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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Editorial: University’s attentiveness to student life leaves room for improvement

Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) recently announced the winning proposals for its Student Life Improvement Grant (SLIG). Typically valued at around $10,000, the grant offers an opportunity for students, staff, and faculty members, to submit their improvement ideas for campus life relating to undergraduate students.

Due to their exceptionally large rollover of $55,000, USG increased the grant to $25,000 with the intention of investing in projects that aren’t fiscally advantageous for university departments and other student organizations to fund.

Even though USG extended the deadline for SLIG entries, only 21 proposals were submitted. Why were there so few entries? USG sent out a formal announcement, in addition to mentioning the SLIG in its newsletter, which is distributed to all university undergraduates. Members of the CWRU community frequently complain about student life in some way, so why not put our proposals where our mouth is?

Despite the relatively low number of proposals, many submissions did address valid voids in the student experience. The largest portion of the grant went to an improvement of Safe Ride, which is associated with the CWRU Police Department.

The submission proposed that funds be allocated for the integration of dispatching and tracking technology into the program. This will allow students to request the service online and through apps, in addition to providing requestors with accurate estimates, which will hopefully encourage more students to use the service.

More than anything else, the winning proposals of this year’s SLIG suggest that university administrators are out of touch with the student experience, since many of the proposals seemed extremely obvious.

For instance, $7.69 was allocated via the SLIG to a brand new, state-of-the-art doorstop for Grab-It. In the proposal, the submitter noted that one door at Grab-It always remains closed, forcing those entering and exiting the space to squeeze through the line.

Considering meal plans for CWRU students cost more than $2,000 per semester, couldn’t Bon Appetit spring for a doorstop? Alternatively, given the many administrators who have offices in Sears and pass the eatery daily, shouldn’t campus facilities have been made aware of the issue and left to purchase it? Finally, it should go without saying that $7.69 is a high price to pay – especially when we have so many labs and workshops littered with wood scraps.

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