Kent State: ‘A’ for effort, I guess

Ben Breier

Senior columns: Everybody writes them, nobody likes to read them. Unlike others who may attempt a similar column, I’m not going to try and inundate a couple thousand kids with collegiate flashbacks of partying, pivotal moments and other memories almost none of you will associate with.

None of that.

Semester after semester, I have received grade cards on Web for Students. And Kent State -it’s time for your grade card. As an institution, Kent State succeeds in many ways and fails in several others.

In preparing me for the working world, Kent State receives fair marks. My journalism professors were (mostly) top-notch, and helped me land my current internship at the Cleveland Free Times and my upcoming internship in Washington D.C.

But where were the classes to teach me how to apply for an internship? How about sprucing up my resume? My involvement in student media created tight-knit bonds with a few professors who helped me in these tasks – but I wonder how a more typical student would’ve fared in these endeavors.

This was only a minor hindrance compared to the recent backlash I had to face.

Last Spring, I went to see an academic adviser who told me if I took a specific regiment of classes I’d be ready to graduate on time. So, I signed up for moronic 10000-level classes reluctantly and crossed my fingers.

Imagine my surprise when I find out I’m six credit hours short of graduating. I scramble to fix my schedule and flood it with more worthless LERs so I can graduate on time.

And I wasn’t the only one. A colleague got screwed over by the school’s Honors College advising, and found himself in a precarious situation where he had to take 21 credit hours plus summer classes to graduate on time.

It’s absurd. It’s sloppy advising.

And it could’ve been prevented.

Kent State: where your advisers can screw you over at the blink of an eye, but if you park illegally for more than 20 minutes, your ass will get ticketed with military precision.

Why didn’t President Lefton pick this for our new slogan? Too wordy?

If advisers paid as much attention to our schedules and cared about seniors graduating on time as diligently as Parking Services passes out tickets, the university would be a better place, students would be happier and retention would increase.

And maybe then, Kent State would get the Big Ten-like recognition Lefton dreams of.

Until then, Kent State will have to settle for what it is -ÿa fringe Division-One school containing a few clutch specializations that is largely famous for shootings that happened more than 30 years ago.

And anybody who denies this truth is lying to themselves.

As a pending graduate, I am proud to leave a journalism school that imbued me with skills I’ll take with me for the rest of my life and some good memories to go with them.

But radical change is needed to vaccinate this school.

And it needs to happen fast.

Ben Breier is a graduating newspaper journalism major who wishes he didn’t have to take Ecology this semester. Contact him at [email protected].