Leland Sykes Q & A

Leland Sykes is a senior fashion design major at Kent State University. He currently lives with a roommate in Apartment B of the Allerton complex. Though the deconstruction of the complex will not entirely affect him, Sykes shares his opinions about the decision to tear down Allerton.

Me: Why are you coming back to study at Kent State as an older student?
Sykes: Because they provided a good program in the fashion design sequence. I couldn’t find anything else that matched in the Midwest region of the U.S. and Kent State’s program is recognized on a national level. I didn’t have resources to move out of the country or to New York, either, so I came back to Kent State to study this. I feel the four-year bachelor’s degree here will help me. Kent State has taught me a lot, and I was exposed to a lot in the fashion industry. It didn’t give me everything, but it provided me with a good foundation for my future.

Me: Why did you choose to live at Allerton?
Sykes: It was referred to me by the adult student center. The director at the time told me about Allerton because I was older than the traditional college-aged student. I didn’t want to live in the dorms, so I checked out the apartments, and it worked. I signed the lease, and I’ve been there for four years.

Me: How much longer will you stay in Allerton?
Sykes: Only until May 2011. I graduate in August, but my lease is up in May. I have to pack up and leave for the summer semester. I’m going back to Akron to stay in my parents house. It wasn’t a big issue since Allerton will still be open this summer for others, but I just didn’t want to get another lease.

Me: So your leaving has nothing to do with them tearing down the apartments, exactly?
Sykes: No. I live in Apartment B, and that will be one of the last ones to go in 2015 since its for mostly undergraduates. I believe family housing will be the first to leave in 2012, which are apartments K, L and M.

Me: Do you live alone or with a roommate?
Sykes: I have a roommate. Each year, I’ve had a different roommate since I started at Allerton freshman year.

Me: What is the community like at Allerton?
Sykes: It’s quiet, and I really like it. You know, it’s a mature environment. You get to meet very mature people. It’s convenient, too, because of the bus system at Kent State. It’s on-campus, technically, but it feels more like it’s off-campus. It’s so out of the way from the main campus that it’s like its own little neighborhood. Everyone is nice, there’s no violence, no major parties and no domestic violence. I prefer it since I’m an older student. Even living in the residential streets by the fraternity houses would have been difficult for me.

Me: Why do you think Residence Services wants to tear down the Allerton complex, and how did you react to this news?
Sykes: At first, I thought they were just going to rebuild them, which I had no problem with that. It made sense. But then I found out they had no plan for the land, and I was like ‘what the hell are they doing?’ It’s a place many people know about and consider living in. People care about Allerton. Some international students only go to Kent State because there’s this nice community for them. International students may advertise the housing of Allerton by word-of-mouth to people back in their home country, so it’s ridiculous for Kent State to just not replace them. Sure, they don’t have to rebuild some grand apartment complex to replace them like Campus Pointe, but just something to house international students and adults alike. Not everyone fits in with the dorm or college scene. You need a place that’s conducive to this other lifestyle, and it’s just wrong of Residence Services to do that. It put a lot of individuals in a bind.

Me: What are some things that could be improved at Allerton?
Sykes: Well, they are at least 30 to 40 years old. The bedrooms could be a little larger, and it needs air conditioning. That’s about it, though. I don’t have any issues because they provide all utilities like free cable and high speed internet.

Me: What are the buildings like on the interior?
Sykes: They’re pretty solid, but I feel the interior design could be improved a little bit with the lighting, painting and heating systems. Plus, the decor in the bathrooms is a little outdated with multi-colored, checkered tiles.

Me: What is a good memory of the apartments for you?
Sykes: I’ve met so many awesome people from all over the world by living at Allerton. I’ve made friends with people from so many different countries like Jordan, India, Taiwan, Armania, England, Bulgaria and China to name a few. People come here from so many different locations, so I’d say that’s one of my best memories. The awesome friendships in the quiet environment. It’s nice to just come home to a quiet place since you can get sleep and don’t have to worry about crazy, wild neighbors. I appreciate coming home to Allerton. If I want to be noisy, I can go somewhere else. That was the best.


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