What The Observer taught me about empowering student voices

What The Observer taught me about empowering student voices

It has been a difficult academic year for many of us. As a student of both Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music, there have been a number of times throughout this year in which I’ve felt that neither of the institutions I will be receiving a degree from in May have been particularly conducive learning environments and have further failed to support my studies fully. I find some solace in the fact that, despite the challenges, I have found a community with The Observer that reports on these issues while highlighting the impact on students, calling for change within these institutions we pay to attend that are meant to provide a safe space to learn and grow for everyone.
I am not blind to the coverage both institutions have received from national and even international news outlets, but the one thing they seem to be lacking in comparison is first-hand experience. There is nothing more telling than the students of an institution reporting on its wrongdoing and pleading for administrators to fix it for the well-being of the student body as a whole. I am grateful that the respective situations at CWRU and CIM have been receiving wide coverage that calls attention to the lack of support for its students; however, I believe that first-person accounts of these internal issues are just as important for the Cleveland community and beyond to be listening to.
I have never much liked writing, but I found a call to action to do so with the initial Title IX incident at CIM. Since then, I have continued writing about the disconnect between the student body and administration. I am now about to graduate at a time when none of these issues seem resolved, and student protests seem a permanent fixture of every orchestra concert. CWRU is in a similar situation, where the administration seems to continue to disregard student voices and adhere to their own agenda seemingly without regarding these concerns. It is my sincere hope that student perspectives continue to be promoted in publications such as The Observer, until the administration finally begins to listen before they have no students left to listen to.
Despite its challenges, however, this year has also been immensely fun, and my role in The Observer was no small part of that. Working with a group of students who care equally about projecting student voices has been nothing short of empowering. This fall, I will be continuing my education at the University of Southern California pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Arts, but I anticipate my work in news and editing to continue based on my experiences here. I look forward to seeing what The Observer, and more generally the students of CWRU and CIM, will accomplish in a time of such turmoil, and am confident that the future of both of these institutions will be bright if the administration will listen to the student voices we have been working so tirelessly to give a platform to.

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