EDITORIAL: Kent State student = temporary guest

Kent Interhall Council President Justin Jeffery has officially filed to run as a write-in candidate for city council’s fourth ward position. His candidacy has been endorsed by the Undergraduate Student Senate and can be seen as a further piece of the “Kent State Student = Kent City Citizen” campaign. Yet, there are significant flaws in both Jeffery’s candidacy and the USS’s campaign that must be addressed.

To begin, student campaigns for city council are always failures. This is not to say that if one can’t do something, then one shouldn’t try. Such a principle is contrary to higher education in general. However, it is to say that maybe certain channels are blocked to students, but that other channels are not. Historically, no recent student who has run for city council has come even close to winning, and there is no reason to believe that a Kent State student, running on a write-in ticket with just weeks to go until the election, has even the slightest chance.

Furthermore, it may be better if Jeffery doesn’t win. Typically, a city council person would have more of a vested interest in the city than just four years. As it stands now, Jeffery would need to pursue graduate work at Kent State just to complete his meager two-year term. Compare this to an individual who has been a member of the community for over a decade and has his or her children and career here, and it’s understandable why some “barely legal” student has never won before.

Also, motive should be addressed in both this campaign and the USS’s campaign for student-hood and citizenship to be one and the same. Most of the campaign, it appears, is giving students a voice in the city, but once this voice is achieved, it appears, ironically, that it will be used chiefly to talk about noise.

Jeffery has said that “my big goal is to make sure that my ward is on the same page on issues such as noise violations.” If the only – or even predominant – reason a student would run for such a position is to help get a few noisy drunks out of trouble, then no support should be given. For Jeffery to appear to be an even decent candidate, he would have to understand the issues affecting the city and then raise student consciousness to these issues; this task might be more than any one student can handle.

Finally, the USS’s campaign is in direct contrast to the symmetric property of equality (which states that if A=B, then B=A), as Kent City Citizen does not equal Kent State Student. It’s worth acknowledging that students really are just temporary citizens at best and need only be concerned about the city insofar as they don’t disturb it greatly while in pursuit of their degree and future. Sure, the city receives plenty of economic benefit from students, but they pay a cost in living conditions (there is a reason why Kent doesn’t look like Hudson and that reason is 26,000, sometimes rowdy, students).

In the end, students are best to work within the parameters laid forth by the city until a time comes when those parameters become too restricting. Since that time is not upon us, it is better to leave well enough alone and, maybe, attend a hall council meeting, instead of a city council one.

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