Dorms can lose funding for poor KIC attendance

Noelle Pennyman

Residence halls could lose their funding if they don’t have representation at the weekly Kent Interhall Council meetings.

According to the KIC constitution, if a residence hall fails to have representation at the KIC meetings four consecutive times, KIC freezes the hall council’s account.

“Ultimately our goal is not to freeze anyone’s account because we want the money to be spent on the residents,” said Daniel Shonk, adviser to KIC and residence hall director for Allyn and Clark halls. “We just want to make sure that that’s happening and that the residents are being informed in some way about KIC, campus and hall council events.”

Shonk said it’s important for people to come to the KIC meetings because of the significant information given, such as upcoming programs from KIC and individual halls. Members need to be present to vote on important items such as a new budget item or a new program KIC would like to do.

According to the KIC constitution, a hall is considered active if it spends money according to the KIC guidelines; conducts regular meetings open to all hall residents; keeps a record of meeting minutes on file; maintains a copy of the KIC constitution on file; and provides representation to the weekly KIC meetings.

After the third consecutive meeting that a hall has failed to send representation, Shonk said a letter is sent to the hall council president, adviser and the area coordinator.

If a hall misses one more meeting, KIC alerts the Department of Residence Services to freeze the hall council’s account.

Shonk said a hall has to be considered active in order to have access to its account.

“The residents have a voice in how the money is being approved and where it’s going,” Shonk said.

Sixteen dollars of a student’s room-and-board fees go toward KIC. Of that amount, $5.50 goes into the individual residence hall account. The remaining $10.50 goes into KIC’s operating funds.

Junior history major John Swistok said he believes if he paid money for something, he should be able to get it back regardless.

“It would be bad ethics to keep the money,” Swistok said.

Renee Doddy, residence hall director of Centennial Courts A and B, said a hall can operate without an executive board, which ensures someone attends each meeting. Doddy said that at the beginning of the semester she didn’t have any executive board members; now she has three.

Doddy said if a hall doesn’t have an executive board, it has to rely on its resident assistants and residents to attend the KIC meetings.

Swistok said he thinks the policy is unfair to the resident assistants.

“It’s not the RA’s fault that no one shows up,” Swistok said.

Freshman exploratory major Jessica Holderman said she doesn’t go to hall council or KIC meetings because she doesn’t have an interest in attending.

However, she said she does care that part of her room-and-board fees goes toward KIC. She said she would be disappointed if her hall didn’t have programs because of the loss of funds.

“There wouldn’t be any bonding opportunities,” Holderman said.

Jennifer Sweany, freshman fine and professional arts major, also said she doesn’t go to the hall council meetings. She said she expects to get the best for the money her parents paid for her to go to Kent State.

“Now that I thought about it, I will go,” Sweany said. “I would care if they got rid of the programs because you lose a sense of community in the dorms.”

Contact room and board reporter Noelle Pennyman at [email protected].