Pres. to press

Mike McKenna, Director of Print

In the spirit of President Obama’s State of the Union Address, we kick off bringing you our monthly sit-down with Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder. This month, the conversation ranged from transportation to rising tuition prices.

On transportation

Snyder noted that she had met with Vice President for Campus Services Dick Jamieson about increasing the number of Greenie’s on campus. She said talks are in place to add at least one Greenie to the busiest route.

On safety

Snyder said that safety “continues to be another critical issue” and that CWRU recently posted an opening for a new position of safety director, who will oversee collaboration between CWRU Police Department and campus security services to ensure that security personnel are being used most effectively.

On the topic of the security tower, new this year near Wade Commons in the North Residential Village, Snyder said that its “hard to tell” if its construction has led to a reduction of crime in the area. She explained that the cold weather every year results in less crime, so it’s difficult to discern what is responsible in this winter’s drop in criminal activity. However, she elaborated that there was an uptick in crime after the original security tower was torn down to construct the new residence hall.

On last semester’s report of 10 fraternity men being accused of sexual misconduct

Snyder frequently referred to an upcoming survey in which members of the Association of American Universities will take part in regarding each campuses’ “sexual assault climate.” It will specifically look at occurrences of sexual assault and student perception of sexual assault case handling on campuses.

Snyder said that the study is hoping to get a better idea of what circumstances do not get reported, as instances of sexual assault and misconduct are typically drastically underreported.

“While we know it’s underreported, we don’t know how underreported it [sexual assault] is,” Snyder said.

However, Snyder did note that she was not aware that the sexual misconduct took place until after The Observer’s Dec. 5 report. She said that it’s “probably obvious” she would have like to have known beforehand.

“This happens, we’re a big institution,” Snyder said. “I would like to have known, but I can’t know about every little thing [that happens at CWRU].”

On closing due to inclement weather

Snyder said that the decision to close the university due to cold or snow is a “process” that begins at 5:30 a.m. A number of individuals are contacted, including representatives from the Campus Planning and Facilities Management Department and local police.

“While we take safety seriously, at the same time, we don’t want to close the campus for inconsequential reasons,” Snyder said.

Snyder also said she receives the most emails from students complaining when the university isn’t closed on a cold day.

Additional reporting by Katie Wieser, Executive Editor.