Mentors, administrators and total immersion

The meaning of Spartan life

Jacob Martin

Case Western Reserve University has many great things to offer. In fact, the good highly outweigh the bad. But there are still some major issues that remain and work to be done. A sense of community is of the utmost importance to a college campus and this is one such issue.

I believe mentorship and guidance are staples of a strong college community and can help us understand what a thriving campus would look like.

Have you ever had a mentor that helped you in some unbelievable way, did something above and beyond for you? How about a professor who believed in you and pushed you to be a better student, leader and overall person? I am lucky to say that I have had some great teachers in my life, many of whom I’ve met here at CWRU.

A great mentor can help you grow as an individual and make you a better person. This has been my experience. One of my advisors takes me out to lunch somewhat regularly and we talk about everything from current affairs to dating. I’ve spoken to another on the telephone over the weekend while they were eating breakfast. And my relationship with another is one in which I can just drop by his office, make myself at home and talk about my course schedule one minute and Cleveland sports the next.

These are snapshots of the relationships that change lives. They are the essence of a strong community and crucial to the personal development of students. Too often students go unnoticed and without the proper attention due to large lecture halls filled wall to wall, an overwhelming number of other pre-med students, or the sheer student-teacher ratio with regards to certain fields.

However, CWRU appears to do a fairly decent job with mentorship for those who seek it out. The relationships I have with my professors are strong because I worked at them and built them to what they are. Most professors on campus are pretty open to helping students, and the ones that are difficult aren’t worth your time.

In light of this, what is the relationship between student and administrator?

For a number of reasons, I have decent relations with certain administrators on campus. Some are more accessible than others, and some care more about individual students, two realities that should be expected.

On the first floor of Adelbert Hall is the Office of Student Affairs. In that office are a number of associate vice presidents who are willing to speak to any student. In fact, you can walk into the office and simply request a meeting with one of them and you will be given one in a timely manner.

Perhaps the relative ease of meeting with Student Affairs administrators is due to the nature of the office, but no matter, the ability to speak one-on-one with administrators dedicated to students is an empowering feeling.
If there is something on campus that deeply bothers you, that office is at your disposal, and students should take advantage of the opportunity. There is also Undergraduate Student Government and The Observer, not to mention various administrative information sessions geared towards students.

We need to immerse ourselves in our campus culture and make a small effort to build upon it and leave our individual marks on it, so that our university will become a much better place. If there is something that is bothering you about this campus, don’t be afraid to speak out. Your voice is not insignificant.

We must never forget that we are the life of the university. As students, we give rise to and sustain the university. CWRU is our home, and we must choose to take care of it.

I care about the students here and will tirelessly continue to ask questions and seek answers. I will not give up my pursuit of building a diverse campus community, characterized by equality, dialogue and transparency. I may merely be a student, but without me and every other undergraduate, graduate, and professional student, Case Western Reserve University does not exist. Always remember that.

Jacob Martin is a senior opinion columnist and believes in the spirit of CWRU.