Lunch with Lefty?

Transparency is always a point of concern for us. We constantly ask university officials to give Kent State students a chance to ask them questions in a public forum.

That’s why it was refreshing to hear President Lester Lefton on Black Squirrel Radio Wednesday. Sure, we’re in his office every other week to ask him questions, but we always see it as a success when he leaves the executive offices to answer student-submitted questions.

Just a few weeks ago, we told the president we thought it would be a good idea if he implemented office hours like Ohio University’s president recently did. If Lefton wouldn’t leave his office, we hoped students would come to him.

Well, it looks as if he’s doing just that – sort of. Lefton announced a new “lunch with the president” initiative during the BSR interview.

If you have questions for Lefton, send an e-mail to Darlene Adelman ([email protected]) in the president’s office to sign up for the lunch. Participants will be selected on a first-come basis, and sign ups begin at noon today.

Although we doubt Lefton will have green beer for the students in attendance at the first lunch on St. Patrick’s Day, we hope his ears are open and he’s responsive to questions.

Lefton is at the helm of our university, and students should have access to him. Sure, we know he’s a busy guy. After all, sometimes we go weeks without a meeting if his schedule is booked.

His interaction with students, however, needs to go beyond the Daily Kent Stater. And, of course, a weekly e-mail to the university community just doesn’t cut the mustard.

We hope lunch with the president will help bolster Lefton’s transparency with the student body, but this should only be the beginning.

Student government used to sponsor coffee with the president, and Lefton would informally field questions from the university community. That whole concept seemed to drop off the table when the student government was reformed as Undergraduate Student Government. This is something the soon-to-be elected student government or even Lefton himself could bring back.

But we’ll take what we can get at the moment.

If you feel like you have something to say to the president, sign up for lunch. Make your questions count. Make your discussion count. If you think the president isn’t serving you as a tuition-paying student at Kent State, you have every right to voice your concerns.

Lefton’s giving you all a chance to make a little noise over a quiet lunch – so don’t pass it up.

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