Hartwick College to Improve Campus Use Management

September 20, 2011

Hartwick College is renewing its effort to protect its property, area wildlife, and the interests of its students and neighbors. The initiative will impact the use of Hartwick's entire 425-acre campus, including the college's upper campus surrounding Table Rock and Strawberry Field.

During recent discussions about zoning changes in the City of Oneonta, Hartwick officials became aware of concerns of neighboring property owners related to the college's upper campus. Following an investigation, Hartwick found that many of these concerns can be traced to illegal and unauthorized use. 

"For years, the college has allowed unfettered access to our land. Our property, and especially our upper campus, has served as a respite and refuge for people and for wildlife," said Hartwick College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich. "Quite unfortunately, the amount of illegal and unauthorized activity that has resulted in damage and potentially harmful conditions now makes it necessary for us to change our approach to allowing the use of our campus."

"Even though our campus is clearly marked, trees have been cut down to create pathways, illegal fires have been set, gates and barriers have been damaged and destroyed, and hunters are trespassing," said Hartwick College Vice President for Finance George Elsbeck. "Our neighbors have expressed their concerns about surface run-off. It is obvious that the unauthorized use by ATVs and other vehicles is having a detrimental effect on natural drainage."

Neighbors have also expressed concern about individuals who trespass on their property to get onto the college's campus, according to Drugovich. "All of this activity presents a challenge to our neighbors and a concern for the college as we consider how to be a good neighbor and, most importantly, how to assure that our students and our authorized guests can use Hartwick's campus without concerns for their safety," she said.

Beginning September 1, any individual who is not a student, employee or guest of Hartwick College will need to apply for and be granted a new permit from the college's Office of Campus Safety if they wish to use the campus. Where granted, permits will be issued without cost.  Previously issued permits will not be honored. Hartwick will enhance its efforts to limit unauthorized access to its upper campus with measures including restrictive barriers and the posting of additional No Trespassing and other warning signs.

Use of Hartwick land for ATVs, snow-mobiles, motorized vehicles including off-road vehicles and motorcycles, hunting, logging, and bonfires is strictly prohibited. Any unauthorized use of the college's land will be treated as unlawful, and the college may pursue appropriate remedies against the violators.

"Preserving the safety and well-being of our campus community is our top priority. By taking these steps, we are sending a clear message that illegal and/or unauthorized of our land will not be tolerated," said Hartwick College Director of Campus Safety Tom Kelly. "Applications for permits to use our property will be readily available. Illegal trespass and unauthorized use of Hartwick land will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency."

Questions about permits and use of Hartwick College's campus should be directed to Tom Kelly, Director of Campus Safety. He can be reached at 607-431-4111 or

For more information, or to download a permit application, visit

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: James Jolly
Phone: 607-431-4465