Letter to the editor

In response to article: “Temporary hire to help university go green, conserve resources”

Dear Editor:

This is a question for President Lefton: Why should an environmentally conscious action have to “save (Kent State) a bunch of money” for it to be made a permanent fixture at the university?

Kent State is temporarily hiring an environmental-impact consultant “to evaluate and offer ways to make the Kent State campuses more environmentally sustainable.” If you’re running a multimillion dollar business (or school, call KSU what you wish), shouldn’t keeping that establishment environmentally sustainable or at least lowering the environmental impact of it be a permanent concern? Sure, it’ll probably save Kent plenty of money, but even if the cost of paying a consultant and enacting these environmentally conscious initiatives only broke even, the fact that it is lowering Kent’s impact on the Earth should be enough of a benefit to justify the initial expense. Additionally, it surely could entice new students to become part of Kent State, knowing they are part of an environmentally conscious community, and I’ve never heard of anyone rejecting something because it was too Earth-friendly.

I am between my sophomore and junior years as a VCD major at KSU and recently passed the stringent Sophomore Review process for that major, and yet I’ve been increasingly disenchanted with my experience at Kent State University. As someone who practices a vegan diet (I eat no animal products whatsoever, including eggs and milk), the lack of vegan options at Kent has also been a consistent problem, and I believe this further reflects the university’s philosophy of only doing things that are blatantly cost-effective rather than things that are better for the health of its students and the world we live in. I worked as part of the Healthy Food Committee on campus, and as part of that, we worked to increase vegetarian/vegan options and usage of biodegradable packaging at Dining Services establishments. However, most suggestions were met with resistance because of possible increases in cost, which was a constant source of frustration. This mentality seems to be reflected across the board at Kent.

Based on my experiences at Kent over my two years here, it seems that Kent is too money-centric to care at all about environmental and health issues unless solutions to such issues “save a bunch of money.” I am proudly exiting the university with NO degree to pursue greener pastures (literally and figuratively) in the bicycle industry through technical education and real-world experience, and issues such as the president not caring whatsoever about an issue that is immensely important to students and the world as a whole made my decision to leave a whole lot easier.

Joshua Goran

Former Kent State student