Abby Assmus: The lack of community at CWRU

Case Western Reserve University gets a lot of negative reviews from students and non-students for its status as a Division III, small private university. People might complain about the lack of parties on campus compared to other state universities or the expensive cost of education here. Although these statements might be slightly true of CWRU, there are still things to appreciate about the university, especially when you go to other universities and realize just how much you like this campus.

Last week I took a trip down Euclid Avenue to visit my brother on one of his first days as a student at Cleveland State University. Although it is a short ride down the healthline, in my years here at CWRU, I have not heard of a lot about people visiting CSU for parties or to just check out the campus, but I have heard of people traveling to other state universities for parties and social activities because of the better atmospheres there than at CWRU. I know a lot of people that go there, so I was interested to see what attracted many of my friends to CSU.

The difference between CWRU and CSU was evident as soon as I stepped into their university center. There were multiple activities and free t-shirt giveaways going on in the middle of the lunch hour. Students were packed into the building, waiting in lines for free food and other free goodies amidst loud music. Automatically I was taken aback by the loudness. Our university center is never quite like this; in fact the most crowded I have ever seen it is when tour groups congregate in the Tink.

The main difference between the two schools is size. CSU has a larger student body than us, with 17,730 students compared to our 10,771, in a smaller, more compact campus. Most of the buildings are in a row on Euclid and are connected through inside bridges, making most classes quite easy to get to, even if they are a few buildings away from each other. This is not only convenient, it also adds more of a sense of community to their campus, which I feel is sometimes lacking at CWRU.

Even though CWRU’s campus is small compared to other state schools, like Ohio State University for example, it is still pretty large in comparison to CSU. It can take up to 15 minutes to get from one side of campus to the other for class, and that’s when you speed walk. Although this can be something we complain about because of our busy schedules and the cold weather in the winter, I think our campus is something to be proud of. It can be pretty in the transitional seasons, and is always a good way to get some exercise in through a long walk to class.

Our school might be known as a place where people study too much, are very nerdy or are too serious about school; I would like that to change. I think that there should be more of an effort to bring the campus together on a more regular basis, and we should appreciate what we have instead of trying to be more like state schools and escaping to them for social gatherings. CSU might be very different from CWRU and seems to have more of a community, but it also has some similarities, just from my observations. I think that we should try to create more of a community together so we don’t have to keep looking to state schools for this part of college.

Abby Assmus is a graduate student as well as a writer for The Observer.