Ask Charlotte Answers 10/29/07

Question: Dear Charlotte, There's something I'm entirely unsure how to handle. My roommate is a good person, I think, but she does things I don't agree with. I was raised very religiously and my roommate is a pagan. She is lighting incense, has books with pentagrams on them, as well as a lot of music that makes me very uncomfortable and very afraid. She's always been kind to me, but how do I tell her that this stuff really upsets me and makes me uncomfortable? Halloween is coming she and her friends keep talking about having Ouija boards in our room and using them. This is very much against my beliefs and I'm scared. What is the school's policy on pagans? What do I do? I don't want to be called intolerant, but I also don't want the devil worshiped in my room.

Answer: First-please be aware that it is against Hartwick policy to burn incense (or anything else!) in dorm rooms. This is vital to the safety of all on campus, and must be strictly adhered to. And now on to your question: It's admirable that you recognize that your roommate is a good person. I believe that is what you should focus on, rather than on her decision to be a pagan. In the American Heritage Dictionary (what a useful invention!) pagan is defined as "not Christian, Jewish or Moslem; a heathen." Pagans today may disagree-some describe themselves as revering nature and the Earth and her living things-but I don't believe they have anything to do with worshipping the devil. That said, if your roommate is burning incense and playing music that makes you uncomfortable, you must gently let her know. When two people share a room, compromise is an important skill to have and use. Perhaps she can gather in your room with her friends one night when you are elsewhere-or decide that another room would suit her just as well. She cannot make any of these decisions, however, if she doesn't know how you feel.

Question: Why did they build Golisano Hall right in front of the most beautiful and well known view on campus; the large glass wall window in Moyer Pool? I used to be able to watch the sunrise at morning practice and the leaves gradually change color in the fall from that window; but not anymore. One of the reasons why I came to Hartwick was for the aesthetic appeal of the pool facility, where I spend a significant amount of my time. Now there is no longer a view of anything other than an ugly metal roof. Why did they do this Charlotte, why?

Answer: As I'm sure you have noticed, Hartwick College has a rather vertical campus. There are limited flat spaces that are suitable for large buildings. It is truly unfortunate that Golisano Hall blocks some of the view from Moyer Pool-but as they say, nothing is constant but change. Golisano Hall is also envisioned as the final completion of Hartwick's "Academic Plateau," which consists of Johnstone, Golisano, Bresee, and Clark. As Hartwick changes and grows, new and amazing views will undoubtedly emerge!

Question: My friend just went out with her best guy friend and she doesn't know if she made the right choice; she doesn't really like him.

Answer: It's good of you to be so concerned about your friend. I believe she should let her friend know how she's feeling. The other option is to avoid him, but it's best to deal with such situations in an honest way.

Question: What and where is Foothills?

Answer: The Foothills Production Center is located on Market Street, opposite the parking garage. It is the first building of the proposed Foothills Performance Center. It hosts many community events-dances, auctions, celebrations, parties. I'd suggest that you take a walk by it and see what's advertised in the window-you would surely enjoy some of the events. In recent weekends there have been events scheduled with local bands that students might find interesting.

Question: Dear Charlotte, I'm a freshman and I'm a little concerned about my roommate. She's afraid to shower in the dorms (without good cause, our showers are quite spotless), use the public restrooms, and won't shower at the Binder facilities because she's scared of 'catching something' (basically, she's admitted she's scared of catching an STD from one of the showers and/or toilet seats). I think she's been a little over protected in the past and I've gone out of my way to make it clear to her that it's impossible to catch anything, I've even gotten her pamphlets from the heath center. Is there anything you could say to, for lack of a better term, shut her up?

Answer: It seems that you have done everything within your power to help your roommate. You might encourage her to go to Perrella to discuss her concerns with the professional staff (perhaps they can reassure her about what you can and cannot get from using public restrooms and showers). Other than that, it may be time for you to distance yourself a bit from this issue.

And here are some 'blasts from the past' that might be helpful at this time of the year:

From February 2007:
Question: "If I withdraw from a class and go below 12 credits what happens to my financial aid? Can I still play sports?"

Answer: It depends on when in the semester you fall below 12 credits. You should contact the Financial Aid and Affordability Office at x4130 or for more details. And yes, this could affect your participation in a sport. A student who falls below 12 credits for the semester is considered less than full-time and to be eligible to participate in athletics a student must be a matriculated, full-time enrolled student at Hartwick. We consider J Term part of spring semester (with NCAA approval), so a student could take 3 credits in J Term and 9 credits in spring and be full time. Student-athletes also must make satisfactory progress toward degree completion requirements--so you need to be striving for 30 credits per year!

From October 2006:
Question: "I'm looking for a ride home on Thanksgiving and I'm wondering where you can find out who can give you a ride home?"

Answer: You can check out the Grassroots RideBoard for carpooling options located on Facebook at