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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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Snyder praises university accomplishments

“Students are our number one recruiters,” said president Barbara Snyder at the second annual Student State of the University address on Oct. 20 in Strosacker Auditorium that saw middling attendance. “We publish, perform, volunteer, fundraise, score touchdowns at CWRU. This university is nothing without [the students].”

Throughout the address, Snyder spoke about a wide range of issues, including admissions, internationalization, security and the new University Center to undergraduate student body

She began by addressing the university’s finances, giving some figures to demonstrate the University’s recent success. She specifically mentioned that the university saw the third consecutive fundraising success over $100 million, including the $115.5 million raised this year, the second highest in school history.

Snyder also clarified some things about the University center. “By calendar year 2014,” she said, “We will be done with the [new Student] Center. The students will have a voice as to what the Center will offer; we have a student on the architect selection committee.”

Many positive developments about University fundraising and financial aid were emphasized, including that the University has nearly doubled its scholarship funds from 2005-2006, 90 percent of students receive financial aid, and CWRU is ranked twentieth nationally for need based aid.

Snyder specifically mentioned the importance of the $12 million gift given by the Maltz Family Foundation for the Performing Arts Center. “Now we’re going to have a space that inspires our student artists,” she said.

Sustainability efforts on campus were among the major topics in Snyder’s address. She explained how CWRU is developing a long-term climate-action plan to become carbon neutral. “Students are critical to helping this cause,” she said. The plan is set to start on Jan. 15, 2011, and will be heavily reliant on the Student Sustainability Group, which will implement an eco-challenge, and measure our own impact and Accenture on the environment.

President Snyder then turned the focus to campus security, saying it was the University’s “number one priority,” and highlighted both existing programs and what measures have been taken. In 2006, CWRU started its own police force which today has 21 sworn police officers. There are 15 additional security officers, and all work in conjunction with the Cleveland Police Department. She also mentioned that Safe-Ride service operates from 7 p.m-3 a.m, and the escort service operates 24/7. Personal crime has dropped 60 percent and property crime 40 percent. The area to wait to cross at Euclid Ave. and Adelbert Rd. has been expanded to give students 539 square feet of space.

CWRU is still working with the city to work on a solution to the crosswalk issue. One proposition is to do “the barn dance,” where students cross diagonally across Euclid.

Another issue that was addressed was the increase in internationalization. CWRU has tripled the number of international students from the 2009 freshman class, started a new international student orientation, and placed an emphasis on the global experience.

At that, Snyder’s formal address ended, and a video displaying many of the school’s students excelling at what they do best, including sports, academics, and performing. The floor was then opened up for questions and comments.

Questions ranged from study-abroad to alumni relations, and tuition to access to academic buildings after certain hours. An important point that came out was that concerning Freiberger Field. The new Student Center will be built on a portion of Freiberger Field and one student questioned whether or not students would still have access to it for Intramurals and such. Snyder answered with confidence, “We think you will have enough green space to do what you do.”

Master of ceremonies Dan Gallo commented on the evening, “I think that the address went well. The things president Snyder talked about were things the students really talked about. The evidence was the in the questions. If there were any other issues, students would have asked.”

Junior Kaiti Zolton was in attendance and commented, “I think the address was very good. I really appreciate the fact that president Snyder addressed issues students brought up, and I’m excited to see how all of the new initiatives will come into fruition.”

Undergraduate Student Government president, Minh-Tri Nguyen said after the address, “I think it was great. Students here asked really great questions. I think we are in a pivotal year for any student body. There are multiple student initiatives going on and I think this is evident that these projects will be completed.” Nguyen also expressed his confidence in the promises Snyder made during the address, “I will tell you, University officials always deliver. They know this university doesn’t exist without students; everything they say they take seriously.”

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About the Contributor
Jacob Martin, Opinion Editor

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