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      Students find motivation to serve in local, international efforts

      Alex Cooke

      Issue date: 4/10/09 Section: Opinion
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      In 1974, the American Psychiatric Association removed the term homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. By that time, Case Western Reserve University already had a sanctioned gay rights group on campus, the Gay Activist Alliance (GAA). The GAA held discussion sessions, published a newsletter, and promoted regular social events. It even provided a hotline for students on campus. GAA was not just a gathering group for gay people; it was a veritable force whose purpose was to raise awareness and pursue equality. By 1980, GAA had become the Gay Student Union, then became the Lesbian Gay Student Union, then the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance, and finally the all-encompassing "Spectrum" as we know it today.

      Last month, we had numerous events for Black History Month and an entire week devoted to understanding eating disorders and body image. At any given time, one can find at least one table in Nord devoted to educating and helping with some cause, whether it be something international, like Darfur, or something in our own backyard, like feeding the hungry of Cleveland. Last year, Greeks performed over 15,000 hours of service, raised over $53,000, and collected over 15,000 cans of food. One should note that this is well beyond what is required by Greek Life.

      I'm not writing this to give us all a collective pat on the back, but rather, to ask what it is that makes us such a prolifically involved campus. Students are often horrifically busy with schoolwork, but I would argue that it's exactly this that makes so many of us so involved. The majority of people who come to Case are here to work, and they bring their own motivation. This carries over just as well outside classes; students don't necessarily need motivation to do things for others.

      I'd be a fool if I said everyone was being selfless all the time. Some service is undeniably done to fulfill requirements or to look good on a résumé or application. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing: regardless of the motivation, the service still gets done. Furthermore, required service is often the gateway someone needs to perform service on his or her own time. In regard to organizations like Spectrum, the same idea applies. Many Case students bring their own motivation to the table, and it is just this quality that makes so many students excellent leaders.

      Case students are traditionally competitive in many arenas. Combine students dreaming of medical school, internships, and lucrative jobs with strong motivation and commitment to progress, and you create the ideal environment for helping others and effecting change. As always, one chooses his or her own level of involvement, but rarely, if ever again, will we have the chance to be so involved in current affairs.

      Alex Cooke is a senior math and psychology major with plans to go to graduate school and eventually join the FBI. He enjoys spending time with his horse and songwriting. Cooke can be reached at .
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      In This Issue

      News

      • From newspapers to the net: famed editor delivers lecture on future of journalism
      • G20 protest in London: A firsthand account
      • ITS prepares for mail switch
      • New USG president to be chosen tonight: Douglas or Pinder
      • Sigma Phi Epsilon, Phi Mu win Greek Week competition
      • Understanding car insurance
      • Village at 115 awarded LEED Silver rating

      Sports

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      • Softball gets out of jams, into wins
      • Spartan Spotlight: Clay Hurley
      • Tennis: Women snap losing streak
      • Track & Field: Women's track takes fifth, men take ninth at DePauw
      • Ultimate: Women Gobies have fighting chance at regionals
      • Water polo workhorses

      Fun Page

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      • Jumble Answers
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      Opinion

      • Community Supported Agriculture benefits both consumers, farmers
      • Don't let weather dictate your mood
      • Editorial: Administration should take responsibility for CSP
      • Students find motivation to serve in local, international efforts
      • Test bank not issue of Greeks versus non-Greeks
      • Coverage of AIB was slanted
      • Progress on test bank available

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      • Sex and Dating: Serial Monogamy
      • Spartans of Style: Back to the '80s
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