Kent State Student Credit Union to merge

Tyrel Linkhorn

The Kent State Student Credit Union will officially become part of the Kent Credit Union this weekend, completing a merger that has been almost a year in the works.

The Undergraduate Student Senate, which was instrumental in the creation of the student credit union in 1995, is waiting to approve the legal contract until next week’s meeting, USS Executive Director Ross Miltner said at yesterday’s meeting. USS was asked to hold the contract until after the merger.

The student credit union will be closed tomorrow and Saturday as its system is switched over to the Kent Credit Union’s system. The online banking and audio-response systems will also be down from 5 p.m. today through Monday.

When the office reopens, it will be known as “The Kent State Student Credit Union, a Division of Kent Credit Union,” said Kathy Hammond, Director of Business Development for the Kent Credit Union.

Hammond said it was important to keep the name as similar as possible to maintain a familiarity.

The Kent State Student Credit Union is one of the few student-run credit unions in the country, said Joe Crawfis, chairman of the board of directors of Kent State’s credit union. He said the board didn’t want to lose the identification with students in the merger.

“It’s still going to be geared toward students,” he said.

In addition to the student employees, a student will also still sit on the board of directors. A USS senator will also continue to sit on the board, Executive Director Ross Miltner said.

Crawfis said members can expect better interest rates and lower fees.

The Kent State Student Credit Union currently has about 1,300 members.

The merger also gives students leaving the university the option of continuing their membership with the credit union without having to return to campus to access it.

“If they remained in the area they could continue to bank with a credit union they know and have built trust with,” Hammond said.

While the office at Kent State will technically be open to any Kent Credit Union members, Crawfis said they don’t expect much use outside the university community.

And the university community that will be able to utilize the credit union services will increase with the merger.

Faculty and staff will now be able to access the credit union on campus. Currently, the Kent State Student Credit Union’s services are only available to those currently enrolled in classes or those who have previously taken a class at the university.

Crawfis said there were two main reasons the student credit union, who initiated the merger, felt it would be beneficial.

One issue the student credit union faced was the quick turnover of employees as students graduated and left the university.

“It’s hard to have a lot of good continuity with people leaving,” he said.

Having Kent Credit Union employees in some administrative positions will add some permanent structure, Crawfis said.

The second reason Crawfis cited was that the Kent Credit Union could offer additional services that the student credit union could not.

Miltner said he feels the merger will be a good thing.

“Students aren’t going to notice (the changes) in the daily operations,” he said.

Contact student finance reporter Tyrel Linkhorn at [email protected].