Some incoming freshmen rethinking their decision to attend KSU after riots

Kelly Petryszyn

Administration sent letter to assure those most likely to come

News of the riots on College Avenue last week aired on CNN and Fox News. Videos sprung up on YouTube and in other forms of media as well. With news widespread, word has gotten out to many, including high school seniors and their parents deciding which college to attend in the fall.

Kayla Will, a senior at Streetsboro High School, was planning on going to Bowling Green State University for visual communication technology, but then she began considering Kent State University for special education. She said her mother, Linda Will, was fine with this decision until she learned of the riots.

Linda wants her daughter to go where she would get the best education but said after she heard of the riots, she doesn’t want Kayla to go to Kent State.

Parents have to think, “How safe is it to send your kid there?” Linda said.

She added that, as a parent, she considers safety factors when sending her daughter to college, and “Kent State is a place (I) wouldn’t want to my child to go to, based on safety.”

Kayla said, however, these riots don’t impact her desire to go to Kent State.

She said she knows the riots were dangerous, but the riots don’t give her a negative view of the university because she understands incidents like this can happen at other colleges.

Linda said events like the riots attract a certain percentage of students seeking a party, and it pushes others away.

“When you’re noted as a party school on the news, because of it I think that gives the impression that it would not be as safe a college for young people, compared to one that is under control,” she said.

To address the concerns of worried parents and incoming freshmen, Kent State sent out letters to students who paid the matriculation fee, which reserves a student’s spot in the freshman class, and are most likely go to Kent State, said Pete Goldsmith, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs.

Kent State received minimal calls about the event, he said.

The letter was sent out “so folks could understand it is in generally a safe place,” Goldsmith said. “These events do happen, but they are isolated.”

Kent State expects more calls, but the university is willing to address any concerns parents have.

Streetsboro High School senior Leah Friedlander said her parents were surprised at the students’ behavior, but it’s not keeping them from sending her to Kent State.

“My parents were shocked, but they trust me to stay out of harm’s way,” she said.

Friedlander said she has been planning on attending Kent State for pre-pharamacy since her junior year of high school, and the riots didn’t change her decision.

Contact student affairs reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].