Ask Charlotte Answers 11/02/06

Question: "I am not doing well in my classes because of my busy schedule playing a sport on a varsity team. Should I quit the team in order to have enough time to do assignments? I do not have the time to socialize either and am always stressed out. Do you have any solutions?"

Answer: I'm glad you decided to seek some advice. Your education is more important than athletics so if a choice needs to be made, we hope you choose academics. In order to continue to participate in athletics, you need to maintain your academics, so they have to come first! There are lots of resources on campus that are available to help you with your time limitations. You can talk to your coach and explain your concerns. Maybe one of your teammates can assist you with some of the courses you are having difficulty in. Sitting down with someone in ACE or with your coach to create a time management schedule may take some of the stress off of you while alerting your coach that you need more time to study. Also, Debbie Warren, the Director of Athletics, is always willing to listen to any problems you may have and she will try to help make a difference. You can contact her at extension 4702 or Athletics is a commitment and it is one not every person finds themselves capable of making. Sometimes you can't do it all. Only you can make choices about your priorities. Just make sure you have explored  the options and sought help from the many mentors on our campus.

Question: "I want to know why we can't get on AOL instant messenger in the library anymore. A select few people can from what I hear, but is it true that the administration blocked the program?"

Answer: There was a glitch in the networking setup in Yager, but it is now resolved. AOL will now work if you connect your laptop to either the wired data ports or on the wireless network in Yager. If you have any service questions please let the Technology Services Center know at extension 4357--it could be something as simple as a software change to get things working again.

Question: "Charlotte, What's the deal with sygate? I understand that Tech Services is trying to keep the network secure and such, but I just really dislike turning on my computer, being "unauthorized" and not being able to access the Internet. My roommate told me that when that happens she just unplugs her cable and plugs it back in, and I am able to get online after my computer has been turned on for awhile. But seriously, shouldn't this be a system that works when you plug it in?  What the heck?"

Answer: When your computer is turned on there are software programs in addition to Windows and Sygate that can be loaded as part of startup.  Depending on the number and types of these programs they can bog down your computer so severely that Sygate does not get a chance to load. For example IM, which needs to contact AOL servers to get your buddy list, etc. and file-sharing programs such as LimeWire and Ares are resource intensive and can interfere with Sygate loading. When this happens Sygate basically gives up on the authentication process and you then end up in "unauthorized." The reason why unplugging your Ethernet cable, waiting 10 seconds and plugging it back in again works is because it manually forces the Sygate authorization cycle to start again when your computer has fully booted. While this is one way of getting out of "unauthorized" and back on the  network you can avoid this problem all together by removing file-sharing programs from your computer. If you continue to have problems or just want to review what is running on your computer, contact the Technology Services Center at 4357.  They would be happy to help!

Question: "Why are all the clocks on campus different? It makes it really difficult to get to class on time, and then the professors get mad because we're 2 minutes late, whereas according to the library we're 10 minutes early!!!"

Answer: Thank you for pointing this out, and I've forwarded your note to facilities.  With the recent time change, hopefully in the re-setting of the clocks this has been corrected.  However, if you still find that some clocks are incorrect then please fill out a work order on the facilities Web page at and let facilities know which clocks are incorrect. In the meantime, you need to find yourself a reliable watch or cell phone with times that you can count on.

Question: "If Charlotte was around in 1851 then she surely is not alive right now, so who are you really? Is there actually only one person who reads and responds to these e-mails or is there more than one?  Are you even a girl?"

Answer: Being born in the 1800's makes me very old and wise; so, keep your questions coming. And, yes, I was a girl in 1851 and I am now too--although, at my age, I prefer to be called a woman.

Question: "Is it true that the students who had a crystal meth lab in New Res are still at school here?"

Answer: This is not true. Based on an investigation led by the Director of Campus Safety, several students were charged with violations of the College substance-abuse policy. These students faced charges both on and off campus. As a result, several students are no longer part of the College community.

Question:  "Is half of Smith Hall named after you?"

Answer: No, neither half of Smith Hall is named after me, but half of it is named after someone named Charlotte. Smith was completed in 1964 and named in memory of Charles and Charlotte Smith, who were benefactors of the College. They had a daughter, Jessie Smith Dewar, for whom Dewar Union was named.

Question: "Dear Charlotte, what is the deal with the current financial problems on campus? For instance why did we cut back on our sports teams and why are we having to cut back with our clubs?"

Answer: The decision to reduce the size of the athletic program was made after several years of review of the size and scope of our athletic programs. Having 17 teams is comparable to other institutions our size. Also, the programs eliminated were those that did not have facilities that would support long-term success of the teams. Lastly, it is hoped that by reducing the number of teams, we would strengthen the remaining opportunities.

Question:  "As a freshman I feel it disheartening that student senate's not funding clubs well. How are they in debt by $180,000? How come popular clubs like the radio station get little money from senate, while other popular clubs get 5, 10, or even 40 thousand dollars? I'm involved with a few on campus and it seems like the way the money was divided up to some clubs was unfair. What's up with that?"

