College Media Network

The Observer

The Student Newspaper of Case Western Reserve University
  • Home
  • News
  • Sports
  • Opinion
  • Focus
  • About Us
    • Info
    • Staff
  • Archives
    • Sept. 2008 - Present
  • Options
    • Login
    • Register
    • Write to the Editor
    • Syndication
    • Search
  • Advertising

Friends and strangers combine forces to help Paul Paterson graduate

Adam Spektor

Issue date: 9/3/10 Section: Focus
  • Print
  • Email
  • Page 1 of 2 next >
Senior Paul Paterson unknowingly made waves when he found himself unable to register for a class he needed to graduate.
Senior Paul Paterson unknowingly made waves when he found himself unable to register for a class he needed to graduate.
[Click to enlarge]
By the final semester of college, most people have a general idea of what they'll be doing after graduation, or at the very least, when they'll be graduating. Senior engineering major Paul Paterson, however, came close to rescheduling his entire spring semester around one class, which could have cost him thousands of dollars. His situation has caught the attention of many students ho empathizing with Paterson's predicament.

Paterson's final required course was ENGL 398 (Professional Communication for Engineers), a course offered in three sessions this semester, all of which are currently filled. Due to financial reasons, Paterson had a hold on his account and was unable to register.

"I ended this previous spring semester with a significant amount owed to Case," said Paterson. "I was unable to get it paid off and have the financial hold released until one week before classes."

Once Paterson discovered he could not register for the class and would be unable to graduate at the end of the semester as intended, he sent a message to friends explaining the situation. He also offered $200 compensation to anyone willing to drop the class for him. Fellow Delta Upsilon brother Joseph Bashover started a Facebook group, "Help Paul Paterson Graduate," and in four days, 100 people had joined in support.

"I was very surprised by the Facebook group," said Paterson, "A large majority of the members of the group are unknown to me… I am very grateful for all the support I got from everybody."

In his attempt to join the class, Paterson spoke with Dr. Eve McPherson, who manages all the sections of ENGL 398. Overriding the hold on enrollment proved to be difficult. Graduate teaching assistants were contractually unable to assist more than 20 students, the classroom is unable to hold more than 20 students, and in addition to Paterson, a number of other students were attempting to override the class's hold as well.
Page 1 of 2 next >

Article Tools

Be the first to comment on this story

Issue Summary


  • Current SEC board coping with unfinished business
  • CWRU ranked in top 50 by U.S. News & World Report for 15th year
  • CWRU sees second highest amount of donations in history
  • Leutner Dining Café opens to pleasant reviews
  • RAM founder Stan Brock receives 2010 Inamori Prize
  • Student injured crossing Adelbert
  • Tense SEC open forum addresses internal SEC issues and upcoming Greek Life referendum
  • USG Brief


  • Gameday Preview: CWRU vs. JCU
  • Lady Spartans to face tough competition in Labor Day Tournament
  • NFL Preview: Division breakdowns
  • Spartans soundly defeat Hiram Terriers
  • When it rains, it pours


  • Bush who? What the 2003 tax cuts mean for your 2011 job outlook
  • Editorial: Permanent solutions necessary to protect student safety
  • Letter to the Editor: Proud to be Greek
  • Letter to the Editor: Stronger SEC commitment to accountability, their constitution needed before they take away Greek Life's money
  • Rough and tumble: the spirit of Cleveland
  • What's your favorite part of Leutner?


  • Distractions
  • Engineers Without Borders breaks cultural boundaries, builds wells in Cameroon
  • Expansive Ancient Galleries latest addition to Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Facebook nightmares
  • Friends and strangers combine forces to help Paul Paterson graduate
  • Going back to Those Gold Soundz: The Church of Andrew W.K.
  • Jesty Beatz brings fame to Zeta Psi house
  • MOCA makes big plans for move to University Circle
  • Modern music dominates new season for Cleveland Orchestra
  • Sex and Dating
National College Advertising and Marketing | Privacy Policy (9/9/09) | Terms of Use (9/9/09)
Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (4/27/09) | RSS Terms of Use



This Week's Front Page

Download Print Edition PDF