Student Life

Residence Life & Services

Your experience outside the classroom is centered in the place where you hang your coat and lay your head. For many of you, that place is your house, which is grouped with other houses into one of four residential colleges. Case Western Reserve's residential colleges began in the fall of 2003 to encourage communities based on common interest.

Each residential college fosters the First Year Experience through a unique theme.

Cedar Residential College Juniper Residential College Magnolia Residential College Mistletoe Residential College
Growth Through the Arts
Knowledge Through Multiculturalism
Engagement Through Sustainability
Leadership Through Service

Home to first-year students, the residential colleges—Cedar, Juniper, Magnolia and Mistletoe—are communities that help students with their transitions into the Case Western Reserve community, build academic and interpersonal foundations, and make connections with peers, faculty, staff and, ultimately, mentors. Your first-year coordinator will be one of these important people, as they are an academic advisor who also serves as an additional gateway to resources on campus. Each residential college is identified by a crest and theme that encourages students to shape the distinctive nature of their own community: Growth Through the Arts, Knowledge Through Multiculturalism, Engagement Through Sustainability and Leadership Through Service. Students have opportunities to represent their residential college in annual traditions such as Homecoming, End of the Year Celebration and Relay for Life.

Within your house and residential college, you’ll find a great number of activities in which to participate. You can also run for leadership roles, as each residential college is represented by its own Residence Hall Association (RHA) community council.

As you continue your life at Case Western Reserve and begin your second year, you will move into the Second Year Experience. The Second Year Experience is focused on developing an environment where students can explore and develop their career paths and goals.

Upperclass students have the opportunity to live in The Village at 115, in our new residence hall that opens in the fall of 2015 or PropertyManagement Apartments in the North Residential Village, or in Property-Management houses in the South Residential Village as part of the Upperclass Experience. The Village at 115 has seven houses and attained Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification; a sign of the campus’ dedication to sustainability. The Upperclass Experience is focused on preparing students for their future journeys in the “real world” as lifelong scholars, active global citizens and ethical leaders.

Greek Life

You may decide that Greek Life is for you. You'll have lots of company, as the thriving Greek community at Case Western Reserve draws over 40 percent of the undergraduate population, many of whom choose to live in Greek housing.

With a long tradition dating back to the 19th century, the Greek community at Case Western Reserve comprises some two dozen fraternities and sororities. You'll become part of the tradition as you enter the process of recruiting and joining a Greek organization.

Case Western Reserve recognizes two kinds of Greek organizations. Chapters are fully functioning Greek groups. Colonies, often smaller, are working toward obtaining full chapter recognition.


  • Beta Theta Pi, often called Beta
  • Delta Chi
  • Delta Sigma Phi, often called Delta Sig
  • Delta Tau Delta, often called Delt
  • Delta Upsilon, often called DU
  • Phi Delta Theta, often called Phi Delt
  • Phi Gamma Delta, often called FIJI
  • Phi Kappa Psi, often called Phi Psi
  • Phi Kappa Tau, often called Phi Tau
  • Phi Kappa Theta, often called Phi Kap
  • Pi Kappa Phi, often called Pi Kap
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon, often called SAE
  • Sigma Chi
  • Sigma Nu
  • Theta Chi
  • Zeta Beta Tau, often called ZBT
  • Zeta Psi, often called Zete


  • Alpha Chi Omega, often called A Chi O
  • Alpha Phi, often called A Phi
  • Delta Gamma, often called DG
  • Kappa Alpha Theta, often called Theta
  • Phi Mu
  • Phi Sigma Rho, often called Phi Rho
  • Pi Beta Phi, often called Pi Phi
  • Sigma Psi
  • Sigma Sigma Sigma, often called Tri Sigma

The Black Greek Council is a group made up of Case Western Reserve representatives of the Cleveland chapters of the nine nationally Black Greek Letter Organizations.


Commuter students make up about 24 percent of the undergraduate population. If you are a part of this community, you'll find services and activities designed for you, in addition to the many campus activities open to all students. In addition, commuters are represented in undergraduate student government, so you may choose to run for a leadership role. Commuters have a lounge in Thwing Center where they can go to relax and connect with other commuters.


Live, learn, and lead have become the hallmarks of a Case Western Reserve education. The last word—lead—is an essential part of the student life experience, and you have various opportunities to develop and test your abilities to lead both in and out of the classroom.

