You Have the (Immediate) Future of Kent State in Your Hands

June 17, 2020

Dear Golden Flashes,

My message today is for our students: our wonderful, conscientious, active, socially aware and hard-working 37,000+ Kent State University students. The immediate future of Kent State is in your hands. It largely will be your behavior that determines how fall semester unfolds during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you follow the Flashes Safe Seven principles that feature the wearing of facial coverings and practicing physical distancing, we are more likely to maintain residential living on the Kent Campus and in-person classes across all eight campuses. If you fail to follow carefully our Flashes Safe Seven principles, we will be far more likely to close our campuses again, as we did last spring.

I have faith in you! I know that you truly believe in our Flashes Take Care of Flashes commitment. Now more than ever you will be called upon to exercise that commitment as we reopen our campuses for classes and residential living.

We know that physical distancing and the wearing of facial coverings in particular are effective at dramatically limiting the spread of the coronavirus. And while I am confident that you will do the right things to keep us up and running, when I am out and about I see many people not practicing these habits as they shop, as they relax and as they interact on the streets of our towns and cities. Our challenge, your challenge, will be to behave differently at Kent State in the fall. Our challenge, and we will meet it, is to limit the spread of the virus by doing what we know works, as demonstrated clearly by the latest research and as encapsulated in our Flashes Safe Seven principles.

At commencement, we often mention that our graduates will go on to do great things – and we mean it. With the COVID-19 pandemic, YOU, our current students, will play a bigger role than ever in making Kent State great, and indeed in keeping us open during the pandemic. Yes, we know you’ll make a difference after graduation. But more importantly, for now we also know that you will make the biggest difference in getting yourself and your fellow students to the graduation finish line in a safe and productive manner.

Over the next several weeks, we will count down the opening of residence halls and the resumption of in-person classes on all of our campuses by sharing a different Flashes Safe Seven principle each week. Please pay attention to them. Please commit to them. Please commit to doing your part to keeping your colleagues, professors and Kent State employees safe.

Flashes Take Care of Flashes. It is as simple as that.


Todd Diacon

POSTED: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 1:54pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 4:26pm