Ask Charlotte Answers 3/17/08

Question: How can I check my mid-term reports online?

Answer: Mid-term reports (also known as Early Alert Reports) offer valuable insight into how your professors think you are progressing in the semester. If you have any questions or concerns about the grades—be sure to contact your professor immediately!

To check your mid-term reports, log in to WebAdvisor and click on Grades under Academic Profile. Choose a term (Spring 2008) and the mid-term grade will appear in the Gr 1 field on the next screen.

Question: Why do we have so many rooms with those uncomfortable "half desks?" You know, the ones with the real tiny "desk" attached to a very uncomfortable chair. Why can't we have real desks that do not cause back pain?

Answer: I believe you are referring to the tablet arm chairs. We still have some of those around campus, but they are being phased out. I’m familiar with phasing out, as that’s what happened after I died. Thankfully this forum brought me back…

As to chairs, the College is now purchasing table desks that can accommodate a notebook computer. Golisano Hall will have a combination of new table desks and tables when it opens in the fall.

Question: Dear Charlotte, I was wondering: Have Hartwick students ever been shot on J Term trips? Or was the incident that occurred during J Term '08 in France the first such case?

Answer: There have been no incidents of shooting on a J Term trip that I am aware of—or that others on campus are aware of.

Question: I moved from on-campus housing to an apartment off campus and one of my old roommates is bothering me a lot. She's stopping by all the time, calling all the time and begging me to stay on campus with her for parties I'm not comfortable going to. I should add here that I moved off campus to move in with my long-term boyfriend and he's starting to get bothered by her too. I've made it clear to her, or at least I thought I did, that we were still friends and that I'd see her a lot since we're still in the same sport and major. I moved out a year ago but she's still very clingy and it's becoming a problem. What do I do?

Answer: There are several strategies that may be used to resolve this issue. You can screen your phone calls (and avoid hers) and lock your doors and be very quiet when she stops by. Or you can speak to her directly.

I would suggest the latter strategy. Tell her how much you value your friendship and how much you enjoy seeing her in classes and in practice (she may need this reassurance). And then gently let her know that you also need some time with your boyfriend—and for yourself (if that’s the case). Perhaps you and your friend can work out a time each week to go for coffee or have a meal together, so that you have some one-on-one time.

Regarding the party invitations I suggest that you let her know that you’re ‘just not that into them anymore.’

Question: When do Hartwick e-mail addresses expire for graduating seniors?

Answer: For students who are graduating in May, e-mail addresses expire December 31 unless students request to keep it. You should receive something from IT just before graduation that will offer you the option of keeping it longer. Or, of course, you could return to the art of taking pen and ink to some lovely cream-colored stationery…

Question: How do we go about auditing a class? Do we have to fill out a form with the registrar? Or do we just need permission from the professor?

Answer: Students may choose to audit a class during the first week of each term. It must be arranged with the instructor—and this arrangement will clarify the terms of the audit (in some cases students may ‘sit in’ without doing any class work; in other cases all class work must be completed). A drop/add slip with ‘AUDIT’ noted must be completed (signed by the instructor and advisor) and submitted to the Office of Advising and Registration—just as you would add any class. When the class is successfully completed, ‘AU’ will appear on the transcript.

Question: Charlotte—What’s the scoop on the new curriculum XXI coming this fall? And how will I know if I should stay with the old one or start with the new one?

Answer: Thank you for your very timely question! Hartwick’s new general education requirements—‘Liberal Arts in Practice’—will be implemented in fall of 2008. You may learn more about the new curriculum and examine the new requirements by following this link:

Under the ‘Liberal Arts in Practice’ it will be necessary to complete a First Year Seminar, the writing requirement, a Quantitative and Formal Reasoning (or QFR) course, the ‘Breadth & Integration’ requirement, a foreign language requirement, a major, a senior capstone, and two Physical Education credits. Under the ‘Breadth & Integration’ requirement, each student must complete at least 9 credits in each of the 3 divisions of the College (Humanities, Physical & Life Sciences and Social & Behavioral Sciences)—a requirement that is very similar to the current Curriculum XXI. You will, however, have much more freedom in choosing which courses to take within the Breadth and Integration requirement. For example, instead of taking courses to fulfill Major Works Early and Major Works Late, you may choose to fulfill the Humanities requirement with Art, English (excluding composition), and Philosophy courses.

