11/3/08 Ask Charlotte Answers

Question: Why is it that the left-side door of the front double doors to Yager and Golisano are ALWAYS locked?

Answer: There are few times when the entire width of the doorway is needed—so opening just one side is part of our effort to conserve heat in the cooler months.

Question: Why are they tearing down the Ivy from the buildings? It was one of my favorite features.

Answer: I am in agreement—I too enjoy ivy-covered buildings. In my perambulations around campus, I noted that there still is quite a bit of ivy on our buildings—much of it a lovely shade of red! You may be referring to the south side of Bresee (overlooking the former site of Arnold Hall), where ivy needed to be removed in order to cover the windows with plastic. I feel sure that even there, the ivy will return.

Question: Dear Charlotte: School is starting soon and I don't want to go back, I'm having such a good summer. I'm having a good summer because I'm at home and away from my room mate. We met through a friend and moved in together last year. I was sorry about my decision to live with her. She's emotional, and gets very angry over the smallest thing. At the end of last year when she failed a test she came back to the room and started throwing heavy books at me and her boyfriend. I talked to my then RD and she told me since her boyfriend didn't complain and nobody reported it, they couldn't move me. I told my RA and she suggested 50/50. I brought up the subject to my roommate and she threatened to cut herself. I was sick on housing choice day and she put herself down as my room mate. I told housing I don't want to live with her because I don't feel safe. What can I do?

Answer: Please accept my apologies for the delay in my response to your question—I hope that your situation has been resolved in the meantime. You did the right thing in contacting your RA/RD. Your next step would be to see Zach Brown, Director of Residential Life. Please keep in mind, however, that whenever a situation arises in which anyone’s safety is at risk, you should contact Hartwick Campus Safety. Although your roommate may not be pleased by this, it is essential that everyone is kept safe.

Question: Heyoo, This hadn't crossed my mind until today, but I'm signed up for a commuter's meal plan. If I bring my own lunch/dinner, am I allowed to eat in the dining hall/cafeteria with friends or will they have me sit outside in fear that I might steal food?

Answer: The Commons is a one price all-you-can-eat residential dining program. Everyone is required to pay via Meal Plan, WickIt, DB, or cash.

The Café, however, is an a la carte retail location where you can bring your lunch or dinner and feel free to sit and visit with friends.

Question: Why are the pool hours so sparse? I understand that swimming and water polo need to practice, but it seems there is no time for regular students to go swimming anymore. It says on the Binder Web site that the pool is open 7-9 AM and 7-9 PM, but those shifts are now both being used for sports practices. The only other time during the day when the pool is open is 12-2PM, when I have class every day. I can go swimming once a week on Sunday (the pool is no longer open at all on Saturday) but I am having trouble with this. Swimming is the only exercise that I get due to joint problems, and I feel it is unfair that the hours are so sparse, especially since swimming and water polo seasons run from September to May (ALL YEAR!). I have already expressed my dissent to the athletic director, who seemed unconcerned. What should I do?

Answer: This comes from my friends in Binder: The pool is open to our general community Monday through Friday 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and noon to 2:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoons. We will be able to offer evening times beginning November 16 and will keep everyone advised if we are able to do more sooner. Thanks for asking.

Question: My roommate is madly in love with an acquaintance of ours, and has been for three semesters. She is very shy about talking to him, but she'd always try to get me and our other roommates to follow him, talk to him for her, or just listen to her rant about how perfect they'd be together. Now I find out through a friend that he's going to be living in the same building as us in the fall and I know I speak for all of us when I say that I don't feel we can handle another semester of this. All four of us have been living together on and off since we were freshmen. We all get along wonderfully and work well as roommates but this news has us all considering asking her to maybe seek some help about it or we'd be finding a new roommate. We thought giving her the summer to chill out would work, but she found out where he's living and the whole thing started up again. Is it rude to ask her to seek some help over this, either at home or through the school?

Answer: Unrequited love is always a difficult—and delicate—problem. And clearly, living with someone suffering such emotion is also a challenge. Have you encouraged your friend to be open about her feelings with this acquaintance? This would alleviate some of the frustration you are feeling—and also encourage your roommate to acknowledge her own feelings. You may also suggest 50-50 peer counseling to her or the Counseling Center at Perrella Wellness Center if she is still remiss about talking with this acquaintance. And no, I don’t think it is rude to suggest that your friend seek help over this—it’s never rude to try to help a friend.

Question: I am a morning person, so I am particularly ticked off when I am informed that the OPT shuttle doesn't operate in any AM hours. Why isn't the OPT bus shuttle running in the AM, lunchtime, anytime before 6 PM? It's so frustrating to attempt to go anywhere or run errands or even get a coffee. I do not have a vehicle on campus so when you have no means of transportation it makes things very difficult. So, my query is, why isn't it running in the AM and secondly, can we take the SUCO bus I constantly see all of the SUCO students traveling in?

Answer: The OPT shuttle that runs from the Yager parking lot is a free route arranged through a collaboration of the College and OPT to serve Hartwick students in the evening and early morning hours—hours when it may be less advisable for individuals to walk.

At any time during the day, however, it is possible to take a short walk to the nearest bus stop (on Center Street, just short of its intersection with Church Street) and catch a bus that will take you downtown (on a scenic route via SUNY Oneonta). From downtown you may take a bus to Southside Mall and Hannaford, as well as to a number of other destinations. Visit the OPT Web site for maps of all the routes offered by OPT. The cost of the local OPT is currently 65 cents.

And, in case you are not aware of it, there’s even a bus route to Cooperstown—a lovely destination, especially at this time of year. Cooperstown is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Farmer’s Museum, and the Fenimore House Museum, as well as a number of restaurants and stores (many of which are baseball-oriented). That schedule is also available at the Web site indicated previously.

Question: Charlotte, I'm a recent grad and I need to trade in my car, which I've had on Hartwick's campus for all four years of my time there. The problem is those freakin' parking decals. Any suggestions on how to remove them?

Answer: I would suggest using the same kind of scraper that one uses to scrape excess paint off windows. I have also heard that a hair dryer is a useful way to remove them, but this is anecdotal and not an officially sanctioned Charlotte solution!

Question: I've got a real problem, Charlotte. At the end of the school year, my roomie and I didn't leave on good terms. We had a huge fight during finals. I know she requested a single for next semester. That doesn't bother me nearly as much as her calling, texting, and e-mailing me, insisting I still have a lot of her stuff. I've looked for the things she's said I have and I can't find any of it. My parents are getting upset because now she's calling our house. Do I speak to someone in Housing about this? I'm lost about what to do. She won't drop it.

Answer: The next time you hear from your roommate, clarify that you don’t have whatever objects she is seeking. I am not sure what type of relationship you have right now—but if you are still at a point where you can effectively communicate with each other, you might suggest that the two of you meet over coffee to discuss what is going on between you. She may simply be trying to maintain a connection with you—even though it’s a negative one.

If, however, this route is not effective, and you are still receiving calls, I would suggest that you speak to Hartwick Campus Safety. This relationship appears that it could move toward a questionable boundary and in that case, Campus Safety should be involved to assist you through the process.

Friends, regarding the question I answered in my last column about having pets in the residence halls: Please note that both roommates will be held accountable if the animal is discovered.