College Media Network

The Observer

The Student Newspaper of Case Western Reserve University
  • Home
  • News
  • Sports
  • Fun Page
  • Opinion
  • Focus
  • About Us
  • Options
    • Login
    • Register
    • Letter to the Editor
    • Advertise
    • Syndication
    • Podcasts
    • Classifieds
    • Archives
    • Search
  • Blog

Editorial: Grant selection process needs refinement

Issue date: 3/6/09 Section: Opinion
  • Print
  • Email
  • Page 1 of 1
Case Western Reserve University undergraduates are notorious for their dissatisfaction with the university and their ability to complain about anything, a talent that consistently frustrates student leaders. Last year, the Undergraduate Student Government offered campus community members an opportunity to step up and take the situation into their own hands by applying for the $15,000 Student Life Improvement Grant. Any project that would "profoundly impact student life" was eligible for consideration, even if it didn't require the entire amount of money.

A year later, the Student Life Improvement Grant still hasn't been allocated. The process was delayed due to "committee issues," and the implementation process has been handed over to USG's already-overloaded Executive Committee. Worse, solicitation resulted in only 12 proposals, none of which we feel will result in a profound impact on student life.

Out of thousands of people, only 12 could come up with ideas to improve student life? The main message of the Student State of the University address, to step up and make a difference, apparently didn't resonate with people. But we also think USG could have done a better job organizing their efforts.

First of all, we feel that the grant wasn't publicized enough. Yes, it was mentioned in e-mail after e-mail, but there was no campaign to encourage people to think creatively about how this money could be used.

In addition, the timing of the process was faulty; the first call for proposals went out in the spring. When the process got delayed, the deadline became obscure.

Finally, the implementation plan was confusing. Would the student be implementing the plan, or would USG? Many students may have had ideas for the grant, but didn't have the time or resources to implement them.

In our opinion, USG needs to reform the Student Life Improvement Grant committee and make proposal selection a concrete responsibility of the committee. Money should be allocated to worthy proposals. An aggressive PR campaign to solicit more proposals should begin immediately thereafter.

USG should also consider making it part of the committee's responsibility to implement the plan; the student making the proposal should be allowed as much or as little involvement as he or she wants. This would likely result in many more proposals for the rest of the money, such as additional bicycle storage or exercise machines for residence halls.

In the future, USG should consider hashing out a better plan to use leftover money, whether it's putting it back into the much-contested SEC pool or giving student groups a slightly higher percentage of their requested funding.
Page 1 of 1

Article Tools

Be the first to comment on this story

In This Issue


  • E.O. Wilson delivers Distinguished Lecture
  • Have you heard about: Student Executive Council?
  • Research at Case: Indian philosophy
  • The Internet and your finances
  • University continues to look for input on SAGES
  • USG's Student Life Improvement Grant delayed, but still moving


  • Baseball: Spartans split No. 10 Wooster
  • Men's Basketball: Spartans get happy ending against Emory
  • MLB Preview: Angels will continue to dominate AL West
  • Softball Preview: Young, small squad and interim head coach hope to come together
  • Spartan Spotlight: Phil Keefe
  • Track & Field: Nwanna mastering all trades
  • Women's basketball struggles in second half, falls to Emory

Fun Page

  • Crossword Answers
  • Jumble Answers
  • Sudoku Answers


  • Chimp mauling, octomom clog Congressional operations
  • Editorial: Grant selection process needs refinement
  • Good night's sleep brings health, success


  • Local artist opens tongue-in-cheek exhibit at AAWR
  • Memoir strays from current popular topics, brings refreshing take to genre
  • Sex and Dating: The benefits of casual sex
  • Spartans of Style: Picking the perfect suit
  • Spring break 2009: a slice of Case students' travel plans
  • The Buzz
  • The Secret Ingredient: Tart and tangy grapefruit
  • The Worst Case Scenario: Enjoying Cleveland in the spring
  • U2 expands Horizon with experimental album
  • Watchmen delivers on hype, lives up to comics
National College Advertising and Marketing | Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08)
Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use