One of the most exciting changes in the new curriculum will be the emphasis on the ‘Liberal Arts in Practice’–ensuring that each Hartwick student completes courses that require active, hands-on educational engagement. For that reason, 3 of the 9 credits taken in the Humanities and Social & Behavioral Sciences divisions must have either an Experiential Learning (EL) component or be an Integrative Learning Seminar (ILS). This requirement may be fulfilled by experiences such as internships, off-campus programs, studio or performing arts, classes that include service learning, or specially designed Integrative Learning Seminars.

To make this transition even easier, it's now possible for students to see what their degree audits will look like under the new curriculum! Just log in to WebAdvisor for students, and pull up your degree audit. In the 'what if' field you can choose 'Liberal Arts in Practice'—and your general education courses will be plugged into the new curriculum (though no changes in majors will show up). This should be a valuable tool to help you decide whether it will make sense to continue with Curriculum XXI or to adopt the new ‘Liberal Arts in Practice’ curriculum (although this tool should still be considered a 'work in progress'—because it is). The Office of Advising & Registration will be sending out more information about the new curriculum (watch your Hartwick e-mail!) and there are information tables in the Dewar lobby and outside the Commons—so take advantage and become informed about the 'Liberal Arts in Practice!'

All current students will be able to choose whether to remain with Curriculum XXI or change to the 'Liberal Arts in Practice.' Please remember, however, that you will not be able to actually make that decision until the ‘Liberal Arts in Practice’ is implemented in the fall.

Advisors are going through their own workshops on the new curriculum—so, as always, your advisor will be the single most important resource in planning how to proceed.

Question: What is Hartwick's rate of transfer after the first year?

Answer: The College tries to learn from students who decide to transfer after the first year by conducting exit interviews. The interview helps address any concerns expressed by students who decide to leave for various reasons. Transferring is one of the reasons cited, but the number of students who decide to transfer is not tracked specifically. In recent years, the percentage of students who return for the start of their sophomore year has averaged 77 percent—about the same as colleges we are most often compared to. That number does not account for the students who take a leave and eventually return. Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions in life. Figuring out whether to leave is even more complicated because you have to also decide what to do next.

Thoughts of leaving or transferring can be related to dissatisfaction and hardship, but some folks decide to leave because of personal discovery—perhaps a desire to be at a bigger university. 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 Office or Advising and Registration, 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. And 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.

Friends: I have included the following question and answer from the last column—as some important links were omitted! This will make it much easier to access information about this important subject.

Question: Recently, I was having a discussion with my parents and they mentioned hearing about a Parent Association at Hartwick and something about a Parent Fund. I really had nothing to say because I am not familiar with these two things. Could you please find out what these are and how they help Hartwick for me? I searched the Web site and could not find anything on either. Thanks.

Answer: Parents who donate to Hartwick each year are members of the Society of Families. Last year, over 1,100 parents of Hartwick students made a gift to the College above tuition—an impressive total! (You can see the full list in the Annual Report of Gifts.) Making a gift to the Hartwick Fund is a particularly meaningful way for parents to give to the College. The cost of tuition is significant, so it is remarkable that so many parents choose to make an additional gift to support the Hartwick educational process. Those gifts are tangible votes of confidence for Hartwick. When the College applies for grants from foundations (like the Kresge Challenge Grant we recently received for Golisano Hall), the number of alumni and parent donors is considered. They want to see that the people closest to Hartwick believe in what we do here. If you or your parents have any questions, contact Dawn Marullo, Director of Annual Giving, at 607-431-4039 or