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The Observer

The lack of student participation and sense of community at Case Western Reserve University are both issues that have repeatedly graced The Observer’s pages. There is a valid reason for this, too. Sometimes it feels as though a good chunk of CWRU students focus too much on noticing what is wrong on campus but don’t bother to find out more about it or, better yet, be the change they want to see on campus. Since repetition never hurt anybody, we are going to raise this issue once more before we reach the end of the semester.

The Student Executive Council (SEC) is a great example of the kind of engaging student organization that could change the running editorial record of the Opinion section. Today, the SEC will host an open forum called “Your money: how student groups are spending it.” The open forum will answer questions regarding where the Student Activities Fee (SAF) we all pay ultimately goes and hopefully correct some misconceptions about how the money is spent. All of the SEC organizations (i.e., Residence Hall Association, Undergraduate Student Government, University Program Board, Class Officer Collective, University Media Board, Interfraternity Congress and Panhellenic Council) will be present at the event, so more or less every area of student life at CWRU will be covered.

It can sometimes be difficult for a CWRU student to see where the SAF goes in reality. Attending an open forum like the one hosted by the SEC will certainly illuminate students in this area. After all, an open forum also provides the students with a chance to hold the major student organizations accountable. The relationship between students and student organizations should be interactive. It would surely give students some perspective. Last week, The Observer asked the question “Is CWRU worth it?” Engaging in an open forum about finances will most definitely help answer that question. Other issues, such as Greek Life’s donation of rollover funds and the Tinkham Veale University Center will surely be addressed.

This time, the forum has been advertised properly, in a decided departure from other campus forums. Last semester, the provost organized a forum about changing tuition and room and board rates. Sadly, only a few students attended an event that could have been very fruitful and informative. This was partly due to minimal publicity about the event. For the SEC’s open form, empty seats should not be a problem —at least based on the effort by the council to publicize the event to undergraduate students.
We encourage you to go, or, if you missed it, seek out similar events and opportunities that enable you to help make the CWRU experience better.Whether it means listening in on an open forum or joining an organization’s executive board, active participation never hurts—it results in a greater connection to the university you pay to attend.