The March 27 meeting of the General Assembly (GA) of Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) began with a visit from a guest speaker: president Barbara Snyder.
She came to address the GA with remarks regarding Springfest – specifically, the planning of an event at Springfest to commemorate the groundbreaking of the new University Center. She also commented on new efforts to reduce crime on and around the CWRU campus.
Snyder encouraged students to take advantage of the new, third SafeRide vehicle and to be patient waiting for the service instead of putting personal safety at risk.
Students had the opportunity to pose several questions to the university president. One concerned the future use of the Thwing Center after the opening of the new university center. President Snyder replied that the LGBT Center, Inamori Center, and USG Office will be moved into the new student center. Subsequently, several requests are being processed for the space that will be vacated.
President Snyder was particularly explanatory about the plans for the Temple Tifereth Performing Arts Center, which will undergo considerable renovation. The renovation will involve an expansion of facilities to include computer labs and conference rooms. In addition, the current main worship area will be revamped acoustically to become a music venue.
Many students raised questions about the university’s finances, including the current budget, transparency of how tuition dollars are spent, and long-term plans for university expenditures.
Snyder replied that the general outlook of the budget is positive, although the current surplus is slightly lower than is preferred for the university’s credit rating. Most of the general breakdown of the tuition dollar spending is available online for the CWRU community to access.
Snyder addressed future spending by saying that the biggest endeavor on the long-term map concerns student housing. CWRU would like to improve the current arrangements, but this is contingent on whether or not the university will consolidate housing on the north side of campus. In addition, the capital required would need to be raised directly, unlike the funding for the new student center, which was based on gifts.
After President Snyder spoke, the Student Sustainability Council (SSC) reported on its Recyclemania campaign. The council reported that CWRU has improved its recycling, but the amount of trash waste is still almost 10 times the amount recycled.
Afterwards, USG president Divya Aggarwal submitted the committee report to the group. The Student Life Improvement Grant proposals are still being evaluated, and decisions will be made soon.
In addition, at the last SEC meeting, USG allocated .1 percent of its budget to this semester’s Thwing Study Over. In conjunction with the other SEC member organizations, USG allocated .5 percent of its budget to Senior Week.
Vice president of Finance Jesal Shah reported that her committee is working on updating the Student Organization Handbook, which is currently very outdated. The updating will greatly aid the Finance Committee’s efforts to be more transparent and assist USG organizations with their operations.
Vice president of Information Technology Tom Dooner announced that the cable television service has been fixed and should be working normally. The issue lay in a device that split the signal in each building for individual televisions. Apparently, every device was faulty, which caused the misconception that a central piece of equipment was flawed.
In addition, Donner and a few other student representatives are working to make the USG website more user-friendly, collaborating heavily with the Finance Committee so that student organizations will have an easier time with funding.
The GA passed three pieces of legislation. Bill B. 21-24 approved the USG fall 2012 budget. Bill B.21-25 recognized Shadowing Case by Case, a student organization that facilitates pre-health student shadowing of professionals. Bill B. 21-26 approved $6,371.44 of rolling funding for USG-sponsored organizations.