Answer:  The amount Senate is "in debt" is actually about $70K. They also used about $100K they had in reserve last year. As for questions about specific budget allocations, I encourage you to attend a Senate meeting and ask for clarification, as they are the group responsible for budget allocations.

Question: "Is Student Senate being actively investigated for losing all that money last term? $80K or something? If so what has been discovered and if not, why? Clubs are being punished for someone else's bad behavior!"

Answer: Please read the answer to the question above. Also, a comprehensive review has been completed and safeguards are in place to ensure appropriate spending levels.

Question: "Charlotte, what time are we supposed to check our mailboxes at? I feel like I always check too early in the day. Is it all delivered by a specific time?

Answer: There is no specific time that the mail is delivered to student mailboxes, but they try to have it finished by noon. The work study students in the mailroom are the people who put the mail in the mailboxes, so it depends on their schedule as well as the volume of mail being delivered that day.

Question: "A couple of my friends (including myself) want to take Japanese and/or Sign Language at SUCO. We know that as Hartwick students, we do have cross-registration with SUCO, so how do we go about signing up for the said classes?"

Answer: Yes, Hartwick students are eligible to take one course at SUNY Oneonta per semester through the SUCO exchange program. If you want to take more than one course, you will have to pay for it. A student is eligible to take a SUCO course for credit only if the course is not offered at Hartwick during the term in which the student wishes to enroll. SUCO exchange courses count toward a student's term credit load. All requests to participate in the exchange program must be made in writing through the Hartwick Registrar's Office. For more information on the Hartwick/SUCO exchange program, please contact the Hartwick Registrar's Office at extension 4467.

Question: "Is Hartwick in that much of a financial crisis that we need to sell most of our fine art, sell 90+ acres of pine lake and allow logging up at Strawberry Fields? Come on people! Where has your morality gone???"

Answer: I appreciate your passion for Hartwick and understand your question. The goal of the President and Board of Trustees is to assure Hartwick's future by increasing investment in some areas and being more conservative in others. In any college, tough decisions about resource allocation are made to enhance and define its future. For example, Golisano Hall is about to break ground, significant enhancements to the residence halls are under consideration, and the new curriculum is under passionate discussion by the faculty. I encourage you to learn more about the existing and future plans for Hartwick and how they impact students through becoming involved in Student Senate. Student Senate is your voice to the Board of Trustees and the administration. Keep the questions coming!

Question: "Dear Charlotte, the other day the Pine Lake shuttle, which is owned by Pine Lake and provides students transportation to and from Pine Lake broke down and had to be sent in for repairs. When we asked campus to lend us a vehicle they required that we pay a 100 dollars a day charge to use the vehicle. Seeing as it was no ones fault that the shuttle broke down and Pine Lake is part of Hartwick College, what could possibly be the point of Pine Lake paying the College to use a vehicle. Isn't Hartwick just paying itself with its own money??"

Answer: All departments using the College vans are charged for their use. The charge is based on the cost of operating the vehicles. It is important for the members of the institution to understand the cost of using the vans. They are not free to the College. You do not have to "rent" from facilities, however; if you can find a better rental while the Pine Lake shuttle is being repaired, you have the option to do so (Enterprise, Hertz, Rent-A-Wreck).

Question: "I receive a lot of junk mail and I get mail addressed to other people. What can I do to stop this?"

Answer: You are not alone! I think everyone receives junk mail and there is not much that can be done about that. If you are receiving mail that is addressed to other people, you should bring it back to the mail room (3rd floor of Dewar) so that they can put it in the correct mailbox.

Question: "What is your Halloween costume?"

Answer: I didn't get dressed up for Halloween this year. I was too busy answering all of your questions!

Question: "Where can I buy baby pumpkins? Like the little ones that are great as decorations? And can I eat them after Halloween?"

Answer: Sorry to have answered your question after Halloween. You can find the baby pumpkins as well as pumpkins for pies and Jack-O-Lanterns at local supermarkets.

Question: "Is January Term mandatory? Can I not take classes then?  Do I get a refund for not taking classes in January?"

Answer: In order to be on track to graduate, we like students to do a total of 30 credits a year. This is a little bit easier to accomplish if you take a course during January Term. It is not mandatory that you take one though. If you do not plan on being here during January Term, you need to file an official leave of absence with the Registrar's Office. The only refund you would get for not taking classes in January is for your meal plan, depending on which one you have.

Question: "In a 10/16 posting, someone asked about airports closest to Oneonta. For those without either a car or the option of a personal ride, what transportation is available, and at what cost, between Oneonta and Albany International, or Greater Binghamton?"

Answer: If you want to take a taxi to the airport, the rates for both A & D Taxi and ACE Taxi are $115 to Albany or $100 to Binghamton. You should also check out the Grassroots RideBoard for carpooling options.You can locate it at