Kent State: What a wonderful world

Amadeus Smith

I want to start by apologizing to the student body for the Stater using the Forum page in the last week of classes as our own little yearbook. I half expect some of the columns to end with a phone number and the typical “keep in touch” line.

Most columns have a purpose. Sure, they include opinions, but they usually discuss an issue that affects the community as well. But the senior columns seem like a letter out of “Dawson’s Creek,” filled with over-dramatic goodbyes and unnecessary reminiscing.

Thus, I will try to limit personal memories. They’ve all been lost in a sea of booze anyway.

Let’s instead talk about a few of the fun little things that go on in Kent that probably piss everyone off.

Here’s a cute little factoid that many of you may not know. Parking Services and Kent State Police are allowed to break into your car. Now, this is only after you commit nine or more parking violations or break one of the rules highlighted in University Policy, such as displaying an altered or stolen pass in a vehicle. The policy states that Parking Services and Kent State Police can enter your vehicle to confiscate the parking permit. Kent State legitimizes the action by noting that the permit is, in fact, university property.

So, let’s do the math. University officials can enter your private property without permission or a warrant to reclaim Kent State’s property.

However, tickets issued for this type of violation only make up about 25 of the 40,000 tickets issued since July 1. But, students should be wary if they like to save money by simply changing C permits to S-37 permits.

So, how can we stop the break-ins from happening, or even ticketing in general? How about we take all that beautiful green space on campus and turn it into 12-level parking garages. But oh no, we wouldn’t want to lose that great landscape – the landscape that is only visually tolerable four months out of the year, the four months a majority of the students aren’t here. The rest of the time, the grounds are saturated with mud and rain from fall showers and at least two feet of snow in the winter – and spring usually. You gotta love that Kent weather.

That reminds me. The weather is another perfect gem of Kent. There’s blistering cold, heavy rains, foot upon foot of snow and let’s not forget about 1,000 mph winds that make the air just that much colder. If I were to pick between 70-degree weather with clear skies and no wind and Kent weather, well, I just don’t know how I would make that decision. I think the snow is especially great because the city of Kent waits about 10 days before they do anything about it. All the while, Kent State continues to not call off school. That’s not fair. Kent State did give us a few half days and even a full day or two off for weather reasons this semester. But I think we all remember past years when students basically dug their way to class.

Lastly, we should discuss everyone’s favorite boys in blue, the Kent Police Department, and Kent ordinances. The new noise ordinance set in place last spring has consequences that seem more appropriate for an assault. The amended ordinance includes a maximum fine of $1,000 and 30 days in jail for the first offense. If the person in violation of the ordinance doesn’t comply after the first warning or citation, the penalty will include a minimum fine of $500. The problem is that once police show up the first time, residents typically only have a few minutes to get a party under control. Mike Szabo, a member of Phi Kappa Tau, said he received two noise violations less than a minute apart in late August at his fraternity house at 216 University Drive. Szabo had to spend the night in jail, as well as pay $400 in fines and perform 18 hours of community service. But the sentence was $1,500 before Kent State Student Legal Services was able to reduce it. So, jail time and thousands of dollars in fines for making noise – sounds like the Kent Police are a little hard up for money. City officials have told me the ordinance was set to limit big parties in the area. They have said they don’t understand why we party so much and so loudly. To that I say, we’re in college, and it’s our God-given right. Instead of finding new ways to ruin our fun, the police should probably worry about the hundreds of thefts that go unsolved every year.

To Kent State in general, I have to say that the only times that were fun was when I was at the bar forgetting about you with the rest of the Daily Kent Stater staff.

If you don’t agree with what I have said and have a different opinion, don’t write in. It’s not that my feelings will be hurt. It’s just that I don’t care what you think.

Amadeus Smith is a senior newspaper major and an enterprise reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Don’t contact him at [email protected].