Ask Charlotte Answers 04/03/07

Question: “I am curious as to who decides which students are chosen for the “blogs” both for J Term and this Spring. Will it be something open to the rest of the Hartwick community? Thanks.

Answer: The blogs introduced in J Term and spring semester are operating as a pilot program. Based on the success of these blogs, the plan, starting in the fall of 2007, is to have four to six Hartwick student blogs per semester. The blogs are organized by the Office of Marketing and Communications. If you have an interest in blogging, please contact Martina Anderson at for more information. The office will review all those who have expressed interest to make selections for next year. Look for a “formal” announcement later this spring. Here is the link for this semester’s blogs.

Personally, I love the blogs! If you haven’t read them yet, you should check them out!

Question: “Dear Charlotte, the Commons has a meal schedule posted outside the Commons. Could you please see if it could be posted online? Sometimes I think about going, but I don’t know what they have and so I hesitate. It would save me the trouble of walking all the way across campus.”

Answer: Great Idea! Aramark is in the process of updating the Commons Web page and they hope to have the menus posted online soon.

Question: “Why in the world is there only one place to eat other than the Commons on campus? The other colleges I visited had many more choices if you didn’t want to eat in the Commons. Will Hartwick add more food choices (like bagels, pizza, Mexican…) or will we forever only have the Table Rock?"

Answer: On any college or university campus the number of residential restaurants and retail and convenience stores depends on the size of the student population. Hartwick is not a large state college or university, so it cannot support several locations. Instead, Hartwick has combined a retail restaurant, a Grab and Go, and a Convenience Store into one smaller-scaled Table Rock Café.

Question: “As we all know, Hartwick prides itself on its opportunities to study abroad. The list of places that students can travel is extensive and the benefits a student can reap from this are priceless. However, the trip itself is certainly not priceless. I realize that most Hartwick students are “well off” and have parents who can afford to send them around the world. How come there is nothing out there to help a student who can not pay for such travel?  Or is there?"

Answer: Hartwick believes that one of its most distinctive programs is the off campus J Term opportunity. Students benefit from the hands-on learning that comes from a course taught in a non-classroom setting and seeing other parts of the country and the world opens up a students’ perspective to other cultures.

You should first talk with financial aid about what additional assistance you may qualify for to support your interest in an off-campus program. The Center for Interdependence does have a very small fund of money to help students who would not be able to participate without it. The director of the SLCI, Jenifer Chambers, says that over the next few years she hopes to build this up so they can help more people.

Another option you have is to apply for an Emerson or Duffy International Scholarship. These scholarships can fully fund an off-campus experience for Hartwick students. Each scholarship has different guidelines and criteria that you need to meet before you apply. Here is the link for more information

Question: “Is it true if you don’t make the amount allowed for your work study then the following year you are allowed to make only what you earned….so if I’m allowed $2,000 and I only make say 1,500, my next year am I allowed only 1,500 or the entire thing?  Sorry this may seem a bit confusing."

Answer: Yes, typically a returning student’s financial aid package will include a work-study award that would be closer to the amount they earned in the previous year (if they are still eligible for work study). If this is a concern for you, you should contact the Financial Aid Office at or ext. 4130 to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.

Question: “Charlotte, How can losing 40 parking spaces not be a problem? There already is a parking problem. Losing 40 more spots will only make the immediate problem bigger. Please explain how making faculty and staff walk up and down the hill 2 or 3 times a day to get to their vehicles is a good idea? As for car pooling at lunch, a lot of people go home at lunch and car pooling only works if you have the same hours as other faculty and staff. How about a bus system like the one Bassett Hospital uses to bring their employees to work from outside the parking lots."

Answer: We didn’t have these kinds of problems in my day, so I will refer you to the Discussion Board that has been created for Faculty and Staff on Hartwick’s new community system. Or, if you have opinions or ideas to share on campus parking, you can contact Parking Committee Chair Tom Kelly by sending an e-mail to

Question: “Why is everyone so upset over the loss of 40 +/- parking spots? My friends go to school where, for one, EVERYONE is required to pay a parking fee, and two, freshmen aren’t even allowed to have cars. You may not understand this argument Charlotte, as cars came after your time. What’s the big deal about having to walk an extra bit to get to your building? People should get out and explore other schools to see just how good they have it here and maybe complain about something worthwhile.”

