Forum gives answers to student questions

William Schertz

Student and faculty members traded off views on a wide variety of issues last night at the Open Student Forum in the Student Center.

Approximately 60 people, including a large group of faculty and some students, attended the forum where they interacted with several members of an administration board by writing out questions, which were read to the room.

Some questions focused on topics like the development of a new master’s program for Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, a program offered through Kent State and NEOUCOM.

Other topics included the expansion of graduate programs, the new plus/minus grading system to take place in the fall, progress of living learning communities, Campus Link, finding ways to increase the number of transfer students, network outages, rising tuition rates, discrimination and harassment policies as well as new plans for software contracts.

“I cannot think of another university that offers a student forum like this,” LuWanda Higgins, adviser to the Student Quality Advisory Committee, said following the forum.

The administration plans to look into several issues that were brought up during the meeting, such as poor lighting in the Music and Speech parking lot and problems for students with disabilities that involves PARTA buses.

During the meeting, handouts were passed out covering university plans to increase the number of buildings with wireless coverage on campus, which will be installed in floors four through 12 of the library, the Williamson Alumni Center, the College of Education and the Foundation and Development Office.

Several rumors were brought up during the meeting, one of which was that one of the regional campuses would be separating from Kent State, a rumor that the panel deemed to be false information.

Another rumor said that there were plans to build an addition onto the Music and Speech Building. David Creamer, vice president of administration, said that there is no imminent plan for any such project.

Prior to the meeting, Creamer said he felt that student forums are beneficial in that they provide students a means to share their points of view as well as allow administration to see what issues are “front and center” with the student population.

The forum provided an outlet for several Native American students. Freshman fashion design student Kathryn Jacobs, former president of the Native American Student Association, said she feels that the Native American student body at the university is not being equally represented.

Art education sophomore Dan Levan said he enjoyed the insight he gained at the forum.

“It is very interesting to see what goes on in the background,” Levan said. “I came here for the free food, but while I was here, I actually learned something.”

Contact buildings and grounds reporter William Schertz at [email protected]