11/22/10 Ask Charlotte

Week of November 22, 2010


Question: Why can't people learn to hold onto their belongings? I always get emails because people lose stuff in Johnstone. The emails are clogging up my inbox. Can the "lost items" emails stop? If people lose something and really care about them then they will go looking for them, or they wouldn't have lost them in the first place.

Answer: We all lose belongings at some point (and those of us of a certain age lose them even more often!). I'm sure that those seeking lost items don't intend to overwhelm anyone's inbox; using email is simply seen as the most efficient way of making the campus aware of the items being sought.

Question: Is there a gym on campus for student use? You know, weight machines, treadmills and all that? If so, does it cost anything, and are there exercises classes offered? Thanks.

Answer: The Elting Fitness Center, on the first floor of Binder, offers a variety of exercise equipment to students, faculty and staff free of charge. You may check online for hours of operation.

Question: What's my advisor actually supposed to do? I'm just curious. Is it only to sign off on courses? If that's the case, what's the point?

Answer: While advisors do need to ‘sign off' or approve courses before students can pre-register, their role can be much more than that. Advisors can serve as a guide to Hartwick for new students; they can serve as resources for information and opportunities regarding the major; and as a student progresses in the major, advisors can offer suggestions and opportunities regarding research, internships, and conferences.

For this reason, first year students are encouraged to meet with their advisors as part of Dialogues. If students schedule a meeting with an advisor early in the semester, the advisor is much more likely to have time to chat and discover what a student's interests and goals. During pre-registration, advisors may have a line of students waiting to have their schedules approved, and may not be able to spend much time with each student.

For students who have not decided on a major, Joe Ficano (in the Office of Advising & Registration) serves as an advisor. He has a wealth of resources and information to help undecided students explore majors and determine what route to follow.

Question: What is the history behind Gigantopithecus?

Answer: I realize that I am older than anyone on campus...but all the same this being was NOT my contemporary. Gigantopithecus, a genus of extinct giant ape, lived many years ago in Southeast Asia. For more information I suggest using that wonderful Internet tool, ‘Google'.

Question: Dear dead lady, why does Hartwick no longer carry AMC (Channel 73)? The Walking Dead is one of the top rated shows and we are being unfairly deprived by having to miss it now.

Answer: From my friends in Telecommunications: The College still carries the AMC station on channel 73, but was found on the wrong channel. Occasionally, when a Direct TV receiver firmware upgrade is done, it will reboot the receiver and come back up on the wrong channel. We appreciate being informed of service issues so we may correct the problem.

Please remember that if students have a problem with their TV viewing services, they should contact either the Technology Resource Center (or TRC) at extension 4357 or Hartwick's TV service provider, CampusTelevideo.

Question: Why is the opening page of our new website so white? The page cycles over 9 pictures. Only 4 of these contain pictures of students and not one of them is a student of color. The only "closeup" picture of a student is the blond haired blue eyed soccer player - whom I now have a tendency to think of as "he" since that is the logo that was below his picture at first. In the "Experience Hartwick" section that contains several photos - including one of a group of "awakeners"-- there is also not a single picture of a student of color. What's with that?

Answer: Thanks for your feedback. Illustrating the diversity of our community is certainly an important part of representing Hartwick. The homepage of the new hartwick.edu site was designed to highlight the campus environment and the varied experiences of our community. The large images that cycle on the page will be changed periodically to show our campus. The small images that appear in the Experience Hartwick banner are from our HartwickExperience.com site. This site was created for members of our community to share their Hartwick stories. Student events, faculty-student research, concerts, art openings, athletic events, performances, etc. are all topics for HartwickExperience.com. The more varied the stories and images contributed to that site, the more one can see the variety of opportunities, interests, and the diverse make up of our students, faculty and staff. Images from HartwickExperience.com stories appear on the Hartwick.edu homepage with a link, allowing site visitors to learn more about the image and Hartwick through reading our community stories on HartwickExperience.com.

Question: Charlotte, in your last Ask Charlotte you mentioned that it would be costly to replace Van Ess's heating system because it is from the late 1960's. Wouldn't you say that's a real problem considering we're going into 2011? I know you've been dead for some time now but I'm still physically living and breathing here on this campus and I'd like some more answers. =)

I've also noticed serious issues, in Yager particularly, where the heating and cooling of that building is not only detrimental to the people in there trying to learn, but also for the collections it holds.

Anyway, maybe it's time that some more changes occur around here? And I don't mean superficial changes or things involving vanity (i.e. the rain garden, in my opinion), I mean deep internal changes. Any thoughts on this campus entering a new decade while in some respects it is still stuck in the past?

Answer: You may be aware that, at the State of the College presentation, President Drugovich mentioned a number of capital improvements that will be addressed this year, as well as a capital campaign that will extend over the next five years. The upgrade of the heating system in Yager is intended to be part of that-as well as part of making Hartwick greener.

Joe Mack (mackj@hartwick.edu), the Executive Director of Facilities, is a wealth of information on the heating system in Van Ess as well as the upgrades scheduled, and he expressed that he would be happy to meet with you to answer any further questions.