The Observer

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Editorial: Semester Grades

With finals right around the corner, we give out some grades that won’t jeopardize your GPA.

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Undergraduate Student Government (USG): B-

It’s been a turbulent semester for USG and the campus community.

Things started off on a high note with the introduction of the initiative tracker, which provided students with a way of following the progress of different on-campus projects. In providing more information on the status and sponsors of these initiatives, it has enabled students to better understand the issues being addressed on campus. The tracker also gave more visibility to projects on campus that are often overlooked or misunderstood by CWRU students. Generally, it bridged a communication gap which stifled progress and caused a disconnect between students and USG.

In recent weeks, however, things have been less harmonious. The handling of Resolution 27-04 has frustrated many of the people involved. After a less-than-ideal General Assembly recently, a decision on whether or not the measure would even be discussed was left up in the air. In the meantime, antagonistic rhetoric ran rampant on campus, and the Executive Committee never provided a true conclusion on the matter. For the most part, the situation surrounding R27-04 could best be described as a “discussion of whether we’re going to discuss something.”

 

Campus Security and Police: C

Campus security received a negative mark last semester for what we considered to be poor communication. They’ve significantly improved in this regard since December, providing campus alerts both more quickly and with a greater depth of information. In doing so, they’ve followed up on promises made to USG last spring.

The incident involving Councilman Kevin Conwell was a considerable blemish on their record for this semester, though. “Walking while black” is a concept we often hear about occurring elsewhere, but this incident was a reminder that implicit biases exist even within our own “diverse” and “inclusive” community. While the upgrade in communication was a nice change, it was a baseline expectation which was simply not being met and does not outweigh the egregious episode.

 

University Program Board (UPB): A-

While the campus referendum has been a bit of a drawn out process, we’re glad to see that events such as Springfest, Thwing Study Over (TSO) and Senior Week may finally be ensured annual financial support through UPB’s allocation process. The Editorial Board hopes that the restructuring of funding for these events will provide much needed stability and prevent monetary issues that have troubled these organizations. There are some logistical questions remaining in regards to budget flexibility after the absorption of these organizations by UPB, but these must be addressed in the near future.

On another note, B.o.B., “Mr. Flat Earth” himself, and Sean Kingston, most famous for a song about girls who make you want to die, are the headliners at Springfest. We understand that the budget for the event is limited. If the referendum is passed, perhaps this will allow for more popular acts in the coming years.

 

Student Sustainability Efforts: A+

The innovative composting program at Leutner and Fribley Commons was just one of many effective initiatives from the past semester. One of the more monumental events was the launch of Students Encouraging Environmental Dedication (SEED), the brainchild of the Student Sustainability Council (SSC), which should help this campus ramp up sustainability endeavors going forward. By giving subsidies to groups for different sustainable choices at their events through a well-structured incentive program, SEED ensures that all participating organizations will do their part to make this campus more environmentally friendly. Between this program and the Weatherhead Fund’s, a student-investment club, decision to divest from fossil fuel companies, CWRU has done well this spring to make itself greener across the board.

 

Commission for the Undergraduate Experience (CUE): B

We appreciate all the CUE has done to cooperate with students over the past few years. Their Preliminary Recommendations Report reflected the effort they put in to gather feedback from students, which was aided in part by USG’s decision to get involved in the process. Early indications of improvements to the General Education Requirement are especially promising, and we look forward to learning more when the final report is published.

However, the CUE remains hindered by an apathetic student body. In their attempts to improve the campus environment, turnout at forums remains low despite how often students express dissatisfaction in other settings. There have been some complications attributable to CUE, such as when they scheduled feedback forums for nursing students during major clinical hours, but we feel that students still possess a responsibility to be active in these processes.

We look forward to the CUE’s release of its Final Recommendations in the coming weeks.

 

Open Houses and “Prospies”: C+

The chaos of Open Houses made its annual return in March, and for CWRU students, this was an indicator for them to clean their rooms in preparation for hosting prospective students—“prospies.” This year, however, a range of issues complicated a system with waning appeal. Many students reported being rejected from hosting for false conflicts, such as living off-campus when they in fact lived on-campus. At the same time, some students were assigned “prospies,” despite not applying for the task, because of a reported lack of hosts.

For those who hosted, many of the events were marred by overcrowding or lack of appeal. The limitations placed on where students could take their “prospies” make sense to a certain degree, but barring them from locations such as Little Italy made it difficult to show off some of the best features near campus. We understand that the University might have concerns about the responsibility of their hosts, but the emphasis for the program should still be an enjoyable campus experience for both the prospective student and their host.

 

Admist: F

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Editorial: Semester Grades