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  • Autumn Vasquez

UToledo CASE: First Contact For Rockets In Need

Since opening its doors in Fall 2022, the Center for Advocacy and Student Experience (CASE) has continued to work hard to “ensure that every student has exactly what they need on campus,” according to Sara Clark, assistant dean of student experience and belonging.

The CASE is committed to supporting the academic and personal successes of UToledo students, faculty, and family. The office consists of several areas of support within the Division of Student Affairs and partners with services across the University to provide resources and support for members of the UToledo community.

The center’s office is in Thompson Student Union room 2518. It is intended to serve as a first line of contact for UToledo students and faculty in need. The office is staffed by employees from the Office of Student Advocacy and Support, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. 

In an effort to create a “culture of belonging,” the Division of Student Affairs has appointed two assistant deans to oversee campus resources.

Clark is responsible for student advocacy and support, student conduct, multicultural student success, career services, and the Center for International Studies and Programs. Demond Pryor, the assistant dean for engagement and success, is responsible for student involvement and leadership, operations for the Student Union and Recreation Center, Upward Bound, and Toledo Excel.

According to Clark, in addition to CASE’s efforts on campus, the center is also working to strengthen connections with local Toledo resources to provide students with opportunities beyond the UToledo Campus. CASE is intended to be a hub for all student concerns and to provide convenient access to a variety of resources for students and staff. The center coordinates meetings with other campus offices in advance to a student’s arrival, and uses a five touch point system to ensure students in need are connected with at least five resources, on or off campus, to assist with their situation.

The CASE office provides many resources for students in need. The office addresses academic issues and concerns, mental health crises, academic grievances, situations of sexual misconduct, withdrawal from the university, and other immediate emergencies. 

With the appropriate documentation, if a student were to have a death in their family or a mental health emergency, CASE could notify all of their instructors of the situation, ask for the student to be excused from class for a period of time, and request instructors allow the student to make up any missed coursework. The decision to grant any requests, such as an extension on missed classwork, is solely the instructors decision.

The Center also oversees the Rocket Fuel Food Pantry. The pantry is in SU 2514 and is available for all current UToledo students. Within the CASE’s first academic year, 4,000 students battling food insecurity have utilized the pantry.  

Faculty are often the first to notice when a student needs help, and in these situations, the CASE can help. Faculty concerned about a student can initiate a wellness check through the CASE office. Upon assessment of the concern, a member of CASE can attempt to contact the student and determine if a long-term follow-up is needed. 

The CASE website offers tips on how faculty can support students, but in the instance a staff member is unsure how to help a student, they can submit a “Rocket Care Report” through the CASE office to provide outreach and support to a student in need. Last year, during the Center’s first academic year, 520 Care Reports were made to help Rockets in need. 

“We are trying to impact the community in two ways: through direct service to the students and by providing services and support to our faculty and staff members in the classroom,” Clark said. 

The CASE Team is also available to present information to faculty, staff, and students who may benefit from the office resources. For more information, contact the office at 419-530-HELP (4357) or email CASE@utoledo.edu

If parents or family members are concerned about their Rocket, they too can contact the CASE office to offer consultation, resources, and outreach for their student. 

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