Kathryn McGonagle at

[email protected].