Letters to the Editor

Course catalog cuts help keep tuition down

Dear Editor:

Over the past week, I have seen numerous students protesting and complaining about the University’s decision to stop printing hard copies of the course catalog. One letter asked what the money saved was going to be used for. Well, that money is one of the many small cuts the university has made in order to help keep rising tuition rates down. We should thank them rather than demonize them.

Across the nation, tuition rates have sky-rocketed by over 10 percent two of the last three years. Before coming to Kent, I attended the University of Missouri. Since 1995, the per credit hour tuition has risen from $90 to over $200. That’s over 100 percent!

But it has not been so drastic here at Kent State. As the Kent State representative on the Ohio Graduate Council, I continually come across a variety of studies showing how higher education is being funded. Since 1996, state and federal funding of Ohio universities has decreased to the point that schools are now making over $300 less per student despite tuition increases.

With over 20,000 undergraduates at Kent, that means an additional $6 million or more per year for which the University must make up. That means making cuts. I for one would rather see cuts to non-essential costs that can be covered in cheaper, more efficient ways, than to cut individual departments, programs, scholarships, libraries, etc. Plus, this whole thing saves paper and is better for the environment. 

Jeffrey Fuller

Advocacy Chair-Graduate Student Senate


Attacking the May 4 Task Force is offensive

Dear Editor:

Memory has become a significant area of inquiry for scholars examining the past. One of its leading practitioners, historian David Blight, describes public memory as the way “in which groups – construct versions of the past and employ them for self-understanding and to win power in an ever-changing present.”

Thirty years ago, upon learning that the administration would no longer sponsor a May 4 commemoration, students organized the May 4 Task Force to carry on the remembrance. Ever since, on the eve of the anniversary of the killings, the group conducts a vigil to honor those shot to death by the National Guard during an antiwar protest. On the anniversary itself, the M4TF sponsors speakers who remember the lives that were lost and examine the meaning of the sacrifice in light of contemporary events.

In doing so, the M4TF has enjoyed the support of the parents of the four slain students, of whom I am one, and the encouragement of nine other casualties. Understandably, we are not interested in seeing this occasion defamed by those who would pervert the meaning of the killings. It is offensive to those of us who took bullets on May 4 that the editors of the Daily Kent Stater would depart from the position of previous editors in an effort to cut funding for the M4TF.

Current editors seem dismissive of the student referendum in 2003, which approved permanent funding for the annual M4TF commemoration. There is, of course, a purpose to this. The Kent killings have come to be seen as a vital marker in time when millions of people tried to alter the foreign policy of their government. This is a political memory which many conservatives cannot abide and, therefore, wish to assign to oblivion. Evidently, this is also an endeavor to which Stater editors are happy to contribute their energies. Like-minded readers should be advised, however, that decades of tradition and the accompanying historical consciousness that has emerged about the killings – along with the force of a democratic vote – will not yield easily to those who would dispense with this legacy of dissent.

Thomas M. Grace, Ph.D.

Buffalo, NY