Kent survey has students in mind

What do you want from the city of Kent?

That’s what City Manager Dave Ruller wants Kent State students to tell him. On his personal blog,, Ruller has posted the “Cool Cities Survey,” designed to gauge students’ feelings toward Kent and other cities through a series of open- and close-ended questions.

The survey asks students to rate the qualities that matter most to them when choosing a city to live in post-graduation. How likely are we to stay in Kent, to move to a large metropolis or to escape this country all together? Is a sense of community more important to us than a wild nightlife or high-paying job opportunities? Ruller wants to know all of these things and more, presumably with the hopes of improving students’ satisfaction with the city of Kent and determining what we, as a student population, are on the market for right now.

The survey also offers students the option of writing in their own ideas for what Ruller could do to make Kent more enjoyable, allowing our imaginations to run wild if we so choose, penciling in exactly what we wish this city provided for us. And because Ruller has told reporters he reads every survey response personally, we can give him our ideas confident that they won’t end up in his secretary’s trash bin.

So far, Ruller has only promoted the survey by asking student leaders like USS’s Ross Miltner to spread the word to their constituents. If he wants enough responses to compile worthwhile survey results, he’s probably going to have to keep promoting, and we hope he does. We encourage students to check out Ruller’s Web site and fill the survey out for themselves.

The truth is that ultimately, the survey’s objective is to help Ruller determine what steps he can take to make the city of Kent a place where college students will want to live following graduation, which may be a somewhat lofty goal, considering Kent isn’t exactly a mecca of big business. For those of us going into fields that require big-city life, Kent just won’t do for our futures. But even if we’re not all going to stick around this place once we take off our caps and gowns, Ruller is certainly to be commended for the enthusiasm he’s shown for improving the city he’s been elected to serve.

In the “About Dave” section of his Web site, Ruller writes, “I try to be a contagion for optimism wherever I go. If I ever lose that, it will be time to find a new career.” So, sure: A survey alone isn’t going to bring immediate change to Kent, but we give credit to Ruller for enthusiastically taking this first step toward both improving town/gown relations and to bettering the way we college students feel about the city that surrounds us.

It would appear as though City Manager Dave Ruller shows more interest in students’ opinions than many of the members of Kent State’s administration do. And for that, we thank him.

Now go take the survey.

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