Coffee with (insert name here)

For several years, the Undergraduate Student Senate has tried to bring together two things that are central to college students’ lives: coffee and the university president.

For several years, we’ve seen that most people don’t really care about partaking in speaking with the latter.

Approximately 40 people attended Wednesday night’s Coffee with the President. This number is substantially higher than the regular head count which usually tops out at USS senators and a few student leaders. While the most recent event’s total number is a positive sign that more students are coming, we’ve got some advice for USS: Enough with the stagnant event.

This year, Coffee with the President was held three times. The two-hour meetings give students a chance to address their concerns for the university to our President Lester Lefton. For example, Wednesday those in attendance “addressed Lefton about various issues, ranging from bolstering weekend activities on campus to managing university spending to strengthening relations with the city of Kent,” as reported by the Daily Kent Stater.

Three times? We know Lefton is a busy guy, but only having three chances for students to speak with a central figurehead at Kent State isn’t enough. Moreover, Lefton isn’t the one students want to be talking to.

In her platform goals, Student Relations senator-elect Elizabeth Eckels said she wants to extend these events by adding Lunch with Lefton. Seeing as how Lefton can only make it to three similar events throughout the entire school year, we’re not sure how willing he’d be to share coffee AND hor’deurves with the students.

We have a better idea – and part of it comes from Eckels’ former opponent, April Samuelson.

Samuelson wanted to establish a “Talk With Your Dean” event where students could “actually ask questions and complain to the person who makes the decisions.”

Sure, Lefton is an important guy, we mean, he is the president, but he isn’t the only administrator. Why would they want to talk to someone who isn’t specialized in their direct concerns? Setting up programs where students can discuss their concerns in their colleges with the corresponding dean would make a bigger impact.

More administrators should jump on board – they’re the ones setting up the guidelines and recommendations for decisions Lefton is making, ranging from tuition hikes to budget cuts to department reductions. By talking specifically to these leaders and students, administrators would have a better idea of today’s student needs and problems. Isn’t that the purpose of such events?

There needs to be more of an incentive than free food and coffee. One goal of USS is to connect students with the people directly affecting their student lives. This modification of the Coffee events would certainly attract more students and give them the opportunity to connect with those making the steps to authoritative decisions. Besides, USS would be able to directly advertise to students in the field of the speakers or guests they are bringing – we’ll see if students are really apathetic then.

The newly elected IOU ticket senators want change. This is a simple one we think all students would like to see and benefit from.

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