Ask Charlotte Answers 3/3/08

Question: Good Evening Charlotte, I have been skimming the Hartwick Web site a few dozen times and I can't find where or to whom I should speak with to apply for an RA position. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, keep up the good work girl!

Answer: Here is the link you seek:

As you’ll see, completed applications are due by 5 p.m. on March 5—so time is of the essence. And thank you for your kind words…girl!

Question: Are there any chemistry or physics courses that don't involve math? I am in a fairly easy chemistry class (Chemistry, Life, and Science) and the math is killing my grade! Help!

Answer: My friends in the sciences gave me this explanation: Math plays an important role in chemistry--in many ways it is the core language of the sciences. There are some upper-level chemistry courses (such as organic chemistry) that don't put a strong emphasis on math skills, but there doesn't seem to be any chemistry course that does not include math in some way. Chemistry is the study of matter and its transformations, and it is a quantitative science. Even in physics classes for non-science majors (such as astronomy 163) some quantitative reasoning needs to be done.

It seems that your wisest route may be to work on sharpening your mathematics skills! You might also consider visiting the Loft in the Library to sign up for a tutor for assistance.

Question: Charlotte, I was sick when they had cap and gown fittings. Who do I see about that now?

Answer: Ah, a cap and gown—now there’s something I’m familiar with! It’s refreshing to see such an old tradition upheld in these very modern times. But to answer your question: Please see Marianne Poteet in Institutional Advancement (in Arnold Hall)—or you may wait for the next round of measuring/senior photos in March. You will receive information on scheduling in the near future.

Question: Charlotte, as a student employee, I've noticed a few things that are starting to bother me about other work-study students. I've overheard one particular girl in my department give out blatantly incorrect information that I've seen snowball over the last semester into this semester for this one particular student. It's bothersome but I don't know how to speak to my supervisor about it because the student employee in question doesn't misinform people when our supervisor is present. This student has been working there longer than I have and should know what to do. How do I approach this with my supervisor?

Answer: If you are present when your co-worker gives out information you believe is incorrect, that would be the best time to intervene, by asking “Are you sure about that? I thought….” At that point, if she insists that her information is correct, it can easily be brought to a supervisor: “I’m going to double check with so-and-so just to be sure.” If such an opportunity doesn’t present itself, however, I would suggest discussing this issue—in a gentle manner—with your co-worker, before taking it to your supervisor. Start by saying she may not realize how her misinformation affects students (giving her the benefit of the doubt). If she is not receptive to this approach, however, it will be time to speak to your supervisor.

Question: I am interested in shooting some hoops with a few friends and I was wondering if the gym had any open court hours? I know the pool has open swim times and so do the squash and racquetball courts, but I couldn’t find any information about the gym. Thanks!

Answer: Due to high demand and inclement weather, open gym time is available at different times almost every day. Many clubs and organizations use the gym as well as physical education classes, athletics, and intramurals. Both gyms have a schedule posted daily outside the door informing the community of availability. The good news is that the complete renovation of Binder gymnasium this summer will include a divider curtain which will allow for doubling up activities—as well as more opportunity for more folks to use the facility!

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

Question: Charlotte, What's the deal with the graduation distinctions such as magna cum laude et al? Does Hartwick give them? If so, what are the requirements for each of the distinctions? Are they available for reference on the Hartwick Web site? Is the meaning of Being really found in Temporality?

Answer: I will gladly answer your question regarding graduation distinctions—but I’m afraid my elderly mind is not up to discussing the meaning of Being! I’ve Been, and I’ve also Been through the process of Being and Becoming far too many times. When I stir every day I’m just grateful that I’ve managed to avoid Nothingness.

Yes, Hartwick does recognize students who graduate with honors—summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude. The requirements are as follows (from page 263 in the 2007-08 online catalog): summa cum laude—3.850 or higher grade point average; magna cum laude—3.650 or higher grade point average; cum laude—3.400 or higher grade point average. Please note that a student who has transferred credit to Hartwick College is eligible to graduate with honors only if the grade point average for the student’s entire college career falls into one of the categories above.

Students who have achieved these honors as of the end of J Term will be recognized in the Commencement brochure. Students whose honors are confirmed at of the end of the spring semester will have the appropriate honor embossed on their diplomas.

Question: Is there anywhere on the Hartwick Web site where I can find out where there are available rooms?

Answer: No, I’m afraid that available rooms are not posted. As the status of rooms is constantly changing, the easiest way to find out which rooms are open is to go the Office of Residential Life & Housing.

The following is a question from the archives which may be helpful at this time:

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!).