The Case Western Reserve Leadership Journey is a comprehensive four-phase leadership development model that focuses on developing lifelong scholars who are educated learners awake to new possibilities; preparing moral and socially responsible lifelong leaders; and building active citizens who are prepared and engaged to serve humanity. A Case Western Reserve student has many avenues to pursue to help build and perfect leadership abilities. Specific programs include the Emerging Leaders Program for first-year students and a yearly Leadership Conference for all students.

Phase One, Exploratory Leadership: During the first phase of the Journey, the emerging leader at Case Western Reserve is learning the skills necessary to balance academic life with co-curricular demands, determining his or her interest in campus involvement, making the transition from high school leader to university leader, and building a strong leadership foundation and network with other student leaders.

Phase Two, Engaged Leadership: During the second phase of the Journey, students explore a balance between academics and involvement. The Case Western Reserve leader starts to become engaged in his or her commitment to leadership. Here, the vision becomes clearer, with a true sense of where time and energy will be focused.

Phase Three, Focused Leadership: During the third phase of the Journey, leaders may serve as an executive officer in a student organization or provide leadership on a research or group project. Skills are advanced, offering students a stronger sense of self-confidence and personal values clarification. Participants are now officially part of the network of student leaders at Case Western Reserve.

Phase Four, Transitional Leadership: During the fourth phase of the Journey, students have the opportunity to reflect and synthesize their learning and leadership development. Leadership is understood as a process and the student prepares for their post-graduate experience. Leadership is celebrated and guidance and insight are provided to the next generation of student leaders.

Governing Organizations

The Student Executive Council (SEC) is formed of members from the Undergraduate Student Government, University Program Board, University Media Board, Greek Life (Interfraternity Congress and Panhellenic Council) and the Class Officer Collective. The SEC discusses overarching campus issues, exchanges ideas and assesses the spending of the Student Activities Fee on a semesterly basis. A non-voting representative from the Residence Hall Association also serves on this council.

An overarching body, the Residence Hall Association (RHA), serves as a link between residents, the university administration, the Cleveland community and over 400 schools around the world. If you are interested in programming, advocacy, leadership and a good time, there are positions open for you on your Community Council or on the campuswide General Body. Create an unforgettable college experience for you and your friends with RHA!

If you opt to become a member of the Greek community, you'll understand what it means to be part of a Greek brotherhood or sisterhood. You will find ample opportunity to plan, execute and be part of social and philanthropic activities. As for leadership options, think about becoming a chapter officer in your organization. At the next level, the Interfraternity Congress (IFC) and the Panhellenic Council (PHC)­—the governing bodies for fraternities and sororities, respectively—consist of officers who coordinate programming, service and many other aspects of Greek Life. You could be among those decision makers.

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG), which represents you and your fellow undergrad students, is a powerful force on campus. The primary governing body for students, the USG serves as the liaison between undergraduates and the university's administration, faculty and staff. USG's tasks include recognizing and funding student organizations—numbering more than 180—through its stewardship of the student activities fee, and providing input on issues affecting the student experience, including academics, information technology, and students' rights in judicial proceedings.

The USG's legislative branch also is elected in the spring and includes one representative for every 100 students in the four schools, residential colleges and commuter student community.

Another leadership opportunity that awaits you is the Class Officer Collective. These officers are elected in the spring for the following year; first-year officers, however, are elected at the beginning of the fall semester. Within their cohorts, officers are dedicated to developing, maintaining and celebrating a unique class identity. They are heavily involved in Homecoming, and also work collaboratively across cohorts and with other student organizations to provide leadership for events such as Snowball and Hudson Relays.

The University Program Board (UPB) has various committees that orchestrate a lineup of activities throughout the year, from kick-back entertainment, including concerts featuring major musical acts, to lectures that stimulate the mind. In addition to generating activities on campus, the UPB makes it easier for students to explore Cleveland by subsidizing tickets to local events in sports, theater, art, dance and music.

If you are interested in either producing or consuming campus media, University Media Board (UMB) is the group for you. The officers of the nine student-run media groups on campus form the body of University Media Board, which supervises the operations of the groups and considers the applications of new media organizations requesting funding.


