Ask Charlotte Answers 03/01/07

Question: “From what I understand once Golisano Hall is built the parking next to Arnold will be nonexistent and I haven’t heard any plans for new parking. Won’t the loss of that parking lot increase the already tight parking situation around campus?”

Answer: Yes, it is true that we will lose the parking lot in Arnold, but we will gain a park-like setting for the Academic Plateau of Johnstone, Golisano, Bresee, and Clark. A parking committee (made up of faculty, staff, and students) is reviewing the plans and has completed a study to evaluate the number of parking spots available on campus. The study, which was conducted on 3 weekdays in September after school started, indicated that during the workday there are typically 40-60 available spots in Binder and 12-25 available spots in the Lower Yager lot and a significant number of others throughout the campus. So, even with the Arnold lot gone, there should be ample parking on campus. It may require re-conditioning your parking habits and add about a minute walk time from your car to the office or classroom. I have fond memories of strolling around the Oyaron hilltop, but I never had the pleasure of driving a car. In the beginning of March, the campus will be updated about the impact that Golisano will have on parking, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic.

Question: “Dear Charlotte, How come there is no special parking sticker just for commuter students? As we all know, parking is a disaster on the Hartwick campus, especially if you are a commuter fighting for a spot in the tiny commuter parking lot. I can’t help but wonder how many of those cars up there are actually commuter students and how many live on campus and are just too lazy to walk to class. I have even seen staff parked up there! Is there any way special stickers can be made just for commuter students?”

Answer: I’m really glad that you wrote to me, because as it turns out, commuters do have special stickers! They are a yellow decal that says Student Parking. First year student decals are red, and all other student decals are blue. If you don’t have a parking decal, you should go to the Campus Safety Office located in Dewar to receive one.

Question: “I came back to school this spring to find all the computers gone from the library! What happened and why? Are they going to be relocated somewhere else?”

Answer: Yes, the computer lab has moved to the old microfilm room, which is located within the reference area. It is now a lab, electronic classroom, and presentation practice room, and there is a great sound system for people who might like to screen movies. You also will find Media Services where the old lab was. This is cool because now you can check out equipment and do all of your other school work in one place!

Question: “Charlotte, do students have any input on the performances at OH Fest?”

Answer: The entertainment for this year’s OH Fest, “Back for Seconds,” already has been selected. An announcement will be made once all signed contracts have been received. Student Senate and Student Union worked with the other people involved in OH Fest to help select the entertainment. Student voices are heard through your elected officials in Student Senate. If you are interested in becoming involved with either of these groups, here are the links to their Web pages:

http://www.hartwick.edu/x10074.xml  Student Senate

http://www.hartwick.edu/x15989.xml  Student Union

Keep your eye out for a survey that Student Union will be circulating this semester for student opinions on entertainment ideas and dates for next fall’s programming.

Question: “Pine Lake has been in the recent campus news for the solar panels that have been installed, and the sale of the Upper Tract to the state of New York. Clearly Pine Lake is getting funds (outside of the Pine Lake fee that’s taken from every student) for various projects. I also understand that many of these steps are meant to improve the sustainability of Pine Lake (through renewable energy and alternative resources). I’m wondering why Pine Lake installed solar panels and brandished the Pine Lake Shuttle with unnecessary decals when the funds could be better spent in renovating and re-insulating the cabins and Robertson Lodge to prevent heat loss and ultimately save money on heating costs across the board and not necessarily require each cabin to use two bags of wood pellets per day.”

Answer: External grant programs often do not allow you to pick and choose what you can do with awarded money. The programs Hartwick received funding for are examples. However, as the press release you refer to said, Hartwick did receive a grant to put a new roof on Robertson Lodge and the Vaudevillian. So in essence we did what you were hoping for us to do.

As for the signage for the van, that was extremely cheap to accomplish and helps answer two questions that the Pine Lake Staff has been answering for 19 years; yes, there is a way for students to get back and forth to Pine Lake and you do not need a car to live at Pine Lake.

Question: “Why do you think so many people are transferring from Hartwick?”

Answer: No one cares more deeply about this college than Charlotte, and when someone talks of leaving it should cause concern for us all. Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions in life, and figuring out whether you should leave is even more complicated because you have to also decide what to do next. In fact, many students who choose to leave Hartwick decide to come back after they take the time to think about the next big choices in their lives.

It’s true that 15 more first year students have officially withdrawn from Hartwick so far this year compared to last year at this time. But students also have transferred into the College—40 new students joined us this fall and 20 more this spring—and we began this year with 68 more first year students than last year.      

Thoughts of leaving or transferring can be related to dissatisfaction and personal hardship, but some folks decide to leave because of personal discovery—perhaps a desire to be at a bigger university. Just as word spreads quickly throughout a small town, at a small college it can seem that “everyone” is transferring—especially during the time of year when students are more likely to consider transferring. In my long time at Hartwick, this typically occurs in wintertime, between early December and March.

