College Media Network

The Observer

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

    Students find motivation to serve in local, international efforts

    Alex Cooke

    Issue date: 4/17/09 Section: Opinion
    • Print
    • Email
    • Page 1 of 1
    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 .
    Page 1 of 1

    Article Tools

    Be the first to comment on this story

    In This Issue


    • "Doc Oc" memorial statue to be dedicated
    • "Zombies" continue attacks
    • Cleveland, Case community celebrate Village at 115's LEED certifications
    • Despite recession, Case optimistic about incoming freshmen enrollment
    • Have you heard about: Ballroom Dance Society?
    • How to choose the right health insurance policy after graduation
    • Meet the Provost: providing answers to tough questions
    • USG � BRIEF


    • Athlete association active off the field
    • Baseball: Walks cost Spartans in twinbill sweep
    • Softball: Andrasik's glove, bat key to win over Hiram
    • Spartan Spotlight: Angel Rice
    • Track & Field: Last stop before UAAs: Lynchburg

    Fun Page

    • Crossword Answers
    • Jumble Answers
    • Sudoku Solutions


    • Editorial: Study abroad policies need flexibility
    • Eight stages of genocide offer chances for prevention
    • Living abroad forces students to gain real world experience
    • Misogynistic comments should not be tolerated
    • Students find motivation to serve in local, international efforts
    • Surprising talents abound at Case


    • Bat for Lashes impresses with soundscapes on Two Suns
    • Humorous Observe and Report has potential for cult film status
    • The Buzz
    • Winning story from CRAP Board's short story contest
    • Yeshiva University professor discusses transgenderism

    Sex and Dating

    • Letting it go

    Worst Case Scenario

    • Paper writing 101
    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