Case Western Reserve's nine student-run media organizations form a strong presence within the university community. These groups produce a diverse spread of publications and media that service the entire student body and the greater Case Western Reserve community. The media groups, whose funding is provided in part from the student activities fee, advertisements, ticket sales and fundraisers, consist of the following:

  • The Observer is the weekly undergraduate student newspaper and has been publishing since 1968. It is available every Friday during the academic year both online and in print.
  • WRUW-91.1FM is the student-run radio station of Case Western Reserve University. Featuring an eclectic program schedule with a studio on campus in the Mather Memorial Building, WRUW offers ample opportunity to compete for on-air programming slots or to work behind the scenes.
  • The CWRU Film Society screens films in Strosacker Auditorium on Friday and Saturday nights, along with the occasional sneak preview during a weekday.
  • Retrospect is Case Western Reserve's official yearbook. Retrospect has been published annually in the fall for over 125 years. Anyone can submit information or pictures to the book and do their part to make Case Western Reserve history.
  • Other groups include Discussions, which is an undergraduate research-review journal; Ignite, Case Western Reserve's student-run television channel; the Case Reserve Review, a literary magazine; the Engineering and Science Review, a journal devoted to technical and research advancements; and the Athenian, a humor magazine.

Recognized Student Organizations

For practically any interest you can think of, a student organization devoted to it probably exists at Case Western Reserve. You'll find the following kinds of organizations:

  • Academic
  • Athletic
  • Competitive
  • Cultural
  • Honorary
  • Performance
  • Religious
  • Service
  • Special interest

Except for certain academic and honorary organizations, all groups and activities are open to all students. You can find information on these groups in the Office of Student Activities and Leadership in the Tinkham Veale University Center, at the Student Activities Fair during orientation and online.

Are you interested in something that you don't see represented among the organizations? Do you want to gather a group of like-minded students around it? Go for it! Start your own Case Western Reserve-sanctioned student organization. You'll need to seek recognition and funding from the Undergraduate Student Government.


When it's time to get physical, Case Western Reserve offers three options for participation in athletics: varsity sports teams, club sports and intramurals.

The Case Western Reserve University Spartans are part of the University Athletic Association (UAA). The UAA includes seven other NCAA Division III Schools: Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, New York University, University of Chicago, University of Rochester and Washington University in St. Louis. The Spartan football team is also an affiliate member of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

Fall Varsity Sports

  • Men's cross country
  • Women's cross country
  • Men's football
  • Men's soccer
  • Women's soccer
  • Women's volleyball

Winter Varsity Sports

  • Men's basketball
  • Women's basketball
  • Men's indoor track
  • Women's indoor track
  • Men's swimming
  • Women's swimming
  • Men's wrestling

Spring Varsity Sports

  • Men's baseball
  • Women's softball
  • Men's tennis
  • Women's tennis
  • Men's outdoor track
  • Women's outdoor track

Club sports bring students together to train and compete against teams from off campus. Current club sports include archery, cheerleading, crew, cycling, fencing, ice hockey, kendo, kung fu, lacrosse, table tennis, taekwondo, ultimate frisbee, volleyball and water polo.

Intramural sports offer a chance for residential colleges, Greek organizations and other groups to compete in activities ranging from flag football to badminton. Over 80 percent of students have participated in intramurals.

Your first opportunity to become familiar with intramural and club sports will be during New Student Orientation at Sportsapalooza.

Student Community Service

A great deal of student activity takes place beyond the borders of campus. You’ll find opportunities through student-run groups, fraternity and sorority service projects, and a number of courses.

Your first stop should be the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL). CCEL was established to provide a variety of programs that enable Case Western Reserve students to get involved in service opportunities that address community needs. CCEL SERVES—a weekly program that provides transportation to community sites—is a great way for students to volunteer as their schedule allows. Through Project STEP-UP, students may volunteer or utilize their work study awards to tutor and mentor Cleveland youth throughout the year. CCEL also hosts Community Service Fairs, Saturdays of Service, Alternative Break Trips, and promotes academic service learning, community-based senior capstone projects and service-oriented student groups, such as Alpha Phi Omega and Habitat for Humanity.

The Civic Engagement Scholars program is designed to promote student involvement in the Cleveland community and beyond through significant and meaningful service. Scholars commit to completing 50 hours of community service with at least 25 hours dedicated to one primary site in the Cleveland area. Scholars also attend a series of educational programs and trainings throughout the year to enhance their understanding of community issues. All Scholars who complete the program’s requirements receive a certificate of distinguished service from President Snyder at the end of the year.

Every year, the Greek Community at Case Western Reserve strives to complete "1,000,000 Minutes of Service" in and around the Cleveland area. For those Greeks that particularly excel at service there is also the Lambda Eta Mu Service Honor Society (ΛΗΜ) which was founded at Case Western Reserve as a way to encourage and recognize committed service as well as organize its own large service efforts.

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