Fall 2009 presented the administration, Student Union and the student body with many challenges. From community involvement and sustainability, to dealing and coping with tragedy, John Carroll University has had its ups and downs. The Carroll News hopes to see a continuance of excellence in some areas of JCU and improvements in others.
In 2009, John Carroll University’s relationship with University Heights improved, while the newly formed partnership with Shaker Heights caused controversy. University Heights and JCU banded together to help people to vote for a new mayor and begin a new line of communication.
The Carroll News commends the administration and Student Union on an excellent job in their efforts to involve students in the University Heights election. With the Carroll Counts campaign, a larger amount of students than ever before expressed their political right to vote, contributing more than one-third of the city’s total votes. Holding multiple debates, as well as a polling place on campus, the “Storm the Dorms” event, and the City Charter Review bettered the overall accessibility of the election to students. Not only were students more likely to participate in the elections, but it also brought outside community members to the campus, showing UH constituents that we weren’t as bad as the last regime made us out to be.
The Carroll News hopes that both the administration and the Student Union will continue to improve the relationships as the new year commences, building upon the strides made over the past semester.
On the other hand, serious measures need to be taken on the Shaker Heights front. With the purchase of four apartment buildings on Fairmount Circle, JCU expanded its territory into Shaker Heights.
As stated in an earlier issue, The Carroll News does not agree with the ordinance that the city passed last August, which restricts student occupation in the apartments owned by JCU within Shaker Heights.
With the controversial issue being voted upon, University representatives should have been present. The administration and Student Union representatives failed to show up, damaging not only the University’s image, but also our relationship with the city.
The Carroll News would like to see both Student Union and the administration take a more proactive role with the Shaker Heights community, starting with a meeting with Mayor Earl Leiken discussing a possible compromise on the issue.
Earlier this semester, JCU received an overall D+ from greenreport.com, a slight improvement from the previous year, but JCU must do better. The administration received an F for the lack of reporting sustainability despite the prospect of creating a committee in response to the poor grades. The Carroll News believes that the administration has failed to respond properly to the report and must correct the problem as soon as possible. Recently the Student Union passed a resolution urging the administration to join the Collegiate Sustainability practices consortium. We want to see a concerted effort by the administration to reduce the University’s carbon footprint.
The Carroll News applauds the administration and Student Union for taking a step in the right direction; however, they both need to do more. We suggest turning the lights off in buildings such as Bohannon and putting recycling bins in buildings or dorms instead of trash bins that are sorted later. Researching what other schools with high sustainability report cards do and emulating some of their techniques may also prove beneficial.
The administration and Student Union responded appropriately and efficiently to the three tragic losses that hit the JCU community earlier this semester, providing services to those affected by the deaths. The Counseling Center immediately offered its services and a suicide prevention hotline was quickly put in place.
We would like to see students made more aware of the Counseling Center’s hotline and services.
We would also like to see more open forum meetings between the administration and a majority of the student body where feelings and frustrations as well as information on all topics can be expressed.