You’ll see a lot of things on the typical walk to class, such as campus squirrels fighting, Officer Mark fist bumping pedestrians and prospective students looking lost. However, nothing defines that cross-campus trek more than that “typical Case student,” who can be observed walking with their eyes fixated on the ground and their back hunched over like a Himalayan mountain climber.
Too often Case Western Reserve University students choose to remain silent. It’s an unfortunate gene in the construct of our DNA as an institution; however, it was a stereotype that was broken this past week when Andrew Breland, author of “The Elephant in the Room,” penned his introductory column, “What your tour guide won’t tell you about Case Western Reserve.”
For the first time in my more than three year tenure with The Observer, I witnessed the undergraduate student body’s furnace come ablaze. Social media engagement and Web traffic surged. Several students submitted Letters to the Editor for inclusion. And university administrators contacted Breland and The Observer’s editorial board with requests for meetings to better understand the basis for his claims.
Contrary to what much of our audience may think, receiving an angry letter from a reader about their points of contention with an Opinion column isn’t a detrimental thing. In fact, it is encouraged. Whether a member of our audience concurs or opposes, the end result is the same: a student read what another student had to say and felt compelled to join the conversation.
This dialogue is critical; it is the reason The Observer exists and why its editorial board, as well as the writers, artists and photographers who contribute content, choose to spend their college careers filling printed pages and online postings. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be heard. But more importantly, they want someone to reply.
Our columnists views are only their own, and they do not represent the views of The Observer or Case Western Reserve. Columns are not edited for content by our editorial board;so, they remain the unfiltered thoughts of our contributors.
This week more than ever, I invite you to review the columns and letters to the editor that fill this section. Should you feel compelled to respond through your own submission, I encourage you to take that step. After all, behind the typically quiet voices of our university’s students lie brilliant minds. We just need to pump up the volume.
Tyler E. Hoffman