Trashing trees is throwing away money

As most Kent State students and visitors can tell you, we have beautiful grounds on this campus.

A small army of people work year round to ensure that the campus looks good and is something to be proud of.

We are fortunate that this university takes aesthetics seriously. It might not be as important to your future as say Spanish class, but it does matter. And it’s what sets us apart from other schools.

Instead of a concrete jungle of ugly buildings and scattered parking lots, there are more than enough trees to provide shade on a sunny day and flowers to provide cheer when it isn’t quite as sunny. There are open fields to play Frisbee and more than enough quiet study areas to retreat to outside.

But it costs money and manpower to keep these areas pleasing to the eye. Money that comes from, you guessed it, students’ tuition.

So reading in Friday’s Daily Kent Stater that students are digging up flower beds and uprooting or snapping trees in half is a little disturbing.

We have to agree with Michael McDonald, director of campus environment and operations, when he says the people committing these crimes “have an issue.”

What purpose does snapping a $120 tree in half serve? Does it make the person feel better about themselves that he or she is more powerful than a 3-inch tree?

It isn’t funny if no one is laughing. And it isn’t a game if there is no winner. Everybody loses out when people tear up the campus. It looks bad, it takes people away from other areas they could be working on and it costs students money.

The problem is that nobody knows who’s doing these things, or the people who do obviously don’t value the beauty of the campus or even the hard work that goes into creating and maintaining it.

The general consensus is that this is a relatively new phenomenon at Kent State and only a few individuals are doing the damage. But one person is more than capable of ruining it for everybody else.

Whether it’s drunken students who can’t hold their liquor or disrespectful students who just don’t care if the campus is ugly, the point is, it affects everyone.

It’s not just that seeing a sapling laying on its side is disheartening; it’s the hours and money that went into the tree getting there. Trees don’t grow on, well, trees. They take time to mature and add value to the campus beyond just looking nice.

There are enough trees being destroyed in other parts of the world. You’d think here in the “Tree City” we’d value their worth.

So, next time you see someone damaging the grounds, speak up. It’s against the law and it’s costing you money. They probably think they’re being funny. But we’re still not laughing.

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