in brief

Daily Kent Stater

Administrators to discuss student concerns in forum

Microsoft contracts, the plus/minus system and the expansion of student programs will be just some of the many things discussed at this semester’s Open Student Forum.

The forum will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in room 204 of the Student Center.

LuWanda Higgins, adult services program coordinator, said all students are welcome, whether they are residential, commuter or non-traditional adult students.

Students will be able to talk to moderators directly.

“This is an excellent opportunity to get university community members, high-level administration and students together,” Higgins said.

At a planning meeting Friday with one university official and four students in the Adult Services office, concerns and questions were brought forth for discussion at the forum.

One question concerned the safety of streets on the campus borders, but this may not be a problem that can be solved by university officials.

“This may be a city problem, but we will still ask Vice President (David) Creamer,” Richard Kiovsky, chairman of the Student Quality Advisory Committee said.

Kiovsky suggested asking questions about expanding graduate programs and what undergraduate enrollment is expected to be for the coming year.

Paul Marnecheck, a graduate student studying public policy, wants to know if current students will be affected when the plus/minus policy is implemented next school year.

Student organizations serving as panelists include Undergraduate Student Senate, Graduate Student Senate and Black United Students.

Past discussions at the forums have led to actions like more recycling containers around campus.

— Adria Barbour

Accessibility ramp to be installed at Ray’s Place soon

The popular Kent hangout Ray’s Place will be undergoing renovations that include a new fa‡ade on the front of the building, as well as a newer accessibility ramp at the main entrance.

Owner Charlie Thomas decided that he wanted to give the establishment a newer look, and according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, because he was updating the exterior, he had to make his ramp compliant with current laws, too.

“Once we decided to open up the front, you have to make it handicap accessible,” Thomas said.

Though the plans for the ramp were approved by the council, there were two conditions that the council requirements be met before the plans for the ramp solidify. Thomas was granted a license to build his ramp on the sidewalk, which is city property. If there are any city utilities in the way of the ramp, Thomas has to pay to have them moved.

While Ray’s Place has a ramp already, it has to be changed in order to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The ramp is too steep to meet current ADA standards,” said Dave Summers, the architect who designed the plans for the new ramp.

“A lot of places are physically impossible to get in,” said Val Fatica, Undergraduate Student Senator for University Affairs. “They (Ray’s Place) are probably the most accessible bar in Kent.”

Fatica, who uses a wheelchair, said, “They have an accessible bathroom, which is rare in downtown Kent.”

While Fatica mentioned that sometimes she needs help up the currently steep ramp, she appreciates the steps Ray’s Place has taken.

— Sarah Baldwin

Relay for Life hopes to gather 60 teams, $60K

Team captains met Monday evening to discuss Kent State’s Relay for life. The event is scheduled to take place from April 30 to May 1. The meeting was one of four that will lead up to the event.

As of the first meeting, Kent’s Relay for Life had 11 teams signed up and more than $1,000 raised online. The goal is to have 60 teams and to raise $60,000.

This year there will be a competition between Kent State and the University of Cincinnati. Each university will compete with what it has overall in every category, such as teams and money raised.

Register online at There is a $10 registration fee. Checks can be made payable to the American Cancer Society.

— Joe McKenzie