Student leaders excited about new KSU president

Bill Ross, former executive director of Undergraduate Student Senate and undergraduate student representative on the presidential search committee, said President-elect Lester Lefton will be “a president that really cares about the student body at Kent State.”

“It was my number one priority that the president understood the student body,” Ross said.

To successfully understand Kent State, Ross said Lefton must become directly involved with the students.

“Right away, he needs to look to the student body to really understand where we are,” he said. “It should be a top priority for him to get involved with student leaders, and even the ‘average Joe’ student, to see where we are as a university.”

Sean Groves, junior finance major and USS business and finance senator, said he would like Lefton to make himself available to students. Groves said USS would like to meet with Lefton this summer to give him an overview of USS’s goals for next year.

“I have not heard of much interaction between Cartwright and the senators, but we would like to gain the new president’s support and help him to get to know the students and campus,” Groves said. “We can relay problems from students to him.”

But Black United Students President-elect Sasha Parker said Lefton needs to become involved with more than just USS.

“I think he needs to get involved with a variety of student organizations,” she said. “(Cartwright) didn’t have a lot of involvement with BUS and Pride!. He should take her involvement and take it a step further.”

Parker also said she is excited because of the diverse experience Lefton will bring to Kent State.

“Being that he’s from Tulane, we’re kind of excited,” she said. “We’re wanting him to include diversity here as well. Hopefully, he will keep his word. If he’s all he’s cracked up to be, it’ll be a good year.”

Lefton stressed yesterday that his No. 1 priority at Kent State will be “academic excellence.”

Ryan Neubig, junior physics major and president of the Kent State Student Ambassadors, also said academics should be a major concern.

“President Cartwright focused a lot on fundraising and not as much on academic standards,” he said. “I would like to see Lefton focus on academics, like recommending departments update their programs.”

Ross said Lefton was a good choice as the next Kent State president, and he is excited to see what happens in the coming year.

“When we met with the candidates, and they did their speeches, Dr. Lefton immediately rose to the top of my list,” Ross said. “Hopefully, he will lead Kent State to great things.”

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Heather Bing at [email protected] and sports editor Kali Price at [email protected].