Answer: As you can see, there are two sides to every fence! Change, and I have seen plenty in a century and a half, is disconcerting for many people. I advocate taking this one literally in stride—and gaining some extra outside face time and exercise.

Question: “Every year for graduation juniors/rising seniors are asked to work as ushers at graduation. What do these duties entail and when do we (the juniors) find out if we need to stay or not?”

Answer: Juniors who were selected by the senior class to be marshals or ushers at this year’s Commencement have been notified of their selection and given a date and time for an organizational meeting. If you have a question about this, you can call Karyl Clemens at extension 4162 or e-mail her at

Question: “The new policy instated by President Miller and his Cabinet requiring seniors to be moved out by 6 p.m. on graduation day is unfair. Not only does it seem rather rude to kick us off right after commemorating our accomplishments, it does not give us enough time to properly say goodbye to Hartwick, friends, professors, and staff members. I understand the reason for this new policy is the prevention of damage due to partying of ‘mob-like’ proportions, but does the Cabinet really expect so much wild partying to occur in the presence of our parents and grandparents?  What kind of evidence has been provided to show that the senior class is not mature enough to celebrate this milestone without incident? Furthermore, are the President and his Cabinet even going to consider changing this policy if a formal proposal is brought to them?”

Answer: President Miller heard the concern expressed by many seniors, and as a formal request from Student Senate. The move-out date for graduating seniors is now Sunday, May 27 at noon. As for concerns about “wild partying,” the torch of responsibility has been passed.

Question: “Hey, I’m curious, how are GPAs calculated?”

Answer: For each academic course you complete, you will be awarded a letter grade. That grade corresponds to a numerical value as demonstrated here:

A     4.0

A-    3.7

B+   3.3

B    3.0

B-    2.7

C+    2.3

C    2.0

C-    1.7

D+    1.3

D    1.0

D-    0.7

F    0.0

To calculate your GPA follow these steps:

Determine the letter grade for each of your courses.
Determine the numeric value associated with each grade.
Multiply that number by the credit value of the course. This will give you the total grade points (sometimes referred to as honor points) for the course.
Add the grade points and divide by the total number of credits.
It's easier than it sounds! Consider the following example:

Course        Grade        Credits        Numerical Value        Grade Points

ENGL         A-                3        x         3.7                                =    11.1

HIST           B+               4        x         3.3                                =    13.2

PHIL           A                 3        x         4.0                                =    12.0

MATH         B                 4        x         3.0                                =    12.0

Total Credits = 14

Total Grade Points = 48.3

To calculate your GPA divide 48.3 by 14.

48.3/14 = 3.45

Therefore, the GPA for the example above is 3.45

Keep in mind that as a student you have three GPAs: cumulative, major, and term.

Your cumulative GPA is calculated using all academic courses in which you received a grade (does not count non-academic courses such as PHED). Your major GPA is calculated using academic courses you have completed within your major. Your term GPA is calculated using academic courses for which you received a grade in a term (does not count non-academic courses such as PHED). Your WebAdvisor transcript lists your cumulative and term GPAs, and your WebAdvisor degree audit lists your cumulative and major GPAs.

Question: “Charlotte love, I like the flat screen tv in the Union by the mailboxes, but, why didn’t the wall behind it get painted? When I read it I can’t help think of the 37 thousand dollars I’m about to pay for tuition; couldn’t 20 of that pay for a can of paint? I could send you a Lowe’s flyer. They have paint there guaranteed for life so you wouldn’t have to paint it ever again (unless walls get painted something other than institutional grey and hospital white)."

Answer: Your offer is generous, and I have informed the Painters that Be to put this on the list for summer painting!

Question: “What does diversity really mean? What groups does it include?"

Answer: You, me, and everyone else the two of us can think of!


In my last postings, someone asked about a place to store their belongings over the summer. The name of the storage company that will come to campus and pick up your things and then deliver them in Fall is Schuman B-Line Moving and Storage. You can call them at 432-3800.

Also, someone had asked where they could anonymously report sexual harassment. Starting this week, you may use the Silent Witness reporting system on the Campus Safety page of the College Web site to anonymously report crimes or violations of the College policy. All reports are strictly confidential.