Case Western Reserve University.
I—and many of you reading this—have typed out those four words just about anywhere and everywhere. Whether you’ve typed them out at the end of your emails or have them prominently featured on your Facebook page, those four words connect every single one of us on this campus. Looking back on my time here thus far, the approach towards the University that a lot of my fellow classmates take continues to puzzle me.
CWRU is an objectively good school, and I want to be clear that this does not imply it is the best school. Like any other school, the institution and the community here at CWRU face all kinds of problems. However, when it comes down to solving these problems, students lack an initiative-oriented mindset.
Take the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) as an example. Just this past month, I was elected Vice President of Public Relations and have had the opportunity to interact with a group of highly motivated and driven individuals who are working towards making this campus a better place. USG derives its power from the Board of Trustees through the Office of Student Affairs, and the Board believes that “students are an integral part of the University community and are capable of a program of self-governance,” as stated in USG’s Grant of Power.
Despite USG’s power and its direct link to the administrators of the University, it still faces the challenge of recruiting candidates for elections. This ties back to the mindset that students hold of finding an issue but not being proactive when it comes to finding a solution.
Another example that comes to mind is a personal one. Early last year, I was hired as a tour guide by the Office of Undergraduate Admission. During my very first week of giving tours, a CWRU student weaved by my group and said to a prospective student and their family that they should run away from here as fast as possible. The student began to laugh and then walked away from my group. Looking back to the instance, I can see why the CWRU student may have thought it was a humorous thing to do. But pushing the humor aspect to the side for a minute, it is important to realize that in making that statement, CWRU might have lost out on having someone who could have been an excellent addition to our student body.
Everyone who is currently enrolled as a student at CWRU was once a prospective student applying to college. Transitioning from being a prospective student to being an enrolled student is difficult, no doubt, but I do think that it is important to realize the distinction. Once you become a student at CWRU, it does not matter if this school was a stretch or a safety school for you nor does it matter if you label yourself an “Ivy League Reject” or whatever else.
At the end of the day, for better or worse, you are now associated with this institution. I would hope that you are actively working towards a better tomorrow for CWRU, in whatever capacity that you can. In not doing so, you are shooting yourself in the foot.
Class of 2020