Letter to the Student Body

Student Roundtable

To the Case Western Reserve University student body:

We are writing this letter at a time of great stress for everyone at Case Western Reserve University, particularly its students. Along with you, we have struggled with the transition to remote learning and everything that entails. Whether it’s taking a test under the very watchful eye of a proctor, dealing with internet connectivity issues, or trying to figure out what’s next with our belongings back on campus, we’ve been dealing with the same problems you have.

However, it is our job as student leaders to represent you to the administration and create ways to mitigate your concerns. In that vein, the USG Finance Committee and the Allocations Committee have worked hard to create the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, collecting donations across all campus organizations and distributing money to students. (To apply for the fund, fill out this form.) We have held forums and created forms for you to voice your concerns and passed along these concerns to the administration.

While we admire the effort of the administration in dealing with one of the most difficult situations in the history of the university, we believe they have come up short in a few areas. As your student leaders, we have a right to know decisions that will be implemented and provide feedback to those decisions. So far, despite our requests, we have not been included in many of the decision making or communication meetings. Instead, too often we have been dealing with the fallout of the decisions, trying to communicate policies that we do not fully understand because we were not there when they were created. To prevent the spread of misinformation, it is imperative students are involved in the process.

As leaders ourselves, we do not want to diminish how hard some decisions have been for the administration. This is an unprecedented crisis, and we admire their ability to quickly make decisions and cut through institutional bureaucracy. We are, however, disappointed in the lack of student voices in the decisions. 

With the resolution we have passed, we are calling on the administration to include its students in communication and decision-making. We are the ones whom these decisions are most impacting, and we should have a say in them or at least the ability to provide our feedback to polish them up before their implementation. We have heard from our counterparts at peer institutions; most of them have been involved in discussions or at least in updates, before the decision is brought to the student body. We are also calling on the administration to be more consistent and thorough in their communication about the decisions they make. President Snyder’s video message is a great first step. If we are involved as student leaders, we can make sure our voices are heard. This will lead to fewer follow-up emails explaining policy decisions and will allow everyone to stress less about communication. We can re-focus our efforts on solving problems and not communicating the solutions.

As your student leaders, we will stand with you and support. While we cannot meet with you in person, we are doing our best to make sure each and every single one of your voices are heard. Together, we will get through this. Even though the spring 2020 semester will be lost to the pandemic, we will reconvene in the fall and celebrate as Spartans, cherishing even more our friendships and CWRU connections.

Stay safe, and shine on.


The Case Western Reserve University Student Presidents’ Roundtable

Naveena Bontha – Student Presidents Roundtable, Chair

John A. Garcia – Interfraternity Congress, President

Marin Exler – Undergraduate Student Government, President

Ethan Glickstein – Class Officer Collective

Himica Kalra – Panhellenic Council, President

Edward J. Kerekes – University Media Board, Chair

Atirola Omilabu – University Program Board, President

Douglas Spizarny – Residence Hall Association, Executive President

Nsisong Udosen – Undergraduate Diversity Collaborative, President