If you are thinking about leaving the College or transferring, it’s certainly a good idea to talk to your friends. But given the importance of the decision, it’s also a good idea to talk to people with the professional experience to help you explore your interests and choices. These people include your academic advisor, the staff at the Academic Center for Excellence, Residence Life staff, your coach, and the Perrella Wellness Center Counseling staff. Fellow students who are Resident Advisors and 50/50 Peer Counselors also can help you to think through choices about your future. Faculty, administrators, and staff are always willing to provide insight and assistance and to listen to your concerns. Talking through the idea of leaving often provides the opportunity to discover things you didn’t know about Hartwick, and to address some of the real underlying causes of your dissatisfaction or personal hardship.

You should remember that Hartwick is committed to helping you to carefully and thoughtfully explore every possibility for your personal and intellectual growth for as long as you are a part of this community.

Question: “Is your Cooperstown bus info correct? When I looked into weekend buses last year, they ran only every 2 hours on Saturday, and not at all on Sunday. Just checking.”

Answer: You are absolutely correct! That’s what happens when you are this old. Thanks for writing to me with the correction! So, to recap for everyone, the OPT goes to Cooperstown Monday-Friday every hour from 6 a.m.–5 p.m. and every other hour on Saturdays from 6 a.m.–4 p.m. and not at all on Sundays!

Question: "Hey Charlotte, I thought that Hartwick has heated stairways? They must be inside the buildings.”

Answer: This question has been asked a couple times now—it must be the change in the weather! Well, what I have found out is that Hartwick does have some heated stairways. The steps outside Dewar and a portion of Memorial Staircase are heated.  In addition, the walks outside of Bresee, Arnold, and across the road from Arnold heading toward Yager also are heated.

Question: Is there a job fair or any class for internships over the summer? I would like to get a summer internship job next year but don’t know what to do. Could you help me out?

Answer: Of course I’ll help you out! I answered a similar question in my last postings on 2/13/07. Here was my response:

Hartwick doesn't typically do a job fair on campus for seniors, due in part to our size and location. Employers do come to campus to recruit seniors. Some of the spring visits planned include the Peace Corps on February 21, Northwestern Mutual on March 8, and a visit from Enterprise Rent-a-Car, which is still being worked out. Career Services also prepares students with mock interviews and strategies for the job search.

Career Services also firmly believes in the power of networking (the most effective job-search method--how do you think I got this gig?!). One of their biggest strategies to assist seniors is to connect with alumni employers in a variety of career fields. Last year, an Alumni Career Mentoring program was launched, and a number of alumni have been active in working to assist students. Alumni can offer career advice, provide internship and job information, and even review a student's resume. Interested students should see Shannon Forbes (director) or Lara Sanford (employer relations coordinator) in the Office of Career Services located on the first floor of Bresee Hall.

As an update, recruiters from State Farm Insurance will be here later this semester. There are many other ways to search for an internship through Career Services. If you are interested in locating an internship (or receiving credit for an internship already located), you should contact Mary Krikorian, Internship Coordinator, through Career Services at extension 4425 or krikorianm@hartwick.edu.

Question: “If you are off campus during J Term do you have to pay for the meal plan? Can you switch meal plans once the semester has started? Thank you Charlotte.”

Answer: Thank you for thanking me in advance—that’s so polite! There is not a separate billing for J Term meals. The first 2 weeks of J Term are billed along with the Fall Term meal plan and the last 2 weeks of J Term are billed along with the Spring Term meal plan. If you file a leave with the Registrar’s Office for J Term you will be given a credit, but only to the weekly plans (19, 14, 10). If you don’t file a leave and just fail to attend, there is no credit given. 

As for your second question, students do have the opportunity to change meal plans during certain times of each semester. E-mails are sent to you at your Hartwick e-mail account to notify you of the timeframe. For instance, the entire month of November was allotted to change meal plan options for Spring Term.

Question: “With the rooming selection process coming up, I was wondering if there is a way to double-check our points. How do we know we’re not being gypped out of some of the clubs we’re in?”

Answer: You can stop by the Office of Residential Life and Housing, located on the 4th floor of Dewar, to check on how many points you received. You also can check with your club officers to ensure that they turned in a list of all members (this way not only are you ensuring your points are correct, you also are helping your fellow club members ensure that they are receiving points!).

Question: “There is a girl that I fell in love with. The problem is that she doesn’t feel the same way about me, but I can’t seem to get over her.  Do you think it’s best to try & change her mind, or just get over it, & do you have any tips on either one?”

Answer: I’d be happy to offer some advice! Your best bet is to try and get over it. You can not make somebody love you. There are no tricks that will make somebody suddenly feel the way you feel for them. Although it is hard to accept that this person doesn’t return your feelings, it may help you to know that the pain you now feel will be erased from your heart when you find someone who does love you back. Some tips to help you get over feeling like this are to get involved in things on campus and work to meet new people, and not just girls for the prospect of dating! Instead, work at making new friends, trying new things, enjoying life, and being happy with who you are. Other opportunities for dating and finding the right girl will happen over time when they’re supposed to, so don’t waste your time sitting around waiting for it to happen. Have faith that it eventually will.

Update:

In last week’s answers, someone asked where they could find a confidential source that could help when they are stressed out. I didn’t include it in my answer, but Susan Nesbitt reminded me that Chaplaincy Services is a confidential source for those who are stressed or who just need to talk over some problems. You can reach them at extension 4505 or nesbitts@hartwick.edu to make an appointment.