Our View: Three’s not a crowd

DKS Editors

What says welcome more than a lounge converted into a dorm room, fully furnished with outdated stock furniture? Well, Kent State feels like that is a sufficient welcome for a few of its residing students.

What a great first impression coming from a school that is trying to increase its retention rate. At least the students who endure the temporary living conditions receive a 25 percent discount on rooming costs.

Sure, only 246 students have to share a room with a resident assistant or live in a lounge, but what about all the other students living in residence halls? The lounges are places for students to study, socialize and relax. Why has this been taken away from them? Wouldn’t it be fair if they get a discount, too? Residence Services is taking away living space from its residents and still making them pay more than $2,000 a semester.

Some incoming students have experienced unnecessary tension because of this pairing with an authoritative figure. Think of what it would be like to live with the “boss” of your hallway. It’s an awkward position for any incoming student.

Plus, the “temporary” status of converted rooms puts those students at a disadvantage. They’ll be separated from their first friends and shipped to a new location where friendships already have been made. It won’t be impossible for those students to make new friends; after all, this is college. But it’s a disappointment – and Kent State should do everything in its power to keep incoming freshmen happy.

On the flip side, you’ve got to feel bad for some of the resident assistants as well. One of the benefits of being an RA is getting a private room. That privilege was stripped from many of them for now.

Imagine how much more difficult this whole situation would be without the reopening of Van Campen Hall. President Lester Lefton said the university has no intention to drastically increase enrollment. Instead, Kent State plans to be even more selective in the types of students it enrolls – i.e., high-achieving high school students. And that’s exactly why administers should rethink the overcrowding situation: We shouldn’t let accommodations potentially deter those good students from staying here.

To those of you living in the lounge, good luck. Enjoy your two or three roommates, living out of a suitcase and old stock furniture. Just remember, you now have the cheapest rooms on campus.

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