Robots. More hot girls. Pro Wrestling. A Revolution. And of course, A roller disco with James in hot pants. No, these aren’t the Friday night TV listings on UPN, they’re suggestions on how to make Castleton a better place. While wacky ideas like these may have stolen the spotlight to students passing by, the large white board plastered with ideas also drew positive feedback and many important suggestions while displayed in the lobby of the first floor of Leavenworth.
The expression space is a ping-pong-table-sized piece of cardboard covered in white and blue paper that Paul Derby’s Community Action Seminar class created.. The point of the board was for students to write down what they feel could improve the college.
On the top of the board in big red cut-out letters it says “What would make Castleton a better place?” Underneath the question is blank space where students could write down whatever they desired.
“Of course, when there is space for people to express themselves without anybody watching, not everybody is going to take it seriously, but for the most part students did and it was a great turnout,” Derby said.
The board has approximately 100 comments written in an array of orange, red, blue, green, and purple markers. Many of the comments are ones that students have been complaining about for years including “More parking,” “Wireless Internet” and “Better food in Huden.”
Others are more creative: “More hiking trails,” “More picnic tables and seating outside,” “Better ventilation in men’s restrooms” and “Proper place for disposal of women’s monthly products.”
Both on campus students and commuters had their say on the board. Some of the suggestions that commuters had to help make their college experience easier were “More evening classes for students who work during the day” and “Daycare on campus.”
Along with the always-popular parking, food, and wireless Internet suggestions, the other comment that appeared the most was “No more hippies.”
Many of these comments did not last a full day before people opposed to that idea scribbled out the “no” part.
The board is now covered with suggestions from different anonymous students and it has been taken out of the lobby.
After it had been filled, the class carried the board to the Old Chapel on Wednesday, Mar 17 so that it would be displayed during the Community Assessment Workshop that took place there. The following day the class displayed the board in the Fine Arts Center.
But students realize that displaying the board alone is not going to bring change on the campus. That’s why they plan to bring the ideas to President Dave Wolk and his cabinet, hopefully before break, Derby said. The class wishes to present the board to the cabinet as a group because they are based on a democracy where everybody is encouraged to share their opinions. As of now, Derby does not believe that Wolk knows anything about the board, but he said he is very optimistic about the effects it will have.
Even today, before any action has been taken to put the suggestions to use, the campus is abuzz about the idea.
“I am interested to see if any of the changes will actually be made. It’s a really cool idea if it works and improves Castleton,” freshmen Kevin Archambault said.
Derby is confident that it will.
“I think it will definitely bring some changes,” he said.