School has started once more, after a semester quaked by turbulence. Students returned to campus in August to new parking regulations. The semester ended with John Carroll University’s African American Alliance (AAA) demanding changes to the University. For a school with fewer than 4,000 students, very prominent issues have been thrust into the limelight.
Despite being a small campus, the University was able to respond to these issues in a timely and accountable manner. More student parking spots have been added in order to calm the student body and allow more students to park. The Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J., met with members of AAA in an attempt to alleviate some of their frustrations with the current social climate on campus. Since then, he has made a commitment to meet with several university administrators on a monthly basis to make progress toward “inclusive excellence.”
This is the beauty of JCU. We have just under 4,000 undergraduate students, which allows the faculty to give individuals to the students who request it. Organizations are heard quickly. These are just a few benefits of small universities. Simultaneously, we enjoy many benefits that larger scale universities receive as well. We are able to attract high profile guest speakers such as Congresswoman Marcia Fudge; Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mohandus Gandhi; Russian poet Sergey Gandlevsky; The New York Times bestselling author Isabel Wilkerson; and many others. JCU also brings a sense of notoriety that follows alumni beyond their undergraduate years and into their careers. We also enjoy access to Cleveland, a booming metropolis that houses well-known landmarks such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Playhouse Square and so much more.
As we start another semester, it is important to remember that we have the best of both worlds. While the University isn’t perfect and problems do arise, we must take advantage of the positive aspects of our campus. They are unique to our campus and make JCU a great place to attend. We all came here for a variety of reasons; as we continue down our undergraduate path, we must remember those reasons.