The Student Presidents’ Roundtable (SPR) established the Thwing Center as the heart of Case Western Reserve University’s campus and determined to modify it to fit the needs of CWRU students. The SPR is made up of the presidents or chairs of various umbrella organizations, Greek Life councils and programming groups.
According to JohnPatrick O’Hagan, Chair of the University Media Board and member of the SPR, 85 unique student organizations utilized Thwing over the past school year.
“In the microcosm that is central campus here, with academics over at [the Kelvin Smith Library], athletics on [Frieberger Field] and university resources in [Tinkham Veale University Center (TVUC)], Thwing should be that last part of your college experience [that] is student life. It currently is unable to live up to that purpose,” said O’Hagen.
Caroline Gray, Chair of the SPR, explained that Thwing was chosen as the heart of campus over the TVUC because some on the SPR don’t see the TVUC as oriented toward students. Instead they see the TVUC as meeting university needs.
“When you walk into Thwing, there’s a brick floor, there’s a fireplace and there are couches. It’s just a [home-like] environment,” said Lilly Tesfai, president of the Undergraduate Diversity Collaborative and a SPR member.
The only currently planned change to Thwing is to reinforce the floor of the building’s ballroom at a cost of around $44,000. Renovation is set to begin during this year’s winter break. The Vice President of Student Affairs, Lou Stark, has proposed funding the project through a CWRU discretionary capital gains budget.
It is up to debate as to whether the room’s floor will be covered by a carpet after the changes.
“Groups like Footlighters want carpeting because it dampens sound, which is better for acoustics. But dance groups, such as [Case] Ballroom Dance Society, want the ballroom to be hardwood, because they can only dance on wood,” explained Gray.
Footlighters is a theater group that produces a musical each semester.
The ballroom’s renovation may also include two further phases, which haven’t received funding but will include repainting the walls, changing the drapes, replacing the lighting and installing a new audio system.
The SPR has invited members of student organizations that have previously utilized Thwing for a walkthrough and discussion about the building this Saturday, Oct. 1. The meeting will occur at 2 p.m. in the Thwing Atrium. SPR will write a proposal on meeting future student needs in Thwing based on the meeting.