Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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Semester Grades

Case Western Reserve University students will be surprised to find that they earned at least one F this semester due to lack of participation.

Despite the fact that the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) put an enormous amount of effort in encouraging student input on the tobacco-free policy, about 20 students showed up for the open forums, maybe even less. The responses to the referendum on the USG election form were contradictory and implied that students are apathetic to the changes happening on their own campus. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, point proven.

Aside from campus issues, there was a lack of attendance at school events. Although Greek Week was packed—perhaps due to the fact that some chapters have mandatory attendance policies for certain events—other high-scale events with meaningful purposes, like Relay for Life, had low attendance in comparison to past years.

On that note, where’s the school spirit? The Observer wonders where in the world did Blue CWRU go? After a spirited fall semester, which included a successful blowout sale of sportswear, Blue CWRU seems to have fallen off the map.

CWRU prides itself on the academic successes of their students, but everyone knows that school spirit doesn’t thrive during the hours of studying and projects. If students aren’t putting their spirit into their schoolwork, maybe they should think of investing it in the very community where they’re spending at least four full years of their lives.

Just for fun, we’ve decided that the rest of the grades will look like the ones you received in kindergarten.

Undergraduate Student Government (USG): Excellent

USG did a good job pushing for student input on the tobacco-free policy this semester, a policy that caused a great stir on campus. They hosted open forums, inviting students to voice their opinions in front of university professionals like Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark. They even included a poll on the policy as part of USG elections this past March.

Yet, despite all of this effort, there was great confusion regarding the results. 52 percent of the students who voted on the referendum were in favor of the tobacco-free policy. The response to this statistic was uncertainty; there’s a lot left unanswered about how accurate this statistic was.

But it shouldn’t be forgotten that USG President Chippy Kennedy made it possible for students to explore their opinions: On behalf of the campus, he requested that President Barbara R. Snyder and the Board wait until students had a chance to voice their opinions.

There’s always room for improvement, but USG certainly went above and beyond its job this semester, encouraging the student body to jump in on the debate.

Greek Life: Emerging Potential

In consequence of the controversial membership reviews that occurred throughout the year, students on campus have had to deal with many rumors being spread, two of which include chapters losing houses or chapters being cut down to single digits in membership.

But it’s no rumor that Greek Life can do better in terms of inclusion. It’s true that philanthropy events have been successful, but without more attendance from non-Greek students they fail to foster a campus-wide sense of community. Perhaps non-Greek members feel uncomfortable joining in on philanthropy events that are hosted by chapters, but Greek Life hasn’t done much to reach out to the rest of campus since fraternity and sorority recruitment ended.

Along those lines of inclusion, diversity within the Greek community is no reflection of the diversity seen on campus. African American students comprise at least five percent of students on the CWRU campus, but that number does not translate to Greek Life. And for LGBT individuals, Greek Life could certainly construct a more welcoming environment. Although major adjustments have to start at the nationals level, the CWRU Greek community can kick off change with some purposeful efforts.

The campus community may have experienced serious turbulence for the past few months, but issues regarding diversity can be recognized and adjusted now. There’s no need to wait.

University Program Board (UPB): Needs More Time for Improvement

While UPB is always on time sending its emails, they aren’t always on point in terms of planning student programs.

First, UPB’s marketing strategies have certainly had their ups and downs. While the Spring Break trip was thoroughly advertised, and an enormous amount of hype was built up before the day of ticket sales, events like the spring comedians Demetri Martin and Michael Che were so under-publicized that it was almost a secret. In fact, UPB did a better job advertising their glass-blowing day in Ohio City.

The second great contention with UPB is their adjustments with Spot Night. Moving Spot Night to the Jolly Scholar was a smart move (two words: cheap beer), but shifting the concerts to Friday night seemed to be based on a false assumption that CWRU students don’t already have plans on a Friday.

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