Ted Hamilton

Almost every couple, group of friends or family has an affectionate name for one another. President Lefton’s nickname from two of my friends is Lefty-bear. Some days – such as last Thursday – you might be able to hear them yell it when Lefton is crossing Risman Plaza for whatever reason. He does not seem to share the same affection for my pretty friends. “H” says she still has not met him even though he has been our president for two years.

Her friends who go to the University of Akron, however, have all met their president. Her friends told her their president comes up to people all the time and introduces himself. After talking to one of the frat boys dancing in the plaza, Lefton seemed to “make a beeline for the library” and disappeared into his – newly renovated – inner sanctum. Anything I might venture to guess happens on the second floor might be libelous.

It seems that the higher ups at Kent State seem to worry more about the business aspect of the university and not having a relationship with the students. This is based on my own experiences and what I hear; maybe I am in the dark and President Lefton throws house parties for students (maybe with some of that housing allowance money). If that is the case, I am sorely missing an invite.

Beth Rankin’s column April 10 column (“An open letter to President Lefton”) is a perfect example. Instead of being able to meet with the person who acts as ‘the face’ of Kent State, we are deferred to e-mails and told to read his newsletters instead of being able to ask questions or even – for most of us – have a conversation with him. I am sure he meets with student leaders when there is need for some damage control, but it does not seem he (or the rest of the administration) is very accessible to student everyman.

Is creating new schools in Asia or meeting with people in Europe more important than the needs of the students right here? Are we just faceless dollar signs bouncing around the plaza as David Creamer, vice president of administration, looks out at us?

I am sure there are students who would like to sit down and talk shop with one or more of the present administration. Maybe if not to get ‘just the facts’ than just to talk shop; I realize they are busy, but is it too much to ask to take time from a trip to a different country to talk to a student here?

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].