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Leutner focus groups represented student opinion

Letters to the Editor

Matt Keller

Issue date: 10/30/09 Section: Opinion
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In the Oct. 16 editorial, the effectiveness of Student Executive Council's role in encouraging student participation in university decisions was questioned. A good example is the recent progress in the Leutner dining hall renovations. Beginning last spring, RHA, other SEC groups, and the Housing staff, were solicited for their opinions. Interestingly, the public focus groups were attended by many students - many not in SEC leadership. Recent focus group details have been distributed though direct conversation, newsletters, and communication with administration to students. Even The Observer, in the most recent Leutner renovation article, indicates that "focus groups recruited residents, USG members, and finally the entire undergraduate population." Outreach to students has been present at each step.

It may be still unclear, however, why many focus groups have been heavily attended by SEC leadership. First, it's critical to consider that university campuses maintain a wide diversity of students. Naturally, a university's system of student government will tailor itself to the needs of the overall student body. Representatives are chosen to do just that. These individuals listen to the concerns or suggestions of students and pass vital information to appropriate parties. The same representatives are charged with passing new, useful information to their students in a timely manner.

However, is it important to clarify a possible misperception - that student leaders in organizations, like SEC, exclude students by taking advantage of their positions, when actually, they are playing crucial role in student involvement. I wish all students were able to attend each meeting that betters our campus. And, additional student input is always desired. The current student leadership structure allows student leaders to step in and advocate for their peers when necessary. When student activity lacks, informed SEC leaders make sure that all students are heard. The alternative is sour for all parties. During the Leutner renovation focus groups, RHA, along with its SEC counterparts, included as many students as possible. When few students were available, the leadership of these organizations vocalized concerns and suggestions on their behalf.

Yet, no system is perfect. There are many areas in which the community needs to improve. Communication and outreach by SEC is no exception. With that, I encourage all students and organizations to work together to actively participate in the decisions affecting your college experience. We as students should inform ourselves about recent events, talk to your representatives, and become involved. Students groups should reciprocate by improving their methods of student outreach and proactively seek student opinion. Make your opinion known and help create a CWRU campus that is better now and for future students.
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In This Issue


  • A conversation with Keith Lupton
  • Attempts to balance Ohio budget face ever-changing obstacles
  • Can you name this place?
  • CWRU loses to Oberlin in first round of most vegetarian-friendly college contest
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing receives $3.7 million in federal stimulus grants
  • Have you heard about National Society of Collegiate Scholars?
  • Overheard at Case
  • SEC votes to hold referendum on Media Board salaries
  • The college student's guide to credit cards
  • USG Briefs


  • Cuban is wrong on steroids
  • Suddenly swift
  • Teams kick off season at Rochester

Fun Page

  • Combo Scramble Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • 'Home' for the holidays
  • Editorial: Campus vegetarian options don't always deliver
  • On gay rights, Constitution does not apply morality to equality
  • Rwandan genocide convicts should serve sentences in home country
  • SafeRide/campus escorts need improvement
  • Sex not a joking matter
  • State your case: What's the best way to kill a zombie?
  • US culture sets down roots in Argentina


  • Coen brothers' A Serious Man proves to be serious
  • Diaz, Marsden, Kelly speak about new morality drama, The Box
  • Hitting the Spot: Other Girls
  • Mather Dance Center assembles fall collection of dance pieces to be collectively performed as Returning
  • Nutrition: Mac 'n' cheese done healthy
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern probes questions
  • The Buzz
  • The hottest hair for 2009: dress up your tresses
  • The Starving Student Report: brief reviews of local eateries

Cross Country

  • Host Spartans finish second in conference women's race, eighth in men's


  • Football Gameday: Case vs. Carnegie Mellon
  • Ground game carries Spartans to 8-0


  • Spartans outplay, but can't outlast Emory and stay winless in UAA
  • Spartans secure winning season; team regionally ranked

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Jenna Yaney

Worst Case Scenario

  • The stalker's futility
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