Letter to the Editor

Readers voice more anger over graduation

Dear Editor:

President Lefton’s commencement changes have left me disenchanted and furious. I truly believe that this is an insult to the students. National notoriety, cost savings and utilizing the stadium are unconvincing excuses for ignoring the accomplishment of summer and fall graduates. Over the past three years, just short of 50 percent of Kent State students graduated in the Spring semester; 27.53 to 28.86 percent graduated in the fall, while 21.5 to 22.67 percent graduated in the summer, according to www.rpie.kent.edu. By extending the distance between the diploma and the ceremony, you will be making commencement less meaningful for more than 50 percent of your graduates. For new alumni, I suspect that this will be a lingering memory.

I assume that Lefton has conducted a thorough investigation of mid-May Ohio weather before proposing an outdoor ceremony rain-or-shine. After all, rain is a common occurrence in May for Kent, with 11 to 13 days (on average) with precipitation. Remember the phrase “April showers bring May flowers?” In Kent, the average precipitation days are the same in number for both months, according to www.weather.com. Considering the patchy weather history of May 13 to 18 over the past three years (of dates listed, 8 of the 18 dates [historically] had rain, thunderstorms, or both), I imagine that optimism will be a requirement for ceremony attendance.

Should the skies unleash their fury, no suitable indoor space on this campus will hold the number of participants for the ceremony and their guests, should even 50 percent of those individuals who “graduated” in the summer or fall semesters decide to attend. For the sake of brevity, it would seem that to recognize the accomplishments of many would require nothing less than a superficial acknowledgment of individual accomplishment. Finally, expecting people to participate in an all-day event seems a little bit of a stretch; and almost rude for their guests — especially if it is raining.

Erica Eckert

Ph.D. student, higher education administration

Dear Editor:

President Lefton’s decision about commencement shows a complete lack of understanding about Kent State and Kent State students. I am saddened to realize that this president has no idea what type of institution Kent State University is or how to enhance it. I am saddened even further to think of the several hundred Kent grads each year who will now not be able to participate in “what is arguably the most special day in the academic year,” due to their inability to return to campus several months after their classes have ended.

Nadia Alamo

Alumna, August 2006

Students should show support for basketball

Is there any reason that a school of over 20,000 students cannot fill up a 6,000-seat arena every game? The faculty and alumni do their part, but it is a shame to look behind the baskets and see open seats.

We have a basketball team here at Kent State that has been to the NCAA Tournament four times since 1999 and has had eight straight 20-win seasons. During the Ohio State-Michigan week there was a front page article on the game, and when we played Temple University (which is in the top ten of all-time wins) Kent State gets the back seat. Getting the word out to the students is step one, and I think you guys at the Stater could step up on your end.

Randall Dolak

Junior sports management major