Editorial: Campus stops on the CWRU tour route not taken

Editorial Board

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It’s March, which means many students are awaiting or have already received their college decisions. It also means that a number of prospective students will be flocking to Case Western Reserve University to check out their potential home for the next four years. While here, they will more than likely be treated to a tour of campus that will show them the parts of CWRU that make it one of the most interesting colleges around.

But with our knowledge of what is actually covered on the route, we feel that there are a few highlights that tend to be omitted. So we’ve compiled a list of our “off-the-tour-path” parts of campus that every prospie should make a point of checking out.

Observatory

CWRU has an incredibly unique history with astronomical research. We actually own two telescopes, both of which used to be housed in Cleveland. One of them has since been moved to Arizona, but a 9.5 inch rooftop telescope can still be found on top of the A.W. Smith Building.

The best part about this resource is that it is open to all on campus, so long as you schedule an appointment with Associate Professor Charley Knox first. After he runs you through operation of the instrument, you can find open use dates on the calendar. The astronomy department runs a number of fun events through the observatory, such as a special viewing of the solar eclipse that occurred in August 2017. It’s a hidden gem that most people don’t even realize exists, so taking some time out of your visit to at least check out the facility is well worth it.

Sustainability House

Sustainability efforts on campus have ramped up in the past few years, with a number of new initiatives appearing in the form of Take Back the Tap and Students Encouraging Environmental Dedication (SEED). We’ve also undertaken a number of clean energy research efforts (one of which will be discussed later) that are scattered across the Cleveland area. It’s all part of what made us one of the Princeton Review’s 50 Green Colleges.

But one effort on campus is primarily the responsibility of students: the Sustainability House, also referred to as Wade Manor. Situated on Wade Park Avenue, the students who reside in it focus on green lifestyle goals and do research on their own behavior habits. From these observations, they constantly look for new ways to improve the sustainability of those that will follow in Wade Manor. It’s a unique living situation that combines environmental research with residence life and can factor into your CWRU experience as an upperclassmen.

Kulas Music Library

If you’re interested in music at CWRU, either as a cross-enrolled student at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) or just to take some lessons on the side, a visit to Kulas is essential. There are many students in the performing arts, and CWRU has done well to accommodate them every step of the way. The Kulas Music Library, located in Haydn Hall, is just another example of that.

It’s a well-stocked facility with plenty of sheet music, theory books, musical history books and even films catered to any musically-inclined student on campus. For those who do play an instrument, it cannot be overstated how helpful it is to not have to pay for these resources. Sheet music, in particular, can sometimes be very hard to find thanks to the complexity of musical copyrighting. The Kulas Library is a great addition to a campus that is constantly working to be more STEAM than STEM, especially since it shares space with musical monuments like Severance Hall and CIM.

The Newer Green Spaces

While not all of these are completed yet, it is worth checking out the various green spots that adorn campus. The Nord Family Greenway, which provided a more direct connection from the Tinkham Veale University Center to the Maltz Performing Arts Center, was just one of many planned additions.

Currently, another new greenway is under construction next door to the Tink. You’ll notice it on your walks through the Mather Quad, or if you’re a prospie, as you leave PBL (the Peter B. Lewis Building) and enter the Tink. It used to be a lot with two vacant buildings and a parking lot, frankly making it an eye sore in the otherwise beautiful Wade Oval. The spot may be dense with dirt and construction now, but it will have a number of walkways and grass that will really improve the scenery.

In the coming years, the entire Mather Quad could be overtaken with green spaces. There was a proposed plan for the Quad to overtake its stretch of Bellflower Road, expanding the cramped space of the social sciences and humanities portion of campus. As the university ramps up efforts bring the exterior design of CWRU up-to-date, these small expansions in green space are welcomed improvements.