Photo of the moon about to pass in front of the sun to create a total solar eclipse. Courtesy of Getty Images.
Courtesy of Getty Images

Total solar eclipse on April 8: What the CWRU community needs to know

Editor’s note: Looking at a solar eclipse without proper protection can cause eye damage. In most cases, the effects are temporary, but the damage can be permanent. It takes just seconds for damage to occur. Symptoms of eye damage from a solar eclipse include blurry vision, headache, a blind spot in the central vision, sensitivity to light, distorted vision and changes in perception of color. If you experience these symptoms after the solar eclipse, you should contact your ophthalmologist. Learn more about the impact of the solar eclipse on vision.

The anticipation is mounting as the Case Western Reserve University community and people around the world gear up for a spectacular celestial event on April 8: a total solar eclipse. With just days remaining—and an expected 420 years until an eclipse passes over Cleveland again—it’s important for the CWRU community to be well-prepared to witness this awe-inspiring phenomenon safely. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Safety first

The most important aspect of viewing a solar eclipse is safety. Looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause severe eye damage or even blindness. To safeguard your vision, it’s imperative to wear certified solar viewing glasses (glasses will be available at Freiberger Field on April 8 or pick up a pair in advance at these locations). But how will you know when it’s safe to remove them?

Announcements will be made on Freiberger Field to indicate when it’s safe to remove your glasses and when to put them back on. Learn about picking up a pair of eclipse glasses on campus.

Building access

With classes canceled on Monday, April 8, and many faculty and non-essential staff working remotely, a key card will be required to access most campus buildings. Tinkham Veale University Center and the Thwing Center will remain open for events.

Livestream feeds

For those who won’t be on campus, you can still experience the eclipse excitement through livestream feeds. Tune in to to watch the panel discussion at 1 p.m. and the activities on Freiberger Field starting at 2 p.m. Alternatively, you can enjoy views from the top of the Glennan Building and the University Farm by visiting

Parking and accessibility

Parking in Lot 29 (Severance Garage) will be reserved for individuals with monthly card access and attendees of the luncheons. However, for the general public, free parking will be available in the Veale Garage on April 8. Please plan accordingly and arrive early to secure your spot. Heavy traffic is expected in Cleveland leading up to the eclipse and the day of, so be sure to view the campus parking map for specific parking locations to plan your visit.

Student organization activities

The excitement on Freiberger Field doesn’t end with the eclipse itself. Several student organizations have planned engaging activities to enhance your viewing experience. Be sure to check out performances by Case In Point, Undivided, Klover CWRU, Dhamakapella, the Korean Student Association and Solstice. And while you’re there, refuel with offerings from food trucks and grab some eclipse-themed memorabilia, including limited snacks and t-shirts.

Keep an eye on the university’s eclipse website for updates on additional activities organized by student organizations. Still have questions? Be sure to check out frequently asked questions related to the eclipse

For a full list of campus programming, check out the university’s eclipse website.